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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Daily Briefing: SC stays farm laws, names panel for talks; First batch of vaccines hit the road

From the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) adopting an increasingly pro-Hindu stance to stave off the BJP in Andhra Pradesh; to a unique new bakery launched by district administration in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2021 8:41:06 am
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Good morning,

The Big Story 

The Supreme Court has put on hold, until further orders, the implementation of the three laws and named a committee to negotiate between the farmers and Centre. However, farmer unions said they would not participate in the consultation process as the members of the court-appointed committee have publicly been in favour of the farm laws. 

Days before the country begins its mass inoculation drive against the novel coronavirusabout half a crore doses of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine were shipped out of Pune to cities across India. Meanwhile, the Centre has made it clear to the states that they can’t choose which vaccine to administer to its priority groups.

A truck with the first batch of Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine passes through a green corridor on its way from IGI airport to Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital in New Delhi Tuesday. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Only in the Express

Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes on the Supreme Court’s recent stay on the Centre’s farm laws: “The court’s action, at first sight, is a violation of separation of powers. It also gives the misleading impression that a distributive conflict can be resolved by technical or judicial means. It is also not a court’s job to mediate a political dispute. Its job is to determine unconstitutionality or illegality.”

In a clarification on its privacy policy update, WhatsApp has made a distinction between private and business messages. What does the update change for you, and does it call for switching to another app?

The Navchetna Bakery in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada is not your average patisserie. Run entirely by women who were trafficked and rescued, transgenders, and those who are differently abled, the bakery experiments with local ingredients like moringa, jaggery and millet to make breads, brownies and other popular baked goods. The initiative was launched by the district administration with an initial investment of about Rs. 10 lakh. 

From the Front Page

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is increasingly adopting a pro-Hindu stance to stave off the BJP, which is trying to get a foothold in the state. Discretion of idols and vandalism at temples in Andhra gave TDP the opportunity to position itself as a protector of Hindu traditions.

The law has finally caught up 14 years on for a five-storey, 40-room hotel in Himachal Pradesh’s Mcleodganj.  The hotel was ordered to be razed by the Supreme Court after it was found to be illegally constructed on forest land meant for a bus stand complex to ease traffic congestion. 

“We take care of ourselves for the match not to come and shed blood for THIS (sic).” That was Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth posting pictures on social media of his bleeding nose after “unpleasant testing”. Indian shuttlers at the Super 1000 in Bangkok — badminton’s first major unlockdown tournament inside a bio-bubble — had a harrowing day after Saina Nehwal and H S Prannoy initially tested positive for Covid.

Must read

Whether at Chapel Road or Lokhandwala, anyone who has been on Mumbai’s streets has probably encountered a Tyler graffiti. With sprays and stencils, Tyler’s provocative murals are pithy barbs — unhesitatingly taking on sociopolitical issues, world leaders, gross capitalism and fascism. The anonymous street artist, often called “Mumbai’s Banksy”, will have his first solo exhibition at Method in Kala Ghoda and Bandra.

The government has told the Supreme Court that there was a “Khalistani infiltration” into the ongoing farmers’ protests in Delhi, endorsing officially for the first time a narrative that was generated on social media and later repeated by some leaders of the ruling BJP


Taking a step towards its official launch in India, Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc has set up its first office in Bengaluru

Union Minister of State for Defence and AYUSH Shripad Naik underwent four surgeries at Goa Medical College and Hospital after his car met with an accident in Karnataka on Monday night. Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said Tuesday that Naik was in stable condition.

A woman has accused Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde of rape and alleged that the Mumbai Police did not take cognizance of her complaint. Denying the allegation, Munde claimed that he is being blackmailed by the woman and her sister. 

With limited doses of the Covid-19 vaccine available,  the Centre on Tuesday said states will not have the option to choose which vaccine to administer to its priority groups.

And Finally

After decades of neglect, 150-year-old Mubarak Manzil Palace of Malerkotla will soon be a protected monument and restored and renovated by the Punjab government, thanks to 97-year-old Begum Munawwar-ul-Nisa, the wife of last Nawab of Malerkotla, who has handed over the private property to the government. “My last wish, you can say, is to see the palace return to its pristine glory before I die,” she told the Indian Express

Delhi Confidential: Speaking at the National Youth Parliament Festival on Tuesday, PM Narendra Modi said he was so inspired listening to the speeches of the three young award winners, that he would tweet them from his own Twitter handle. Hours later, his Twitter handle tweeted out 27 speeches from all the young participants, with their names mentioned.

In today’s episode of 3 Things, we look at the SC’s stay on the Centre’s farm laws, the brutal attack on students and teachers at JNU a year ago, and finally a quick look at the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine that was shipped across the country on Tuesday. 

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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