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The Weekly Recap: 10 Major News Stories

Only 1 in 1,000 Indians lives in Area with Clean Air

In 2015, only one in 1000 Indians lived in areas where particulate pollution did not exceed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safe levels for fine, toxic dust particles called PM 2.5. The study conducted by IIT-Bombay, HEI and IHME found that In 2015, one in four deaths from particulate pollution in India was due to household biomass burning. The study also found that about 75% of deaths attributable to PM 2.5 exposure were in rural India, as reported on Business Standard.

US Government shut down

The Guardian reported that Up to 800,000 federal workers were told to stay home after the White House and Congress failed to strike a compromise on a government spending bill. Workers deemed essential and armed forces personnel were asked to stay at work. President Trump sought to blame Democrats for the shutdown – by putting immigrants before other Americans. While the Democrats blamed Trump, for walking away from a compromise over the future of young undocumented migrants known as Dreamers.

Indian President okays Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

Twenty Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, accused of holding the ‘office of profit’, were disqualified from the Delhi Assembly on Sunday, January 21, after President Ram Nath Kovind approved the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) recommendation in the matter. The ECI on Friday, January 19, had recommended to the president that 20 AAP MLAs should be disqualified from the assembly.

Mauritius Largest Source of Foreign Investment in India : RBI

Mauritius accounted for 20.8 per cent of FDI in India followed by the US, the UK, Singapore and Japan up till March 2016, the Reserve Bank said while releasing the Census on Foreign Liabilities and Assets of Indian Direct Investment Companies for 2015-16. Equity participation had a much larger share (93.4 per cent) than debt in total inward FDI, which stood at Rs 20,140 billion at market value in March 2016 (Rs 19,813.4 billion a year ago), as reported by the Times of India.

Myanmar prepares for Repatriation of Rohingyas

Myanmar was making final preparations to take back first batch of Rohingya Muslims who had fled conflict in troubled Rakhine state. State Chief Minister Nyi Pu “insisted on completion of the finishing touches on buildings, medical clinics and sanitation infrastructures” during a visit to repatriation camps on Friday, January 19.

Over 655,500 Muslim Rohingya fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar military cracked down in the northern part of Rakhine in response to militant attacks on security forces on August 25, 2017.

Myanmar will start receiving Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh starting on Tuesday, January 22, and continuing over the next two years, under an agreement the two countries signed this week. Paul Vrieze, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesman in Myanmar, cautioned that the returnees must not be rushed out of Bangladesh prematurely “without the informed consent of refugees or the basic elements of lasting solutions in place”. (Source : The Hindu)

 

PM netanyahu inaugurated Raisina Dialogue and visited iCreate centre

During a 6-day visit to India, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated the 3rd edition of the “Raisina Dialogue“, in New Delhi on Tuesday, January 16. The 3-day geo-political conference saw attendance from over 550 delegates and more than 150 speakers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj were also a part of the inaugural session. PM Netanyahu also went to Ahmedabad, where Indian PM Modi dedicated the iCreate Centre at Deo Dholera village in Ahmedabad to the country. Mr. Modi urged innovators to make the most of Israeli technology. iCreate (International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology) is an autonomous institution on the outskirts of the capital city that aims to identify and nurture budding entrepreneurs and provide them assistance.

Gamma-ray burst recreated in lab for the first time

IB Times reports that the new research could boost our understanding of gamma rays and even fuel the search for alien life. Gamma ray bursts are very challenging to study as they originate in far flung galaxies and last for short periods of time.

A team of international scientists from the US, France, UK and Sweden have created a mini version of one of the most intense astronomical explosions of light – gamma ray bursts – in a laboratory. The researchers made use of the Gemini laser, the most intense laser on Earth, to create the mini gamma ray burst. One theory about the origins of gamma ray bursts is that they are emitted from massive astrophysical objects such as black holes.

India’s Job Market Grows by 10% in December 2017

Hiring activity registered a 10 per cent jump in December over the year-ago period. In November, the hiring activity had seen a 16 per cent growth year-on-year. Non-IT sectors like industrial products, construction, engineering, auto and BFSI have led the growth for the past few months, according to V Suresh, Chief Sales Officer of Naukri.com.

As far as cities are concerned, the index for Kolkata and Chennai grew 40 per cent and 15 per cent year-on-year, respectively. While Delhi NCR saw a 7 per cent growth in hiring, Bangalore witnessed 4 per cent year-on-year rise during December. Entry-level jobs requiring 0-3 years of experience and 4-7 years’ experience increased by 33 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively in December 2017 as compared to the year- ago period.

Government to split Air India into 4 parts for Disinvestment

India will break up its debt-burdened flag carrier into four separate companies and offer to sell at least 51 percent in each of them as part of a disinvestment proposal. The core airline business comprising Air India and Air India Express — the low-cost overseas arm — will be offered as one company, and the process will be completed by the end of 2018. The airline, which is surviving on a taxpayer-funded bailout, has strained government finances for decades.

 

Indians among the largest group of immigrants becoming US citizens

By 2015, 80% of eligible immigrants from India opted to become American citizens compared to 69% in 2005. This meant a growth of 12% according to a study by the Pew Research Center. Between 2005 and 2015, India, along with Ecuador, posted the biggest increase among origin countries for eligible immigrants opting to become American citizens

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