HIGHLIGHTS AT 9.45 PM

·9-min read

New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) These are the top stories at 9.45 PM: Following are the stories related to the first anniversary of the national lockdown: DEL21 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-UNEMPLOYMENT One year since COVID-19 lockdown: India still recovering from unemployment blow New Delhi: India is still not out of the woods as far as unemployment is concerned after a year when the lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of deadly COVID-19 on March 25 last year as pandemic-induced job loss has not tapered off consistently.

DEL34 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-ELECTIONS In shadow of a pandemic: After Bihar, EC set for polls in four states and one UT New Delhi: Beating Covid fears, the Election Commission held assembly polls in Bihar, one of India's most populous states, late last year and is now gearing up for a massive electoral exercise in four states and a union territory.

DEL37 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-MHA 'Janata curfew' to vaccination: India's year-long fight against COVID-19 New Delhi: It has been a year since India's 1.3 billion people responded positively to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'janata curfew' to break the chain of novel coronavirus, which had then started to spread in some parts of the country.

DEL23 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-MENTAL HEALTH Panic to paranoia: One year on, mental health crisis still unfolding across India New Delhi: One year ago, Indians locked down in their homes as COVID-19 tightened its grip over the country. When they emerged months later, tentative and timorous, the world many knew had changed, perhaps forever, leaving them grappling with a spectrum of mental health issues ranging from depression to paranoia.

DEL25 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-ONLINE EDUCATION A year of online classes, exams: COVID-19 prompts shift to 'new normal' in teaching & learning New Delhi: A year of learning in 'smartphone class rooms' and appearing for 'WhatsApp exams', virtual campus tours to Zoom placement drives and ultimately massive increase in 'screen time', the last academic session will go down in history as beginning of the 'new normal' prompted by coronavirus-induced lockdown. By Gunjan Sharma DEL19 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-RAILWAYS Corona conundrum: Railways registers 70 pc loss in passenger earnings; sees profit in freight New Delhi: The Railways suffered a loss of Rs 38,017 crore in the passenger segment in the last fiscal due to the coronavirus crisis, but some of what it lost was compensated by the goodwill it earned by running Shramik Special trains, ferrying essentials and through innovation in freight movement which helped surpass last years' revenues. By Ananya Sengupta NATION CAL14 WB-POLL-LD MODI No Indian is outsider in Bengal, BJP CM will be son of soil: Modi Kanthi (WB): Bengal has brought together the nation through 'Vande Mataram', and on this land, CM Mamata Banerjee was terming people 'bohiragoto' (outsider), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, announcing that if voted to power, a son of the soil will be made the BJP chief minister of the state.

DEL79 LDALL VIRUS India detects new 'double mutant' COVID-19 variant; records highest ever 1-day spike in cases and deaths this year New Delhi: India has detected a new 'double mutant' COVID-19 variant' in states like Maharashtra and Delhi as it recorded the highest ever one-day spike in cases and deaths from the disease this year with the Centre on Wednesday saying the surge in Maharashtra and Punjab is of 'grave concern'.

DEL30 VIRUS-FESTIVALS-RESTRICTIONS COVID: Centre asks states to restrict public observance of festivals, limit or stop gatherings New Delhi: Amid a spike in COVID-19 infections in some parts of the country, the Centre on Wednesday asked states and union territories to consider imposing local restrictions in public observance of the upcoming festivals and limit or do away with mass gatherings for effective control of the pandemic. DEL67 VIRUS-COVISHIELD-ADVERSE EVENTS Centre allays concerns on Covishield; says both COVID-19 vaccines in India effective against UK and Brazilian variants New Delhi: Covishield is safe and there is 'no signal of concern' regarding it as of now, the Centre asserted on Wednesday amid reports of possible side-effects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and its suspension in some European countries.

DEL9 BIZ-PETROL-PRICE-CUT Petrol price cut by 18 paise, diesel by 17 paise New Delhi: In the first reduction in rates in over a year, petrol price on Wednesday was cut by 18 paise per litre and diesel by 17 paise a litre as international oil prices tumbled to the lowest since early February.

PAR9 RS-LD PETROL-GST-SUSHIL Not possible to bring petrol, diesel in GST regime even for next 8-10 yrs: Sushil Modi New Delhi: Bringing petrol and diesel under the GST regime is not possible for the next 8-10 years as no state is ready to face the annual revenue loss of over Rs 2 lakh crore on this account, BJP member Sushil Kumar Modi said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

CAL23 WB-MAMATA-2ND LD RALLY People sent from other states to foment trouble in Bengal before polls outsiders: Mamata Bishnupur/Onda/Bankura: With 'insider-outsider' narrative dominating polls in Bengal, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said her party consider only those 'pan masala-chewing,tilak-sporting' people sent from states like Uttar Pradesh 'to foment trouble' before elections in West Bengal as outsider goons.

