December 27, 2021 8:02:47 am
The Big Story
The first recipients of the “precautionary” dose of the Covid vaccine will likely be those older than 60 years with associated comorbidities, and those who got their second dose nine months previously, The Indian Express has learnt. The nine-month interval would mean the initial doses of the precautionary vaccine will be received by those who had got the second shots in the primary vaccination schedule by April 10 this year.
Only in the Express
While most minority communities have not opposed the raising of the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years, they raised concerns on how the change will affect personal laws in the country. According to the draft Bill seeking to raise the age of marriage, the proposed law will apply to all communities and, once enacted, will supersede existing marriage and personal laws.
In this edition of the Idea Exchange, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor talks about disruptions in Parliament, the Hinduism vs Hindutva discussion, on whether the Congress can be a nucleus of a joint Opposition and why he advocates a presidential style of governance.
From the Front Page
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is learnt to have stepped in to resolve the tussle between the Home and Water Resources ministries over the “poor construction” of an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) outpost on the western bank of Pangong Tso in Ladakh. Sources confirmed that a CVC team had visited Ladakh to inspect the project after the project wasn’t delivered to the Home Ministry’s satisfaction despite spending over Rs 20 crore.
Three weeks after six civilians were killed in an Army ambush on December 4, and eight more in violence triggered by the incident in Nagaland’s Mon district, the Union government instituted a high-level committee chaired by a Secretary-level officer to examine the possibility of withdrawing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland. The committee will submit its report within 45 days.
Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and in other states in the first half of 2022, and in Gujarat towards the end of the year, hold the potential to shape a new political narrative and disturb existing equations. We explain how the upcoming polls will test the BJP’s election machinery and the Congress’s position as the nucleus of the opposition.
Meanwhile in Goa, the Congress has its work cut out for it ahead of the forthcoming Assembly polls. This year, the party had to deal with recurrent defections from its ranks and then the emergence of the AAP and TMC as new contenders in Goa’s electoral battlefield. But despite the setbacks, the Congress has been gearing up to take on the Pramod Sawant-led BJP dispensation over its alleged non-governance.
Soon after the tragic IAF chopper crash near Coonoor, which killed CDS General Bipin Rawat and 13 others, employees of a ministry department started to receive dubious emails from a government domain email address claiming an “internal hand” in Rawat’s death. It asked the recipients to click a phishing link that claimed to be an internal report. This is part of phishing attempts against central government officials through some compromised government domain email IDs, which are increasingly getting more targeted and sophisticated.
K Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) writes on how booster shots will help in the country’s fight against Covid: “Restricting eligibility for the third dose to high risk groups of adults and older children at this stage is a wise decision for two reasons. The supply chain of vaccines is still not wide enough to immediately cover all adults and all children through the expanded programme. Even as production volumes are rising, India has to meet international obligations as well.”
As the year rolled and rumbled, Axar and Ajaz did not just burn the typecasting around them, but enjoyed moments of glorious sunshine, enough for them to be not forgotten by the game, even if they reacquaint with anonymity. Ajaz leapt into cricketing immortality by becoming just the third bowler to pick all ten wickets in an innings. Axar Patel would grab 36 wickets at 11.86 in five Tests, a five-for in every two innings he has bowled. It’s unlikely that either will ever replicate the feats of 2021, but for what they did, they are worth celebrating.
Delhi Confidential: In order to spread the message that the BJP government in UP has always worked for Brahmins, central leaders in a meeting with state leaders from the community, formed a panel of Brahmin leaders to initiate an outreach programme in all 403 Assembly constituencies.
In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we talk about the Gurugram Christmas event disruption. We also discuss the rising Omicron cases and precautionary doses and we go over the latest updates on the Nagaland killings
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose