Current Affairs in Short: 4 December 2020
The Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi government to ensure that the symptomatic COVID-19 patients who are in home quarantine follow the guidelines issued by ICMR to keep a check on the rise in COVID-19 cases in the capital.
Centre approves reorganisation of Army Headquarters, third deputy chief post created
•The centre has approved reorganisation of Army headquarters. As a part of the same, the government approved the creation of a third deputy Chief’s post-New Deputy Chief of Strategy.
•This is in line with a plan that was first envisaged during the India-China’s Doklam crisis in 2017 when a need for closer and direct coordination was felt in the headquarters. The present Director-General of Military Operations Lt General Paramajit Singh is expected to assume the new appointment.
•The creation of a third deputy chief post in the Army will help reduce the burden on the vice chief of the Army, as he would have key officers such as in-charges of military intelligence and military operations under him.
•The centre also approved the creation of the Director General Information Warfare post in the Army headquarters. The post will also deal with media affairs.
Delhi HC directs Delhi Government to ensure home quarantined COVID patients follow ICMR guidelines
•The Delhi High Court of December 3, 2020 directed the Delhi government to ensure that the symptomatic COVID-19 patients who are in home quarantine follow the guidelines issued by ICMR to keep a check on the rise in COVID-19 cases in the capital.
•A division bench of the High Court comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad gave the direction while observing that the positivity rate is above 5 percent and there were about 4000 new cases of COVID-19 infection in the national capital as of December 2nd.
•The division bench observed that efforts must be made to trace the contacts of persons who have tested positive and ensure COVID-19 positive people in home quarantine do not violate the isolation regime of the ICMR. The bench also noted that the level of testing cannot be reduced in order to keep an unabated check on the spread of COVID-19 infection.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik launches 15 online Fisheries, Livestock department services
•Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched 15 online services of the Fisheries Department and the Livestock Development through video conferencing on December 3, 2020.
•The state also signed MoUs with various entrepreneurs for taking up Cage Culture in the Hirakud Reservoir, in the presence of the Chief Minister.
•The online services will include a number of useful services for fishermen and farmers including registration of fishing boats and licenses, registration of brackish water farms and availing subsidy for setting up of new livestock and fishery units.
•The state has also planned to promote cage culture fishery in large and medium reservoirs under its new policy that was brought out in March 2020, as it can help increase the state's annual fish production by over 1.24 lakh tons, .
Vande Bharat Mission Phase VIII extended till December 31
•The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava informed on December 3, 2020 that the Phase VIII of Vande Bharat Mission has been extended till December 31.
•Under this phase, around 897 international flights have been scheduled to operate from 15 countries across the globe. The flights have the capacity to repatriate an estimated 1.5 lakh people.
•He further informed during the press briefing that the bilateral air bubble arrangements with 18 countries are progressing smoothly.
•So far, almost 34.1 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes of the mission as of December 3rd. The mission started in early May to bring back Indians stranded aboard due to the suspension of international flights in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The mission’s 8th phase had started earlier this month.
Indian Army Chief General Naravane to visit UAE, Saudi Arabia
•Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is scheduled to go for a 4-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia next week.
•The Army Chief would be meeting the top military leadership of the two countries during his visit.
•The Army Chief had been on a three-day visit to Kathmandu, Nepal last month, during which he had met Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli at his residence.
•He was conferred with the honorary rank of General of Nepal Army by Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari on November 5, 2020.
US Senate passes High-Skilled Immigrants Act, brings relief to Indian IT professionals
•The United States Senate passed the 'Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act' on December 2, 2020, providing huge relief to thousands of Indian nationals currently stuck in Green Card limbo.
•The bill aims to do away with the restrictions on employment-based green cards.
•The bill essentially will increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7 percent of total such visas in a year to 15 percent. The US currently issues about 140,000 of such green cards every year.
•There are over 800,000 Indians waiting in line for an employment-based green card in the US as of April 2020, as per USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) data.
•However, while the bill had been cleared by the House of Representatives, the version passed by the Senate is different from the previous one. The representatives of the two houses will now have to resolve the differences and only then the bill can be passed by both Houses.