Covaxin assent decision likely in 4-6 weeks, WHO says
Daily NEWS Summary | 09-07-2021; The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to make a decision on including Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin on its list of vaccines approved for emergency use within four to six weeks, said Soumya Swaminathan, scientist in WHO chief during a webinar hosted by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE).
- WHO Emergency Use List (EUL) is required for a vaccine company to supply vaccine to global facilities such as COVAXIN or international procurement. So far, eight vaccines have received EUL from WHO.
- The EUL assesses the quality, safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, as well as risk management plans and program adequacy, such as cold chain requirements.
- The assessment is carried out by the Product Assessment Panel, made up of regulatory experts from around the world and a Technical Advisory Group (TAG), responsible for conducting the risk-benefit assessment for independent recommendation on the inclusion of a vaccine for emergency use and, if so, under what conditions.
- At the end of May, Bharat Biotech said it had submitted “90% of the data” needed for the prequalification process.
- Last Saturday, the company released efficacy data from its long-awaited Phase 3 trial via a non-peer-reviewed pre-print publication, reporting an overall efficacy of 77.8% against symptomatic Covid-19 based on an analysis involving 25,800 volunteers.
- The two-dose vaccine was also 93.4% effective against severe disease and 63% protective against asymptomatic Covid-19.
- In addition, it was 65% protected against the Delta variant of the coronavirus, the most common in India and linked to an increasing number of cases in Europe and the United States.
- At Friday’s seminar, Dr Swaminathan said it was “frustrating” that countries were considering and testing booster doses for themselves when much of the world, especially Africa, had not yet been vaccinated.
- The goal was to have at least 10% of the world’s population fully immunized by September and 40% by December.
- She said the world was unlikely to be adequately protected for at least a year and a half and that “herd immunity” was only likely when 80% had been vaccinated.
- So far, only 5% of Indians have been fully vaccinated and only 21.8% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The opposition fears that the Center will make an offer to the Ministry of Cooperation to “hijack” the cash-rich cooperatives, which are under the supervision of the states.
Daily NEWS Summary | 09-07-2021; A dispute is about to erupt between the treasury and opposition seats during the parliamentary monsoon session that begins on July 19 over the formation of the Ministry of Cooperation, which was announced on July 5.
- The ministry was handed over to the Home Minister, Amit Shah. after the expansion of the Cabinet on Wednesday.
- Government said the ministry “will provide a separate administrative, legal and policy framework to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country” and will do much to streamline processes to “make doing business easier” and enable the development of multi-state cooperative banks (MSCB)”.
- Significantly, MSCBs are now listed only on the Reserve Bank of India for regulatory purposes.
- Opposition leaders, however, said the move was intended to “hijack the cooperative movement” which currently falls under state governments.
- The cooperative model has been a source of political power in states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. And many of these cash-rich co-ops are controlled by opposition parties like the Nationalist Congress Party, CPI (M) and Congress in some of these states.
New IT rules: Supreme Court to hear government handover declaration on July 16
Daily NEWS Summary | 09-07-2021; The Supreme Court on Friday registered a government request for July 16 to transfer cases challenging information technology rules (Intermediate Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Digital Media), 2021, from various higher courts to it.
- A bench of judges A.M. Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna have marked the guilty plea of a pending special license application entitled “Justice for Rights Foundation v Union of India”. Judge Khanwilkar said the case would be registered in an appropriate court on July 16.
- The government’s petition is likely to go before a court headed by Judge D.Y. Chandrachud.
- The case of the “Justice for Rights Foundation”, pending before the magistracy headed by Judge Chandrachud, refers mainly to the regulation of content broadcast on over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
- The Chamber considered the matter in the context of the new IT rules. On March 23, he suspended all proceedings before the Superior Courts on the subject.
J&K will have reserved ST seats for the first time, according to the delimitation commission
Daily NEWS Summary | 09-07-2021; The Jammu and Kashmir delimitation Commission said on Friday that it will base its final report on the 2011 census and will also take into account available topography, difficult terrain, means of communication and convenience, while delimiting an additional seven seats for the 83 members of the Union Territory (UT), in addition to granting the reservation to the Schedule Tribe (ST) and Schedule Caste (SC) communities.
- Previous delimitations signs did not recognize difficult terrain and people’s difficulties, he said.
- Chandra clarified that 24 seats reserved for Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) occupied by Pakistan would not be delimited in this process.
- The committee will also specify the number of seats to be reserved for the SC and the ST in the Legislative Assembly of the UT. This will be the first time seats will be reserved for the ST at J&K, he noted.
- J&K already has seven seats reserved for SC people, mainly in the Kathua-Samba belt in the Jammu region.
- This will be the first time that the STs, including Bakerwals and Gujjars, will receive a reserve in this demarcation exercise.
- The maximum population of Gujjars and Bakwerwals comes from the PirPanjal Valley, which comprises the Poonch and Rajouri districts in the Jammu region.
- On the process of preparing a final draft, Chandra said the commission took into account the representations made by 290 groups, comprising 800 people.
- A draft report will be prepared, in which the suggestions of associate members will also be taken into account. Thereafter, it will be in the public domain for consensus. Only after the new comments will the final draft be prepared. The general public will have the opportunity to take all points of view into account, he said.
- Most of the J&K political parties, in meetings with the panel, insisted on the immediate reinstatement of the state after the panel demarcated the new constituencies.
The “legitimacy aspect” of who should rule Afghanistan should not be ignored, says Jaishankar.
Daily NEWS Summary | 09-07-2021; Expressing concern about the escalation of violence in Afghanistan, India said on Friday that the “legitimacy aspect” of who should rule the war-torn country is important and should not be ignored as it calls for an immediate reduction in violence there.
“Of course, we are concerned about the direction of events in Afghanistan,”Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said while answering a question at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
- His comments came amid Taliban militants who have taken dozens of districts in recent weeks and who now control about a third of the country, before the withdrawal of US and Western troops from Afghanistan for 9/11.
- Under a deal with the Taliban, the United States and its NATO allies agreed to withdraw all of their troops in exchange for the militants’ pledge to prevent extremist groups from operating in areas they control.
- For more than 30 years, international conferences have been held, groups have been organized, formats have been presented to discuss how to stabilize and achieve peace in Afghanistan, he said, adding that this is because it has proven implications for regional security and stability.
- India, a major player in peace and stability in Afghanistan, has supported an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and controlled peace and national reconciliation process.
- The United States and the Taliban signed a landmark agreement in Doha on February 29, 2020 after multiple rounds of negotiations to achieve lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow American troops to return home after the most long war in the United States.
Covid Updates: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India stood at 3,07,75,751 at the time of this report, with a death toll of 4,06,233.