NEW DELHI: The BJP's manifesto for upcoming Bihar polls resulted in a controversy after it promised "free" Covid-19 vaccines as one of the poll promises. The state continued to hog the headlines when deputy chief minister Sushil Modi tested positive for coronavirus. A team of researchers made an interesting discovery in the Thar Desert by claiming to have recovered the remains of a 1,72,000-year old river. In strife-riddled Lebanon, Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri, was elected as country's new prime minister.Here is a look at top ten stories from the day —
1New Spacecom policy to allow private Indian companies to launch sats, sell services
Just weeks after deciding to open up the space sector, the department of space (DoS) has proposed to enable private Indian firms to not just use existing space assets for communication services, but also develop new systems, launch satellites and sell services to foreign customers under its Spacecom Policy-2020.
2US proposes not to issue business visas for H-1B speciality occupations
The Trump administration on Wednesday announced a rule that will likely curb US companies' use of skilled foreign workers, particularly in the tech industry, which officials said was necessary to protect American jobs amid mass unemployment triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The joint rule from the US Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security will significantly increase the minimum wages companies must pay to workers enrolled in the H-1B visa program. It also will narrow the definition of "speciality occupations" eligible for H-1B visas.
3River that ran through Thar desert 1,72,000 years ago found
An international team of researchers has found a“lost” river that ran through the central Thar desert, near Bikaner, 1,72,000 years ago. The river was likely a lifeline for Stone Age populations, helping them thrive in what is now an arid region, while also serving as an important corridor for human migration, according to the research which represents the oldest directly dated phase of river activity in the Thar region.
4Marriage promises led to 57% rapes in UP
The maximum number of rapes in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 — 57% of all cases — took place on the false promise of marriage, reveals the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The analysis of data further shows that in 37% cases in the state, the accused were known to the survivor, while around 6% perpetrators of the crime were unknown.
5Bihar deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi tests positive for Covid-19, admitted to AIIMS-Patna
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday said that he has tested positive for Covid-19 and was undergoing treatment, while also asserting that his parameters were fine and he was looking forward to hitting the campaign trail soon in the poll-bound state.
6BJP slammed for promising 'free' Covid vaccine in Bihar manifesto
The BJP landed in a soup after promising "free" coronavirus vaccines in its election manifesto for Bihar on Thursday. Facing criticism for "using" pandemic as a "political opportunity", the party was criticised across social media and by several political parties and leaders.
7India sets aside $7 billion to vaccinate its population: Sources
The Centre has set aside nearly $7 billion (approx Rs 51,000 crore) to vaccinate India's 1.3-billion people against Covid-19, reported Bloomberg quoting people with knowledge of the matter. The Modi government estimates an all-in cost of about $6-$7 (roughly Rs 450-550) per person in the nation of 1.3 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.
8Saad al-Hariri named as Lebanon's new prime minister
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun designated Sunni Muslim politician Saad al-Hariri as prime minister on Thursday to form a new government to tackle the worst crisis since the country's 1975-1990 civil war. Hariri won the backing of a majority of parliamentarians in consultations with Aoun.
He faces major challenges to navigate Lebanon's power-sharing politics and agree to a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes: a banking crisis, currency crash, rising poverty and crippling state debts.
9India reopens its doors for foreigners, restores most visas except tourist, electronic, medical
India has decided to restore with immediate effect all existing visas — except electronic, tourist and medical visas — as part of a graded relaxation in visa and travel restrictions for more categories of foreign and Indian nationals. The Union home ministry (MHA) on Thursday decided to permit all “overseas citizens of India (OCI) and persons of Indian origin (PIO) cardholders and all other foreign nationals intending to visit India for any purpose, except on a tourist visa, to enter by air or water routes through authorised airports and seaport immigration check posts.”
10Labour ministry releases a new series of retail inflation for industrial workers with 2016 base year
Labour minister Santosh Gangwar on Thursday released a new series of retail inflation for industrial workers (CPI-IW) with a revised the base year of 2016 against 2001 earlier. The consumer price index-industrial workers (CPI-IW) is the single most important price statistics with financial implications.