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24 May, 2022
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Headlines: PM Modi To Host First Ever India-Central Asia Summit

PM Modi To Host First-Ever India-Central Asia Summit

On Thursday, prime minister Narendra Modi will be hosting the first-ever India-Central Asia summit in a video conference with five presidents from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The government officials said that the main focus of the summit would be trade and connectivity, building development partnerships and enhancing cultural and people-to-people contacts. A number of regional and global developments will also be a large part of the discussion. The summit is set to begin around 4:30 pm IST. The total trade between India and the Central Asia regions is only about $2 billion at present. However, during the conference, the countries are expected to propose ways to increase the trade between India and the Central Asian nations. The five leaders, including Kassymjomart Tokayev (Kazakhstan), Sadyr Japarov (Kyrgyzstan), Emomali Rahmon (Tajikistan), Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov (Turkmenistan) and Shavkat Mirziyoyevwere (Uzbekistan), were going to be the chief guests at the Republic Day parade. However, due to the current wave of the pandemic, their visits were cancelled. The situation in Afghanistan is also expected to be part of the discussions. Earlier, the five Central Asian leaders also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to mark 30 years of diplomatic relations. 

Covid-Bulletin: India Logs 2,86,384 New Covid-19 Cases; Recovery Rate At 93.33%

According to the data released by the union health ministry, India registered 2,86,384 fresh covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The active caseload of the country currently stands at 22,02,472. Meanwhile, daily recoveries outnumbered active covid-19 cases with recording 3,06,357 recoveries in the previous 24 hours. The total recoveries have reached to 3,76,77,328. The daily and weekly positivity rates currently stand at 19.59% and 17.75%, respectively. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country has conducted 72.21 crore covid-19 tests so far. On the vaccination front, India has administered 163.84 crore covid-19 doses so far under the nationwide vaccination drive.

ICMR Study: “Omicron Variant Can Neutralise Other Strains Including Delta”

A study conducted by the Indian Council Of Medical Research revealed that the Omicron variant has a significant immune response that can neutralise other strains, including the Delta variant. The study also revealed that people infected with the Omicron variant are less likely to get re-infected with the Delta variant. The study emphasises the need for an Omicron-specific vaccine strategy and is yet to be peer-reviewed. ICMR conducted the study on 39 individuals – 25 of whom had taken both the doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 8 had taken both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 6 who were unvaccinated. The main limitation of this study is the small sample size of unvaccinated people and the short window period post-infection. 

Union Budget 2022: India’s Budget Documents To Be Available Mostly Digitally

The government officials have said that India’s annual budget will go green this year. The budget documents will be primarily available digitally, cutting down on the vast printing of documents. The printing task of the voluminous budget documents is such a huge task that the printing staff had to be quarantined inside the printing press located in the basement of North block for at least a couple of weeks. The Modi government has curtailed printing of the budget copies that were initially distributed to journalists, outside analysts and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs. The government cited the outbreak of the pandemic as a potential reason to cut down on budget copies. Sources said that the traditional halwa ceremony is being given a go-by; however, a small group of staffers will have to undergo mandatory quarantine. The budget documents include the speech by the finance minister, highlights, annual financial statement, finance bill containing tax proposals, memorandum explaining the provisions in the financial bill and macroeconomic framework statement. They also include implementation of previous budget announcements, outcome framework for schemes, customs notification, expenditure budget, receipt budget and statement of budget estimates. On February 1st 2022, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be presenting her fourth budget. In 2021, the central government had launched the union budget mobile app for access to budget documents by members of parliament and the general public. 

Actor Mouni Roy Marries Businessman Suraj Nambiar In A Traditional Malayali Wedding

Bollywood actor Mouni Roy recently tied the knot with Dubai-based businessman Suraj Nambiar in Goa. The wedding took place on 27th January, and the couple got hitched in a traditional Malayali ceremony in the presence of near and dear ones from the industry. While Mouni Roy looked regal in a traditional white and red saree with temple jewellery and oxidised gold kamar band, Suraj Nambiar looked handsome in a golden kurta with traditional white dhoti. Mouni Roy and Suraj Nambiar will also get married in a traditional Bengali ceremony which is going to take place later in the day. 

Rajnikanth Trying Really Hard To Save Dhanush-Aishwaryaa’s Marriage Claims Report

Recently, actor Dhanush and Aishwaryaa announced their separation on social media, ending their 18 years of marriage. As per a report in Wion, actor Rajnikanth is trying really hard to save his daughter and Dhanush’s marriage and is badly affected by the news of separation. A source close to the development said: “Rajini Sir has taken his daughter’s break up very badly. He keeps insisting that the separation is temporary. He has been urging his daughter to mend her marriage,”“Fights between the couple were not uncommon. Dhanush and Aishwarya had bitter differences. But somehow Rajnikanth always managed to convince them to stay together.” added the source. A few days ago, Dhanush’s father and filmmaker Kasthuri Raja reportedly said it was not a divorce but just a family quarrel. 

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