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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - November 2021

Nov 2021

Aug 04, 2022

India to Host UN Security Council Members for Special Meeting on Counter-terrorism in October

  • India will host diplomats of the 15-nation UN Security Council on October 29 for a special meeting on counter-terrorism.
  • India is halfway through the second year of its two-year term as an elected non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
  • India's tenure at the Council will end in December when the country will also preside as president of the powerful UN organ for the month.
  • India chairs the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee for 2022 and will in October host diplomats of the 15-nation Security Council, including the US, China and Russia, for the counter-terrorism committee's special meeting.

Tiranga Bike Rally Organised by Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy

  • The Vice President flagged off the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' bike rally of MPs from Red Fort to Vijay Chowk. The rally was organised by the Ministry of Culture to amplify the awareness of 'Har Ghar Tiranga', the Govt of India initiative to inculcate a personal connect between the citizens of India and the National Flag. Various Union Ministers too participated in the bike rally. The bike rally was held from Red Fort to Vijay Chowk.

Mamata Reshuffles Cabinet, Supriyo and 7 others Take Oath as Ministers

  • Former Union minister Babul Supriyo, agricultural expert Pradip Majumdar and six other Trinamool Congress (TMC) legislators took oath as West Bengal ministers after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee carried out a major reshuffle of her cabinet amid a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the bribe-for-job scam that has rocked the state.
  • Four MLAs – Supriyo (Ballygunge constituency), Majumdar (Durgapur East), Snehasish Chakraborty (Jangipara) and Udayan Guha (Dinhata) – were sworn in as cabinet ministers by Governor La Ganesan at Raj Bhawan in the presence of the Chief Minister.
  • Majumdar, Chakraborty and Guha, whose father Kamal Guha was a well-known minister in the Left Front era, were given charge of the departments of panchayat and rural development, transport and north Bengal development, respectively.

Centre Withdraws Personal Data Protection Bill

  • After four years of deliberations, the government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019, which is to be replaced with one that has a comprehensive framework and is in alignment with contemporary digital privacy laws.
  • As per Electronics and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the government withdrew the Bill because the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) had recommended 81 amendments to it, which has 99 sections. The JPC had made 12 recommendations.

Aug 03, 2022

India, Maldives Ink Six Agreements to Broad-base Ties in Key Areas

  • India and Maldives inked six agreements to expand cooperation in several key areas with Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserting that New Delhi has been and would continue to be the "first responder" to any need or crisis facing the island nation. After wide-ranging talks with visiting Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Modi announced a Line of Credit of USD 100 million (one million = 10 lakh) for the neighbouring country for the completion of development projects in a time-bound manner.
  • The six pacts inked between the two sides will facilitate cooperation in capacity building, cyber security, housing, disaster management and infrastructure development in the Maldives.

Suresh N. Patel Sworn in as Central Vigilance Commissioner

  • Vigilance Commissioner Suresh N. Patel was appointed as the Central Vigilance Commissioner, a year after the post fell vacant.
  • Patel, who has been working as the acting Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) since June 2022, was sworn in as the chief of the probity watchdog Central Vigilance Commission by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The ceremony was also attended by the prime minister and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
  • Patel, former managing director and chief executive officer of Andhra Bank, was in April 2020 appointed as the Vigilance Commissioner.

Punjab's First Integrated Command and Control Centre Launched in Ludhiana

  • Punjab Local Bodies Minister Dr. Inderbir Singh Nijjar inaugurated Punjab's first hi-tech Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) under which 1,401 CCTV cameras were installed in the city.
  • The centre has been set up at a cost of Rs. 35.96 crore to comprehensively monitor the city and will operate from the municipal corporation's D Zone office in Sarabha Nagar.
  • The ICCC will help to oversee traffic, law and order, monitoring of LED lights, sewage treatment plants, common effluent treatment plants, rooftop solar panels, encroachments and defacement, revenue collection of Municipal Corporation that will include property tax, water and sewerage, disposal, pet registration etc.

