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Daily Briefing: Key member of SC panel opts out, says he is with farmers; Govt seeks voter data for vaccination drive

From the 26-year-old Kerala batsman being hailed as the "next Azhar", to the findings of the latest Delhi survey; here are the top stories today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
January 15, 2021 8:42:31 am
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Good morning,

Big story 

 “I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab”. One of the four members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws has recused himself after farmer unions protesting at the gates of Delhi accused all four members of being in favour of the newly enacted laws. 

Only in the Express

Records accessed by The Indian Express show that the Department of Economic Affairs and  Niti Aayog raised red flags over the 2019 airport bidding process before Adani Group won the bids for the six airports. One of the objections raised was not more than two airports will be awarded to the same bidder.

Sources told The Indian Express that the Ministry of Home Affairs has sought the Election Commission’s (EC) electoral roll data to identify people above the age of 50 in each polling station for the first phase of the Covid-19 vaccination drive. The EC is now working on a format of sharing to protect elector privacy, they said.

With India set to launch its nationwide Covid vaccination drive on Saturday, a specially equipped aircraft from Brazil is expected to land in Mumbai over the weekend to collect 2 million doses of the vaccine to mark the first such export from the country. This comes after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wrote to PM Modi last week, requesting the vaccines without jeopardizing the Indian vaccination drive. 

People from Uttarakhand celebrating their yearly Uttarayani Kauthig festival in Lucknow on Thursday. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

From the Front Page

At 10.30 am tomorrow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the start of the Covid-19 vaccination drive by addressing 3,006 vaccination sites across the country via video-conferencing. “Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day,” the government said.

A 26-year-old batsman from Kerala is being hailed as the “Next Azhar” after his 37-ball ton against Mumbai in the domestic T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game. With video clips of Mohammed Azharuddeen’s batting racing through social media, India cricket circles couldn’t hide the excitement of hearing that familiar and popular name once again.

A partially frozen Dal Lake in Srinagar. (Express Photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

Must read

Six months after Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh promised him help, 21-year-old former Special Olympic gold medalist Rajvir Singh, who suffered from an intellectual disability due to a brain related ailment, died in Ludhiana after being on ventilator support for a month. Meanwhile, his cash prize of Rs 30 lakh — promised by the then SAD-BJP government after he won two gold medals for cycling in 2015 — is yet to reach him. 

Two lakh children remain “out of school”; nearly 80% households in the city don’t own computers; around one-fourth of the children between 0-5 years have not received any vaccination — these are among the findings of a Delhi government survey, the biggest of its kind, conducted between November 2018 and November 2019 and finalised this year. 

In December 2020, a group of students and faculty members at the Busan University of Foreign Studies (BUFS) launched a virtual protest against a controversial decision being considered by the Department of Indian Studies. For weeks the department was mulling phasing out the teaching of Hindi at the university, saying that knowledge of English would be sufficient for Korean nationals interested in working, studying and travelling in India.

ICYMI

Two politicians, one from the BJP and another from the MNS, complained of harassment by the woman who has accused NCP leader and Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde of rape.

Delhi CM Arvin Kejriwal issued directions to reopen the wholesale poultry market in East Delhi’s Ghazipur, after all 100 samples collected from the market tested negative for bird flu. 

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided its own headquarters at the CGO complex here after booking four officials for allegedly taking bribes from a company being probed by the agency. 

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave stepped down as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). 

A team of World Health Organisation scientists arrived in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. But two members of the team were barred from entering the Chinese city after they tested positive for the virus. 

And Finally

Even as the Punjab government allowed all schools in the state to reopen from classes V to XII, several children continue to be part of the farmers’ protest at Singhu border in the capital. “It’s very important that children and the younger generation see this protest. Children will learn about it — the struggle, our interests and our culture — and will one day be able to proudly say that they were a part of it,” Harinder Singh, a farmer from Patiala district, explained. 

Delhi Confidential: After sharing a poem with a video called “Abhi Toh Suraj Uga Hai” at the beginning of the year, PM Modi shared another one of his poems on Twitter on Thursday. A few hours later, he shared the Hindi translation of the poem, originally written in Gujarati, which centred around Sun God, and ends with “Suraj Dev ko shat shat naman”.

In today’s episode of 3 Things, we look at the significance of a Allahabad High Court verdict related to the Special Marriage Act, complaints of cheating against some Indian students taking the GRE exams, and the exit of one of the four members of a panel appointed by the SC to examine the Centre’s farm laws. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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