TIKTOK AND 58 OTHER CHINA APPS BANNED IN INDIA
In its exercise of coercive diplomacy with China amid the tense standoff in
Ladakh, the government has, for now, picked up a low-denomination item -
mobile apps, given their limited impact on Indian businesses but one that
has a disproportionately large presence in the mass consumer segment.
Banning 59 mobile apps that have Chinese overhang is both a statement of
intent and a strong signal.
This is probably the first big action that hits Chinese business interests
in India. Two months ago, in April, the Department for Promotion of Industry
and Internal Trade, made it mandatory for FDI from neighbouring countries
to take prior government approval. This was also aimed at curbing
opportunistic takeovers/ acquisitions of Indian companies during times of
the Covid-19 pandemic, when valuations were at new lows.
As against the strategy of stopping physical goods, which could be
challenged by China at the World Trade Organisation, this focus on the
technology sector is being seen as one that could be more effective from New
Delhi's perspective. A ban on physical goods will also adversely impact
India's business and economy while hardly making a dent on China's.
TikTok is currently the most downloaded mobile app in India, with more than
120 million active users, and that is seen as shaping a new youth culture,
especially in the country's hinterland. TikTok was in a clear expansion mode
in India, adding to its staff strength and regional push. While Google-owned
YouTube has more users in India than TikTok, analysts see TikTok as having
more potential in terms of personalisation of content and overall influence.
TikTok's relentless push into India's hinterland is evidenced by the fact
that the Chinese app supports over 15 Indian languages, enabling the app to
hone regional talent in a very personalised manner. According to SensorTower
data, India has been the biggest driver of TikTok installs, generating 611
million lifetime downloads to date, or 30.3 per cent of the total.
NEW GUIDELINES FOR UNLOCK 2; SCHOOLS TO REMAIN CLOSED TILL JULY 31
Schools and educational institutions will remain closed until July 31, the
Ministry of Home Affairs said on Monday in its new Unlock 2 guidelines.
The ministry's guidelines for easing lockdown restrictions said all
activities except for certain prohibited ones will be permitted outside
containment zones. Only essential activities will be permitted in
containment zones---areas that district authorities have been tasked with
demarcating. These zones will be notified on the websites of the district
administration and the state governments.
Metro rail services will remain suspended, as will swimming pools, cinemas
and gymnasiums. Dates for resuming these activities will be decided later.
The Home Ministry said the new guidelines will come into effect from July 1,
2020 and the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended
"As stipulated in the Unlock 1 order and guidelines issued on May 30 2020,
certain activities, including religious places and places of worship for
public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping
malls; have already been permitted from June 8, 2020 outside the Containment
Domestic flights and passenger trains have already begun,the guidelines say.
"Their operations will be further expanded in a calibrated manner," the
Curfew hours have been reduced to 7 hours from earlier 8. It will now be in
force from 10 pm to 5 am.
States and UTs have the discretion to prohibit some activities or impose
outside the containment zones, but cannot stop interstate movement of people
The guidelines say people over 65, those with co-morbidities, pregnant women
and children below 10 should stay home except for essential and health
FIRST BATCH OF RAFALE LIKELY TO ARRIVE IN INDIA BY JULY 27
India is likely to receive the first batch of six Rafale fighter jets by
July 27. On June 2, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a telephonic
conversation with his French counterpart Florence Parly, during which she
conveyed that the Rafale jets would be delivered to India as scheduled
notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic in France.
Military officials, on the condition of anonymity, said the arrival of the
Rafale jets would significantly enhance the IAF's overall combat capability
and would send a clear message to India's "adversaries".
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September
2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000
GOVT RESORTING TO EXTORTION WITH FUEL PRICE HIKES: SONIA
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday led the party's "Speak up against
fuel hike" campaign accusing the government of extortion by way of fuel
Gandhi said since the lockdown on March 24 the government had raised petrol
and diesel prices 22 times, setting "a new example of extortion from the
"They have increased diesel price by Rs 11 per litre and petrol by Rs 9.12 a
litre. They have provisioned for garnering lakhs of crores by hiking excise
duty on petrol and diesel in the last three months. All this at a time when
global crude oil prices are falling," she said.
