Highlights

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9 pm: NATION DEL69 BIZ-LDALL RBI RBI keeps interest rates on hold; to continue support for eco revival Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday kept interest rates on hold for the fourth time in a row but vowed to support growth as long it is needed even as it began withdrawing some pandemic-era policies.

PAR19 RS-LD MOTION Govt strongly defends farm laws in Rajya Sabha, Opposition demands fresh ones after consultations New Delhi: The government on Friday strongly defended the farm laws in Rajya Sabha and said its offer to amend them should not be viewed as if they had any flaws, even as the Opposition demanded that the legislations be repealed and fresh ones brought after consultations.

PAR18 LS-LD FARMERS Lok Sabha proceedings hit for fourth consecutive day as Oppn protest against farm laws continues New Delhi: Lok Sabha proceedings were a virtual washout on Friday as relentless protest by Opposition members against the Centre's three farm laws continued for the fourth consecutive day, even as signs emerged that normal functioning could resume from Monday.

MDS8 AEROINDIA-RAJNATH Self-reliance in defence equipment manufacturing crucial for maintaining India's strategic autonomy: Rajnath Singh Bengaluru: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said attaining self-reliance in manufacturing of defence equipment is a crucial factor for maintaining India's strategic autonomy.

DEL24 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India records 12,408 new cases, 120 fresh fatalities New Delhi: India's COVID-19 tally of cases went past 1.08 crore with 12,408 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, while the recoveries surged to 1,04,96,308, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

DEL26 BIZ-PFIZER-VACCINE COVID-19 vaccine: Pfizer withdraws Emergency Use Authorisation application in India New Delhi: Pharma major Pfizer on Friday said it has decided to withdraw its application for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine in India.

DEL70 DL-FARMERS-CHAKKA JAM No 'chakka jam' in Delhi says farmers' body, asks protestors to be peaceful during highway blockade New Delhi: The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the farmer unions protesting the three farm laws, on Friday said there would be no 'chakka jam' in Delhi on February 6 even as it asserted that peasants in other parts of the country will block national and state highways for three hours but in a peaceful way.

DEL51 BUD-JAYANT SINHA 2021-22 Budget 'booster rocket' for economy, will make this decade 'Roaring 20s' for India: Sinha New Delhi: Describing the 2021-22 Budget a 'booster rocket' for the economy, BJP leader Jayant Sinha on Friday said it will place India on the path of non-inflationary growth and make this decade 'Roaring 20s' for the country.

DEL73 PERSONNEL-LATERAL-ENTRY Centre decides to induct more private sector specialists as JS, Directors in govt departments New Delhi: In a major move, the Centre has decided to induct more private sector specialists into different government departments at the crucial decision-making level of Joint Secretaries and Directors.

LEGAL LGD21 SC-LD CIVIL SERVICE Centre agrees in SC to give one extra chance to civil services aspirants with certain conditions New Delhi: The Centre Friday told the Supreme Court that it is agreeable to give an extra chance as a one-time relaxation to UPSC civil service aspirants, who had appeared in their last attempt in the 2020 exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic and are otherwise not age-barred. LGD23 SC-LD COMEDIAN SC grants interim bail to comedian Munawar Faruqui in case lodged in MP New Delhi: In a relief to comedian Munawar Faruqui, arrested in a case for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by passing objectionable remarks about Hindu deities during a show, the Supreme Court on Friday released him on an interim bail.

LGD14 DL-HC-SURVEILLANCE No blanket permission given for surveillance under NETRA, NATGRID: Centre to HC New Delhi: The Central government On Friday told the Delhi High Court that no blanket permission has been granted to any agency for interception or monitoring or decryption of any messages or information under the surveillance programmes like the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS), Network Traffic Analysis (NETRA) and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID). FOREIGN FGN18 UN-INDIA-MYANMAR-COUP India engaged constructively to ensure UNSC’s statement on Myanmar was not ‘condemnatory’ United Nations: India engaged constructively and acted as an 'important bridge' during deliberations over the UN Security Council’s statement on the situation in Myanmar, ensuring it strongly underlined the importance of the democratic process and transition while not being 'condemnatory' in nature, sources said. By Yoshita Singh FGN10 US-MUMBAI-RANA-EXTRADITION Mumbai attack accused Tahawwur Rana opposes extradition to India Washington: Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, a key accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, has opposed his extradition to India, arguing that he has previously been acquitted of the offences for which his extradition is sought. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS