Morning Digest: December 28, 2022

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Manish Sisodia (right) visits LNJP Hospital during a mock drill for COVID-19 preparedness in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Manish Sisodia (right) visits LNJP Hospital during a mock drill for COVID-19 preparedness in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Mock drills across States check COVID-readiness

Following a directive from the Union Health Ministry to ascertain preparedness in case of a resurgence in coronavirus cases, several States reported success with their mock drills on Tuesday. India, in keeping with trends from last two weeks, reported less than 200 coronavirus positive cases on Tuesday, with no confirmed reports of novel infectious variants.

18 States yet to receive ₹4,700 crore in MGNREGS wages from Union government

It has been a year since funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) were withheld for West Bengal, owing to the alleged widespread violations by the State government in the implementation of the scheme. The latest figures however, show that the Centre’s dues to many other States are also significantly high, with just three months to go for the financial year to end. The Centre, as on December 14 owes ₹4,700 crore of wages to 18 states and ₹5,450 crore worth material costs to 19 States.

BJP and Congress trade barbs over the Rajasthan High Court’s rejection of Robert Vadra’s plea to quash a money-laundering probe against him

The BJP and the Congress party on Tuesday engaged in a sharp exchange of words over the Rajasthan High Court’s rejection of Robert Vadra’s plea to quash a money laundering probe against him. Citing the court order, the BJP called the Gandhi family a “  kattar paapi parivaar (extremely immoral family)“ and the “most corrupt family” in Indian politics. The Congress hit back saying that the BJP was rattled by the popularity of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and that’s why it was peddling “lies” to victimise Mr. Vadra. The Congress accused the BJP of “losing its balance”.

J&K regional leaders laud Bharat Jodo Yatra in unison, express wish to join

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra has struck a rare resonance with the top regional players of Jammu and Kashmir, including the National Conference’s (NC) Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; and Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti, who have not only expressed their wish to join the yatra but have also pitched for aligning the secular forces in the country.

Merchandise exports may drop 2.3% this year: CARE

Slowing global growth and cooling demand are likely to shrink India’s goods exports by more than 2% in 2022-23 and grow just 1.5% next year, CARE Ratings said in a research report on Tuesday, signalling a sharp drop in outbound shipments over the next quarter.

Centre, Manipur govt. sign peace pact with Naga armed group

The Union government and the Manipur government have signed a cessation of operations agreement with the Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF), a Manipur-based Naga armed group.

More snow in store for Buffalo after blizzard ‘for the ages’

Storm-battered Buffalo braced on December 27 for fresh snow while still striving to recover from an epic blizzard that killed at least 28 people, stranded others in cars for days and shuttered the city’s airport.

Merely drafting a National Tourism Policy not enough, need a Tourism Council: Parliamentary committee

Merely drafting a National Tourism Policy is not enough for the development of the tourism sector in the country, a Parliamentary committee has said. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has suggested fast-tracking the creation of a National Tourism Council on the lines of the GST council to directly make recommendations to the Central and State governments on various issues of the tourism sector and its stakeholders.

West Bengal recruitment scam: Trinamool councillors, leader’s kin among those using unfair means for jobs

The names of two councillors of the Trinamool Congress and a son of a panchayat pradhan have figured in the list of 952 candidates whose marks in the entrance examination were manipulated to get jobs as teachers, in State-run schools. On Tuesday, posters came up in the State Balurghat Municipality against Dipanita Deb Singh, a councillor of ward number 24 of the municipality. The posters accused the Trinamool councillor of getting a job as a biology teacher in a State-run school, using unfair means. Her name had figured on serial number 417 of the list of 952 candidates, whose OMR (optical mark reader) sheets were manipulated to get a job as a biology teacher in a State-run school.

Hardik Pandya named captain of T20I squad against Sri Lanka; Rishabh Pant not part of squad

The transition phase in Indian cricket kick-started on December 27, 2022 with premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya being named captain of the T20 side for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka starting January 3. The 27-year-old Baroda man has also been named as the vice-captain of the ODI squad, indicating current regime’s plans to see him as long-term white ball leader once 35-year-old Rohit Sharma decides to call time on his illustrious international career.

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