National News

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1. Panels are formed to look into EPFO functioning. 

For ad-hoc board-level committees to oversee the functioning of various aspects of the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) approved by the Union Labor and Employment cabinet  Minister Bhupendra Yadav.

  • The committee headed by  Labour Secretary “Sunil Barthwal”:
    • Committee on ‘pension reforms’  and 
    • Committee on ‘IT and Communications’
  • The committee headed by Minister of State for Labour and Employment Rameswar Teli:
    • Committee on ‘EPFO’s internal human resources and establishment matters’ and
    • Committee on ‘finding ways to enhance EPFO’s coverage and reducing related litigation’.

2. National Health Accounts(NHA) report for 2007-18 released 

  • There has been an increase in the share of government health expenditure from 1.15% in 2013-14 to 1.35%  of the GDP in 2017-18. 
  •  The share of Government Health Expenditure in total health expenditure has also increased from 28.6%in 2013-14 to 40.8% in 2017-18.
  • The government’s health expenditure as a share of total Government expenditure has increased from 3.78% to 5.12% between 2013-14 and 2017-18.
  • In per capita terms, the government health expenditure has increased from Rs 1042 to Rs.1753 between 2013-14 to 2017-18.
  • The share of primary healthcare in current government health expenditure has increased from 51.1% in 2013-14 to 54.7% in 2017-18.
  • The out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE) as a share of total health expenditure has come down to 48.8% in 2017-18 from 64.2% in 2013-14.  The fall in out-of-pocket expenditure is a good sign as it indicates that government expenditure on health is increasing.

3. Admiral R. Hari Kumar takes charge as the new Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral R Hari Kumar became the 25th Chief of Naval Staff succeeding Admiral Karambir Singh.

4. Accidental Death and Sucide Report 2020

The National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) released its report on ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’ (ASDI) for 2020.

Highlights of the report 

  • The number of deaths by suicides rose by 10% from 2019, taking the total figure to an all-time high of 1,53,052.
  • Accidental deaths fell by 11% from 2019 to 2020 to 374, 397, the lowest figure since 2009.
  • Daily wage earners made up the largest proportion of people who died by suicide in the country in 2020 at 24.6%. 
  • Tamil Nadu was the state with the highest number of deaths by suicides among daily wage earners with 6,495, followed by Madhya Pradesh (4,945), Maharashtra (4,176), Telangana (3,831) and Gujarat (2,745).

5. Supreme Court to allow setting up of medical board for Jayalalitha Death inquiry

The Supreme Court said it will pass orders to allow the setting up of a medical board of AIIMS doctors to help Justice A. Arumugasamy Commission of Inquiry to gather the facts on the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital in Chennai in 2016.

6. Center appoints committee to review EWS criteria

The  Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has appointed a three-member committee to review the criteria for 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in educational institutions and government jobs in terms of the provisions of the Explanation to Article 15 of the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act 2019.

  • The  Central government gave an undertaking to the Supreme Court on a petition regarding EWS reservation in NEET(National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) to explain the reason behind fixing the criteria for EWS.
  • The panel members are 
  • Ajay Bhushan Pandey, former Finance Secretary 
  • V.K. Malhotra; Member Secretary, Indian Council of Social Science Research, and 
  • Sanjeev Sanyal Principal Economic Adviser to the Government of India.

7. Elephants Death

A whopping 1,160 elephants were killed in the country due to reasons other than natural causes in the past 10 years up to December 31, 2020, according to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

8. UAPA Trials cannot be held indefinitely - Supreme Court

Hearing a petition of an undertrial arrested under UAPA(Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), the Supreme Court gave a landmark judgment on the right of the undertrials.

  • The Supreme Court said that putting a person accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act behind bars for an unduly long time with no progress in the trial or appeal process is a violation of his or her fundamental right and a threat to public confidence in the administration of justice,
  • The Court held that timely delivery of justice is part of human rights.

9. Paika Rebellion to be added as case study in NCERT book

Union Culture Minister, Mr. Kishen Reddy said in the Rajya  Sabha that the 1817 Paika Revolution of Odisha will be included in the NCERT textbook  as one of the beginnings of the popular uprising against the British.

  • The Paika Rebellion, also called the Paika Bidroha, was an armed rebellion against Company rule in India in 1817.

10. Government seeks  62000 Crore for Air India

  • The Government has sought Parliament’s nod to infuse ₹62,000 crore as a supplementary grant to Air India Assets Holding Limited (created for disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries), for debt and other liabilities of Air India.

11. Government seeks  Rs 25,000 crore for MGNREGS from Parliament  

Central Government has put before the parliament a supplementary demand of grant in the amount of Rs 25000 Crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme

  • Initial budgetary allocation for MGNREGA in the financial year 2021-22 was Rs 73000 Crore

12. "6 Lakh Indians renounced citizenship in last 5 years"

  • More than Six lakh Indians renounced citizenship in the past five years, as per the data shared by the Ministry of Home Affairs to Lok Sabha. 
  • About 40% of the citizenship renunciation requests come from the United States, followed by Australia and Canada, which amount to a chunk of around 30% of such requests.

13. Indian Government brings bills to extend the tenure of ED and CBI

The  Government of India has introduced two bills, the Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Delhi Special Establishment (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the Lok Sabha which seek to replace theThe Central Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021  and The Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021  promulgated on 14 November  2021.

  • The bill was introduced by the Minister of State for Personnel and Training Dr. Jitendra Singh.

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