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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - November 2021

Nov 2021

Aug 16, 2022

Punjab Government Notifies Pension for Former MLAs for Only 1 Term

  • The Punjab government issued a notification giving pension to former MLAs only for one term following an assent by the Punjab governor to a Bill in this regard.
  • The Punjab Assembly had passed the Punjab State Legislature Members (Pension and Medical Facilities Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2022 in June.

Jitendra Singh Launches India's First Saline Water LED Lantern 'Roshni'

  • Union Minister Jitendra Singh launched India's first saline water lantern, which uses seawater to power LED lamps.
  • According to the Ministry of Earth Science, Singh unveiled the first-of-its-kind lantern named "Roshni" during a visit to SAGAR ANVESHIKA, a Coastal Research Vessel, operated and used by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai for coastal research.
  • Saline Water Lantern will bring "Ease of Living" to the poor and needy, particularly the fishing community living along the 7500 Kilometres long coastal line of India.
  • Roshini Lamps along with Power Ministry's schemes like Solar Study Lamps would drive a vibrant renewable energy programme aimed at achieving energy security, energy access and reducing the carbon footprints of the national economy.

Defence Forces, RBI and PM Office most Trusted Institutions

  • Defence forces, RBI and Prime Minister of India are the three most trusted institutions in the country, according to a survey by Ipsos India.
  • The Supreme Court of India came fourth and it was followed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • Defence Forces with at least 2 in 3 (65 per cent of respondents) reposing faith in them was ranked first, followed by Reserve Bank of India with 1 in 2 (50 per cent). Prime Minister of India as an institution was at the third spot with 49 per cent citizens having trust in it, the survey said.
  • Smack in the middle was the Parliament (33 per cent) ranked 7th, ranked 8th was the media (32 per cent) and placed 9th was the Election Commission of India (31 per cent).

Centre Reinstates Shah Faesal as Deputy Secretary in Tourism Ministry

  • The Central government reinstated controversial IAS officer Shah Faesal and appointed him as Deputy Secretary in the Tourism Ministry.
  • The Centre's move came four months after it accepted Faesal's application for withdrawing his resignation and reinstated him in the service in April.
  • Faesal, a 2010 batch IAS topper of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir cadre, now AGMUT, had resigned from the services in January 2019 and joined politics, which he later quit in August 2020.
  • Faesal floated the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement (JKPM) party soon after submitting his resignation. He was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act immediately after the abrogation of special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

NID Foundation, Chandigarh University Create Guinness World Record for Largest Human Formation of...

  • Students of Chandigarh University, in association with NID foundation, set a new Guinness World Record for the world's largest human formation of a waving national flag at Chandigarh cricket stadium, Sector 16 on Saturday to mark 75 years of India's independence.
  • The feat was achieved by breaking the previous record made by an institution in the United Arab Emirates.
  • A total of 5885 students from Chandigarh University and other schools and colleges along with volunteers of the NID Foundation took 2 hours and 45 minutes to make the human image of a waving national flag and break the record internationally. At least 25,000 people from various walks of life had gathered to witness the event, which the organisers said was their attempt to do something unique to mark the country's Independence Day.

ITBP Sets Unique Record by Hoisting Tricolour Simultaneously on 75 Peaks to Mark Independence Day

  • The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) set a unique record by hoisting the Tricolour simultaneously on 75 peaks to mark 75 years of Independence.
  • The 'Amritarohan' summit mission was organised by the border guarding, mountain-trained force under the aegis of the government's Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign.
  • The ITBP identified 75 peaks near 75 border outposts (BOPs) located along the India-China border for the mission and hoisted the National Flag at 7 am on them.
  • Out of these, 33 peaks are located in Ladakh, 16 peaks in Uttarakhand, 11 in Sikkim, 10 in Himachal Pradesh and 5 in Arunachal Pradesh.

SBI to Run Indian Visa Centres (IVAC) in Bangladesh

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) will manage the Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) in Bangladesh for two more years. The agreement to extend the operations for two more years was signed between the officials of the SBI and the High Commission of India in Dhaka. The IVAC will also be starting a few additional services soon which include facilitation for online form filling and submission of forms, slot booking and launching of a mobile app. A priority lounge was also inaugurated at the IVAC centre in Dhaka.
  • Currently, SBI runs a total of 15 IVACs across Bangladesh. The IVAC centre at the Jamuna Future Park in Dhaka was opened in 2018. It is the largest Indian visa application centre. The first IVAC was started by SBI in 2005 in Dhaka.

Aug 15, 2022

Initiative 'SMILE' to Make Cities, Towns and Municipal Areas Begging-free

  • The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry on Friday launched the 'SMILE-75' initiative for comprehensive rehabilitation of persons engaged in begging in 75 identified municipalities as a part of the celebrations of 75 years of Independence.
  • The initiative is part of the Ministry's ongoing SMILE project (Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise) for which Rs. 100 crore was allocated till 2025-2026.
  • Under the SMILE-75 initiative, 75 municipal corporations in collaboration with NGOs and other stakeholders will cover several comprehensive welfare measures for persons who are engaged in the act of begging with focus extensively on rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, awareness, education, skill development, economic linkages and convergence with other government welfare programmes etc.

Aug 14, 2022

Amit Shah Inaugurates National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated a one-day National Conference of Rural Cooperative Banks organised by the Ministry of Cooperation and the National Federation of State Cooperative Banks (NAFSCOB).
  • Union Minister of State for Cooperation BL Verma addressed the valedictory session of the conference.
  • Secretary, Ministry of Cooperation Gyanesh Kumar, NAFSCOB Chairman Konduru Ravinder Rao and NAFSCOB Managing Director Bhima Subrahmanyam were also present.
  • The short-term cooperative credit structure in India comprises 34 State Cooperative Banks, 351 District Central Cooperative Banks and 96,575 PACS.
  • The National Federation of State Cooperative Banks was established on May 19, 1964, with the broad objective to facilitate the operations of state and central cooperative banks and the development of a short-term cooperative credit structure.
  • Amit Shah also presented Performance Awards to selected State Cooperative Banks, District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) and PACS, and felicitated a few short-term cooperative credit institutions for 100 years of service.

Aug 13, 2022

'Har Ghar Tiranga': Department Of Posts Sells over 1 Crore National Flags in 10 Days

  • Within a short span of ten days, India Post has sold more than 1 crore national flags, through its 1.5 lakh post offices as well as online.
  • These Flags have been sold by the department at a price of Rs. 25.
  • For online sale, the Department provided free doorstep delivery to any address across the country; more than 1.75 lakh flags were purchased online by the citizens through the ePost Office facility.
  • 'Har Ghar Tiranga' is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India's independence.
  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of India's people, culture and achievements.

LG Manoj Sinha Inaugurates "UMEED Market Place" under AVSAR Scheme of AAI

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated "UMEED Market Place" under AVSAR Scheme of Airport Authority of India at Srinagar International Airport. A similar Marketplace was also opened at Jammu Airport and both the outlets would exhibit products of all 20 districts.
  • Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in his address said that such an initiative will support local art and artisans of Self Help Groups of J&K Rural Livelihood Mission, providing a platform to market local products directly to the customers. He maintained that the products of Self Help Groups will get exposed to the national market, strengthen the local artisan community and provide sufficient promotional avenues for their products.

CM Patnaik Wooes Tribals, Inaugurates Projects in Murmu's Home District

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated Subarnarekha and Deo irrigation projects during in Mayurbhanj, the home district of President Droupadi Murmu and wooed tribals.
  • He said that several welfare schemes of the BJD government have been successful due to proper coordination with the tribal people.
  • The state could make progress through education and employment schemes for the tribals.
  • Tribals constitute 53 per cent of Mayurbhanj's population.
  • Patnaik's whistle stop visit to Mayurbhanj is considered to be BJD's strategy to counter BJP's alleged attempt to take advantage from Murmu's election to the highest constitutional post.

Microsoft- Indian Government Sign MoU to Train Civil Servants

  • Indian Government inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Microsoft to collaboratively launch training programme for civil servants. Under the programme, Microsoft would give training to over 2.5 million civil servants in India for using the Microsoft digital tools.
  • MoU was inked between Microsoft, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Capacity Building Commission (CBC).
  • It was aimed at training the civil servants in helping underprivileged, by delivering last-mile social welfare services.
  • The Capacity Building Commission (CBC) helps in capacity building for several ministries including Defence, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Social Justice etc.
  • This MoU was inked considering the competence gap among civil servants. They were lacking at digital productivity application skills, which is required while working on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentation.

Aug 12, 2022

Madhur Verma Appointed Head of ACB

  • Senior IPS officer Madhur Verma was appointed the head of the anti-corruption branch (ACB).
  • Verma, a 2005 batch IPS officer, was earlier an additional commissioner in the Delhi police's armed police department.
  • The ACB is mandated to probe graft cases against Delhi government officials.
  • Verma has earlier worked as the DCPs of crime branch, the police's North district and the New Delhi district.
  • Verma was also Delhi police's public relations officer until mid 2019.

Dhankhar Takes Oath as Vice-President

  • Former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was sworn in as the 14th Vice President of India. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to Dhankhar in a brief ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dhankhar's predecessor M. Venkaiah Naidu were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony. With Dhankhar also acting as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha by virtue of being the vice-president, both the Houses of Parliament would be presided over by leaders from Rajasthan.
  • Dhankar, who was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee for the vice-presidential post, defeated opposition's candidate Margaret Alva by a margin of 346 votes.

Sunil Bansal, General Secretary of BJP UP Appointed as the National General Secretary of the Party

  • Signalling its intent to sharpen the party's strategy and enhance its reach in states where it has not been in power so far, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed one of its chief strategists, Sunil Bansal as the national general secretary.
  • Bansal who was the general secretary (organisation) in Uttar Pradesh (UP), will be in charge of Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal (WB), the three states which the party has set its sights on. While it emerged as the second largest party in WB, in Odisha its presence is still nascent. BJP is also aggressively preparing for the 2023 assembly polls in Telangana.
  • The appointment made by party president JP Nadda came a day after the BJP lost power in Bihar, where it ran a coalition government with the JDU.
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