Assam CM Launches Digital Issuance of Caste Certificates for Students

  • Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched 'Mission Bhumiputra', a digital way to issue digitalised caste certificates to students.
  • The Chief Minister inaugurated a Bhumiputra Portal at a programme held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra.
  • Implemented by the Departments of Tribal Affairs (Plain) and Social Justice Empowerment, the mission was implemented to carry forward the government's mission of easy public service to the public.

Aug 02, 2022

Maldives President Ibrahim Solih 4-day Visit

  • Maldives President Ibrahim Solih began a four-day visit to India aimed at shoring up strategic and business relations between the two countries, which are close partners in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean with a population of about half a million, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of India's "Neighbourhood First" policy, with New Delhi developing projects worth some $2 billion in the archipelago, including ports, roads, bridges and socio-economic development schemes.
  • Solih's visit to India came amid his widening political rift with Mohammed Nasheed, former President of the island nation and the current parliament speaker. Both Solih and Nasheed are senior leaders of the Maldivian Democratic Party.

Satyendra Prakash is New Chief of PIB

  • Satyendra Prakash, a 1988-batch Indian Information Service officer, assumed charge as head of the Press Information Bureau of the government.
  • He was serving as director general, Bureau of Outreach and Communication, and succeeded Jaideep Bhatnagar who retired on July 31.
  • Prakash has wide experience in the central government in the fields of public communication, media management, administration, policy formulation and programme implementation and has represented the Centre on national and international fora like UNESCO, UNICEF and UNDP.
  • The Press Information Bureau was established in June 1919 as a small cell under Home Ministry under the British government. Its main task was to prepare a report on India to be placed before the British Parliament. It was then located in Shimla.
  • The first head of the publicity cell was Dr. L.F. Rushbrook Williams of Allahabad University who was designated as Officer on Special Duty. Prof. Williams had earlier worked with Sir Stanley Reed on the Central Publicity Board.
  • In 1941, J. Natrajan became the first Indian to be head the Bureau as Principal Information Officer. The organisation's name was changed to the Press Information Bureau in 1946.

Aug 01, 2022

Bengal Inks MoU with Maharashtra to Prevent Migration, Trafficking of Women

  • The West Bengal government inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to prevent migration and trafficking of women since a lot of movement of people takes place between the two states.
  • West Bengal Women and Child Development and Social Welfare Minister Dr. Shashi Panja said that to help save children from being trafficked and fall prey to other forms of cyber abuse, the state is telling students and heads of colleges and universities to build awareness about the online menace of cyberbullying, trafficking and other forms of abuses among the students.

Pranay Kumar Verm Named as New High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh

  • Pranay Kumar Verma, an experienced diplomat and IFS official from the 1994 batch, was named as India's next High Commissioner to Bangladesh. He is currently the ambassador of India to Vietnam. The Delhi-based Ministry of External Affairs made this announcement.
  • Verma will succeed incumbent Vikram Doraiswami.
  • Doraiswami is set to assume charge as Indian High Commissioner to the UK.
  • Indian High Commissioner to the UK Gaitri Issar Kumar retired from service on 30 June. Sandeep Arya, presently serving as additional secretary in the MEA, was appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Vietnam.

West Bengal to Get 7 New Districts, Total Tally Reaches 30

  • Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, announced that the state would get 7 new districts. With this, the total number of districts in West Bengal has now gone up to 30.
  • Earlier there were 23 districts in Bengal, now it has been increased to 30. The seven new districts include Sunderban, Ichhamati, Ranaghat, Bishnupur, Jangipur, Behrampur, and one more district will be named.
  • The announcement about the formation of seven new districts came while the chief minister declared that a reshuffle was on the cards, with four to five new faces expected to get inducted into the council of ministers.

Public Grievance Redressal Time Reduced to 30 Days

  • Union Minister Jitendra Singh said that the time for redressal of public grievances received on an online portal was reduced from 45 to 30 days.
  • This decision was taken in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emphasis on effective implementation of public grievance redressal mechanism with disposal of grievance within minimum possible time, but with maximum possible satisfaction of the complainant.
  • An order issued by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievance (DARPG) also stated that a complaint received from a citizen would not be closed until an appeal filed against it is disposed of.

