What is Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM)?
The Election Commission (EC) is working on a plan to introduce remote voting machine for migrant workers.
As many as eight national and 40 regional political parties held a discussion with the Election Commission on Remote Electronic Voting Machine(RVM). The development came after the commission extended the date of submission of written views by political parties (on various issues with regard to RVM) to February 28, 2023. Though the parties appreciated ECI’s initiative of calling all parties for discussion, they had a plethora of queries on the same.
Need of The Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM):
As per the 2011 census, 45.36 crore Indians (37% of the population) were internal migrants, settled in a place different from that of their registered residence.
While 67.4% of the eligible 91.2 crore Indians voted in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, about one-third or close to 30 crore voters did not cast their vote.
Inability to vote due to internal migration (domestic migrants) is one of the prominent reasons to be addressed to improve voter turnout and ensure participative elections.
What is Remote Electronic Voting Machine:
The new RVM prototype will enable a voter, who is listed in constituencies, to exercise voting rights from a single machine.
The multi-constituency remote EVM, developed by a public sector undertaking, can handle up to 72 constituencies from a single remote polling booth.
Migrant voters would not need to travel to their home districts to exercise their franchise if the remote electronic voting machine is implemented properly.
The remote e-voting machine will be a standalone device which doesn’t need connectivity to operate.
The Representation of the People Act, The Conduct of Election Rules and The Registration of Electors Rules will need to be amended to introduce remote voting.
How does Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM) work:
The RVMs will have the same security system and voting experience as the EVM, with the modification of an electronic ballot display with candidates and symbols instead of a fixed ballot paper sheet.
When the voter scans his/her constituency card in the presence of the Presiding Officer at the station, their respective constituency and candidate list will appear on the RVM display.
As for counting the votes, the electronic system will also count and store the votes for each candidate in a constituency.
Indian Air Force to Conduct Exercise ‘PRALAY’ in Northeastern Part of India
The Indian Air Force is set to conduct Exercise PRALAY in the northeastern sector of India amid an unresolved contention with China about differing perceptions regarding LAC.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to conduct Exercise PRALAY in the northeastern sector of India amid the unresolved contention with China about differing perceptions regarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two nations. The exercise will involve major air bases of the IAF in the northeast in addition to the recently deployed drone squadron.
Indian Air Force to Conduct Exercise ‘PRALAY’ in Northeastern Part of India- Key Points
The Exercise PRALAY will be held in the next few days amid IAFs’ defensive posturing along the Indo-Sino Border.
It is signified by its activation of the S-400 air defense systems along the LAC. The S-400 is capable of striking the target from 400 kilometers away.
Exercise PRALAY will include major combat assets including the recently acquired Rafale fighter in addition to Su-30 fighter jets and other transport aircraft.
The Indian Air Force is monitoring the situation as there is a significant increase in Chinese activity along the LAC, in Doklam and Tawang.
The recent deployment of an IAF drone squadron to the northeast region augments its capabilities of monitoring enemy activities along the Siliguri and the Sikkim Corridor.
The exercise will be conducted amid the preparations for another IAF exercise called ‘Poorvi Akash’ set to be conducted in the first week of February.
Exercise Poorvi Akash is an annual command-level exercise and is being conducted after a gap of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Indian Air Force’s Eastern Air Command has the entire northeast air space under its area of operation (AOR).
Jeff Zients selected as next chief of staff by Joe Biden
Jeff Zients next US chief of staff: US President Joe Biden will appoint former COVID policy coordinator Jeff Zients as his new chief of staff, reviving a crucial position.
Jeff Zients next US chief of staff
US President Joe Biden will appoint former COVID policy coordinator Jeff Zients as his new chief of staff, reviving a crucial position as Biden gets ready for a possible re-election campaign and deals with an investigation into his handling of classified documents.
Jeff Zients next US chief of staff: Key Points
According to sources familiar with the situation who spoke to Reuters, Ron Klain, Biden’s current chief of staff, intends to depart his position in the upcoming weeks.
