Here are the top 5 news of December 15, 2020:
1. No winter session due to spurt in COVID cases, budget session in Jan 2021
The government has said that the winter session of Parliament will not be held this year in view of the spurt in COVID-19 cases and that it will be appropriate to convene the budget session in January next year.
In a letter to the leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, "Winter months are very crucial for managing the pandemic because of recent spurt in cases during this period, particularly in Delhi. At present, we are in the middle of December and a COVID vaccine is expected very soon."
The minister said he had informally contacted floor leaders of various political parties and "they have expressed their concerns about the ongoing pandemic and opined of doing away with winter session".
"Government is willing to have the next session of Parliament at the earliest; it would be appropriate to have the Budget Session in January 2021 keeping in mind the unprecedented circumstances created by COVID-19 pandemic," Joshi wrote.
2. Aam Aadmi Party will contest UP Assembly elections in 2022, says Arvind Kejriwal
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2022, its national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced today as he accused political parties in the state of doing nothing but stabbing people in the back.
In a virtual press briefing, Kejriwal said development and progress in UP have been held back by its "dirty politics" and "corrupt leaders". People in the state want an honest government which only AAP can provide, he added.
Citing Delhi's Mohalla clinics, free water and electricity, healthcare and education facilities, Kejriwal said people of Uttar Pradesh were being deprived of these basic amenities by the parties that have formed governments in the state over the years.
3. UK PM Boris Johnson accepts India's invitation to be chief guest at 2021 Republic Day parade
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted India's invitation to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26, UK Foreign Secretary announced on Tuesday.
He said, “I'm pleased that PM Boris Johnson has invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. UK PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India's Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honour.”
Speaking at the joint press briefing along with UK Foreign Secretary after bilateral and delegation-level talks, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, "The presence of PM Boris Johnson as the chief guest at Republic Day 2021 would be in a way symbolic of a new era, a new phase of our relationship," he said.
4. Why are nurses in Delhi's AIIMS Delhi on strike amid COVID-19 pandemic?
From Monday afternoon, around 5,000 nurses went on an indefinite strike, hampering patient care services at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi.
The AIIMS administration has appealed to the union not to go on strike during the crisis of the pandemic and to return to patient care immediately. The AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria has appealed to the nurses to call off their strike and return to work, stating that "a real nurse will really never abandon her patients".
For the uninitiated, these nurses are on strike over their long-pending demands, including those with regard to the Sixth Central Pay Commission. Their list of demands includes correction of an anomaly in the fixation of the initial payment as per the Sixth Central Pay Commission (CPC), redressal of issues such as the abolishment of gender-based reservation in the recruiting process of nursing officers and contractual appointments and enhancement of hospital accommodation and cadre restructuring.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Nurses Federation (DNF), the apex welfare association of nurses working across the government hospitals in the national capital, has showed its support to the indefinite strike by the nurses of AIIMS.
5. Maharashtra: BJP MLCs walk out of Legislative Council on Maratha reservation issue
Maharashtra BJP MLCs today walked out of the Legislative Council on the issue of Maratha reservation.
Pravin Darekar, leader of opposition in the Legislative Council, alleged that the government is running away from discussions and is facing strong opposition.
"The Maharashtra government does not seem to be serious about Maratha reservation. It should put all its efforts in the Supreme Court for the Maratha Reservation. The government should also take care that OBC (Other Backward Class) reservations remain intact and unchanged," he said.
The BJP also held a protest outside the state Assembly today, over various issues including women safety and Maratha reservation.
(With inputs from agencies)