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Top news of the day: Lok Sabha passes electoral reforms bill amid din; ‘India Out’ campaign in Maldives intensifies with Yameen’s backing, and more

Union Minister for Law Kiren Rijiju speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on December 20, 2021.

‘India Out’ campaign in Maldives intensifies with Yameen’s backing

About a fortnight since Maldives’s ex-President Abdulla Yameen walked free, after the Supreme Court overturned his conviction in a money-laundering case, the ‘India Out’ campaign in the island nation has intensified, with the former strongman now leading it.

Lok Sabha passes electoral reforms bill amid din

Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to link electoral roll data with Aadhaar eco system amid protest by opposition members over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence issue . The Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021 , piloted by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju, was passed by a voice vote after a brief discussion during which some opposition members demanded that it be referred to a parliamentary panel.

Also read: Parliament proceedings live updates | December 20, 2021

J&K Delimitation Commission proposes six seats for Jammu, one for Kashmir; earmarks 16 seats for SC, ST

The J&K Delimitation Commission on Monday proposed to increase six seats for the Jammu division and one for the Kashmir division, besides reserving 16 seats for the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Schedule Tribe (ST) communities in the Union Territory, evoking sharp reactions from the regional parties.

Bombay HC extends time till January 7 for Varavara Rao to surrender

The Bombay High Court on December 20 extended the time for 82-year-old Varavara Rao to surrender till January 7. A division bench of justices Nitin Jamdar and S.V. Kotwal was hearing a plea filed by Mr. Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence.

CSIR-CCMB working on improving diagnostic methods to check for Omicron variant

Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research–Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology (CSIR-CCMB) is working on specific primers for improving the current Covid testing methods like the RT-PCR where the emerging Omicran variant can be identified. “We are working on a few sets of primers, but we have to test them extensively and validate them, before we can put them out so that a positive patient can know if it is the current dominant Delta variant or the new Omicron,” said Director Dr. Vinay Kumar Nandicoori.

Also read: Coronavirus Live Updates | December 20, 2021

Omicron scare: Sensex nosedives 1,190 points on global selloff

Equity benchmark Sensex plunged 1,190 points on December 20 as concerns over the impact of surging Omicron cases across the world spooked investors, triggering an intense selloff in global equities. The 30-share index slumped 1,189.73 points or 2.90 per cent to end at 55,822.01. Similarly, the NSE Nifty tanked 371 points or 2.18 per cent to 16,614.20.

Union Minister Ajay Mishra replaced as chief guest at SSB Raising Day parade

Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra Teni was replaced as chief guest at the Raising Day parade of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) with his colleague Nisith Pramanik on Monday at the eleventh hour. Mr. Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is the prime accused in the October 3 incident where four farmers were killed and several others injured after they were run over by a car that was part of the convoy of the Union Minister in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district. Kheri is Mr. Ajay Mishra’s parliamentary constituency. The son of one of the killed farmers, Nacchatar Singh, is posted with the SSB which guards the Nepal and Bhutan borders.

News Analysis| Political murders in Kerala call for stern action

The spate of political murders taking place in Kerala in the recent times is a real wake-up call for the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government to get its act together to rein in organisations that are having a free run in the State.

Explained | What kept cybersecurity busy in 2021?

As the pandemic kept people connected to their devices for yet another year, cyberattacks and data breaches raged on. According to a report by consulting firm Accenture, there was a 31% jump in the average number of attacks per company since 2020. Besides, successful breaches to the organisations through the supply chain rose from 44% to 61%.

The Ashes | Australia win day-night Adelaide Test despite Buttler's resistance

Jos Buttler's dogged resistance ended in a bizarre fashion as Australia thrashed England by 275 runs in the day-night second test to go 2-0 up in the five-match Ashes series on Monday. England resumed the final day on a precarious 82-4, needing 386 more runs for an improbable win or to at least bat out the last three sessions to force a draw.

Also read: The Ashes | Australia name unchanged 15-member squad for last three Test s

Boxing Day Test between India and SA to be played without spectators: report

The first Test between India and South Africa starting at Centurion on December 26 will be played without spectators as the host country’s cricket board is not selling tickets in view of the emergence of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, according to a report. Only some suite holders and delegates will be able to watch the match live though current COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the government allow for 2,000 fans, according to Afrikaans language weekly newspaper ‘Rapport’ as quoted by ‘news24’ website.

Delhi Cabinet approves setting up of Delhi Teachers’ University

Delhi Cabinet on December 20 approved setting up of Delhi Teachers’ University, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced. The University will offer a four-year integrated teacher education programme after Class 12, in which B.A. and B.Ed., B.Sc. and B.Ed. and B.Com. and B.Ed. courses will be incorporated.


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Printable version | Apr 24, 2022 8:16:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/top-news-of-the-day-december-20-2021/article37997816.ece