AIM and Sirius join hands

The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), a signature programme of NITI Aayog, as well as Russia’s Sirius (Scientific International Study In Specific Land Station) jointly introduced ‘AIM–Sirius Innovation Program 3.0.’ AIM – Sirius Innovation Program 3.0 is a 14-day immersive programme for Indian and Russian schoolchildren.

Around ‘AIM-Sirius Engineering Platform 3.0’:

It will be the 1st Indo-Russian bilateral youth technology programme to establish web-based and mobile technology applications for both countries.

During the case, about 48 students and 16 educators and advisors will build 8 interactive goods and smartphone apps to solve global problems in a wide variety of fields, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

These fields include history, distance learning, applied cognitive science, wellness and well-being, recreation, exercise and game training, chemistry, including artificial intelligence, including digital financial properties.



Haryana State Govt. brings in 75% reservation

On 5th November 2020, the Haryana government passed a bill granting 75 per cent of the quota to local candidates aspiring for private-sector employees in the state who pay less than Rs 50,000 per month.

The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill 2020 has been one of the key commitments made by the governing ally Jannayak Janta Party mostly during 2019 assembly polls. The bill was presented by Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala.

When this becomes legislation, the bill would extend to all businesses, corporations, trusts, limited liability partnerships and joint firms located throughout the state.

Main provisions for the bill:

  • The Haryana State Jobs of Local Candidates Bill 2020 elects an appointed official to serve as a proxy of the State, which shall rule on businesses requesting an exemption clause stating a shortage of available candidates.
  • The appointed officer shall have the right to overrule the exemption argument by directing the businesses involved to prepare local applicants to attain the desired range of expertise, credentials and skills.
  • Under the bill’s clause, 75 per cent of local applicants will be hired by each employer in jobs where the total monthly wage is not more than Rs 50,000.
  • Local candidates can be from every district in the state. The employer would have the option of limiting the employment of local candidates from any district to 10 per cent of the complete number of local representatives.
  • A platform will be created for the same reason for which municipal candidates and employers will have to register.
  • No municipal elector would be able to benefit from the benefit until he or she files on the designated portal.



Conversion for Marriage Invalid

In a recent decision, the High Court of Allahabad ruled that the transfer for the primary purpose of marriage was “zero and invalid.”

What’s the Special Marriage Act?

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 (SMA) was introduced to promote the union of couples of diverse religions, favouring civil marriages.

People of various castes or sects or states are married under the SMA, in which marriage is formalised by way of registration.

The primary aim of the Act was to resolve inter-religious marriages and to create marriage as a legal entity devoid of all religious formalities, which needs registration on its own.

What are the properties of the SMA?

  • Standard age requirements: The union of any two people may be celebrated by the SMA, before the completion of the union of a male of 21 years of age and that of a female of 18 years.
  • Specific requirements must be met: neither should a partner live; both should be able to give valid consent, and should not suffer from any psychiatric illness of the sort that makes them unfit for marriage and procreation.
  • Restrictions on religious laws: they should not be beyond the boundaries of the forbidden relationship — that is, they should not be linked in such a way that their faith does not permit such marriages.
  • Notice Procedure: The parties to the planned marriage should inform the ‘marriage officer’ of the district in which one of them has lived for at least 30 days. The note will have to be entered in the ‘Marriage Notice Register’ and a copy of it will have to be placed in a conspicuous position in the workplace.
  • The marriage must be formalised within three months of the notification, and if it is not, a new notice will be required.
  • The requirement of opposition to marriage: Any party may object to marriage inside 30 days of the publication of the notice on the ground that the marriage contravenes one of the requirements for a legitimate marriage. The marriage officer shall inquire into the opposition and decide within 30 days. If he declines permission to marry, an appeal can be filed with the district court. The ruling of the court will be binding.
  • Member of the Undivided Family: The Act also specifies that when a person of an indivisible family who proclaims the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain faiths is married underneath the SMA, it ends in his or her “severance” from the relatives.

First-Ever India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave

Digitally, the First India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave is being conducted.

