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Daily briefing: PM Modi to chair all-party meet on India-China situation; Maoists sent home due to Covid fear

From the return of Indian soldiers from Chinese custody to a halt in HCQ research, read our tops stories from the print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 19, 2020 9:09:50 am
today top news briefing, top news today, latest news today, india latest news today, india china latest news, india china border news, india coronavirus latest updates today June 19, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

The Conflict

The Chinese army on Thursday evening returned from its custody 10 Indian soldiers, including two officers, involved in Monday’s violent face-off in the Galwan River Valley. The developments came even after the Indian Army announced that no soldier involved in the clashes had gone missing in the valley.

There is “intense debate” within the government on whether “restoration of status quo ante” at the Line of Actual Control is “enough”, or choosing more “kinetic options” is “necessary”. However New Delhi choses to respond — diplomatic, economic and military, it is not going to be an easy call to make.

A Twitter exchange between Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on why Indian troops in the Galwan Valley were not carrying weapons when they were attacked sparked a wider debate. While the BJP stressed on military protocols on use of firearms at LAC, former Army officers say forces are “free to use any level of force” when lives are in danger.

Our lead editorial on why boycotting Chinese goods is easier said than done. “India is dependent on China for a wide array of goods, ranging from electronics to fertilisers — Made in China often helps Make in India too. Any attempt to reduce imports from China, operationalised through tariffs or other non-tariff barriers, will raise prices for Indian consumers.”

The Pandemic

Twenty-two trial sites in the country will stop the hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) arm of the Solidarity Trial to find an effective Covid-19 treatment following the WHO’s announcement that the drug was futile in reducing mortality in hospitalized coronavirus patients.

Chennai and its three neighbouring districts are all set to observe a 12-day intense lockdown as the Tamil Nadu government struggles to get a grip over the Covid cases which have crossed the 50,000 mark. In the capital city alone, about 18,000 policemen will be deployed to handle the situation.

Even the Maoists are not immune to fear of the novel coronavirus spreading in their ranks. A Naxal, who was recently arrested in Bijapur district, was allegedly asked to return home by top leaders as she developed symptoms of Covid-19, according to Chhattisgarh Police.

Beyond Covid-19

Setting itself on a collision course with India, Nepal managed to redraw its map, which includes areas of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari gave her assent to the Bill within hours of its passage in the Upper House. In New Delhi, sources said the government was “disappointed”.

The elections for 19 Rajya Sabha seats across eight states will be held today with the contest in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan promising to be a close affair between the BJP and Congress. Meanwhile, Lalu Prasad’s elder son and former health minister Tej Pratap Yadav is in contention for a berth in the Bihar Legislative Council. And in Karnataka, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa got to pick his men for the MLC polls after being snubbed by his party in selection of candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls.

And finally…

The age of industrialisation in History; area of a triangle and frustum of a cone in Mathematics; and physical properties of metals and non-metals in Science. These are among topics that Class 10 students may not be assessed on in their Board exams next year, according to a draft document prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training this week.

In today’s episode of Three Things in Podcast, we discuss the challenges of boycotting all things made in China.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan talks about the importance of using saliva on the leather ball and how that makes it easier for fast bowlers to swing it.

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