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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - November 2020

Nov 2020

Mar 08, 2021

President of India Inaugurates the All India State Judicial Academies Directors' Retreat

  • The President was given a Guard of Honour and attended the inaugural function of the Retreat of All India State Judicial Education Directors. President Nath Kobind inaugurated the All India Judicial Academy Directors Retreat at Jabalpur and lit the lamp. Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and others were present on the occasion.
  • On the occasion, Chief Justice of India Justice Sharad Arvind Bobad released the book "From the Past to the Present of the Courts of India" and presented the first copy to President Ram Nath Kobind. Supreme Court Justice NV Raman published the book "Judicial History and Court of Madhya Pradesh" and presented the first copy to the President.

PM Modi to Inaugurate Maitri Setu' Between India and Bangladesh

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 'Maitri Setu' between India and Bangladesh, a bridge built over the Feni River.
  • He will also inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of multiple infrastructure projects in Tripura during the event.
  • The bridge Maitri Setu' has been built over the Feni River which flows between the Indian boundary in Tripura and Bangladesh.
  • The name Maitri Setu' symbolizes growing bilateral relations and friendly ties between India and Bangladesh.
  • The 1.9 km long bridge joins Sabroom in India with Ramgarh in Bangladesh.

India's Biggest Kidney Dialysis Hospital

  • The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee inaugurated the biggest Kidney Dialysis hospital of the country.
  • The Guru Harikshan Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Kidney Dialysis Hospital was opened at Balasahib Gurudwara in Delhi. It provides free treatment to kidney patients.
  • The 100-bedded hospital is equipped with most technically advanced medical facilities where services will be provided free of cost to the patients.
  • There will also be no billing counter at the hospital. There will only be a registration counter to keep record of the patients.

Ten Outfits Extend Support to AIADMK

  • Ten smaller outfits, including the former Member of Parliament, A C Shanmugam-led Puthiya Needhi Katchi, extended their support to the AIADMK for the April 6 Tamil Nadu assembly elections.
  • The leaders of the parties called on the ruling party's top leaders O. Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami at the party headquarters here and extended their support.
  • Bharatiya Forward Block's Muruganji, Indiya Uzhavar Uzhaipalar party leader Vettavalam K Manigandan, Tamil Maanila Muslim League president S Sheikh Dawood, Inidya Desiya Kudiyarasu Katchi's founder chief C Ambedkar Priyan, Veera Mutharaiyar Munnetra Sangam's KK Selvakumar and Tamil Telugu Desiya Katchi's EVS Ramkumar Naidu were the others who pledged the backing of their respective outfits to the AIADMK.

Punjab Chief Minister Orders Immediate Action on 7-point Agenda 2022

  • Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed all state departments to move aggressively for the realisation of the 7-point 'Agenda 2022' unveiled by him recently.
  • The agenda, aimed at ensuring total protection of people and their properties in an environment of peaceful co-existence conducive to saving the lives and livelihood of all Punjabis against all odds, is centred around citizen welfare through a holistic focus on overarching development of the state.
  • The overarching goal of the agenda is to ensure the development of a Kaamyab & Kushal Punjab.
  • With a record-breaking 84.6 per cent of the manifesto commitments already accomplished and the promise of fulfilling the remaining in the next one year, the CM directed all ministries and departments to move aggressively and proactively to push for the realisation of the 7-point Agenda 2022.

TMC MLA Sonali Guha to Join BJP

  • Sonali Guha, once a close aide of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and a four-time MLA of the party, said that she will join the BJP, two days after being denied a ticket for the upcoming assembly polls in West Bengal.
  • The MLA from Satgachia alleged that she was not given due respect in the Trinamool Congress.

Shiv Sena Will Contest 20-25 Seats for Goa Assembly Election

  • Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut announced that his party will contest at least 20-25 seats for the Goa Legislative Assembly election next year.
  • "The party will contest in all the Assembly constituencies where it has its presence," Raut said and added that there is largescale unrest against the BJP-led government in Goa but the opposition parties have failed to encash on these sentiments.

Actor Mithun Chakraborty Joins BJP

  • Bengali actor Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata.
  • The move comes weeks ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal, which are slated to begin on March 27. Speculations were rife that Mithun would be joining the saffron camp to boost the party's growing image in the state.

BJP Resolves to form Govt. in J-K on its Own

  • The BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit adopted a resolution to form next government in the union territory of its own whenever the Assembly elections are held.
  • It also resolved to adhere to the positive politics for the welfare of the public and to "expose the negative politics of other parties" in the Union Territory as it accused them of "exploiting the people by making false and anti-national statements".

