FPJ Evening Brief
FPJ Evening Brief

Here are the top 5 news of January 5, 2021:

1. Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech to work together to develop, supply COVID-19 vaccines

In a show of solidarity after some bitter comments, Adar Poonawala and Krishna Ella, jointly on behalf of Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech, on Tuesday communicated their combined intent to develop manufacture and supply the Covid-19 vaccines for India and globally. "Both companies respect the great work being carried out by each other and put behind us the miscommunication and misunderstanding caused during the past week. We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our Covid-19 vaccines," they said in a joint statement.

"Both our companies are fully engaged in this activity and consider it our duty to the nation and the world at large to ensure a smooth rollout of vaccines. Each of our companies continue their Covid-19 vaccines development activities as planned", the statement read.

2. Central Vista project: In 2:1 verdict, SC upholds environmental clearance, notification for change in land use

In a majority verdict, the Supreme Court today upheld the environmental clearance and notification for change in land use for the Central Vista Project. The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. A three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, by 2:1 majority, held that the grant of the environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for the project was valid.

Justice Khanwilkar, writing the judgement for himself and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, also directed that the project proponent set up smog tower and use anti-smoke guns at the construction site for the Central Vista project. Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the third judge on the bench, also agreed on the issue of award of project. He, however, disagreed with the judgment on change of land use and on grant of environmental clearance for the project.

3. Laxmi Ratan Shukla, West Bengal minister and ex-cricketer, quits TMC government

West Bengal Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned from his post today. Shukla sent his resignation letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a copy of it to Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

The former cricketer's resignation came almost a fortnight after state transport minister Suvendu Adhikari had left the party and joined BJP. Former captain of the Bengal Ranji team, 39-year-old, MLA of Howrah (Uttar), in his resignation letter to Banerjee expressed his willingness to "retire" from politics. Shukla, who was looking after the TMC affairs in Howrah district, however, has not given up his post as an MLA, sources in the state secretariat told PTI.

4. After BMC's FIR, Arbaaz, Sohail, and Nirvaan Khan quarantine at Mumbai's Taj Hotel

A day after Mumbai Police lodged an FIR against Bollywood actors Arbaaz Khan and Sohail Khan and the latter's son Nirvaan Khan for allegedly violating the COVID-19 institutional quarantine norms, the trio has now gone under quarantine at Mumbai’s prestigious Taj Hotel in Bandra. The Khan trio was asked to stay after they returned to Mumbai from the UAE in the penultimate week of December last year as per guidelines, but they went to their homes instead, a civic official said.

As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the BMC, passengers returning from counties in Europe and the Middle East must stay in institutional quarantine for seven days in view of the detection of the new strain of coronavirus in the UK. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope today said nobody is above law and everyone should follow the protocols. It is the duty of an "ideal citizen" to strictly follow rules and regulations in the current pandemic situation, he added.

5. Ind vs Aus: KL Rahul sprains wrist during practice, ruled out of remainder of Test series

Indian batsman KL Rahul was today ruled out of the remaining two Tests against Australia after sustaining a wrist injury during training in Melbourne, the BCCI said. Rahul had not played any match of the ongoing series in which the third Test starts on Thursday in Sydney. "The wicketkeeper-batsman will not be available for the remaining two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as he will need about three weeks time to recover completely and regain full strength," BCCI said in a statement.

It has been learnt that the stylish right-hander suffered a sprain while facing one of the three throwdown specialists at the nets and had to call off his training session. The injury also puts him in doubt for the four-match home Test series against England, which begins February 5. Rahul's departure will effectively mean that one among Mayank Agarwal or Hanuma Vihari will save their place in the Indian playing XI depending on where vice-captain Rohit Sharma bats.

(With input from agencies)

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