At least 12 people, including nine Chinese citizens, were killed after a bus carrying construction workers plunged into a ravine following an explosion on July 14, 2021, when the workers were heading to the Dasu hydropower project located in the Upper Kohistan region situated between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB). No one has claimed responsibility for the incident, though the nail of suspicion is on Pakistani Taliban formation infamous as Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP).
In the last 13 years, one of the significant achievements of the Sheikh Hasina government in Bangladesh has been to maintain strict control over the growing Islamic radicalism in the country.
A very passionate debate is ongoing in India on the relevance and effectiveness of Allopathy and Ayurveda, two different (modern and traditional) branches of medicine. In respect of Covid-19 handling, there was an attempt to debunk the relevance of allopathic treatment. In response to this, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), an NGO, has taken a very aggressive stance and stood against demeaning allopathy.
After over a month-long debate and discussion, the Sri Lankan cabinet, on April 27, 2021, imposed a ban on wearing Burqas (full-face veils in public used by Muslim women) and closing down madrasas (Islamic Seminaries) across the country. The government defended the decision by stating that these restrictions would improve national security and prevent radicalisation in society. As expected, few Islamic countries and groupings termed the decision as anti-Islamic.
There is an upsurge in Maoist related incidents in Chhattisgarh, a central Indian province. The violence on April 3, 2021, has raised a big question mark on the government's anti-Maoist strategy. Between 2018 and 2020, Chhattisgarh accounted for 45% of all Maoist related incidents in India and causing 70% of security personnel deaths (Ministry of Home Affairs, Annual Report 2019-2020)
China successfully landed its rover on Mars on May 14, 2021. After landing, it took 17 minutes to unfold the solar panels attached to this system and send a signal back to Earth. It may be noted that the current distance to Mars from the Earth is 320 million km, and it takes about 17/18 minutes for radio messages to reach Earth. Presently, this rover is situated inside a lander and would take few more days to get out of the lander's belly and start moving on the Martian surface. It is expected to operate for three months.
Surprisingly the number of terrorist-related incidents in Pakistan has relatively gone down in recent months, but there is an increase in sectarian violence and atrocities on the minority population. The international community has expressed serious concern. Recently, the US State Department issued travel advisories to its citizens visiting Pakistan, citing terrorism, sectarian violence and COVID-19. It also asked its citizens not to travel specifically to Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces due to cases of terrorism-related incidents and kidnappings.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that had left many governments scrambling towards lockdowns and led to a massive failure of numerous public sectors worldwide, especially in the US, the public health crisis is now about to become a phase of the past. Vaccines against the novel coronavirus made harnessing cutting edge m-RNA techniques are being developed by national and international teams of scientists at a breakneck pace never seen before. Amidst all the gloom caused by the virus, these vaccines have finally emerged as the silver lining in the darkest cloud.
On 6 March 2021, the last day of the two-day Combined Commanders’ Conference (hereafter, CCC), the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the distinguished military gathering at Kevadia, Gujarat, in no uncertain terms that Indian armed forces need to be flexible and adaptive, accumulate combined strength, further Indian national interests and be the locomotive for promoting self-reliance in defence manufacturing by using indigenous weapons in order to increase the country’s stature as a global power in an era of the fast-paced technological environment and fluid global security scenario.
The Supreme Court (SC) of Nepal once again made a landmark judgement on March 7, 2021, by scrapping the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) altogether. It rather gave recognition of NCP to Rishiram Kattel, who had registered the party in the same name with the Election Commission (EC) of Nepal in 2017. Quashing the EC's decision to award the NCP to K. P. S.