Key Takeaways:

The Indian part was described by Dr S Jai Shankar, who is the Union Minister of External Affairs.

The very first ever India-Nordic-Baltic Conclave being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The subject of the conclave was ‘Innovation-Driven Partnership for Growth in the Digital World.’

The dignitaries addressed the implementation of sustainable energies and green energy.

They have had conversations relevant to AI, Supply Chain Logistics including Blockchain Transformation.

Static Part-Nordic nations: the community of 5 countries in Northern Europe-Sweden, including Denmark, Norway, Iceland as well as Finland.

Baltic countries: 3 independent states in northern Europe mostly on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea: Latvia, Estonia as well as Lithuania.



India-Italy’s Virtual Bilateral Summit

The Bilateral Summit amongst India and Italy took place basically on 6th November 2020. The summit was witnessed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Italian Prime Minister Prof. Giuseppe Conte. The 2 leaders evaluated the comprehensive context of the bilateral ties and reiterated their dedication to enhancing collaboration against prevalent global issues, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

A broad variety of topics were covered, including political, fiscal, research and technical, space and security cooperation. 15 MOUs / Agreements were made at the Summit in different sectors such as energy, fisheries, shipbuilding, construction, etc.



The 4th India-Philippines Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation

The Fourth Joint Commission on Bilateral Relations involving India and the Philippines occurred practically on 6th November. The meeting was headed by S Jaishankar, who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, and Teodoro Locsin Jr, who is the Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines.

Key Points of the Fourth India-Philippine Joint Commission on bilateral ties:

  • The major elements and concerns at which discussions were conducted mostly during the discussion were-
  • A variety of issues of general interest have been discussed. Both sides have looked at the recent developments in the bilateral links between India and the Philippines, as well as the potential direction of relations. Both countries have reiterated their dedication to the battle against common issues, particularly in the health sector, given the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Both co-chairs decided to enhance the commitment to security and maritime relations between the two nations, with a significant emphasis on capability development, military preparation and schooling, acquisition of defence equipment and goodwill visits.
  • Both countries agreed to strengthen collaboration on counter-terrorism through the sharing of information between the relevant departments and the criteria for advanced training.
  • The two co-chairs decided to improve trade and investment relations between the two countries. They have agreed to improve collaboration in the fields of tourism, agriculture, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, science and technology, space, computer security, conventional medicine and ICT.



Indo-Africa Virtual Summit

Just before the 12th BRICS Summit, the IMC Chamber of Commerce and Industry arranged a 3-days Indo-Africa Virtual Summit 2020 which began yesterday.

The initial day of the very first digital Indo-Africa Summit was marked by the participation of Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, along with food and Public Distribution, Railways, Piyush Goyal and Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Leisure, Heritage and Culture, ex-Foreign Minister of Kenya, Dr Amina Mohamed and a host of other relevant dignitaries.


The summit is carrying forward the vision set out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi upon his visit to an African country, Uganda, in 2018, to empower Africa and reinforce its bilateral relations. The joint economies of India and Africa include 2.5 billion people and a GDP of USD 5.5 trillion. There has been substantial growth in trade since 2001. Trade rates between India and African countries rose from USD 5.3 billion in 2001 to USD 70 billion in 2013.



Foundation of development projects in Varanasi

About the developments:

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation of 16 development projects in Varanasi through video conference on 9th November 2020. He has even inaugurated the work on 14 schemes worth Rs 400 crore in Varanasi.

Inaugurated projects:

He has inaugurated the up-gradation of Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital Ramnagar, Sarnath Light and Sound Show, multipurpose seed storehouse, infrastructure facilities for protection and conservation of cows, a housing complex for players in Sampurnanand Stadium, agriculture produce warehouse of 100 MT, IPDS phase 2, 105 Anganvadi Kendra and 102 Gau Ashray Kendras, and the last is Varanasi city smart lighting work.

Other announcements on the same day:

PM announced that renovation of sewage treatment plant project has been completed under the Ganga Action Plan. Sarnath is free from hanging electric wires onwards with the completion of laying the wires underground. Varanasi has been getting a new look with development projects in almost all fields like health, tourism, agriculture etc.

