Highlights

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9 pm: NATION: DEL30 2NDLD PM World's biggest COVID-19 vaccination programme set to begin in India: PM New Delhi: The world's biggest inoculation drive against coronavirus is set to begin in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, a day after India's drugs regulator approved two vaccines for restricted emergency use.

DEL71 PM-RESEARCH PM calls for cross-utilisation of research, institutionalisation of innovation New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for cross-utilisation of research and innovation so that the works of scientists can be used in various fields.

DEL14 VIRUS-2NDLD CASES India records 16,504 new COVID-19 cases, positivity rate dips to 5.89 per cent New Delhi: Daily new COVID-19 cases in the country remained below 20,000 for the third consecutive day taking the virus caseload to 1,03,40,469, while higher testing has led to further decline in the cumulative positivity rate to 5.89 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

DEL76 TL-VACCINE-LD BHARAT BIOTECH Bharat Biotech hits outs at critics, says carried out '200 pc honest' trials of corona vaccine Hyderabad: Amid questions raised by industry experts and opposition parties on the emergency approval to its coronavirus vaccine without publication of efficacy data, Bharat Biotech's chairman on Monday hit out at critics saying his firm had carried out '200 per cent honest clinical trials'.

DEL69 FARMERS-4THLD MEETING Govt-farmers talks inconclusive as unions firm in seeking repeal of laws; Next meeting on Jan 8 New Delhi: The seventh round of talks between protesting unions and three central ministers ended inconclusively on Monday as farmer groups stuck to their demand for the repeal of three farm laws, while the government listed out various benefits of the new Acts for the growth of the country's agriculture sector.

DEL55 BJP-VACCINE-OPPOSITION Targeting Opposition, BJP says political row over indigenous vaccine helping 'foreign forces' New Delhi: The BJP on Monday accused some opposition parties, including the Congress, of helping 'foreign forces' with their criticism of the approval process for the indigenous COVID-19 vaccine, alleging that they do not want India to be self-reliant, a centrepiece project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. DEL83 ITX-LD VADRA I-T dept questions Robert Vadra in benami assets case probe New Delhi: The Income Tax department on Monday questioned Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in connection with its probe against him under the benami assets law, official sources said.

DEL70 UP-CONVERSION-CIVIL SERVANTS UP anti-conversion law applies to all, safeguards women's dignity: Former IAS, IPS, judges, veterans New Delhi: Defending the anti-conversion law enacted by the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh, a group of former judges, civil servants and veterans on Monday hit out at its critics, saying they seem to have 'usurped' the constitutional power of judicial review to put every law of the land to the 'test of their own whims'.

DEL79 IMD-TEMPERATURE 2020 was 8th warmest year since 1901: IMD New Delhi: The year 2020 was the eight warmest since 1901 but it was 'substantially lower' than the highest warming observed in 2016, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday.

LEGAL LGD1 SC-MLAS-GOA Goa Congress leader seeks SC direction to Speaker to decide disqualification plea against MLAs New Delhi: A Congress leader from Goa Monday urged the Supreme Court to direct the state's Assembly Speaker to decide his plea seeking disqualification of 10 MLAs of his party who had joined BJP in July, 2019. LGD4 DL-COURT-AKBAR #MeToo: Ramani called me predator without any basis, Akbar tells court New Delhi: Former union minister M J Akbar on Monday told a court here that journalist Priya Ramani called him 'media's biggest sexual predator' without any investigation or basis. LGD12 SC-PROTEST-LETTER Farmers' protest: 35 Panjab University students write to CJI, seek probe into police atrocities New Delhi: Thirty-five students of Panjab University have written to Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde and other judges of the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry into alleged police atrocities on the farmers protesting at Delhi borders against the three farm laws. LGD3 DL-HC-PREGNANCY TERMINATION HC allows termination of 25-week pregnancy as foetus unlikely to survive with abnormalities New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday granted permission to a woman for medical termination of her 25-week pregnancy as survival of the foetus, suffering from serious abnormalities, is unlikely.

FOREIGN: FGN24 US-INDIA-TRADE India-US trade ties hit by tariff policies under Trump administration: US Congress report Washington: Under the Trump administration, US-India tensions have increased over each side's tariff policies, a Congressional report has said, noting that the two sides have also held concerted negotiations to address these trade frictions. By Lalit K Jha FGN40 US-INDIA-S400 India's S-400 deal with Russia may trigger US sanctions: Congressional report Washington: India's multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defence system may trigger US sanctions on New Delhi, a US Congressional report has warned. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS