India Today is the leading news magazine and most widely read publication in India. The magazine’s leadership is unquestioned, so much so that India Today is what Indian journalism is judged by, for its integrity and ability to bring unbiased and incisive perspective to arguably the most dynamic, yet perplexing, region in the world. Breaking news and shaping opinion, it is now a household name and the flagship brand of India’s leading multidimensional media group. Additionally, the weekly brings with it a range supplements like Women, Home, Aspire, Spice and Simply which focus on style, health, education, fashion, etc. and Indian cities.
FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
OMICRON ALERT • THE CENTRE UNVEILS A BOOSTER SHOT PROGRAMME AND STATES RUSH TO IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS AS RISING OMICRON CASES TRIGGER FEARS OF A THIRD COVID WAVE
IS A THIRD WAVE IMMINENT?
WHY WE NEED A BOOSTER
THE VACCINE CHAMPIONS • With their extraordinary foresight, initiative and courage, Covid vaccine manufacturers Krishna Ella of Bharat Biotech and Adar Poonawalla of Serum Institute helped India avert a certain health catastrophe. The inside story of how they did it
A BILLION PLUS JABS • % coverage against eligible population as of Dec. 25
AHEAD OF THE CURVE • % coverage against eligible population as of Dec. 28
“Covaxin was like India’s nuclear moment” • Dr Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, speaks to Group Editorial Director Raj Chengappa on India’s vaccine prowess and the need for young entrepreneurs to innovate. Excerpts:
“The next decade will be the golden age of India’s vaccine industry” • Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, Pune, spoke to Group Editorial Director Raj Chengappa on the Covid vaccine journey and his plans ahead. Excerpts:
THE GAME CHANGER • In his first term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reform agenda saw only incremental implementation. In his second term, he moved at warp speed to reform India’s economic landscape, and in 2021 made a big privatisation push that included asset monetisation of PSUs apart from streamlining labour laws. However, the challenge of successfully implementing these changes remains
BIG REFORMS OF 2021
THE FEISTY CHALLENGER • Mamata Banerjee has convincingly demolished the myth of invincibility attached to the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo. Her landslide election victory in West Bengal in 2021, despite the BJP’s hyped up campaign, polarising manoeuvres and huge mobilisation of resources, has given hope to the Opposition. They see in her the most worthy opponent to Modi in the Lok Sabha battle of 2024
CHARGE OF THE UNICORNS • Fuelled by increasing internet penetration and smartphone use and loads of investor capital, in 2021, India saw a huge spike in the number of startups valued at over $1 billion—the unicorns. This is why they hogged the headlines
INDIA’S MOST VALUABLE UNICORNS • India’s top unicorns represent a mix of sectors including edtech, fintech, e-commerce, gaming, food tech and others
FIRE IN THE SOUL • Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait almost single-handedly turned around the agitation against the new farm laws which at one point looked like a lost cause, staying steadfast even when many other farmer leaders had given up following the R-Day violence. In the end, a seemingly omnipotent central government had to back down, repeal the laws and apologise to the farmers
HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW • The son of a Bollywood superstar is arrested in a drug bust on a cruise ship. But the case backfires, tarring the reputation of the investigating agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau. It also starts a debate on the need to amend laws on drugs consumption
WHY THE CASE AGAINST ARYAN KHAN COLLAPSED
THE GOLD STANDARD •...