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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Daily briefing: Nepal ruling party split on meet with China, leaders cite India row; CBSE may clear Class 12 students without exam

From China's claims over the entire Galwan Valley to former RBI governor Urjit Patel's appointment as chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, read the top stories from our print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 20, 2020 9:11:43 am
top news today, top news briefing today, india latest news today, latest news, india coronavirus latest updates, india china news, india china border news, india china tension June 20, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

The Conflict

“If China has not occupied our territory then what are we discussing with China?” This was one of the several questions raised by Opposition leaders after Prime Minister Modi told them neither has anyone intruded into the Indian territory nor has anyone captured any military posts. The PM’s statement came two days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar told his Chinese counterpart that Chinese troops had sought to erect a structure in Galwan valley on the Indian side of the LAC.

On the other side of the border, China made an unprecedented formal claim on an area that has always been under India’s control. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said “Galwan Valley is located on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control”, and accused India of “unilaterally and continuously” building roads, bridges and other facilities in the area.

The lead editorial in The Indian Express warns China that history could repeat itself if it didn’t restore status quo ante at LAC, and it would crumble like previous powers that were consumed by “narcissism and hubris.” “Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany believed they were unstoppable in Asia and Europe in the run-up to the Second World War. Soviet Russia, too, believed in the late 1970s that America was in irreversible decline… But the tide eventually turned against all the three great powers that ended up in history’s dustbin.”

Going back to the night when Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a violent clash, we look at why our soldiers on LAC did not open fire even if they were carrying arms. Firstly, the practice of not using arms has been drilled into the soldiers after the 1962 war. And secondly, it would have been difficult to open fire without hitting one of our men when both sides were engaged in close combat.

The Pandemic

The Centre asked all states to replicate the best practices implemented by Karnataka — including comprehensive contact tracing of Covid-19 cases and household survey covering more than 1.5 crore households — for containment of the pandemic.

The CBSE may allow Class 12 students to graduate early under a special marking scheme, but offer them the option to take the Board exams at a later date to improve their performance. Given the current load of Covid-positive cases in the country, it may not be feasible to conduct the CBSE exams from July 1 to July 15.

Beyond Covid-19

A day after it incorporated in its map three territories belonging to India, the ruling party in Nepal appears to be divided over its meeting with the Communist Party of China amid the border stand-off between New Delhi and Beijing. “Going to the lap of China just because we have a problem with the Government of India at the moment is neither wise, nor our party’s policy,” a leader said.

The Rajya Sabha elections ended Friday, bringing down the curtains on resort politics, defections and resignations. The ruling BJP was left with an increased tally in the Upper House but is still short of a majority on its own. And the Opposition ranks were bolstered by the entry of political heavyweights.

Nearly 18 months after his fractious and early exit as Reserve Bank of India Governor, Urjit Patel was Friday appointed chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, India’s premier economic think tank. The appointment of Patel, who faced differences with the Centre in the past, is a signal that the government may wish to draw upon his experience as it navigates policy in the increasingly turbulent Covid times.

And finally

Discounted tickets, free public transport and entry of fans to the field — the efforts of 5 million people in New Zealand, who managed to defeat the pandemic, turned into a massive celebration after a 15-year record crowd of 43,000 poured in for the Super Rugby encounter between the Blues and Hurricanes at the iconic Eden Park in Auckland last week.

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