With media focusing on the farmers' protests in and around Delhi, here are other pieces of news you might have missed.

1. The Supreme Court ruled that the central government is not required to obtain prior environmental or forest clearance before declaring a stretch as national highway.

This observation was made by the top court in its judgement upholding the notification for acquisition of land for the Rs 10,000-crore Chennai-Salem eight-lane green corridor project.

Source: Deccan Herald

2. A female govt employee in TN died after slipping into a septic tank when she went to relieve herself in a nearby building since her office did not have a toilet. 

24-year-old Saranya left the government office she was working at in Kancheepuram district’s Kalakattur to relieve herself as her office did not have a toilet. She apparently slipped and fell into an unclosed septic tank in an under-construction house where she went to urinate, and died later.

Source: TNM

3. The Union Health Ministry has said that it does not know where records related to the meetings of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 are held.

The reply from MOHFW comes after activist Venkatesh Nayak asked for details of constitution, meeting dates, agenda etc of the expert group in an RTI.

Source: Deccan Herald

4. Indian-American Raja Chari is one among the 18 astronauts selected for NASA’s manned Moon mission.

43-year-old Raja Chari, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and US Naval Test Pilot School, is the only Indian-American in the list.  

Source: OrissaPOST

5.  Farmers from Amritsar have started their journey to join protestors in Delhi in 700 vehicles.

Several farmers’ groups which did not join the ‘Dilli Chalo’ protest that began from November 26 began their journey towards Delhi ahead of the farmers’ announced programme of blocking highways by December 12 and a massive nationwide protest on December 14. 

Source: Tribune India

6. World carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 7% in pandemic-hit 2020.

The Global Carbon Project calculated that the world will have put 34 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in the air in 2020. That's at least 7% down from 36.4 billion metric tons in 2019.

Source: HT

7. The News Broadcasting Standards Authority directed three news channels to air an apology for their reports on actor Rakul Preet Singh in connection with Sushant Singh Rajput’s death.

The news channels that were asked to air the apology are Zee News, Zee24, and Zee Hindustani.

Source: Times Now

8. 17 men allegedly raped a woman while holding her husband hostage in Jharkhand’s Dumka district.

The incident reportedly took place in the night, when the woman and her husband were returning from a village market. She told the police that five men dragged her to the bushes and the other accused overpowered her husband.

Source: India TV news

9. The Karnataka Assembly passed an anti-cow slaughter bill providing for a jail term of three to seven years.

The Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill seeks a total ban on the slaughter of cows in the state and stringent punishment to those who indulge in smuggling, illegal transportation, atrocities on cows and slaughtering them.

Source: Scroll

10. Gauhati HC stayed the environmental clearance given to Oil India for drilling inside Dibru Saikhowa park.

Source: Scroll

11. Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021 has placed India among the top 10 countries to have adopted substantial measures to mitigate climate change.

This is for the second consecutive year India has been placed in the top 10. Last year, India held ninth position in the global ranking with an overall score of 66.02. 

Source: weather.com

12. India’s total active COVID-19 caseload has significantly dropped to 3.63 lakh today, lowest after 146 days.

13. Doctors across India are protesting against the Centre's move to allow Ayurveda doctors to perform surgery.

Important ones, right?