India Newsletter

FRONT PAGE NEWS
7 August 2020

INDIA ON UNSC’S J&K MEET: REJECT CHINA INTERFERENCE IN INTERNAL AFFAIRS

 

A day after China raised the issue of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at

the United Nations Security Council at Pakistan’s behest, India on Thursday

said that it “firmly rejects” China’s interference in its internal affairs

and urged it to draw proper conclusions from such “infructuous attempts”.

The Ministry of External Affairs’ official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on

Thursday said, “We have noted that China initiated a discussion in the UN

Security Council on issues pertaining to the Indian Union Territory of Jammu

& Kashmir. This was not the first time that China has sought to raise a

subject that is solely an internal matter of India.”

“As on such previous occasions, this attempt too met with little support

from the international community. We firmly reject China’s interference in

our internal affairs and urge it to draw proper conclusions from such

infructuous attempts,” he said.

India’s Permanent Representative at the UN, T S Tirumurti, tweeted, “Another

attempt by Pakistan fails! In today’s meeting of UN Security Council which

was closed, informal, not recorded and without any outcome, almost all

countries underlined that J&K was bilateral issue & did not deserve time and

attention of Council.”

This is the third time the issue has been raised, without any following

outcome or resolution, at the UNSC since last year — it was earlier raised

in August last year and again in January.

 

 

INDIA REJECTS PAKISTAN'S CRITICISM OF LAUNCH OF CONSTRUCTION OF RAM TEMPLE

 

India has strongly rejected Pakistan's criticism of the launch of

construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and asked the neighbouring

country to refrain from "communal incitement." External Affairs Ministry

Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava also asked Pakistan to desist from

interfering in India's affairs.

Pakistan on Wednesday criticised the foundation laying of the Ram temple.

"We have seen the press statement by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on a

matter internal to India. It should desist from interfering in India's

affairs and refrain from communal incitement," Srivastava said. "While this

is not a surprising stance from a nation that practices cross-border

terrorism and denies its own minorities their religious rights, such

comments are nevertheless deeply regrettable," he added.

 

 

MoD NOTE SAYING CHINA CAME IN IS TAKEN OFF WEBSITE

 

A Defence Ministry document that contained an admission, for the first time,

that China had “transgressed” into Indian territory in eastern Ladakh

disappeared from the Ministry’s website on Thursday afternoon, a day after

it was uploaded. The document, which listed “major activities of Department

of Defence” for June, warned of a “prolonged” standoff — which is already in

its fourth month — between Indian and Chinese soldiers on the Line of Actual

Control (LAC).

On Thursday morning, Rahul Gandhi asked on Twitter, “Why is the PM lying?” A

few hours later, he posted: “Forget standing up to China, India’s PM lacks

the courage even to name them. Denying China is in our territory and

removing documents from websites won’t change the facts.”

“The Ministry of Defence puts out a document which then disappears! Whatever

the PM and his government are trying to hide is very serious and the

government must clearly tell the truth,” CPM general secretary Sitaram

Yechury posted on Twitter.

 

 

IN CONGRESS, SOME ‘DISAPPOINTED’ ON JUBILATION OVER RAM TEMPLE

 

There is a sense of unease among a section of the Muslim leadership in the

Congress over celebratory voices in the party on the occasion of bhoomi

pujan for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Former Minority Affairs minister K Rahman Khan said he is disappointed with

the “whole change” taking place in the party by “forgetting its values”. He

was particularly upset with claims of former Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath

that former Prime Minister, late Rajiv Gandhi, had opened the locks of Ram

temple.

Former External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid did not share Khan’s

anguish but asserted that the Supreme Court verdict the party has welcomed

was for both a temple and a mosque. He said, “I have no problem if any of my

colleagues celebrates one part of the judgment. (But) I would expect that

when the other part of the judgment is implemented…I would hope and expect

that they will celebrate that, too. And that is not just for my own party

but also for the Prime Minister.”

Former Rajya Sabha MP Rashid Alvi said he is “disappointed” that the

Congress and other opposition parties did not question Prime Minister

Narendra Modi for performing bhoomi pujan and “violating his Constitutional

oath”.

AICC secretary and Bihar MLA Shakeel Ahmed Khan underlined that there have

always been different streams and different voices in the Congress on every

issue. “There are voices dissenting from the party’s voice heard today — and

I am one of them. My voice is different, especially from that of Digvijaya

Singh and Kamal Nath,” he said.

