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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - January 2020

Jan 2020

Jan 30, 2021

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren Launches JMM Poll Campaign in Bengal

  • Jharkhand Chief Minister and JMM working president Hemant Soren rekindled the hope of a greater Jharkhand while launching the party's West Bengal assembly poll campaign from Jhargram, the tribal dominated hinterland.
  • Addressing the JMM rally from Jamda circus maidan he said that it was a calculated move by the Centre to fool the tribals creating two separate states - Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh while nurturing the tribal aspirations of their own homeland.
  • Birbhum, Midnapur, Jhargram, Bankura of West Bengal were parts of the greater Jharkhand movement launched by his father Shibu Soren along with a few districts of Odisha and Chhattisgarh, he said and reiterated that the people, tribals in particular, would have to launch a fresh stir to achieve that. West Bengal has five per cent of tribal population, he reminded.

Pranesh Elected Karnataka Legislative Council Deputy Chairman

  • BJP MLC MK Pranesh was elected as the deputy chairman of the Karnataka Legislative Council, the post which was vacant following the suicide of the former deputy chairman SL Dharme Gowda last month.
  • As expected, the JD(S), which is eyeing on the chairman's post, backed the BJP candidate in the deputy chairman's election held on the second day of the state legislative session. The Congress had fielded senior leader KC Kondaiah despite his slim chances of winning. None of the three parties enjoy a majority in the three party council.
  • The JD(S) that supported the BJP during the deputy chairman's election, has sought the ruling party's support in the election to the post of legislative council chairman. JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda has announced senior party leader Basavaraj Horatti as the candidate.
  • The post of chairman is expected to fall vacant as the BJP has issued a notice of no-confidence motion against chairman Prathap Chandra Shetty from the Congress. The notice for no-confidence motion will come up for consideration next month and in all likelihood, Shetty is expected to give his resignation. 

Over 50 Transgenders Join BJP in Vadodara

  • More than 50 members of the transgender community joined the BJP ahead of the civic body polls slated in February in Vadodara.
  • In the presence of heir of the erstwhile Rajpipla royal family Manvendrasinh Gohil, who also runs the Lakshya Trust in Vadodara to deal with issues of the LGBTQ community, the transgender joined the party in an attempt to make their issues reach the mainstream.
  • The event, held at the BJP's office in Vadodara, in presence of the city unit chief Dr Vijay Shah and other leaders, was the party's first attempt to include transgender in the party. The party has included the group into the page committee meant to interact with voters at booth levels.

Jan 29, 2021

Uttarakhand CM Dissolves District Development Authorities

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat announced that all district development authorities would be dissolved due to problems in their functioning.
  • Rawat made the announcement while addressing media in Almora district during a three-day visit.
  • "We had been receiving many complaints regarding problems in the functioning of the district development authorities, so the chief minister has decided to dissolve the authorities. This is only being done for rural development authorities in all the districts," the chief minister's media coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat said.
  • He also said that the state government would be looking into the situation and decide on the next course of action.

Punjab CM Urges PM Narendra Modi to Include Punjabi in J&K Official Languages List

  • Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention for the inclusion of Punjabi in the list of languages of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • He cited Punjab's historical links with Jammu and Kashmir since Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time.
  • In a letter to the prime minister, Amarinder Singh urged him to advise the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to reconsider and review the official list and include Punjabi as one of the official languages of the union territory.
  • He voiced resentment of the Punjabi community over the exclusion of their language from the list.
  • Amarinder Singh pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir was a part of Punjab during the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the 19th century Sikh ruler, with Punjabi being one of the vernacular languages of the region.

Rajasthan 5th State to Complete the Urban Local Bodies reforms

  • Rajasthan has become the 5th state in the country to successfully complete the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) reforms. This was specified by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.
  • Rajasthan now become eligible for additional reform linked borrowing.
  • Thus, the State has been granted permission by the Department of Expenditure an additional financial resource of Rs. 2,731 crore.
  • The State will get this amount through Open Market Borrowings.
  • Other states that have completed the Urban Local Bodies Reforms include- Manipur, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. In total, these five states have been granted a total additional borrowing permission of Rs. 10,212 crore after completing the reforms.
  • The Reforms in the Urban Local Bodies and urban utilities reforms were done with the aim of strengthening the finance of the ULBs in the States. It also seeks to enable the states to provide better public health and sanitation services. Once the ULBs are economically rejuvenated it will be able to create good civic infrastructure.

Supreme Court Completes 71 Years of Functioning

  • The Supreme Court, which completed 71 years of its functioning, said it faced one of the major and unprecedented challenges in 2020 due to the wide spread of highly contagious coronavirus while ensuring that access to justice remained unabated and unhindered.
  • The top court, which had held its inaugural sitting on January 28, 1950, came out with an official statement on the occasion and said it has been protecting rights and liberties of citizens while upholding the rule of law and constitutional values.
  • In all these years the Apex Court under the mandate given to it by the Constitution of India has relentlessly marched towards ensuring the protection of rights and liberties of the citizens, upholding rule of law and the Constitutional Values.

