Supreme Court demands uniform price for Covid-19 vaccines
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; The government announced on Monday that it would vaccinate “all eligible population” in the country by the end of 2021, but the Supreme Court has cast doubts on achieving such a milestone with a policy that allows the Center buy only 50% of the vaccines when you leave states to fend for themselves.
- The court also challenged the policy of price differentiation of vaccines, saying that “there has to be a price for vaccines across the country.
- A bench of three judges headed by Judge D.Y. Chandrachud also called on the government to “please wake up and smell the coffee” on the implausibility of an illiterate villager in rural India crossing the “digital divide” to sign up for the Covid-19 vaccination on the CoWIN portal, where spaces disappear a wink eye.
- Judge Chandrachud said the government should be aware of the basic realities of “digital India”. The current vaccination policy completely excludes rural areas, the court said.
- One of the court’s judges, Judge S. Ravindra Bhat, said he had received calls for help from across the country from people who were unable to register with CoWIN.
- The court asked why marginalized sections should not be treated equally with people who have comorbidities for early vaccination.
- The virtual hearing, however, started on a positive note with Attorney General Tushar Mehta assuring that “with regard to vaccination, according to our estimate, of the domestic market and Sputnik V, we hope that all eligible population will be vaccinated. by the end of this year.”
- Mehta said the government was in talks with other manufacturers like Pfizer. If the discussions are successful, the government could bring forward its deadline to complete the vaccination campaign. The attorney general said he would file an affidavit with the latest updates.
- But the court highlighted the difference in vaccine prices between the Center and the States. When the Center can buy vaccines in bulk for ₹ 150 per dose, states have to pay between ₹ 300 and ₹ 600. Judge L. Nageswara Rao at the bank asked why even the two vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield, were priced differently.
“What is the basis of this double price policy?
Why is the Center buying at a lower price and what did the Center set at 50% of the vaccine purchase and left the United States with its own devices?Asked Judge Bhat.
The Delhi HC rejects the request to stop the work of Central Vista and imposes a fine of ₹ akh on the applicants
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; Delhi High Court on Monday rejected a petition to halt construction activities on the Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.
- A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Judge Jyoti Singh noted that there was no reason for the court to suspend construction activities as workers remained on the project site, and “COVID 19 protocols are respected and followed the appropriate behavior of COVID-19 ”.
“We are of the opinion that this is a reasoned request preferred by the petitioners and not a genuine public interest dispute [PIL],”said the court in imposing a cost of 1 lakh on the petitioners Anya Malhotra, who works as a translator; and Sohail Hashmi, historian and documentarian.
- The petitioners had argued that the project was not a core business and therefore could be suspended for now during the pandemic.
- Court noted that the remodeling work on Central Vista Avenue was an integral part of the Central Vista project and was of vital public importance and that the legality of the project had been confirmed by the Supreme Court.
It’s time to define the limits of sedition, says he SC
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; Supreme Court said Monday that “it is time to define the limits of sedition” even as it protected two Telugu stations from any coercive action by Y.S. The Andhra Pradesh government led by Jaganmohan Reddy for reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic in the state.
- A bench of three judges led by Judge D.Y. Chandrachud has reported indiscriminate use of the Sedition Law against critics, journalists, social media users, activists, and citizens for voicing their complaints about the government’s handling of Covid-19, or even asking for help in obtaining medical access, supplies, medications and oxygen cylinders, especially during the second wave of the pandemic.
- “He is muzzling the media,” Judge L. Nageswara Rao, another acting judge along with Judge S. Ravindra Bhat, said of how Andhra Pradesh tried to “silence” the TV5 and ABN networks.
- “It is time to define the limits of sedition,” said Judge Chandrachud. He noted that the court had categorically told states not to initiate criminal proceedings against criticism of Covid-19 management measures in an April 30 order.
- Both channels urged the Supreme Court to initiate a contempt process against senior state government officials for violating the April 30 order of the Supreme Court to “immediately cease all direct and indirect threats of prosecution and arrest against citizens who express your complaints “.
India’s GDP recorded its worst contraction since independence in 2020-2021, down 7.3%
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; India’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 7.3% in 2020-2021, according to preliminary estimates of national income released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Monday, slightly better than the 8% contraction in projected.
- GDP growth in 2019-20, before the Covid-19 pandemic, was 4%.
- The fourth quarter of 2020-2021 saw GDP growth of 1.6%, the second quarter of positive growth, after the country entered a technical recession in the first half of the year.
- Gross value added increased 3.7% in the fourth quarter, compared to 1% in the third quarter. GVA contracted 22.4% and 7.3% in the first and second quarters of 2020-2021.
