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Snippets from UK: Boris Johnson's India Trip in Doubt Amid Covid Wave; Fewer Flights Between Two Countries

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (File photo/Reuters)

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. (File photo/Reuters)

From a question mark on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s much-awaited visit to India to Britain’s ‘controversial race report’, a roundup of what’s making news.

Boris Johnson’s India Trip in Doubt: Could Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s much-awaited visit to India at the end of April be affected by the Covid situation? His office clarified they are going ahead with plans but also added that they are keeping the international situation under review. The pandemic has shown us that a lot can change very quickly. As things stand, plans for Johnson visiting Mumbai certainly could be in some doubt. A planned visit was already postponed once in January given the spike in cases in the UK. This time, however, officials on both sides are trying to ensure that the visit does go ahead even if the programme needs to be limited due to the Covid-19 situation in India. But Covid-19 will have the last word on this.

Britain’s ‘controversial race report’ raises several questions: Britain’s new report on race has proved to be highly controversial. But few will quarrel with the recommendation of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities to ban the use of the word BAME (Black and Asian Ethnic Minorities). That is an acronym that seems to club coloured people in Britain. The commission reports wide disparities between non-white groups, too wide for any clubbing to make sense. And quite out of tune with the times.

Covid-19: Fewer flights between India and Britain: The restriction on the number of flights between India and Britain has been extended until mid-April. This means up to 15 flights a week operated by Indian carriers and an equal number by British carriers. That is less than half the number that usually operates between the two countries. Resumption of more flights – or even continuation of the existing flights will inevitably depend on the extent of the virus prevalence in both countries, at present heading opposite ways – peaking in parts of India, and near zero in most parts of Britain. It will depend also on the issuance and validity of the proposed vaccine passports.

More Indians eyeing  Britain’s Global Talent Visa Programme: Britain’s Global Talent Visa Programme is not aimed at Indians but no one is aiming for it more than Indians. Quite naturally so. Thousands have applied from many countries over the past two years, and more openings appear all the time. Just the thing for English-fluent and tech-savvy Indians.

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