India in 2 minutes

Serum Institute told to prioritise domestic needs

Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's biggest vaccine maker by volume, on Sunday asked for patience from foreign governments awaiting their supply of Covid-19 shots, saying it had been directed to prioritise India's requirements.

"I humbly request you to please be patient," SII chief executive Adar Poonawalla said in a tweet, adding the company "has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world". "We are trying our best," Mr Poonawalla said.

'Cow science' exam put off amid controversy over syllabus A nationwide examination on "cow science" has been postponed indefinitely after widespread criticism over the propagation of unscientific claims about the animal.

The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog or National Cow Commission was to organise the online exam on Thursday.

First woman to be hanged in independent India

The Mathura district jail in western Uttar Pradesh is preparing for the possibility that Shabnam, a teacher convicted of murdering her family in 2008, may be ordered to be hanged soon. If the death sentence is carried out by jail officials, she could be the first woman convict to be hanged in India after Independence.

Activist Disha walks out of jail

Ms Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate change activist charged with sedition after being arrested on Feb 13 in connection with a "toolkit" relating to the farmers' protest, walked out of Delhi's Tihar Jail on Tuesday, soon after she was granted bail.

Earlier on Tuesday, Additional Sessions Court Judge Dharmendra Rana said there was "scanty and sketchy evidence" against Ms Ravi and that "I do not find any palpable reason to breach rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who has absolutely no criminal antecedent".

Air India denies shooter Bhaker's allegations

Air India has denied allegations that its staff misbehaved and sought bribes from shooter Manu Bhaker, who was travelling from Delhi to Bhopal last Friday.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist claimed that, despite having valid documents, she was asked to pay Rs10,200 ($186) for carrying weapons needed for training.

Air India said she was asked to pay the carriage fee as she did not produce the exemption document.

Narrow escape for leaders as elevator drops 3m

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath and a dozen other people escaped unhurt after an overcrowded elevator plunged 3m in an Indore hospital and its doors got jammed on Sunday.

A hospital spokesman said the lift was overcrowded. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered a probe into the incident.

India, China 'complete disengagement' of troops The Indian said government said on Sunday that its troops, along with their Chinese counterparts, had completed a pullback from a disputed part of their Himalayan border after months of heightened tensions.

India's defence ministry said in a joint statement with Beijing that, during the 10th round of talks on Saturday, "the two sides positively appraised the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area".

DBS faces lawsuits in India after takeover of Lakshmi Vilas Bank

Singapore lender DBS Group Holdings said it is facing lawsuits in India related to its recent takeover of a struggling local bank.

Holders of Lakshmi Vilas Bank's equity shares and Tier-II bonds, that were written off before the effective date of amalgamation, took legal actions against DBS's local unit in various high courts in India. The acquisition was completed on Nov 27 last year.

Driver suspended after couple pose with state chopper

A driver in the Chhattisgarh civil aviation department was suspended after photographs of a pre-wedding photo shoot featuring a couple posing with a state chopper went viral on social media on Monday.

The groom was a friend of driver Yogeshwar Sai, who arranged the photo shoot in the state hangar.

5 nabbed, 2 cops suspended after Chikkaballapur blast

A day after an "accidental explosion" in a quarry killed six people in Karnataka's Chikkaballapur, police arrested five people, including three partners of the mining firm, and suspended two police officers on Wednesday.

Superintendent of Police Mithun Kumar G.K. said Inspector Manjunath M.N. and sub-inspector G.R. Gopal Reddy had failed to act "in time" against the owners of Bhramaravasini Sanders for illegal blasting and storage of explosives.

New social media controls after Twitter face-off

Chafing from a dispute with Twitter, the Indian government is planning to oblige social media companies to erase contentious content fast and assist investigations, according to a draft regulation.

The Central government's planned "Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code" comes as various nations around the world try to assert tighter control over powerful tech firms.

Traders face 'absolute havoc' as bourse suffers four-hour outage India's largest bourse, National Stock Exchange, shut down for nearly four hours on Wednesday due to what it said was a telecom network glitch. But its operators drew fire from traders for a lack of transparency over the problem, which they said caused "absolute havoc".

"This was an unmitigated disaster because you need to communicate this proactively. Not one person in the market knew they would shut down the exchange," said Mr Varun Khandelwal, director at Bullero Capital, a New Delhi-based proprietary trading firm.

Navy sailor 'cooked up' his own kidnap-murder

Police in Palghar, Maharashtra, on Wednesday said the Indian Navy sailor who said he was kidnapped and burnt alive "concocted" the story as he was in heavy debt.

Sailor Surajkumar M. Dubey, 27, made the claims in his "dying declaration" which was recorded by the police before he succumbed to his injuries on Feb 5 in a naval hospital in Mumbai.

Palghar police said the sailor likely ended his own life.


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