Khan, a former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, referred to the debate in the

Constituent Assembly on May 26, 1949 regarding deletion of the provision of

a separate electorate for minorities. Quoting from the debate, Khan pointed

out that Jawaharlal Nehru and Vallabhbhai Patel were asking minorities to

trust the majority, when Frank Anthony, representing the Anglo-Indian

community, said: “I say it without any offence, we see members of this great

party who technically are members of the Congress, but spiritually are

members of RSS and Hindu Mahasabha. Unfortunately, I read speeches day in

and day out by influential and respected leaders of the Congress, who say

that Indian Independence can mean only Hindu Raj, that Indian culture can

only mean Hindu culture. These are causes for misgivings.”

“Even today,” he said, “it’s the same thing.”

 

 

COVID-19 DASHBOARD – (Nos. IN INDIA / Nos. WORLDWIDE)

(Indian data from covid19india / and World Data from

worldometers.info/coronavirus/ )

 

Total Cases 20,24,955 (+62,166) / 1,92,57,649 (+2,82,395)

 

Total Deaths 41,638 (+899) / 7,17,687 (+6,467)

 

Total Recovered 13,77,384 (+50,184) / 1,23,57,654 (+1,93,900)

 

Active Cases 6,05,933 (+11,083) / 61,82,308 (+82,028)

 

 

TOP IMPACTED NATIONS SO FAR: (AND SOME OF INDIA’S NEIGHBOURS)

Country, Total Cases / Total Deaths / Recovered Cases / Active

Cases

 

1 USA 50,32,179 / 1,62,804 /

25,76,668 / 22,92,707

2 Brazil 29,17,562 / 98,644 /

20,47,660 / 7,71,258

3 India 20,25,409 / 41,638 /

13,77,384 / 6,06,387

4 Russia 8,71,894 / 14,606 /

6,76,357 / 1,80,931

5 South Africa 5,38,184 / 9,604 /

3,87,316 / 1,41,264

6 Mexico 4,62,690 / 50,517 /

3,08,848 / 1,03,325

7 Peru 4,55,409 / 20,424 /

3,10,337 / 1,24,648

8 Chile 3,66,671 / 9,889 /

3,40,168 / 16,614

9 Colombia 3,57,710 / 11,939 /

1,92,355 / 1,53,416

10 Spain 3,54,530 / 28,500 / N/A

/ N/A

11 Iran 3,20,117 / 17,976 /

2,77,463 / 24,678

12 UK 3,08,134 / 46,413 / N/A

/ N/A

13 Saudi Arabia 2,84,226 / 3,055 /

2,47,089 / 34,082

14 Pakistan 2,81,863 / 6,035 /

2,56,058 / 19,770

15 Bangladesh 2,49,651 / 3,306 /

1,43,824 / 1,02,521

 

 

TOP IMPACTED INDIAN STATES SO FAR

State / Confirmed Cases / Active Case / Recovered /

Deceased

 

Maharashtra 4,79,779 / 1,46,305 /

3,16,375 / 16,792

Tamil Nadu 2,79,144 / 53,486 / 2,21,087

/ 4,571

Andhra Pradesh 1,96,789 / 82,166 /

1,12,870 / 1,753

Karnataka 1,58,254 / 75,067 / 80,281

/ 2,897

Delhi 1,41,531 / 10,348 / 1,27,124

/ 4,059

Uttar Pradesh 1,08,974 / 43,654 / 63,402 /

1,918

West Bengal 86,754 / 23,829 / 61,023 /

1,902

Telangana 73,050 / 20,358 / 52,103 /

589

Bihar 68,148 / 23,939 / 43,820 / 388

Gujarat 67,811 / 14,708 / 50,524 / 2,579

Assam 52,818 / 15,464 / 37,225 / 126

Rajasthan 48,996 / 13,108 / 35,131 /

757

Odisha 40,717 / 13,549 / 26,888 / 280

Haryana 39,303 / 6,205 / 32,640 /

458

Madhya Pradesh 36,564 / 8,716 / 26,902 /

946

Kerala 30,449 / 11,983 / 18,333 / 98

Jammu and Kashmir 23,454 / 7,310 / 15,708 /

436

Punjab 20,891 / 6,715 / 13,659 / 517

 

 

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

======================

 

 

BEIRUT BLAST DEATH TOLL RISES TO 157

 

Two days after a massive explosion ripped through Lebanon’s capital city

Beirut, the death toll has climbed to 157, while the total number of injured

people soared to 5,000, according to data released by Lebanon’s health

ministry. The casualty figure is expected to rise further as dozens of

victims are still missing after the blast, a ministry spokesperson said.

Just as Beirut entered a two-week state of Emergency, the city’s residents

stormed the streets Thursday accusing government officials of gross

negligence and mismanagement. The blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of highly

volatile ammonium nitrate, which was stored at a warehouse in the city’s

port for almost seven years. The protesters condemned state authorities for

not disposing the explosive chemical, despite the colossal safety threat it

posed.

