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Daily briefing: Trade bodies say need time to stop reliance from China; BJP questions Chinese donation to RGF

From the MEA statement on the Galwan faceoff to Rajasthan Health Department's notice to NIMS University over Ramdev's 'Corona Kit', read the top stories from our print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 26, 2020 8:57:51 am
top news today, latest news, india latest news, top news briefing today, india china border news, india coronavirus latest updates, indian express news June 26, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

The Conflict

A defence journalist I follow on Twitter declared he would report on de-escalation at Line of Actual Control (LAC) only when there is something concrete happening and would stop giving “ball-by-ball” updates. This brings us to the Ministry of External Affairs statement on Thursday that “both sides remain deployed in large numbers in the region” of the Galwan Valley “while military and diplomatic contacts are continuing”.

Another aspect of the conflict that came to light from the MEA statement was that Indian and Chinese troops had their first faceoff in the Galwan Valley in the first week of May. Top sources in the Army confirmed that scuffles similar to Pangong Tso, though not as intense or violent, had taken place in Galwan Valley near Patrolling Point 14 (PP-14) between patrolling units of the two sides. It was after the clashes at these two sites that the standoff began, sources said.

As the border stand-off deepens, the BJP has also dug deep to find that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation accepted a $300,000 donation from China in 2005-06 to carry out studies that were not in “national interest”. The Congress did not comment on the specific allegation, but said the BJP should not live in 2005 and instead discuss the fresh Chinese incursions.

Meanwhile, industry associations are of the view that “a knee-jerk reaction” by the government to block imports and investment from China may disrupt the value chain and impact the recovery process, given that most businesses are still emerging out of a lockdown. “A blanket ban”, they say, may not be feasible until there are domestic alternatives.

The Pandemic

The Centre will be sending a team of experts to Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat — three states with high Covid-19 positivity rates. The government is said to be especially concerned about Telangana, where testing has remained low and the positivity rate is three times higher than national average.

Around 7 out of 10 Covid deaths in the country have been concentrated in only a handful of districts. And the 10 districts with the most deaths have accounted for about 70 per cent of fatalities. The data, however, is not perfect because bulletins of some states, including Telangana and Assam, do not give consistent district-wise data.

The Rajasthan Health Department has sent a notice to NIMS University over the clinical trials that were reportedly conducted on Covid-19 patients by a joint research team of Patanjali Research Institute and National Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, NIMS University, Jaipur.

With the Covid graph rising steadily, the remaining Board exams for students of Classes 10 and 12 in schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) will not be held as scheduled in July.

Beyond Covid-19

It’s IPS vs IPS in J&K. In an unusual case for Jammu and Kashmir Police, it has received a complaint from a senior IPS officer against the Union Territory’s top cop, DGP Dilbag Singh, over an alleged threat. In a written complaint, the Inspector General-rank IPS officer urged police to “take note of my apprehensions about my life, liberty and bald head”.

The Indian arm of Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has announced that it will be dropping the word Fair from its skin care product Fair & lovely, almost five decades after patenting it. It will also remove the words “fair/fairness”, “white/whitening”, and “light/lightening” from its products’ packs and communication.

And finally

🎧 In today’s Three Things podcast, Sushant Singh talks about China building a defensive position in Galwan valley, crossing the border in Depsang plains, and how the diplomatic talks have not yet made a breakthrough.

🎥 The water level in the Brahmaputra river has crossed the warning mark following heavy rainfall and is just 1 meter below the danger level.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G

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