India This Week: Top 10 National News Of This Week

by Shatakshi Gupta
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his government will repeal three contentious agricultural laws and urged protesting farmers to go back to their fields and homes.  The announcement came on the occasion of Gurupurab/Prakash Utsav festival, when the country celebrates the birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. The decision comes just ahead of state elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, where farmers’ protests were predicted to damage the BJP’s electoral fortunes.  In September last year, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to three bills passed by the Parliament. 
  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Noida International Airport in Jewar, Uttar Pradesh. Jewar Airport is the second international airport in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR).  It is the fifth international airport of Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh has now become the state with the largest number of international airports in India. The airport is developed by Zurich Airport International AG on a land area of ​​1,330 acres. The airport is expected to be operational by September 2024. Once operational, this airport will be the largest airport in India and the first net-zero emission airport in the country.

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  • Indian Railways is building the world’s highest pier railway bridge in Manipur. The railways’ ambitious project in Manipur is part of the Jiribam-Imphal railway line, a new broad gauge line eventually being built to connect the northeastern state with the rest of the country.  Currently, the 139-metre-high Mala-Rijeka viaduct, built in Montenegro, holds the record for the highest pier bridge in Europe. The bridge is being built at a height of 141 meters. The total length of the Manipur Bridge will be 703 meters. Once completed, the project will enable commuters to cover a distance of 111 km in 2-2.5 hours. 
  • Government think tank NITI Aayog has released the first Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to measure poverty at the national, state/UT and district levels.  According to the inaugural index, Bihar has been selected as the state with the highest level of multidimensional poverty. 51.91 percent of the state’s population is multidimensionally poor. Jharkhand ranks second as multidimensionally poor with 42.16 percent of the state’s population. It is followed by Uttar Pradesh at 37.79 per cent, Madhya Pradesh (36.65 per cent) and Meghalaya (32.67 per cent) in the top five poorest states. Meanwhile, Kerala (0.71 percent), Goa (3.76%), Sikkim (3.82%), Tamil Nadu (4.89%) and Punjab (5.59%) are the top 5 least poverty states across India. Kottayam is the only district in Kerala that has registered zero poverty across the country as per the index
  • Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has announced the launch of Bharat Gaurav, which will be run by both the private sector and IRCTC in a theme-based circuit. Indian Railways is in the process of finalizing theme-based tourist circuit trains through private and state-owned service providers to showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage. To promote the first of its kind theme-based trains, Railways has dedicated over 3,000 AC and non-AC coaches of different categories to run around 190 tourist circuit trains to various cultural and heritage sites.
  •  To review the existing guidelines on ownership and corporate structure of Indian private sector banks, the Reserve Bank of India in June 2020 organized an internal working group  (Internal Working Group – IWG) was formed. IWG had 5 members with Shrimohan Yadav as the convener.  The Internal Working Group (IWG) had made 33 recommendations to the RBI. Now RBI has accepted 21 out of these 33 recommendations. The major change accepted by the the RBI was allowing promoters to hold 26 percent shares.
  • According to the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS) released by the Union Health Ministry, India now has 1,020 females per 1000 males, none of whom are young, and is no longer at risk of population explosion. This information comes from the findings of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS)-5. According to the NFHS-3 conducted in 2005-06, the ratio was equal, 1000: 1000;  In NFHS-4 it came down to 991:1000 in 2015-16. This is the first time in any NFHS or Census that the sex ratio is in favour of women. The Health Ministry on November 24 released data on key indicators of population, reproductive and child health, family welfare, nutrition and other subjects for India and 14 states and union territories under Phase II of NFHS-5. 
  • Minister of Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh has launched India’s first Virtual Science Lab for children under the CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) Jigyasa programme. This lab will connect students with scientists from across the country. To provide quality research exposure and innovative pedagogy to school students based on an online interactive medium. The students of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Government Schools will be immensely benefited by the new facility. The virtual laboratory will provide a virtual tour of the CSIR laboratories and expose the students to the research infrastructure. CSIR has also partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay to develop a virtual lab platform under the Jigyasa programme. 
  • On the last day of the monsoon session of Parliament (on August 11), 12 opposition MPs of the Rajya Sabha have been suspended for the entire winter session on charges of misbehaving with the marshalls.  Action has been taken in the winter session of Parliament on this incident that happened 110 days ago. This session of Parliament will run from November 29 to December 23. Parliament proceedings began on Monday. The suspended MP can meet Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu and apologize. These include 6 Congress MPs: Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora, Rajmani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain, Akhilesh Prasad Singh. Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri have been suspended from Mamata Banerjee’s party TMC. Priyanka Chaturvedi and Anil Desai are included from Shiv Sena. At the same time, CPM’s Elaram Karim and CPI’s Binoy Vishwam are also included in the list of suspended MPs. 
  • In India, 8,309 corona cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.  At the same time, 236 people have also lost their lives due to Corona during this period.  Meanwhile, in view of the threat of the Omicron variant of the virus, the Indian government on Monday issued a new guideline for international travellers.  According to this, all passengers coming from ‘at risk’ countries will have to undergo a COVID-19 test as soon as they arrive. The condition of testing will be applicable even if the incoming passengers are fully vaccinated. Except for ‘at risk’ countries, passengers from other countries will be allowed out of the airport. They will have to do self-monitoring for 14 days.