City Buzz: Civic poll results in Hyderabad | Pfizer vaccine in India? | Farmers’ protest…and more

Urban Weekly News Round-Up

The headquarters of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Pic: Batthini Vinay Kumar Goud/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Hyderabad civic polls: TRS slips as BJP makes major gains

The results of the much-hyped and keenly contested elections to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation were declared on Friday. The ruling party of the state, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), suffered a dent in performance with its secured wards going down from 99 to 55. The BJP made significant gains, raising its tally from 4 to 48. Despite being the single largest party, the TRS will need the support of other parties to retain the mayoral post as it falls well short of the 65-member mark.

The voter turnout for the civic polls was low, at 46.5% (34.5 lakh voters out of the total 74.6 lakh). 

Source: The Indian Express 

Delhi on edge as farmers garner huge support for Tuesday’s Bharat Bandh

The opposition, including regional parties, across the country have expressed solidarity with the protesting groups of farmers and supported their call for a nationwide strike on Tuesday, December 8th.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi has said that they will support the Bharat Bandh and the party’s volunteers would also join farmers in peaceful protests across the country on that day. The Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena, Indian National Congress, NCP, TRS, DMK, SP, RJD and the Left parties have also supported the strike call.

Earlier last week, a delegation of 35 farmers’ associations met the Union Agriculture minister on 3rd December to solve the ongoing deadlock but there was no headway. The meeting went on for more than seven hours and was inconclusive. However, it has been reported that the government might agree to review certain provisions of the law.

At present, the farmers have declined the request to end their protests by jamming the major highway routes to Delhi and NCR. 

Farmers have raised several concerns over issues under the new farm laws — the grievance redressal system, minimum support price, the scope of mandis, trading system etc. Meanwhile, several sportspersons from Punjab have decided to return their state honours. Earlier, former five-time Chief Minister of Punjab, Prakash Singh Badal also returned the Padma Vibhushan in support of the farmers.

Farmers are currently campaigning at the Singhu border and Chilla border. Tikri border, Jharoda Border, Jhatikra Border have also been sealed by the police force. They had also temporarily blocked the Delhi Jaipur highway on 3rd December. 

In the meantime, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on 4th December urging for the immediate removal of farmers from the borders. The application says that farmers are blocking the movement of essential supplies and also pose a risk of community spread with respect to COVID-19. 

Source: Hindustan Times | The Times of India | NDTV | CNBC

No Pfizer vaccine for India as of now, say experts 

As the world continues to battle COVID-19, United Kingdom has allowed the American Giant Pfizer to launch its vaccine for the general public from next week. With this, social media was abuzz with the possibility of having the Pfizer vaccine for Indians. However, according to experts, that is quite unlikely.

For a vaccine to be allowed in India, it has to undergo and clear all the clinical trials here. The pharma giant has just sought approval from the country’s drug regulator – the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) – for emergency use authorisation of its vaccine, and the DCGI may consider granting such approval if the results of the trials conducted outside India are found to be satisfactory.

However, the prospect of a roll-out in India remains unlikely, as government officials have expressed concerns over pricing and the capacity to deliver the vaccine, even if in a phased manner, to all sections of the country’s vast population.

Also, the focus of India has been on Astra Zeneca-Oxford and Bharat Biotech’s vaccine. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Biotechnology has said that it is extremely important for India to have a big basket of COVID-19 vaccines as it is yet not clear that which one will be most effective. 

Source: NDTV | Hindustan Times

Candidate shot in Phase-III of J&K DDC elections

The third phase of the Jammu and Kashmir District Development Council elections saw a voter turnout of 50.53%. 68.88 voters in the Jammu region cast their ballot, as against 31.61% in Kashmir. The second phase of polling held earlier in the week saw lower turnout with the turnout in Jammu being 65% and 33% in Kashmir division. The turnout for the first phase was recorded at 52%. 

However, in the first incidence of violence reported during the ongoing polls, a Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) candidate was shot at by militants during the third phase in Sagam constituency in Anantnag district.

DDC elections are important as they are directly related to development and policy making at the district level. The elections have assumed greater importance as it is the first major democractic activity taking place in the valley since the abrogation of Article 370 by the union government.

Source: The Indian Express | NDTV

Haryana’s first science city to come in Gurugram 

In order to promote science-based learning amongst school kids, the Haryana government is all set to create its first science city in Gurugram. For the same, a team of the central government visited four villages in the district for the purpose of identification and creation of the city. 

The team visited Ghamroj, Nimoth, Rahaka and Patali Hajipur villages in Gurugram. The science city might come up in an area of 25 to 30 acres.

At present, the country has three science cities in Kolkata, Jalandhar and Ahmedabad. This will be the fourth science city and the first in the NCR region. Museums, experiment laboratories, lecture halls, digital systems are a part of science city. 

Source: Tribune India 

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava and Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.