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Monday, December 06, 2021

Daily Briefing: Breakthrough infections form chunk of Kerala Covid cases; PM Modi bats for stepping up defence capabilities

The United States, in a report, has said China has been taking “incremental and tactical actions to press its claims” at the LAC with India.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
November 5, 2021 8:17:35 am
A look at the top news today, December 1, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story 

India must enhance its military capabilities in tune with changes in the world and the modes of war, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing soldiers on Diwali at the Nowshera sector in the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir. This was the Prime Minister’s second Diwali with the troops in Rajouri district — in 2019, he had celebrated the festival of lights with them at Rajouri Army Division Headquarters.

Noting that negotiations between Beijing and New Delhi are progressing “slowly” to resolve the 18-month military standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, the United States, in a report, has said China has been taking “incremental and tactical actions to press its claims” at the LAC with India. It also noted that “sometime in 2020”, China built a “large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between” between the Tibet Autonomous Region and Arunachal Pradesh. 

Only in the Express

The Karnataka government is likely to hand over investigations into the “illegal activities” of a 25-year-old computer hacker, who was arrested in a drugs case last year, to the police’s Criminal Investigation Department in the wake of political heat from the Opposition on his alleged crypto currency transactions linked to “influential politicians”. Over the past week, these cases made the headlines again after the Congress claimed that the police were going easy on Srikrishna as some state BJP leaders had profited from the hacker’s crypto currency access. 

From the Front Page 

Breakthrough infections, or cases among those fully vaccinated, constituted a sizable chunk of the daily Covid count in Kerala over the past two weeks, according to state government data. But only a tiny fraction of the cases required oxygen beds or ICU admission as vaccination reduced the severity of symptoms, officials said.

Nearly nine years after 21 people were booked in connection with a communal riot in Maharashtra’s Dhule district, a Mumbai sessions court acquitted all of them citing lack of evidence. On January 6, 2013, an argument had taken place at an eatery in the Macchi Bazaar area of Dhule leading to communal tension. The police had subsequently opened fire that led to the death of six men from the minority community.

India is adding more gold to its rising foreign exchange kitty of $640 billion. The Reserve Bank of India has acquired 75.59 tonnes of gold in the last 12 months, boosting the gold reserves of the country significantly. Data from the Reserve Bank shows that the central bank held 743.84 metric tonnes of gold as of September 2021, more than 11 per cent compared to 668.25 tonnes of the yellow metal held in September 2020.

Must Read 

Last November, IIT Delhi alumnus Mohit Aron donated USD 1 million to his alma mater in the form of company stock. In what marks a new trend in India’s premier engineering colleges, IIT Bombay and IIT Madras have also received stock transfers from their alumni as donation. IIT Delhi Dean (alumni affairs) Prof Naveen Garg told The Indian Express that under the policy governing the endowment donations, “the amount is encashed soon after receiving.” 

A temporary bridge, built to facilitate the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL), will now double up as a deck for viewing migratory flamingos that visit Mumbai. The 5.6-km-long temporary access bridge had been constructed to facilitate the movement of machinery and men for work on the harbour link. Sources in the MMRDA said the directive on retaining the temporary access bridge came from Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray.

With the UP 2022 elections just around the corner, the ruling BJP is in full preparation mode. Besides the Centre’s decision to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel, the state government has announced additional cuts in fuel prices and extended the free ration scheme in the state till Holi, which falls in March. After facing a humiliating defeat in Himachal Pradesh in the recent bypolls, the party has ramped up measures in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. 

India has raised the issue of overflight clearance for Go First’s Srinagar-Sharjah flight with Pakistan through diplomatic channels and asked them to grant it “in the larger interest of common people”. Sources said Pakistani authorities had granted overflight clearance to Go First flights to operate the Srinagar-Sharjah sector on October 23, 24, 26 and 28. Subsequently, the country put clearance for the flight “on hold for the period 31 October to 30 November 2021”.

And Finally 

At the ‘corner of a foreign field’, Indians and Pakistanis will celebrate Diwali together, just days after they bonded for a cricket party. After Covid played spoilsport last year, businessman Anis Sajan wanted to make up for it this time around with a Diwali party for Indian and Pakistani expats in Dubai. Here, Pakistani ladies perform Garba with their Indian friends. Just a little over a week ago, the Indians and Pakistanis here came together for a cricket party at Anis’ Emirates Hill villa. 

Until tomorrow,

Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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