Below the line

| Updated on January 17, 2021

A traditional welcome!

Last week, most States were in a celebratory mood when they welcomed the much-awaited Covid-19 vaccine batches. Garlands, kumkum, akshat, diya and shrifal accompanied by beats of drums marked a Hindustani beginning of the vaccination programme.

In Gujarat, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, accompanied by State Home minister and health officials, had rushed to tthe Ahmedabad airport to receive the allotted batch of Serum Institute of India's Covishield vaccine. Praying for the wellbeing of people with this shot of hope, Patel performed puja at the garlanded truck and offered shrifal. In neighbouring Rajasthan too, top health officials received the batch of Bharat BioTech’s Covaxin amid celebratory drumbeats and flowers.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray personally inspected the refrigerated van that would transport the vaccine, and in Bhopal, the vaccine batch’s arrival was welcomed by State officials with garlands and puja. No wonder, faith and hope have emerged as the undisputed weapons to fight the fear and gloom in Covid-19 times.

Cutting a long story Shot


At three hours and 18 minutes, Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac’s Budget speech in the State Assembly on Friday may have shattered a few records. But as some critics would say, he may have also broken the record for the number of ‘leaps of faith’ he took in his marathon speech.


Covid shot under CSR

Who can get a vaccine shot? Healthcare professionals for sure, one would think. But, not really! Private businesses and trade bodies, who spend huge sums on building social infrastructure such as hospitals or health centres too were counted in the first priority group for the Covid-19 vaccination.

In Surat, diamantaires and businessman trustees and administrators of the city's Diamond Hospital were given shots of Covishield on the first day of the nation-wide vaccination drive on Saturday.

Dinesh Navadia, chief of the health committee that manages the hospital, said, “We were informed by the civic authorities that administrators who visit the hospital and oversee operations, need to get vaccinated. Also, it helps in building confidence about safety of the vaccine for the people in our industry.”

ICSI’s honorary degree

Who will the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) next confer with an honorary degree? Over the last few years, those conferred include politicians, bureaucrats and most recently a leading industrialist. The buzz is that the next in the ICSI’s ‘honours list’ may be a cricketer or a top actor.

Though the ICSI has a knack of cosying up to the biggies and powerful in society, some of its orthodox members frown at this practise.

Bonfire and farm laws


Politicians and protesters did not want to miss any opportunity to show their dissent.

During the recent Bhogi bonfire Nara Chandrababu Naidu, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and TDP supremo, joined the protesters in burning the Government Orders in a bonfire.

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Published on January 17, 2021

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