Current Affairs in Short: 20 September 2021
The Indian government has withdrawn the e-visa facilities to the UK and Canadian citizens.
For first time, BRO appoints woman army officer as Officer Commanding of road construction unit
•The Border Roads Organization (BRO) appointed a woman army officer for the first time as the Officer Commanding of its 75 Road Construction Company (RCC) in Uttarakhand, informed the Defence Ministry on September 19, 2021.
•Major Aaina of Project Shivalik took charge as Officer Commanding, 75 Road Construction Companies (RCC) on August 30, 2021, in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. Three platoon commanders under Major Aaina, namely Captain Anjana, AEE (Civ) Bhawana Joshi, and AEE (Civ) Vishnumaya K became the first women RCC.
•In 2021, BRO inducted a large number of women into its workforce. A General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) officer EE (Civ) Vaishali S Hiwase took over the 83 Road Construction Company on April 28, 2021, on an important Indo-China road connecting Munisairi-Milam.
India govt withdraws e-visa facility for UK, Canadian nationals
•The Indian government has withdrawn the e-visa facilities to the UK and Canadian citizens. The facility has been withdrawn since the first week of August 2021. The withdrawal seems to be a reciprocal treatment.
•Lately, the UK and Canada have been imposing a lot of restrictions on the entry of Indian nationals into their country, as per media reports.
•Now the UK and Canadian nationals have to apply for a regular sticker visa at the Indian embassy. The tourist visa has already been suspended. Earlier, the e-visa facility was withdrawn for Chinese nationals following the Galwan Valley incident.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh receives water from 115 nations in 7 continents for Ayodhya Ram Temple
•Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and General Secretary of Ramjanmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Champat Rai on September 18, 2021, confirmed that they received water from holy streams, rivers, seas from 115 nations in 7 continents for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
•Singh informed that the water has been collected by people of all faiths including Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus. He said the drive to collect water from the remaining 77 countries has been started.
•Underlining the importance of the water collection, Rai said that as per the Ramayan, Lord Ram was anointed as a King in a place in Ayodhya which is known as Saptsagar. The water used anointing was brought from across the world.
Govt to offer ‘Stay Visa’ to Afghanistan nationals staying in India
•The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will provide a ‘stay visa’ to all Afghanistan nationals who are staying in India due to the Taliban situation in the war-torn country.
•The Afghanistan nationals who were evacuated to India under the new e-Emergency X-Miscellaneous Visa were initially granted a 6-months visa. The ‘Stay Visa’ will allow them to stay for longer in India.
•The Stay Visa of these Afghan nationals will be converted into a visa with one-year validity and it can be extended further. The nationals need not apply to the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO).
•Members of minority communities in Bangladesh/Pakistan/Afghanistan namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Jains, and Christians are eligible for grant of Long Term Visa (LTV) while for others, there is stay visa.
•For LTV, one has to stay for 7 years in India to be eligible for applying for nationality, and in the case of a Stay Visa, one has to stay for 12 years and complete a year without moving out of India to get permanent citizenship.
Pfizer booster shots authorized for use in people 65 years or older, not for 16 and above
•The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee on September 18, 2021, voted unanimously to authorize Pfizer booster shots for use in people 65 years or older and high-risk patients. The panel voted against booster shots for people 16 years and above.
•The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee deliberated for more than 8 hours on September 17, 2021, to discuss boosters. The final vote could be amended to include the healthcare workers who face a high risk of exposure.
•The panel unanimously voted to give boosters to Americans 65 years and older and those at high risk of suffering from severe illness if exposed to COVID-19. These include people with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and comorbidities.
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