On Day 65 of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown Thursday, the government said there are about 30 groups in India, from big industry to individual academics, who are trying to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Dr K Vijayraghavan, principal scientific advisor to Government to India, said it takes a long time to develop a vaccine but since we need to develop it in one year, the world is investing in over a 100 vaccines at the same time. The entire process will cost 2-3 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, with India reporting 6,566 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the total tally in the country reached 1,58,333 Thursday, including 4,531 deaths and the 67,691 people who have been treated and discharged so far.
Here’s a curated list of some interesting stories from across the country on Day 65 of lockdown:
Man hires 180-seater plane to ferry four family members to ‘avoid crowd’ at airport
A Bhopal-based individual hired a 180-seater A320 plane of a private carrier to ferry four family members to New Delhi, in a bid to avoid crowd at the airport and in-flight amid the COVID-19 outbreak, officials said on Thursday. The person, who is a liquor baron, chartered the aircraft to send to Delhi his daughter, her two children and their domestic help, who were stuck in Bhopal since the last two months due to the coronavirus lockdown, sources said.
The plane arrived here from Delhi on Monday with crew only and flew back with just four passengers for whom it was specially hired, they said. “The A320 180-seater plane arrived here on May 25 to carry four members of a family, probably due to the coronavirus scare. It was chartered by someone and there was no medical emergency, an airline official told PTI, refusing to divulge any further details.
Super 30 fame Anand Kumar to develop IIT JEE online module for rural students
Super 30 coaching fame Anand Kumar will work with CSC e-governance Services India Ltd to help prepare students in rural areas for IIT-JEE examination for a fee of Re 1, the e-governance firm said on Wednesday.
Noted mathematician Kumar will develop a course module online to train students from weak financial backgrounds for the Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE).
“The thrust would be on developing inquisitiveness which is very important for science and mathematics education. With the help of CSC, an IIT- JEE entrance exam module will be prepared which will be made available to students in rural India in just Re 1,” Kumar said during his online interaction with rural students through common service centres.
CSC e-Governance India Services manages around 3 lakh common service centres across the country that provide government services in rural area and small towns.
Kumar said he helps students from economically backward sections preparing for IIT-JEE by providing study materials and lodging for a year and his mother prepares food for them.
Liquor not a fundamental right, special 70 pc levy is privilege price, Delhi govt tells HC
Trade or consumption of liquor is not a fundamental right and the state has the authority to regulate its sale, the AAP government has told the Delhi High Court maintaining that its levying 70 per cent ‘special corona fees’ on MRP of all alcohol brands is a price for grant of such privilege to the public.
The Delhi government opposed a batch of petitions challenging its May 4 notification levying the ‘special corona fees’ on liquor, and said there was an element of privilege viz-a-viz sale/ dealing in liquor and the state is free to regulate it under the excise law.
“Accordingly the state is also free to impose and recover a price for grant of such privilege. Such imposition need not be either a tax or a fee yet less excise duty, or for that matter form part of Excise revenue.
(With inputs from PTI)
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