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News18 Afternoon Digest: Sitharaman's Exclusive Interview; Made-in-India Vaccines Reach Algeria, South Africa and Other Top Stories

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her exclusive interview with Network18 Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her exclusive interview with Network18 Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi.

Here are the top stories we are covering this afternoon:Nirmala Sitharaman Exclusive Interview: I Will Only be Postponing India’s Growth If I Don’t Spend Now;'You Nailed it': Michelle Obama's Shoutout to Kids Who Recreated Her and Barack's Inaugural Look; What The 137% Hike in Health Budget Means: From a Doctor Petitioning for Healthy India; Consignments of Made-in-India Covid-19 Doses Reach Algeria, South Africa Under 'Vaccine Maitri'; Jack Ma Out, Rival In: Ali Baba Co-founder Struck Off from Chinese List of Tech Icons; At the Forefront of Farmers' Agitation, Can Rakesh Tikait Dent Saffron Hold in West UP?

Nirmala Sitharaman Exclusive Interview: I Will Only be Postponing India’s Growth If I Don’t Spend Now

The government focused on the quality of expenditure while designing the Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Network 18 Editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi, in her first post-Budget interview to a private television network. “I am sure that because of the way in which we have designed it and also monitoring the qualitative expenditure that we are planning, it will definitely give us that required multiplier for the economy,” she said. READ MORE 

At the Forefront of Farmers' Agitation, Can Rakesh Tikait Dent Saffron Hold in West UP?

Till a day after Republic Day on January 26, the ongoing farmers' agitation was not being seen as a significant threat to the Bharatiya Janata Party's political capital. The reason being the movement along Delhi's borders for over two months was primarily viewed as a protest by farmers of Punjab, the state where the BJP is a minor political force and had generally depended on its estranged ally Shiromani Akali Dal. READ MORE 

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Jack Ma Out, Rival In: Ali Baba Co-founder Struck Off from Chinese List of Tech Icons

The Chinese state media on Tuesday published a list of its pioneering tech giants, but there was a striking absence of one tycoon – Jack Ma. More telling was its commentary on the Ali Baba’s co-founder archrival Pony M, who the Shanghai Securities News hailed for “rewriting the mobile age”. READ MORE 

Consignments of Made-in-India Covid-19 Doses Reach Algeria, South Africa Under 'Vaccine Maitri'

Consignments of made-in-India vaccines have reached Algeria and South Africa. "Arrival in Algeria. A trusted partnership stands renewed," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Monday, using the hashtag 'Vaccine Maitri'."In it together. Made in India vaccines land in Johannesburg, South Africa," he said in another tweet. India has already sent COVID-19 vaccines to many countries such as Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Nepal, among others. READ MORE 

What The 137% Hike in Health Budget Means: From a Doctor Petitioning for Healthy India

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented India's budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, on Monday. The Union minister, while acknowledging the health and economic crisis the country fell into during the past year, added that the battle against the coronavirus hasn't ended yet. Emphasizing that the Budget proposal of 2021-2022 rests on 6 pillars including that of Health and Wellbeing, Sitharaman proposed more than doubling India’s healthcare and wellbeing spending to 2.2 trillion rupees ($30.1 billion). READ MORE 

'You Nailed it': Michelle Obama's Shoutout to Kids Who Recreated Her and Barack's Inaugural Look

Michelle Obama's plum-colored three-piece outfit by Black designer Sergio Hudson for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' inauguration day turned heads and made it to the top of everyone's wishful wardrobe bucket list. And striding alongside her was Barack Obama, looking every inch the strapping and suave former POTUS in the navy blue long coat and trousers. READ MORE 

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