Prime Minister Modi holds a high-level meeting amidst growing Corona affairs in the country
Prime Minister NarendraModi chaired a high-level meeting to review the COVID-19 Pandemic situation and vaccination programme in the country.
MrModi mentioned that the five-fold strategy of Testing, Tracing, Treatment, Covid-appropriate behaviour and Vaccination would be effective in curbing the spread of the Pandemic, if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment.
During the meeting, he directed for sustainable COVID-19 management and awareness of the community. Prime Minister stressed on the need to continue Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for COVID-19 management.
A special campaign for Covid appropriate behaviour with emphasis on 100 per cent mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public and work places as well as health facilities will be organised from the 6th to 14th of this month.
US President ends H-1B visa ban, Indian IT professionals will get benefits
US President Joe Biden on Thursday let the ban on foreign workers visa, in particular H-1B, lapse as the notification issued by his predecessor Donald Trump expired, a move which is likely to benefit thousands of Indian IT professionals.
Amidst a national lockdown and the COVID-19 crisis, Trump in June last year issued a proclamation that suspended entry to the US of applicants for several temporary or non-immigrant visa categories, including H-1B, arguing that these visas presented a risk to the US labour market during the economic recovery.
On December 31, Trump extended the order to March 31, 2021, noting that an extension was warranted as the pandemic continued to disrupt American's lives, and high levels of unemployment and job loss were still presenting serious economic challenges to workers across the US.
Biden did not issue a fresh proclamation for the ban on H-1B visas to continue after March 31.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The expiry of the Trump's proclamation would now result in the issuing of H-1B visas by American diplomatic missions overseas that would result in US companies bringing in talented technology professionals inside the country.
Railway logs highest ever route electrification in a single year
Indian Railways has logged highest ever electrification of sections covering over six thousand route kilometer in a single year during 2020-21.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it has surpassed the previous highest of over five thousand route kilometer achieved in 2018-19. Indian Railways has given a lot of emphasis on electrification in the recent years to reduce the country's dependence on imported petroleum-based energy.
More than five times electrification was achieved in the last seven years as compared to 2007-14. It has also commissioned a record 56 Traction Sub Stations during 2020-21, as against previous best of 42, which shows an improvement of 33 percent. Some of the Major sections electrified by the Indian Railways over the years include Mumbai-Howrah via Jabalpur, Delhi-Darbhanga-Jaynagar and Chennai-Trichy.
Ministry of Railways said that Railways has planned to fully electrify its tracks by December 2023.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
For the first time, scientists find X-ray emission from Uranus
Uranus, which is the seventh planet from the sun, is reflecting X-rays, according to a new study by scientists published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The study, which analysed two visuals of the planet, marks the first time that X-ray activity has been discovered on the planet. However, the reason for the reflection of the X-rays has not been clear yet. "While the authors of the new Uranus study initially expected that most of the X-rays detected would also be from scattering, there are tantalizing hints that at least one other source of X-rays is present," according to a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) release. "If further observations confirm this, it could have intriguing implications for understanding Uranus," the release added.
There are two plausible reasons for the emission of X-rays. The first, according to Nasa, could be the Sun which has a similar effect on planets like Jupiter and Saturn that scatter the X-ray light which is given by the Sun.
During the study, scientists compared observations of the Chandra Space Telescope, which is managed by Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Centre dating back to 2002 and 2017. The analysis of the 2002 observation of the planet depicted X-rays clearly. When it was compared to the 2017 observations, the study found a possible flare of the X-rays. The detection of the X-rays is significant as they have been detected in other planets of the solar system, except Uranus and Neptune.
Russian Open and Indonesia Masters cancelled due to COVID-19
Two Super 100 badminton tournaments –- the Russian Open 2021 and Indonesia Masters -- have been cancelled due to COVID-19 related restrictions, the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
"The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and complications left local organisers no choice but to cancel the tournaments," a BWF statement read.
"The respective decisions of the National Badminton Federation of Russia and Badminton Indonesia were made in consultation and agreement with the BWF," it added.