Mar 07, 2021

India and Nigeria Resolve to Step up Cooperation in Combating Terrorism

  • India and Nigeria vowed to enhance cooperation against all forms of terrorism, reaffirming their firm belief that there can be no justification for the menace.
  • At the invitation of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, his Nigerian counterpart Major General (retd.) Babagana Monguno visited New Delhi for the first Strategic and Counter-Terrorism Dialogue between India and Nigeria at the level of NSA from March 4 to 5.
  • Within the framework of the close and strategic partnership between India and Nigeria, the national security advisors held in-depth discussions on the threats and challenges faced by democratic societies from terrorism, extremism, radicalisation including through cyberspace, as well as from international crime, arms and drug smuggling and piracy.

PM Narendra Modi Addresses Top Military Leadership Conference

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a conference of the county's top military leadership in Gujarat's Kevadia which also saw the participation of jawans and junior commissioned officers (JCOs) for the first time.
  • NSA Ajit Doval, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General M.M. Naravane, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and senior officials of the Defence Ministry and the armed forces were present at the conference.
  • The agenda of the meet was to review the working of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), from the unification of the three armies and the creation of theatre command.
  • The annual Combined Commanders Conference was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2014, the CCC meet had taken place for the first time, it was only then that the three forces suggested the conference to be moved out of Delhi. 

Mar 06, 2021

Delimitation Commission Gets One Year Extension to Conclude its Task in J&K

  • The Delimitation Commission, a panel for redrawing the parliamentary and Assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, has got a one-year extension, a move indicating that the Assembly polls in the Union Territory would not be held anytime soon.
  • A gazette notification issued by the government said that the panel, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, will get one more year for completing its task in the Union Territory, which came into existence on October, 2019 after the Centre abrogated the special status of the erstwhile state in August that year and announced its reorganization.
  • The panel was set up last year to redraw the electoral constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir and four northeastern states — Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. However, the one-year extension is only for Jammu and Kashmir.

Former TMC MP Dinesh Trivedi Joins BJP

  • Dinesh Trivedi, the former TMC MP who resigned from Rajya Sabha in February, joined Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • Dinesh Trivedi joined BJP in presence of party president JP Nadda, Union Minister Piyush Goyal and BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra at party headquarters in New Delhi.

Centre forms 259-member Committee

  • The Centre formed a 259-member committee to commemorate the 75 years of India's independence which falls on August 15, 2022.
  • The committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will include former President Pratibha Patil, former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and HD Devegowda, several Ministers, leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and LK Advani, artists, sportspersons, among others.
  • The committee will provide policy direction and guidelines for formulation of programmes for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, at the national and international levels.
  • Earlier, a National Implementation Committee (NIC), under the chairmanship of the Home Minister, had been constituted for the commemoration, to guide the policies and programs to be undertaken by various Ministries.

Modi and Swedish PM Discuss Defence

  • Amid interests shown by Swedish company Saab to manufacture its Gripen fighter aircraft in India, Prime Ministers of the two countries noted defence is an important area of a long-standing collaboration.
  • Saab, a global defence and security giant, has been eyeing the Indian market for its Gripen fighter aircraft for a long time and has made a strong pitch on multiple occasions in the recent past that it is completely aligned with the 'Make in India' policy of the government here and is ready to build products and solutions in India, by Indians, for India and for export.
  • Noting that Gripen is already operational in Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Thailand and South Africa among other countries, Saab had said its offer was moulded to meet all the requirements of the Indian Air Force and the defence and security needs of the country in general.
  • Saab's portfolio includes combat aircraft, surveillance solutions, electronic warfare, avionics, weapon systems, sensors, commercial aeronautics, training, service and support.

Mar 05, 2021

Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal Top in NCAER Survey on Land Record Digitization

  • With the central and state governments striving to digitise all land records in the country, online accessibility of data has improved in 2020-21 over the last year.
  • The latest edition of National Land Records and Survey Index (N-LRSI), formulated by Delhi-based think tank National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER), show while some states like Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha have improved their records over the last year and held on to the top spots, some states/UTs like Ladakh, J&K, Sikkim and a few other North-Eastern states have a long way forward.

