Take it easy vs clampdown: Both Britain and India face conflicting signals over how seriously steps should be taken to halt, or at least slow, the spread of Omicron if at all possible. Both have dismissed Omicron as a light infection and responded with relatively light measures. But Hong Kong’s decision to ban flights from both Britain and India is a reminder that some other countries, or jurisdictions, are taking Omicron far more seriously. The next couple of weeks should tell who’s right.
Tests no more: Britain is set to stop testing passengers coming to the country. So many people are positive now in the UK that stopping a few more arrivals seems not worth the trouble, and is only harming the travel business. Yet another sign that Britain has now taken the policy of getting to herd immunity in effect if not in name. And if that’s the way to go, sooner better than later.
UK varsities keen to woo Gujarati students: A two-day education conference held at Science City in Ahmedabad has drawn considerable interest from the UK. A number of British universities are keen of course to attract students from Gujarat, attract their fees, that is, but are keen also to partner institutions in India to set up outreach facilities and departments. The Science City conference has set up a number of offers that several UK institutions are monitoring closely.
Cairn ends all tax cases: Finally, and now officially, Cairn has dropped all lawsuits abroad intended to recover money the company said had wrongly been taken from it by Indian tax authorities. An advertisement in Indian newspapers on Wednesday from the company, now known as Capricorn Energy, put the final seal on that decision. It also ended India’s track record of applying retrospective taxation in this case, which had done no good at all to India’s bid to attract more investment. Some of the damage done is bound to stay.
Pole star: Captain Harpreet Chandi was remarkable enough already for her position in the British army as a Sikh woman in the position of captain. But that seemed only the starting point. She has now completed a solo trek to the South Pole, dragging a sledge behind her for all of 1,127km, in temperatures dropping to minus 50 degrees. No surprise at all that Britain’s Sikhs have now named her Polar Preet.