Daily Briefing: Centre tells states to ensure registrations on site; Bill for free vaccines, extra foodgrains will be Rs 1.15 lakh cr in FY21

The Ministry of Health placed an advance order Tuesday to secure 44 crore doses from the two vaccine manufacturers in the country.

Good morning, 

The Second Wave

Under its revised vaccination guidelines, the Centre asked states to allow on-site registration for individuals and groups, especially in the semi-urban and rural areas, to overcome the digital divide. And those above the age of 45, and those whose second dose is due, will get priority in vaccination along with health care and frontline workers when the Centre takes over procurement from states from June 21.

Only in the Express 

The move to provide free vaccines to states for all citizens over 18 years is likely to cost the exchequer an additional Rs 15,000 crore compared with the Budget allocation of Rs 35,000 crore. Another decision to extend the free food grains supply  till November this year is estimated to entail an extra expenditure of Rs 1.1-1.3 lakh crore in 2021-22. 

Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer, who faced casual racism during his county stint in England, has not taken kindly to British politicians pushing for seamer Ollie Robinson to be let off lightly. The England pacer was recently suspended or racist and sexist tweets. 

From the Front Page

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and two of his cabinet ministers met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and raised 12 issues, including Maratha reservation and GST dues.But it was his one-on-one meeting with the PM for about 30 minutes that set political circles abuzz. 

A private hospital in Agra was sealed after a purported video clip of its owner where he talks about how the hospital cut off oxygen supply to Covid-19 patients for five minutes as part of a “mock drill” to find out “who will die”.

Must Read 

A low-cost charging system for two and three-wheeler electric vehicles, developed jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and industry partners, could prove to be a game-changer for electric mobility in the country. The charging system, a prototype of which has already been developed, could be priced as low as Rs 3,500. 

Three months after the Narendra Modi Stadium was inaugurated in Ahmedabad, the city has taken on an ambitious proposition — inviting proposals from consultants to assess venues and infrastructure to host the Olympic Games. How likely is it for the Olympics to take place in India in the near future, you ask? Well, with no slot in sight for at least 15 years, it’s a long shot. 

Two years have passed since the RBI’s Central Board cleared the creation of a specialised supervisory and regulatory cadre (SSRC) for effective monitoring of the banking and financial entities and the proposal is yet to take off despite assurances given to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

How did Punjab manage to climb to the very top of the Education Ministry’s latest school ranking index, less than four years after it ranked 13th? According to the government, all it took was an aggressive push to improve infrastructure, efficient and regular virtual classes, coupled with a system to ensure all schools had adequate teaching staff. 

And Finally 

IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru — for the fifth year running, these were the only Indian higher education institutions placed among the world’s top 200, according to the latest edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (WUR).

Delhi Confidential: With covid cases starting to dip in Delhi there are some signs of some activity restarting in the Parliament building. For one, two nominated members — Swapan Dasgupta and Mahesh Jethmalani — and newly-elected Rajya Sabha MPs from Kerala John Brittas and V Sivadasan took oath on Tuesday. 

In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we look at the latest Consumer Confidence survey conducted by the RBI, the  tussle between the Centre and Whatsapp, and why the Madhya Pradesh government got a notice from the High Court regarding incidents of communal violence. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose 

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