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Weekly Roundup: News Highlights from March 31st to April 6th 2024

From Taiwan's Earthquake to Political Manifesto: A Recap of Last Week's Headlines




08 Apr '24
5 min read


India removes export curbs on essential goods for Maldives despite strained tries

Source: X/@MoosaZameer

Amid strained relations between Male and New Delhi, the Indian government announced a limited allowance for exporting essential commodities like sugar, wheat, rice, and onions to the Maldives. This decision follows derogatory remarks by Maldives's minister Mariyam Shiuna against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and concerns over China's growing influence in the region.

India has permitted exports of rice, wheat flour, sugar, potatoes, onions, and eggs to the Maldives. Shipments during the 2024/25 financial year, which began on April 1, will be exempted from any export restrictions.

Additionally, India has allowed exports of stone aggregate and river sand, each totalling 1 million tons.

Maldivian Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer expressed gratitude to India for the gesture, thanking External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and the Government of India for facilitating the import of essential commodities during 2024 and 2025.

Fierce Earthquake Rattles Taiwan, Killing 13 and injuring more than 1000

Image Credits: ChiangYing-ying/AP

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, leaving about 400 people stranded, as reported by CNN citing the island’s fire department. Authorities clarified that the stranded individuals are safe but inaccessible due to landslides and road blockages in the heavily impacted East Coast region. The death toll has risen to 13, with bodies recovered from mountain trails. This quake, the strongest in a quarter-century, struck the entire island on April 3 and caused widespread damage in Hualien County, where buildings collapsed and landslides occurred. Over a thousand injuries have been reported, with six people still missing. Survivors describe the devastation, with longstanding businesses disappearing overnight.

Gold continues to Gain, Hits New Record High of Rs 71,000

Image Credits: Steve Bidmead from Pixabay

Gold continues to gain and hit a new record high of Rs 71,000. “Gold and silver closed on a mixed note on Friday, after both precious metals hit fresh lifetime highs in the domestic market. Silver fell after reaching its highest level since June 2021, as investors awaited the important US employment data for fresh indications regarding the Fed's monetary easing. Gold and silver are also getting support due to escalating tensions in the middle-east. The dollar index also slipped below 104 marks amid Fed rate cut hopes which supported prices of precious metals," said Rahul Kalantri, VP Commodities, Mehta Equities Ltd.

CBSE Modifies Assessment Pattern For Class XI, XII; More Weightage To Competency-Based Questions

CBSE has revamped the assessment pattern for classes XI and XII starting from the academic year 2024-25, aligning with the National Education Policy 2020. The changes include reducing the weightage of constructed response questions to 30% and increasing the weightage of competency-focused questions to 50%. These changes aim to assess the application of concepts in real-life situations.

RCB's woes continue with 16 losses in spite of Kohli scoring his 8th Century against RR in IPL

Image Credits: X/@RCBTweets

Kohli scored an unbeaten 113 off 72 balls, reaching his century in 67 balls, the joint-slowest in IPL history. Despite his efforts, RCB only managed 183-3. Rajasthan Royals secured a six-wicket win, with Buttler's century leading the charge. RR chased down RCB's 183/3, with Buttler's ton sealing the victory.

Zomato's stock surges to an all-time high of INR 191.9

Zomato's stock surged to an all-time high of INR 191.9 during Friday's intraday trading on the BSE, inching closer to the INR 200 mark. Opening at INR 189.45, it quickly reached the record high. Despite some retracement, it closed at INR 190.50, 1.90% higher than the previous close. With a 270% surge over the past year, experts anticipate further gains fueled by expected healthy Q4FY24 performance, bolstering investor sentiment.

Another Indian student dies in USA, 10 so far in 2024

Mr. Uma Satya Sai Gadde, an Indian student, passed away in Ohio, USA on Friday (5th April 2024), with ongoing investigations confirmed by the Indian consulate in New York. The consulate assured the family of all necessary assistance. This incident marks the 10th in 2024 involving Indian or Indian-origin students in the US, raising concerns among the Indian community about the growing number of student deaths in the country.

Source: X/IndiainNewYork


RTI reply shows how Indira Gandhi gave away Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka in 1974

In 1974, Indira Gandhi's decision to cede the 285-acre Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka, revealed in recent RTI documents, sheds light on a significant maritime border settlement between the two nations. The island, located in the Palk Strait, holds strategic importance amidst China's expanding presence in the Indian Ocean Region and impacts the livelihoods of Indian fishermen, particularly those from Tamil Nadu.

Historically, Sri Lanka has vigorously pursued its claim to Katchatheevu, despite India's contestation, dating back to the pre-Independence era. However, it wasn't until 1974 that India formally relinquished its claim, with Indira Gandhi's decision to include Katchatheevu in the 'Indo-Sri Lankan Maritime agreement'. This agreement, while aimed at deepening ties with Sri Lanka, overlooked the issue of fishing rights for Indian fishermen.

Subsequently, the Sri Lankan Navy's frequent arrests of Indian fishermen in the area have escalated tensions, with numerous allegations of custodial torture and deaths. This year alone, 178 Indian fishermen and 23 trawlers have been detained, and 360 boats from Rameswaram have been impounded over the past decade.


The Indian National Congress (INC) releases its Election Manifesto for Lok Sabha Polls 2024


The Opposition Congress unveiled its manifesto, titled 'Nyay Patra' for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls on April 5, 2024. Key promises include:

  • Nationwide socio-economic and caste census
  • Constitutional amendment to raise 50% cap on reservations for SC, ST, and OBC communities
  • Legal guarantee to Minimum Support Prices (MSP)
  • Restoration of Jammu and Kashmir's statehood
  • Scrapping of the Agnipath Scheme
  • Adoption of Rajasthan's cashless insurance model for universal healthcare
  • Launch of the Mahalakshmi scheme, providing Rs 1 lakh per year to every poor Indian family
  • Ensuring minorities' freedom of dress, food, language, and personal laws
  • Restoration of Maulana Azad Scholarships for minority students studying abroad, with an increase in the number of scholarships
  • Consultation and enactment of a law to recognize civil unions for LGBTQIA+ couples
  • Granting full statehood to Puducherry
Category : News


Written by Prasad