India may get covid-19 vaccine by March 2021: SII official

News Network
October 17, 2020

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India may get a Covid-19 vaccine as early as March since several manufacturers are working on it, according to Dr Suresh Jadhav, executive director of Serum Institute of India. The institute is working with Oxford University and AstraZeneca to develop a Covid-19 vaccine in India.

Dr Jadhav said that provided regulators approve the vaccine candidates, India is moving fast towards having a vaccine for Covid-19. He said two manufacturers are already in phase-III trial and one in phase-II trial and more are joining, all indicating positive developments in the global race for a vaccine.

The spread of the novel coronavirus in India has quickened in the last few days with new cases of Covid-19 and deaths reported every day. The pandemic has expanded its footprint in the country and has affected over 74 lakh people since the first positive case was confirmed on January 30 in Kerala. India's Covid-19 death toll stands at 1,12,910.

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News Network
September 19,2022

The Adani group of firms' overall market capitalisation on the BSE at over ₹ 22 lakh crore makes it the most valued in India, overtaking the Tata-led conglomerate.

Based on Friday's close, the market valuation of all BSE listed stocks of Adani Group, totalling nine firms, including the recently acquired Ambuja cement and ACC LTD, stood at over ₹ 22 lakh crore, surpassing 27 of Tata Group of firms listed with a market capitalisation (market cap) of more than ₹ 20 lakh crore.

Mukesh Ambani's group of nine companies stood third on the list with a market capitalisation of more than ₹ 17 lakh crore.

That reflects a broader run-up in Adani stock, which pushed Gautam Adani to become the third richest in the world on the Forbes list of billionaires, overtaking Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and behind Elon Musk and Louis Vitton's Bernard Arnault.

While Mr Adani, with a net valuation of  $154.7 billion currently, briefly surpassed Louis Vitton's Bernard Arnault, a bloodbath in domestic stocks on Friday pushed him back to No. 3 on the Real-Time Billionaires List compiled by Forbes.

That is largely driven by the wealth erosion of American billionaires from the recent market crash on expectations for a very aggressive Federal Reserve after a red-hot inflation reading.

Still, Elon Musk remains the richest person, with a net worth of $273.5 billion.

Gautam Adani's rise in wealth is also more a measure of a jump in the valuation of stocks rather than the result of a rise in fundamentals, such as earnings and growth, with many of the entities' shares controlled by him rising sharply.

Still, Gautam Adani's ascent, by about any measure, has been nothing short of remarkable.

First, he became the richest person in Asia. Then his net worth surpassed those of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Now he's fast approaching a level of wealth only rivalled by Louis Vitton's Bernard Arnault and Elon Musk.

The market valuation of the Adani Group of firms is more spread across entities, while one or two large entities form the majority of Tatas and Reliance's market cap.

The Adani Group, which consists of seven publicly listed companies in the infrastructure, mining, energy, and other industries, is led by Mr Adani, a first-generation entrepreneur.

A rapid diversification spree has pushed his vast, largely fossil-fuel driven conglomerate into a raft of new sectors in and outside of India, and Mr Adani is seeking to reinvent himself for the global stage.

Adani Enterprises has made significant investments in emerging industries over the past five years, including airports, cement, copper refining, data centres, green hydrogen, petrochemical refining, roadways, and solar cell production.

Adani group became the second-largest cement maker in the country after completing its acquisition of Ambuja Cements and ACC on Friday. The group had no cement-making operations previously but had said the firms were a good fit given its ports and logistics, energy and real estate businesses.

Adani Group has big intentions to expand its green hydrogen and airport operations and enter the telecom industry. It has also pledged to invest $70 billion in infrastructure for renewable energy.

A separate report showed Adani Wilmar is scouting for local and overseas acquisition targets as Asia's richest man doubles down on boosting his empire's food operations.

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News Network
September 22,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 22: After a marathon hearing over a period of 10 days, the Supreme Court today reserved its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court's judgment which upheld the ban on wearing hijab by Muslim students in educational institutions.

A bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia heard Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi and Addl Solicitor General KM Nataraj for the State. Senior Advocates R Venkataramani, Dama Seshadri Naidu and V Mohana appeared for college teachers. The Petitioners' side had concluded its arguments on Tuesday.

Making rejoinder submissions in the matter today, Senior Advocates Dushyant Dave and Huzefa Ahmadi today submitted that the arguments of Solicitor General regarding involvement of Popular Front of India are wholly irrelevant and are made to cause prejudice. They argued that no material has been shown on record regarding this.

The Petitioners argued that unlike triple talaq and cow sacrifice, Hijab is mentioned in Quran and it is the farz of Muslim women to retain the same. Further, it was contended that in absence of State showing that hijab affects the fundamental rights of others, any restriction on wearing the same affects the freedom of conscience and "behavioural privacy" of Muslim women. It also hampers their education prospects, it was argued.

Allegations about PFI conspiracy false: Dave

The Solicitor General had alleged that till the year 2021, no girl student was wearing any hijab. However, an agitation was started by the Popular Front of India to create 'social unrest' and that the students were made part of this conspiracy.

Dave said he "regrets" such allegations have been imputed sans any pleadings in that regard.

He took the bench through the impugned circular of the Karnataka government, to point out that there is no mention of any PFI activity and rather, the circular cites observance of religious practices as a "hindrance" to unity and equality.

Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi also submitted that argument of PFI was not raised before High Court. "They can't rely on documents not on record. It is an argument introduced to create a prejudice." 

Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat said that though State made a "grandiose statement" that till 2021 nobody wore hijab, there is no pleading to that context.

Justice Gupta agreed that in one of the writ petitions, there is a mention that the Petitioner was wearing hijab. "And there is no counter-affidavit controverting this fact," Kamat added.

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News Network
September 26,2022

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Former Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad announced his new political party ' Democratic Azad Party' on Monday and also released his party flag. The development comes a month after the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister broke ties with the Congress.

Addressing a press conference, he said, "I wish to express my gratitude to the local and national media. We will have independent thinking and ideology and it will be a democratic party."

"Around 1,500 names for my new party were sent to us, in Urdu, Sanskrit. The mix of Hindi & Urdu is 'Hindustani'. We want the name to be democratic, peaceful and independent," Azad said in Jammu.

Ghulam Nabi Azad held a press conference today to unveil his new political outfit. On Sunday, he held meetings with his workers and leaders. Our politics won't be based on caste or religion."

He said, "We haven't consulted any other party for floating a new party. My party's will have Gandhiji's ideology.

Earlier, Azad, in his first public meeting in Jammu after quitting Congress, had announced to launch of his own political outfit that will focus on the restoration of full statehood.

Azad, 73, quit Congress on August 26, terming the party "comprehensively destroyed". He also lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for "demolishing" the party's entire consultative mechanism.

In his resignation letter to Sonia Gandhi, he had targeted the party leadership, particularly Rahul Gandhi, over the way the party has been run in the past nearly nine years.

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