She demanded the immediate rollback of hikes in prices as also of excise
duty on petrol and diesel since March this year.
PM MODI TO ADDRESS NATION TODAY
As the country moves into the second phase of the Unlock, and the standoff
with China in eastern Ladakh continues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will
address the nation at 4 pm today.
His address will come two days after his monthly Mann ki Baat radio
programme, during which he had reiterated the country's commitment to
safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and had asked citizens
to not be negligent as the economy reopened.
COVID-19 DASHBOARD - (Nos. IN INDIA / Nos. WORLDWIDE)
(Indian data from covid19india / and World Data from
Total Cases 5,67,476 (+18,335) / 1,04,08,433 (+1,64,575)
Total Deaths 16,904 (+417) / 5,08,078 (+3,668)
Total Recovered 3,35,271 (+13,497) / 56,64,407 (+1,10,912)
Active Cases 2,15,301 (+4,421) / 42,35,948 (+49,995)
Serious / Critical Cases - N.A. / 57,530 (-140)
Top impacted nations so far: (And some of India's Neighbours)
Country, Total Cases / Total Deaths / Recovered Cases / Active
1 USA 26,81,811 / 1,28,783 /
11,17,177 / 14,35,851
2 Brazil 13,70,488 / 58,385 /
7,57,462 / 5,54,641
3 Russia 6,41,156 / 9,166 /
4,03,430 / 2,28,560
4 India 5,67,536 / 16,904 /
3,35,271 / 2,15,361
5 UK 3,11,965 / 43,575 / N/A
6 Spain 2,96,050 / 28,346 / N/A
7 Peru 2,82,365 / 9,504 /
1,71,159 / 1,01,702
8 Chile 2,75,999 / 5,575 /
2,36,154 / 34,270
9 Italy 2,40,436 / 34,744 /
1,89,196 / 16,496
10 Iran 2,25,205 / 10,670 /
1,86,180 / 28,355
11 Mexico 2,20,657 / 27,121 / 1,31,264
12 Pakistan 2,06,512 / 4,167 /
95,407 / 1,06,938
18 Bangladesh 1,41,801 / 1,783 /
57,780 / 82,238
108 Sri Lanka 2,039 / 11 /
1,678 / 350
Top 18 impacted Indian States so far: (Total No. of Confirmed case / No. Of
State / Confirmed Cases / Active Case / Recovered /
Maharashtra 1,69,883 / 73,298 / 88,960 /
Tamil Nadu 86,224 / 37,334 / 47,749 /
Delhi 85,161 / 26,246 / 56,235 / 2,680
Gujarat 32,023 / 6,947 / 23,248 / 1,828
Uttar Pradesh 22,828 / 6,650 / 15,506 /
West Bengal 17,907 / 5,535 / 11,719 /
Rajasthan 17,660 / 3,334 / 13,921 /
Telangana 15,394 / 9,559 / 5,582 /
Karnataka 14,295 / 6,380 / 7,685 /
Haryana 14,210 / 4,476 / 9,502 /
Andhra Pradesh 13,891 / 7,479 / 6,232
Madhya Pradesh 13,370 / 2,607 / 10,199 /
Bihar 9,618 / 2,181 / 7,374 / 63
Assam 7,795 / 2,447 / 5,334 / 11
Jammu and Kashmir 7,237 / 2,557 / 4,585 /
Odisha 6,859 / 1,883 / 4,946 / 30
Punjab 5,418 / 1,516 / 3,764 / 138
Kerala 4,312 / 2,057 / 2,229 / 24
U.S. ENDS DEFENCE EXPORTS TO HONG KONG, CHINA WARNS OF VISA BANS
The United States began eliminating Hong Kong's special status under U.S.
law on Monday, halting defense exports and restricting the territory's
access to high technology products as China prepares new Hong Kong security
"The Chinese Communist Party's decision to eviscerate Hong Kong's freedoms
has forced the Trump administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the
territory," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
He said the United States, effective Monday, was ending exports of defense
equipment to Hong Kong and will also take steps to end the export of
dual-use technologies to the territory. Dual-use technologies have both
commercial and military uses.
