Good morning readers,
How would the last few months have been in a world without Covid? That is a question I keep returning to every now and then. Our Indian athletes, at least, would have been at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on this day. Today, we are looking at how the athletes are spending their time at home, how different will Independence Day be this year, and how India wants to keep Chinese companies out of public procurement tenders.
The Big Story
The disengagement and de-escalation processes at Pangong Tso and Patrolling Point 17A at Gogra are “presently stalled”, with the Chinese troops reluctant to step back further. At the remaining two of the four friction points, the Chinese “indicated they will move back without conditions” at PP 15 in the Hot Springs sector and have moved back to their side of the LAC at PP14 in Galwan Valley.
From the Front Page
In the latest of the series of steps taken in recent months to prevent influx of Chinese products and investments into India, the government has imposed restrictions on public procurement from bidders of countries that share a land border with India. However, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar are exempt from the new order.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot sat down for an interview with us in which he fielded questions ranging from proving his strength on the floor of the Assembly to whether his relationship with Pilot can be mended. On the question if Pilot would have a place in his Cabinet if he returns, Ghelot had this to say.
The invitees list for the Independence Day event at Red Fort this year will be pruned to around 250 people from the 900-1000 every year. Besides the guest list, expect to see a lot of changes like security personnel in PPE kits and chairs instead of rugs in seating areas. Officials preparing for the event also had to deal with an unusual challenge—shortage of workers.
The Covid lockdown in the month of May brought a rise in domestic violence, especially in the country’s red zones which saw stricter restrictions. According to a new study by researchers at the University of California, there were 392 complaints of domestic violence registered with the NCW’s Complaint and Investigation Cell in May this year compared to 266 in May 2019.
A minor girl, who tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to a Covid care centre in Delhi, has accused one person of sexual assault inside the facility on July 15. Police have arrested the accused and a second person who allegedly filmed the assault. The two men will be sent to jail once they test negative for the virus, they added.
The Covid load in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh has become a major “cause of concern” for the Centre. On Friday, a team of experts from the central government will hold a meeting via video conference with health officials of these eight states, which are reporting 60-plus deaths on a daily basis, the source said.
Women officers can now “shoulder larger responsibilities” in Indian Army. On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence gave its nod for Permanent Commission to women in all non-combat streams, in line with a Supreme Court order issued five months ago.
The family of one of the two alleged Maoists killed by security forces in an “encounter” in Dantewada district in May has approached the Chhattisgarh High Court, claiming that he was only 15 years of age. While police said both were senior Maoists, facing cash rewards of Rs 8 lakh and Rs 1 lakh in their name, Rishu Istam’s mother said that forget a gun, her son didn’t know how to use even a bow and arrow.
- The Election Commission has sought a report from Maharashtra CEO on allegations of hiring an agency associated with the BJP for publicity work before the Assembly election last year.
- The disapproval shown by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu after BJP MP Udayanraje Bhosale chanted a slogan honouring Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj while taking oath in the Upper House on Wednesday has set off a controversy in Maharashtra.
- The Delhi High Court has granted bail to former Fortis Healthcare promoter Shivinder Mohan Singh in a money laundering case registered against him by the ED.
- India on Thursday said Islamabad has “blocked all the avenues for an effective remedy” to provide consular access to former Indian Navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav.
If all had been well, boxer Lovlina Borgohain, shooter Anjum Moudgil, Swimmer Srihari Nataraj and shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy would have strutted out at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Friday morning, for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Amid the pandemic and the subsequent postponement of the game, they are now at home, leading ordinary lives, resigned to an excruciating wait.
Delhi confidential: BJP vice-president Baijayant Panda seems to have a new mission – to clean Bollywood. He said he came across “shocking threads documenting personal and business links of some Bollywood personalities with certain Pakistanis and NRIs with undeniable track record encouraging violence in J&K, who have verifiable links to ISI & Pak Army”. He urged “patriotic Bollywoodies” to renounce such links, triggering a flood of responses on social media.
🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the events that led to the murder of Vikram Joshi, a journalist from UP, and the problem of police not registering complaints.
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