UN rights body to move SC on CAA

  • In an unprecedented and rare move, the Geneva­based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has announced that it plans to file an application in the Supreme Court, asking to be impleaded in petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
  • Responding to the announcement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the United Nations body had no right to file a petition that will ask the court to appoint the Commissioner for Human Rights as an assistant or amicus curiae in the case.


Italian tourist tests positive for COVID­-19

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday chaired a review meeting on the preparedness to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, with the number of confirmed cases rising to six in the country.
  • “Apart from the three positive cases from Kerala, who have recovered, three more cases have been confirmed positive for COVID­19 and six have heavy viral load and are awaiting confirmation. All are in isolation and are stable,” said a senior Health Ministry official.
  • The Health Ministry has suspended all regular visas/ e­visas granted on or before March 3 to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan, who have not yet entered India, in view of the emerging global scenarios regarding COVID­19. Visa on arrival (VoA) issued on or before March 3 to Japanese and South Korean nationals, who have not yet entered India, have also been suspended.


Centre in talks with States wary of NPR

  • “The government is in discussion with the States having concerns in regard to the preparation of NPR,” Mr. Rai said. “The demographic and other particulars of each family and individual are to be updated/collected during the updation of NPR. No document is to be collected during this exercise,” he said.
  • Punjab, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh are some of the non­BJP­ruled States that have expressed apprehensions about the proposed new format of the NPR and are critical of the exercise. The Union Cabinet has approved an outlay of ₹3,941.35 crore for the exercise.
  • The “pretest” or the trial NPR form collected details from 30 lakh respondents last year on 21 parameters, including “place of birth of father and mother, last place of residence” along with other information like Aadhaar particulars (optional), voter ID card, mobile phone and driving licence number. The new NPR, for the first time, is also expected to collect information on a respondent’s “mother tongue”. In 2010 and 2015, the NPR collected details on 14 parameters.


Rupee in free fall on COVID­-19 fears; RBI soothes markets

  • The rupee fell for the third consecutive session on Tuesday on concerns over the deadly COVID­-19 spreading in India amid the central bank stepping in to calm investor sentiment.
  • The rupee dropped below the 73­-a-­dollar level even as the equity markets bounced back, snapping a seven­day losing streak.