Five judges of the Supreme Court have been affected by swine
flu, caused by the H1N1 virus, the Union Health Ministry confirmed on
On Tuesday, Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde met with
the Supreme Court Bar Association president Dushyant Dave to discuss urgent
measures to prevent the spread of infection among judges, advocates, staff
Mr. Dave later confirmed that some judges had been taken ill
in the past few days. He, however, said he did not know their exact number.
The court itself assembled half an hour late on Tuesday.
Some of the judges were on leave. Justice Sanjiv Khanna was seen wearing a
mask in the courtroom. Justices Hemant Gupta, A.S. Bopanna and Abdul S.
Nazeer did not attend court.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud expressed concern about the
infection spreading. Justice Arun Mishra was heard cautioning people against
coming to court if they exhibited traces of infection.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of
India is likely to consider the developments around COVID-19, which has
resulted in supply chain disruptions from China, Singapore's DBS Bank said
in a report
The report titled "India: Growth and inflation targeting
review", Radhika Rao, Economist at DBS Bank noted that the impact on India
is felt through supply chain disruptions from China as well as regional
players, who in turn are net importers from China.
"Temporary price increases are likely to be accompanied by
production delays if the pain spills over into 2Q20 (April-June)," the
report said adding that "the MPC is also likely to consider developments
The coronavirus outbreak has brought a large part of the
world's second-largest economy China to a standstill and its impact has been
felt across industries.
On economic growth, the report said, the Indian economy is
in the midst of "bottoming out" -- to reach a lowest or worst point before
beginning to rise or improve.
"With the inflation-targeting framework being still
relatively new, authorities are likely to keep the broad contours unchanged
to allow the framework to stabilise, age and gain credibility," the report
The government will launch first of its kind Aadhaar-authenticated
digital data base of farmers in June, agriculture secretary Sanjay Agrawal
This will be used as a master database for implementing any
farmer-related government schemes, he said, adding that the database will be
a consolidation of all kinds of genuine lists of farmers available with the
He said the database will be launched with 60 million
farmers and their landholdings will also be mapped. “We have started the
exercise. We have asked states to verify the landholdings of the farmers. In
PM-KISAN scheme itself, we have got database of more than 9 crore (90
million) farmers. Out of which, 84% are now aadhaarauthenticated. This is an
ongoing process and we will keep updating it,” he said.
The creation of an authentic database of farmers will help
the government identify the needs of farmers based on their landholdings and
the crop varieties they produce.
“The government is discussing ways to reduce use of
chemicals and fertilisers to boost productivity of land,” said Jai Shankar
Mishra, director at Lucknow-based think tank Agriculture Research and
Economic Development Institute.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned on Monday
in a shock move after his political allies sought to bring down the
government and block the succession of leader-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim.
It came after months of rising tensions in the “Pact of
Hope” coalition, which stormed to a shock victory in 2018 against a
corruption-plagued government that had ruled Malaysia for six decades.
But there were calls for Mr. Mahathir, the world’s oldest
leader at 94, to stay in office from allies, who insisted he had not backed
the formation of a new government and had quit in disgust at the plot.
The political drama began on Sunday when Mr. Anwar’s rivals
from the ruling coalition and opposition politicians held a series of
meetings, stoking speculation a new alliance was taking shape.
That coalition would reportedly have excluded Mr. Anwar, Mr.
Mahathir’s presumptive successor and a former opposition icon who was jailed
for years on questionable sodomy charges, blocking his ascent to the
With the fate of the government still uncertain on Monday,
Mr. Mahathir submitted his resignation to the king. The monarch accepted it,
but appointed him interim leader until a new premier is found, according to
an official statement.
Inspired by how snakes move, engineers have created a robot
that can stably climb large steps, an advance that may lead to better search
and rescue robots that can successfully navigate treacherous terrain
The robot, described in the journal Royal Society Open
Science, climbed steps as high as 38 per cent of its body length with a
nearly perfect success rate.
According to him, until now engineers attempting to mimic
snake movements have not accounted for real-life large obstacles such as
rubble and debris that search and rescue robots would have to climb over.
Li and his team studied how the variable kingsnake --
commonly found living in both deserts and pine-oak forests -- climbed steps
in the lab.
When the steps got taller and more slippery, the scientists
said the snakes would move more slowly and wriggle their front and rear body
less to maintain stability.
Analyzing the videos, and noting how snakes climbed steps in
the lab, the researchers created a robot to mimic the reptile's movements.
They said the robot snake, at first, had difficulty staying
stable on large steps and often wobbled and flipped over or got stuck on the
The scientists then inserted a suspension system into each
body segment so it could compress against the surface when needed.However,
the study noted that a downside of the added body suspension system was that
the robot used more electricity.