Meanwhile, China said on Monday it would retaliate by imposing visa
restrictions on Americans it considers to have "performed badly" on matters
regarding the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
11 KILLED AS MILITANTS ATTACK PAKISTAN STOCK EXCHANGE
Four heavily armed militants, believed to be from a banned Baloch terror
group, on Monday made a brazen attempt to take over the Pakistan Stock
Exchange building in Karachi, killing four security guards and a police
officer before being shot dead by security forces.
Armed with automatic machine guns, grenades and explosives, they tried to
enter into the compound leading to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX)
building through a parking lot but security forces foiled their attack
within the compound itself, Deputy Superintendent of Police (South) Jamil
The Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) linked Majeed Brigade claimed
responsibility for the attack. The group is banned in Pakistan, the UK and
The BLA has carried out several terrorist attacks in the past, including a
suicide attack in August 2018 that targeted Chinese engineers in
Balochistan, a November 2018 attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi, and
a May 2019 attack against Pearl Continental hotel in Gwadar, Balochistan.
CORONAVIRUS: EU TO ALLOW IN VISITORS FROM 14 'SAFE' COUNTRIES
The EU has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed "safe" to be let in
from 1 July, despite the pandemic.
EU border controls have been lifted for EU citizens travelling inside the
On the current "safe" list, still likely to be amended, are Algeria,
Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda,
Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.
The EU is ready to add China if the Chinese government offers a reciprocal
deal for EU travellers, diplomats say.
INDIA SLAMS PAK FOREIGN MINISTER'S 'ABSURD' REMARKS ON KARACHI ATTACK
India on Monday hit out at Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi
for his "absurd comments" linking India to the terror attack on the Pakistan
stock exchange building in Karachi.
In a strongly-worded response, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag
Srivastava said unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning
terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi.
He also reminded Qureshi how the Pakistan prime minister described a global
terrorist as a "martyr", a reference to Imran Khan's remarks in Pakistan
Parliament calling slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden a 'shaheed'.
Hours after gunmen attacked the Pakistani stock exchange in Karachi, Qureshi
alleged that the clues of strike are leading towards sleeper cells activated
AT LoC, 41 MILITANTS KILLED THIS MONTH IN STEPPED-UP J&K OPS
As tensions run high on the LAC with China, the other active border, the
Line of Control with Pakistan, has not seen any dip in intensity this year,
raising the spectre of two active military fronts at the same time.
Moreover, counter-militancy operations in Kashmir Valley continue at a tempo
much higher than previous years.
There have been 382 ceasefire violations (CFVs) recorded on the LoC in May
and 302 in June so far, rising sharply from 221 and 181 CFVs recorded during
these months last year. Meanwhile, security forces have been equally
committed in fighting militancy - 41 militants killed in the month of June
The number of CFVs had shot up after the government's decision last August
to abrogate Article 370 in J&K and carve out J&K and Ladakh as two separate
JUDICIAL TEAM PROBING TORTURE 'HARASSED', HC ORDERS TAKEOVER OF TAMIL NADU
The magistrate appointed by the Madras High Court to probe the alleged
custodial deaths of a father and son at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu has
written to the court saying officers of the police station concerned had
destroyed evidence, did not cooperate in the investigation, and had tried to
intimidate the judicial team.
Kovilpatti Judicial Magistrate Bharathidasan has told the court that the
hostility had eventually forced them to stop the inquiry mid-way on Sunday
night and leave the Sathankulam Police Station, where P Jeyaraj and son J
Bennix were allegedly tortured, leading to their deaths on June 22.
Following the complaint, the High Court Monday directed the district
collector to depute revenue officers to take control of the Sathankulam
station. The court also initiated criminal contempt action against ASP D
Kumar, DSP Prathapan and Constable Maharajan, named by Bharathidasan in his
complaint. On Monday evening, the Tamil Nadu government passed an order
transferring probe into the deaths of Jeyaraj and Bennix to the CBI.