- GDP contracted 24.4% in the April-June 2020 quarter, followed by a 7.4% contraction in the second quarter. It returned to positive territory during the September-December quarter with a marginal growth of 0.5%.
West Bengal chief secretary chooses to retire and joins Mamata as chief adviser
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; Shortly after the West Bengal government decided not to release its chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, who was asked by the Center to report to Delhi on Monday, the latter decided to leave public service.
- However, he will continue to serve the state as a senior adviser to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
- West Bengal Prime Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, informing him that the state will not release Bandyopadhyay and urging him to rescind the order.
- Last week, the Union government issued an order requesting the chief secretary to report to the central government at 10 a.m. Monday.
Kerala Assembly passes resolution calling for removal of Lakshadweep administrator
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; The Kerala Legislature unanimously passed a resolution on Monday demanding the recall of Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel and the withdrawal of controversial orders issued by him.
- The house also expressed its solidarity with the residents of Lakshadweep, who protested against the director’s decisions and demanded immediate action to safeguard the culture and livelihoods of the island’s residents.
- It is the first resolution proposed to the Assembly after the second LDF government came to power under Prime Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the April 6 assembly elections and the first in the 15th Legislative Assembly.
- The chief minister, who presented the Article 118 resolution to the House after obituaries and briefings, said the administrator was taking many steps to alienate the island’s peace-loving people. livelihoods are threatened.
- Even the coconut trees are painted in saffron in the name of the ornament. You can’t afford it at any price.
” Twitter Must Comply With New Digital Rules, Says Delhi High Court
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; Twitter must comply with new information technology rules for digital media if they have not been suspended, the Delhi High Court said on Monday.
- Judge Rekha Palli sent a notice to the Center and social media platform Twitter asking for their position on a statement by lawyer Amit Acharya alleging a breach of the rules.
- While Twitter claimed in court that it followed the rules and appointed a resident grievance officer, the central government contested the request.
- “They have to follow him [the rules], if he hasn’t been suspended,” the court said.
- In her guilty plea, filed by lawyers Akash Vajpai and Manish Kumar, Acharya said she learned of the alleged violation when she tried to press charges against a few tweets.
- During the hearing, permanent central government lawyer Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj told the court that Twitter had broken the rules.
- Acharya, in his guilty plea, said the new TI rules went into effect on February 25 and the Center gave all social media intermediaries, including Twitter, three months to comply.
- He maintained that the three-month period ended on May 25, but Twitter has not appointed a resident complaints officer to handle complaints related to tweets on its platform.
- The petition asked Twitter for instructions to appoint a resident complaints officer without further delay. He also asked the Center for instructions to ensure compliance with IT standards.
- Twitter recently said it was committed to India as a vital market, but criticized the new IT rules and regulations, saying they “inhibit free and open public conversation.”
As births decline, China will allow couples to have third child
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; The ruling Chinese Communist Party said on Monday it would ease birth limits to allow all couples to have three children instead of two in hopes of slowing its rapidly aging population, thus increasing pressure on the country, economy and society.
- The ruling party has imposed birth limits since 1980 to curb population growth, but now fears that the number of people of working age is shrinking too quickly as the number of people over 65 rises.
- This threatens to disrupt its ambitions to transform China into a thriving consumer society and a global technology leader.
- A ruling party meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping decided to introduce “measures to actively combat the aging of the population,” the state-run Xinhua news agency said.
- He said the leaders agreed that “the implementation of the policy of a couple can have three children and the support measures lead to improve the structure of the population of China.”
- The leaders also agreed that China should raise the retirement age to keep more people in the workforce and improve retirement and health services for the elderly, Xinhua said.
- The restrictions that limited most couples to having a child were relaxed in 2015 to allow two, but the total number of births has been further reduced, suggesting that rule changes alone have little impact on the trend.
- Couples say they are discouraged by the high costs of raising a child, the interruption of their work and the need to care for elderly parents.
- China, along with Thailand and some other Asian economies, faces what economists call the challenge of whether they can get rich before they get old.
- China’s population, which is already 1.4 billion, is expected to peak at the end of this decade and begin to decline.
- Census data released on May 11 suggests this is happening faster than expected, increasing the burden on underfunded health and pension systems and reducing the number of future workers available to support a group of retirees.
- The proportion of people of working age (15 to 59) in the population fell to 63.3% last year from 70.1% the previous decade. The 65 and over age group fell from 8.9% to 13.5%.
- The 12 million births reported last year were a fifth less than in 2019.
Daily NEWS Summary | 31-05-2021; The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 2, 81, 06, 435 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a death toll of 3, 29, 970.