Nation this week
Senior career diplomat Vikram Doraiswami is set to be appointed India's next High Commissioner to Bangladesh, succeeding Riva Ganguly Das. Doraiswami, a 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, is at present Additional Secretary in-charge of International Organisations and Summits at the Ministry of External Affairs. Doraiswami, a favourite of Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar according to The Print, served as India's Ambassador to South Korea until 2018.
As Joint Secretary, Doraiswami has handled Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar affairs at the MEA headquarters in the South Block in New Delhi. A soft-spoken and articulate diplomat, Doraiswami is known for his thorough knowledge of South Asia and homework on the subjects he is dealing with, diplomatic sources said. Riva Ganguly Das, the 1986 batch IFS officer, is likely to take over as Secretary (East) at the MEA when incumbent Vijai Thakur Singh retires in September.
Almost 3.7 million (37 lakh) cases remained pending with courts across the country at the start of 2020, including the Appellate and High Court Divisions of the Supreme Court, according to figures updated to the end of last year. That's after a total of 1.16 million cases were disposed of between January 1 to December 31 last year (2019), according to a statement of the Supreme Court.
The lower courts had a backlog of close to 3.17 million cases till December 31 last, after they disposed of over a million cases over the course of 2019. Meanwhile, the number of cases pending with the Appellate Division stood at 23,617 till December 31, 2019, after the apex court disposed of a total of 6,303 cases last year. The High Court disposed of a total of 135,275 cases last year, and 489,068 cases were pending with this court till December 31 last year. Cases may have piled up further with limited court activity during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The government reappointed Fazle Kabir as the governor of the central bank for two more years, putting faith in an old hand to steer the financial sector through what is set to be a stormy period. Kabir, who originally took charge on March 19, 2016, saw his tenure end on July 3, a day before he turned 65 years of age. As per the Bangladesh Bank Order, 1972 he should have gone into retirement.
So the government proceeded to amend the law to make way for the former finance secretary to stay on beyond the 65-year age limit, in what was an unprecedented move. Kabir's prime task now is to ensure smooth implementation of the Tk 103,117 crore stimulus packages to put the economy back on track again from the ruins caused by the pandemic. The central bank has been tasked with administering most of the packages.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader clarified that all forms of public transport would remain operational during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha vacation. However, goods-laden vehicles -- except those used for emergency services, transporting medicines, cattle and garment products -- would remain off the roads from three days ahead of Eid, he said.
A state of confusion had arisen over the matter earlier in the week after State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury told a meeting that public transport would remain suspended for nine days -- before and after Eid. QUader in his statement urged all to follow the health safety guidelines properly or the Eid journey may turn into nightmare, because health experts have already warned of high risk of Covid-19 transmission if the guidelines are not followed.
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