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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - August 2020

Aug 2020

Sep 01, 2021

Tripura CM Biplab Deb Expands Cabinet

  • Biplab Kumar Deb, heading the first BJP government in Tripura, expanded his cabinet with the induction of three ministers, including two from the rival camp, as the saffron party braced itself for the assembly polls due in 2023.
  • Two of the three new faces, Ramprasad Paul and Sushanta Chowdhury, belonged to the dissident camp led by former Health Minister Sudip Roy Burman.
  • Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya administered the oath of office and secrecy to Paul, Chowdhury and Bhagban Das at the Raj Bhavan. They are yet to be allocated portfolios.
  • With the expansion of the cabinet, the first in over three years, the government has 11 ministers. Under the norms based on the strength of the legislative assembly, Tripura can have 11 ministers.

CJI N. V. Ramana Administers Oath of Office to 9 Judge Designates

  • The Chief Justice of India (CJI) N. V. Ramana administered the Oath of Office to the nine Supreme Court Judges.
  • The nine Judge Designates are Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Justice Vikram Nath, Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Justice Hima Kohli, Justice B. V. Nagarathna, Justice Chudalayil Thevan Ravikumar, Justice M. M. Sundresh, Justice Bela Madhurya Trivedi and Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha.
  • This is for the first time in the history of the Supreme Court of India when nine judges had taken the Oath of Office in one go.

Amit Shah Inaugurates Web Portal for Registrations of Units under New Central Sector Scheme 2021 ...

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has launched a web portal for the registration of units for industrial development in Jammu and Kashmir. The Home Minister unveiled the web portal to register units under the New Central Sector Scheme 2021 in the presence of Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh. The inauguration of the web portal was done via video conferencing. The Minister said that the new industrial policy is an accomplishment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to the comprehensive development of the Union Territory following revocation of Article 370 and 35A by creating employment opportunities and promotion of tourism in the region.

Indian Envoy in Doha Meets Taliban Leader

  • In signs that the Government of India has softened its stance on the Taliban, Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepak Mittal met with the head of the Taliban's political office, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai.
  • While Indian security officials and diplomats are understood to have engaged with Taliban representatives for several months, this is the first time the government has publicly acknowledged such a meeting, which came at the request of the Taliban.
  • Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan. The travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit India also came up. Mr. Mittal said India's concern was that Afghanistan's soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner.

India Ends UNSC Presidency with Resolution on Afghanistan

  • A divided UN Security Council adopted a Resolution asking the Taliban to allow safe passage for those seeking to leave Afghanistan and demanding that it should not harbour groups that threaten or attack any country or to shelter and train terrorists.
  • With abstentions by China and Russia, the other 13 members, including India and the US, voted in favour of UNSC Resolution 2593 which specifically mentioned Lashkr-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, etc., that are still listed as terrorists by the UNSC.
  • The Resolution did not mention the proposal backed by France for the creation of a safe zone in Kabul. It was tabled by Permanent Members the US, France and the UK. Russia and China objected to the exclusion of groups like ISIL and East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

Aug 31, 2021

Govt. Introduces "Bharat series (BH-series)" Registration

  • Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has introduced a new registration mark for new vehicles, i.e. "Bharat series (BH-series)". The vehicles bearing the BH-series mark will not have to require the assignment of a new registration mark when the owner of the vehicle shifts from one state to another.
  • Earlier, under section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, if a person moves from one state to another, a person is allowed to keep the vehicle for not more than 12 months in any state other than the state where the vehicle is registered, but a new registration with the new state- registering authority has to be made within the stipulated time of 12 months.
  • This facility is available on a voluntary basis to Defense personnel, employees of Central Government/ State Government/ Central/ State Public Sector Undertakings and private sector companies/organizations, which have their offices in four or more States/Union territories.

