Current Affairs in Short: 21 January 2021
Kerala Assembly rejected a resolution to remove Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, prompting a walkout from the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF).
COVID-19 vaccines are completely safe & effective: Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan
• Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan assured that the COVID-19 vaccines are completely safe and effective and they will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of the COVID-19 virus.
• The Minister said this to address issues related to vaccine hesitancy while releasing the communication creatives prepared by Health and Family Welfare Ministry.
• Dr. Harsh Vardhan informed that over eight lakh people have been vaccinated in the country and very few cases have shown side effects of the vaccine.
• He stated that side effects are common after any vaccination and stressed that two indigenous vaccines have been authorized after sufficient scientific scrutiny and human trials.
• He also informed that several countries are approaching India to export these vaccines to their country.
Delhi government grants COVID-19 relief aid worth Rs 10,000 each to 407 labourers
• The Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board on January 20, 2021 granted COVID-19 relief disbursement worth Rs 10,000 each to 407 construction workers out of a total of 39,600 workers under the directions of Deputy Chief Minister and State Labour Minister Manish Sisodia.
• Around 2,000 construction workers who had registered with the Board in March 2020 when the pandemic hit, will also receive a relief amount in the coming weeks.
• The official statement from the government read that these construction workers belong to the poorest section of the society and were one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
• Hence, the relief disbursement for construction workers comes as much-required support during these difficult times.
CDS General Bipin Rawat to fly in a French Rafale fighter
• Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat undertook a sortie in the French Rafale fighters on January 21, 2021 during the ongoing Indo-French wargames Desert Knight-21.
• The sortie lasted for almost one hour, during which the CDS was familiarised with the most advanced fighter in the Indian and the French Air Force inventories.
• The CDS was also briefed about the wargames and how the joint exercise would enhance the interoperability between the air forces of the two countries.
• The Indian Air Force kickstarted its first major international wargames (Desert Knight-21) involving Rafale fighter jets in Jodhpur on January 20, 2021 with their French counterparts.
Kerala Assembly rejects resolution to remove Speaker
• Kerala Assembly rejected a resolution to remove Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan on January 21, 2021, prompting a walkout from the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF).
• The resolution was moved by UDF MLA M Ummer.
• The opposition staged a walkout immediately after the Speaker's reply in which he countered the Opposition's charges.
• He also lashed out at the Opposition and termed the resolution as an "immature" move.
Govt approves over 1 crore one lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) till date
• The Union Government has said that more than one crore one lakh houses have been approved to date under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
• While the construction of over 70 lakh houses is in various stages, more than 41 lakh houses have been completed.
• The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry informed that the construction of one lakh 68 thousand 606 new houses have been approved under the scheme during the 52nd Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee, which was attended by 14 states and Union Territories.