Morning digest: Assam, Meghalaya CMs meet Amit Shah on boundary issues; Focus on rights made India weak, says PM Modi, and more

The Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to apprise him of the agreement reached between the two States regarding the decades-old boundary dispute.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the focus on talking about and fighting for rights in the 75 years since Independence had kept the country “weak” and the next 25 years would be for hard work, sacrifice and “tapasya” or penance.

The Indian Army has contacted the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China through a hotline and sought the return of an Arunachal Pradesh teenager allegedly abducted on January 18 from near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) dividing the two countries.

Only 10% mid-level IAS officers were posted with the Union government in 2021, a sharp fall from 19% in 2014. The decrease in central deputation of IAS officers becomes even more stark as the total pool of such officers at this level expanded from 621 in 2014 to 1130 in 2021, an increase of around 80%.

India recorded 3,43,535 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a 30% increase from a week ago. The total number of infections has reached 3.84 crore, and the active cases have crossed the 19.7 lakh mark. The figures are based on the State bulletins released until 9.30 p.m. on Thursday. However, Ladakh, Tripura, Jharkhand and Lakshadweep had not yet released data for the day.

The Congress on Thursday released its second list of 41 candidates, including 16 women, for the seven-phase Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) Assembly election that will begin on February 10. The list includes Poonam Pandit, an international shooter, who shot to prominence during the year-long farmers’ protests against the three farm laws that were repealed during the winter session of Parliament.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday announced candidates for 59 of the 70 Uttarakhand Assembly seats, which included Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami from the Khatima constituency. The list included six women candidates, including former Congress MLA Sarita Arya who joined the BJP this week from Nainital.

With Punjab all set to witness a multi-cornered electoral battle in the 2022 Assembly elections, the results in many constituencies could see a nail-biting contest as the margin of a win or loss could be narrow. The electoral battle was expected to be a three-cornered fight among the ruling Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or antibiotics becoming ineffective because pathogens such as viruses, fungi and bacteria become resistant to them, has long been recognised as a major threat to public health. However, there are few estimates on the scale of the problem and regional variations.

Swedish defence major Saab’s AT4 anti-armour weapon had been selected by the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force through a competitive programme for a single-shot weapon, the company said on Wednesday.

The White House clarified U.S. President Joe Biden’s opposition to Russian aggression on Ukraine after Mr. Biden appeared to suggest during a press conference that a small incursion by Russia would be tolerated. In a statement released after the press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that any incursion would be met with a “ severe” response from the U.S. and its allies.

K.L. Rahul’s men will have to improve drastically against a buoyant South African side in the second ODI on Friday in order to keep the series alive. The middle-order, which had been a problem is still sticking out like a sore thumb and no one knows what exactly the solution is.

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