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December 4th Week Highlights: From UK flights ban to Sensex’s downfall

Take a look at top highlights from the last week where the United Kingdom was centre of the discussion


The fourth week of December is done and dusted and we are moving towards the new year. The week started with a ban on all the United Kingdom flights and new SOPs were issued for travellers from the UK. As we came to end of the week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government is ready to talk to the Union leaders of the farmers who are protesting for more than 30 days at the Delhi-NCR border areas.


UK Flights cancelled after new strain found


The Indian government announced on last Monday that it had temporarily banned flights from the United Kingdom to the country after the emergence of a new and highly infectious strain of COVID-19 in the UK. The suspension of flights came into effect from December 22nd to 31st December. The Aviation Ministry of India added that as a measure of precaution, all the passengers who were arriving in the country from the UK in all flights (flights that had taken off) reaching India before 22nd December should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the concerned airport.

The government announced that people coming from the UK, who will test positive will be put under institutional quarantine and people who have earlier arrived should self-quarantine themselves. Various state governments announced to track the UK travellers in the past month or 15 days and check if they have the new strain of COVID-19.


Read more: Analysis:  New COVID-19 strain is a ‘Super Spreader’, how will it affect India?


Farm Laws Row


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said political rivals are misusing the farmers’ protest to misuse the agenda. He also said that the government is ready to talk on the farm issues. Farmers’ union hit back at the PM saying that the allegation was an attempt to divide and mislead the farmers. They said that they have not allowed any political party to use their stage and said that the government was diverting the issue.

The latest talk offers of government on all the issues related to the new farm laws failed to impress farmers as they continued to press for their core demand of “repeal of farm laws”. Farmers alleged that the government is trying to frustrate us by not offering any concrete proposal. Farmers’ unions will meet today to draft their reply to the Centre’s offer for another round of talks.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh appealed to farmers to try the three new laws for one year or two as an experiment. Farmers’ Union met on Saturday to discuss the further strategy and hinted at the next phase of discussion with the government.


Share market takes a hit


As worries deepened over the new strain of COVID-19, domestic share markets reversed from early signs of trade on Tuesday. The S&P BSE Sensex fell to 45,317.91, a 0.54 per cent fall, while the NSE Nifty 50 index fell to 13,243.30, a fall of 0.85 per cent on Tuesday. However, both the Sensex and Nifty had risen to 0.80 per cent in the early trade. They had tumbled 3 per cent on Monday and the Nifty PSU Bank index fell 3.3 per cent. Reliance Industries’ (India’s most valuable company) slipped 2.64 per cent.


10 teams in IPL from 2022


The Board of Control for Cricket in India in its Annual General Meeting (AGM) has approved the addition of two new teams in the IPL from the 2022 season onwards. Given the popularity of franchise cricket, several corporate houses were keen on bidding for new IPL teams. The next edition of IPL in 2021 is to be played with only 8 teams.  The BCCI also backed the decision of ICC to include cricket in the Los Angeles Olympics in the year 2028.

There would be no mega auction for the 2021 IPL, which should come as a huge relief for IPL franchises who believed that there was not enough time for a mega auction for the next IPL. Earlier, many franchises had raised objections over speculations of mega-auction saying that they have already suffered losses due to the pandemic and with not enough time left for the 14th season of IPL, a mega auction would have made things difficult.


Jammu and Kashmir DDC election results


The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) which consists National Conference and PDP swept the first-ever District Development Council (DDC) election after the abrogation of Article 370. The Gupkar alliance won 110 seats, while BJP secured 75 seats and emerged as the single-largest party in the elections. The results which were declared on Wednesday was a new beginning of democracy in the state which has not seen any democratic election since August 2019.

Out of the 278 seats, in the Gupkar alliance, Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference won 67 seats, PDP won 27 seats, People Conference won 8, CPI (M) won 5 and Peoples Movement won 3, a total share of more than 3.94 lakh voters.

Independents won 50 seats, Congress won 26, Apni Party won 12, National Panthers Party and PDF won two each and the BSP won 1 seat.

Both the main players, the Gupkar alliance and the BJP said that they were happy with the results. The National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have rejected the decision of BJP’s abrogation of Article 370. On the other hand, BJP said that even though they do not have a majority, it was a win-win situation for them as they continued their domination in the Jammu area and gained some seats in the Valley.


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