Good morning readers,
The top headlines this morning: RTI queries revealed that PM CARES received Rs 2,105 crore from 38 PSUs, Air India flights have been banned from Hong Kong for rest of August, the three vaccine candidates in human trial stage are on track.
At least 38 PSUs have dipped into their CSR funds to together contribute over Rs 2,105 crore to the PM CARES fund since it was launched on March 28. And in at least one case, a PSU acknowledged that it had contributed more than its total CSR allocation for 2020-21.
From the Front Page
At a time when Dhaka is in talks with Beijing for an almost $1 billion loan to manage the Teesta river, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed “security-related issues of mutual interest”. In early March, Shringla had visited Dhaka to assuage Bangladesh’s concerns over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
Madhya Pradesh government’s decision to give government jobs only to “children” of the state runs foul of Constitutional laws that prohibit discrimination based on place of birth. The Supreme Court had earlier struck down recruitment notifications giving preference to some applicants.
National carrier Air India has been banned by Hong Kong authorities from flying into Hong Kong airport for two weeks, August 18-31, reportedly for “carrying too many passengers infected with Covid19”. According to a report by South China Morning Post, the ban came after 11 passengers tested positive for Covid upon landing in Hong Kong from Delhi on August 14.
As governments debate when and how to open schools, data collected by the Maharashtra Public Health Department show that those below the age of 20 account for 11 per cent of the cases in the state but just 0.5 per cent of its Covid deaths were of infected children and teens aged 18 or less.
Even though the three vaccine candidates for Covid-19, which are currently in the human trial stage, are on track, the Centre has pointed out that not every vaccine candidate can deliver successful results. The results of two vaccines currently in human trial phases 1 and 2 “will be available in a few weeks”.
The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has said the nationwide lockdown, which was enforced to contain the novel coronavirus, took a toll on 18.9 million salaried jobs during April-July. Informal and non-salaried jobs, however, have shown improvement during the same period increasing to 325.6 million in July from 317.6 million last year.
The absence of legislation on data protection has made the government use existing and proposed laws as well as court judgments to carve out a policy to safeguard patient data recorded in the unique digital health ID under the newly launched National Digital Health Mission.
The National Investigation Agency, with the assistance of Karnataka Police, has arrested Abdur Rahman, an ophthalmologist, who allegedly worked briefly with the Islamic State in Syria in 2014. The arrest has been made as part of an investigation into a case registered in March against the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) module.
Deciding on how to conduct campaigning for the upcoming Bihar elections during the pandemic, the Election Commission has decided it will allow physical campaigning, but will limit the size of squads to three people for door-to-door visits and allow only five cars in a candidate’s convoy. A set of guidelines for the same will be issued this week.
- The 2018 shutdown of Vedanta Limited’s copper plant in Tuticorin has badly dented India’s copper production and turned the country into a net importer of copper since FY 2019.
- Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa resigned on Tuesday to join the Philippines-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) as vice-president next month.
- Rahul Gandhi has said that he doesn’t need to be the Congress chief to fight for or to work on strengthening the party, and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is in full agreement with him.
- Maanayata Dutt on Tuesday said Sanjay Dutt will complete his preliminary treatment in Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital. She also urged people not to speculate the stage of his illness.
- Punjab will burn if it is asked to share water with Haryana and the issue has the potential to “disturb nation’s security”, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh told the Centre Tuesday.
The second Test between England and Pakistan saw sustained spells of shower and constant bad light, despite the shimmering floodlights, reduced the match to just 134.3 overs. Rain breaks are unpreventable, but interruptions due to bad light are preventable, more so for a technologically evolved game.
Delhi confidential: Divya Spandana, former head of the Congress’s social media department, who had vanished from the political scene as well as from Twitter, made a surprise reappearance on Tuesday.
In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast, we talk about how air travel restrictions have begun to ease, where all you can fly to from India right now, and what you would need to do for it.
Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha
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