Off the air: The Indian Air Force predictably pulled out of a set of air exercises it was due to conduct with the Royal Air Force through most of March. No reason was specified, other than pointing to the given situation. Clearly, there are strategic concerns for the Royal Air Force which would want to be in combat mode given the position developing around Ukraine. And India would no doubt have had its own political reasons.
Forward movement: Getting the many thousands of Indian students in Ukraine out of the country has presented a logistical difficulty under challenging circumstances. But much progress has been achieved through tapping the overland route to neighbouring countries and then airlifting them home from there. Support was forthcoming, particularly effective from Romania.
Critical loss: It’s too early yet to be thinking ahead of the academic year of these students, but that is a serious question ahead for them if matters do not return to normal fairly soon, and it does not look like they will. A friendly government and welcoming institutions have made Ukraine attractive to Indian students like never before. Any long-term disruption could have damaging consequences on the lives of these thousands of students.
Tossing waste: Amidst growing reports of shipment of hazardous products and waste to developing countries, Sri Lanka has shown the way forward, or backward rather. It has sent back 263 containers of waste shipped from Britain which were found hazardous in inspection in Sri Lanka. The inspections of dubious shipments from Britain began two years back, and Sri Lankan authorities have kept up the inspections and stuck to their resolve to ship hazardous waste right back to where it came from.
Good news and bad: Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is in the midst of mixed blessings, not an unusual place for a finance minister to be. The budget has posted a surplus, the economic recovery has been considerably better than anticipated earlier. But soaring inflation is cutting into any well-being that could bring. And the Ukraine crisis and its fallout on already rising energy prices are not helping. The recovery is in the news, the bad news is at home.