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Monday, January 24, 2022

Daily Briefing: Slew of measures as poll panel announces election schedule; 3rd wave may peak in Delhi, Mumbai mid-Jan

"The third wave (for the country) is expected to peak somewhere in the beginning of next month or even slightly earlier."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
January 9, 2022 8:13:32 am
india news, daily briefing indian expressA look at the top news today, January 9, 2022

Good morning, 

The Big Story

Save the Date(s). Five states are headed to Assembly polls at a time when the country is at the beginning of a third Covid wave. The election schedule is spread over seven phaes between February 10 and March 7, with the counting of votes on March 10. The Election Commission has announced a ban on roadshows and rallies until January 15.  It will review the situation thereafter.

Only in the Express

IIT-Kanpur professor and mathematician Manindra Agrawal, who runs a computer model that tracks the Covid-19 curve in the country,  said that while elections do contribute to a surge, they are just one of the factors behind the case count. He says the ongoing third wave could as high as 8 lakh cases in a day — almost twice the peak of the second wave. 

Former Union minister P Chidambaram writes: “The disruptions of Christmas celebrations, the hate speeches and the malicious apps have not evoked a word of condemnation from the Prime Minister. Prepare for the future, bigotry will be unbound. And speak up, or there will be no one left to speak for you.”

From the Front Page 

At least 750 doctors and hundreds more nurses and paramedics from the six major hospitals in Delhi are currently down with Covid-19. Although most of them have mild symptoms and are in home isolation, it has taken away a huge chunk of the workforce, resulting in hospitals having to curtail routine clinics and surgeries.

Nearly two weeks after the Union government refused to renew the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of Nobel Laureate Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity (MoC), the Centre restored it on Thursday. The new FCRA certificate will be valid till the end of 2026. With the renewed registration, the charity will be able to receive and use funds from foreign contributions.

Must Read 

While the Assembly elections in five states will be a mid-term appraisal for PM Modi and the BJP, it will be more critical and defining for the Opposition, especially the Congress but also regional forces like the Samajwadi Party, BSP and AAP. The outcome could shape larger Opposition politics, reaffirming or challenging the Congress’s claim as the nucleus of the anti-BJP bandwagon in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.

Last week, Alka Mittal was handed additional charge of Chairperson and Managing Director of India’s largest oil and gas exploration company ONGC, an organisation where women constitute less than 8% of the workforce. We take a look at her career, how she made it to the top — and how she has cleared the course for others to follow in her footsteps

With the Punjab assembly elections just around the corner and state-wide campaigning well underway, some fear that the polls could exacerbate the aggressive third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. We visited the Samrala constituency of Ludhiana, where CM Charanjit Singh Channi held a rally — hundreds attended, but there was hardly a mask in sight, including on the Chief Minister himself. “How will we take Corona seriously when politicians are doing rallies, not wearing masks and congratulating people for coming in large numbers?” A passerby asked. 

Over 70 Twitter handles, four YouTube channels and one game on Instagram have been suspended after they were flagged by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for sharing fake and inciting content. These handles had been identified after Twitter users tagged Ministry of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, asking him to look into their content.

And Finally 

From a migrant dish to a city staple, the adaptable momo signals an evolving India, whose eating habits have been shaped by migrants from the sidelines of the food world. Food aggregator Zomato recently posted a report on its Instagram feed, which claimed the humble momo was ordered over 1 crore times this year. We speak to some of the people behind this popular dish, the street vendors of Delhi, many of whom were financially crippled during the pandemic. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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