Here are the big stories from Karnataka today

People wearing face masks as a precautionary measure after cases of COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1 were detected in the country, in Chikkamagaluru district, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023.
| Photo Credit: PTI

1. Karnataka to restart COVID vaccination if necessary, cabinet sub-committee to be set up for seamless management of disease

The Karnataka government will, if necessary, restart COVID-19 vaccination that had come to a standstill in the last eight months. Announcing this after a meeting on December 21 with members of the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and officials, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said although the situation in Karnataka is not alarming as of now, it is the responsibility of all citizens to follow precautions. “Three persons have died in Bengaluru since December 15, and COVID was not the only cause of death. They had multiple comorbidities, and COVID was an incidental finding,” he said.

2. Kannada will be 1st or 2nd language, but not 3rd, up to class 8 from 2024-25 academic year in Karnataka

Karnataka government has decided not to print third language Kannada textbooks for Class 8 from the academic year of 2024-25. From the next academic year, NCERT curriculum schools, including those affiliated to Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), will have to teach Kannada as the first or second language.

Suma B.K., Senior Assistant Director of KTBS, told The Hindu, “The three-language formula is in force in Karnataka. Kannada is being taught in schools as the first, second or third language.

3. Karnataka commands highest availability of English talent in India: study

Karnataka has the highest availability of English skills with 73.33%, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 68.75% and Kerala at 61.66%, as per India Skills Report 2024 released on Tuesday.

Bengaluru city topped the list of cities with the highest availability of English skills and numerical, while Thiruvananthapuram topped the list with the highest availability of computer skills this year, as per the study conducted by Wheebox, a web-based talent assessment firm.

4. Kempegowda International Airport T2, one of the world’s most beautiful airports, wins special prize at UNESCO’s 2023 Prix Versailles

Terminal 2 (T2) of Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in Bengaluru has been recognised as one of the world’s most beautiful airports and awarded the world special prize for interiors at the UNESCO’s 2023 Prix Versailles.

The World Judges Panel for the Prix Versailles 2023, chaired by renowned fashion designer Elie Saab, announced the latest architectural projects to win a World Title, according to Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), which operates KIA.

5. Karnataka Congress in a bind over caste census

The Congress in Karnataka seems to be in a bind over the socio-economic and educational survey (caste census) conducted in 2015. Powerful caste lobbies within the party are at work ahead of the Lok Sabha election year, building pressure on the government not to accept the report.

While the party nationally has announced that it will undertake a caste census to study the status of Backward Classes if voted to power in 2024, it is struggling in Karnataka where the census was conducted during the earlier Congress government more than eight summers ago and the report is yet to see the light of day.

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