The Lebanese government announced that it has placed a number of port

officials, responsible for storage and security since 2014, under house

arrest pending an investigation into the explosion.

 

 

DONALD TRUMP SIGNS ORDER BANNING TRANSACTIONS WITH TIKTOK PARENT COMPANY

 

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that would ban the

social media app TikTok from operating in the US in 45 days if it is not

sold by its Chinese parent company ByteDance.

The order says the US "must take aggressive action against the owners of

TikTok to protect our national security", BBC reported.

The move comes as Trump seeks the divestment of the popular video app,

citing national security risks to the US. It threatens penalties on any US

resident or company that engages in any transactions with TikTok or

ByteDance after the order takes effect.

“This mobile application may also be used for disinformation campaigns that

benefit the Chinese Communist Party,” Trump said in the order, released

Thursday by the White House. The data collection through TikTok “threatens

to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and

proprietary information -- potentially allowing China to track the locations

of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information

for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”

 

 

RAJAPAKSA HEADING FOR LANDSLIDE WIN IN LANKA POLLS

 

Sri Lanka's strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa was poised to stage a political

comeback on Thursday as his party took an unassailable lead and was set for

a landslide victory in the twice-postponed general elections, according to

results announced so far.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first world leaders to

congratulate Rajapaksa on the outcome of the elections and said the two

sides will work together to further advance all areas of bilateral

cooperation and to take their special ties to ever newer heights.

"Thank you PM @narendramodi for your congratulatory phone call. With the

strong support of the people of #SriLanka, I look forward to working with

you closely to further enhance the long-standing cooperation between our two

countries. Sri Lanka & India are friends & relations," 74-year-old Rajapaksa

tweeted.

 

 

THE REST

========

 

 

COVID HOTSPOTS SHIFT TO NEWER AREAS

 

Amid rising number of Covid-19 cases, the epicentres of the infection are

shifting from major towns to neighbouring districts and newer states. In

recent weeks, districts like Solapur, Thane, Nashik, Palghar, Surat, Jalgaon

and Dakshin Kannada have seen the highest number — more than 1,000 each — of

containment zones.

On the other hand, instances of surges in daily cases per million population

are reported from states and UTs like Andaman & Nicobar Islands,

Lakshadweep, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry — ranging between 190 and

249 cases (per million population).

Experts said a wider spread in districts and smaller cities would pose a

challenge for the health infrastructure and may even impact the fatality

rate, which is so far under control and has even shown a decline over the

last one month.

 

 

RBI KEEPS INTEREST RATES ON HOLD; RAISES LIMIT FOR GOLD LOANS

 

The RBI on Thursday kept interest rates unchanged to help tame inflation

that in recent times had surged past 6 per cent mark, and said that the

economy is in an extremely weak condition following the pandemic.

The central bank also allowed lenders to restructure corporate and MSME

loans as well as raised the limit of loans that can be availed against gold

ornaments and jewellery.

After cutting interest rates by 115 basis points since February, the

Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) after three days of deliberations voted

unanimously to leave the policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent.

The limit of advance against gold ornaments and jewellery has been raised.

Currently, up to 75 per cent of the value of gold ornaments and jewellery

can be availed as loan for non-agriculture purposes. "With a view to

mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on households, it has been decided to

increase the permissible loan-to-value ratio (LTV) for such loans to 90 per

cent. This relaxation shall be available till March 31, 2021," RBI Governor

Shaktikanta Das said.

 

 

DON’T PLAY POLITICS OVER LANGUAGE ISSUE: MINISTER

 

Amid the ongoing debate on the benefits of learning in mother language

vis-à-vis English, the government today said children learn better in their

mother language and politics around the issue was unfortunate.

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday cited how the world’s top 20

developed nations instructed children in the mother tongue which had proven

merits for learning.

“I appeal to those misleading people in the name of language to stop

politicising the National Education Policy, 2020. Let us back the policy

which will help India leapfrog from current levels to a global knowledge

hub. We value all 22 official languages, but the benefits of mother tongue

for early education are well known and well documented even by the UNESCO,”

the minister said. Saying Japan, China and Israel also instruct children in

the mother tongue, Pokhriyal asked, “Then why not India?”

 

 

DAY AFTER HE RESIGNED AS J&K L-G, GC MURMU APPOINTED NEXT CAG

 

Girish Chandra Murmu was named as the next Comptroller and Auditor General

of India (CAG) on Thursday, a day after he resigned as the Lieutenant

Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Rajiv Mehrishi, the current CAG, completes

his term today.

