Not Chennai, not Mumbai, not Delhi. Bengaluru is the Indian metro with the fastest doubling rate now, going by the latest data. Although, the overall Covid-19 numbers are low but cases are doubling every four days now. Comparatively, Chennai cases double every 18 days, while Delhi's every 15 days. Mumbai cases are currently doubling every 41 days. IT city Bengaluru, which boasted of less than 400 cases until May 31, is now seeing more than 4,600 active cases, and the cases are doubling every four days.
Donation day 1: Ten people who recently recovered from COVID-19 donated their plasma to the newly-established 'plasma bank' at a state-run facility in New Delhi on Thursday. Delhi Chief Arvind Kejriwal inaugurated a first-of-its-kind 'plasma bank' at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). The state government is trying to incentivise donors by reimbursing their travel cost between home and ILBS. The initiative was taken after Delhi Covid-19 cases crossed 92,000-mark on Thursday.
In Other News
Politicking: With a dozen of his supporters and loyalists finding a place in Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet on Thursday, BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia took a dig at his former party Congress with the quip "Tiger abhi zinda hai". The one-liner was famously used by Chouhan himself when he had cautioned the-then Kamal Nath government over alleged atrocities against BJP workers, months ago.
Postal ballot: The Centre has issued a notification to extend the facility of postal ballot for electors above the age of 65 years and coronavirus patients ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections later this year, a day after the State Election Commission announced the same. Amid pandemic, state EC directed that only 1,000 voters be allowed at each polling booth and the number of booths be increased.
Railways privatised: A day after inviting the request for qualifications from private entities for running 151 trains on 109 pairs of routes, Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav Thursday said the private train operations would begin by April 2023 and the fares in these trains would be competitive with air fares on similar routes. “Private players in passenger train operations would mean a quantum jump in introduction of modern technology,” he said.
Alert issued: At least 31 people died in lightning strikes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. In Bihar, 26 people were killed after being struck by lightning, officials said. More than 100 have died in lightning strikes in the state in the last one week. According to the state disaster management department, the casualties were reported from eight districts -- Patna, Samastipur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Sheohar, Katihar, Madhepura and Purnea.
On Our Specials
Discrimination: US-based outfit Ambedkar International Centre (AIC) has written to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) saying that a case, in which Cisco Systems Inc is accused of discriminating against an Indian-American employee and allowing him to be harassed by two managers because he was from a lower Indian caste, is just "a tip of the iceberg”. A lawsuit was filed by California’s DFEH in a federal court against Cisco Systems Inc for allegedly practicing “discrimination, harassment, and retaliation”- Eram Agha writes.
Setback: In what can be viewed as a setback to India in the 2012 Enrica Lexie case, the Arbitral Tribunal under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in its judgment has said that two Italian marines cannot be tried in an Indian court. However, the fact that the tribunal has upheld the conduct of Indian authorities with respect to the incident under the provisions of the UNCLOS can be viewed as India's core stand being validated- Maha Siddiqui writes.