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News in Short

News in Short - 21-October-2021

ZalmayKhalilzad steps down

Date: 21 October 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Some two months after the U.S.’s chaotic troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, America’s chief negotiator in Afghan peace settlement has resigned.
  • Mr. Khalilzad, an Afghan-American, was appointed in 2018 by former U.S. President Donald Trump and continued to hold the position in the Biden administration.
  • Mr. Khalilzad, a former diplomat, was Ambassador to Afghanistan during the Bush administration. He had also served as Ambassador to Iraq and the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N.
  • Mr. Khalilzad has been criticised for orchestrating a February 2020 deal with the Taliban, cutting out the former Afghan government.

Bhaskarabda to be added to official calendar of Assam

Date: 21 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Bhaskarabda, an era counted from the date of the ascension of a 7th-century local ruler, will be added to the Saka and Gregorian in the official calendar of the Assam government.
  • Bhaskarabda began when Bhaskaravarman was crowned ruler of the Kamrupa kingdom. He was a contemporary and political ally of northern Indian ruler Harshavardhana.
  • The Assamese calendar begins and ends at sunrise over 24 hours. While the Gregorian goes by the solar cycle, Bhaskarabda use a lunisolar system based on both the phases of the moon and the solar year.The gap between Bhaskarabda and Gregorian is 593 years.

Israel clears residency for Palestinians

Date: 21 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Israel granted approval for 4,000 Palestinians to register as residents of the West Bank, the first such move in the Israeli-occupied territory in 12 years.
  • Israel has occupied the West Bank since the Six Day War of 1967 and exercises full administrative control across much of the territory.
  • Israel’s governing coalition, which ended Mr. Netanyahu’s 12 straight years in office in June, has said it is committed to boosting livelihoods in the West Bank.
  • Some 4,75,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the West Bank considered illegal under international law on land Palestinians claim as part of their future state.

L&T wins bid to construct central secretariat building

Date: 21 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Infrastructure and construction major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) has bagged the project to construct the first three office buildings along the Rajpath, which are part of the Central Vista Redevelopment Plan.
  • The company has quoted the lowest bid at ? 3,142 crore, which is nearly 3.5% less than the government’s bid price of ? 3,455 crore.
  • The two other qualified bidders - Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) Ltd and Tata Projects Ltd - have quoted more than the government bid price.
  • The central public works department (CPWD) has set a tight deadline of two-and-half years for completion of these buildings. The agency has also floated the tender for construction of a low-rise Vice-President Enclave close to North Block.

Gita Gopinath to leave IMF

Date: 21 October 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • IMF’s Chief Economist Gita Gopinath will leave her job next year and return to the prestigious Harvard University.
  • The Indian-American economist had joined the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Chief Economist in January 2019.
  • She was the John Zwaanstra Professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University when she joined the Washington-based global lender.
  • Harvard University had extended her leave of absence on an exceptional basis by one year, which has allowed her to serve as Chief Economist at the IMF for three years.