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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - October 2020

Oct 2020

Sep 20, 2021

Rajasthan CM's OSD Lokesh Sharma Resigns

  • Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Lokesh Sharma submitted his resignation, hours after he posted a tweet which was seen as an indirect criticism of the Congress over the change of leadership in Punjab.
  • Sharma has been associated with Gehlot for over a decade now and he has been looking after his social media. He was made the OSD after Gehlot came to power in December 2018.

Charanjit Singh Channi is New Punjab Chief Minister

  • Congress leader Charanjit Singh Channi took oath as the Chief Minister of Punjab.
  • He was flanked by state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and other leaders.
  • Channi is the first Dalit to hold the post in the state.
  • A minister in the outgoing Amarinder Singh cabinet, Channi's selection assumes significance as the dissension-riven Congress faces the Assembly polls in less than five months.
  • Sukhjinder Randhawa and Brahm Mohindra are the two new Deputy Chief Ministers of Punjab.

BJP Nominates Sonowal, L. Murugan for Rajya Sabha by-polls

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominated Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister of State L Murugan for the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls on October 4.
  • While Sarbananda Sonowal is the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in the Union Cabinet, L. Murugan serves as the MoS in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Both leaders need to be elected to the Rajya Sabha in order to continue their current roles in the government.
  • The Election Commission hsd announced by-polls to seven vacant seats of the Rajya Sabha on October 4. Two seats from Tamil Nadu and one each from West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry and Maharashtra are vacant.
  • While Sarbananda Sonowal has been nominated from Assam, L. Murugan has been nominated from Madhya Pradesh.

Sep 19, 2021

R.N. Ravi is T.N. Governor

  • R. N. Ravi was sworn-in as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, succeeding Banwarilal Purohit who has been shifted to Punjab.
  • Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Sanjib Banerjee administered the oath of office to Ravi at an official ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan here. Chief Minister M K Stalin, his cabinet colleagues, Leader of Opposition K. Palaniswami and others participated in the swearing-in. Ravi was earlier appointed as the Centre's Interlocutor for the Naga peace talks.

Sep 18, 2021

Supreme Court Collegium Clears 8 for Elevation as CJs

  • The Supreme Court Collegium has recommended eight names for appointment as the Chief Justices of the Allahabad, Calcutta, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telengana, Meghalaya, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh High Courts.
  • Led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, the three-member Collegium is said to have also recommended the transfer of 5 Chief Justices and 28 other HC judges.
  • Calcutta High Court Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal has been recommended for appointment as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.
  • Justice Prakash Srivastava (MP HC), Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra (Chhattisgarh HC) and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi (Allahabad HC) have been recommended for appointment as Chief Justices of the Calcutta, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka High Courts, respectively.
  • Justice Satish Chandra Sharma (Acting CJ of the Karnataka HC), Justice Ranjit V More (Bombay HC), Justice Aravind Kumar (Karnataka HC) and Justice RV Malimath (Karnataka HC) have been recommended for appointment as Chief Justices of the Telangana, Meghalaya, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh High Courts.

Sep 17, 2021

CM Bhupendra Patel Keeps Home; Kanubhai Patel New Finance Minister

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel allocated portfolios to 24 newly-inducted ministers, keeping a host of departments including Home with himself and without appointing any deputy. Kanubhai Desai was allocated Finance and Energy and Petrochemicals portfolios.
  • Besides the Home Ministry, CM Patel will hold the charge of General Administration Department, Information and Broadcast, Industries, Mines and Minerals, Capital Projects, Urban Development, Urban Housing and Narmada and Ports. The allocation was announced in the first cabinet meeting held in Gandhinagar after the ministers were sworn in.
  • Rajendra Trivedi, who was Assembly Speaker during the previous Vijay Rupani government, was allocated Revenue, Law and Justice, and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs departments as a cabinet-rank minister.

NITI Aayog Launches Report on 'Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India'

  • NITI Aayog has launched a report titled 'Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India' which presents measures to ramp up urban planning capacity in India. The report was released jointly by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar, CEO Amitabh Kant and Special Secretary Dr. K. Rajeswara Rao.
  • The report has made several recommendations that can unblock bottlenecks in the value chain of urban planning capacity in India. Some of them include programmatic Intervention for the Planning of Health, Re-engineering of Urban Governance, Revision of Town and Country Planning Acts.
  • The report suggests that every city must aspire to become a 'Healthy City for All' by 2030.
  • The report has also recommended a Central Sector Scheme named '500 Healthy Cities Programme', for a period of 5 years. Under this priority cities and towns would be selected jointly by the states and local bodies.

Centre Agrees to Reinstate Justice A.I.S Cheema as Acting Chairperson of NCLAT

  • After a brief impasse with the Supreme Court, the Centre agreed, as a one-off measure, to reinstate Justice A.I.S Cheema as Acting Chairperson of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) till the date of his retirement on September 20 so that he can pronounce judgments pending with him.
  • The government blinked after the to and fro between the Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana and the government, represented by Attorney-General K. K. Venugopal, reached such a pass that the court threatened to suo motu stay the Tribunal Reforms Act of 2021.
  • The government made it clear that Justice Cheema's reinstatement was after considering the "peculiar circumstances" of his case and should not be treated as a precedent.

Sep 16, 2021

India-Africa Defence Dialogue to be Held Biennially at every DefExpo

  • Two years after the first India-Africa Defence Ministers' Conclave held in February 2020 in Lucknow, India will hold the India-Africa Defence Dialogue on the sidelines of DefExpo in March next year.
  • India has proposed to make it a regular event, to be held with the biennial DefExpo military exhibition.
  • The dialogue will help build on existing partnerships between African countries & India" and will "explore new areas of convergence for mutual engagements.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will host the Defence Ministers of African nations in the next India-Africa Defence Dialogue in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, in March 2022.

Vice President, PM, Lok Sabha Speaker Jointly Launch Sansad TV

  • Sansad TV was jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, coincidentally on the International Day of Democracy.
  • Sansad TV is a merger of Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV channels. The channel will be operational 24-hours. It will aim to showcase the democratic ethos and functioning of democratic institutions of the country to target both national and international audiences.
  • The decision to merge Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV was taken in February 2021 and retired IAS officer Ravi Capoor was appointed as its CEO in March.

Maoist Violence Highest in Chhattisgarh in 2020

  • According to the annual report released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Chhattisgarh recorded the highest number of crimes committed by Maoists in 2020. The NCRB statistics show that Chhattisgarh topped in number of murders, attempted murders, loot and arson by Maoists by a long margin followed by Jharkhand and Maharashtra. The statistics only goes on to show the grim reality of left-wing extremism in the state.
  • Chhattisgarh also lost most police personnel in Maoist attacks and counter-insurgency operations, the data shows.
  • As per NRCB, a total of 533 cases against Maoist were registered in eight states in 2020 and Chhattisgarh accounted for 296 of these, followed by Jharkhand (133) and Maharashtra (32). In 2019, total cases registered against Maoist numbered 514, including 310 in Chhattisgarh and 70 in Maharashtra.

Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh Sworn in as Uttarakhand Governor

  • Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh was sworn in as the new governor of Uttarakhand.
  • Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court Justice R. S. Chauhan administered the oath of office to Singh.
  • The function was attended by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, his cabinet colleagues Satpal Maharaj, Dhan Singh Rawat, Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Premchand Aggarwal and a number of senior government officials.
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