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News in Short

News in Short - 09-December-2020

Actress Vijayashanti joins BJP

Date: 09 December 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Actor-turned-politician Vijayashanti, who quit the Congress over the weekend, joined the ruling BJP on Monday.
  • Vijayashanti was a big star in south Indian cinema when she started her political career with the BJP in 1997. She quit the party to join the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) during its fight for a separate Telangana.
  • She was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009. The Telugu movie star joined the Congress in 2014, just before Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated and Telangana was born.
  • Vijayashanti is the second high-profile Congress leader to join the BJP after Khushbu Sundar from Tamil Nadu. She quit the Congress after Hyderabad local poll results.

Sushil Kumar Modi elected to Rajya sabha

Date: 09 December 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Senior Bihar BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha.
  • The seat had fallen vacant after the death of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan in October.
  • The election was scheduled to be held on December 14 but since no Opposition candidate had filed nominations, Mr. Sushil Modi was elected unopposed.
  • His election was considered a formality as the NDA had got majority in the Assembly in recently concluded elections.
  • Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi is likely to be inducted into the Union Cabinet in the next expansion of the Council of Ministers.

First pilot to break sound barrier, Gen Chuck Eager passes away

Date: 09 December 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier and one of the U.S. Air Force's most decorated test pilots, has passed away at 97.
  • The US Air Force officer broke the sound barrier when he tested the X-1 in October 1947. Yeager, known as "the fastest man alive," joined the Air Force at age 18 in 1941 and was assigned to the Army Air Corps.
  • Yeager has commissioned a reserve flight officer before becoming a pilot in the fighter command of the Eighth Air Force stationed in England in 1943. He flew 64 missions and shot down 13 German planes.

Joe Biden chooses Gen Lloyd Austin as Defence secretary

Date: 09 December 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • President-elect Joe Biden has chosen retired General Lloyd Austin to be his defense secretary after his inauguration.
  • Austin would be the first Black U.S. secretary of defense. Austin, who retired in 2016, will need a waiver from Congress since it has been less than the required seven years since he served.
  • The nomination of Austin, who headed U.S. Central Command under Obama, could draw fire from some progressive groups given his role post retirement on the board of a number of companies.
  • Biden and Austin developed a working relationship during the Obama administration and the retired general has been advising the transition team on national security issues.

Fitch revises India’s GDP numbers

Date: 09 December 2020 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • Fitch Ratings on Tuesday raised India’s GDP forecast to -9.4% in the current fiscal year to March 2021 from a previously projected contraction of 10.5% after the economy staged a sharper rebound in the second quarter.
  • In its Global Economic Outlook, Fitch said the coronavirus recession has inflicted severe economic scarring and the country needs to repair balance sheets and increase caution about long-term planning.
  • The projections compare to a GDP growth of 4.2% in 2019-20 (April 2019 to March 2020) fiscal and 6.7% annual expansion between 2015 and 2019.
  • In September, Fitch had sharply lowered its forecast for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to a contraction of 10.5% in current fiscal 2020-21 (FY21) versus its previous estimate of 5% contraction.