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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Daily Briefing: Centre extends vaccination reach; Karnataka BJP’s Ramesh Jarkiholi caught in sex CD scandal

From the latest on the ongoing pandemic, to a PhD thesis at the centre of the government’s argument for a bigger say in the functioning of IIMs; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 3, 2021 8:43:28 am
Daily Briefing: Amid Covid second wave, govt rethink on offline CBSE Board exam; 102 test positive at KumbhA look at the top news today, April 15, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story 

Enlisting private hospitals not empanelled under government health insurance scheme, extending vaccination sessions beyond 5 pm, and opening of vaccination slots for “15 days to a month”. These are some of the fresh directions from the Centre to the states to extend the reach of the second phase of vaccination drive, after overcrowding was reported at several centres.   

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A PhD thesis finds itself at the centre of the government’s argument for a bigger say in the functioning of IIMs. Last year, the Ministry of Education asked for a copy of the thesis from IIM-Ahmedabad after Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy sent a letter to the Prime Minister alleging that the dissertation claimed the BJP and Bahujan Samaj Party were “ethnically constituted”. But the Institute’s director, Erol D’Souza, put his foot down.

From the Front Page

A 50-year-old man was shot dead in Hathras, allegedly by a man accused of molesting his daughter two years ago. The murder has triggered a political firestorm in UP with leaders of the ruling BJP claiming the accused is a Samajwadi Party leader. The SP, however, denied the claim and criticised the government for the state’s law and order situation. 

Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi found himself mired in a controversy after a sex CD, allegedly featuring him with a young unidentified woman, was played on state television channels. It was Jarkiholi who played a key role in engineering the defections of 17 Congress and JDS MLAs that helped topple the coalition government in 2019.

The Congress’s gains from the patidar quota agitation in Gujarat, five years ago, evaporated on Tuesday after the party was washed out even in its bastions in the elections to district panchayats, taluka panchayats and municipalities. Such was the BJP’s domination that it claimed victory in all 31 district panchayats, around 200 of 231 taluka panchayats and 75 of 81 municipalities which went to polls.

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It was Nandigram that had once catapulted TMC chief Mamata Banerjee to power. Fourteen years later, the town once again defined her battle to return to power for the third time. However, the issues of 2007 remain different from those of 2021. Nandigram is now reverberating with the sharp polarisation that marks the bitter Trinamool-BJP battle for Bengal.

A Tamil Nadu Special DGP facing allegations of sexual harassment from a woman IPS officer had made several attempts to hold her hand, had kissed her hand, sent a strike force to stop her vehicle on the Trichy-Chennai highway, and even called her father-in-law to strike a compromise, according to her complaints made to senior government authorities.

Four senior Congress leaders, among the 23 signatories of the letter sent to party president Sonia Gandhi seeking reforms within the party last year, have said they stand by their letter but disassociated themselves from recent actions of some of their colleagues in G 23, as the group of signatories has come to be known as.

On June 22 last year, Subhan Ali, an IES officer with the BRO, went missing after the vehicle in which he was travelling with a driver fell into the Drass river from the Zozila-Kargil-Leh road. His family in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur is still waiting to know what happened to him.


Making a big statement, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the Emergency imposed by his grandmother and former prime minister Indira Gandhi was a “mistake”.

Presiding officers of both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha accepted that Lok Sabha Television (LSTV) and Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) have been merged into a single ‘Sansad TV’, of which retired IAS officer Ravi Capoor will be the Chief Executive Officer for a year. 

Haryana Governor S N Arya gave his assent to the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2021, passed by the Vidhan Sabha clearing the way for a 75 per cent quota in private sector for job seekers from Haryana.

The United States announced sanctions of Russian officials and businesses due to the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

Unveiling what appeared to be the centrepiece of the party’s manifesto for the Assembly elections in Assam, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra announced five “guarantees, including a law to nullify the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, if the party is voted to power.

And Finally 

After left-arm spinner Axar Patel, a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, helped India nose ahead in this tense series against England, Virat Kohli seemed amused by a certain coincidence. The Indian skipper  dusted up an old, forgotten cricketing legacy — left-arm spinners of Gujarat (the state and not the cricketing entity) and Indian cricket.

Delhi Confidential: With the West Bengal Assembly elections inching closer, the state BJP unit is trying to maximise PM Modi’s campaigning time. The Prime Minister is slated to address at least 14-15 rallies in the state.  

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the second phase of the nationwide vaccination drive, the schedule of the upcoming West Bengal Assembly election, and the recent murder of a 50-year-old man in UP’s Hathras. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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