16 November 2020
A) Nitish Kumar elected leader of NDA alliance, to take oath on November 16.
Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar was unanimously elected as leader of the National Democratic Alliance legislature party and will take oath as Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth consecutive time, on the afternoon of November 16. The meeting of NDA legislators was held at 1, Aney Marg, the official residence of the Chief Minister of the State. Senior BJP leader and Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, party’s poll-in charge Devendra Fadnavis too were present in the meeting along with other senior State party leaders. After being elected as NDA legislature party leader, he went to meet the Governor to stake claim for the formation of the next government and the Governor accepted our request. The oath taking ceremony will be held between 4 to 4:30 p.m. on 16 November and then after everything will be decided, Mr. Kumar told media persons after coming out of Raj Bhawan. There is some speculation however, about who will be the next Deputy Chief Minister of the State. When asked if senior State BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who has held the position for a long time, would continue in the post, Mr. Kumar said that it will be known after some time. Names of other party leaders like Kameshwar Chaupal and Prem Kumar are doing the rounds for the post even as there is some speculation that Mr Modi may be offered a role with the central government.
B) Soumitra Chatterjee, Bengali superstar, passes away.
Bengali superstar and one of India’s tallest actors, Soumitra Chatterjee, widely admired for his roles as Apu and Feluda, has died after fighting for his life since October 6, when the 85-year-old was admitted to Kolkata’s Belle Vue Clinic with symptoms of COVID-19. Though he had subsequently tested negative for the virus, the infection and the prolonged stay in ICU had severely affected the functioning of his vital organs, particularly his central nervous system. His death was formally announced by the hospital at 12.15 p.m. on Sunday the day following Deepavali. That the actor who debuted in Satyajit Ray’s Apur Sansar in 1959 and acted in over 300 films, working until his recent hospitalization was very close to death had become evident on Deepavali eve when critical care specialist Dr. Arindam Kar, who headed the team of doctors attending on him, said they were hoping for a miracle. While the sad news wasn’t entirely unexpected, given his age and the complications he had developed after contracting COVID-19, the formal announcement of his departure numbed Kolkata, his home, and shocked fans across the globe. Far from being someone who led a retired life at 85, this winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke award was busier in his final years than ever and several of his films are still awaiting release. Tributes poured out on Twitter. While President Ram Nath Kovind said the Indian cinema had lost one of its legends, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his condolence message, said the actor, through his works, had come to embody Bengali sensibilities, emotions and ethos.
C) Covid watch: Numbers and Developments.
The number of coronavirus cases reported from India stands at 88,43,827 with the death toll at 1,30,114. At a meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today, a 12-point plan to tackle coronavirus was adopted in Delhi where cases have been spiking in recent days. In a series of tweets, Mr. Shah announced the measures one of which is also to double coronavirus testing in the city and monitor people in home isolation. After the meeting, Mr. Kejriwal said the Centre will make arrangements for 750 hospital beds. Since October 20, the coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Delhi but ICU beds were not there, Mr Kejriwal told reporters. The Centre has assured that 750 ICU beds will be made available at the DRDO center. The number of COVID-19 tests conducted daily to be increased to over 1 lakh, he added.
D) Arunachal records best sex ratio, Manipur the worst.
Arunachal Pradesh recorded the best sex ratio in the country, while Manipur recorded the worst, according to the 2018 report on Vital statistics of India based on the Civil Registration System published by the Registrar-General of India. Arunachal Pradesh recorded 1,084 females born per thousand males, followed by Nagaland (965) Mizoram (964), Kerala (963) and Karnataka (957). The worst was reported in Manipur (757), Lakshadweep (839) and Daman & Diu (877), Punjab (896) and Gujarat (897). Delhi recorded a sex ratio of929, Haryana 914 and Jammu and Kashmir 952. The ratio was determined on the basis of data provided by 30 States and Union Territories as the requisite information from six States namely Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal is not available, the report said. The number of registered births increased to 2.33 crore in 2018 from 2.21 crore registered births the previous year. The level of registration of births has increased to 89.3% in 2018 from 81.3% in 2009,” the report said.
The prescribed time limit for registration of birth or death is 21 days. Some States, however, register the births and deaths even after a year.
The birth or death certificate is issued free of charge by the Registrar concerned if reported within 21 days. If reported within 21-30 days, it can be registered on payment of the prescribed fee. If the duration is more than 30 days but within a year, it can be registered with the written permission of the prescribed authority and on production of an affidavit made before a notary public or any other officer authorised by the State government and on payment of a fee.
“Births and deaths reported after one year of occurrence shall be registered onIy on an order of the Magistrate of the First Class after verifying the correctness and on payment of the prescribed fee,” the report said.
A) Pakistani troops used heavy artillery along LoC: BSF.
Pakistani troops used heavy artillery during Friday’s unprovoked ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in several sectors of Jammu and Kashmir, causing loss of lives and a huge damage to property on the Indian side, a top BSF officer said here on Sunday. Five security forces personnel were among the 11 persons killed in multiple instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC between the Gurez and Uri sectors of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, even as the Indian Army caused extensive damage to Pakistan Army’s infrastructure in retaliation. Those killed in the Pakistani aggression include four armymen, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan and six civilians. Pakistan fired heavy artillery without any provocation, but the Army and the BSF fought with bravery, gave a befitting response to them and many defences (installations) of Pakistan were destroyed, Inspector General of BSF, Kashmir Rajesh Mishra said. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony of BSF Sub-Inspector Rakesh Doval, who was killed in the Pakistani firing. Mr. Mishra said about 250-300 militants were ready at launchpads across the LoC to sneak into the Indian side. Security forces, including the BSF, have been successful in foiling their designs and will continue to do that, he said.
B) China-led mega trade block takes off, door still open for India.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mega trade bloc comprising 15 countries led by China that came into existence on Sunday, said India would have to write expressing intention to join the organization to restart negotiation for membership. In a statement made public after the initializing ceremony among the member-countries on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN Summit held virtually, the newly formed organization has laid down the path for restarting discussion that had failed to admit India earlier and said new developments would be taken into consideration when India re-applied. The RCEP signatory states will commence negotiations with India at any time after the signing of the RCEP Agreement once India submits a request in writing of its intention to accede to the RCEP Agreement to the depository of the RCEP Agreement, taking into consideration the latest status of India’s participation in the RCEP negotiations and any new development thereafter, declared the RCEP, which consists of the 10 ASEAN members and Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. The China-backed group is expected to represent at least 30% of the global GDP and will emerge as the largest free trade agreement in the world. The mega trade bloc is a landmark trade initiative which is expected to boost commerce among the member-countries spread across the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the ASEAN Summit on November 12 and highlighted the necessity for peace and stability in the region but maintained silence regarding RCEP, indicating India’s difficulty in welcoming the China-backed grouping.