CURRENT AFFAIRS 26 NOVEMBER 2020

COVID – 19 NEWS

Ministry of Home Affairs issues Guidelines for COVID-19 Surveillance, Containment and Caution: The Home Ministry has issued an Order with Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution, which will be effective from 1st December and remain in force upto 31st December.
According to the guidelines, States and UTs must ensure careful demarcation of Containment Zones by the district authorities, at the micro level, taking into consideration the guidelines prescribed by Health Ministry in this regard. The list of Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective District Collectors and by the States and UTs. This list will also be shared with the Health Ministry. There shall be intensive house-to-house surveillance by surveillance teams formed for the purpose. Testing shall be carried out as per prescribed protocol. Listing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of all persons found positive, along with their tracking, identification, quarantine and follow up of contacts for 14 days. Quick isolation of COVID-19 patients shall be ensured in treatment facilities and home subject to fulfilling the home isolation guidelines. Clinical interventions, as prescribed, shall be administered. Awareness shall be created in communities on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew. However, state and UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government. There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intraState movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission, approval or e-permit will be required for such movements.

Foreign Minister and Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh test positive for COVID-19: According to press release issued on Wednesday Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen both tested Corona positive when they went for COVID 19 test before leaving for Niger to attend the meeting of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC). The visit has been cancelled. The press release said that both of them are in isolation at their homes as per doctor’s advice.

NATIONAL NEWS

Prime Minister chairs PRAGATI meeting: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the PRAGATI meeting . It marked Prime Minister’s thirty-third
interaction through PRAGATI – the ICT based multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, involving Central and State governments. In meeting, multiple projects, grievances and programmes were reviewed. The projects taken up were of the Ministry of Railways,
MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry. These projects, with a total cost of 1.41 lakh crore rupees, were related to ten states and union territories, including Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The
Prime Minister asked the concerned Secretaries of the Union Government and Chief Secretaries of the State Governments to ensure that they complete the work before time. During the meeting, grievances related to COVID-19 and to the PM Awas Yojana (Gramin) were taken up. PM SVANidhi, agriculture reforms and development of districts as export hubs were reviewed. The Prime Minister also asked the States to develop a State Export Strategy. He emphasized on the importance of grievance redressal,
and said that focus should not only be on quantity of such redressals, but also on quality. He also remarked that reforms are beneficial only when one performs, and this is the way forward to transform the country.

Calls from landline to mobile to have prefix “0” from Jan 15: Ministry of Communications today said all Landline to Mobile calls will be dialed with prefix ‘0’ from 15th January next year. There will be no change in dialing plan from landline to landline, mobile to landline and mobile to mobile calls. The Department of Telecommunications has taken the decision of
implementing this with the consideration of TRAI Recommendation on “Ensuring Adequate Numbering Resources for Fixed Line and Mobile Services”. Suitable announcement will be made for the same. This
announcement shall be played whenever a subscriber dials a fixed to mobile call without prefixing ‘0’. All fixed line subscribers will be provided with ‘0’ dialing facility. It is expected a total of approximately 2539 million numbering series to be generated from this. This will free up sufficient numbering resources for future use. With the freeing up of sufficient numbering resources, more number of connections can be added in future which will be beneficial to the mobile customers at large.

Union Cabinet approves equity infusion of 6000 crore rupees
in NIIF:
Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekar informed that Union Cabinet has approved equity infusion by Government of 6000 crore rupees in NIIF Debt Platform sponsored by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, comprising Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited. This was one of the twelve key measures made by the Finance Minister as part of Government’s stimulus to the economy, under AatmaNirbhar Bharat 3.0 on 12th November. NIIF Infrastructure Debt Financing Platform is expected to contribute nearly one lakh crore rupees in debt to the infrastructure sector over the next five years. This will act as a catalyst in attracting more
investments into the infrastructure sector as envisaged in the National Infrastructure Pipeline.

First meeting of National Implementation Committee on India@75 chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah: Home Minister Amit Shah today chaired the first meeting of the National Implementation Committee on India@75. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel also attended the meeting.

Union Minister Smrithi Zubin Irani addresses media conference in Hyderabad: Union Minister Smrithi Zubin Irani while addressing media conference in Hyderabad on Wednesday alleged that the corrupt collaboration between the ruling TRS and MIM is harming the interests of citizens and appealed to people of Hyderabad to refuse the illegal alliance during the Corporation elections.

