SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
OCTOBER 28, 2
NO IDENTITY WITHOUT
STAGE SET FOR
MCI (P) 079/10/2022
REPORT ON PAGE 4
New British prime minister
Rishi Sunak leaving
10 Downing Street for
his first cabinet meeting on
Ayodhya city in Uttar Pradesh retained its Guinness World
Record by lighting more than 1.5 million diyas (oil lamps)
and keeping them burning for 45 minutes, as part of the
Deepavali celebrations on Sunday.
Last year, the temple town lit 900,000 diyas, beating its
previous record of 606,569 in 2020.
To create the display at Ram ki Paidi – said to be the
birthplace of Lord Rama – the diyas were placed on the
riverbanks in individual grids and then placed together to
form the larger display.
More than 100,000 visitors, including Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, filled the banks of the Saryu river
to witness the spectacle.
XBB cases double in a week, set to
be dominant Covid strain
A new batch of Omicron sub-variants
has entered India, raising fears of a
fresh Covid-19 wave in the coming
Omicron’s XBB variant, the
recombinant of BA.2.75 and BJ.1, that
caused a rapid spike in the number of
Covid cases in Singapore and
Bangladesh, has been detected in India
and is driving a surge in Covid cases in
Maharashtra, Kerala and other parts of
Experts advise taking precautions
against this highly-infectious strain.
Modi hands job letters to
thousands ahead of elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed
out 75,000 employment letters at a
virtual event as he looked to tackle
India’s soaring unemployment less
than two years ahead of a national
Key elections in Gujarat and
Himchal Pradesh are due in the next
“Central government is working on
multiple fronts simultaneously to
create more and more jobs,” he said at
the virtual event that connected
several cities across the country, where
his ministers handed out appointment
letters to the youth.
Saturday’s event was part of
Mr Modi’s vow to provide one million
government jobs by end of next year.
India’s foreign capital inflows
could be affected
India’s economy faces risks from the
external sector, the nation’s finance
ministry said in its monthly report.
It flagged the possibility of foreign
capital inflows suffering negative
impact as the Federal Reserve tightens
monetary policy and concerns about
elevated global energy prices cloud the
Earlier this month, the International
Monetary Fund flagged headwinds for
India, and lowered its growth forecast
by 0.6 percentage points to 6.8 per
cent for the year to March 2023 – the
biggest downgrade among major
economies after the United States.
Toddler dies after leopard attack
A 16-month old girl lost her life after a
leopard attacked her in Mumbai’s
western suburb of Aarey colony on
The girl was on her way to visit a
temple with her mother when the
leopard pounced on her. She was
immediately taken to a nearby hospital
but was declared dead by the doctors.
Soldiers killed in helicopter crash
Five Indian army soldiers were killed
when their helicopter crashed near the
border with China, the defence
ministry said on Saturday.
It was the second such fatal accident
in the region this month.
The Advance Light Helicopter came
down on Friday south of Tuting, a
remote town in Arunachal Pradesh.
Air traffic controllers had received a
mayday call that suggested technical or
Google fined $159m for ‘unfair’
India’s antitrust watchdog fined
Google US$113 million ($159 million)
on Tuesday for “unfair” payment
policies, a week after hitting the tech
giant with an even bigger financial
penalty for abusing its market
The California-based company’s
Android mobile operating system is by
far the most dominant player in India
and runs on 95 per cent of all the
country’s smartphones, according to
research agency Counterpoint.
This policy amounts to an “unfair
condition on app developers”, the
Competition Commission of India said
in a statement announcing the fine.
Last week, the watchdog fined the
company US$162 million after ruling
that it had configured Android to
crowd out potential rivals to YouTube,
Chrome and other popular Google
Boy killed, two wounded in bomb
blast in West Bengal
A seven-year-old boy was killed and
another child and a woman were
wounded on Tuesday in a bomb blast
in West Bengal.
The blast took place on a railway
track at Bhatpara in North 24 Parganas
district, about 30km north of Kolkata.
ISRO’s heaviest rocket places
36 satellites in orbit
The Indian Space Research
Organisation’s (ISRO) heaviest rocket
Launch Vehicle Mark 3 (LVM3 or
GSLV Mark 3), which took off from
the Satish Dhawan Space Centre
SHAR in Sriharikota early on Sunday,
placed 36 satellites of United
Kingdom-based OneWeb in orbit.
The 43.5m LVM3 weighing around
644 tonnes carried 36 satellites
With this launch, LVM3 has made
its entry into the global commercial
launch service market.
Conman defends actress
Investigators claim actress Jacqueline
Fernandez tried to flee India after
being named in a Rs200 crore ($34
million) extortion case but the alleged
kingpin Sukesh Chandrashekhar has
released a letter defending her.
“It’s very, very unfortunate that
Jacqueline has been made an accused
in the PMLA (money laundering)
case,” he said in a handwritten letter,
released through his lawyer.
“We were in a relationship and if I
gave her and her family gifts, what is
their fault? She never asked me for
anything except loving her and
standing by her.”
Vaccine-maker destroys 100
million expired doses
Indian vaccine-maker Serum Institute
of India said it had to dump 100
million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine
after they expired.
