Opinion

Below the line

| Updated on August 01, 2021

A wait for the jab

Production and supply of Covid-19 vaccines and raw materials featured prominently in US Secretary Antony Blinken's meetings last week, with both the US and India reinforcing their intention to supply vaccines to the world through the Quad (India, the US, Australia, Japan) initiative.

What still remains unclear, though, is when would India get long-awaited vaccine supplies from the US under its global donation programme. While Washington has put the onus on New Delhi by stating that regulatory issues from the Indian side are holding up the process, it has not come out to say if it is the issue of ‘indemnity’ (protection from legal proceedings) that manufacturers like Pfizer and Moderna are seeking that is holding the process up.

The Ministry of External Affairs refuses to speak on the matter stating that the Health Ministry is handling it.

The latter, on the other hand, doesn’t add beyond saying it is talking to the manufacturers. It is probably now a case of ‘wait and watch’ for India because one sure way to know whether the vaccines are coming is to see them delivered!

Back to basics

With all the scare around snooping and interception of messages, business leaders are deploying multiple cybersecurity solutions to prevent a hack. But at a recent interaction with a billionaire businessman who has interests across India and Europe, the topic of discussion veered towards data privacy and increasing concerns around data breaches and digital surveillance. Asked how he ensured his communication was secure, the corporate honcho flashed out his vintage Nokia feature phone with keypads with basic 2G services. He confessed that he had stopped using a smartphone for important conversations. Feature phones could just be back in vogue.

Keyboard drift

To err is human. A few days back one of the giants of India’s oil and gas space came out with a statement: “A prompt action by ONGC and Coast Guard averted a possible disaster relating to an empty LNG tanker ‘Gas Yodla’ on the Arabian Sea on July 24. At 6:35 pm on that day, the LNG tanker reported engine failure and started drifting, around 20 nautical miles from ONGC’s D1 field.” Then, later in the day it sent a correction press release to the effect that ‘Gas Yodla’ is an LPG tanker, and not an LNG tanker as “inadvertently indicated earlier”. Typos are a way of life!

Udupi connection

It looks like those who succeed BS Yediyurappa as Chief Minister of Karnataka must have a Udupi connection. In 2011, when Yediyurappa resigned as CM, DV Sadananda Gowda, then the MP from Udupi constituency, replaced him. Now, 10 years later, Yediyurappa has resigned again from the post of the CM and his replacement, Basavaraja Bommai, was the Minister in-charge of Udupi district during his tenure as Home Minister in Yediyurappa’s Cabinet.

From Bankman to banker

Service spans of 30-35 years are not unusual. But a 45-year stint starting from the bottom of the rung and ending fairly high up the ladder is. As it was for Anilkumar AR, Associate Vice-President, Ernakulam Zonal office of Federal Bank, who superannuated on July 31 after 45 years and five days.

He joined the bank in 1976, at as a 14-year-old at the Thodupuzha branch in Kerala. At that time, the bank used to recruit students securing high marks in the X standard examination.

Anilkumar joined as a Bankman for a daily wage of ₹5. Then, he graduated through distance education and as he served the bank ably in various departments in and outside Kerala, promotions came till he became an Associate Vice-President.

Tailpiece

The new slogan in social media

Beti Padao aur Beti Ko Khilao, after Mirabai Chanu and PV Sindhu win medals at Tokyo Olympics. Our Bureaus

Published on August 01, 2021

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