1. Pfizer withdraws application of its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in India
Pfizer, maker of the COVID-19 vaccine has pulled back its application for emergency-use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in India following a meeting with the drug regulator. Pfizer was asked to conduct an additional local trial on the vaccine’s safety and immunogenicity for the Indian citizens. Pfizer will be re-submitting its approval request after including additional information when it becomes available.
2. Govt says 97% healthcare workers satisfied with vaccination process
Over 97% of 5,00,000 healthcare workers who were vaccinated said that they were satisfied with the entire process of vaccination, the Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan informed. “Out of 37 lakh people whom we sent SMS…5,12,128 replied…97% were satisfied with the vaccination experience,” the health secretary said. Those surveyed healthcare workers also said that proper social distancing was maintained at the vaccination site throughout the process.
3. RBI Governor predicts India’s GDP might grow 10.5% in 2021-22
On Friday, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow 10.5% in 2021-22. In the first half of 2021y-22, the growth may be anywhere between 8.3% and 26.2%. “Budget 2021-22 has provided a strong impetus for revival of sectors such as health and well-being, infrastructure, innovation and research, among others,” he further added.
4. Comedian Faruqui granted interim bail. He was held for allegedly insulting Hindu gods
Comedian Munawar Faruqui has been granted interim bail by the Supreme Court on Friday. The comedian was arrested by Madhya Pradesh Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. The Supreme Court has also issued notice to Madhya Pradesh Police on Faruqui’s plea challenging the Madhya Pradesh High Court order declining him bail in the case. Previously, the comedian was denied bail thrice.
5. Anti-coup protests conducted by healthcare workers in Myanmar
Expressing dissent over Myanmar’s military coup, the nation’s healthcare workers have launched a civil disobedience protest amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases. The workers refused to work for the new military government and wore red ribbons to condemn the coup. A similar stand was conveyed by the healthcare workers of the government hospitals and facilities opposing the coup.
6. Skill-training campaign launched by Rajasthan govt to make state ‘beggar-free’
To make the state ‘beggar free’, the Rajasthan government has launched a campaign by rehabilitating beggars. As a part of this newly launched campaign, there are 43 beggars currently who are being skill-trained. They will later be provided with jobs, Niraj Kumar Pawan, Chairman of Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation informed. “Once the campaign succeeds in Jaipur, it will be taken to other districts”, the chairman further added.
7. Domestic payments business of PayPal to shut down in India
PayPal Holdings, US payments giant has decided to wrap up its domestic payments business in India, including its payments gateway and aggregator services for merchants, from April 1. Further, the company informed that it will be focusing on its cross-border payments business, which means Indian merchants will be able to receive payments from global customers using the service.
8. IMF welcomes India’s Budget, says it rightfully focuses on health, education, infra
On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) appreciated the Union Budegte of India stating that the nation has rightly focused on health, education, and public infrastructure. “Fiscal policy can and should play an important role in facilitating a strong and inclusive economic recovery,” Gerry Rice, IMF Communications Director commented. The international body also stated that India needs to further strengthen the financial sector.
9. All cars hired by Delhi government to be electric in next 6 months: Delhi CM
Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal recently announced that “All the cars hired by Delhi government will be electric in the next six months.” This announcement came during the launch of the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign. Adding to this, he said, “It aims at informing…every person in Delhi to switch from polluting vehicles to zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs).” Around 6,000 new electric vehicles in Delhi have been registered over the past six months.
10. Govt says, although 19 people have died after Covid-19 vaccination, no evidence of vaccine link found
Rajesh Bhushan, India’s Health Secretary clarified that although 19 people, who received Covid-19 vaccine, have lost their lives, there is no evidence of these deaths being caused due to the vaccine. “We have a total of 8,563 adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) cases…We have done vaccination in lakhs. So what percentage is this? 0.18% only,” the secretary added.