Morning Digest | India pays homage to first CDS Bipin Rawat, 12 other chopper crash victims; international flights to resume only after January 31, and more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening paid last respects to Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat and 12 others who were killed in the Mi-17V5 helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. He was joined by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and the three Service Chiefs at Palam air base.

Amid strong objection from the Opposition, the Lok Sabha on Thursday passed two Bills allowing the Centre to extend the tenure of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief and the CBI Director up to five years from the current fixed tenure of two years. The Bills replace the ordinances brought in last month. Congress members walked out in protest when the two Bills were put to voice vote in the Lok Sabha.

Full resumption of international flights stands postponed at least till January 31, 2022, according to an announcement by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Thursday.

The Labour and Employment Ministry told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that a global pension index that placed India’s pension system towards the bottom of the list was “not based on reliable comparable international data”. The report, which came out earlier this year, ranked India 40 out of 43 countries for its pension system.

Two years after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) was passed by Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is yet to notify the rules governing the Act. The legislation cannot be implemented without the rules being notified.

The five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccinate- and ‘adherence to COVID appropriate behaviour’ was highlighted as the mainstay of the public health response in managing COVID-19 by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan as he reviewed India’s preparedness for the Omicron variant and progress in vaccination on Thursday.

The Supreme Court has declined a plea for diplomatic immunity raised by Aircel founder C. Sivasankaran, who is facing money laundering charges. Mr. Sivasankaran claimed he was an ‘Ambassador at large’ for the Republic of Seychelles and was protected from criminal prosecution under the Vienna Convention.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or NSCN (I-M), has said the “Indo-Naga” political talks will not be meaningful under the shadow of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.

Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due early next year, BJP MP Harnath Singh Yadav on Thursday called for repeal of the Places of Worship Act to allow for construction of Sri Krishna Temple in an alleged disputed site in Mathura.

Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha on Thursday saw Speaker Om Birla spontaneously deciding to allow as many women MPs as possible to raise their issues in the House. Out of a total of 62 speakers in the morning, 29 were women.

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved for judgment an appeal by Zakia Jafri, widow of Congress leader Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, for investigation into a “larger conspiracy” behind the violence.

Myanmar government troops raided a small northwestern village, rounding up civilians, binding their hands and then burning them alive in apparent retaliation for an attack on a military convoy, according to witnesses and other reports.

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