Government Accelerates Approval of More Foreign-Produced Vaccines
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; In a major change in vaccine approval policy, the government has decided to accelerate the approvals of Covid-19 vaccines that have been developed outside of India and that have obtained approval for emergency use (USA) from other agencies.
- The decision was made based on the recommendation made by the National Group of Experts on the Administration of Covid-19 Vaccines (NEGVAC) at a meeting held on April 11 to “expand the basket of vaccines for home use and accelerate the pace and coverage ”.
- Vaccines that would be eligible for expedited approval will include those that have received an EUA by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the UK Medicines and Products Regulatory Agency.
- Medical Devices (MHRA) and Japan’s Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), or those that have been prequalified by WHO for emergency use.
- This would mean that the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines would be eligible for expedited approval.
- As part of the fast-track approval process, bridging studies will be conducted in conjunction with mass vaccination. Until now, clinical trials were needed in India before the Indian regulator could approve the vaccine.
- But before the massive rollout of vaccines developed and tested abroad can take place, the vaccines will first be administered to 100 beneficiaries and those people will be tested for seven days for safety results.
Mamata organizes Dharna in Kolkata against ban on 24-hour EC campaign
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sat on a dharna on Tuesday to protest against the Election Commission of India (EC), which banned her from campaigning for 24 hours starting at 8 p.m. April 12th.
- A few minutes before noon, Banerjee arrived at the scene and sat alone in a wheelchair in front of a table with books on top of it. She scribbled notes on paper and also painted on canvas.
- Hundreds of Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters, including women, arrived at the scene and waited in silence. Within minutes of the EC order on Monday, the chief minister announced her decision to protest.
- To protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision of the Election Commission of India, I will be sitting at DNA tomorrow in Gandhi Murti, Kolkata, starting at noon, Banerjee said on social media.
- The Trinamool president was supposed to address four rallies during the day, two in Nadia and two in North 24 Parganas, which had to be canceled due to the ban.
- On Monday, in a five-page request, the EC expressed its dissatisfaction with Banerjee’s response to the notifications it had sent on April 7 and 8 for violation of the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct, article 123 (3) and (3A) of the Popular Representation Law of 1951, among others.
- April 7 opinion was related to his statements in which he urged people from the minority community not to allow any division of votes and the April 8 opinion was related to comments directed against the central forces, in which he asked to the people surrounding the forces (gherao).
EC Issues Notice to West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; The Election Commission (EC) issued a warning on Tuesday to West Bengal BJP Chairman Dilip Ghosh for violating the provisions of the Indian Model Code of Conduct and Penal Code by making an “inflammatory statement” that threatened the people of Bengal during the ‘public demonstration in Barangar, North 24 Parganas.
- The EC said it had received a complaint from India-wide Trinamool congressman Derek O’Brien about the speech that it was “an open threat” to Bengal and its people. Referring to the central forces that fired into a crowd on election day April 10 in Sitalkuchi, in which four people were killed, Ghosh said the incident would be the beginning.
- Believing that the statement violated the MCC, the IPC and the People’s Representation Act of 1951, the EC said that Ghosh’s speech was “provocative and could seriously stir emotions and lead to the collapse of law and order, which it would negatively affect the electoral process.
- In issuing an opinion, the EC asked Ghosh to explain his position on Wednesday at 10 a.m. In another opinion to BJP West Bengal leader Rahul Sinha, the EC said its Monday speech that central forces should have killed eight, not four people, in the Sitalkuchi incident was a violation of the MCC, and banned him from campaigning for 48 hours.
Congress debates’ outsourcing ‘of political work after strategists’ talks leak
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; The leaked contents of a virtual meeting between electoral strategist Prashant Kishor and high-level journalists have triggered a debate within a section of the Congress party on the question of how far a political party could go to the external influence of the elections.
- The internal debate was also fueled by the party’s experience in Tamil Nadu, where Kishor’s organization, the Indian Political Action Committee or I-PAC, advised Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), who heads an alliance in which Congress is a junior partner.
- Members of Congress say they witnessed a “sense of unease” among top DMK leaders when “basic political activities” were decided by the outside agency.
- Congress data analytics chief Praveen Chakravarty, who makes sense of the numbers to help the party design a strategy, questioned the commitment of “outside” agencies in terms of ideology.
- The question is important because, recently, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, rehired Kishor, who had previously advised Singh, as his adviser, and offered him the rank of cabinet minister.
- The debate is also important, as it could decide the party’s strategy regarding the Uttar Pradesh elections, scheduled for next year, based on feedback from the current round of elections.
- For example, in the recent assembly elections in Assam, whatever the outcome, Congress has waged an impressive battle over the past two and a half months through a vigorous campaign, which included the offering of five guarantees and , among others, them, 1 lakh jobs.
- Advertising for the Congress in Assam was handled by DesignBoxed, which had previously been hired by the party for the Chhattisgarh elections.
Senior Republican Senator calls for CAATSA to waive India’s S-400 deal
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; A senior Republican senator urged the Biden administration to grant a CAATSA waiver to India, saying any plans to impose sanctions on New Delhi for the purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defense system would jeopardize its relations with the United States. It would also affect the capacity. of China’s QUAD meter.
- Countering US adversaries through the Sanctions Act or CAATSA is a harsh US law that allows the administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase important defense equipment from Russia.
- Senator Todd Young, a key member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine that if the Joe Biden administration imposed sanctions on India, it would not deter the purchase by New Delhi of the S. -400 missile system to Russia.
- But that would weaken two strategic fronts at a critical time: it would undermine Washington’s relationship with India, and it would also affect QUAD’s ability to counter China.
- Alternatively, he urged the Biden administration to grant the CAATSA waiver to India.
- The exemption aims to avoid US sanctions against countries like India.
- In October 2018, India signed a $ 5 billion deal with Russia to purchase five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems, despite warnings from the then-Trump administration according to which the implementation of the contract could provoke the sanction of the United States.
Japan to dump contaminated water from Fukushima nuclear power plant into sea
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; Japan will dump more than one million tonnes of polluted water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, the government said on Tuesday, a move opposed by neighbors, including South Korea and its own fishing industry.
- The first water discharge will take place in about two years, which will give the operator of the Tokyo power plant time to start filtering the water to remove harmful isotopes, build infrastructure and obtain the regulatory approval.
- The first water discharge will take place in about two years, giving the Tokyo electric power plant operator time to begin filtering the water to remove harmful isotopes, build infrastructure, and obtain regulatory approval.
- Japan argued that the water discharge was necessary to accelerate the complex decommissioning of the plant after it was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, noting that water filtered in the same way is routinely rejected by nuclear power plants around the world.
- Almost 1.3 million tons of contaminated water, enough to fill some 500 Olympic swimming pools, is stored in huge tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi plant at an annual cost of approximately 100 billion yen (912.66 million dollars), and space is running out outside.
Daily NEWS Summary | 13-04-2021; The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 1,37,35,586 at the time of this bulletin, with a death toll of 1,72,840.
- Private weather forecasting company Skymet Weather said this year’s monsoon is likely to be 103% of the long-term average (LPA).
- The agency called it “normal and healthy” in a press conference Tuesday.
- The LPA refers to the average monsoon rainfall for all of India of 88 cm, which is an average of 50 years.