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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - March 2020

Mar 2020

Aug 02, 2021

Assam, Nagaland Sign Pact to De-escalate Tense Situation

  • The Chief Secretaries of Assam and Nagaland signed an agreement to de-escalate tense situation prevailing at two locations in the Dessoi valley forest/Tsurangkong valley by simultaneously withdrawing security forces within the next 24-hours.
  • The agreement was signed following a meeting at Dimapur between Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua and his Nagaland counterpart J Alam in the presence of Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu.
  • Both sides agreed that in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the areas around Ao Senden village and Vikuto village as they are known in Nagaland and called as Jankhona Nala / Nagajankha and Compartment No. 12 respectively in Assam, urgent and effective steps are required for defusing the standoff between the security forces of Nagaland and Assam.

India Takes over as President of UN Security Council

  • India took over the Presidency of the UN Security Council on August 1 and is set to host signature events in three major areas of maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism during the month.
  • India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T. S. Tirumurti said that it is a singular honour for us to be presiding over the Security Council the same month when we are celebrating our 75th Independence Day.
  • India's two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council began on January 1, 2021. The August presidency will be India's first Presidency during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. India will again preside over the Council in December next year (2022).

Babul Supriyo Quits Politics, to Resign as BJP MP

  • Former Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Babul Supriyo announced that he has decided to quit politics and resign as an MP as well. He hinted the decision was partly due to him losing the ministerial berth and also differences with the state BJP leadership.
  • Supriyo, who had held several portfolios as a minister of state in the Narendra Modi government since 2014, was among the several ministers who were dropped from the Union Cabinet in July as part of a major rejig in the Union cabinet. . He unsuccessfully contested assembly polls against Trinamool Congress Aroop Biswas in the last assembly elections.

Deepak Das Takes Charge as Controller General of Accounts

  • Civil Accounts Service officer Deepak Das took charge as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) under the Department of Expenditure.
  • A 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer, Das has held important positions at different levels in ministries such as science & technology, environment and forest, and Departments for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
  • He also held important positions in departments of heavy industries, commerce, agriculture, road transport, highways and home affairs, as well as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.
  • Prior to assuming charge of CGA, he was the principal chief controller of accounts in the Central Board of Direct Taxes, where he was pivotal to several important technology-driven initiatives relating to direct taxes collection, reporting and receipt accounting.

Aug 01, 2021

India, US Renew Global Development Partnership Deal

  • India and the US renewed for another five years a global development partnership agreement that provides for jointly offering assistance to their partner countries in areas of connectivity, trade and investments, healthcare and agriculture.
  • Both sides signed the second amendment to the Statement of Guiding Principles (SGP) on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development.
  • The SGP agreement was signed in November 2014 and the fresh amendment extended the pact's validity up to 2026.

Jul 31, 2021

Eleven Cities Get Cycling Pioneers Award

  • The central government has awarded the title 'India's Cycling Pioneers' and a grant of Rs. 1 crore to 11 cities. The award was conferred based on a selection process by national and international transport experts.
  • The cities include Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Kohima, Nagpur, New Town Kolkata, Pimpri Chinchwad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, and Warangal.
  • The India Cycles4Change Challenge saw 107 cities from across the country test, learn, and scale up different cycling-friendly initiatives, in order to kick-start India's cycling revolution.

Jul 30, 2021

India, US to Virtually co-host Fourth Annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum in October

  • India and the US will virtually co-host the fourth annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) in October, the State Department has announced.
  • The IPBF, now in its fourth year, is the leading event to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation between the United States and its partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
  • The two-day online event from October 28 will be co-hosted by the US and India in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC).

BJP Slams Left for Attending Chinese Embassy Event

  • The presence of Left leaders at an online event organised by the Chinese embassy to mark the centenary of the Communist Party of China has triggered a row with the BJP accusing Left parties of having a long tradition of opposing the national interest and harbouring extraterritorial loyalties.
  • The Left, however, defended the decision noting that the government itself is engaged with China on several issues and accused the BJP of raising it to divert attention from its government's failures.
  • The Chinese embassy said that it had organised an online seminar on July 27 to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

Jul 29, 2021

BJP Seeks Shashi Tharoor's Removal as House Panel Head

  • The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) moved a privilege motion seeking Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor's removal as the head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology. It came hours before the committee was scheduled to meet to discuss the alleged Pegasus snooping.
  • The snooping row erupted before the beginning of Parliament's ongoing monsoon session after an international investigative consortium reported that many Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen, and journalists were potentially targeted by the Israeli company NSO Group's phone hacking software Pegasus. A forensic analysis of 10 of the targets proved they had been hacked or that there had been attempts to do so.

Puri India's First City to Provide Quality Drinking Tap Water

  • Puri has become the first city in India where people can avail high-quality drinking water directly from the tap on a 24-hour basis. It has enabled the people of Puri to collect quality drinking water directly from the tap. Henceforth, people need not have to store or filter drinking water.
  • The project would benefit 2.5 lakh citizens of Puri and 2 crore tourists who visit the tourist place every year. They need not have to move around with water bottles. Puri would no more be burdened with 400 metric tonnes of plastic waste. Water fountains have been developed at 400 locations in Puri.
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