Here are the top 5 news updates of August 17, 2021:
Out of the total samples sent for genome sequencing of COVID-19 positive patients in Maharashtra, 80 per cent of samples have tested positive for Delta variant, according to the state health department. Maharashtra is conducting genome sequencing tests of COVID-19 positive patients' samples on a regular basis to ascertain the extent of spread of mutants of the virus. According to a state health department, as many as 76 patients have been found to be positive with Delta Plus variant, out of which five have died so far and 71 have recovered. As of now, no patient infected with Delta Plus variant is under treatment.
2. SC issues notice to Centre over Pegasus row, says govt need not disclose anything which compromises national security
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre on a batch of pleas seeking independent probe into the alleged Pegasus snooping matter, making it clear that it did not want the government to disclose anything which might compromise national security. A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana sought the Centre's response on the pleas and said it will take up the matter after 10 days and see what course should be adopted. The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Aniruddha Bose, told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the apex court does not want the government to disclose anything which may compromise national security.
3. Indian envoy Rudrendra Tandon lauds Indian Air Force's effort for safe evacuation from Afghanistan
After Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 aircraft carrying 120 Indian officials from Afganistan landed in Gujarat's Jamnagar, the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Rudrendra Tandon thanked IAF for flying them out of the war-torn country. "Thank you to the Indian Air Force who flew us out under conditions that are not normal," said Tandon after landing at Jamnagar. He also appreciated the rescue efforts saying 'how great it is to be tactful'. "After 2 weeks of intense work, very complicated situation, the whole mission is very happy that its finally over. We are back home safely, without any accidents. We were a very large mission with 192 personnels that were evacuated from Afghanistan literally within a period of three days in a very orderly fashion in two phases," added Tandon.
Vaccine major Serum Institute of India has acquired 50 per cent stake in pharma packaging firm Schott Kaisha to become a joint venture partner of Germany's specialty glass company Schott AG. Serum Institute has acquired stake from former co-owners Kairus Dadachanji and Shapoor Mistry, Schott and Serum Institute of India said in a joint statement. The joint venture is for pharmaceutical packaging, they added. Serum Institute of India (SII) has bought 50 per cent stake in Schott Kaisha to become Schott's joint venture partner and secure pharma packaging supply, the statement said. The partners, however, did not share the financial details of the stake acquisition by the vaccine maker.
Equity benchmark Sensex surged 210 points to end at a fresh peak today, tracking gains in index majors Infosys, TCS, HUL and Tech Mahindra. After scaling a fresh lifetime high of 55,854.88 during the day, the 30-share index settled 209.69 points or 0.38 per cent higher at 55,792.27, while the broader NSE Nifty advanced 51.55 points or 0.31 per cent to 16,614.60. Tech Mahindra was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising over 3 per cent, followed by TCS, Nestle India, Titan, Infosys and HUL. On the other hand, IndusInd Bank, NTPC, Bharti Airtel, Tata Steel and L&T were among the laggards.