City Buzz: Farmers’ protest reaches SC | COVID vaccine update | Odisha on top in urban governance…and more

A recap of some of the most important urban highlights across the country.

Farmer protests continues, might intensify in coming days 

As talks between the farmers and government remained inconclusive, farmers have continued to stick to their demand of revoking all the three controversial farm laws. The farmers have also added a new demand and that is to provide a minimum support price (MSP) mechanism on all the 26 crop items they have mentioned. They are now planning to increase the numbers of protestors at different border locations. The farmers have also called for boycotting the establishment and services of two corporate giants, Ambani and Adani. 

The Ministry of Agriculture in its fresh notification has committed to guaranteeing MSP in writing, providing a provision to go to court in case of any dispute and revoking the electricity amendment bill. However, the notification did not talk about the three contentious farm laws. The farmers are currently camping at Singhu border of the national capital and heavy police force has been deployed to prevent them from entering the capital. 

In a recent development, a farmer body has also moved the Supreme Court asking for repeal of all the three farm laws. 

Source: Hindustan Times | Mumbai Mirror | Indian Express

SII and Bharat Biotech apply for emergency authorization 

Soon after Pfizer, whose vaccine has already been rolled out in the United Kingdom, the Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech applied for the grant of emergency authorization for their respective vaccines.

However, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has asked for some data from both the developers of the COVID-19 vaccine. The regulator has said that the current data submitted is not sufficient to grant the requisite authorization. 

The drug regulator can grant emergency use licence to the companies only if it is satisfied with the risk-benefit ratio. 

Source: News 18 

Odisha ranks first and Maharashtra second in new Urban Governance Index

Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh have emerged as the top five states in an Urban Governance Index 2020 published by Mumbai-based Praja Foundation. On the other hand, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland performed the worst. The survey covered 28 states, 40 cities and the national capital region of Delhi.

The index was prepared based on four major themes: empowered city administration, empowered citizens, fiscal empowerment and empowered city elected representatives and legislative structure. The top five states were not able to score more than 57% in the index, with Odisha being the top scorer at 56.86%. 

Source: Hindustan Times

11 industrial parks to get converted into IT parks in Hyderabad

As per a new Telangana government order, 11 industrial parks situated within the Outer Ring Road (ORR) will soon be converted into IT parks. Industrial parks of Kukatpally, Gandhinagar, Balanagar, Uppal, Mallupur, Moula Ali etc. have been notified to be converted into IT parks.

The state government wants to shift all the industrial parks within ORR limits to outside the zone as part of the state’s new policy GRID (Growth In Dispersion). The order details guidelines pertaining to the zones, incentives and government support to enable IT enterprises in all parts of the city. An IT park in the north-western part of the city, either at Kollur or Osmannagar, is also being planned.

Source: The Times of India 

“Electric bike on rent” project to kick start in Pune

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given its nod for a trial project where local residents can rent electric bikes. The project will enable the residents to use an electric bike on rent for Rs 4 per km or Rs 100 per hour. The bike will also be available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

The private company responsible for implementing the project is all set to install 2000 charging points across 500 locations in the city. In the first phase of the project, 3000 electric bikes will be deployed across the city.

The Municipal Commissioner will lease out areas for installing charging stations, on footpaths and gardens. 

Source: The Indian Express 

Madhya Pradesh gears up for civic polls, reserves posts for women

The Madhya Pradesh government has issued a new notification reserving the posts of Mayors and Presidents of Corporations and councils in the state. For both Bhopal and Khandwa municipal corporations, the mayoral seat has been reserved for an OBC woman.

Among municipalities, 5 seats have been reserved for SC (eight for women), six for ST (three for women), 25 for OBC (13 for women) and 26 general seats for women. The post of Mayor in the Indore Municipal Corporation has been converted into a general seat.

Source: The Times of India

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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