Today’s Current Affairs December 23

December 23, 2019

Front page

NRC on all-India basis never considered by government, reveals Modi

In a large rally in Ramlila Maidan, the prime minister said that the government has, so far, not considered the matter of NRC. He also blamed the left-leaning intellectuals, the Congress, and a part of the media for spreading misinformation about the NRC with a view to discrediting the government. He termed the intellectuals opposing the NRC ‘Urban Naxals’, chastising them for spreading fear among the minority communities. Rumor-mongering for petty political gains must stop, he said.

Good words used .. Chastise, Rumor-mongering

Pro and anti-CAA protests continue side by side

In parts of Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, and Nagpur large processions were taken out by groups who support the CAA. Happily though, there was no ugly confrontation between them and groups opposing it.

Mangaluru returning to normal

After two days of violent protests and disruption of public order, Mangaluru is fast returning to normalcy. Schools and businesses are set to re-open today. The police are in high alert to foil attempts by anti-social elements to foment trouble.

Good words used .. Foment, Foil

Two who had bullet injuries die as UP continues to be tense

Fear has gripped the cities and towns, as mischief makers post highly incendiary content in the social media. The police is working 24×7 to bring down such content and track the culprits.

News bulletins for the visually-impaired

A WhatsApp group Vartha sends 40-minute audio clips to nearly 35,000 visually impaired daily. WhatsApp which has been much vilified for the deluge of fake news is now being used for a great social cause.

Good words used .. Vilify, Deluge, Incendiary

National

New signaling system for the railways

As part of the massive Rs.78,000 crore modernization plan of Indian Railways, a high-tech signaling system is to be introduced. It will be tested in four of the busiest routes. If found to be satisfactory, the new signaling system will be installed in other routes. Such upgrade will make train travel safer and swifter.

Arunachal to categorize its schools as ‘hard’, ‘medium’, and ‘soft’

Teachers in Arunachal have been averse to be posted in schools located in remote areas, and where infrastructure is very basic. Such reluctance of teachers exacerbates the problem of teacher shortage in thousands of government schools. To remedy the situation, the government has come up with a novel plan to push teachers to the under-staffed schools adopting tough administrative measures. As part of this plan, schools have been classified into three categories – hard, medium and soft. Those with very poor connectivity and infrastructure are put in the ‘hard’ category. The schools in towns with good connectivity and facilities have been put in the ‘soft’ category. Those with moderate facilities are in the ‘medium’ category.

All new recruits will be posted in ‘hard’ areas for a minimum of three years. Later, they will be posted in ‘medium’ areas for a period of five years. In the third stage, i.e, after putting in eight years of service, they will be offered postings in ‘soft’ areas.  This novel plan, though appearing a bit coercive, will ensure that schools in far-flung areas have requisite number of teachers.

Good words used .. Coercive, Far-flung, Averse, Exacerbate

Officers Training Academy in Gaya will be put to other use

The top brass of Army has decided to shut down the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Gaya, and allot the premises to house the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment Center. This step will ease the pressure for space in the Fatehpur station which the Sikh Light Infantry and Rajput Regiment jointly share. The officers will hereafter be trained at the Indian Military Academy.

Contraband worth Rs.150 crores seized off Andamans

The Coast Guard interdicted contraband being transported by some people from Myanmar. The seized goods suspected to be narcotic substances are worth Rs.150 crores.

Good words used … Contraband, Narcotics, Interdict

Farmers around Amaravati vent their frustration against Jagan

The shifting of the new capital’s premises from Amaravati seems to have stirred a hornet’s nest. Farmers in the adjoining villages have been joined by students, lawyers and activists in their protest against the Jagan Reddy government’s decision to shift the new capital to other locations. The agitation seems to getting stronger with each passing day.

Trinamool team detained at airport

 A fact-finding team of Trinamool MPs arriving at Lucknow airport were whisked away by U.P police as soon as their aircraft touched down. Their plan to visit the disturbed areas of the state came to a tame end as the police botched their visit plans quickly.

Good words and phrase used .. Botch, Whisk away

RBI Governor outlines steps to combat economic slow-down

Shaktikant Dash, the Governor of RBI, has spelt out plans to reverse the slow-down, and put the economy in growth path again. He has said that structural reforms and counter-cyclical steps will be taken to reignite the growth instinct in the economy. He has affirmed his conviction that the present slow-down is transient, and wouldn’t last very long.

Good words used .. Combat, Transient, Reignite

International

India and Iran agree to expedite Chhabar port building work

India’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Jayshankar is in Teheran to discuss India’s plans to finish the remaining work in the Chabahar port. The work has been delayed a lot due to America’s relentless pressure on India to abandon the project. The Chabahar port project is expected to counter Chinese influence in the area where it is building the Gwadar Port for Pakistan. As expected, the Indian diaspora and the Iranian hosts raised their concerns about the CAA legislation that is rocking India now.

Ghani set to be Afghanistan’s president again

In the Afghan general election, the incumbent President, Asraf Ghani has polled 50.64% of the votes beating his rival Abdullah who scored 39.52%. The election was conducted by the Independent Election Commission (IEC). The United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAM) provided resources and support for the elections. The Taliban did their best to undermine the elections through attacks on the booths and the voters. Many voters had to stay home because of the fear of attacks. Despite the low turnout, and allegations of irregularities, the elections have gone off rather well.

However, with the imminent departure of U.S. forces from the war-torn country, a big question hangs over the ability of the elected government to defend itself against the onslaughts of Taliban. The latter will surely try to overpower the elected government and over-run the country, soon after the Americans depart.

FATF grills Pakistan over terror funding

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has given a questionnaire to Pakistani authorities. There are a total of 150 questions that would probe if Pakistan has done enough to stop terror funding. A negative report from FATF will spell trouble for Pakistan.

Hong Kong protestors invoke the Uighur atrocities during their protest

In a move that is surely going to rile Beijing, the Hong Kong protesters have added the cause of the oppressed Uighur minorities in the list of their grievances against the Chinese government.

Trump decries delay in Senate haring of his impeachment

Trump is restless to see his exoneration by the Senate completed as early as possible. There has been some delay on the part of the House of Representatives in sending the requisite impeachment papers to the Senate. President Trump has taken umbrage at such delay and asked the concerned people to act promptly in this matter.

Good words and phrases used .. Take umbrage at, Exoneration, Decry,

Iraq’s anti-government rallies continue unabated

The young protesters leading the charge against the Iraqi government continue to throng the streets clamoring for change. Their anger shows no sign of easing.

In the meanwhile, intelligence agencies are issuing dire warning that the dreaded IS militants are regrouping in Iraq. The continuing unrest in the country provides them a cover to carry on their clandestine work

Good words used .. Throng, Clamor, Dire, Clandestine

North Korean President plans a major military boost

He wants to complete the military upgrade before the year-end. The reason for such haste is hard to imagine. Military analysts around the world have been left guessing about President Kim’s announcement.

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