Jan 28, 2021

Govt. to Launch CES Survey with Revised Methodology

  • The government is planning to launch the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) with a revised methodology for FY22, after the previous survey in FY18 was discarded due to data quality issues.
  • The CES data is used to calculate poverty and inflation levels, as well as to track economic progress in rural and urban India.

Karnataka Deputy CM Seeks UT Status for Mumbai

  • Karnataka deputy chief minister Laxman Savadi said Mumbai should be made part of the state and urged the Centre to declare it a Union Territory until then, as he hit back at Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray for raking up the border issue with a similar demand.
  • From now on, he said the people would start demanding that Mumbai should be made part of Karnataka as they too had a share in it.

Jan 27, 2021

SC Gives Green Signal to Local Elections in AP, Poll Panel Revises Schedule

  • In a setback to the Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy government in Andhra Pradesh, the Supreme Court gave the green signal to state election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar to conduct gram panchayat elections in the state in February.
  • A two-member division bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hrishikesh Roy dismissed the special leave petition filed by the Jagan government seeking to stall the process initiated by the SEC for the gram panchayat elections in the state.
  • The apex court ordered that the elections for the gram panchayats in the state be held as scheduled and there was no need for postponing the elections indefinitely on the pretext of Covid-19 vaccination drive.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray Launches Jail Tourism Project

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray launched a jail tourism initiative in the state with an aim to help students and other citizens experience "vignettes from history". People will be able to understand the struggles of freedom fighters by visiting jails under the new initiative.
  • The initiative was launched from the 150-year-old Yerawada prison in Pune, where several freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Sarojini Naidu and Subhas Chandra Bose, had been imprisoned under the British rule.

Nitish Kumar's JD(U) Rejigs over 40 District Units in Party Overhaul

  • The Janata Dal (United), following its poor performance in the assembly elections, effected the first major organisational re-structuring and revamped 41 district units of the party.
  • Newly appointed state president Umesh Singh Kushwaha announced the names of 41 new district presidents.
  • The state JD(U) has 51 district units.
  • The organisational re-structuring was on cards following the feedback collected by senior party leaders over the last past one month.
  • During the party's state executive committee meeting also, party leaders and office-bearers had demanded that the party organisation should be revived to face the new challenges at the ground level.

Indian Railways' Longest Freight Train 'Vasuki' Sets a New Record

  • The South-East Central Railways (SECR) zone in Chhattisgarh broke its own previous record by successfully operating the longest ever freight train by amalgamating five rakes of goods trains as one unit of around 3.5 km. Named as 'Vasuki', it covered the distance of 224 km between the railway stations of Bhilai and Korba and took about seven hours. The 'Vasuki', comprising 300 wagons of long haul rake of five goods trains, ran with the help of one pilot, one assistant loco pilot and a guard.
  • South East Central Railway (SECR) zone has also operated two freight trains recently. These freight trains got attention due to their length. The two freight trains were 'Sesh Naag' and 'Super Anaconda'. Super Anaconda was a fully loaded three rake combined freight trains. 'Sesh Naag' was a 2.8 km long four empty BOXN rakes train combined.

Sikkim Goes Back to Non-partisan Polls after more than a Decade

  • Tiny Himalayan state of Sikkim is all set to return to non-partisan form of elections after more than a decade.
  • While political parties contested the municipal polls in the eastern state for the first time in 2010, they contested the panchayat polls for the first time in 1997. Before that, Sikkim used to hold non-partisan elections.
  • The election for the municipalities on non-partisan lines would be held either by the end of March or early April this year. The required amendments have already been made through the state assembly.

Consistently Supported Palestinian Nation-building Efforts, Says India at UNSC

  • India has reiterated its position on the Israel-Palestine conflict and pointed out its consistent support to 'Palestinian nation-building efforts' during a discussion on the issue at the United Nations Security Council.
  • Speaking at the meet, India's envoy to the UN, T.S. Tirumurti highlighted New Delhi's human resource development and institutional building for Palestine and has currently undertaken several projects in many sectors, including health, education and technology of around USD 72 million.
  • India has also provided over 250 scholarships for Palestinian youth and officials on an annual basis. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tirumurti said, "India has supplied critical life-saving drugs and medical equipment to Palestine as assistance".

Jan 26, 2021

Arjun Munda Virtually Launches "Shramshakti" Portal

  • The Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Shri Arjun Munda has launched a National Migration Support Portal "ShramShakti", during a virtual programme organised at Panjim, Goa. The portal will help the government in smooth formulation of state and national level programs for migrant workers.
  • Shram Shakti portal will address the data gap and empower migrant workers who generally migrate in search of employment and income generation. The government would also be able to link the migrant population with existing Welfare Scheme- under Atam Nirbhar Bharat.
  • The minister also launched "ShramSaathi", a training manual for migrant workers, to ensure that the process of livelihood migration is safe and productive. Apart from this, a dedicated Migration cell was also launched in Goa to facilitate and support migrants who come from different States to Goa. This makes Goa the first destination state of India to set up a dedicated migration cell to address diverse issues of migrant workers.
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