Saubhadra Chatterji

Saubhadra Chatterji

Saubhadra Chatterji is Deputy Political Editor at the Hindustan Times. He writes on both politics and policies.

Articles by Saubhadra Chatterji
The Congress called the strike in support of the 12-point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark. (Image used for representation).(HT PHOTO.)
The Congress called the strike in support of the 12-point charter of demands that included proper health services at the Govind Ballabh Panth (GBP) hospital, the state’s lone dedicated Covid-19 hospital in Agartala and other Covid Care Centres, giving 10 lakh to the kin of Covid-19 victims and withdrawal of chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s anti-media remark. (Image used for representation).(HT PHOTO.)

Congress to elect new president by June

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 05:01 AM IST
The Congress Election Authority (CEA), the party’s panel in charge of the elections, proposed a timeline between May 15 and 30 to hold organisational elections, although some leaders, particularly those in charge of poll-bound states, said this could clash with the assembly elections.
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MGNREGS, a rural jobs guarantee programme, stipulates that half the employment generated by the scheme be earmarked for women.(HT file photo. Representative image)
MGNREGS, a rural jobs guarantee programme, stipulates that half the employment generated by the scheme be earmarked for women.(HT file photo. Representative image)

Record 3 billion days of work generated but women’s share shrinks

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 04:19 AM IST
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Jobs Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) has this financial year generated 3.11 billion days of work, 460 million days more than last year, according to data by the ministry of rural development.
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Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is widely preferred within the party to replace Sonia Gandhi as efforts to pick a non-Gandhi party president have not succeeded in the past two years ago.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is widely preferred within the party to replace Sonia Gandhi as efforts to pick a non-Gandhi party president have not succeeded in the past two years ago.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Congress Working Committee meet on Jan 22 with eye on party polls

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 04:32 AM IST
“It will be a meeting of the full CWC,” a senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity. The meet will include 19 members, 26 permanent invitees and nine special invitees other than the Congress president.
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Gandhi’s 16-feet high bronze statue in a meditating posture, sculpted by Ram Sutar, was unveiled by then President Shanker Dayal Sharma on October 2, 1993.(ANI Photo)
Gandhi’s 16-feet high bronze statue in a meditating posture, sculpted by Ram Sutar, was unveiled by then President Shanker Dayal Sharma on October 2, 1993.(ANI Photo)

New Parliament building: Gandhi statue hurriedly shifted, move raises eyebrows

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:55 AM IST
Initial plan was to do so during the one-month gap between the first and the second part of Budget Session that begins on Jan 29
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The statue has been shifted and placed in a small lawn near the gate used exclusively by the Speaker to reach his office. (ANI)
The statue has been shifted and placed in a small lawn near the gate used exclusively by the Speaker to reach his office. (ANI)

New Parliament building: Gandhi statue hurriedly shifted, move raises eyebrows

UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 03:28 PM IST
Initial plan was to do so during the one-month gap between the first and the second part of Budget Session that begins on Jan 29
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Parliament authorities will ensure maximum protection for members and officials, including a blanket ban on visitors, strict social distancing and the use of masks and other measures.(HT PHOTO.)
Parliament authorities will ensure maximum protection for members and officials, including a blanket ban on visitors, strict social distancing and the use of masks and other measures.(HT PHOTO.)

RT-PCR tests for MPs; Zero, Question hours back in Budget session

By Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 20, 2021 02:08 AM IST
The Rajya Sabha will sit from 9 am to 2 pm followed by the Lok Sabha, from 4 pm to 9 pm, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla announced on Tuesday. As MPs don’t have priority access to Covid-19 vaccines before the session, RT-PCR tests will be done for all MPs, their families, and their assistants.
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The upcoming budget or the first session of this year will take place after 2020 saw two sessions being cut short and the winter session entirely skipped due to the pandemic.(ANI)
The upcoming budget or the first session of this year will take place after 2020 saw two sessions being cut short and the winter session entirely skipped due to the pandemic.(ANI)

Budget session: New seating plan, security rejig likely

By Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:37 AM IST
Instead of the usually packed Lok Sabha, the proceedings will play out with MPs spaced out in the galleries and chamber of both Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha during the budget speech. They will also be distributed between the Central Hall, Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha for the President’s speech.
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A doctor receives the Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Srinagar on Saturday.
A doctor receives the Covid-19 vaccine at a hospital in Srinagar on Saturday.

