1. Bharat Biotech receives green signal to conduct vaccine trials on kids above 12
The Drugs Controller General of India has allowed ‘Covaxin’ of Bharat Biotech, to conduct trials on children above 12 years of age. The DCGI has also allowed the firm to manufacture Covaxin. Further, it has also asked Bharat Biotech to submit updated safety, efficacy and immunogenicity data from the ongoing trials.
2. Ministry of Health confirms the infection of 38 persons with new coronavirus strain
On Monday the Ministry of Health confirmed the total number of persons infected with the new coronavirus strain in India stands at 38. Out of these 38, 10 were detected in Bengaluru, 19 in Delhi, five in Pune, three in Hyderabad, and one in Kolkata. The samples of this UK strain are being tested for genome sequencing.
3. US Congress passes ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ for the women of Pakistan
The US Congress has passed the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ which is going to expand the number of scholarships available to women from Pakistan based on merit and needs until 2022. Under the bill, at least 50% of scholarships must be awarded to Pakistani women under the program. President Donald Trump is to sign the bill to make it into law.
4. Births drop to a historic low amid pandemic in South Korea for the first time
for the first time ever in history, South Korea’s population has plunged as births dropped to a historic low amid the pandemic. As per the recent census figures, the population stood at 51,829,023 at the end of December, down by 20,838 from the previous year. Moreover, the country is also facing a rise in the number of people aged 60 and over.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo first person to reach 25 crore followers on Instagram
Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first person ever to attract more than 25 crore followers on Instagram. Second to him is Ariana Grande with 21.4 crore followers and actor Dwayne Johnson with 20.9 crore followers on the photosharing app. On Facebook too, Ronaldo is also the most followed person. On Twitter, he is the most followed sportsperson.
6. NITI Aayog: We have enough stockpile of vaccine for priority groups in the 1st phase
India’s Think Tank NITI Aayog has assured the citizens of the country that India has enough stockpile of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate priority groups, including healthcare and frontline workers, in the first phase. “Three to four months from now, there will be other vaccines and the stockpile will be even bigger,” an official said.
7. JNU’s Umar Khalid to court: Ask the police how the Delhi riots charge sheet was leaked to the media
Umar Khalid, a Former JNU student leader who was arrested in relation to the Delhi riots case, has complained to the court about an investigating police officer and demanded the court to ask him how the media got its hand on a copy of the supplementary charge sheet even before the accused did. “There is an obvious pattern of selected disclosure statements being leaked. This is affecting my right to a free and fair trial,” Umar said.
8. PM Modi inaugurates National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya through a video conferencing platform and dedicated them to the nation. While the National Atomic Timescale gives out Indian Standard Time with an accuracy of 2.8 nanoseconds, the Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya extends its support in testing and calibration of laboratories for quality assurance at par with international standards, the Prime Minister informed.
9. RIL states it has no plans to venture into contract farming or purchase any agricultural land
Reliance Industries (RIL) has made a clear statement that it has no plans whatsoever in contract farming after its communication towers were vandalised in Punjab amid farmers’ protests. The company said in a statement that it has “not done corporate or contract farming in the past, and has absolutely no plans to enter this business”. The company also clarifies that it has “not purchased any agricultural land in Punjab/Haryana or anywhere else and has no plans to do so”.
10. Police say there was no video of comedian Munawar Faruqui found insulting Hindu Gods
Standup comedian Munawar Faruqui and four others were arrested on Friday for allegedly offending religious sentiments. However now, the Indore police have said that there is no evidence found against him showing Faruqui insult Hindu deities or Home Minister Amit Shah during his show.