An eventful week which saw infiltration in US Capitol and Supreme Court’s verdict on Central Vista Project
Eighth rounds of talks
Eighth rounds of talks took place on Friday between the Central government and 41 Farmers’ Union leaders at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Similar to the previous seven rounds of talks, this round also ended without a comprehensive solution. The next round of talks will be held on January 15.
The Farmers’ Union continued with their demand for a complete rollback of the farm laws while the central government suggested amendments saying some farmers do not want to repeal the laws.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industry and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar, and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash.
US Capitol infiltrated
Thousands of Trump’s supporters in Washington D.C. violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday morning resulting evacuations, arrests and injuries. The day which had started with peaceful demonstrations turned violent as many in attendance saw Wednesday as the last stand for Trump because Congress was set to declare Joe Biden as the new President.
Rioters hushed past police to enter the US Capitol (US Parliament) building where lawmakers were debating electoral college votes. The mob was able to breach security and enter the building where one woman was shot and later died.
Donald Trump, who lost the popular and electoral college vote continued to assert that elections results were rigged. President Trump had encouraged his supporters to attend the rally and took the stage around noon to roaring crowds, where he falsely claimed that he had won the election.
Protestors had initially gathered for demonstrations at the National Mall to protest against the November election results as Congress began to count Electoral College votes. But the rally turned to violence when President Trump asked his supporters to come to the Capitol.
Demonstrators wielding “Make America Great Again” flags and Trump Hats breached Capitol barricades, scaled the building’s balconies and smashed windows. This prompted the security team to escort Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers to a secure location.
The event was criticized across the world and world leaders asked for a peaceful transfer of power.
Schools reopened in Punjab
The Punjab Government took the decision to reopen all schools from January 7 for students of Class 5 to Class 12 on Wednesday. Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said following the continuous demand of parents, the Punjab Government has decided to reopen all government, semi-government and private schools from January 7 onwards.
Vijay Inder Singla said the timings of the schools will be from 10 am to 3 pm. The students only of Class 5 to Class 12 will be allowed to physically attend their classes. The state education minister added while giving his nod, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh directed the department to ensure the safety of the children, amid coronavirus pandemic.
Central Vista Project gets go-ahead
The Supreme Court upheld the Central Government’s plan to construct the Central Vista Project and the government’s proposal to construct a new Parliament near the old Parliament area. The apex court said, “We hold that there are no infirmities in clearances given, change in land use.”
The three-judge bench directed project proponent of Central Vista project to use anti-smog guns and install smog tower at all construction sites.
The Central Vista revamp was announced in September 2019 and envisages a new triangular Parliament building with seating capacity for 900 to 1200 MPs. It is to be constructed by August 2020, before the celebrations of 75th Independence Day.
Announcement of Corona Vaccine
The health ministry said that it is looking to roll out its Covid-19 vaccination programme on 16 January. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan had earlier said that the vaccine rollout will take place within 10 days of the date when accelerated approval was granted to two vaccines.
The announcement by the ministry came 2 days after the DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) approved Bharat Biotech’s indigenous Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, domestically manufactured by the Serum Institute of India for restricted emergency use on 3rd January.
Return of Bird Flu
Bird Flu, primarily an influenza virus which affects birds but can infect humans too, saw a return in some of the states of India. Delhi and Maharashtra confirmed the presence of bird flu amid nationwide efforts to contain the spread. Seven other states – Rajasthan, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujrat, Haryana and, Madhya Pradesh- had earlier confirmed Bird flu as the cause of the recent bird deaths.
Haryana has reported more than 4 lakh birds deaths, the most number of bird deaths in the country in the last few weeks. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture has asked senior officials of the Ministry of Animal Husbandry to look into the availability of animal vaccines in the country. Chhattisgarh and Jammu and Kashmir are also on alert.
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