Face-to-face negotiations between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) over a trade deal have restarted in London in a last-ditch attempt to find agreement with just five weeks to go before their current relationship ends. EU negotiator Michel Barnier and the UK’s chief negotiator David Frost are working to secure a deal before the UK’s transition period with the EU ends on December 31.It is the first time they have met face-to-face since Barnier went into self-isolation after a member of his team caught the novel coronavirus.Both sides are calling for the other to compromise on the three main issues of contention - fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.The UK left the bloc on January 31 this year and a “no-deal” final exit would snarl borders, spook financial markets and disrupt delicate supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond.A no-deal scenario is widely expected to cause economic chaos, with customs checks required at the borders.The concern is particularly acute on the border between EU member Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland, where the sudden imposition of a hard border threatens the delicate peace secured by 1999’s Good Friday Agreement.
-The Bengaluru based Indian Institute of Science researchers have developed an efficient decentralised wastewater treatment and recycling system for rural areas. A study on decentralised wastewater treatment systems developed by the premier institute was published in the Journal of water Process Engineering. The model is demonstrated in Berambadi Primary school in a remote village in Karnataka. The Assistant Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies in Indian Institute of Science, Lakshminarayana Rao has informed that the water treatment system demonstrated by them is economical and enables reuse of wastewater, reducing dependence on freshwater resources. He informed that the 667 litres of grey water can be treated daily, thereby saving around 180,000 litres of water annually. The water that drains out of the wash basin and kitchen is treated and recycled after removing the oil and grease and used again for non potable purposes such as toilet flushing and gardening. Based on the success of this sustainable wastewater management project, several other schools in Karnataka have approached the institute to set up the system in their schools also.
-Government of Karnataka has issued new guidelines effective from December 1st to contain the Corona pandemic in the state. The guidelines pertain to promote appropriate behaviour, enforce wearing of masks, hand hygiene and social distancing. The district administration is imposing a fine of 250 rupees for not wearing masks in Bengaluru and 100 rupees in other districts. The Containment zones are sealed allowing only essential activities. House to house surveillance is carried in these zones. Standard operating procedures are announced for international travellers. Cinema halls, exhibition halls, cultural or religious centres are to allow only 50 percent of the hall capacity, swimming pools are open only for sports persons.
-In view of sharp rise in covid 19 cases the Himachal state government has decided to enforce five days office and sixth day work from home for all the Government employees of the State till coming 15th December to 31st December.State Government has also restricted the number of persons in all social gathering to 50. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has said all the political functions would be held virtually and restriction on numbers would be implemented in letter and spirit in such functions. He also directed the Deputy Commissioners to rope in private hospitals and laboratories for testing and treatment of Covid patients.
-Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi in Delhi and discussed the issue of resumption of iron ore mining in the coastal state.Minister for Petroleum and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Goa Advocate General Devidas Pangam were also present during the meeting, Sawant said in a statement."We are hopeful that some solution will be found in the further deliberation with the central government that will take place immediately," the chief minister said.Mining in Goa has come to standstill since 2018 after the Supreme Court quashed 88 mining leases.
-The Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday approved the J&K Communication and Connectivity Infrastructure Policy (JKCCIP) to improve telecom and internet connectivity to fulfil objectives under the National Broadband Mission, an official spokesperson said here.The approval was granted at a meeting of the council held under the chairmanship of Sinha, the official added.To further ease the laying of telecom infrastructure in the union territory which includes both overhead (mobile towers) and underground (optical fibre) infrastructure, the new policy includes 'Rights of Way' (RoW) provisions, which ensure hassle-free approval of RoW permissions in a speedy and time-bound manner through a single-window mechanism, he said.