Eminent Assamese poet NilamaniPhookan conferred with Jnanpith Award 2020
Eminent Assamese poet NilamaniPhookan was on Monday conferred with the Jnanpith Award for 2020 by chief minister HimantaBiswaSarma at a ceremony in Guwahati.
The 88-year-old is the third Assamese after Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya (1979) and MamoniRaisomGoswami (2000) to win the oldest and most prestigious literary award in the country.
“The award is a recognition of Phookan’s immense contribution towards enriching Assamese literature. His creations shouldn’t remain confined within the nation. Hence, if his family permits, the Publication Board of Assam will translate those for global audience,” Sarma tweeted after the event.
Phookan’s name was announced in December last year as the recipient of the 56th Jnanpith Award. This is the first time the award ceremony is being held in Guwahati. Bhattacharya and Goswami were conferred their awards in Delhi.
Phookan had won the Sahitya Academy Award in 1981 for his poetry collection ‘Kobita’. He was conferred with the Padma Shri in 1990 and the Sahitya Academy Fellowship in 2002.
Pakistan: 100 PTI members resign from Parliament
Pakistani lawmakers from the party of ousted prime minister Imran Khan collectively resigned from parliament on Monday ahead of the vote to elect a new prime minister. Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Justice Party, withdrew the nomination of former foreign minister Shah MahmoodQureshi as its candidate and more than 100 lawmakers walked out of the National Assembly.
The mass resignations will require fresh by-elections in well over 100 seats in the 342-seat National Assembly.
“We boycott this election according to the decision of our party, and we are resigning,” Qureshi said.
The walkout followed an impassioned speech by Qureshi who lauded what he described as Khan’s independence and refusal to bow to US pressure.
Imran Khan’s supporters organise protests
A large number of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) supporters held a protest rally in Lahore’s Liberty Chowk against the ouster of prime minister and party chairman Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition. The charged PTI supporters, including women and children, showed their solidarity with Khan during the rally that started at 9pm local time on Sunday and lasted till 3am.
Protests broke out in different cities after 9pm on Sunday and continued for several hours. Earlier on Sunday, ousted prime minister Khan tweeted that “today marked the beginning of a freedom struggle” against what he said was a “foreign conspiracy of regime change” in Pakistan.
Decline in bad loans to improve profitability of banks: Report
Growth in pre-provision earnings and decline in bad loans will improve profitability of banks in the current fiscal, a report said.
Better profitability will offset increases in capital consumption due to an acceleration in loan growth, helping banks across the system maintain capital at current levels, Moody's Investors Service said in a report.
Capital ratios at Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have improved in the past year, helped by capital infusions from the government, it said.
"Also, PSBs as well as their private sector peers have proactively sought to raise capital from the equity capital market, taking advantage of improvements in profitability to attract investor interest. Rated private sector banks had an asset-weighted average Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio of 15.8 per cent at the end of 2021, which positions them well to capture opportunities to grow loans as economic conditions improve," it said.
Further improvements in PSBs' financial health will continue to help them raise equity capital from the market, reducing their dependence on capital support from the government, it said.
The report further said, gradual increases in domestic interest rates will boost net interest margins because banks will be able to pass on higher rates to borrowers, while their funding costs will increase marginally because banks have reduced the share of high-cost corporate term deposits in total deposits.
::Science and tech::
The forecast on planet Neptune is chilly and getting colder
Frigid and far-flung Neptune, our solar system's outermost planet, is adding to its reputation as an enigmatic world, with astronomers puzzled by a surprising drop in its atmospheric temperatures during the past two decades.
Focusing upon Neptune's stratosphere - the atmosphere's relatively stable region above the turbulent weather layer - the researchers had expected to find rising temperatures in the part of the planet visible from Earth with the onset of its southern hemisphere summer, a season lasting four decades. Instead, they found temperatures declining significantly.
The study was based on more than 95 thermal-infrared images - every one ever taken - spanning 2003 to 2020 using ground-based telescopes in Hawaii and Chile, mostly the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. It is the most comprehensive assessment to date of Neptune's atmospheric temperatures.
"The atmosphere appears more complicated than we had naively assumed, which, unsurprisingly, seems to be a general lesson that nature teaches scientists again and again," said Michael Roman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leicester in England and lead author of the study published on Monday in the Planetary Science Journal.
Mumbai City FC first Indian side to win AFC Champions League match
Mumbai City FC created history by becoming the first Indian team to win an AFC Champions League match. Des Buckinham's side came back from 0-1 down to beat Air Force Club of Iraq 2-1 in a Group B encounter.
The win means Mumbai City move level on three points with Air Force Club and are three adrift of Saudi Arabia's Al Shabab, who picked up their second win in a row with a 3-0 victory over Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates.