A massive fire broke out on Thursday afternoon at an under-construction unit of the Serum Institute of India (SII) that manufactured the first batch of Oxford University-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' on Saturday last. However, an SII official assured that the facility where the COVID vaccines are stored isn't located in this plant. As per reports, at least 10 fire tenders are present at the site of the incident to douse the flames.
Newly elected US President Joe Biden is set to rejoin the Paris climate accord soon after he took oath as the 46th President on Wednesday. He also signed a series of executive orders to launch his administration and a mask mandate for all federal buildings. The orders included keeping the United States in the World Health Organization, ending the ban on entries from mostly Muslim-majority countries, bolstering environmental protections and strengthening the fight against Covid-19. Also among the directives was a halt to construction of the wall on the US-Mexico border, and efforts to expand diversity and equality for minority groups in the federal government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar on January 23 to distribute 1.06 lakh land pattas/allotment certificates. "Taking into account an urgent need to protect the land rights of indigenous people of the State, Government of Assam came out with a comprehensive new Land Policy with a renewed emphasis on protecting the land rights of the indigenous people," an official release from the prime minister's office said.
Jonbeel Mela, which is famous for its barter system started from Thursday at Jagiroad in Morigaon district. It's a three-day annual indigenous Tiwa community fair held at the weekend of Magh Bihu. The Jonbeel Mela is the only mela in the northeastern states where items are exchanged among the people rather than to sell. Rural people descending from the nearby hills exchange their produce like ginger, turmeric, potatoes, chilies, and other herbs with whatever people from the plains have to offer.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be vaccinated in the second phase of the Covid inoculation drive launched last week, sources said on Thursday. All Chief Ministers will also receive vaccines, reported NDTV. The COVID-19 vaccine drive was launched on January 16 with health workers receiving jabs of two vaccines – Serum Institute of India's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. In the second phase, it is the turn of those above 50 and people with comorbidities to take shots.
Preparations are going on in full swing for the 72nd Republic Day celebration at the Veterinary field in Khanapara. Security has been beefed up in Guwahati ahead of the celebration of Republic Day amidst the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 12 platoons will participate in the parade and practice sessions are going on in the field as only 4 days left for Republic Day. Veerangana, CRPF, SDRF, NCC, ITBP, Assam Police are amongst the 12 platoons who are practicing ahead of the celebration.
Creating history for the first time, the Indian benchmark indices S&P BSE Sensex has breached the 50,000 mark on Thursday. According to several media outlets, the indices spiked over 300 points and touched 50,126 points for the first time ever. Nifty50 was also trading at an all time high of 14,734 points at 9:30 am. The profits made in the Sensex were led by Reliance Industries after the market regulator SEBI approved Reliance Industries' ₹ 24,713-crore deal to buy Future Group's retail assets, an NDTV report said. RIL shares were trading at Rs 2,077.50, higher by Rs 22.65 or 1.10 per cent from its previous close.
The contractual workers of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) will stage a sit-in-demonstration programme on Friday against the corporation to meet various demands. The workers' will also stage serial protests from January 27 under the aegis of five organizations. During the course of the protests, only water supply will be available while the other service will become dysfunctional. The GMC workers' demanded to regularize the jobs of 939 workers as per the resolution taken in the general meeting of GMC in 2014.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Ripun Bora on Thursday posed 24 questions to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the state. Addressing the media at Rajiv Bhawan, some of the questions that Bora asked included, "By stopping the Northeast Industrial and Investment Policy, were you able to bring any new industries to Assam?" On issues related to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, Bora accused the government stating the act has been imposed on the people of the state and said, the government has "murdered the spirit of the Assam Accord".
Chief Minister SarbanandaSonowal inaugurated the Centralized Mid Day Meal Kitchen of Akshaya Patra Foundation at a function held in North Guwahati Kamrup on Wednesday. The new centralized kitchen has been built on a sprawling 10 bigha of land given by the State government and the fund is provided by Airports Authority of India and is expected to provide lunch to 50 thousand children in Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts. The new facility will replace Akshaya Patra's former kitchen.
Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday attended a meeting held by Union Chemicals & Fertilizers Minister DV Sadanand Gowda in Delhi to discuss the setting up of the fourth unit of Ammonia-urea plant at Namrup BVFCL. The Government of Assam has also proposed to increase its share from 11% to 26% to ensure fertilizer security for the Northeast.
In a shocking incident, at least 28 have been killed and 73 were wounded in twin suicide bombings in Iraq's Baghdad. Hospital and police officials said the death toll was much higher, with at least 27 dead and more than 60 wounded, an Associated Press report stated.
In response to a report on China building a new village in Arunachal Pradesh, the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday said China's construction activities within its own territory is normal. "China's position on the Zangnan region (South Tibet) is consistent and clear. We never recognised the so-called Arunachal Pradesh," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said as reported by PTI.
Ahead of Republic day, state government has reduced jail term for the prisoners on Thursday. The directive was issued in a government press release. The convicts' imprisonment has been reduced as follows:
The prisoners who were sentenced to 30 days of imprisonment have been reduced to 5 days.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah will chair the 69th plenary session of the North Eastern Council slated to be held on January 23 in Shillong. During the home minister's visit, the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government led by Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma would also meet to discuss issues of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the entire state and inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. The Meghalaya Assembly had adopted a resolution on December 19, 2019 requesting the centre to impose the ILP in the state.