Here are the top 5 news updates of June 16, 2021:
1. Twitter failed to comply with IT rules, deliberately chose path of non-compliance: Ravi Shankar Prasad
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said Twitter failed to comply with intermediary guidelines and has "deliberately" chosen the path of non-compliance despite being granted multiple opportunities. Lashing out at the micro-blogging platform over non-compliance, Prasad said that it is "astounding" that Twitter that portrays itself as the flag bearer of free speech, chooses the path of deliberate defiance when it comes to the Intermediary Guidelines. Prasad asserted that Twitter was given multiple opportunities to comply with the rules, but deliberately chose the path of non-compliance.
The Union Health Ministry today said that newborn calf serum is not an ingredient of the final Covaxin vaccine by Bharat Biotech. The ministry in a statement said that facts have been "twisted and misrepresented" in some social media posts which suggested that indigenously developed Covaxin contains newborn calf serum. Newborn calf serum is used only for the preparation and growth of vero cells and that serum from bovine and other animal are standard enrichment ingredient used globally for vero cell growth, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoFHW) said.
3. Covishield vaccine: India will revisit dosage interval based on emerging data, says NTAGI chairman
India will revisit the dosage interval for Covishield vaccine and take appropriate action based on emerging data, N K Arora, chairperson of the working group of immunisation advisory body NTAGI, said. Describing the Covid and vaccination situation as "very dynamic", he said in a statement that the emerging evidence and reports regarding efficacy of partial versus full immunisation are also under consideration. On the decision to increase the gap between two doses of Covishield from four-six weeks to 12-16 weeks, he said the move was based on scientific decision and there was no dissenting voice among the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) members.
The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to scrutinise the role that local Congress MLA Zeeshan Siddique and actor Sonu Sood played in procurement and supply of anti-COVID drugs to citizens, following their SOS calls and appeals on social media. The high court also observed that "these people (celebrities) projected themselves as some kind of messiahs without verifying if the drugs were spurious or if the supply was legal". A bench of Justices S P Deshmukh and G S Kulkarni issued the direction to the Maharashtra government after state Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told the HC that it had registered a criminal case at the Mazgaon metropolitan court against a charitable trust, BDR Foundation, and its trustees for supplying anti-COVID drug Remdesivir to Siddique even though the trust did not have requisite licence.
Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty retreated from record high levels today following intense selling in Reliance and HDFC twins as investors turned cautious ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting. The 30-share BSE index ended 271.07 points or 0.51 per cent lower at 52,501.98. It had closed at an all-time high of 52,773.05 on Tuesday. The broader NSE Nifty retreated from a record and declined 101.70 points or 0.64 per cent to 15,767.55. PowerGrid was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, Reliance, L&T, UltraTech Cement and Bajaj Finance.
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