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Daily Briefing: Rajnath, Tomar invite farmers for talks; Foreign Secretary meets Nepal PM as Delhi moves to repair ties

From the viability of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine candidate to rumblings within the TMC with the resignation of minister Suvendu Adhikari, here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | November 27, 2020 9:05:28 am
Express daily briefing: Church in Kerala sets up Sena; India vs Bangladesh T20I today; and moreA look at the top news today, November 30, 2020.

Good morning,

Big Story

Farmers protesting against the Centre’s farm laws braved water cannons in the winter chill, tear gas shells and lathi blows from police to cross the multi-layer barricades set up at various places on multiple national and state highways to stop them from marching to Delhi. As the situation turned volatile across Haryana, Union Minister Rajnath and Narendra Singh Tomar invited them for talks.

From the Front Page

After pharma company AstraZeneca admitted to a key error in the dosage received by some study participants of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, the Serum Institute of India, which will manufacture and distribute it, said the vaccine is viable even at the lowest efficacy of 60-70 per cent.

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde said a “new kind of inequality” has emerged during the pandemic. It has become difficult for those who do not have access to technology to seek justice, he said, while speaking at an event organised to commemorate Constitution Day.

Amid intense speculation that he would leave the TMC for BJP ahead of West Bengal Assembly polls next year, minister Suvendy Adhikari resigned as chairman of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC). In the event of Suvendy’s exit from the party, there is a strong chance that his father Sisir Adhikari, who is also a TMC MP, and his two brothers would follow him.

Six months after a boundary row affected bilateral ties, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla led the first high-level diplomatic visit to Nepal in which he had a one-on-one meeting with the country’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli. Both agreed on the need for a “candid review of the state of the bilateral relationship, sources said.

Only in the Express

The Covid-19 lockdown could not have come at a more inopportune time for Amol Gorhe, who was smack in the middle of expanding his Greenfield Agro Limited business. But the Nashik-based businessman continued to deliver fresh supplies to doorsteps in Thane and Navi Mumbai — not just helping many prevent unnecessary Covid risks, but also averting job and other losses for many.

Amitabh, Indian Express Stories of Strength

Must read

With two days to go for J&K’s first ever District Development Council polls, the only real sign of an election are security vehicles passing by. Here, Candidates flanked by armed policemen are chaperoned to their constituencies. The election is the first step in the Centre’s bid to restart the political process in the newly created Union Territory.

Nearly 27 years after the RBI allowed private promoters to set up banks, it is still divided on letting corporates run banks. A cross-section of stakeholders, including several experts consulted by the RBI’s Internal Working Group which last week favoured entry of business houses, told the Indian Express that companies can inject capital, business experience and managerial competence into banking.

A study carried out by IIT-Delhi and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has found that the rate of increase in pollution levels in southern and eastern India between 2000 and 2019 was far greater than in the Indo-Gangetic plain, which is believed to be the most polluted region in the world in terms of PM 2.5 levels.

ICYMI

# At least three people have died due to Cyclone Nivar, which made landfall near Puducherry late last night.

# Two army soldiers were killed after two militants opened fire at a convoy deployed on the road at Zainakote in Srinagar’s suburbs.

# A BJP MLA, who Lalu Prasad allegedly called while in custody and asked to refrain from voting during the Speaker election, has filed an FIR against the RJD chief.

# The ED arrested Ajay Ajit Peter Kerkar, the promoter of bankrupt travel firm Cox and Kings in connection with its money laundering probe.

# Tribal rights activist Stan Swamy filed a bail application before a special court, saying there was no purpose in keeping a “sick, 83-year-old incarcerated”.

And Finally

Twelve years after the 26/11 attack exposed wide gaps in India’s coastal security, almost 60 per cent of India fishing boats are smaller than 20 metres — much like the inflatable boats the attackers used to reach Mumbai’s shores — and most do not have transponders to help authorities track them. But several government departments are looking to fix the issue.

Delhi Confidential: On a mission to repair ties with Nepal, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday landed in Kathmandu and spoke to the local media in fluent Nepalese. His mother is from the Himalayan neighbour, and Shringla knows the language quite well.

In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast, we’re looking at a controversy over land encroachments in Jammu and Kashmir that features prominent names, and the opposition to the resettlement of over 30,000 people in Tripura.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express cartoon by EP Unny.

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