The Big Story
Constant dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels have prompted the Chinese and Indian forces Thursday to step back 2 km from Patrolling Point 17A at the Gogra post, the third friction point — PP 14 in Galwan Valley and PP 15 in Hot Springs sector being the other two — on the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. This has cleared the decks for another round of talks, especially on Pangong Tso, where the strength of the Chinese troops is equal to the combined strength of those who withdrew from the above three areas.
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The “baffling” government policies on the import of RT-PCR testing kits for Covid-19 has left several domestic manufacturers grumbling, with some telling The Indian Express that that they could not compete with the MNCs with deep pockets unless the government reconsidered its decision on zero import duty, stipulated a domestic quota and price benefit in tender, and allowed export of surplus stock.
An investigation into a fake T20 league has brought DREAM11, a fantasy sports platform and a sponsor of the Indian Premier League, under scrutiny after the Indian cricket board’s anti-corruption unit (ACU) hinted at its possible “links” with the event to Mohali police. Likewise, the investigators are also looking into the role of FanCode, a streaming website that live broadcast the Uva T20 League shown as being held in Sri Lanka but actually played at a local club ground in Sawara village close to Mohali.
This summer’s experience with the Chinese on the LAC has firmed up the view in the Army that the only way to prevent more such incidents in the future is to have an early delineation of the disputed Sino-Indian boundary. “The LAC is the basis of peace on the border, and unless both the governments clarify the LAC at the earliest and exchange maps with the line delineated, another Galwan can always happen,” a top official in the security establishment said.
Late last month, as reported by The Indian Express, a senior Central official had said that West Bengal requires “further hand-holding” in clinical management of the rising tide of coronavirus patients. This has now proven true for the Bengal administration after its experts red-flagged several “deficiencies” that need “urgent correction”, prompting the government to issue a series of advisories to hospitals across the state.
“Jo business bacha tha, vo bhi khatam ho jayega.” Under lockdown again, every conversation in Bihar’s Bhagalpur now veers between fear of the disease, and fear of penury. A member of the management staff of a now shut city hotel says, “Anyway, we had few customers but it was increasing slightly. Now those who had booked have cancelled, and many left yesterday. Who will believe it will not shut again after July 16?”
Defending the Maharashtra government’s refusal to revisit the UGC order, Environment and Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday held that it is potentially hazardous for colleges to hold final year exams given the high number of Covid cases in the state. “We were in lockdown when we had about 600 cases [in March]. Today, when the country has about 7 lakh cases, we are actually asking children to go out in a congregation and take exams,” he told The Indian Express.
The 2013 Jheeram Ghati case, dealing with the killing of 27 Congress leaders in a Maoist attack in Sukma, is emerging as a major flashpoint between the Centre and Chhattisgarh government. The Centre is keen on handing over the case to the National Investigation Agency even though the Congress government has maintained that the state agency did not investigate the matter “properly” and left out several “political angles” in the past.
Besides this, the Centre also wants the NIA to take over the Thiruvananthapuram gold smuggling case — which has rocked the Kerala government and seen the exit of the principal secretary to the Chief Minister. However, sources in the NIA said the agency would register a case only after examining the MHA order as it has never investigated such a case before.
The Centre has defended the creation of the PM CARES Fund, which accepts donations for Covid relief operations, and opposed the demand for transferring the amount collected to the National Disaster Response Fund.
About 110 migrants died on Railway premises during the operation of Shramik Special trains since May 1, according to sources.
Pravinsinh Jadeja is among about 30 teachers across 10 villages in Gujarat’s tribal district of Dahod who “have gone out of their way” to voluntarily ensure that his students, who do not have internet or TV, don’t fall by the wayside. “We have been with these children from the time they started going to school, and we want them to be a part of this new learning process,” he says.
🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we talk about the US’s new directive that international students won’t be allowed to be in the country if their Fall classes are moving entirely online.
Liu Chuen Chen
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