The firm stopped producing
Covishield in December last year due
to low demand, CEO Adar Poonawalla
said on Thursday.
Serum Institute of India, the world’s
largest vaccine-maker, has been
making the local version of
AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria jab.
Covishield accounts for over 90 per
cent of the doses given in India.
Lancet study: High temperatures
killing more Indians
India saw a 55 per cent rise in deaths
due to extreme heat between
2000-2004 and 2017-2021, a recent
study published in the medical journal
The Lancet has found.
Exposure to heat also caused a loss
of 167.2 billion potential labour hours
among Indians in 2021, the study
noted. This resulted in loss of incomes
equivalent to about 5.4 per cent of the
India has faced increasingly intense
heatwaves in recent years.
Zee, Sony agree to divest three
The Indian unit of Japan’s Sony and
Zee Entertainment Enterprises have
agreed to divest three Hindi language
channels as part of their deal to create
a US$10 billion TV giant, according to
an order by India’s competition
The Competition Commission of
India had approved the deal earlier
this month with certain conditions.
Ayodhya lights 1.5 million lamps to retain world record
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October 28, 2022
Two more Indian beaches have made
it to the list of the cleanest beaches
in the world, Union Environment
Minister Bhupender Yadav said on
“Proud moment!” he tweeted.
“Two more Indian beaches have
made it to the list of Blue Beaches.
Minicoy Thundi Beach and Kadmat
Beach – both in Lakshadweep – are
the proud entrants in the coveted list
of Blue Beaches, an eco-label given
to the cleanest beaches in the
This takes the number of beaches
certified under the globally recog-
nised and coveted eco-label to 12 in
Thundi is one of the most pristine
and picturesque beaches in the Lak-
shadweep archipelago where white
sand is lined by turquoise-blue water
in the lagoon. It is a paradise for
swimmers and tourists alike.
Kadmat Beach is especially popu-
lar with cruise tourists who visit the
island for water sports. It is a par-
adise for nature lovers with its pearl-
white sand, blue lagoon waters, mod-
erate climate and friendly locals.
Both beaches have designated
staff for beach cleanliness and main-
tenance as well as for the safety and
security of swimmers. They comply
with all the 33 criteria as mandated
by the Foundation for Environment
FEE in Denmark accords the glob-
ally-recognised eco-label – Blue Flag
In order to qualify for this presti-
gious award, a series of stringent
environmental, educational, safety-re-
lated and access-related criteria must
be met and maintained.
The mission of Blue Flag is to
promote sustainability in the tourism
sector through environmental educa-
tion, environmental protection and
other sustainable development prac-
The other Indian beaches on the
Blue Beaches list are Shivrajpur in
Gujarat, Ghoghla in Diu, Kasarkod
and Padubidri in Karnataka, Kappad
in Kerala, Rushikonda in Andhra
Pradesh, Golden in Odisha, Radhana-
gar in Andaman and Nicobar, Ko-
valam in Tamil Nadu and Eden in
Golden in Puri, Odisha, is also the
first beach in Asia to be awarded the
Blue Flag certification.
Last year, the certification was
given to Kovalam beach in Tamil
Nadu and Eden beach in Puducherry.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on
Wednesday expressed delight at the
addition of the two Indian beaches
to the Blue Beaches list.
“This is great!” he tweeted. “Con-
gratulations, particularly to the peo-
ple of Lakshadweep, for this feat.
“India’s coastline is remarkable
and there is also a great amount of
passion among our people to further
Indo-Asian News Service
12 Indian beaches among world’s cleanest
Thundi (top) and Kadmat (above) beaches in Lakshadweep.
China’s top diplomat in Bangladesh Li
Jiming (right) said he was a big fan of
India, and thought India and China
could work together closely.
China did not have any strategic
rivalry with India and did not want to
see a “heavily armed” Bay of Bengal,
the envoy in Dhaka said on Wednes-
The comments came after India’s
External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar
made a strong comment on the India-
China relationship to China’s outgoing
ambassador to India Sun Weidong
when the latter made a farewell call on
Mr Jaishankar in New Delhi.
In his farewell remarks, Mr Sun said
it was only natural for India and China
to have differences and they should
seek a common ground and not allow
their relationship to be defined by
“There is enough room in the world
for China and India to develop to-
gether,” said Mr Sun said.
“The two sides should strive to
manage and resolve differences, and
look for a solution through dialogue
and consultation instead of defining
China-India relations by differences.
“The two countries need to respect
each other’s political systems and de-
velopment paths, and uphold the prin-
ciple of non-interference in each
other’s internal affairs.”
Mr Jaishankar tweeted after the
meeting with Mr Sun: “Emphasised
that the development of India-China
relations is guided by the 3 Mutuals
(respect, sensitivity, and interest).
Peace and tranquillity in the border
areas is essential.
“The normalisation of India-China
relations is in the interest of both
countries, Asia and the world at large.”
Amid this strong exchange, Mr Li
said China does not see India as a
strategic rival or competition.
“We never view India as a strategic
rival or strategic competitor of China,”
he said during an interaction.
“Personally, I’m a big fan of India.
We can work together more closely to
solve economic and geopolitical is-
Indo-Asian News Service
China envoy amid loaded
talks: I’m a big fan of India
October 28, 2022
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