Kazakhstan officially announces 225 people killed in unrest last week, Beijing reports first local Omicron case ahead of Olympics, Bilateral trade between India, Delhi restaurants closed for dine-in as Covid cases surge, CBI arrests Director (Marketing) of Gas Authority of India Limited, others in bribery case, Maruti Suzuki hikes prices for the fourth time in FY22, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi's brother denied Congress ticket, to fight as independent candidate, Rajasthan govt to hand over probe into Alwar rape case to CBI,

Govt ensured 'Ease of Doing Haj' by introducing effective reforms

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas has said that the government has ensured 'Ease of Doing Haj' by introducing effective and far-sighted reforms such as abolition of Haj subsidy, allowing Muslim women to proceed for Haj without 'Mehram' and following cent per cent online booking process. Addressing a review meeting in Mumbai along with senior officials of Haj Committee of India regarding preparations for the Haj-2022, Naqvi informed that more than twenty thousand people have applied for next year’s Haj. Stating that the last date for submission of forms for Haj-2022 is January 31, the Minister informed that all women under the 'without Mehram' category will be exempted from the lottery system. Naqvi informed that the Haj Mobile App has been upgraded with the tagline 'Haj App in Your Hand'. The app contains several new features, including frequently asked questions and instructions on how to fill up the application form. He added that citizens can also visit the portal of Haj Group Organisers for availing package deals, adding that the Digital Health Card; 'E-MASIHA' health facility and 'E-luggage pre-tagging' have ensured transparent, affordable and comfortable Haj for Indian pilgrims.

-Amid a steady decline in new cases of COVID-19, the Maharashtra Government has decided to reopen schools for Class one to seven in urban areas and for Classes one to four in rural areas from December1. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai,  School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said, the decision has been taken after discussions with the Paediatric Task Force regarding the safety aspect of reopening schools. Expressing the government’s commitment towards safe resumption of schools, Gaikwad said, a meeting will be held with Principals, school management, district authorities and parents to ensure there is no doubt in anyone’s mind. She said that detailed SOPs will be issued. Thereafter, it will be important for parents to teach their kids the importance of wearing masks and maintaining social distance at all times. The Minister said, students must use private transport facilities, if possible. Ruing the fact that a lot of students would be unaware of what a classroom atmosphere looks like and how it feels to personally interact with teachers and their school mates, Gaikwad said, it is high time to bring these students back into the mainstream and help them develop social skills. Stating that there would be many students who would be visiting their school for the first time, the Minister said, all efforts will be made to give them a safe and secure feeling.

-In Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory Administration is about to merge 2,000 schools to strike a balance between the ratio of teachers and students. Education Department has already initiated a study to this effect on the directions of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha because of reports that in certain schools number of teachers was much higher as compared to students. But, at the same time, it was reversed in other educational institutions. In his monthly episode of the Radio Programme ‘Awaam Ki Awaaz’, the LG talked about the matter and said that a merger of 2,000 more schools is being studied. Worth to mention, the UT Administration have already merged many schools being run under Smagra Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Still, there are certain educational institutions having eight students and four teachers while others have 70 students and four teachers. There were certain schools where 20 to 25 teachers have been posted for 100-odd students, while in other educational institutions, there were three to four teachers for an almost equal number of students. However, as per the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, the Teacher-Student ratio must be 1:35 that means one teacher for 35 students.

-The AP Cinemas Regulation Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly Thursday, opening the way for a state-run online movie ticketing system. The legislation, according to the government, would enable the government to regulate cinema ticket pricing and prevent moviegoers from being exploited. The AP  Government has proposed the amendment to control ticket prices and stop the exploitation of middle-class people by some exhibitors, according to Transport Minister Perni Venkataramaiah, who submitted the Bill on behalf of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. He mentioned the current situation, which includes erratic ticket prices, a high number of screenings, unauthorized shows, and even big disparities in tax and film collections. According to the Minister, the new online ticketing system would allow the public to book tickets via mobile phones instead of queuing at theatres or burning a hole in their pockets by purchasing tickets in black. 

-The two-day ninth session of the thirteenth Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) commenced in Kohima on Thursday. During the session, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio introduced three bills- The Nagaland Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (Fourth Amendment) Bill, Nagaland Goods and Services Tax (Fifth Amendment) Bill and Nagaland Lokayukta (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021. Chief Minister Rio also moved a Government Resolution on the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002. Rio, who is also the Minister in-Charge of Finance presented the Supplementary Demand for Regularization of Excess Expenditure for three financial years from 2014 -2015 to 2016-2017. The Chief Minister also tabled the Performance Audit of Select District Hospitals in Nagaland for the year ended 31st March 2019.Minister for Health and Family Welfare S. Pangnyu Phom introduced the Government Resolution on the Transplantation of Human Organ Act, 1994 and Transplantation of Human Organ Act (Amendment), 2011.
 


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