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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - December 2023

Dec 2023

Apr 17, 2024

Chitrakoot's Stunning Glass Skywalk Bridge in Uttar Pradesh

  • In a remarkable feat of engineering and tourism development, the state of Uttar Pradesh unveiled its first-ever glass skywalk bridge, located at the enchanting Tulsi (Shabari) Waterfall in Chitrakoot. This innovative and visually stunning structure, shaped like Lord Ram's bow and arrow, is a premier eco-tourism destination for visitors to the region.
  • Formerly known as the Shabari Waterfall, the site has been renamed Tulsi Waterfall by the state government, acknowledging its significance as the birthplace of the renowned poet and spiritual leader, Goswami Tulsidas. This renaming, coupled with the development of the glass skywalk bridge, is part of a larger plan to transform the area into a thriving eco-tourism destination.

LS Polls: 8 Union Ministers, 2 Former CMs, 1 Ex-Governor in Fray in First Phase

  • Eight Union Ministers, two former Chief Ministers and one Ex-governor are among those who are set to test their electoral fate in the first phase of elections on April 19 when 102 seats across 21 states and Union territories will go to polls.
  • Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is seeking a hat-trick of win from the Nagpur seat. In 2014, he had defeated seven-time MP Vilas Muttemwar by a margin of 284,000 votes and retained the seat in 2019 by defeating current Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole by 216,000 votes.
  • Tamilisai Soundararajan, who resigned as Governor of Telangana and Lt Governor of Puducherry to return to active politics, is contesting from Chennai South Lok Sabha constituency.

Apr 16, 2024

Congress Drops Ex-Indian Hockey Captain Prabodh Tirkey as Candidate in Odisha

  • The Congress dropped former Indian hockey captain Prabodh Tirkey, who led the country to victory in the 2007 Asia Cup championship, as its candidate from Odisha's Talasara assembly constituency.
  • Tirkey was named as the Congress's candidate from the reserved seat for tribals earlier in April. He joined the party after quitting his job with Air India.
  • The Congress named freelance journalist Debendra Bhitria as Tirkey's replacement as it changed three candidates.

Actor Amit Sadh Joins Forces with STAIRS Foundation to Empower Indian Youth

  • Actor Amit Sadh announced his collaboration with STAIRS Foundation, marking a significant step towards youth empowerment and development in India.
  • STAIRS Foundation, recognised as a leading National Sports Promotion organisation, stands as one of the largest grassroots sports and youth development organisations in both India and globally. With a commitment to fostering the potential of the nation's youth, STAIRS has earned widespread acclaim for its impactful initiatives.

Rajasthan Leads in Seizures by EC Ahead of Lok Sabha Poll

  • Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra emerged as the four top states in terms of seizures made by the EC just weeks before the commencement of the polls.
  • The EC said that it is on track to make its highest ever seizures of inducements, as enforcement agencies have made a record seizure of more than Rs. 4,650 crore. According to official data on seizures made by the poll body between March 1 and April 13, 2024, Rajasthan led the states with seizures worth Rs. 778 crore , followed by Gujarat (Rs. 605 crore), Tamil Nadu (Rs. 460 crore), and Maharashtra (Rs. 431 crore).

Apr 15, 2024

PM Modi to Campaign for NDA Candidates in Kerala

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part in the public meeting as part of the election campaign on Monday morning at Kunnamangalam in Alathur constituency in Thrissur District. He will attend the election campaign for NDA candidates T.N. Sarasu and Suresh Gopi, contesting in Alathur and Thrissur respectively. 
  • After that, he will travel to Kattakkada in Thiruvananthapuram district. At Kattakkada, PM Modi will campaign for V. Muraleedharan and Rajeev Chandrashekar, the two Union Ministers contesting under the NDA banner from Attingal and Thiruvananthapuram constituencies respectively.

Apr 14, 2024

India Relocates Staff in Sittwe Consulate to Yangon

  • India relocated its staff from its consulate in Myanmarese city of Sittwe to Yangon in view of the precarious security situation in that region of Myanmar.
  • As per external Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal, India is closely monitoring the security situation in that country.

Vandita Kaul New as Secretary of Department of Posts

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Vandita Kaul (IPoS) as Secretary of the Department of Posts.
  • Vandita is an Indian Postel Service (IPoS) service officer of the 1989 batch.
  • Presently, she is posted as a Member (Banking & Direct Benefit Transfer) of Postal Services.
  • For more than 150 years, the Department of Posts (DoP) has been the backbone of the country's communication and has played a crucial role in the country's social economic development. It touches the lives of Indian citizens in many ways: delivering mails, accepting deposits under Small Savings Schemes, providing life insurance cover under Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) and providing retail services like bill collection, sale of forms, etc. The DoP also acts as an agent for Government of India in discharging other services for citizens such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) wage disbursement and old age pension payments. With more than 1,55,000 post offices, the DoP has the most widely distributed postal network in the world.

Apr 13, 2024

Election Commission Eases Voting Process for Kashmiri Migrant Voters

  • The Election Commission of India has eliminated the requirement for Kashmiri migrant voters in Jammu and Udhampur districts of J&K to fill out 'Form M' to vote in the Lok Sabha polls.
  • This decision comes after years of demand from displaced voters in the region. However, migrants residing outside of these districts will still need to submit 'Form M', but can now self-attest the certificate required, instead of needing it attested by a gazetted officer. These changes were made in response to difficulties faced by Kashmiri migrant groups in filling out Form M for every election.
  • The J&K chief electoral officer has supported these changes, which aim to streamline the voting process for displaced voters.
  • Under the new system, Kashmiri migrant electors will be mapped with special polling stations in the zones they are registered or residing in, eliminating the need for Form M. The EC noted that the previous procedure created unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles for Kashmiri migrant voters.
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