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Daily briefing: Dilution of IBC hurt RBI’s move on bad loans, says Urjit Patel; Woman accuses ABVP chief of harassment

From China's reluctance to vacate areas in Pangong Tso and PP 17A to Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi's rare remarks on former prime minister Narasimha Rao, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 25, 2020 8:38:11 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest updates today, india latest news today, india coronavirus latest updates, rajasthan government crisis, ashok gehlot, sachin pilot July 25, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Dear Reader,

Allow us to be the springboard as you dive headfirst into the day’s headlines. This weekend we are covering the Rajasthan crisis, which makes for an excellent political documentary given its sheer drama, what’s in former RBI Governor Urjit Patel’s new book, and Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film Dil Bechara.

The Big Story

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wants to prove his strength on the floor of the House, but Governor Kalraj Mishra raised six questions including why call an assembly session at such short notice if the government enjoys a majority. This came after Mishra stepped out to meet Congress MLAs from the Gehlot camp who sat on a protest on the lawns of Raj Bhavan, demanding that an Assembly session be called Monday. Gehlot claimed the Governor was not acting on it because of “pressure from above”.

From Front Page

With the disengagement process stalled due to Chinese reluctance to vacate areas in Pangong Tso and PP 17A, Indian and Chinese diplomats held talks Friday, and New Delhi said both sides agreed on “early and complete disengagement”. The statement is significant given that the Indian Army has been preparing for the long haul, looking to keep its troops deployed in Ladakh through the winter months.

In his new book, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has heavily criticised the government for diluting the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and the powers of the central bank, saying this undermined efforts made since 2014 to clean up the bad loan mess. The book, however, does not mention the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes that happened soon after he took over as RBI Governor in September 2016. 

Just over a fortnight after the Vikas Dubey shootout and encounter, the Kanpur police finds itself in the dock over an abduction, with the person who was kidnapped dead and the family accusing police of facilitating a ransom exchange of Rs 30 lakh.

The Pandemic

Rigorous implementation of pandemic lessons, systematic containment, and proper planning and procurement to plug the gaps in health infrastructure are key, the Centre has told nine states that are currently facing a surge in novel coronavirus infections.

Twelve Bihar districts have reported between 1,000 to 2,000 Covid cases but residents in these areas are taking as long as three to four days to get themselves tested due to inadequate availability of antigen testing kits. The state government has procured only 2.8 lakh antigen kits, and this is likely to be exhausted soon if the number of tests are increased to 20,000 tests per day as suggested by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The Central Jail in Guwahati, which has political prisoners and former insurgent leaders among its inmates, has been worst hit by the pandemic. With 435 out of over 1,000 inmates testing positive, the area has turned into a Covid hotspot, prompting the Gauhati High Court to direct the state government to ensure that “no further damage is caused”.

Beyond Covid-19

ABVP national president Dr Subbiah Shanmugam has been accused of harassing a 62-year-old widow over a parking lot in the latter’s housing society. In her complaint with the police, the woman has attached CCTV footage and photos that purportedly show the ABVP leader urinating at her doorstep.

Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi has rarely spoken about former prime minister Narasimha Rao’s contribution given their strained relations, in the past. On Friday, she called him a “a dedicated Congressman” who “served the party devotedly in various capacities”. “Rao was a respected national and international figure. The Congress party takes pride in his many accomplishments and contributions,” she said.

ICYMI

  • A 38-year-old man in a Haryana village has been arrested for allegedly killing all five of his children over the past four years — two of them in the last few weeks.
  • In the first such exercise, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has decided to conduct an online audit of 20 per cent of the estimated 2.5 lakh gram panchayats for the current financial year.
  • The “Corona warriors” have been invited by the Raj Bhavan for Independence Day celebrations this year. 
  • The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in a 2009 contempt case against advocate Prashant Bhushan and former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine Tarun Tejpal on August 4. 
  • The resolve of a village has saved a 400-year-old banyan tree which was to be chopped for a state highway road project in Maharashtra’s Sangli district.

And finally

Film critic Shubhra Gupta reviews Sushant Singh Rajput-starrer Dil Bechara: “Choppy and lopsided aren’t great ways to give us a complete, soul-satisfying young love story, which switches on only sporadically. It is the occasional sweetness that Rajput and Sanghi manage to rustle up that carries the film.” 

🎥 Veda Krishnamurthy speaks about the differences between the captaincy styles of Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur, and how she has evolved into a senior player while still staying true to her natural game over the last decade.

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