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With DCGI giving its nod to Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' for "restricted emergency use", the Union Health Ministry can finally begin the COVID-19 vaccination programme in India. Dubbed as the world's largest vaccination drive, the Health Ministry targets to inoculate around 30 crore people in first phase of vaccination in India.

Here are the highlights of January 4:

16:21 pm: I personally feel we haven't done anything important for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose after independence. I've written a letter to Center to declare 23rd January, birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as a national holiday. It is my demand, says West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

16:00 pm: Parts of Delhi may experience rain and thunderstorms during the next 2-3 hours, says India Meteorological Department

16:00 pm: I or the Samajwadi Party never questioned the experts, researchers or scientists. If there are suspicion or some doubts, it is government's responsibility to clarify, says Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav

15:46 pm: At the invitation of Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Dinesh Gunawardena, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka from 5-7 January. He'll hold discussions with his counterpart and Sri Lanka’s leadership on entire gamut of bilateral relations: Ministry of External Affairs

15:46 pm: Total number of persons infected with the new strain of coronavirus in India stands at 38: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

15:03 pm: Thunderstorm with light to moderate intensity rain likely to occur over and adjoining areas of isolated places of West, North-West and North Delhi during the next 2 hours: India Meteorological Department

14:24 pm: Income Tax Department is recording the statement of Robert Vadra in connection with Benami Property Case: ANI

13:37 pm: 

13:21 pm: It surprises me that a few days back few doctors protested the move to enable Ayurveda postgraduates to learn modern medicine surgery. I pity their intellect. Ayurveda has given the method of surgery and also the first surgeon ever: UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth

13:03 pm: Union Education Minister Ramesh Nishank Pokhriyal will announce the eligibility criteria for admission in IITs & the date of JEE Advanced on 7th January.

12:14 pm: Kerala High Court grants bail to Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MLA MC Kamaruddin in connection with the three cases registered against him in the fashion gold jewellery investment scam.

11:32 am: Today, India is among the top 50 countries in global innovation ranking. The collaboration between industry and institutions is being strengthened in India: PM Modi

11:22 am: We have to ensure that there is not only global demand but also global acceptance of 'Make in India' products. We have to strengthen brand India on the basis of quality and credibility: PM Modi

11:17 am: The Indian scientists have been successful in coming up with two 'made in India' COVID19 vaccines. The country is proud of its scientists: PM Modi

11:15 am: PM Modi inaugurates National Atomic Timescale and Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya via video conferencing.

10:51 am: A total of 238 new COVID-19 cases, 518 discharges and 2 deaths were reported in Telangana yesterday, says state Health Department.

Total positive cases: 2,87,740

Total recoveries: 2,81,083

Active cases: 5,106

Death toll: 1,551

10:32 am: Just In: Drugs Controller General of India grants permission to Serum Institute of India to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield'

10:10 am: Madhya Pradesh: Fire broke out at a factory in Indore's Shankar Bagh area last night; no injuries reported. Fire doused with the help of more than 15 fire engines.

9:35 am: Minimum temperature of 11.4 degrees Celsius recorded at the Delhi's Safdarjung observatory at 8.30 am today, says India Meteorological Department

9:34 am: Sensex up 206 points in opening trade, currently at 48,076; Nifty at 14,089

9:16 am: Total number of samples tested up to 3rd January is 17,56,35,761 including 7,35,978 samples tested yesterday: ICMR

8:49 am: In the last 1.5 to 2 months, we have arrested over 180 people including managing directors of companies and chartered accountants for tax evasion. They have not been able to get bails because of the seriousness of their tax frauds, says Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey

8:33 am: Record-high GST collection of over Rs 1.15 lakh crore in December is because our economy is on path of recovery. We've brought many changes at system level for better compliance. We're taking targeted action against those who have discrepancies in their record, says Finance Secretary AB Pandey

8:14 am: Just In: Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver the inaugural address at National Metrology Conclave at 11am today.

8:02 am: Malayalam poet and lyricist Anil Panachooran passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest while undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram today, reports ANI.

7:25 am: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that 'intense' rainfall will likely take place across north India till January 5.

The activities will peak over the plains (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan) and on Monday over the western Himalayan region (Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), it added.

7:24 am: If Mamata Banerjee is apprehensive of being murdered, she must write a letter to the Prime Minister and get Central agency security cover. We don't want her nephew to have her murdered to get sympathy from the people of Bengal, says BJP MP Arjun Singh

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma