Parliamentary panel reports that the pace of vaccination slows down
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-03-2021; A parliamentary panel on home affairs noted that “so far less than 1% of India’s population has been vaccinated and at this rate it will take many years to vaccinate the entire population.”
- The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs, headed by Congress Leader Anand Sharma, presented the report in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
- Further Committee also expresses its concern that a large number of people miss the second dose of the vaccine, considers this to be a very serious problem as the virus is mutating and new variants of Covid-19 are being reported in different parts of the world.
- In addition to this, the committee recommended that all frontline healthcare workers and corona warriors, including the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and state police personnel, receive recommended vaccine doses.
- Further they, suggested that vaccination in Lakshadweep can be done for everyone, as the population is very small (around 70,000 people) and “medical facilities are limited.”
- Home Ministry officials also told the panel that a special campaign against vaccine reluctance had been launched.
Census and NPR data will be ready before the 2024 elections
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-03-2021; Provisional data from the last Census and National Population Registry (NPR) will be available before the next general elections in 2024, according to information provided by the Ministry of the Interior (MHA) to a parliamentary committee.
- MHA informed the committee that “Census, NPR Update” will be one of the main axes of fiscal year 2021-2022.
- The last census was conducted in 2011 and NPR, which has a database of 119 million people, was last updated in 2015.
- First phase of the Census House Listing and House Census to be conducted with NPR as of April 1, 2020 was postponed indefinitely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- With this, MHA shared a tentative timeline with the parliamentary group, indicating that the results of the interim census will be released in fiscal year 2023-24 and that the Primary Census Summaries (PCA) will provide village-level data on the indicators.
- A mobile app has been developed to collect census and NPR data, and residents can also self-enumerate.
- Fieldwork for the first phase of the 2021 census, which will provide data on housing conditions, household equipment and household-owned assets, is planned for 2021-2022.
- In addition to this, fieldwork for the population enumeration phase to provide data on demographics, religion, CS / ST, language, literacy and education, economic activity, migration, and fertility will take place in 2023-24.
- The commission also informed that the mobile application through which the census will be carried out will be available in 16 languages.
- Lastly, MHA said the NPR database was created by collecting family data and can be strengthened by linking Aadhaar to each member.
China only allows Indian travelers if they take Chinese vaccines
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-03-2021; Several Chinese missions abroad, including its embassy in New Delhi, have announced that they will begin to “facilitate” travelers on the condition that they have taken “the manufacture of Chinese Covid-19 vaccines.”
- Indians have not been allowed to travel to China since November last year, when China suspended visas and valid residence permits not only for travelers from India but for most countries, citing concerns about Covid-19.
- Consequently, the ban was of particular concern to many Indian students enrolled in Chinese universities, who were unable to return to China. There are at least 23,000 Indians studying in China, most of them in medical schools.
- However, March 15 announcement will bring them little relief, as vaccines made in China are not available in India.
- China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that China “is ready to advance mutual recognition of vaccines with other countries,” but this process is expected to take time.
- For now, the limited relaxation of the travel ban will only apply to travelers who have received Chinese vaccinations.
- Most importantly, Indian students, represent the fourth largest segment of international students in China, have faced particular hurdles.
- The South China Morning Post reported last month, with many Chinese apps used for online education banned. Last year 200 Chinese applications following the June border clash in the Galwan Valley.
- After WeChat was banned and students complained to their universities, one university, the newspaper reported, began using Alibaba-owned DingTalk and Tencent’s Meeting for online classes. In the end, these apps were also banned.
- The biggest concern of students, who will have to take tough exams in India after graduation to practice, is their inability to receive laboratory training as they cannot return.
Swapan Dasgupta resigns from Rajya Sabha
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-03-2021; Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta resigned from the upper house on Tuesday after questions arose about his participation in the West Bengal Assembly election over a BJP ballot while he was an appointed MP .
- Dasgupta found himself in a difficult position after Trinamool Congressman Mahua Moitra stressed that he, the appointed MP, should be disqualified from the upper house of parliament.
- Swapan Dasgupta is a BJP candidate for the assembly polls. The tenth annex to the Constitution states that the designated member of the RS will be disqualified if he joins a political party AFTER the expiration of 6 months of oath.
- Mr. Dasgupta, was sworn in April 2016, still not an ally, he must be disqualified NOW to join the BJP as Moitra tweeted on Monday, sharing the Constitution’s tenth schedule specific clause.
- Dasgupta was nominated for Rajya Sabha in April 2016 and his term expires in April 2022.
Cabinet approves draft law to establish financial institution for development
Daily NEWS Summary | 16-03-2021; The Union cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill for the creation of a development finance institution (DFI) to generate funds for investments in the infrastructure sector. The bill will give effect to the budget announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1.
- In addition to this the government has offered 20 billion rupees to capitalize the institution.
- Proposed DFI will have 50% unofficial directors.
- In his 2019-2020 budget speech, Sitharaman proposed a study to establish DFI to promote infrastructure finance.
- Around 7,000 projects have been identified under the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with a planned investment of a whopping ₹ 111 lakh crore during 2020-25.
Covid Updates: The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 1,14,10,302 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a toll of 1,61,464.
- The health ministry has warned Maharashtra to plan for the “worst case scenario ” with sufficient lead time as the state continues to report the maximum number of daily new Covid-19 cases and deaths in India.
- Further they ordered the resumption of death audits to support public health action and minimize mortality.
- In his communication to the state earlier this week, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that if the available health infrastructure was adequate, Maharashtra should investigate vaccine hesitation among frontline workers, already that their services would be needed if the trajectory followed the upward trend as it is now witnessing.
- They added that the state should also speed up the vaccination of people with co-morbidities and the elderly.
- After their visit, the main team recommended that the attending physicians again become aware of the clinical management protocols.
- The report came after the core team visited Mumbai, Thane, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon and Aurangabad. Previously, the team had covered the Vidarbha region.