Preparing for UPSC Civil Services? Here’s Your Weekly Dose of News

For students preparing for civil services, it is important for candidates to keep a tab of the latest happenings in the country. Right from PM security breach to NEET counselling, here’s your weekly dose of important news and events of the week gone by.

PM Modi security Breach 

On January 5, PM’s cavalcade was stranded for 15-20 Minutes by protesting farmers, who blocked PM’s convoy when he was on his way to National Martyrs Memorial at the Hussainiwala border with Pakistan. The incident happened when Modi was in Punjab to dedicate projects worth Rs 42,000 crore to the people. He landed in Bathinda in the morning from where he was scheduled to fly to Ferozepur for a rally. However, bad weather forced a change in plans and PM Modi decided to cover the 100km distance by road – a two-hour drive.

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Just 10km ahead of the venue, his cavalcade was met by protesting farmers, keeping the convoy along with the PM waiting on the bridge for 20 minutes. They finally had to turn back. Following this incident the Home Minister constituted a three-member committee to probe the “serious lapses in the security arrangements” that “led to the exposure of the VVIP to grave security risk”.

NEET pending counselling case in SC

The Supreme Court has given a green signal for the long-pending NEET counselling process. The counselling to be held this year will have the newly introduced quota of OBC and EWS in the All India Quota. The SC, however, said that it would revisit the rationale of keeping Rs 8 lakh as the limit for availing of EWS quota in March.

A bench of justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna said that detailed reasons for the interim order will follow and the counselling for the NEET-PG for the academic year 2021-22 will proceed as per the criteria already notified. The bench said that the validity of criteria of Rs 8 lakh for determination of EWS for future years will be subject to final adjudication of the batch of petitions and listed the pleas for final hearing on March 5.

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Covid vaccines for children 

Aiming to touch 100 crore doses of Covaxin in 2022, Bharat Biotech is ready with a new plan to boost vaccine supply as the government kick-starts the vaccination drive for teenagers. Covaxin is the only option available for the segment.

The company will be supplying 7-8 crore vaccines every month, starting February, up from the current 5-6 crore doses. While Hyderabad and Ankleshwar plants will manufacture vaccines, Bengaluru and Pune plants will manufacture the drug substance or the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which are the main component of vaccines.

“Bharat Biotech is prepared and ready with its strategies to contribute to India’s vaccination drive, including the drive for teenagers,” the company spokesperson told

Many benefited from E-Shram Card

In a major development, the ministry of labour under the government of India has said that as many as 20 crore registrations have been done on its E-Shram portal so far. The E-Shram portal was launched by the government of India to form a database of workers in unorganised sectors.

According to the Union ministry of labour and employment data, 37,23,639 people registered on the portal across the country in the last 24 hours. Of this, 52.83 per cent were women, while around 47.17 per cent of the registrations were from male workers. The ministry of labour and employment updated this data on Friday.

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Djokovic Australia border issue

Novak Djokovic’s chance to play for a 10th Australian crashed when Australia denied him the entry and canceled his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules.

The incident happened after top-ranked Djokovic announced had he had been given medical exemption to play in the tournament. But border authorities did not accept the exemption. The Australian Border Force issued a statement saying Djokovic failed to meet entry requirements.

IHU variant found in Europe

The scientists in France have found another variant. The discovery of the variant, dubbed B.1.640.2, was announced in a paper posted on medRxiv.

Called IHU, as of now, the strain was discovered by academics based at the IHU Mediterranee Infection on 10 December. Currently, Omicron is the dominant coronavirus variant in France, joining other European countries like the United Kingdom and Portugal with surging case numbers over the past few days.

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