With several important events lined up for today, Zee News brings to you all the important happenings that will take place today December 20. Read the top news headlines and other major updates from across the country to start your day.

Read the top news headlines and other major updates from across the country to start your day.

Health Ministry meeting today after mutant coronavirus spreads in UK

The Union Health Ministry has showed concerns about the emergence of a new, mutated strain of the coronavirus in the UK, it has called for an urgent meeting of its Joint Monitoring Group on Monday (December 21). In the meeting, the challenges posed by the new mutated variant of coronavirus and its impact is likely to be discussed. The concern is emphasised due to the sharp rise in the number of cases of infections in the UK which has led to a stricter Tier-4 lockdown. Also, a number of European countries have banned flights from the UK as the British government warned that the potent new variant of the virus was ‘out of control’.

Farmers to observe one-day hunger strike today 

Intensifying their agitation against the Centre’s new agri laws, farmers on Sunday announced that they will observe a day-long relay hunger strike on Monday (Dec 21) at all sites of protest here and halt toll collection on highways in Haryana from December 25 to 27. Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab and Haryana, are protesting against the laws for the last over four weeks at various border points of Delhi and demanding that the legislations be repealed.

 

Watch Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at Bengaluru planetarium

State-run Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in the city centre has made arrangements to watch the celestial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn planets on Monday (Dec 21) between 6.30-7.30 p.m., an official said. “We have set up telescopes in our premises to watch the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Monday evening if weather conditions permit,” said the planetarium official in a statement. Due to the Covid-induced restrictions on people gathering in large numbers in public places, those who register online to watch the celestial event will be allowed in the planetarium in batches of limited numbers to maintain social distancing.

JNU to reopen campus for PwD-category PhD scholars today 

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will allow PwD-category PhD scholars to enter the campus from Monday in the fourth phase of its reopening after being closed for over seven months in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. “PwD (Persons with Disability)-PhD students from all schools (both day scholars and hostelers), who require to access the laboratory, are allowed to enter the campus from December 21. The students will have to mandatorily self-quarantine themselves for seven days and submit a self-declaration,” JNU Registrar Pramod Kumar said. The university has announced that the central library, all canteens and dhabas will remain closed due to the pandemic.

Jharkhand schools to reopen for class 10, 12 from today 

The Jharkhand government gave its nod for reopening of schools outside containment zones for Class 10 and 12 from December 21, besides restarting classes in medical and dental colleges, and nursing institutes. Class 10 and 12 students would need the permission of their parents to attend schools. Alongside, online classes will also continue. Classes will also restart in medical and dental colleges, and nursing schools from December 21, as per the order. Swimming pools, entertainment parks, processions, sporting events, coaching and all other educational institutions will remain shut, as per the COVID-19 guidelines issued by Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh.

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