PAR31 RS-ADJOURN Rajya Sabha adjourned twice after uproar over GNCTD (Amendment) Bill New Delhi: Rajya Sabha proceedings witnessed two brief, back-to-back adjournments as opposition members trooped in the well of the House raising slogans to protest against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

BOM12 MH-COURT-WAZE-UAPA Ambani security scare: NIA invokes UAPA against Sachin Waze Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday said it has invoked provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the Antilia explosives scare case in which suspended police officer Sachin Waze is an accused. BUSINESS PAR35 RS-LD FM-FINANCE BILL Parliament nod to Budget for FY22; FM says no risk of India's rating downgrade New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said there is no risk of India's sovereign rating being downgraded as a result of higher deficits, as the Rajya Sabha returned the Finance Bill 2021 without suggesting any change to complete the Parliamentary approval for Budget 2021-22.

DEL60 BIZ-CCI-WHATSAPP CCI terms WhatsApp's conduct on updated privacy policy as 'exploitative and exclusionary', directs detailed probe New Delhi: Fair trade regulator CCI on Wednesday directed its investigation arm to conduct a probe into WhatsApp's updated privacy policy and terms of service on prima facie finding that the firm has contravened competition law provisions through its 'exploitative and exclusionary conduct' in the garb of the policy update.

LEGAL DEL52 2NDLD CJI CJI Bobde recommends name of Justice NV Ramana as his successor New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde has recommended senior-most Supreme Court judge Justice N V Ramana as his successor in keeping with convention and norms of seniority, according to sources on Wednesday.

LGD17 SC-AP CM COMPLAINT SC dismisses complaint of Andhra Pradesh CM against sitting top court judge New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday said it has dismissed the complaint of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy against a senior top court judge after giving it 'due consideration'.

LGD28 SC-3RDLD PARAM BIR Plea against Deshmukh: Matter “quite serious”, says SC; asks Param Bir to approach HC New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday termed as “quite serious” the matter in which former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh has filed a plea against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, but asked the IPS officer to approach the Bombay High Court with his grievances.

FOREIGN FGN39 BANGLA-INDIA Connectivity, commerce to figure prominently during Hasina-Modi summit Dhaka: Connectivity and commerce along with water management, security and border management will figure prominently during the summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina here this week, a media report said on Wednesday.

FGN8US-ADMIRAL-INDIA-CHINA Mistrust between China, India at all-time high, says US admiral Washington: While the US-India military relationship is at its best level in years, the mistrust between China and India is at an all-time high, a top US admiral has said and alleged that Beijing's lack of transparency and duplicitous actions in the Indian Ocean region threaten stability and security there. By Lalit K Jha FGN7 US-EMPLOYMENT AUTHORISATION-LAWSUIT Lawsuit filed against delay in processing of EADs for spouses of H1B and L1 visas Washington: A top American association of immigration lawyers has filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security for extraordinary delays in processing employment authorisation documents (EADs) of spouses of foreign workers in the country on H-1B and L1 visas, a significantly large number of whom are technology professionals from India. By Lalit K Jha FGN37 LANKA-UNHRC UN begins monitoring Sri Lanka after adverse resolution at rights body: Report Colombo: The critical resolution against Sri Lanka's human rights policies which was adopted by the UNHRC will take immediate effect with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights beginning the process to closely monitor the country, according to a media report on Wednesday.

FGN21 UN-INDIA-AFGHAN-VACCINE India's donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan lauded United Nations: India's donation of COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan has been lauded by top UN officials and diplomats from Kabul, as the war-torn country undertakes a vaccination campaign to combat the deadly virus. By Yoshita Singh FGN14 US-SENATE-MURTHY Senate confirms Dr Vivek Murthy as US Surgeon General Washington: Indian-American physician Vivek Murthy has been confirmed by the Senate as President Joe Biden's surgeon general, a role in which his top priority would be responding to the coronavirus pandemic that has severely hit the country. By Lalit K Jha SPORTS SPD27 SPO-SHOOT-WC-IND-WRAP India sweep women's 25m pistol after Tomar's historic gold New Delhi: A dominant India swept the women's 25m pistol event with Chinky Yadav winning gold after Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar's historic top finish in the men's 50m rifle 3 positions final of the ISSF World Cup here on Wednesday. PTI HDA