Here are the top 5 news of December 16, 2020:
1. SC intends to set up committee comprising farmers' unions, Centre to resolve issues of protestors
The Supreme Court today while observing that farmers issue "will soon become a national issue" said that it intends to set up a committee comprising representatives of farmers' unions across India, government and other stakeholders to resolve the issues of protesting farmers.
A Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Centre that it intends to form a committee "because this will soon become a national issue and with the government, it won't work out it seems." The Bench also issued notice to Centre and State governments on a batch of pleas seeking a direction to authorities to immediately remove the farmers who are protesting at several border points of Delhi against three new farm laws.
The top court also granted permission to implead farmer organisations and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.
During the hearing, the Bench told Solicitor General that government's negotiation is not working and "it's bound to fail again".
2. Bombay HC stays metro car shed project at Kanjurmarg, asks MMRDA to maintain status quo
The Bombay High Court today stayed an order passed by Mumbai suburban district collector allotting 102 acre of salt pan land in Mumbai's Kanjurmarg area for the construction of an integrated Metro car shed.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni also restrained the authorities from carrying out any construction work at the said land.
The Centre and the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra are locked in a tussle over ownership of the land earmarked by the state for constructing the car depot which was earlier planned at Aarey Colony, a green belt in suburban Goregaon.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has indicated that the state government may approach the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court's order.
Pawar said the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government's decision to shift the car depot project from Aarey Colony to Kanjurmarg seemed to have "hurt a lot of people" and that is why the Centre took an "extreme step". "In the Constitution and law, there is a provision of making an appeal against a court decision. Hence, it will be thought about," he said.
3. COVID-19 pandemic wiped out 81 million jobs in 2020 in Asia–Pacific region: ILO report
The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world hard has resulted in about 81 million jobs losses from the Asia-Pacific labour markets while women and young people are disproportionately hit, said a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
According to the report, labour income was estimated to have fallen by 10 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region in the first three quarters of 2020, equivalent to a three per cent loss in Gross Domestic Product.
Further overall working hours in Asia and the Pacific decreased by an estimated 15.2 per cent in the second quarter and by 10.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, relative to pre-crisis levels.
The report on Asia–Pacific Employment and Social Outlook 2020 (APESO 2020) further added that according to preliminary estimates, an additional 22 million to 25 million persons could fall into working poverty, which would push the total number of working poor (living on less than US$1.90 a day) in the Asia-Pacific region to between 94 million and 98 million in 2020.
4. Arjun Rampal seeks time till December 22 to appear before NCB in drug case
Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal who had been summoned by the Narcotics Control Bureau to appear today, has sought time till December 22 to appear before the agency.
Rampal was asked to remain present before the NCB team, which is conducting a probe into the alleged Bollywood-drugs nexus following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, an official said.
This is the second time that the NCB will question the model-turned-actor in the drugs case.
Earlier, he was questioned by the agency on November 13 for around seven hours.
5. IND vs AUS, 1st Test: Prithvi Shaw, Wriddhiman Saha get the nod ahead of Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant in playing XI
Prithvi Shaw and Wriddhiman Saha have been named in India's playing XI for the first Test against Australia, beginning on Thursday at the Adelaide Oval.
The Virat Kohli-led side has chosen to go in with three seamers and one spinner in the first Test. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Umesh Yadav are the three pacers while Ravichandran Ashwin has been chosen as the lone spinner.
The side has opted to go in with six batsmen in the line-up. Wriddhiman Saha has been given the nod as the wicket-keeper for the first Test. There was speculation as to who will play the first Test as wicket-keeper after Rishabh Pant scored a century in the second innings of the pink-ball practice game.
Prithvi Shaw has been given the nod ahead of Shubman Gill as an opener alongside Mayank Agarwal in the first Test. The 21-year-old Gill had impressed in the two practice games he played for the Indians. In the second practice game that was played with the pink ball, Gill registered scores of 43 and 65 against Australia A.
India's playing XI: Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah.