India This Week: Top 10 National News Of This Week

by Shatakshi Gupta
  • India’s and Bangladesh have decided to celebrate 6 December every year as “Maitri Diwas”.  During PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh to participate in Bangladesh’s National Day in March 2021, it was decided to celebrate 6 December as Friendship Day. India recognized Bangladesh on 6 December 1971, ten days before the independence of Bangladesh. India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic relations with Bangladesh.
  • India will have nine nuclear reactors by 2024. The government informed Rajya Sabha that by the year 2024, India will have nine nuclear reactors and 12 new additional reactors, which were approved during the time of COVID, with a capacity of 9000 MW. The Minister said that nuclear power would soon emerge as one of the most important sources of alternative or clean energy for the country’s growing electricity demand. India is counting on its nuclear program to help meet its Paris climate commitments to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by a third from 2005 levels by 2030. 
  • The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has lowered India’s growth forecast for the fiscal year 2022 to 9.4% from 9.7% projected in September 2021. The OECD has projected India’s growth rate to be 8.1% in FY2023 and 5% in FY2024, citing the Indian economy as a medium. The OECD lowered its 2021 global growth forecast to 5.6% from 5.7% earlier. According to the OECD, low-skilled domestic migrants and urban workers, who suffered employment shocks in both waves of the pandemic in India, are yet to return to pre-pandemic levels in their earning levels.
  • Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, is set to become the first Indian city to introduce ropeway service as a mode of public transport to ease traffic congestion. The proposed ropeway will be constructed between Cantt Railway Station to Church Square covering an aerial distance of 3.45 km. Its outlay is over Rs 400 crore which is split between the central government and the state government at 80:20. India will be the third country in the world, after Bolivia and Mexico, to use a ropeway for public transport. 
  • Nagaland’s biggest cultural event, the Hornbill Festival, is going on with colourful performances of traditional music, dance and contemporary, all on one roof at the Naga Heritage Village Kisama. This is the 22nd edition of the Hornbill festival and will be celebrated in 6 districts of Nagaland. More than 282,800 people visited the festival during the 20th edition in 2019, including over 3,000 foreign tourists and at least 55,500 domestic visitors. This year’s edition of Nagaland’s prestigious Hornbill Festival, widely referred to as the “festival of festivals”, will be held in its traditional format. Last year this festival was celebrated virtually due to the pandemic. The opening ceremony concluded with the flight of the hornbill and a musical performance by the Task Force for Music and Arts, Nagaland. 

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  • The new variant of Corona, Omicron, can bring the third wave to the country. A top scientist in the country gave this warning on Friday. He said that Omicron has all the elements that could lead to a third wave. Anurag Aggarwal, director, CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, said that this variant has the ability to counter the body’s immune system. This has not been seen in the previous variants found so far. So far, more than 20 people infected with Omicron have been found in India. Samples of people who came in contact with them have been sent for genome sequencing. Thousands of people have returned from at-risk countries in the last one month.  The government has included those countries in the at-risk category, where the new variant has been found. 
  • World Athletics has honoured India’s Anju Bobby George with the Woman of the Year Award.  Anju has been given this award for promoting sports in India and motivating women to get into sports. Former India international long jump star George is still active in this sport. As the Senior Vice President of the Indian Athletics Federation, Anju raised her voice for gender equality. She also gave guidance to school girls to excel in sports. Anju also opened a training academy for young girls in 2016, which has given Under-20 medallists. 
  • Bihar’s performance in the last five years has been the best in terms of family planning.  Contraceptive use has increased by 31.7% in the state. However, the total fertility rate of Bihar is 3, which is higher than the national average. According to the National Family Health Survey-5, in Bihar, where 24.1% of people used contraception during 2015-16, that figure increased to 55.8% in 2019-20. In 10 out of 11 states (except Punjab) with 55% of the country’s population, contraceptive use has increased and birth rates have decreased. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday laid the foundation stone of 11 schemes worth Rs 18,000 crore in Uttarakhand. Thousands of people gathered in Dehradun for the mega rally of the Prime Minister. The projects for which Modi laid the foundation stone include many projects related to tourism, roads and infrastructure.  It also has the Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor of 8,300 crores.  This will reduce the journey time between Delhi and Dehradun from 6 hours to 2.5 hours. After its construction, the connectivity of Haridwar, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Yamunanagar, Baghpat and  Meerut in Uttar Pradesh will be better. This will be Asia’s longest (12 km) forest-passing corridor.  Through this, vehicles will be able to pass without disturbing the animals. The corridor will also have a 340-meter long tunnel.

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  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, who came for a one-day visit to India, left for Moscow after staying in Delhi for 6 hours. After arrival, he went straight to Hyderabad House from the airport. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met him here. A total of 28 agreements were signed between the two countries. Putin said that we see India as a great power and trusted friend. Besides President’s visit, a maiden 2+2 ministerial dialogue was also held. Moscow also lauded Delhi for not succumbing to the duress of the USA regarding the S400 defence system. Moreover, both the countries have also extended the   Military-technical cooperation agreement till 2031.