Local for Diwali:

Narendra Modi urged the people to promote local goods on Diwali to strengthen the local identity.



Inauguration of the conference on “Emerging Trends in Urban Mobility”

About the conference:

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Shri Hardeep S. Puri explained the topic on the subject in the 13th Urban Mobility India Conference- “Emerging Trends in Urban Mobility” on 9th November.

During the conference:

The officials discussed that the country is standing on 3 steps- leveraging technological advancements, promotion of the public transport system, and penetration of NMT systems in the urban transport paradigm. They considered it the boosting point that 30-40% of commuters use bicycles and 16-57% of urban commuters are pedestrian.

Moreover, awards were announced and enclosed for innovations in Urban Transport.

Joe Biden lessening the restrictions on H-1B, job-based visas

Joe Biden Actions reversing the move of Trump:

US President-elect Joe Biden is planning to increase the high skilled visas, including the H-1B which will benefit the Indian professionals. He is going to work towards American citizenship of around 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Work for Spouses:

He is also likely to revoke the work permits of the spouses of H-1B visas.

Work on family-based policy:

The Biden administration will support family unification by reducing the family visa backlog. He will also restore the naturalization process for green card holders.

Working on work-based visas:

He will increase the number of visas for permanent, work-based immigration. Working with Congress, he will reform temporary visas for the establishment of a wage-based allocation process and enforcement mechanism to ensure that there are no undermine wages.



Demand for U.S. action on climate by experts

Experts in India ask for more actions than the U.S doing on climate improving factors. Joseph Biden has already committed to implementing the 2015 Paris climate change treaty which set countries to prevent 2C rise in global temperature.

Emissions targets:

The US is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases but still, it is not committed to a deadline to reduce it. Contrarily, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the EU have committed zero emissions by 2050. China has committed the same by 2016.

India is already doing well as it has only 6% of emissions shared in the world with its different initiatives. India demands the US administration adopt climate change goals.



Reasons for armed clashes in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and about “Horn of Africa”

Ongoing situation:

Ethiopia’s federal system permits its 10 regions for their autonomy. It is likely to be under civil war as a domestic conflict has been continuing in the Northern Tigray region.

Impact of armed clashes on the Horn of Africa:

The violence outside Ethiopia’s borders can destabilize the region. The region, Eritrea is close to Tigray, hence, it will be the close target. Also, Djibouti, in which the US and China have strategic military bases is close to the region. It can also trigger foreign powers to get involved in it.



Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions

What is ACABQ?

Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions is the expert committee of 16 members elected by the General Assembly for three years period based on a broad geographical representation. Vidisha Maitra, the Indian diplomat has been elected to U.N. ACABQ.

Moreover, the members serve in a personal capacity in it.

Functions of ACABQ:

ACABQ examines and reports the budget that is submitted to the General Assembly by the Secretary-General. It gives suggestions to the Assembly on budgetary and administrative purposes.



New UN alliance turns away food crisis

Action in food crisis:

The catastrophic food crisis caused by a covid-19 pandemic is to be tackled by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with its launched Food Coalition.

About the Alliance:

The alliance is proposed by Italy and led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). It aims to ensure global food access and increase the facilities of agriculture food systems. It involves a trust fund and web-based hub to access the project focused information and data.

Italy and the Netherlands have already delivered the financial resources and the support to the coalition.

Objectives of the alliance:

It aims at mobilizing expertise, resources, and information. It promotes the exchange of knowledge. And It works towards plans and programmes for solutions.

The need for such efforts:

United efforts are needed because global food prices are rising continuously. Besides, covid-19 has also increased the number of undernourished people.



Yashvardan Ku. Sinha’s oath as CIC

Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha swore an oath of Chief Information Commissioner on 7th November. President of India Ram Nath Kovind has administered an oath to Mr Sinha at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Ex ambassador, Mr Sinha has served as Information Commissioner after January of the past year, as well as ex High Commissioner of India to the UK. He has been the son of Lieutenant General who is Srinivas Kumar Sinha, PVSM. He will hold office for three years as a CIC.