Eligible people likely to get option to sign up for jabs on Aarogya Setu

By Saubhadra Chatterji, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:42 AM IST
According to documents accessed by HT, the CoWIN platform will allow the public to access its limited features—only those required for enrolment and vaccination and not the complex back-end operations—on the Aarogya Setu app.
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People watch the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on the launch of Covid -19 vaccination drive, at District Hospital in Varanasi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.(PTI)
People watch the live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation on the launch of Covid -19 vaccination drive, at District Hospital in Varanasi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.(PTI)

'Defining victory in war against virus': PM Modi launches Covid-19 vaccine drive

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 12:07 PM IST
Prime Minister Modi emphasised that “only when our scientists are assured of the power of vaccine, they gave permission for emergency use”, asking people not to pay heed to speculations about the efficacy of the shots.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launches pan-India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive, in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually launches pan-India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive, in New Delhi, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.(PTI)

PM Modi launches Covid-19 vaccine drive in India: Key highlights from his speech

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Edited by Arpan Rai
UPDATED ON JAN 16, 2021 11:44 AM IST
India launched one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccination drives on Saturday, setting in motion a complex deployment plan aimed at stemming the wide spread of infections across a nation of more than 1.3 billion people.
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This command structure will also include dedicated units to tackle any adverse events following immunization that include side-effects of the vaccines. (Representative Image)(Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo)
This command structure will also include dedicated units to tackle any adverse events following immunization that include side-effects of the vaccines. (Representative Image)(Sunil Ghosh / HT Photo)

4-tier workforce to oversee vaccination drive

UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2021 12:29 AM IST
Assisted by committees, task forces and control room personnel, an army of government officials and representatives of foreign aid agencies will monitor the complex immunisation drive at every level and act quickly to keep the programme on track if anything goes amiss.
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India is scheduled to kick-start Covid vaccination on the 16th of this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet all chief ministers on Monday for what is seen as the final round of preparatory meetings before the vaccination starts nationwide. (Representative Image)(HT photo)
India is scheduled to kick-start Covid vaccination on the 16th of this month and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet all chief ministers on Monday for what is seen as the final round of preparatory meetings before the vaccination starts nationwide. (Representative Image)(HT photo)

Two House panels to review vaccination

PUBLISHED ON JAN 11, 2021 01:35 AM IST
The new rounds of parliamentary review into the all-important executive action that is of vital importance are well-justified, according to MPs, as parliamentary committees—an extension of Parliament itself—have supervisory authority over all public activities.
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Health workers during the dry run of the Covid-19 vaccine at a healthcare center in Daryaganj, New Delhi.(PTI)
Health workers during the dry run of the Covid-19 vaccine at a healthcare center in Daryaganj, New Delhi.(PTI)

Centre draws plan for vaccine roll-out

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 04, 2021 05:36 AM IST
India’s vaccination campaign against Covid-19 is targeting offering protection against the viral disease to 300 million people by July, including health-care workers, front-line workers and the people most at risk of infection.
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HT Image
HT Image
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The initial lots of the vaccine will be sent only to government hospitals, public health centres or large private hospitals. The first two priority groups—health care and other frontline workers
The initial lots of the vaccine will be sent only to government hospitals, public health centres or large private hospitals. The first two priority groups—health care and other frontline workers

Elaborate distribution plan on track as India awaits vaccine approval

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 31, 2020 11:31 PM IST
The vaccines will be stocked at four Government Medical Store Depots (in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata) and state and regional vaccine stores.
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India has few logistics and cold storage chains that can support Pfizer’s requirement for keeping its vaccines at minus 70 degree Celsius, the price too, is a constraint.(AP)
India has few logistics and cold storage chains that can support Pfizer’s requirement for keeping its vaccines at minus 70 degree Celsius, the price too, is a constraint.(AP)

Covid-19 vaccination: Pfizer, Moderna deals hit roadblock

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 30, 2020 01:41 AM IST
According to officials involved in the vaccine administration plan, there are doubts if Pfizer has enough spare capacity to cater to Indian requirements after fulfilling its current commitments with the US, UK, EU, Bahrain, Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
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Health workers collect samples for Covid-19 testing in Thane on Monday.(HT photo)
Health workers collect samples for Covid-19 testing in Thane on Monday.(HT photo)

Covid-19: Same vaccine for a district in Centre’s roll-out strategy

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 29, 2020 04:29 AM IST
HT learns that while states, especially large ones, will have a portfolio of vaccines from different manufacturers -- the thinking is that there might not be enough supply if everyone were to insist on the same vaccine -- they will still ensure that the same vaccine is administered within a district.
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A man wearing a protective mask walks past a mural of frontline workers amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Mumbai.(REUTERS)
A man wearing a protective mask walks past a mural of frontline workers amidst the spread of the coronavirus disease in Mumbai.(REUTERS)

Road to safety: On the vaccine trail

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi/ Patna/ Muzaffarpur
UPDATED ON DEC 22, 2020 01:58 AM IST
It’s not just Bihar — across India, large cities, nondescript towns, districts big and small, are all scrambling to add critical infrastructure to meet the challenge of vaccinating 300 million people by July 2021, and, if all goes well, hundreds of millions more by the end of the year.
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HT reported on December 7 that central authorities will sit down with Pfizer to negotiate pricing and also scrutinise the US-based company’s ability to deliver orders placed by the country.(Reuters Photo)
HT reported on December 7 that central authorities will sit down with Pfizer to negotiate pricing and also scrutinise the US-based company’s ability to deliver orders placed by the country.(Reuters Photo)

