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On Tuesday, the central government made it mandatory for international passengers to pre-book their RT-PCR tests. This rule, in its first phase, will be implemented in six metro cities in the country, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It only applies to passengers who are coming from an 'AT RISK' country or have visited one in the last 14 days. The new system will come into effect from December 20, giving passengers enough time to complete the procedure.


'Air Suvidha' platform to be modified to execute the change

Apart from Mumbai, the rule is applicable at the Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad airports. Passengers will be able to use the Ministry of Civil Aviation's 'Air Suvidha' platform to pre-book their tests. A link to the concerned airport will be made available to the passengers on the portal, while they fill their self-declaration form. All airlines will be advised to check for the mandatory pre-booking before boarding. A passenger who has trouble in pre-booking may be allowed to board the flight, however, in such cases, it will be the airline's responsibility to identify and accompany the passenger to the registration counter at the airport for testing upon arrival.

Pre-booking to ensure precaution

The compulsory pre-booking will make sure that passengers are not able to avoid getting tested upon arrival, and make the testing process more efficient for the airport authorities. It will help tackle the complains of delays and chaos rising because of the RT-PCR tests at Mumbai Airport. Such precautionary measures are necessary, as the WHO has warned that the Omicron variant is spreading at an unprecedented rate and not enough is being done to contain it. Moreover, Maharashtra now has the most number of cases in the country, with two more fully-vaccinated people testing positive on Monday.

New ₹900 crore annual budget plan approved to bolster civic development in Mumbai

A ₹900 crore annual plan has been approved to bolster development in Mumbai city & suburban districts

In light of the upcoming BMC elections in Mumbai, the Maharashtra Government approved the annual district plan budget, allowing a sum of ₹900 crores for the development of Mumbai city and suburbs. Reportedly, this yearly budget has been further segmented into two categories - ₹250 crores for the city and ₹650 crores for the suburban districts. The plan was approved during cabinet review on Monday and will be notably streamlined for use in the next year.

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Goa University postpones final year PG & UG offline exams in wake of COVID rise

The Goa University administration on January 13, 2021, announced to postpone the examinations by three weeks.

Citing the recent hike in COVID cases in the state as a primary concern, the Goa University administration on January 13, 2021, postponed the varsity examinations. According to this announcement, all final year UG and PG offline assessments have been pushed back by three weeks. The Goa University also altered the duration of the term break, preponing it to extend between January 24 to 29, 2022.

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Lucknow charts COVID-19 recovery; fresh case tally sees a dip for second consecutive day

Around 1818 fresh COVID cases were reported in Lucknow on Monday, down from 2326 on Sunday

Pointing towards a recovery trend, fresh infections in Lucknow have dipped for two consecutive days on Monday, bringing a huge respite to the city. Around 1,818 new coronavirus cases were reported here on January 24, down from 2,326 cases on Sunday and 2660 on Saturday. With 2402 recoveries, the healing wave surged stronger than the daily transmission load, adding to the pandemic relief here. However, a single virus-related fatality indicated that the COVID threat has not completely subsided.

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DGCA extends suspension of international passenger flights in India till February 28

DGCA announced the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights to and from India till February 28, 2022

Representative Image

Aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on January 19, announced the suspension of scheduled international passenger flights to and from India till February 28, 2022. While scheduled passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 2020, several special passenger flights are under operation between India and 40 other countries since July 2020. These aviation services are being regulated under an air-bubble agreement to ensure COVID security

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21 Omicron sub-lineage 'BA.2' cases reported in Indore

Of this new load, around 6 are children.

Amid the rampant fears of Omicron spread in the country, 21 infections of BA.2, a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant have doubled the threat in Indore. Of this load, six happen to children including a one-day-old infant. As per reports, all cases of the sub-mutation have been traced at a private laboratory in Indore, in the last 18 days. Since the new variant is relatively new, doctors and healthcare experts are conflicted over the severity of the infection caused by it.

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Painting UP Green! Four 'Vedic Paint' manufacturing sites to be set up in the state soon

The four paint units will be set up at Barabanki, Varanasi, Ballia and Meerut

In a strive to promote the use of greener solutions in Uttar Pradesh, the Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has undertaken the task of setting up 4 'Vedic Paint' manufacturing sites in the state. Vedic paints are naturally procured alternative paints, that are more eco-friendly than chemically sourced materials, making them a smarter and greener choice. As per the Khadi Commission Director, these novel units will be set up at Barabanki, Varanasi, Ballia and Meerut, to boost the pillars of sustainable growth and development in UP.

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Kanpur's Gandhi Bhawan to be developed as a site for light & sound show under the Smart City Mission

Soon you can enjoy light & sound shows at Gandhi Bhawan in Phoolbagh!

Soon, the residents of Kanpur will be able to enjoy a spectacular light and sound show just like the ones at Burj Khalifa and Gateway of India in their own city! The show will take place at the famous Gandhi Bhawan in the Phulbagh area, which is currently undergoing renovation. Being carried out under the Smart City Mission, the work to add a new attraction in Kanpur is expected to complete in the next 3 months. Read on to know more about this initiative that is aimed to boost tourism and the development of local areas in the city.

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