Amit Shah Inaugurates Development Projects, Attend National Conference on Drug Trafficking

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the two-day-long NCB national conference on Drug Trafficking and National Security at Punjab Raj Bhavan, Chandigarh. Shah also inaugurated several developmental projects.
  • The national conference was addressed by Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Union Territory Administrator Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • As a part of the conference, NCB destroyed thousands of kilograms of drugs at its various centres.

Kerala Tops in Holding Assembly Sittings in 2021

  • Kerala, which slipped to the eighth slot in holding the sittings of the State Assembly during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, got back to the first place in 2021, with its House sitting for 61 days, the highest for any State.
  • The southern state's showing in 2021 was impressive as the year saw the more virulent second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, between 2016 and 2019, it had the distinction of remaining at the top with an average of 53 days.
  • Making the findings in its study on the functioning of State Assemblies for 2021, the PRS Legislative Research (PRS), stated that for the year in question, Odisha followed Kerala with 43 sitting days; Karnataka - 40 and Tamil Nadu - 34 days. But for the top three states, the average number of sitting days of State legislatures would have been far lower than the present figure of 21 days. Of the 28 State Assemblies and one Union Territory's legislature, 17 met for less than 20 days. Of them, five — Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Delhi — met for less than 10 days.

Point 5140 at Dras sector named as Gun Hill to Mark Victory of Indian Armed Forces during Operati...

  • To mark the victory and sacrifices of the Indian Armed Forces during Operation Vijay, Point 5140 at Dras in Kargil sector was renamed as Gun Hill.
  • Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army, with lethal and accurate firepower, was able to have a telling effect on the enemy troops and their defences including Point 5140, which was the key factor in the early completion of operations.
  • On behalf of the Regiment of Artillery, a wreath was laid by Lieutenant General TK Chawla, Director General of Artillery at Kargil War Memorial, Dras, along with Veteran Gunners who had participated in the operation.
  • The ceremony was conducted in the presence of Veterans from all Artillery Regiments, which got the honour title "KARGIL" in Operation Vijay. Serving Officers of the Gunner fraternity were also present on the occasion.

Chhattisgarh CM flags off 'Mukhyamantri Mahtari Nyay Rath' to Make Women aware of Rights

  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on flagged off the 'Mukhyamantri Mahtari Nyay Rath' with the aim of making the women of the state aware of their constitutional rights and laws.
  • The CM also administered the oath of protection, justice and empowerment of women on this occasion. The chariots flagged off will travel through the districts informing people about legal provisions of women, constitutional rights etc through shorts films, brochures.
  • Each chariot will have two lawyers, who will listen to the grievances of women and provide information and advice. Women will also be able to submit their applications for resolution of their grievances to the Women's Commission through these chariots.

Jul 31, 2022

Government Eyes Guinness Record with 'Azadi Mahotsav'

  • From August 1, all 1.6 lakh post offices in India will facilitate the sale of the Tricolour. The government aims for at least 20 crore, nearly 65 per cent of Indian households, to hoist the flag on their residential premises between August 13 and 15 under the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign. Private flag hoisting by citizens is a major part of the government's push for a Guinness World Record for the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
  • The government issued a circular saying spending by companies for Har Ghar Tiranga campaign, including on mass scale production, procurement, supply of the national flag, outreach and related activities would qualify as Corporate Social Responsibility activities under the Companies Act, 2013.

Delhi's Each Assembly Constituency to be Divided into Minimum 3 Wards during Delimitation

  • Each assembly constituency in Delhi will be divided into a minimum of three wards during the delimitation exercise to be carried out in the national capital before the municipal polls are conducted.
  • Officials said that the estimated population in each ward after the delimitation is likely to be between 65,000 and 67,000.
  • The three erstwhile municipal corporations in Delhi comprised 272 wards – 104 each in the North and South corporations, and 64 in the East. According to civic officials, on average there used to be four wards in each assembly constituency earlier.
  • As per Delimitation Committee Chairman Vijay Dev, the process of delimitation of 250 wards in Delhi has been undertaken based on the 2011 census data.
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