Livestock infra could provide -70°C storage for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 20, 2020 05:13 AM IST
The vaccine has proven to be effective in preventing Covid-19 and has become the first inoculation to be approved for emergency use in several countries after large-scale testing. But it requires the lowest temperature among all vaccine options for long-term storage.
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Vaccination drives will be held from 9am to 5pm in all sites.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Vaccination drives will be held from 9am to 5pm in all sites.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

Wedding halls, polling booths in Covid-19 vaccine plan

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 15, 2020 05:13 AM IST
Each site will be designed to serve at least 100 recipients. Chosen sites will have to be spacious (with at least three rooms) and close to the homes or offices of the recipients.
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An employee in personal protective equipment (PPE) removes vials of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from a visual inspection machine inside a lab at Serum Institute of India, Pune.(REUTERS)
An employee in personal protective equipment (PPE) removes vials of AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine from a visual inspection machine inside a lab at Serum Institute of India, Pune.(REUTERS)

Heart patients, diabetics may get doses on priority

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 13, 2020 08:46 AM IST
The officials added that there will also be a door-to-door survey across the country and existing government databases will be used to identify such people.
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A model of the proposed new Parliament building, in New Delhi.(File photo)
A model of the proposed new Parliament building, in New Delhi.(File photo)

Parliament: From a circular building of Rs 83 lakh to a Rs 970-cr triangular edifice

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 10, 2020 01:39 PM IST
The building of Indian Parliament, built originally to house Central Legislative Assembly and Council of State, has been privy to many historic events
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A model of the proposed new Parliament building, in New Delhi.(File photo)
A model of the proposed new Parliament building, in New Delhi.(File photo)

Parliament: A look at how seating arrangement has evolved over the past 68 years

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 08, 2020 09:49 AM IST
The Lok Sabha chamber, used as the Legislative Assembly much before independence, had only 145 seats
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Pfizer also has deals with the US, UK, and Japan.(Reuters file photo)
Pfizer also has deals with the US, UK, and Japan.(Reuters file photo)

Price, capacity key areas as Pfizer files for licence in India

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 07, 2020 08:08 AM IST
A senior government official said there will be a negotiation on the price and availability after the vaccine is approved for use in India. This person pointed to the vaccine’s $20 price tag in the US and compared it with the $3-4 at which the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine being made locally by the Serum Institute of India will be available.
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HT Image
HT Image
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi(ANI photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(ANI photo)

Covid vaccine will be in India within weeks: PM Modi

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2020 03:24 AM IST
India is set to get a Covid-19 vaccine within weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday while briefing political leaders on the preparations for “cheap and safe” Made in India vaccines, assuring them that immunisation would start as soon as scientists give a go-ahead.
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the All Party Meeting on Covid-19, through video conferencing, in New Delhi, Friday(PTI)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses at the All Party Meeting on Covid-19, through video conferencing, in New Delhi, Friday(PTI)

Oppn leaders hail India’s efforts to contain Covid, then a word of caution

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 09:14 PM IST
Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad said the political leadership must be ready to counter the possible misinformation campaign over vaccines in the near future.
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Farmers demonstrate on National Highway-9 during the protest against farm reform laws, in Ghaziabad on December 3.(Sakib Ali/HT photo)
Farmers demonstrate on National Highway-9 during the protest against farm reform laws, in Ghaziabad on December 3.(Sakib Ali/HT photo)

CPIM’s All India Kisan Sabha plays key role in building solidarity for farmers’ protest

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 09:43 AM IST
For the AIKS, the experience of 2014 movement against the land bill and the 2018 long march in Maharashtra came handy this time
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The Union health ministry has also written to all states and Union territories to identify people who can be utilised for the mass Covid-19 vaccination drive(AP)
The Union health ministry has also written to all states and Union territories to identify people who can be utilised for the mass Covid-19 vaccination drive(AP)

Polio, BCG infra to power vaccine plan

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 01, 2020 03:58 AM IST
The universal immunisation programme comes under the health ministry, and covers 25 million children every year, vaccinating them against a range of diseases including measles, polio, and tuberculosis.
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The Opposition had accused the Rajya Sabha authorities of deliberately switching off the microphones to silence the critics of the Bills.(File photo)
The Opposition had accused the Rajya Sabha authorities of deliberately switching off the microphones to silence the critics of the Bills.(File photo)

CPWD blames Opposition leaders for muted microphones in RS during farm Bills’ passage

By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2020 12:17 PM IST
The Opposition had accused the Rajya Sabha authorities of deliberately switching off the microphones to silence the critics of the Bills
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