Pfizer vaccine not coming to India soon as trials yet to be conducted


While the UK government has cleared Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine for use in public, the same is unlikely to be available anytime soon in India.

For one, US giant Pfizer’s India arm has not yet applied for conducting here, according to sources, and secondly, the vaccine has stringent temperature requirements (-75 degree Celsius), which make it unviable for cold-chain logistics in India.

A government official in the know indicated that Pfizer has not yet applied for holding on Indian volunteers, as is a pre-requisite for the regulator here to give authorisation to a particular investigational drug or vaccine.

AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is being tested in a phase-3 trial on over 1,600 subjects in India by Serum Institute. So, is the Sputnik V, developed by Russia. It is being tested on Indians by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories.

“Pfizer’s phase-3 study has enrolled 43,358 participants with 42 per cent having diverse backgrounds. It will be making this data available to governments across the world to seek regulatory approvals. Once we have a go-ahead from the government, we will work with the authorities to determine the pathway required for deployment in India. The goal

Vodafone Idea bites the bullet on tariff hike as firm struggles to pay dues

Cash-strapped (VI) has taken a lead in hiking tariffs by 6 to 8 per cent as it struggles to retain customers and clear its pending dues. However, the company has moved cautiously by raising the tariff only in limited circles such as Uttar Pradesh. While the hike comes into immediate effect, there has been no announcement.

In the post-earnings call in October, managing director Ravinder Takkar had said the company would not shy away from taking the first step in raising tariffs. Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal had also said last week that there was an urgent need to increase rates.

The latest move, even if it is symbolic, is the first rate hike after the one announced end of 2019.

The Voda Idea share price rose 2.45 per cent to close at Rs 10.05 on BSE. On the of tariff hike by Voda Idea, even Bharti Airtel’s stock went up 3.5 per cent to close at Rs 479 on Tuesday.

The tariff hike of Rs 50 has been effected under Vodafone Idea’s RED family pack plans which currently cost Rs 598 and Rs 749, respectively. However, the rates for the

VC investments in online gaming start-ups hike 114% to $376 mn in 2020


gained speed during the lockdown phase and the month-on-month traffic is still increasing, attracting investors.

According to Venture Intelligence data, venture capital rose by around 114 per cent this year to $376 million (January to date) from $176 million in 2019 (full year). Investors say the industry presents the next multi-billion dollar opportunity for and enterprises, especially after the ban on Chinese apps.

According to reports, have risen up to 275 in 2019, which is a huge increase considering there were only 25 such in 2010.


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L&T shipyard completes order for 54 fast interceptor boats ahead of time


In an emphatic statement of warship building capability in the private sector, Larsen & Toubro’s Hazira shipyard handed over the last vessel in an order of 54 fast interceptor craft to the Coast Guard on Sunday — ahead of time and within the budget.

With the four public sector shipyards — Mazagon Dock, Mumbai; Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers, Kolkata; Goa Shipyard; and Hindustan Shipyard, Visakhapatnam — invariably delivering warships years behind schedule and beyond budget, L&T has staked a powerful claim to be considered for future shipbuilding orders.

The FICs delivered to the Coast Guard are 90-tonne vessels that can patrol the coastline at a scorching speed of 45 knots (83 kilometres per hour). L&T has built the 54 vessels for just under Rs 1,500 crore.

L&T is now contending strongly for a number of naval contracts.

The biggest of these, which will indicate how serious the defence ministry is about bringing in the private sector into defence production, is for building six New Generation Missile Vessels (NGMVs) for an estimated Rs 13,600 crore. Multiple shipyards submitted bids in February in response to the navy’s Request

IndiGrid inks pact to acquire 74% stake in Parbati Koldam from Reliance Infra


India Grid Trust on Saturday said that it has inked an agreement to acquire 74 per cent stake in Parbati Koldam TransmissionCompanyfrom

“India Grid Trust has signed sharepurchase agreement on November 28th, 2020 for acquisition of 74 per centin Parbati Koldam TransmissionCompany Ltd(PKTCL) from Ltd,” a BSE filing said.

The completion of acquisition would dependupon receipt of relevant approvals and completion of contractual obligations, it added.

According to filing, the implied enterprise value (for 100% equity shares) is Rs900 croreinclusive of cash & cash reserves andnormalised tariff receivables, subject to adjustments on account of movement in cash, deviation in outstandingdebt, tariff receivables, assets, liabilities outstanding.

PKTCL was incorporated on September 2, 2002. PKTCLis joint venture between Limited (74%) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited(26%).

PKTCL operates 458 circuitkilometres of transmission lines constituting inter-statetransmission system for evacuation of power from theParbati-II HEP implemented by NHPC Limited andKoldam HEP implemented by NTPC Limited.

The Assetwas fully commissioned in June 2015. During the FY2019-20, PKTCL had a total Revenue of Rs 209 crores.

(Only the headline and picture of

Uber, Ola surge price capped; 10-hour break must for taxi drivers


Ride-hailing aggregators such as and have been brought under the Centre’s regulation, implying greater scrutiny and stringent penalties for any non-compliance related to passenger fare and labour rules like working hours of drivers. Government control over the cab tariff structure tops the list of regulations. The new norms, as per the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines 2020, have mandated a cap on surge price, preventing aggregators from charging more than 1.5 times of the base fare.

The new legal framework would also mean a driver working with Ola, or similar aggregator cannot be logged in for more than 12 hours in a day. There has to be a mandatory 10-hour break after working for 12 hours. For cancellation of bookings, either by the driver or the rider, the penalty has been fixed at 10 per cent of the fare, but it cannot exceed Rs 100.

The cab aggregator stares at suspension of licence on multiple grounds —if it fails to ensure safety of its riders, if it charges higher rates repeatedly and in case it fails to comply with the contractual obligations towards drivers. If the aggregator receives

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