HIGHLIGHTS AT 2100 HRS

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9 pm: TOP STORIES DEL13 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: India reports highest daily spike of over 1.26 lakh new cases New Delhi: India registered a record single-day spike of 1,26,789 new COVID-19 cases, pushing its infection tally to 1,29,28,574, while the number of active cases too went upwards to breach the nine lakh-mark again, Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday showed.

DEL72 VIRUS-PM-MEETING PM asks states to check laxity in containing COVID-19; calls for vaccine festival from Apr 11-14 New Delhi: Noting that administration was appearing lax in many states amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday urged chief ministers to strengthen their efforts for the next 2-3 weeks to check the spread of the virus on a 'war-footing'.

NATION DEL70 LD SINOINDIA Ahead of fresh military talks with China, India hopes for disengagement at remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh New Delhi: Ahead of another round of high-level military talks with China, India on Thursday said it would like to see disengagement at remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh that could lead to restoration of peace and tranquillity along the frontier and provide conditions for progress of overall bilateral ties.

DEL9 VACCINE-LD PM PM Modi takes second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the AIIMS here, and asked those eligible for the shot to take it soon to defeat the virus.

DEL15 VIRUS-VACCINATIONS COVID-19: India leads globally with average of more than 34 lakh doses given per day New Delhi: With an average of 34,30,502 anti-coronavirus doses being given per day, India has topped globally in terms of the number of jabs administered daily, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.

DEL63 VACCINES-VARDHAN-SHORTAGE 'Hue & cry' about Centre being partisan in vaccine allocation a 'farce': Vardhan New Delhi: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday dismissed as 'farce' the 'hue and cry' by certain states about partisanship by the Centre and called it an attempt to hide their own incompetence, saying non-BJP ruled Maharashtra and Rajasthan figured among the top three states based on allocation of vaccines.

DEL53 WHO-COVISHIELD-SHELF-LIFE WHO rejects SII's proposal seeking extension of Covishield's shelf life from 6 to 9 months New Delhi: The WHO has rejected Serum Institute of India's proposal seeking extension of the shelf life of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, from six to nine months, citing insufficient data, sources said. By Payal Banerjee DEL37 ED-WB-COAL-ABHISHEK ED links Mamata's nephew Abhishek to coal mining scam; alleges his family received funds New Delhi: The ED has alleged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee's family benefited from illicit funds obtained from certain illegal coal mining in the state under a 'deep system' of political patronage driven by a 'well-oiled' machinery.

DEL47 NAXAL-LD COMMANDO-RELEASE Bijapur ambush: Abducted CoBRA commando released by Naxals New Delhi/Raipur: A CoBRA commando abducted by Naxals after the Bijapur ambush in Chhattisgarh on April 3 was released on Thursday, official sources said.

DEL74 CBI-LD DESHMUKH Deshmukh bribery scandal: CBI questions Waze, Singh, Patil New Delhi: The CBI questioned former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh and suspended police officer Sachin Waze on Thursday in connection with its preliminary inquiry into allegations of corruption against former Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, officials said.

LEGAL LGD24 SC-3RDLD DESHMUKH SC rejects pleas of Maha Govt, Anil Deshmukh against CBI probe into graft allegations New Delhi: In a setback to Uddhav Thackeray-led-Maharashtra government and its former home minister Anil Deshmukh, the Supreme Court Thursday dismissed their pleas challenging the Bombay High Court order directing a CBI probe into allegations of corruption and misconduct levelled against him by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh.

FOREIGN FGN34 CHINA-INDIA-DISENGAGEMENT-LD TALKS China says India's proposal of restoring status quo of April 2020 in eastern Ladakh could be discussed Beijing: China on Thursday said that India's proposal for the restoration of the status quo of April 2020 at eastern Ladakh could be discussed at the next meetings between the two countries. By K J M Varma FGN26 BANGLA-LD NARAVANE Army chief Gen Naravane meets Bangladesh’s Navy, Air Force chiefs; holds defence talks Dhaka: Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane on Thursday met Bangladesh’s Air Force and Navy chiefs, and discussed issues of mutual interest and matters on bilateral defence cooperation. By Anisur Rahman BUSINESS DCM73 BIZ-INDIA-EU India open for stronger trade relations with EU: Thakur New Delhi: Union minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Thursday said India is open for stronger trade and investment with the European Union (EU).

SPORTS SPD17 SPO-SAILING-OLY-4THLD IND Vishnu, Ganapathy-Varun pair qualify for Olympics; unprecedented 4 Indian sailors to compete in Tokyo New Delhi: In a historic first for India, four sailors from the country will compete at this year's Olympics after Vishnu Saravanan and the pair of Ganapathy Chengappa and Varun Thakkar made the cut for Tokyo at the Asian Qualifiers in Oman on Thursday. PTI RC