Two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, gain approval for emergency use
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) on Sunday approved two vaccines, developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech respectively, for public use. The formal approval came after a CDSCO Subject Matter Experts Committee (SEC) recommended that the permit be granted “for restricted use in public interest emergencies.” This allows vaccines to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
- No company has completed Phase 3 trials in India, but the SEC has relied on data from both Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials, which test whether the vaccine is safe and generates adequate antibodies. The committee was of the opinion that the data suggested that the vaccine was safe and well tolerated in limited groups of volunteers.
- In the case of SII, the committee relied on data from Phase 3 trials of approximately 23,000 overseas trial participants. Provisional data from a trial involving 1,600 volunteers in India showed the efficacy to be “comparable,” the statement said.
- On the other hand the case of Covaxin from Bharat Biotech, only data from animal studies and phase 2 data from 800 volunteers were studied. Both companies are expected to continue their clinical trials and continue to submit data.
- Somani did not discuss or provide details on what requirements companies would need to meet to gain approval.
- The World Health Organization has welcomed India’s decision to allow the emergency use of two Covid-19 vaccines, saying it would help “scale up” and “strengthen” its fight against the current pandemic.
- Senior clinical scientist Gagandeep Kang told a news channel in response to a question about vaccine approvals that she was “not fully aware of any data on the effectiveness of the Bharat Biotech vaccine” and that there was no reason to believe it would work against the UK. variant of the coronavirus.
- Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that free coronavirus vaccination will be provided to more than three million priority beneficiaries.
- He added that details are being finalized on how the other 27 million people will be vaccinated with priority for July.
- Earlier today, Mr. Vardhan, who visited the GTB Hospital in Delhi to examine a blank trial for COVID-19 vaccination, said that “the safety of the vaccine is the main concern.”
SII and Bharat Biotech Issue Joint Statement Following Vaccine Dispute
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; Stating that the important task ahead is to save the lives and livelihoods of people in India and around the world, SII CEO Adar Poonawala and Bharat Biotech President Krishna Ella, jointly on behalf of the two companies, they issued a statement Tuesday communicating their intentions. develop, manufacture and supply COVID-19 vaccines for India and globally.
- The statement that came after a series of cross statements made by the two companies over the past two days read: “Vaccines are a global public health good and have the power to save lives and accelerate the return to economic normality as soon as possible. . “
“Both of our companies are fully committed to this activity and we consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth implementation of vaccines. Each of our companies continues their COVID-19 vaccine development activities as planned, ”the statement read.
- Earlier today, Mr. Poonawala tweeted: “I would like to clarify two points; Since there is confusion in the public domain, vaccine exports are allowed to all countries and a joint public statement will be made to clarify any recent communication issues regarding Bharat Biotech. “
- The tweet follows a video press conference held by Bharat Biotech chairman Krishna Ella on Monday night lashing out at critics who criticize the expedited granting of emergency use authorization for the company’s Covaxin vaccine.
- In particular, he appeared to be referring to Mr. Poonawalla’s comment that only the Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines were effective, while others were “water safe.” In response, Ella rated the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine testing process as lousy.
- Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said today that it is ready to implement the COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days of the authorization date, which was issued on January 3, but noted that the final decision rests with the government.
- At a press conference, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that healthcare workers and frontline workers did not need to register because their database had been entered en masse into the distribution management system. of Co-WIN vaccines.
After the massive bird deaths, the Rajasthan government raised the alarm and set up a state-level control room here to monitor the bird flu situation.
- The National Institute for High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal confirmed that Jhalawar crows died of bird flu after analyzing samples. Senior Secretary (Parenting) Kunji Lal Meena said here Tuesday that the samples tested positive for the A / H5N8 strain.
- The crows included most of the more than 530 birds (the heron and the bay weaver being the others) that have died in the past week.
SC asks the government. repeal the law that confiscates livestock before the owner is convicted of cruelty
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Center to “repeal” its three-year law, which allowed the seizure of livestock from people who depended on these animals for a living, even before they were found guilty of cruelty to them.
- The bench led by the Chief Justice of India, Sharad A. Bobde, warned the government that it would “suspend” implementation of a 2017 law that allowed authorities to confiscate livestock on suspicion of cruel treatment by them. their owners or were prepared for slaughter.
