From free vaccines to all above the age of 18 years to the possibility of PNB stake in housing finance subsidiary dipping below 26%, here are the top news stories for today.

The Big Story 

On the day The Indian Express reported that the Centre was “willing” to tweak its vaccination policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that his government will provide free vaccines to states for inoculation of all above 18. But his address to the nation was more than mere course-correction. And its political framing was unmistakable.  

Only in the Express

The revised Covid-19 vaccination guidelines, likely to be issued in the next two days, will include some key policy changes including e-vouchers for the poor to get vaccinated at private hospitals and providing vaccine supplies to small private hospitals located in smaller towns and far-flung areas. 

From the Front Page

Over 3,500 children were orphaned and over 26,000 lost either parent during the last two waves of Covid-19, according to the National Commission for Child Rights. The Commission, however, clarified that the deaths of parents were not just related to Covid-19 and could be due to other reasons too.

A Rs 4000-crore capital infusion by a consortium of investors into Punjab National Bank Housing Finance last week is likely to invite questions from the shareholders over the possibility of Punjab National Bank (PNB) losing its dominant shareholder status in the company.

Must Read

Tamil Nadu is set to become the first state to ban “any attempts to medically cure” those from the LGBTIQA+ community after the Madras High Court issued far-reaching guidelines on a plea filed by a lesbian couple. The court also recommended awareness programmes for judicial officers, police and prison officials and changes in school and university curricula. 

At a village that is just 90 km from Srinagar, a teacher and his students are forced to trek up a hill to get a faint data signal to transfer and receive the day’s classwork.  

An analysis by The Indian Express of fines levied on Maharashtra police officers for overstaying in Maharashtra government quarters has revealed that high ranking IPS officers have a better chance of obtaining a waiver than junior officers.

And Finally…

“Even when he had planned to move to New Zealand, we knew that he could not leave badminton behind.” Shuttler Abhinav Manota’s father hoped his son would pursue a career in management when he had left for Christchurch seven years ago. Now, the 29-year-old from Jalandhar is going to the Tokyo Olympics after clinching the berth on the Oceania quota. 

In today’s podcast episode, we discuss the latest changes in India’s vaccine policy. We also talk about vaccine inequality, and how a plush housing society in near Delhi got vaccines meant for a city in Uttar Pradesh.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G 

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