IBBI Proposes Amendments in Liquidation Process

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) has proposed amendments in the liquidation process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) in order to bring transparency.
  • According to IBBI, regulatory framework of liquidation process has been improvised on various occasions in last five years in a bid to address the difficulties faced by stakeholders, meet evolving requirements and to achieve the objectives of the Code.
  • New amendments were proposed to further strengthen the regulatory framework of the liquidation process with respect to accountability of liquidator towards stakeholders.
  • IBBI is the regulator to look after the insolvency proceedings and entities such as Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPA), Information Utilities in India and Insolvency Professionals (IP). It was established in October 2016. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code provides IBBI statutory powers. The code was passed by Lok Sabha in May 2016. Present whole-time members of the IBBI include Dr. Navrang Saini, Dr. Ms. Mukulita Vijayawargiya and Sh. Sudhakar Shukla.

Aug 30, 2021

M. K. Bhardwaj is President of Jammu Chapter of J&K HC Bar Association

  • The Jammu chapter of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association got a new body with advocate M. K. Bhardwaj elected as president following an election that took place after a delay of two years.
  • Mohinder Pal Singh (Palli) was elected as the vice president, Surjeet Singh Andotra as general secretary, Aditya Sharma as joint secretary and Amandeep Singh as treasurer.

President Unveils Statue of Former CM Sampurnanand

  • President Ram Nath Kovind unveiled the statue of Sampurnanand, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, and likewise inaugurated an auditorium named after him on the U.P. Sainik School in Lucknow.
  • Addressing the concluding ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Sainik School named after Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, Mr. Kovind mentioned Sampurnanand and Pandey shared the widespread thought of dedicating all the pieces to nationwide delight.
  • Sampooranand was CM of Uttar Pradesh from 1954 to 1960.

Prime Minister Inaugurates Renovated Complex of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial.
  • A wreath-laying ceremony was held and a two-minute silence observed in the memory of martyrs of the Jallianwala massacre.
  • Museum galleries have been developed at the memorial and the event showcased multiple development initiatives taken by the government to upgrade the complex.
  • A sound and light show has been set up to display the events that happened on April 13, 1919 when the British forces fired indiscriminately on a large and peaceful gathering of protesters, killing over 1,000 people and wounding hundreds of them.
  • Four museum galleries have been created through adaptive reuse of redundant and underutilised buildings.

India Elected to CA and POC of Universal Postal Union

  • India has won the elections for membership of two key bodies of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), during the 27th UPU Congress in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. India got elected to the Council of Administration (CA) with 134 votes, out of 156 countries. The country received the highest votes in CA elections from South Asia and the Oceania region.
  • Apart from this, India has also been elected to the Postal Operations Council (POC) with 106 votes. India will now work with all to strengthen cooperation in the Universal Postal Union.
  • The Universal Postal Union, established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC) and the International Bureau (IB). It also oversees the Telematics and Express Mail Service (EMS) cooperatives. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties. The UPU's headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Inaugurates Eastern India's Largest ECMO Facility

  • Odisha got eastern India's largest ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) unit at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack. While inaugurating the service, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announces free ECMO treatment to all.
  • As per Naveen Patnaik, the service with nine ECMO units will be very helpful to treat the critical patients affected by Covid.
  • Stating ECMO services in the premier health institute a historical decision, Panchayati Raj Minister Pratap Jena thanked CM Naveen Patnaik and suggested people take the advantage of service in the state itself.

Justice Kothari is Acting Gujarat High Court Chief Justice

  • Justice Vineet Kothari was appointed the acting Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court by President Ram Nath Kovind.
  • Justice Kothari, the senior-most judge of the Gujarat HC, was appointed to the top post in the state judiciary following the elevation of incumbent Chief Justice Vikram Nath to the Supreme Court a few days back.
  • Justice Kothari is expected to take over as the acting CJ on September 1.

Aug 29, 2021

Rajavelou is Puducherry Deputy Speaker

  • Four-time legislator P. Rajavelou was elected unopposed as the deputy Speaker of the 15th Legislative Assembly.
  • Speaker R. Selvam made the announcement appointing Mr. Rajavelou, a legislator representing Nettapakkam (reserved) constituency as the Deputy Speaker. Mr. Rajavelou's was the lone nomination received for the post, Mr. Selvam said. Mr. Rajavelou, who got elected to the Assembly first from the Bahour Assembly constituency in 1990, had also represented Embalam constituency.
  • In his more than 20-year-long political career, he had served as Minister twice under Chief Minister N. Rangasamy.

