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Daily briefing: Ramdev ‘corona kit’ did not get govt nod; China opens up a new front at Depsang

From former defence minister A K Antony's interview to The Indian Express on the Galwan faceoff to government's plans of using AI-based ‘Covid surveillance’ cameras, read the top stories from our print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 25, 2020 8:45:53 am
top news today, top briefing news today, latest news today, india latest news, india china border news, galwan faceoff, donald trump, india coronavirus latest updates, indian express news today June 25, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

The Conflict

Amid all the talk of mutual disengagement elsewhere on the Line of Control, the Chinese army has crossed the border at the Depsang plains. They have moved and deployed in large numbers up to a place called Y-junction or Bottleneck, around 30 km from the important airstrip of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO). The Army’s media wing declined to comment on the matter, with an officer telling The Indian Express that “the report can neither be confirmed nor denied”.

Disagreement over the removal of a Chinese tent had triggered violent clashes at Galwan Valley. The tent which was removed on June 15 is back again, along with other defensive structures in the area, according to latest satellite images. While it is unclear whether they were built on Indian or the Chinese side of LAC, they do violate the border agreements that no such structures should be developed where there is a difference in perception of the border.

Senior Congress leader and former defence minister A K Antony, in an interview with The Indian Express, said that the Indian sovereignty over Galwan Valley was undisputed and the Chinese never objected to construction activity in the area during the UPA-II. “When both the armies were discussing disengagement, they attacked us. It is betrayal,” he said.

As I was writing this, curiosity got the better of me, and I scanned the bottom of my laptop to see its country of origin. Tucked in a corner, in a small font, I found the words ‘Made in China’. Would my choice to buy a laptop brand that is headquartered in the United States been any different had I known its origin? Well, the government thinks buyers can make an informed choice if all e-commerce firms label their products based on the country of origin.

The Pandemic

Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd was not issued any license for the manufacture of the ‘Corona Kit’ which claimed to treat Covid-19 within seven days. Infact, all eyes are now on its business practices as the firm, despite no approval, resorted to using an image of coronavirus on its tablet which was meant to treat only cough and breathlessness.

Delhi has overtaken Mumbai as the city with the highest case count, prompting the government to roll out its ambitious plan to complete house-to-house screening in containment zones by June 30, and in the rest of the city by July 6. “Under the revised plan, anyone found with symptoms will be tested,” said a senior district official.

AI-based ‘Covid surveillance’ cameras will soon be used to monitor how many people are wearing masks and detect their body temperatures. The Railways has called for tenders to purchase the systems for railway stations and other places expected to see significant footfall, with a few railway zones having already concluded the purchase, such as in Mumbai.

Beyond Covid-19

The Indian Express’ Consulting Editor Commi Kapoor writes: “History shows us that the ruler alone is not accountable. Everyone who succumbs to authority is no less guilty. The oft repeated question as to whether an Emergency could occur in India again is particularly relevant in 2020. A dangerous pandemic has weakened the institutions tasked with upholding the Constitution. The COVID crisis can also provide a screen to keep reality from the public gaze and assist rulers in arming themselves with more powers.”

The morning and evening pooja of the annual Amarnath Yatra are likely to be broadcast live on DD National this year. G D Tahir, head programming, Doordarshan Kendra, Srinagar, told The Indian Express: “If it (telecast) takes place, it will be a first. The final decision has to be taken by the headquarters.”

And finally

The clamour to bring back Rahul Gandhi as party president is growing within the Congress. Taking a cue from senior leaders like Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who backed his return at the CWC meeting Tuesday, some Congress functionaries wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi with the same demand. One of them even said no opposition leader except Rahul Gandhi had dared to raise issues that affect the whole country.

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the International Monetary Fund’s dismal economic growth projection for India.

🎥 To promote inclusion and participation of members from the transgender community, the Noida Metro Rail Corporation has decided to rename its Sector 50 metro station to ‘She Man’ station.

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