Top headlines: 5.6 mn vaccine doses shipped; Nifty achieves new milestone

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, before the first shipment of Covishield leaves the firm’s Pune plant. Photo: twitter/Adar Poonawalla
Covid-19 vaccine journey takes off; 5.6 mn doses were shipped to 13 cities

Three temperature-controlled trucks filled with Covid-19 vaccine vials pulled out of Serum Institute’s production plant in Pune at 5 a.m on Tuesday, marking the start of a mega immunization drive in the country. The jabs will be administered beginning January 16. The trucks that headed to the Pune Airport were specially designed containers equipped with sensors monitoring location, temperature, light exposure and unusual jolting. The first flight to ship out the vaccine to Delhi was a SpiceJet Boeing-737 carrying 22 boxes. Each box weighing 32 kg contained around 12,000 doses of Covishield vaccines and gel packs- a portable plastic bag filled with refrigerant gel. A GoAir flight to Chennai followed shortly. Read More

Nifty achieves another milestone as valuation hits all-time high of 40x

The benchmark Nifty50 index on Tuesday reached another milestone in its journey to scale fresh peaks. The index price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple reached an all-time high of 40x on Tuesday when it made an intra-day high of 14,590.65. The index closed the day with a P/E multiple of 39.9 and earnings per share (EPS, or earnings per unit of the index) of Rs 364.6. Read More

Tesla marks India entry with new office in Bengaluru, names three directors

US-based electric vehicle maker Tesla has registered with the Registrar of Companies in India as Tesla India Motors and Energy Private Ltd. It incorporated itself in Bengaluru on January 8 with an authorised capital of Rs 15 lakh and a paid-up capital of Rs 1 lakh. “Tesla setting up its office in the state is a welcome step." Read More

SC stays implementation of new farm laws, sets up panel to resolve impasse

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three agriculture Acts till further orders and constituted a four-member committee to resolve the impasse over the laws between the Centre and protesting farmers. This has, however, not enthused the farmers. The committee the court appointed comprises Ashok Gulati, an agricultural economist; Pramod Kumar Joshi, former director (South Asia), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Bhupinder Singh Mann, national president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union and All India Kisan Coordination Committee; and Anil Ghanwat, president of the Shetkari Sanghatana. Read More

Byju's to pay $1 billion for Blackstone-backed Aakash Educational Services

India’s biggest online-education startup Byju’s has signed a deal to acquire brick & mortar test prep leader Aakash Educational Services Ltd. for $1 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. The deal for what will be one of the largest edtech acquisitions in the world should close in the next two or three months, said the person, who didn’t want to be identified as the information is private. Read More

Both Serum's Covishield, Bharat Bio's Covaxin vaccines cost same to Centre

The Centre has bought the first lot of the two approved vaccines — Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — at nearly the same price. The 1.65 million free doses of Covaxin being supplied to the government bring down the effective cost of procuring 5.5 million vaccines from Bharat Biotech to Rs 206 per dose (without taxes). Read More

India says trust with China 'profoundly disturbed', US ties on upswing

External affairs minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that trust with China had been deeply impaired after last summer’s border clash which resulted in the first combat deaths in 45 years. Ties with the United States, on the other hand, were converging and were likely to expand under the new administration in Washington, Jaishankar told the Reuters Next conference. Read More

'Pandemic paradox': Cash was king in 2020 as digital transactions increased

At a time when transactions through unified payments system (UPI) crossed Rs 4 trillion, currency in circulation (CIC), which is all the money that has been issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) minus those removed from the system, has risen 22 per cent for the entire calendar 2020. When compared with 11.8 per cent growth in calendar 2019, and considering that the nation was on a complete or partial lockdown for the better part of the year, the CIC growth looks surprisingly high. Read More

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