Morning Digest | COVID-19 cases in India start to inch up; Centre may extend FCRA renewal date, and more

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Morning Digest | COVID-19 cases in India start to inch up; Centre may extend FCRA renewal date, and more

COVID-19 cases in India start to inch up as Omicron takes over

The number of COVID-19 infections in India is on an increasing trend. After consistently declining since mid-May, the average number of cases showed a bump again in the last week of December. On December 29, 13,187 cases were recorded, a 76.6% increase compared with the infections a week back.

Centre likely to extend December 31 deadline for FCRA renewal

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is likely to extend the December 31 deadline for the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA)-registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations to apply for renewal.

The registration of thousands of NGOs and associations that were up for renewal in October 2020 are stuck. The registrations are renewed every five years.

IIT-Kharagpur calendar calls Aryan invasion a myth

The Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur’s 2022 calendar on the theme of “evidence” for “rebutting the Aryan invasion myth”, which caused a controversy when it became public last week, was “just the tip of the iceberg”, with scholars abroad planning to hold workshops on the topic, according to the professor behind the calendar’s concept.

Omicron has high immune escape potential: INSACOG

There is now clear experimental and clinical data supporting very high immune escape potential of Omicron, but initial estimates show the severity of illness being lower than what was seen in previous outbreaks, the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Sequencing Consortium (INSACOG) said in its latest bulletin citing global data.

Sharad Pawar praises Modi, says PM has good hold on administration

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s style of functioning, saying once he takes up any task, he makes sure it is completed.

BJP ready for virtual poll rallies in 5 States

As cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus saw an upward tick in several States, the BJP declared that it was ready to hold virtual rallies, if called, in Uttar Pradesh , Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur that go to the polls early next year.

Apple places Foxconn’s Tamil Nadu unit ‘on probation’ after protests

Apple Inc. has placed iPhone assembler Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur facility “on probation” after both companies found that the workers’ dormitory accommodations and dining rooms did not meet the required standards.

NEET PG counselling | Doctors’ protest enters 13th day; more resident doctors associations join stir

Patient care was affected at several major hospitals in Delhi on December 29 as resident doctors protesting over the delay in NEET PG counselling intensified their agitation even as members of more resident doctors associations (RDAs) joined the stir in the national capital.

ED charge sheet names Anil Deshmukh, two sons

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday filed a supplementary prosecution complaint (charge sheet) against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in a money laundering and corruption case.

Mr. Deshmukh was arrested by the Central agency on November 1 after being questioned for 12 hours.

Corbevax and Covovax: How are they different from other COVID-19 vaccines?

India has approved two more vaccines, Corbevax and Covovax, under emergency use authorization, as well as an antiviral drug, Molnupiravir to fight against COVID-19. However, India’s expanded vaccination drive from January 3 will not immediately benefit from them.

Nagaland firing | Army team visits site of botched encounter at Mon district

An Army team headed by an officer of the Major-General rank on Wednesday visited the site of the botched encounter at Mon district of Nagaland as part of the Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident that occurred on December 4. A separate inquiry by a special investigation team, ordered by the State government, is also on.

Hyderpora victims’ families disagree with SIT report

The families of victims of the Hyderpora “encounter” on Wednesday disagreed with the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) report on the sequence of events that left one non-local militant and three locals, including an alleged “militant associate”, dead on November 16.

Jharkhand govt. slashes petrol price by ₹25 per litre

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday announced that petrol prices will be reduced by ₹25 per litre for two-wheelers. The new price will be effective from January 26, 2022. The concession will be given to those who have ration cards and will be limited to 10 litres a month. The cash subsidy upto ₹250 per month on purchase of fuel will be given to beneficiaries through Direct Bank Transfer (DBT).

Mukesh Ambani talks of leadership transition

Richest Indian Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday mentioned about leadership transition at his energy-to-retail conglomerate, saying he wants the process to be accelerated with seniors, including him, yielding to the younger generation.

Indonesia to let Boeing 737 Max fly again after 2018 crash

Indonesia said Wednesday it is lifting its ban on Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, three years after one crashed into the Java Sea shortly after takeoff killing all 189 people on board.

SA vs Ind | Match tantalisingly poised as India pushes for victory

The Proteas were 94 for four with Dean Elgar on a gritty unbeaten 52 at stumps on day four of the first Freedom Test at the SuperSport Park here on Wednesday.

Ashwin retains 2nd spot in both bowlers’ and all-rounders’ Test rankings

Seasoned India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Wednesday retained his second position in both the ICC Men’s Test Player Rankings for bowlers and all-rounders.

Novak Djokovic withdraws from ATP Cup in Australia

Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Cup in Australia ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, organisers said on December 29.

No reason was given but the top-ranked Serb has declined to comment on his vaccination status in recent months and Australia’s strict regulations require all players, officials and fans to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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