After his successor begins to ease the transition, he is anticipated to continue in the position, the source said.
On Monday, the appointment might be revealed. The White House was silent at the time.
Since the beginning of the Biden administration in early 2021 through April of last year, Jeff Zients, who has spent the majority of his career in the private sector rather than politics, has served as the White House COVID coordinator.
He received praise for supervising and carrying out Biden’s initiatives to increase vaccination rates among Americans, but he also drew criticism for the administration’s lack of early steps to increase testing capacity.
Jeff Zients also worked as an economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden’s government under President Barack Obama.
Brazilian Government Declares Medical Emergency in Yanomami
US chief of staff: Jeff Zients return to the White House
Biden’s decision to run for a second four-year term in 2024, which is expected to happen after the State of the Union address next month, would be made at a crucial time if Jeff Zients returned to the White House.
Additionally, it comes while a special counsel inquiry into the president’s handling of sensitive documents is just getting started.
This has given congressional Republicans the confidence to promise their own investigations.
The top political appointee in charge of advancing the president’s policy agenda and making sure the right staff members are appointed holds one of the most crucial positions at the White House: chief of staff.
As the long days mount up, the job may have a high rate of burnout. Republican Donald Trump, Biden’s predecessor, had four different chiefs of staff during his four-year tenure.
SEBI Launches Information Database on Municipal Bonds
As part of efforts to develop the bond markets, an outreach programme on municipal bonds and municipal finance was organised by SEBI in the national capital.
Markets regulator SEBI has launched an information database on municipal bonds. As part of efforts to develop the bond markets, an outreach programme on municipal bonds and municipal finance was organised by SEBI in the national capital. Representatives from various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, municipal corporations, stock exchanges, credit rating agencies, merchant bankers and debenture trustees, participated in the programme.
About The Information Database:
The information database contains a wide range of information in the form of statistics and regulations, circulars, guidance note and Frequently Asked Questions issued by Sebi in respect of municipal debt securities.
The repository contains various checklists for pre-listing requirements and sample letters and certificates from various intermediaries to be obtained by an issuer who plans to tap the municipal bond market.
About Municipal Bonds :
A municipal bond (muni) is a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures, including the construction of highways, bridges or schools. Through muni bonds, a municipal corporation raises money from individuals or institutions and promises to pay a specified amount of interest and returns the principal amount on a specific maturity date. These are mostly exempt from federal taxes and from most state and local taxes, making them especially attractive to people in high income tax brackets.
Significance of Municipal Bonds Market:
Municipal Bonds can help the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to garner revenue to complete budgetary projects as property tax is the only major source of municipal revenue. Growth of the municipal bond market is critical for India’s large cities and towns to upgrade their creaking infrastructure. The ability of municipal bodies to be self-sustaining is also critical to the success of the Centre’s pet projects such as Smart Cities and Amrut.
Indian films bag award for best script writer and best actress at DIFF
Two Indian films bagged awards for the best script writer and best actress in the Asian Film Competition section at the 21st Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) which concluded.
21st Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF)
Two Indian films bagged awards for the best script writer and best actress in the Asian Film Competition section at the 21st Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF), Bangladesh concluded. Anik Dutta directed film Aparajito (The Undefeated) got the best scriptwriting award while Ketaki Narayan was judged the best actress for her role in Krishnendu Kalesh directed film Prappeda (Hawk’s Muffin).
The Award giving ceremony was preceded by colourful dance performances by the artists of the Shilpkala Academy who performed the traditional dance from the hill areas of Bangladesh among others.
Other awardees in different Categories at 21st Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF)
Ikkei Watanabe from Japan got the best actor award for the film Nakodo- Matchmakers (Marriage Counsellor)
The Iranian Film Bi-Mother (Motherless) got the best film award by the jury at the DIFF.
In the Bangladesh panorama category, Khandaker Sumon directed film Saatao (Memories of Gloomy Monsoons) got the best film award.