- These animals, prescribed by law, would be housed in “gaushalas” as “property of the case” pending the judicial verdict. In short, a farmer, rancher, or rancher loses his animals before being convicted of cruelty.
- The law in question is the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Case Animal Care and Maintenance) Regulations, 2017. The Buffalo Merchants Welfare Association, represented by advocate Sanobar Ali Qureshi, said it was a tool for be taken advantage of and confiscated their livestock.
- The association said the existence of the law had encouraged “antisocial elements” to take action and loot the cattle traders.
Supreme Court approved the Central Vista project
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; The Supreme Court, in a majority decision today, gave the green signal for the Central Vista multi-crore redevelopment project that contemplates the restoration of the nation’s electric corridor, including plans for a new Parliament building, a common central secretariat and a revamped Rajpath coming out of Rashtrapati Bhavan at the Gateway of India.
- The majority opinion of Judge AM Khanwilkar, who headed the three-judge panel, and Judge Dinesh Maheshwari, said that the change of land use under the Delhi Development Authority Act in the restricted area, which is the issue of the ongoing challenge in court, was fair and appropriate.
- The two judges confirmed the Center’s exercise of power to change the land use of the 2021 master plan. The court found no weakness in granting approval from the Central Vision Committee or the Conservation Committee.
- However, Judge Sanjeev Khanna, the third bench judge, said that the land use change for the project was flawed and not legal. He noted that there was no intelligible disclosure about the project for public participation.
- Judge Khanna concluded that there had been no prior approval from the Heritage Conservation Committee.
- He concluded that the environmental authorization was an ordinance that he did not speak about and added that he did not want to enter into the merits of the project, but ordered that the project be referred to the Heritage Conservation Committee. Being numerically superior, the opinion of Judges Khanwilkar and Maheshwari is valid.
- The court, although it reserved the case for trial in early November 2020, had said it would review whether the project complied with environmental and land-use regulations specific to the area that houses the Parliament and Government buildings.
- On December 7, the court also authorized the opening ceremony of the new Parliament building as scheduled after the government pledged to suspend the construction or demolition of buildings and the felling of trees in the area from Central Vista and wait for a court verdict.
Supreme Court to review the validity of religious conversion laws related to marriage
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; On Wednesday, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the constitutional validity of a series of laws enacted by states such as Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand that criminalize religious conversion through marriage and require prior official authorization before marriage.
- However, a bench run by the Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde has not stopped the implementation of the Illegal Conversion of Religion Prohibition Ordinance of 2020 and the Uttarakhand Religious Freedom Act of 2018, despite strong pleas from petitioners that “unbridled crowds lift people up in the middle of wedding ceremonies,” encouraged by the enactment of the laws. “
- The Chamber, which had initially asked the plaintiffs to go to the respective Superior Courts of the State with their challenge, did not suspend the application of the laws. “That’s the problem. We already published a notice. You came here under article 32 of the Constitution.
Trump extends freeze on H-1B visas
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; US President Donald Trump has extended the freeze on much sought after H-1B visas and other types of foreign work visas by three months, apparently to protect American workers.
- He said that although Covid-19 therapies and vaccines are available, their effect on the labor market and community health has yet to be fully realized.
- The ruling will affect a large number of Indian IT professionals and several US and Indian companies to which the US government has issued H-1B visas for fiscal 2021 as of October 1.
- Trump ordered the freezing of several categories of work visas by two proclamations on April 22 and June 22 of last year. Hours before the December 31 freeze expired, Trump issued another proclamation on Thursday to extend it until March 31, saying the reasons he issued such a restriction had not changed.
- The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in skilled occupations requiring academic or technical experience.
- Tech companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees every year in countries like India and China. From now on, they would have to wait at least until the end of March before approaching American diplomatic missions to obtain the seal.
- It would also affect a large number of IT professionals in India seeking to renew their H-1B visas.
Responding to Tamil Concerns, Implementing the 13th Amendment for the Benefit of Sri Lanka: Jaishankar
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; It is in Sri Lanka’s interests that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are met, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar in Colombo.
“This also applies to commitments made by the Sri Lankan government on meaningful pushback, including the 13th Amendment,”he said at a joint press conference with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
- Jaishankar made the remarks hours after calling President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and also had bilateral talks with his counterpart, as part of his three-day visit that began on Tuesday.
- In line with New Delhi’s message on the Tamil issue since the Rajapaksas came to power, the comments coincide with a campaign among sections of Sri Lanka to abolish the provincial council system and the Thirteenth Amendment, which followed the accord of ‘Indo.-Lanka of 1987.
- Gunawardena, in his statement, said the president had “firmly stated” his commitment to the welfare, progress and opportunity “for all of our citizens: Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and all,” he said. declared.
UK judge rejects extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; A British judge has rejected the US request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face espionage charges, saying it would be “oppressive” because of his sanity, the AP reported.
- In a mixed decision for Assange and his supporters, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser dismissed defense arguments that the 49-year-old Australian faces politically motivated US lawsuits that circumvent free speech protections .
- But he said Assange’s poor mental health would likely deteriorate further under the conditions of “near total isolation” he would face in a US prison.
- The court decided that Assange would likely kill himself if he was sent to the United States. The US government has said it will appeal the decision.
- US prosecutors have charged Assange with 17 counts of espionage and one count of computer misuse for WikiLeaks’ publication of leaked military and diplomatic documents ten years ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.
- Lawyers for the 49-year-old Australian argue that he was acting as a journalist and entitled to First Amendment freedom of expression protection for publishing leaked documents exposing US military irregularities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- On January 6, a British judge denied bail to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been incarcerated in Britain since 2019 while fighting extradition to the United States.
- District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ordered Assange to remain in jail while the courts consider an appeal by US authorities against the decision not to extradite him.
- On January 4, the judge rejected a request by the United States to send Assange to the United States to face charges of espionage for the publication of secret military documents by WikiLeaks ten years ago.
- Court had denied extradition on health grounds, saying the 49-year-old Australian was likely to commit suicide if kept in harsh prison conditions in the United States.
- The judge said on January 6 that Assange “would be better if he left” and that there is a good chance that he will not return to court if he is released.
Democrats ready to win the Senate when Georgia results come in
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; Democrats came closer to taking control of the US Senate on Wednesday when African-American pastor Raphael Warnock defeated incumbent Republican candidate Kelly Loeffler, a former businesswoman, in one of two runoff elections in Georgia.
- Warnock became the first black senator elected from the southern state.
- The other second round was too close to be called with outgoing chairman David Perdue, a republican, behind his challenger, Jon Ossoff, 33 years old, a director of documentaries, by over 16,000 votes with 98% reporting Wednesday morning (hour from United States).
- Both rounds were necessary because no candidate had won more than 50% of the vote in the November elections.
- If Ossoff wins his race, the Democrats would take control of the Senate (they already control the House of Representatives).
- Consequently, high-stakes careers in Georgia broke fundraising records and forced Trump and Biden to campaign for the candidates earlier this week.
- Trump Promises “Orderly Transition” After His Supporters Storm the US Capitol; Congress certifies Biden’s victory
- A joint session of the United States Congress officially certified the electoral victory of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States and Kamala Harris as vice president in the November 3 elections.
- Congress’ certification of the election result, usually a formality since the losing candidate would have conceded it long ago, was extremely bitter and controversial this time, as incumbent President Donald Trump continued to insist that the choice had been “stolen” from him.
- Acting on the president’s words, a pro-Trump mob stormed the United States Capitol for nearly four hours during a day in which four people were killed.
- As a result, Congress, which had come together to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory, was evacuated in the middle. The House and Senate met again after a brief period to resume their functions.
- The videos showed people smashing windows and passing barricades to enter. Legislators in the Senate and House of Representatives were evacuated. After repeatedly posting false election allegations, Twitter and Facebook suspended Trump’s account for violating the use policy.
- After his supporters stormed the United States Capitol, Trump said in a statement tweeted by his social media director Dan Scavino:
India Rides Covid-19 Wave With Recovery, Finance Ministry Says
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; As the global economic recovery was hit by second waves of infections and tighter lockdowns in several countries, India’s economy was facing the wave of COVID-19 with continued improvements in economic indicators showing a recovery in shape V.
- Pointing out that the agricultural sector, which posted a 3.4% growth in the first two quarters of 2020-21, remained the bright spot in the Indian economy, the review indicated a 2.9% increase in Rabbinical plantations this year Along with the acceleration in tractor sales, he suggested Rural Distress had been successfully addressed by Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY).