A former IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, Murmu had taken charge as J&K L-G

on October 25 last year, a month before his retirement as Expenditure

Secretary in the Finance Ministry.

 

 

UP CM: AS A YOGI, I WILL NOT GO FOR AYODHYA MOSQUE INAUGURATION

 

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that if invited for

the inauguration of the mosque in Ayodhya, set to be built as part of the

Supreme Court’s order last year, he will not go there “as a Yogi” and “as a

Hindu”, and that he knows no one will invite him.

Speaking to ABP News channel on Wednesday evening, hours after he attended

the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Adityanath said,

“If you ask me as a CM, then I will not maintain a distance from any

religion or group. But if asked (to attend) as a Yogi, then I will

definitely not go….I will not go because I am a Yogi. As a Hindu, I have a

right to live according to my method of worship…”

Stating that he is not a party in the event of the mosque’s construction,

Adityanath said, “That is why no one will call me there, and I don’t want to

go…. I know that I will not get any such invitation…”

 

 

DENGUE SEASON STARTS IN DELHI

 

Over 30 cases of dengue have been reported in the national capital till

August 1 this year, even as the civic bodies have set up separate fever

clinics to attend to patients afflicted with the vector-borne disease. The

number of cases of malaria and chikungunya in the same period, stands at 45

and 18 .

All three diseases, malaria, dengue and chikungunya are accompanied with

high fever, a common symptom for COVID-19. And therefore, doctors say,

people suffering from these diseases might suspect they have contracted

COVID-19.

 

 

CBI REGISTERS CASE AGAINST RHEA CHAKRABORTY, OTHERS

 

The CBI Thursday registered a case against actor Rhea Chakraborty and others

in connection with the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput on the

recommendation of the Bihar government. The 34-year-old actor was found dead

at his Bandra residence on June 14.

The Enforcement Directorate has already registered a money laundering case

against Chakraborty and a few of her relatives based on a July 25-FIR

registered by the Bihar Police on the complaint of Rajput’s father K K

Singh.

In the FIR, it is alleged that Rs 15 crore was transferred from Rajput’s

account in a year “to bank accounts of persons not known or connected to the

late actor”. Chakraborty was also accused of giving Rajput an overdose of

medicine at her home and “falsely telling him that the actor was suffering

from dengue”.

Earlier in the day, Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey

warned of legal action if IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, who was sent to Mumbai

to monitor the investigation into the case, was not released from 14-day

home quarantine by the end of the day.

 

 

ENGLAND – PAK FIRST TEST OF THE SERIES: PAK ON TOP AFTER DAY 2

 

England were 92 for 4 at stumps on Day Two of the first Test against

Pakistan at Old Trafford on Thursday after Pakistan’s first innings total of

326. On Day 1, the play had been restricted to only 49 overs only, due to

rain.

Shan Masood became the first Pakistan opener after Saeed Anwar (176 in 1996)

to score a hundred in England.

 

 

INDICATORS

 

Sensex 38,025 (+362), Nifty 11,200 (+98), Trading Value NSE ,(Rs.crores)

58,050

Nasdaq 11,108 (+110) Dow 27,387 (+185), S&P 3,349 (+21)

US$-Rs. 74.69 GBP-Rs. 98.20, Euro-Rs. 88.63, UAE Dhm-Rs.20.33, Can$-Rs.

56.22, Aus$- Rs. 53.84

GBP 0.76 /US$, Euro 0.84 /US$, Jap.Yen 105.52 /US$, Aus$ 1.38 /US$, Sing

1.36 /US$, Bang Taka 83.16 /US$, Can$ 1.32 /US$, Mal Ring 4.18 /US$,

Pak Re 167.76 /US$, Phil Peso 49.04 /US$, Russian Rouble 73.16 /US$, NZ$

1.50 /US$, Thai Baht 31.04 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 27.53 /US$, Norway NOK 8.96

/US$

Bitcoin - USD 11,899

Dollar Index 92.97 Brent Crude 45.00 BDI 1,500

Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 2,066 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 5,480 / 5,380

Silver (Rs. Per KG) 71,510

 

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

 

What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to

suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility ... a

patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the

tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. - Adlai Stevenson

 

 

OFF TRACK

 

When the employees of a restaurant attended a fire safety seminar, they

watched a fire official demonstrate the proper way to operate an

extinguisher.

"Pull the pin like a hand grenade," he explained, "then depress the trigger

to release the foam."

Later an employee was selected to extinguish a controlled fire in the

parking lot. In her nervousness, she forgot to pull the pin.

The instructor hinted, "Like a hand grenade, remember?"

In a burst of confidence she pulled the pin.... and hurled the extinguisher

at the blaze.

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