HAWK GEELANI QUITS AS HURRIYAT FACTION CHIEF
In a sudden move Monday, separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani resigned as
chief of the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, complaining that
constituents of the amalgam failed to lead the people after abrogation of
Jammu and Kashmir's special status, "overstepped the limits", and tried to
"create a parallel structure".
He also took a swipe at the Hurriyat leadership in Pakistan and
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, calling it "just a representative forum" with "no
power to take any decision" and using its influence to "get close to power
corridors" in Pakistan.
Even before the abrogation of J&K's special status last August, separatist
politics in the Valley had lost traction. With most leaders now under
detention, those free, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have preferred
silence. Given this, Geelani's resignation doesn't mean much for separatist
politics. It may lead to disintegration of the Hurriyat, and propel a
younger, hardline leadership.
The ailing Geelani, who is 91, became life-time chief of the hardline
faction, floated after the split of the Hurriyat Conference in 2003.
MAHARASHTRA ROLLS OUT WORLD'S LARGEST PLASMA THERAPY TRIALS
Maharashtra on Monday launched 'Project Platina', the world's largest plasma
therapy trials, for treating the COVID-19 virus.
Under Project Platina, trials of Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) will be
rolled out in four hospitals run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
in Mumbai and 17 other hospitals across the state.
"Around 500 participants will take part in these trials across Maharashtra,"
a health department official said.
The Chief Minister added the plasma trials being conducted in Maharashtra
will create an infrastructure of plasmapheresis in all medical colleges
which will help in the treatment of dengue, snakebites, etc.
'CJI DIDN'T RIDE BIKE; WAS JUST HAVING FEEL OF IT'
A day after Chief Justice S A Bobde's picture showing him riding a luxurious
bike in Nagpur went viral on social media, it has turned out that he didn't
actually ride it.
Sources privy to the incident said the CJI didn't ride Harley Davidson bike
and just sat on it to have a feel of the machine. He didn't even know who
its owner was, they said.
As the CJI's picture sitting on a "Limited Edition CVO 2020" Harley Davidson
went viral on social media, advocate Prashant Bhushan questioned him, saying
he was neither wearing a mask nor a helmet.
"CJI rides a 50 Lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan
Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown
mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access Justice," Bhushan
FIRST INDIAN COVID-19 VACCINE GETS HUMAN TRIALS NOD
India's drug controller has given approval for human clinical trials of the
country's first coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine candidate, which has
been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the ICMR and National
Institute of Virology (NIV), the vaccine maker said on Monday.
The trials for the vaccine, named Covaxin, are likely to begin next month,
the firm said. The strains of Sars-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 was isolated
by ICMR-NIV and transferred to Bharat Biotech in May. Scientists have
managed to isolate and culture 11 strains that can be used to develop
vaccines and aid research.
The indigenous and inactivated vaccine candidate was developed and
manufactured at Bharat Biotech's facility located in Genome Valley,
SEVERAL MOVIES HEADED FOR OTT RELEASE
Akshay Kumar's "Laxxmi Bomb", "Sadak 2", featuring Alia Bhatt and Ajay
Devgn's "Bhuj: The Pride of India" are among the Bollywood films that are
headed for a direct release on streamer Disney+Hotstar as theatres remain
close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first movie of Disney+Hotstar Multiplex will be Sushant Singh Rajput's
last movie "Dil Bechara", will start streaming from July 24.
Other titles getting a direct release on the digital platform include
Abhishek Bachchan-starrer "The Big Bull", Vidyut Jammwal's "Khuda Haafiz"
and "Lootcase", featuring Kunal Kemmu and Rasika Dugal.
Amazon Prime is set to release Vidya Balan's Shakuntala Devi biopic.
Theatre chains such as PVR and INOX had expressed their disappointment at
the decision at the time of the release of "Gulabo Sitabo".
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as
being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick
the trait of persistence. - Richard M. Devos
On a recent flight, an elderly passenger kept peering out the window. Since
it was totally dark, all she could see was the blinking wing-tip light.
Finally, she rang for the flight attendant.
"I'm sorry to bother you," she said, "but I think you should inform the
pilot that his left-turn indicator is on and has been for some time."