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Current affairs - December 31st, 2021 from The Hindu.

- Essay Corona

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) and other authorities sat to discuss the Omicron variant this week. The decision will be based on a definitive study by the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom on booster doses called the COV-BOOST, and the Christian Medical College, Vellore trial of evaluating a booster by combinations of Covaxin and Covishield as third doses, which may lead to the conclusion of the study as the combinations are said to boost antibody levels. Any decision regarding the COVID discussion to set a set of clear-cut guidelines on vaccine recommendation would be announced before January 10, 2022.

- gs1/gs3 Society/Social justice

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Nagaland, which has been in force in the northeast part of the country since 1958, gives unbounded power and authority to the military forces and the Central Reserve Police. Troops deployed in “disturbed areas'' to behead anyone violating the law, arrest and search any premises without the need of a warrant, and safeguards from prosecutors and legal suits without the central government’s censure. Since the 4th of December, Nagaland was in protest when 13 citizens were killed in a botched raid by the Troops in Mon district. The decision has now been extended to the use of armed services to aid the city for another six months by the Union Home Ministry as Nagaland. Certain similar areas are considered disturbed and worrisome conditions.

- gs2 International Relations

China’s Minister of Public Affairs issued “standardised” names for 15 areas in Arunachal Pradesh; China also tried to allocate such names in April 2017. Indian spokesperson Arindam Bagchi says Arunachal Pradesh is shown as “Zangnan” or “South Tibet" on Chinese maps. "Arunachal Pradesh has always been and will always be an integral part of India. Attributing new labels to places in Arunachal Pradesh will not change this fact.

- gs2 International Relations

Following a sudden increase in Omicron cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to cancel his tour plans to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the coming weeks, when India and the UAE had been expected to sign a restricted free trade agreement (FTA). The UAE is India’s third-leading trading partner after the USA and China. This comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will include more investment security protocols along with amenities provided for Indian laborers and emigrants by March 2022. On a side Note - India and Australia are expected to undertake discussions for a provisional free trade agreement (FTA) shortly. This future strategic economic agreement is projected to increase reciprocal trade and investment to $100 billion within 5 years of the contractual agreement and increase the flow of goods and services to 1,117.33₹ billion.

- gs3 Security

Three more militants of Jaish­e­Muhammad ( JeM) were killed on Thursday. Doubling the number of dead militants, the count reached six from three, twice in overnight the anti-militancy taking place in south Kashmir.

- gs3 Environmental

NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. (NREL) will glide into a global engineering and manufacturing sourcing and development tender to establish a 3 GW renewable energy project with an energy storage system worth around ₹15,000 crore rupees by February 2022.


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