Mask Must in Britain: New Covid rules came into force in Britain on Tuesday, and for the first time since the pandemic began, the government is talking firmly of masks, which will be now mandatory in shops and on public transport. The British have long been taking it easy on masks as have people in India. Both countries have let their guard down. The next few days will show how far till that will have to be reversed once scientists report the effectiveness of the present vaccines against the Omicron variant.
Tata to Buy Battery Company: Buy Tata continues to look at Britain for further investments despite a mixed record so far. JLR has been doing better but Tata Steel has been struggling. Tata is nevertheless said to be in talks to buy the London-based battery materials maker Johnson Matthey. Given JLR’s push into electric cars, it makes sense for Tata to step into the batteries business.
British Kabaddi League: Kabaddi is due to take a giant leap forward with the launch of the British Kabaddi League in February next year. Several Punjabi groups in Britain and Canada have been playing in Britain for years and have been trying to gain wider recognition for the sport. Kabaddi has remained a mostly Punjabi sport in the West. But the new league will be an occasion to drive Kabaddi champions’ dream to get the game Olympics status.
Priti Patel No More PM’s Favourite: Home Secretary Priti Patel has been known for her tough talks but the gap between tough talk and effective action has appeared wide after the latest deaths in the English Channel. Patel was reportedly kept out of a Cabinet meeting on the illegal migrants’ crisis. The Daily Mail reported that she has been strongly rebuked by PM Boris Johnson over failing to take effective steps. She appears to have fallen from her position as the Prime Minister’s favourite minister.
Thames vs Ganga Cleanliness Projects: The Thames is cleaner than Ganges at several places if not all. But best practices in cleaning up of rivers in England could be a model for the Clean Ganga project being showcased at exhibitions around the country. India is looking for more than best practices; it is looking for investment. The project needs about 350 billion dollars in investment, and only a fraction of that has gone in as yet. The British are better at offering advices than they are in investing money.