News Wrap


Covid-19 virus is spreading inexorably through India, initially in Urban Centers, and now increasingly into the hinter land, where medical infrastructure is scarce. There is enough evidence to suggest the virus has reached most corners of India. There is community transmission, say experts. An estimated 65% of India's 1.3 Million population live in rural areas. 714 districts in India have corona virus cases, putting 94.76% of the population at risk. Increasingly, Covid-19 positive cases reported from small-sized towns, as well as from rural areas. There is a concern about reports of stigma fear and discrimination, continuing even after ten months. In the face of the relentless march of the disease, India is recording around 10 lac, active COVID-19 Cases. The new recoveries are exceeding new cases, in recent days.

Corona and Economic Crisis
India's deepest recession may linger through the rest of 2020, and begin to lift only in early 2021. A rapid surge in the crona virus spread quelches a nascent rebound in consumption and business activity. As on 05 Sep 2020. India's GDP growth at (-) 23.9% in QIFY21 was much lower that what the markets were expecting. This is the first instance of an economic contraction in at least four decodes. India's GDP may have shrunk the most among G-20 countries, in the April - June quarter, at 25.6%, when compared with the previous quarter. The GDP contraction by 23.8% is follow-up of the slowdown in the economy for the last two years. The Narendra Modi government did not take precipitate action in 2018 to protect the informal sector, which was devastated following demonetization in Nov 2016 and the introduction of GST, which affected the MSMES most. The spread of the pandemic has not yet been contained. Millions of people have lost their jobs. The migrant labour who walked thousands of mites to go back their homes, are yet to return. Complete lockdown was imposed at four hour's notice on 25 Mar 2020. The fall in consumption and demand, evident before Covid-19, got accelerated after Mar 2020. The Indian poor do not yet have a proper social security system.

Kidnapping Villagers By PLA
In a remote area in Arunachal Pradesh's Upper Suban Siri district on the Sera 7 border route, which is patrolled by both Indian and Chinese troops, there are allegations that Chinese soldiers have "Kidnaged" five villagers who might have gone near the disputed border on a hunting expedition. The Arunachal Pradesh state government has dispatched a police team to the remote area. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China is a ten to twelve days' trek, form the Nacho subdivision, under which the village, which the state administration is trying to identity, is located. Army Sources say people sometimes lose their way on the mountainous and forest terrain, while on hunting trips. The villagers could have bumped into Chinese People's Liberation Army Soldiers. China Claims Arunachal Pradesh to be a part of South Tibet. Army sources maintain that the "Situation is normal along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh". Nobody has filed a missing persons diary, in the frontier state.

Vol. 53, No. 19, Nov 8 - 14, 2020