First ever export-bound new modified goods rake from Hosur Railway station, Bengaluru to Bangladesh: Bengaluru Divisional Railway Manager Ashok Kumar Verma flagged off the first ever export-bound new modified goods rake from Hosur Railway station to Bangladesh. The rake consisting of 25 wagons loaded with 100 Light Commercial Vehicles left Hosur
station yesterday for its destination of Benapole Railway Station in Bangladesh, about 2121 kms away. This is the first modified goods rake dispatched by the South Western Railways to Bangladesh. During the current financial year, the South Western Railways division had loaded 128 modified goods, including two export bound rakes to Nautanwa in Nepal. The Bengaluru Division mainly transported raw materials and essential
commodities and it took up transporting automobiles for the first time in April this year. Thereafter it has transported automobiles regularly within the country.

All India Presiding Officers’ Conference inaugurated in Gujarat by President Ram Nath Kovind: 80th All India presiding officer’s conference inaugurated at Kevadia in Gujarat. The theme of this year’s conference is Harmonious Coordination of Legislative, Executive and Judiciary – Key
to a Vibrant Democracy. This conference was held at the statue of unity- the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Addressing the conference, President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the biggest challenge before the public representatives and democratic institutions is to meet the expectations of the public. He said it is expected from the public representatives that they always remain honest towards the principals of democracy. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu in his address said that harmonious coordination between Legislature, Executive and Judiciary is a Key to a Vibrant Democracy. Lok Sabha Speaker and chairman of
this conference Om Birla called upon all participating presiding officers to think about the constitutional responsibility on the constitution day. He also appealed the presiding officers to take oath for fulfilling the targets set by our great leaders.

STATE NEWS

Puducherry: ‘Sporadic rains and heavy wind lash Puducherry: Due to Cyclone “NIVAR” sporadic rains with heavy wind lashed Puducherry since
Wednesday Morning. According to official sources, relief and rehabilitation camps were arranged and people from vulnerable areas shifted, rescue teams including NDRF personnel and trained Fire service and IRBN police personnel were kept ready and round the clock functioning control rooms set up. Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr Kiran Bedi appealed to the people of Puducherry to stay indoors and safe. Police security was arranged on the beach road to prevent any one coming to the beach as the sea remained extremely rough with waves to a height of 15 feet. Cyclone warning signal 10 was hoisted at the Puducherry port.

Kerala and West Bengal choose Option-1 to meet revenue shortfall due to GST implementation: With Kerala and West Bengal have communicated their acceptance of Option-1 to meet the revenue shortfall arising out of GST implementation the number of states who have chosen this option has gone up to 25. All the 3 Union Territories with Legislative Assembly – Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry – have also decided in favour of Option-1. Under the terms of Option-1, besides getting the facility of a special window for borrowings to meet the shortfall
arising out of GST implementation, the States are also entitled to get unconditional permission to borrow the final installment of 0.50 percent of Gross State Domestic Product out of the 2 percent additional borrowings permitted by the Government under Atmnirbhar Abhiyaan on 17th
May. This is over and above the Special Window of 1.1 lakh crore rupees. The States and Union Territories who choose Option-1 are getting the amount of shortfall arising out of GST implementation through a special borrowing window put in place by the Centre. The window has
been operationalised since 23rd October and the Union Government has already borrowed an amount of 24,000 crore rupees on behalf of the States in four installments. Centre passed it on to the States and Union Territories, who chose Option -1 on 23rd October, 2nd November, 9th
November and 23rd November. Now Kerala and West Bengal will also receive funds raised through this window starting from the next round of borrowings.

Uttar Pradesh: Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) imposed in state for six months: Uttar Pradesh government has imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in the state for 6 months. As per the U.P ESMA, the state government now has the power to prohibit strikes in workplaces for the next six months, after which it may be extended
for another six months. Last time the act was imposed in the state on 22nd May this year and the time period of six months has expired.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE NEWS

Cabinet approves Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with DBS Bank India Limited: Cabinet has approved Scheme of Amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with DBS Bank India
Limited. With this, there will be no further restrictions on the depositors regarding withdrawal of their deposits. Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr. Prakash Javadekr said, speedy amalgamation and
resolution of the stress in LVB is in line with Government’s commitment to a clean banking system while protecting the interests of depositors and the public as well as the financial system. Customers, including depositors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd will be able to operate their accounts as customers of DBS Bank India Limited with effect from 27th of this month. The moratorium on Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd will cease to be operative from that date.

SPORTS NEWS

Greg Barclay elected as new chairman of International Cricket Council:

New Zealand’s Greg Barclay has been elected as the new independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). The head of the New Zealand Cricket team, NZC, Barclay beat Imran Khwaja in the second round of voting. Imran was interim chairman after Shashank Manohar stepped down from the post in July this year.

OBITUARY

Ahmed Patel, Senior Congress Leader passes away: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passed away. He was 71. The veteran politician had been at a private hospital since his health worsened after a Covid infection. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the demise of the veteran Congress Leader Ahmed Patel.