News Breakfast @6

01. PM Modi Briefs Angela Merkel On India’s Covid Vaccine Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today and briefed her on COVID-19 vaccine development in India, while also assuring her of India’s commitment to deploy its capacities for the benefit of the world. A Prime Minister’s Office statement said PM Modi appreciated the long-standing role of Chancellor Merkel in providing stable and strong leadership at the European and global stage, and thanked her for guiding the growth of the India-Germany Strategic Partnership.

02. UK Records Over 1,000 Daily Covid Deaths

Britain on Wednesday announced another 1,041 fatalities from the coronavirus, the first time the daily death count has topped 1,000 since April and the outset of the pandemic. The latest tally means 77,346 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test — among the highest in Europe alongside Italy — and came as a record 62,322 new daily cases were recorded.

03. CRPF Officer, Woman Killed, Houses Damaged In Heavy Snowfall In Kashmir

A sub inspector of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a woman were killed in heavy snowfall in Kashmir that damaged over 100 structures, mostly residential houses. Accumulation of heavy snow on rooftops damaged over two dozen houses in Srinagar city. The chilling moment of collapse of some of the residential houses was captured on camera.

04. 50 More Crows Found Dead In Rajasthan’s Jodhpur

About 50 more crows were reported dead in Setrawa and Phalodi areas in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district on Wednesday and samples extracted to ascertain if bird flu caused the deaths, officials said. Of the new bird deaths, 27 were reported in Setrawa near Jodhpur. Villagers informed officials about the deaths of crows. The carcasses were disposed of after taking a sample, they said.

05. Raghunath Chandorkar Becomes Oldest Surviving Cricketer

The world’s oldest living first-class cricketer Alan Burgess has died at the age of 100, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced on Wednesday, making former first class Indian cricketer Raghunath Chandorkar taking over the mantle as the world’s oldest surviving cricketer.

06. UK COVID Mutant Strain: Tally Touches 73

The union health ministry on Wednesday said the number of more persons detected with the UK coronavirus mutant strain has surged to 73, ANI reported. Out of these total cases, eight have been detected by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, 20 at the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi, and 11 at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangaluru, three cases have been detected at the Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, one at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal and 30 in the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

07. Plea Filed In SC Seeking Regulation Of Social Media

In a recent development, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the regulation of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook etc through guidelines making them culpable under criminal and civil laws. As per reports, the plea was filed by advocate Mahek Maheshwari in personal capacity. He sought a direction to the Centre to formulate guidelines to appeal against any kind of grievances against Twitter and all such social media platforms within a time period until a proper law is enacted.

08. 460 Naxals Killed Since 2018: MHA

A total of 460 Left Wing Extremists, also called Naxals, have been killed by security forces in the country since 2018, an RTI response stated, as reported by PTI. “161 security force personnel laid down their lives in the line of duty, the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Division, under the Ministry of Home Affairs”, stated in the reply.

09. India to Begin COVID-19 Vaccination Within 10 Days

The Central Government is all set to introduce the COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from the date of emergency use authorization by the drugs regulator in the states and union territories. It may be noted that the DCGI had on Sunday announced the approval of two vaccines for restricted use in the country. Briefing media, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, however, said that the final decision regarding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout lies with the government.

10. HSLC/AHM Board Exam Schedule Released

The routine/programme for HSLC and Assam High Madrassa (AHM) board exams has been released by the Board of Secondary Education (SEBA) today. The exams will be organized in two shifts – morning shift (9 AM to 12 PM) and afternoon shift (1:30 PM to 4:30 PM). While the practical exams will be held on March 4th and 5th, the theory written exams will be held from May 11th through June 1st 2021.

11. Centre To Hold Voluntary ‘Cow Science’ Exam On Feb 25

A countrywide online examination on ‘gau vigyan’ (cow science) will be held next month on February 25, Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA), the government body set up for cow welfare announced on Tuesday. The exam will be held annually in 12 regional languages apart from Hindi and English.

12. Amit Shah to Visit Mizoram Between Jan 9-10 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Mizoram between January 9-10, government sources said here on Wednesday. Recently, Shah visited Imphal to lay the foundation stones for several multipurpose projects. The BJP formed a government in Manipur for the first time in 2017, having constituted a coalition with the National People’s Party, Naga People’s Front, and the Lok Janshakti Party, with Singh sworn as the Chief Minister on March 15.

13. MIG-21 Aircraft Crash: Investigation Handed Over To IAF

A court of inquiry has been ordered into MiG-21 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF ) crash, which took place on Tuesday night near Suratgarh in Rajasthan due to “technical malfunction”. A team of experts from the Indian Air Force will reach Suratgarh airbase station on Wednesday to investigate the accident. As per initial reports, the pilot of the aircraft has survived the crash and there has been no damage to property.

14. Assam Cop Sentenced To 4-Year Imprisonment For Bribery

A police officer from Assam was sentenced to 4-years of rigorous imprisonment by a special court in a case of bribery dating back to 2015. The officer in-charge of Guwahati Railway Police Station, Sisir Bhatta along with constable Dinesh Upadhai were arrested by officials of vigilance and anti-corruption bureau in 2015 for demanding and accepting bribe amounting to Rs 7000.

15. Congress Announces Observers For State Polls

Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi has appointed following leaders as senior observers for looking after the election campaign management and coordination in four states where assembly elections are slated to be held soon. Bhupesh Baghel, Mukul Wasnik and Shakeel Ahmad Khan have been appointed as senior observers in Assam.

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