India in 2 minutes

67,000 babies born on Jan 1

India welcomed an estimated 67,385 babies, the highest in the world, on New Year's Day.

It was followed by China (46,299), Nigeria (26,039), Pakistan (16,787) and Indonesia (13,020).

According to the United Nations Children's Fund, Indian babies will account for 17 per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies born globally on New Year's Day.

Another shot at moon landing

India will make a fresh attempt to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon this year after a failed bid last year, the head of the country's space programme K. Sivan said.

The Chandrayaan-3 mission will have a lander and a rover and will use inputs from the previous mission's orbiter.

Doctors suspended over infant's death

Taking immediate action after the death of an infant due to burn injuries caused by a short circuit at the government hospital in Alwar on Wednesday, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma suspended two doctors, three nurses and terminated the services of two contract employees.

The three-week-old girl was admitted to the Government Geetanand Children's Hospital in Alwar with breathing problems.

Huawei gets nod to participate in 5G trials

The Central government has allowed Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies to participate in trials for 5G networks.

India's nod to Huawei comes at a time when the global rollout of 5G technology has been complicated by United States' sanctions against the company.

The US has been lobbying allies not to use Huawei's equipment in their 5G networks.

General Rawat appointed first Chief of Defence Staff

The Indian Army's outgoing chief General Bipin Rawat has been appointed India's first Chief of Defence Staff.

He will be the principal military adviser to the Defence Minister and head of the new Department of Military Affairs.

He will hold the post till March 31, 2023, when he reaches 65 years of age.

General Manoj Mukund Naravane has been appointed the new chief of the Indian Army.

Envoy to Austria recalled

The Foreign Ministry has reportedly recalled India's Ambassador to Austria Renu Pall on alleged charges of "misappropriation of funds".

There are allegations that Ms Pall rented an apartment at Rs15 lakh a month.

A 1988 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, she was to complete her tenure in Austria this month.

Navy bans Facebook, restricts smartphone use

The Indian Navy has banned the use of Facebook by all its personnel and asked its officers and sailors not to carry smartphones to bases, dockyards and warships.

The directive from the Naval Headquarters comes weeks after seven sailors from Vishakhapatnam, Mumbai and Karwar and a Mumbai-based hawala operator were nabbed for leaking information to Pakistan after being virtually honey-trapped on social media.

UP MLA booked for beating cop with shoes

Mr Kishan Lal Rajpoot, a Bharatiya Janata Party member of the legislative assembly from Uttar Pradesh's Barkhera constituency, and 50 supporters have been booked for allegedly beating a police constable with shoes at a police post and robbing him of a gold chain and wallet.

A court in the state ordered action against the MLA following a complaint by the constable Mohit Gurjar.

"They abused and thrashed me (over a financial dispute)," said the constable.

"They opened fire at me and I had a narrow escape. They robbed me of my gold chain and wallet and caused serious injuries to me."

India ends boycott of Commonwealth Games

India on Monday ended a threat to boycott the 2022 Commonwealth Games over the exclusion of shooting and said it will bid to host the event in the new decade.

Following talks with the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Indian Olympic Association offered to host a Commonwealth shooting championship before the 2022 Games in Birmingham, England, to overcome the year-long boycott dispute.

The two sides did not say whether the medals won at the championship would count towards the Games tally.

Three die at Goa music festival

Three men died at the Sunburn Electronic Dance Music Festival at Vagator beach in Goa after collapsing at the venue last weekend.

The opposition Congress party alleged that they died due to an overdose of drugs, which were "openly sold" at the venue, and demanded an inquiry.

But the state's Culture Minister Govind Gawade said the government cannot be held responsible.

"The government is not forcing the youth to attend the festival," he said. They go on their own."

Auspicious 'kolam' now protest tool in TN

The traditional "kolam'', which is drawn outside temples and homes as an auspicious mark to bring prosperity, became a political tool in Tamil Nadu on Monday when DMK and Congress leaders employed it to express their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens.

"Kolams'' were drawn outside the homes of DMK president M.K. Stalin and his sister and member of parliament Kanimozhi and state Congress president K.S. Alagiri with the slogan "No CAA-NRC".

A day earlier police arrested six women in Chennai for drawing "kolams'' with slogans like "No to CAA" and "No to NRC".


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