India’s GDP is expected to contract by 7.7% in 2020-2021
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; India’s real GDP is expected to contract by 7.7% in 2020-2021, compared to a growth rate of 4.2% in 2019-20. Real GVA (gross value added) at basic prices is estimated at 123.39 lakh crore in 2020-21, compared to 133.01 lakh crore in 2019-20, which shows a contraction of 7.2%, according to anticipated estimates from the National Statistical Office.
- It is estimated that only two sectors will record positive GVA growth this year: agriculture (3.4%) and electricity, gas, water supply and other utilities (2.7%). , transport, communications and broadcasting-related services (-21.4%), followed by construction (-12.6%), mining and quarrying (-12.4%), manufacturing (-9.4%) %), public administration, defense and other services (-3.7%) and Financial, real estate and professional services (-0.8%).
Google employees form a union
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; More than 200 Google employees in the United States have formed a workers’ union, elected union leaders wrote in a New York Times editorial on Monday.
- The Workers Union aims to ensure that employees work with fair wages, without fear of abuse, retaliation or discrimination, the union leaders wrote.
- Google has come under fire from the US labor regulator, which accused the company of illegally interviewing several workers who were later sacked for protesting company policies and trying to organize a union, Google said it was confident to act legally.
Markets hit all-time highs on the first day of 2021
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; The BSE Sensex hit record highs when the NSE Nifty closed above the 14,000 mark for the first time on Friday, as markets continued their record run into the new year against a backdrop of strong purchases of IT stocks, automobiles and goods from consumption.
- Extending its all-time high to day five, the 30-share BSE Sensex rose 117.65 points or 0.25% to close at a new all-time high of 47,868.98.
- This is the eighth consecutive day of gains for the barometer and it is up about 5% since December 22. The broader Nifty closed at an all-time high of 14,018.50, posting gains of 36.75 points or 0.26% from its previous close.
- Among the top winners from Sensex, ITC rose the most, 2.32%, followed by TCS, M&M and SBI.
India-Australia Test Series: Natarajan replaces Umesh in team
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; Thangarasu Natarajan, from Tamil Nadu, replaced injured point guard Umesh Yadav on the Indian test team for the remaining two matches against Australia on Friday, continuing his remarkable rise in international cricket.
- Previously, Shardul Thakur had replaced the injured Mohammed Shami on the squad before the runner-up. Proof. Natarajan, 29, had started as a net pitcher during the series, then moved on to the T20 and ODI teams.
- He captured eight wickets (two ODI and six T20) during his four limited appearances in the national colors. He played 20 first-class matches for Tamil Nadu and will now compete for a place on the test team.
- The series is locked 1-1 at the moment with the third test starting in Sydney on January 7.
Five Indian players quarantined amid protocol violation investigation
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; Five India Test players, including vice captain Rohit Sharma, rising starter Shubman Gill and goalie and hitter Rishabh Pant, were placed in isolation and an investigation was opened into a possible violation of biosafety protocol by them, said Cricket Australia on Saturday.
- While BCCI Brasses initially dismissed any investigation on their part, Cricket Australia’s late statement said that a joint investigation was underway and that the five had been isolated from the remaining squad after a fan shut down.
- He posted a video of them eating at an indoor restaurant on Twitter. . The person claimed that he hugged Pant but later retracted.
- India and Australia are currently participating in a series of four tests with the third match starting on January 7 in Sydney.
Possible bubble burst by Indian cricketers under investigation
Weekly NEWS Summary | 1-7 Jan 2021; Cricket Australia (CA), in a press release, said it was investigating, together with BCCI, a possible violation of biosafety protocols by members of the Indian test team currently touring Australia.
- The decision to launch an investigation came after a fan, who identified himself as Navaldeep Singh on Twitter, posted a video of the players at an indoor restaurant.
- Five players – Vice Captain Rohit Sharma, starter Shubman Gill, goalkeeper Rishabh Pant, playmaker Navdeep Saini and hitter Prithvi Shaw – are under control of the possible bursting of the bubble.
- But they were not prevented from traveling with the team despite the ongoing investigation.
- The entire Indian cricket contingent, including these five, will travel together to Sydney for the third test against Australia on the same chartered flight on Monday.
- It is understood that the controversy has not gone well with the travel team and she is not amused by the way Cricket Australia has handled the issue thus far.