Pan­-India NRC never on the table, says PM

  • Modi contradicts Amit Shah’s statement in LS, accuses Congress and ‘urban Naxals’ of spreading lies.
  • In a twist to the raging controversy over the National Register of Citizens, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Sunday that there had been no discussion, no talk on an NRC for India since his government had taken power in 2014.
  • Mr. Modi’s comments fly in the face of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement in the Lok Sabha on December 9: “We are very clear that NRC will happen in this country.”
  • Mr. Shah also said in the House, “Magar maan ke chaliye ki NRC aane wala hai” [but accept that there will be an NRC].


Food inflation spike transient: RBI Governor

  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said the recent spike in food inflation looks transient but added that the central bank needed to wait for a confirmation of this. The comments come after the RBI decided to hold interest rates during the monetary policy review earlier this month.
  • Stating that food inflation is monitored, he told The Hindu, “At this point in time, it [food inflation] also looks transient. And going forward, it should come down, but we need some time to watch…”


Railway unveils new signalling system

  • The implementation will begin with four sections of about 640 route kilometres with an estimated cost of around ₹1,810 crore. 
  • The four sections where the plan will be implemented first are the Renigunta -Yerra-guntla section of the South Central Railways, the Vizia-nagaram­-Palasa section of East Coast Railway, the Jhasi-Bina on North Central Railway and the Nagpur-­Badnera on Central Railway.
  • The modernisation of the signalling system will include implementation of technologies such as the automatic train protection system that helps in adhering to permissible speed limits without driver intervention and the 4G­ based mobile train radio communication system, which can be used for emergency communications.
  • The implementation of these new systems will improve safety, reduce congestion, increase line capacity and improve punctuality, Mr. Kumar said.
  • Besides a centralised traffic control system similar to the air traffic control system, a remote diagnostic and predictive maintenance system will be implemented.


Officers Training Academy in Gaya to shut down

  • The Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Gaya is being shut down as it is not used to its full potential and the Sikh Light Infantry Regimental Centre, which is strapped for space at Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh, will shift there, Army sources said.
  • “It is not closure. It is relocation,” a senior source said. The OTAs in Chennai and Gaya are under ­utilised now because the intake has increased through other schemes like the Technical Entry Scheme (TES).
  • The Centre was supposed to build a new regimental Centre for the Sikh Light Infantry. The move is expected to save expenses and enable utilization of readily available infrastructure.


Arunachal to mark schools as ‘hard’ and ‘soft’

  • Arunachal Pradesh will soon have schools marked ‘hard’, ‘soft’ and ‘medium’. Geography, lack of infrastructure and reluctance of teachers to work beyond their comfort zones are the reasons for this categorisation, officials said.
  • A government spokesperson said that under the new policy, all government schools will be divided into three categories — hard, medium and soft — based on topography, accessibility and degrees of difficulty in staying at the place of posting.
  • “All new recruits will be given a hard posting for a mandatory three years, inclusive of their probation period. The next five years will be in schools with levels of medium difficulty, followed by posting in soft schools,”