Daily Briefing: SC sets July 31 date for one ration card; Govt gives Moderna vaccine Emergency Use Authorisation

The Moderna vaccine is initially expected to be provided to India in limited quantities — as donations by the US drug maker, The Indian Express has learnt.

Good morning, 

The Big Story 

Calling One Nation One Ration Card “an important citizen-centric reform”, the Supreme Court set a deadline of July 31 for all states to implement the scheme. The court also pulled up the Centre for the delay in setting up a national web portal to register migrant and unorganised workers. 

Only In the Express 

It’s not just politicians linked to the ruling BJP who have been made Independent Directors on the boards of Public Sector Undertakings. When it comes to patronage from the ruling establishment, officialdom isn’t far behind. An investigation by The Indian Express revealed that at least 46 retired bureaucrats serve on the boards of 40 PSUs.

From the Front Page 

Paving the way for the import of the first mRNA Covid-19 vaccine into the country for commercial use, the national drug regulator granted emergency use authorisation to US biotechnology firm Moderna for its vaccine against the novel coronavirus. But the vaccine is initially expected to be provided to India in limited quantities — as donations by the US drug maker.

On the day the National Investigation Agency took over the probe into the blasts at the IAF station in Jammu, sources in J&K Police told The Indian Express that they suspect the role of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba in the attack.

The parliamentary standing committee on IT has asked Twitter to explain why the accounts of Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and committee chairman Shashi Tharoor were temporarily blocked.  

Must Read 

Despite the pandemic situation remaining grim in Kerala, the state government has permitted relatives to take the bodies of deceased Covid patients home to conduct last rites. Noting that one of the biggest issues during the pandemic was that relatives could not see the bodies of their loved ones who succumbed to the infection, CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced that they would be given an hour to conduct the last rites. 

There is huge excitement among scientists with the first confirmed detection of a neutron star-black hole (NS-BH) collision being reported. This ground breaking discovery of gravitational waves from a pair of NS-BH mergers was expected for a long time but not confirmed, according to experts. A new analysis to reconfirm this discovery has now been published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. 

Ricardo D’Souza, the co-owner of Tito’s — one of Goa’s most prominent nightclubs — announced that he sold the establishment after allegedly facing harassment by “officials”. “This is the culmination of all the harassment we have received over the last 40 years from the police, the excise, from the MLA, from sarpanchs, panch members,” D’Souza told a local news channel.

And Finally 

After tackling initial vaccine hesitancy and irregular supplies of Covid vaccines, Tripura has managed to inoculate 98% of its 45-plus population and 80% of its 18+ population with at least one dose of the shot. But how did the state manage to rise to the top of India’s vaccine table? Well, it took several awareness campaigns, and concerted efforts by the administration to conduct widespread vaccination drives even in some of the state’s most far-flung villages. 

Delhi Confidential: Information Technology panel chairman Shashi Tharoor asked members in the committee to express their views on the panel’s confidentiality clause, which prevents them from sharing details of these meetings with the media. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at why the government has withdrawn ‘safe harbour protection’ for Twitter, the recent report that assessed the cyber capabilities of 15 countries including India, and the SC’s dismissal of an appeal against Delhi HC’s order that allowed construction for the Central Vista project to carry on.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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