News18 Afternoon Digest: New Virus Strain Found in 6 UK Returnees; K'taka Upper House Dy Chairman SL Dharme Gowda Dies by Suicide and Other Stories

·3-min read

New Virus Strain Found in India as 6 UK Returnees Test Positive for Britain Variant

The new strain of coronavirus has been found in India with samples of six UK returnees testing positive for the Britain variant -- three samples in Bengaluru's NIMHANS, two in Hyderabad's CCMB and one in Pune's NIV. In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said it has issued fresh guidelines for surveillance with regard to Covid-19 that will remain in force till January 31, as it asked the states and union territories to keep a strict vigil to prevent any rise in cases during the New Year celebrations and the winter season. READ MORE

SL Dharme Gowda, Karnataka Upper House Dy Chairman, Dies by Suicide; Body Found on Railway Track

In a shocking late night development, Karnataka Vidhana Parishad Deputy Chairman SL Dharme Gowda has allegedly died by suicide. The JDS legislator was found dead on a railway track near Chickmagalur, his home town in the hills of central Karnataka. Confirming the news to News18, top sources said that they are probing the case for more details. According to them, his dead body was found around 2am. READ MORE

Nitish Passes Baton to Trusted Lieutenant RCP Singh to 'Deal' with BJP or Explore New Vistas Before '24?

When Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had announced the nomination of his principal secretary, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, aka RCP Singh, an IAS officer, as a Rajya Sabha member in 2010, it came as a surprise to many Janata Dal (United) leaders. After nearly a decade, Nitish again sprung a surprise on Sunday when he declared to quit the post of the JD(U) national president and appointed RCP Singh in his place at the two-day national executive meeting of the party. The passing of the baton from Nitish Kumar to RCP Singh was as smooth as Singh’s entry into politics with a Rajya Sabha nomination about a decade ago. READ MORE

At 16k, India Sees Lowest New Covid-19 Cases in 6 Months, 252 People Succumb to the Disease

The daily new coronavirus infections in India dipped below 20,000 for the third time this month taking the COVID-19 caseload to1,02,24,303, while the recoveries crossed 98 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. A total of 16,432 new infections were reported in a span of 24 hours, the lowest in little over six months, while the death toll increased to 1,48,153 with 252 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98,07,569 pushing the national recovery rate to95.92 per cent, while theCOVID-19casefatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent. READ MORE

Akshay Kumar to Charge Rs 135 Crore Per Film in 2022: Report

At a time when most A-list actors prefer to do one film a year, Akshay Kumar has constantly been belting out three to four movies a year. Admired for his savvy career choices and status as a box-office magnet, he is the most in-demand Bollywood actor working right now. Now the actor has spiked his fees from 100 crores per film to 135 crores. The report suggests that film producers are willing to get Akshay Kumar on board, owing to his massive popularity and assurance of a maximum revenue at the box office. READ MORE

It's 2020 And a 'Brahmin Cricket Tournament' in Hyderabad Proves Casteism is Still Real

In 1950, Independent India's Constitution banned discrimination on the basis of caste, and in an attempt to correct historical injustices and provide a level playing field to the traditionally disadvantaged, the authorities announced quotas in government jobs and educational institutions for scheduled castes and tribes. If you still live in this country, or are part of its diaspora, you will know that the caste system still lives on as a social construct, even if it has been 'abolished' institutionally. READ MORE