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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Daily Briefing: Everyone above 45 years of age eligible for vaccination from April 1

From the latest on the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination rollout, to the upcoming Assembly elections in four states and a UT; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 24, 2021 8:44:41 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 14, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story

Every person above the age of 45 years will be eligible for a Covid vaccine shot from April 1. The decision to further open up the vaccination was taken at a time when several states are experiencing a second wave of cases. And in a fresh reason for worry, eighty-one per cent of the 401 samples sent by the Punjab government for genome sequencing have tested positive for the UK variant of Covid-19.

Only in the Express

The participation of women in the workforce has been steadily falling with each passing year. And the pandemic, by most accounts, dealt this a hammer blow. One of the three key reasons for this is many women workers, once they lost their jobs, quickly slid back to their full-time role as home-makers and care-givers as their male counterparts looked for reinstatement.

From the Front Page 

More than six months before former Mumbai Police chief Param Bir Singh levelled corruption allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, a former Commissioner of State Intelligence sent a letter to the then DGP Subodh Jaiswal stating that telephonic surveillance of several persons with deep political connections revealed they were helping fix the postings of senior police officers in exchange for money. 

In a first positive step after India and Pakistan agreed to the LoC ceasefire last month, the Indus Commissioners from the two countries met for the first time in over two years to resolve a host of outstanding issues under the Indus Waters Treaty. 

No interest can be charged on interest accrued during the six-month moratorium put in place last year on loan repayments, the Supreme Court ruled. The apex court, however, rejected pleas for extension of the moratorium period, total waiver of interest for the period and sector-wise relief.

Must Read 

It’s a classic police scene from the movies. A group of policemen get enraged when asked to pay for their food by the owner of a Dhaba. They return with their colleagues, haul up the owner and his staff and throw them in jail on a string of false charges. But this time in UP’s Etah, the dhaba owner turned out to be an engineering graduate who just wouldn’t let go. And the policemen, who framed his staff and customers, are now headed to jail themselves.

The Singhu border seemed energised Tuesday as women and youths from Punjab and Haryana trickled in to mark Bhagat Singh’s death anniversary. The border, which has been relatively quiet for the past few days, saw a sea of first-time protesters. “Bhagat Singh devoted his entire life to the country; can we not give up one day to live up to what he taught us?” one protestor said. 

Decision 2021

As 27 per cent of Kerala’s population, Muslims have been the bulwark of the UDF’s base. That choice has been muddled by the Congress’s perceived soft Hindutva, on everything from Article 370 and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to the beef controversy; smaller organisations wooing the community; the IUML’s withering charm; and, most importantly, LDF Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s towering image as the only strongman who can hold off the BJP.

In the run-up to the polls in Assam, the name of Ahom general Lachit Borphukan, credited with defeating the Mughals in the Battle of Saraighat (1671), has been frequently invoked. Recently, controversy broke out  when PM Modi referred to the Ahom general as a freedom fighter, when he died nearly 200 years before the freedom movement. So, who was Lachit Borpukhan and why has taken centre stage in the BJP’s campaigning efforts in Assam? We Explain.

After a picture of CPM Tirupparankundram candidate S K Ponnuthayi and her husband, an auto rickshaw driver, went viral on social media recently, many people assumed Ponnuthayi was “just an autorickshaw driver’s wife who has made it big”. But she is much more than that, she insists. “I have been doing public service since 1993. My husband is also an active party worker,” she said.

And Finally 

When Krunal Pandya broke down at the thought of his late father in the post-innings chat with the broadcasters after walloping the fastest ODI fifty on debut, his long-time coach Jitendra Singh rewound to a particular moment. “Tell me honestly, will Krunal play for India? Khelega yeh?’ is what his father used to ask. Not many know that more than Hardik, it was Krunal that his father Himanshu bhai dreamt would play for India,” he said. 

Delhi Confidential: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply to the Finance Bill in Lok Sabha started on a rare note of bonhomie between the government and the opposition. Sitharaman said she appreciated the speech by Congress MP Amar Singh, who dealt with things substantively and acknowledged “some good things” while making his points of difference as well. 

Until tomorrow

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express cartoon by EP Unny.

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