BJP to Finalise Seat-sharing for Assam

  • The seat-sharing arrangement for the Assam assembly elections between the ruling BJP and its allies– AGP, UPPL and GSP -- would be finalised in Delhi in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda.
  • After the Bodoland Territorial Council polls in December last year the BJP had forged an alliance with the United People's Party Liberal (UPPL) and the Gana Suraksha Party (GSP), discarding its old ally Bodoland People's Front (BPF).
  • Sarma, convener of the BJP-backed regional body Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said that major issues about seat-sharing have been agreed upon with the AGP, UPPL and GSP and the remaining issues will be discussed in the Delhi meeting.

Ease of Living Index 2020

  • Among Indian cities with a population of over a million, the ease of living is the highest in Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad while it is the lowest in Bareilly, Dhanbad and Srinagar, according to the Ease of Living Index 2020 prepared by the ministry of housing and urban affairs.
  • In cities with population less than a million, Shimla was ranked the highest while Muzaffarpur in Bihar was had the lowest score.
  • The first edition of the index was launched in 2018. It was based on indicators across 15 evaluation criteria, including governance, identity and culture, education, health, safety and security, economy, affordable housing, land use planning, public open spaces, transportation and mobility, assured water supply, waste-water management, solid waste management, power, and quality of environment.

Deal between Nepal Govt. and Radical Maoist Group

  • Nepal's government signed a peace agreement with a banned radical Maoist group, which was involved in violent attacks, extortion and bombings targeting infrastructure projects in the country.
  • According to the three-point agreement signed between the government and the outlawed Communist Party of Nepal-Chand, the government will lift the ban, release all their party members and supporters in jail and drop all legal cases against them.
  • On its part, the rebel communist group will address all its political issues through dialogue and carry out all political activities in a peaceful manner.

Mar 04, 2021

Trinamool Congress MLA Jitendra Tiwari Joins BJP

    • In yet another setback to the Trinamool Congress party in West Bengal, party MLA Jitendra Tiwari joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
    • He joined BJP in the presence of party state chief Dilip Ghosh at a programme in Sreerampur in Hooghly district.
    • Tiwari is a two-time MLA from Pandabeswar in Paschim Barddhaman district and former mayor of Asansol.
    • Tiwari had resigned from the post of the chairman of the Board of Administrators of Asansol Municipal Corporation in December last year.

Nawada Tops Aspirational Districts Ranking in January

  • Nawada in Bihar has topped the list of aspirational districts ranked by government think tank Niti Aayog in January. Kiphire (Nagaland) and Namsai (Arunachal Pradesh) are at the second and third positions, respectively.
  • Hailakandi (Assam) and Chandel (Manipur) are at the fourth and fifth places, respectively.
  • The delta rankings took into account incremental progress made by over 112 aspirational districts across six developmental areas in December 2020.
  • Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion, skill development and basic infrastructure were the development areas that were taken into consideration for the ranking.
  • Aspirational districts programme, launched in January 2018, aims to transform districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas.

Gujarat Local Body Polls: BJP Records Massive Victory

  • The ruling BJP recorded a massive victory in the local body polls in Gujarat by winning a clear majority in all 31 district panchayats as well as in 196 out of 231 taluka panchayats and 74 out of 81 municipalities.
  • The Congress, the main opposition party in the state, won a clear majority in only one municipality and 18 taluka panchayats, while AIMIM and AAP also made their presence felt.
  • In six municipalities and 15 taluka panchayats, no party has got a clear majority.

Govt. Amends Rules to Bring Insurance Brokers within Ombudsman Ambit

  • The government has amended insurance ombudsman rules, bringing insurance brokers within their ambit and also allowed policyholders to file online complaints.
  • The amended rules have enlarged the scope of complaints to ombudsmen from only disputes earlier to deficiencies in service on the part of insurers, agents, brokers and other intermediaries.
  • Under the amended rules, the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of the mechanism has been substantially strengthened.
  • Policyholders will now be enabled for making complaints electronically to the ombudsman and a complaints' management system will be created to enable policyholders to track the status of their complaints online. Further, the ombudsman may use video-conferencing for hearings.
  • Further, insurance brokers have been brought within the ambit of the Ombudsman mechanism, by empowering the Ombudsmen to pass awards against insurance brokers as well.

Karnataka Minister Jarkiholi Resigns

  • Karnataka Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi sent his resignation letter to Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa following allegations of sexual harassment against him.
  • The development comes a day after purported video clips showing Jarkiholi getting intimate with an unidentified woman, were widely aired by Kannada news channels.
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