In the Women Filmmakers section, best documentary award was given to the Sri Lankan film ‘Our Mother, Grandmother, Prime Minister: Sirimavo’ on the life of Sri Lanka’s first woman Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
The best feature film award in the Women Filmmakers section was given to Akouse Me (Listen) from Greece, directed by Maria Douza.
Katharina Woll was adjudged the best director in this category for her film Alle Wollen Gelibet Werden (Everybody wants to be Loved).
Mejbaur Rahman Sumon directed movie Hawa got the audience award for the best film while Fakhrul Arefeen Khan directed film JK 1971 got the special audience award.
PM Modi Pays Tribute Netaji, to Name 21 Andaman Islands After Param Vir Chakra Awardees
On Parakram Diwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participate in a ceremony to name 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Andaman Islands named after Param Vir Chakra Awardees
On Parakram Diwas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participate in a ceremony to name 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The islands would be named after the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees. The historic significance of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and to honour the memory of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Ross Islands was renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep by the Prime Minister during his visit to the Island in 2018.
PM Modi also inaugurate a model of a memorial dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose virtually in Andaman to commemorate the freedom fighter’s 126th birth anniversary. The model of the proposed memorial will be set up on Ross Island, which had been renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep in 2018.It will have a museum, a cable car ropeway, a laser-and-sound show, a guided heritage trail through historical buildings and a theme-based children’s amusement park, besides a restro lounge, according to officials.
List of those 21 Param Vir Chakra Awardees:
These islands have been named after the 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees, viz.
Major Somnath Sharma;
Subedar and honorary Captain (then Lance Naik) Karam Singh, MM;
2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane;
Nayak Jadunath Singh;
Company Havildar Major Piru Singh;
Capt GS Salaria;
Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa;
Subedar Joginder Singh;
Major Shaitan Singh;
CQMH. Abdul Hamid;
Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore;
Lance Naik Albert Ekka;
Major Hoshiar Singh;
2nd Lt. Arun Khetrapal;
Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon;
Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran;
Naib Subedar Bana Singh;
Captain Vikram Batra;
Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey;
Subedar Major (then RifleMan) Sanjay Kumar; and
Subedar Major Retd (honorary Captain) Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav.
Brazil and Argentina to Begin Preparations for Common Currency
Brazil and Argentina aim for greater economic integration, including the development of a common currency, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentine leader Alberto Fernandez said.
Brazil and Argentina aim for greater economic integration, including the development of a common currency, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Argentine leader Alberto Fernandez said in a joint article they penned. They also decided to advance discussions on a common South American currency that can be used for both financial and commercial flows, reducing costs of operations and external vulnerability. The plan, set to be discussed at a summit in Buenos Aires, will focus on how a new currency which Brazil suggests calling the “sur” (south) could boost regional trade and reduce reliance on the U.S. dollar.
More About The Common Currency Program:
The idea of a common currency was raised originally in an article written last year by Fernando Haddad and Gabriel Galipolo, now Brazil’s finance minister and his executive secretary, respectively, and was mentioned by Lula during the campaign.
Lula’s Push For Greater Regional Integration:
Lula chose Argentina for his inaugural international trip since taking office, keeping with the tradition of first visiting Brazil’s largest trading partner in the region. That follows four years of tense relations during the government of former Brazilian right-wing President JaJir Bolsonaro.
Lula’s trip to neighboring Argentina also marks the return of Brazil to the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which Brazil left in 2019 under order from Bolsonaro, who refused to participate in the regional group due to the presence of Cuba and Venezuela.
Both presidents emphasized the need for a good relationship between Argentina and Brazil to strengthen regional integration, according to the article. The leaders also emphasized strengthening the Mercosur trade bloc, which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and which Brazilian Finance Minister Haddad recently lamented has been abandoned in recent years.
Mercosur is a sub-regional bloc of South American Countries.
Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people, and currency
Its full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Its associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Suriname
The Mercusor trading bloc was established in 1991
Headquarter : Montevideo (Uruguay).