DailyOh! When will India approve vaccine, to when will govt-farmer deadlock end

A top panel in India is meeting over approval to Covishield after UK approved the vaccine.

 |  5-minute read |   30-12-2020
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If you are in the UK wanting to come back to India, you can’t till January 7, 2021. The new viral strain of coronavirus is going hugely viral in the country. But there was never a better time to fly to the UK - if your budget permits that is - because Britain has and has put to use what India hasn’t put to use – the vaccine.

The Oxford-Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine, Covishield, has got a green signal for use from the Boris Johnson government. A top panel on vaccines in India met today after the UK approved Covishield, to discuss whether India too should go the UK way, even if going to the UK is not advisable.

coronavirus-vaccine-_123020045012.jpgThe UK government has approved Covishield. (Photo: Reuters)

Approvals come from authorities but where does the word approval come from? Latin approbare. Originally, approbare meant to ‘prove, demonstrate’ but was later used for ‘corroborate or confirm’. In Middle English, the word came to mean ‘pronounce to be satisfactory’. Authorities approve something when they find it satisfactory. But if you don’t care about someone’s approval, the Word Of The Day, their authority over you doesn’t exist. Does it? So, don’t worry about people’s approval for what you do until what you are doing is lawful. Because law is an authority by law with or without your approval.

So, Covishield is awaiting approval in India. Remember, PM Narendra Modi has said India will not hurry through the process, even if the virus is coming up with variants that are hurriedly hopping from one body to the other. If you are in hurry to get the vaccine, go to the UK though you may not be eligible to get the vaccine just because you have landed. So, you still have reasons to postpone your plans to go to the UK.

For what reason are Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in Ranthambore? To see a few tigers maybe. Speculation over their plans to get engaged were put to rest by Ranbir's uncle, Randhir Kapoor, who said if there was an engagement, he would have gone too, much like other family members and friends who have accompanied the couple on the trip. Why doesn’t Randhir want to see tigers? Perhaps because he wants to see lions, or maybe because he wants to see some TV at home. Who knows? Only Randhir.

aliab_123020045917.jpgRanbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are in Ranthambore (Photo: Twitter)

What we know is that tiger sighting is based on your luck. Your luck is enhanced during winters because tigers prefer to take a stroll or just sit and soak under the sun. So, plan accordingly.

Farmers are sitting in the cold, before, during, and after sundown, because they say the government’s plan is to allow corporates to exploit them. Today, the farmer unions met the government. The government has reportedly told the unions that the farm laws won't be taken back and that the farmers should take back their protests if they want the government to consider their demand for MSP in writing.

farmers-1_123020044755.jpgThe government has reportedly told farmers that the farm laws will not be withdrawn. (Photo: ANI)

The temperature in Delhi-NCR last night plummeted to 3.6 degrees Celsius but the cold felt like 2 degrees Celsius because of the strong, chilly winds, weather scientists said. So, there is a temperature that is and then there is a ‘feels like’ temperature. Forget temperature, let’s talk farmers. Delhi government has announced it will be creating hotspots not with heaters, or blowers, or bonfires, but with WiFi. The Delhi government has announced free WiFi hotspots at the Singhu border where the farmers are protesting.

Snapping internet connection is a modern way of throttling protests because internet is not ancient. We have seen this plan work well in Kashmir. But one of the most effective internet snappings happened in Iran last year. On November 15, 2019, the Iranian government announced it will be increasing fuel price by 50%. So, next day Iranians came out on the streets. The protests started to grow and to stop it from growing further, the government shut down internet for the entire country. How do you do that? Imagine if someone shuts down your WiFi, you have mobile internet, and then you have your dongle.

So when the government began shutting down, it was faced with a major problem. They would take down a portion of the network and then the network would automatically reroute around that dead portion to keep providing service. The classic whack-a-mole model. To fix the entire thing, the Iranian government then had to coordinate with internet service providers, telecoms, and infrastructure providers all at the same time to enforce a total internet shutdown. When you shut down internet, you make people angrier. Also, it can lead to more people turning out on the streets because if no information is coming to you, you might step out to get to where the information is. Iran finally lifted the internet ban after five days.

Let’s come back to India, which is going global. The Cabinet has approved export of the indigenous Akash missile system. What can Akash do? Target fighter jets, cruise missiles, drones and other assets in akash. Also, a committee has been approved to give clearance for Akash exports. Nothing about missiles should be slow, including their export approvals.

If you do not want to hurry through things and sit in your blanket with a book, we recommend Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara and join three school kids in the search for their missing classmate, from the warmth of your warm bed.

You may choose to stay in bed even though the New Year Eve has arrived because the Centre has recommended stricter curbs on December 31. Remember, 20 people in the country have been tested for positive for the new strain of coronavirus. So far, that is. Since it is highly infectious, it is possible many more people are infected with the new strain. Avoid all people to ensure you do not come in contact with the infected people.

Stay in. Stay safe.

We will see you tomorrow.

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Also Read: Stories of hope, courage and individual triumph of 45 national icons


Vandana Vandana @vsinghhere

Author is the former Assistant Editor, DailyO.

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