Here are the top 5 news of January 12, 2021:
The Supreme Court today stayed the implementation of controversial new farm laws till further orders and decided to set up a 4-member committee to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers' unions protesting at Delhi borders. A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said that it will pass an order to this effect.
During the hearing, the top court sought the cooperation of the protesting farmers and made it clear that no power can prevent it from setting up a committee to resolve the impasse over the controversial farm laws. "We are concerned about protecting the lives and property of citizens of India and we want to solve the problem," said the bench. "This is not politics. There is a difference between politics and judiciary and you will have to cooperate", it said to farmer unions.
2. Transportation of 56.5 lakh vaccine doses started from Pune to 13 locations across India; Adar Poonawalla terms vaccine 'Covishield' dispatch as 'historic moment'
Amid tight security, three trucks carrying the very first consignment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine reached Pune airport to be flown to 13 locations across the country. Serum Institute of India (SII) has received a purchase order from the Government of India for 11 million doses of Covishield vaccine, which would be available at the price of Rs 200 per dose, SII officials had said today.
"This is a historical moment that vaccine is being dispatched from our factory. Our main challenge is to make it available to everyone in the country. It is our challenge for 2021, let us see how it happens," Poonawalla said. "We have given a special price of Rs 200 for the first 100 million doses only to the Government of India on their request, because we want to support common man, vulnerable, poor and healthcare workers. After that, we will be selling it at Rs 1,000 in private markets," he added.
Asserting that there has been no change in status quo in Eastern Ladakh, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said that his force is ready for any eventuality but expressed hope that India-China would be able to reach an agreement to resolve the border issue. "As far as the situation in Eastern Ladakh is concerned, the situation is same as prevailing last year. There has been no change in the status quo. As far as the resolution of the present situation is concerned, we are hoping that based on the principle of mutual and equal security, we would be able to reach an agreement, which would result in disengagement and de-escalation, disengagement from the friction areas, and once de-escalation has been achieved then an overall de-escalation and a reduction in strength of the troops in the forward areas," the Army chief said.
"Talks (between India and China) will be used to address the issues on the basis of mutual and equal security. I am confident that we would be able to resolve the issue," he added.
The injury-ravaged Indian team was dealt another telling blow today as pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the fourth Test against Australia due to an abdominal strain. If that wasn't enough, Mayank Agarwal -- tipped to be Hanuma Vihari's replacement in the playing XI in Brisbane -- has sustained a knock on the hands and it could be a hairline fracture. To make matters worse, Ravichandran Ashwin's back spasms have aggravated after battling for three hours on the final day, leaving little options for India on the bench.
Bumrah, key to India's attack, sustained the strain during the drawn third Test in Sydney. It has been learnt that Bumrah's scan reports showed a strain and the Indian team management does not want him to aggravate the injury, keeping in mind the upcoming four-Test series against England. "Jasprit Bumrah suffered an abdominal strain while fielding in Sydney. He is going to sit out of the Brisbane Test but is expected to be available against England," a BCCI source told PTI.
The Maharashtra government has sounded an alert after 1,621 bird flu fatalities were reported in 13 districts, after samples tested by the ICAR-National Institute of High Security Animal Disease (NISHAD), were detected positive for the avian influenza virus. On Monday alone, 441 birds were found dead and samples have been sent and laboratory at Pune for tests. The culling of more than 5,000 hens will begin from Tuesday in Parbhani and other districts.
Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has directed the disaster control department to immediately report about death of birds to on duty assistant engineers concerned of the solid waste management in assistant municipal commissioner's office or to the war rooms. The BMC also directed assistant engineers to bring the death of birds to the notice of state-appointed rapid response teams and dispose the carcasses as per their instructions.
(With input from agencies)