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News in Short

News in Short - 04-December-2021

Export dip widening trade deficit

Date: 04 December 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • India’s merchandise exports slipped below the $30-billion mark for the first time in eight months in November to $29.88 billion.
  • Imports outpaced exports, jumping 38% from pre-COVID levels compared with the 16% increase in exports, though they moderated slightly month-on-month to $53.1 billion from $55.4 billion in October.
  • The trade deficit widened to a fresh record of $23.27 billion, from $19.9 billion in the previous month. This is almost 83% higher than the November 2019 levels. The previous highest monthly trade deficit of $22.6 billion was recorded in September.

Tensions rise over Russian border build-up

Date: 04 December 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Russia has been building up its military forces close to the Ukrainian border.Moscow has amassed more than 92,000 troops around 300 km from the Russian border with the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.
  • Moscow denies planning an invasion and accuses Ukraine of building up its own forces in the east of the country. This territory is a conflict zone where Ukraine has been battling Russia-backed separatists.
  • While Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of preparing for an invasion, Russia has, in turn, accused the West of ‘anti-Russia’ hysteria.

Rajya sabha passes Dam Safety Bill

Date: 04 December 2021 Tags: Bills & Laws
  • The Rajya Sabha passed the Dam Safety Bill, 2019 after a four-hour discussion.
  • This is one of the first legislation to be passed this week as the Upper House has witnessed vociferous protests and disruption from the Opposition.
  • Opposition members raised concerns that the Bill encroached on the federal structure as dams and rivers are State subjects.

Contraception use jumps by 8.7%

Date: 04 December 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • The increased use of contraception across the country has been a major factor in preventing unwanted pregnancies, leading to a decrease in India’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) to below replacement level.
  • In just five years, from NFHS 4 (2015-16) to NHFS 5 (2019-20), the use of modern contraceptives for family planning has jumped by 8.7 percentage points – from 47.8 per cent to 56.5 percent.
  • While as many as 30 out of 36 states/UTs have shown an increase in contraception use, the improvement in Uttar Pradesh’s and Bihar’s numbers have been especially encouraging, given their large populations.

Cyclone Jawad to develop near Andhra Pradesh coast

Date: 04 December 2021 Tags: Disaster & Disaster Management
  • Cyclonic storm Jawad, which is expected to reach Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast, is likely to make landfall in Puri district.
  • The storm lies 420 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and 530 km south-southeast of Gopalpur and 650 km south-southwest of Paradip in Odisha.
  • The weather department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in Andhra and Odisha — where an orange alert has been issued — and Bengal.
  • The rainfall intensity will reduce and shift towards the northeast regions, which will also come under the influence of the cyclone.