News of the Hour: Here's what is making headlines on December 31, 2020

First Published Dec 31, 2020, 9:39 AM IST

Here's a roundup of the top stories at this hour

<p><strong>Kerala Assembly passes resolution against farm laws</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government's resolution against the Centre's three farm laws has been passed at a special session today.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The resolution says, 'farmers' genuine concerns should be addressed and the Centre should withdraw all three farm laws.'<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The BJP dismissed the LDF government's resolution as mere 'tokenism'</p>

Kerala Assembly passes resolution against farm laws
 

The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government's resolution against the Centre's three farm laws has been passed at a special session today.
 

The resolution says, 'farmers' genuine concerns should be addressed and the Centre should withdraw all three farm laws.'
 

The BJP dismissed the LDF government's resolution as mere 'tokenism'

<p><strong>21,821 new cases in the last 24 hours in India</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>India has reported 21,821 new Coronavirus cases, 26,139 recoveries, and 299 fatalities in the last 24 hours.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Total tests conducted cross 17 crore and cumulative positivity rate falls below 6 per cent.</p>

21,821 new cases in the last 24 hours in India
 

India has reported 21,821 new Coronavirus cases, 26,139 recoveries, and 299 fatalities in the last 24 hours. 
 

Total tests conducted cross 17 crore and cumulative positivity rate falls below 6 per cent.

<p><strong>Kerala bars New Year's Eve revelry</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Kerala and Delhi have joined the list of states who have issued orders prohibiting all public gatherings as part of New Year celebrations.&nbsp;The state government has directed that celebrations on New Year' Eve (December 31) should cease by 10 PM.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>In Delhi, the disaster management authority imposed night curfew. Not more than five persons can assemble at public places. Also, no new year celebration events, no gatherings at public places will be permitted from 11 pm of December 31 to 6 am of January 1 and 11 pm of January 1 to 6 am of January 2.</p>

Kerala bars New Year's Eve revelry
 

Kerala and Delhi have joined the list of states who have issued orders prohibiting all public gatherings as part of New Year celebrations. The state government has directed that celebrations on New Year' Eve (December 31) should cease by 10 PM.
 

In Delhi, the disaster management authority imposed night curfew. Not more than five persons can assemble at public places. Also, no new year celebration events, no gatherings at public places will be permitted from 11 pm of December 31 to 6 am of January 1 and 11 pm of January 1 to 6 am of January 2.

<p><strong>Section 144 in Bengaluru from Noon</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The Karnataka government will impose Section 144 from 12 noon today till 6 am on January 1, 2021, in Bengaluru city<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>In Karnataka's Mangaluru, the Police Commissioner has issued prohibitory orders from 1800 hours on December 31 to 0600 hours on January 1.<br />
&nbsp;<br />
<br />
Gathering of five or more people and celebration of New Year in public prohibited. Hotels, malls, restaurants, clubs, pubs etc shall not organise any special events.</p>

Section 144 in Bengaluru from Noon
 

The Karnataka government will impose Section 144 from 12 noon today till 6 am on January 1, 2021, in Bengaluru city
 

In Karnataka's Mangaluru, the Police Commissioner has issued prohibitory orders from 1800 hours on December 31 to 0600 hours on January 1.
 

Gathering of five or more people and celebration of New Year in public prohibited. Hotels, malls, restaurants, clubs, pubs etc shall not organise any special events.

<p><strong>Goa mulls over plan for cannabis cultivation</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that his government is examining a proposal for cannabis cultivation for medicinal use from Indian Institute of Integrated Medicine.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>"We're examining it. But it doesn't mean we're going for its cultivation. At present Goa govt is not interested to go ahead with this proposal," he said.</p>

Goa mulls over plan for cannabis cultivation
 

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that his government is examining a proposal for cannabis cultivation for medicinal use from Indian Institute of Integrated Medicine. 
 

"We're examining it. But it doesn't mean we're going for its cultivation. At present Goa govt is not interested to go ahead with this proposal," he said.

<p><strong>UK Covid strain entered India early December?</strong></p>

<p>AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has stated that it was possible that the UK strain of Coronavirus may have entered India around November end or early December.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>"If you look at it epidemiologically, this strain leads to an increase in infectiveness. If you look at our data for last 4-6 weeks, there was no spike in cases," Dr Guleria told news agency <em>ANI</em>.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>"It's unlikely that UK strain, even if it had entered India, is causing a significant effect on our cases and hospitalization. But we need to be extra careful &amp; make sure that we don't let it come to India in a big way."</p>

UK Covid strain entered India early December?

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has stated that it was possible that the UK strain of Coronavirus may have entered India around November end or early December. 
 

"If you look at it epidemiologically, this strain leads to an increase in infectiveness. If you look at our data for last 4-6 weeks, there was no spike in cases," Dr Guleria told news agency ANI.
 

"It's unlikely that UK strain, even if it had entered India, is causing a significant effect on our cases and hospitalization. But we need to be extra careful & make sure that we don't let it come to India in a big way."

<p><strong>No entry despite 50 days in quarantine</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>A group of Indian passengers, who completed more than 50 days in quarantine and are carrying 10 'negative test reports' issued by Chinese authorities, is still being denied entry into Beijing.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The Indians, who travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan on October 30 with Beijing as their final destination, travelled to China on a VBN flight. The Chinese authorities have blocked the passports of these individuals, thus negating the possibility of their further travel towards Beijing.</p>

No entry despite 50 days in quarantine
 

A group of Indian passengers, who completed more than 50 days in quarantine and are carrying 10 'negative test reports' issued by Chinese authorities, is still being denied entry into Beijing.
 

The Indians, who travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan on October 30 with Beijing as their final destination, travelled to China on a VBN flight. The Chinese authorities have blocked the passports of these individuals, thus negating the possibility of their further travel towards Beijing.

<p><strong>Mukesh Ambani no more the richest Asian businessman</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has been dislodged from the position of Asia’s richest person by Zhong Shanshan, vaccine magnate and founder of China’s largest bottled water company Nongfu Spring.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhong's net worth has soared $70.9 billion this year to $77.8 billion, making him the 11th richest person in the world.&nbsp;</p>

Mukesh Ambani no more the richest Asian businessman
 

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has been dislodged from the position of Asia’s richest person by Zhong Shanshan, vaccine magnate and founder of China’s largest bottled water company Nongfu Spring.
 

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Zhong's net worth has soared $70.9 billion this year to $77.8 billion, making him the 11th richest person in the world. 

<p><strong>Cabinet approves export of Akash missile</strong><br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The Centre has given clearance to the export of the indigenous Akash missile to China-wary nations in south-east Asia and buyers in Africa.<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms. The missile was inducted in 2014 in IAF and in 2015 in Indian Army.&nbsp;<br />
&nbsp;</p>

<p>The Government intends to focus on exporting high-value defence platforms, to achieve the target of $5 billion of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.</p>

Cabinet approves export of Akash missile
 

The Centre has given clearance to the export of the indigenous Akash missile to China-wary nations in south-east Asia and buyers in Africa.
 

Akash is a Surface to Air Missile with a range of 25 Kms. The missile was inducted in 2014 in IAF and in 2015 in Indian Army. 
 

The Government intends to focus on exporting high-value defence platforms, to achieve the target of $5 billion of defence export and improve strategic relations with friendly foreign countries.

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