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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Daily briefing: Big players enter race for e-pharma pie; Constitution Bench must hear Bhushan case, says ex-SC judge

From Reliance entering the e-pharma race following the acquisition of Netmeds to former Supreme judge Justice Kurian Joseph calling for an “intra-court” appeal in the Prashant Bhushan case, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 20, 2020 8:35:54 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india top news, india latest news, farmers bill protests, india china border dispute, delhi journalist arrested, paytm google play store, india coronavirus latest updatesSeptember 19, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering the declining Covid positivity rate, Covid cases in the armed forces, and a border dispute between two states.

The Big Story

Six months after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus epidemic in India, there is, finally, a silver lining to the situation. For the first time since May, the overall positivity rate in the country has begun to decline. And a few other indicators such as daily growth rate and reproduction number correlate well with the declining positivity rate and plateauing daily case numbers.

From The Front Page

Reliance, which has a finger in every pie, entered the e-pharma race with the acquisition of Netmeds. This came just days after Amazon launched its online drug delivery services in Bengaluru. Here is the challenge before them to corner India’s fragmented market that has over 8 lakh pharmacies.

Former Supreme judge Justice Kurian Joseph called for an “intra-court” appeal in the contempt of court case against advocate Prashant Bhushan. He says a “convicted person is entitled to have a second opportunity by way of an appeal”. 

Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat shot off a missive to CM Vijay Rupani over the “inordinate delay” in completion of projects to control pollution in two rivers in Gujarat. Funds for one of the projects on the Sabarmati river were sanctioned way back in 2014.

The Pandemic

A government survey of over 18,000 students studying in CBSE-affiliated schools found that about 27 per cent of students don’t have smartphones and laptops to access online classes amid the Covid school shutdown. 

The armed forces have recorded 12,640 Covid-19 cases among its serving personnel so far, of which 4,744 were still in hospital till Tuesday. While the forces have tried to enforce social distancing, the movement of troops, due to the standoff with China in eastern Ladakh, posed additional challenges.

Beyond Covid-19

Speaking of the standoff, Chering Dorjay, a former J&K minister, has said that security forces must allow the residents of Ladakh to assert their traditional rights and not prevent them from taking their livestock to graze on these pasture lands as they do now.

The political spat over the decision of Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and chairman of the Standing Committee on Information Technology, to summon Facebook over a report in The Wall Street Journal has intensified, with Tharoor and BJP MP Nishikant Dubey giving a notice of breach of privilege against each other.

Phuldungsai, a scenic village on the Tripura-Mizoram border, has found itself at the centre of a jurisdiction dispute between the two states with the Tripura administration calling for an “urgent need to demarcate the exact boundary.”


  • Officials from India and China will meet today to resolve the border dispute but hopes of a breakthrough are low.
  • From Bihar to J&K to Goa in two years, and now on his way to Meghalaya, Governor Satya Pal Malik has seen enough action and, he says, it’s finally “time for some relaxation”.
  • The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust on Wednesday asked people from the community to donate copper strips and 2-inch copper rods for the temple’s construction.
  • The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad claimed to have foiled a bid to assassinate former BJP minister Gordhan Zadafia, with the arrest of an alleged sharphooter of the Chhota Shakeel gang.
  • Congress leader Siddaramaiah has alleged that rivals of B S Yediyurappa in the BJP are using the recent Bengaluru violence to undermine the chief minister.

And finally

A 200-year-old Banyan tree in Goa, believed to have been dead, was brought back to life through “community will” – one that saw a fundraiser all the way from Russia, Britain and “from all over the world”, had locals and biodiversity groups pitching in with logistics and planning, and a tree expert flying down from Hyderabad.

Delhi Confidential: On Wednesday, when five former MLAs from Manipur joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, party general secretary Ram Madhav told the five leaders to lower their face masks for photographs, lest the Congress claimed that these were not its MLAs and that the BJP had got other people for the photo-op. 

In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the questions raised by fantasy sports league Dream 11 becoming the title sponsor of the IPL.

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