SAMBALPUR l thursday l december 24, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Covaxin’s early trials show promising results Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine has shown dual immune response, according to phase 1 & 2 results released on Wednesday Vaccine candidate currently in Phase-3 High Antibodies in Phase-1 volunteers The vaccine has proceeded to phase 3 trial and the company has planned to test it in 26,000 individuals aged between 12 and 65 years across several states in the country. The Hyderabad-based firm, which has developed the vaccine in collaboration with the ICMR, has already sought P7 emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India ■ ■ In a double-blind, multi-centre, phase 2 clinical trial, 380 healthy individuals were randomised to receive two vaccine formulations and two intramuscular doses of vaccines four weeks apart In a follow-up of the phase 1 trial, Covaxin produced high levels of neutralising antibodies that remained elevated in all participants 6-12 months Researchers claim Covaxin’s antibodies could last that long CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Talks ball back in Centre’s court Opening up E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi 100% FDI in DTH sector, 20-yr licence E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Farmers gesture during their ongoing protest against the new farm sector reform laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Wednesday | Parveen Negi crore in their bank accounts through direct transfer as part of the PM Kisan Saman Nidhi Yojna. The weeks-long deadlock over the “We urge the government not to renew farm laws continued on Wednes- peat the meaningless amendments day with farmer unions demanding we have already rejected but come up that the Union government offer con- with a concrete proposal in writing crete proposals, abandon its stub- so that the process of negotiation can bornness and accept their demands be started as soon as possible,” to end their agitation. Both sides Swaraj Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yahave now indicated they are ready for dav said. He is a member of the talks without budging on SKM. their core agenda. “The government is conCommitted After a meeting of their stantly holding talks with to reforms umbrella body, the Sanyukt so-called farmer leaders Kisan Morcha (SKM), farm- Union agriculture and organisations who are er leaders said they were minister Narendra not associated with our ready for talks but are wait- Singh Tomar said movement. This is an ating for the Centre to come the government tempt to break our moveto the table with an open will continue with ment. It is dealing with proreforms in the mind. In a letter addressed testing farmers, the way it farm sector. to Vivek Aggarwal, Joint deals with the Opposition,’’ “However old and Yadav added. Secretary in the Union agriculture ministry, they said strong the protest Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor there was no clarity on vari- is, a solution can Mahasangh president Shiv ous sticking points like be arrived at only Kumar Kakka said: “The through talks,” guaranteeing the minimum government should abanhe said support price mechanism, don its stubbornness and electricity amendment (orcreate conducive environdinance) and ordinance on air ment for talks with protesting farmquality . ers and accept their demands. We The Centre is already on record as have already told Union home minissaying that it is ready to discuss and ter Amit Shah that protesting farmaddress all concerns of the agitating ers will not accept amendments.” All farmers. And Prime Minister Naren- India Kisan Sabha leader Hannan dra Modi will continue his outreach Mollah alleged that the government by interacting with farmers from six wants to delay this resolution of the states on Friday The day will also see agitation and break the morale of the . nine crore farmers receiving `18,000 farmers. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Chandigarh Pay `10K cr in cairn tax case, India told The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s revised guidelines allowing 100% FDI in directto-home (DTH) sector and doubling licence validity to 20 years. Earlier, I&B ministry allowed only 49% foreign direct investment in the sector. Among the other changes is licence fee will be collected on a quarterly basis instead of annually, to make it in tune with the licence fee regime of the telecom sector. Also, DTH operators will be permitted to operate a maximum of 5% of their total channel carrying capacity as platform channels. “In India, more than six crore houses get DTH services. The commerce ministry had earlier decided 100% FDI in DTH services but DTH services could not get that benefit as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s guidelines allowed only 49% FDI. The new guidelines will be in sync with the commerce ministry’s guidelines,” Union minister Prakash Javadekar said. Welcoming the new guidelines, leading DTH player Tata Sky said the decision to grant licences to the operators for 20 years would provide certainty to the industry . Other cabinet decisions l Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archives of India and Children’s Film Society to merge with NFDC l A total of `59,000 crore for PostMatric Scholarship Scheme to benefit 4 crore Scheduled Caste students in next 5 yrs P7 Barely three months after Vodafone Plc won an international arbitration against India’s `22,100 has crore retrospective tax demand, the country on Wednesday suffered another blow arising from the controversial 2012 amendment to its tax laws. This time, a three-member arbitration tribunal under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague, has directed India to pay UK-based energy giant Cairn $1.2 billion in damages, along with interest and legal costs. The final amount India would have to pay if it doesn’t challenge the award is likely to be $1.4 billion (over `10,300 crore), say sources. “The tribunal ruled unanimously that India had breached its obligations to Cairn under the UK-India Bilateral Investment Treaty,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday . The Government of India, for its part, said that it “will be studying the award and all its aspects carefully in consultation with its counsels”. After the UPA-led government lost its case against Vodafone Plc at the Supreme Court in 2012, then finance minister Pranad Mukherjee passed an amendment in law m a k i n g t h e t a x l i ab i l i t y retrospective. In March 2015, Cairn was slapped with `10,247 crore retro- spective tax demand over gains from an internal reorganisation implemented in 2006-07. But unlike the Vodafone Plc case, where no overt action was taken by both the UPA and the subsequent NDA governments, Cairn’s holdings were seized and then subsequently sold to realise the tax liability . By 2011, Cairn Energy Plc had already sold its India subsidiary, Cairn India, to Vedanta Ltd, retaining only a 5% stake. But after the tax demand and subsequent initiation of arbitration by the company in 2015, GoI seized the stake and sold it to realise the claim. It also seized dividends totalling `1,140 crore due to Cairn and set off a `1,590-crore tax refund against the demand. 90 days to file appeal Govt has 90 days to mount an appeal against the order, say sources. In the case of Vodafone, this runs out on December 24 and no appeal has been filed yet. For Cairn, if it doesn’t challenge the award, the cash outflow is set to be over `10,300 crore UK returnee tests Covid positive in Bhubaneswar E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar In the midst of a global scare over the highly infectious SARSCoV2 strain circulating in the UK, a City native who had recently returned from Britain tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday . The 34-year-old man has immediately been isolated at a dedicated Covid hospital here and his samples sent to the National In- stitute of Virology, Pune for genomic study . Sources said the man had returned from UK on December 18 with a Covid negative certificate. However, he developed flu-like symptoms here and got his tests done at a private laboratory. He had tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday . “As per the instruction of the Union Health Ministry the sam, ples of the UK returnee have been sent to the NIV for confirmatory testing and genome sequencing. His contact tracing has been conducted and swab samples of his family members collected for Covid test. They have been advised to remain in home isolation,” said a senior health official. CONTINUED ON: P5 As per the instruction of the Union Health Ministry, samples of the UK returnee have been sent to NIV for genome sequencing A senior Health official
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