Delhi has the Highest No of CCTVs in the World

  • Delhi is in the list of most surveilled cities in the world, the national capital is only the second Indian city to be awarded this distinction among other major international hubs like US' New York city, China's Shanghai and UK's London.
  • As per a data for the world's most surveilled cities compiled by Forbes India, New Delhi ranks first among a list of 20 other cities. Delhi reportedly has 1,826.6 CCTVs covering per square mile.
  • The other Indian city featuring in the list in Tamil Nadu's capital city of Chennai with 609.9 cameras per square miles ranking third in the world. London ranks second, is just behind Delhi - with 1138.5 CCTVs per square mile.

Education Ministry's Innovation Cells, AICTE, BPRD Launch MANTHAN 2021

  • Ministry of Education's innovation cells, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) have jointly launched the MANTHAN 2021 hackathon, a unique national initiative to identify innovative concepts and technology solutions for addressing the security challenges of the 21st century faced by the intelligence agencies.
  • MANTHAN 2021 will have two phases. In the first phase, participants would submit their concepts against the problem statements which they wish to solve on the portal. These submitted ideas will be evaluated by group of experts in the field and only the innovative ideas will be selected for the Grand Finale or 2nd round scheduled from 28 November 2021. During the grand finale, selected participants are expected to build the solution to demonstrate their concepts and prove to the juries that their ideas are technically feasible and more importantly implementable. Best ideas will be declared winners.

Aug 28, 2021

NERDSD Goal Index Report & Dashboard Launched

  • NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) launched the first edition of the North Eastern Region District Sustainable Development (NERDSD) Goal Index Report and Dashboard 2021-22.
  • This is the first of its kind region-wide district SDG index in India.
  • Launch of NERDSD goal index report is also a milestone in the efforts towards localising Sustainable Development Goals across 120 Districts of the north-eastern states of India namely Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • This index has been prepared by collaborative efforts of NITI Aayog and DoNER Ministry.
  • The index was launched in order to facilitate a platform to identify crucial gaps and inform interventions in order to fast track progress towards achieving the SDGs. It measures the performance of the districts across eight States.

PM Modi Chairs 37th PRAGATI Meeting

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the meeting of 37th edition of PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation).
  • During the meeting, nine agenda items comprising of eight projects and one scheme were taken for review.
  • PRAGATI meeting is held once every month on the fourth Wednesday. The day is dubbed as PRAGATI Day.
  • PRAGATI is a platform, enabling the Prime Minister to discuss issues with concerned Central and State officials with full information and visuals of ground-level situation. This platform was launched in 2015. It has been designed by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) team in collaboration with National Informatics Center (NIC). Platform is a three-tier system namely PMO, Union Government Secretaries and Chief Secretaries of States.
  • Three objectives of PRAGATI are Grievance Redressal, Programme Implementation and Project Monitoring.

Mansukh Mandaviya Takes Charge as Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, took charge as the Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board on August 26, 2021.
  • He will hold the position until 2024.
  • He will now lead the efforts of Stop TB Partnership Secretariat, partners, and TB community in order to reach towards reaching United Nations TB targets by 2022. Thus, it is a milestone moment in the effort of ending TB by 2030.
  • This partnership was established in the year 2000 in a bid to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) as a public health problem. It comprises of 1500 partner organizations including international organizations, nongovernmental & governmental organizations as well as patient groups. Its secretariat is located in Geneva, Switzerland. It is administered by UNOPS since 2015. Earlier, it was hosted by the World Health Organization.
  • Stop TB Initiative was established after the meeting of the First Session of Ad Hoc Committee on Tuberculosis Epidemic. It was held in London in March 1998.
  • Stop TB Partnership came up with the Amsterdam Declaration in March 2000 in order to Stop TB.
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