Mon, 29 June 2020
Xi chairs CCP's Politburo meeting

Timeline  Refresh

23:29   Xi chairs CCP's Politburo meeting
China's ruling Communist Party headed by President Xi Jinping held a meeting of the powerful Politburo on Monday during which the top leaders reviewed the regulations on party building in the military and the election of primary-level organisations, the official media reported.
While there was no mention about any discussions about the tensions at the Line of Actual Control between India and China at the Politburo meeting chaired by Xi, Xinhua news agency reported that the meeting was held to review two sets of regulations on party building in the military and the election of primary-level party organisations.  
Since he took over the leadership, 67-year-old Xi, who heads the CPC, the Central Military Commission -- the overall high command of the two million-strong People's Liberation Army -- and the Presidency with prospects of life long tenure in power, carried out widespread reforms of the military with special emphasis that it should function under party's leadership.
Party leadership and party building are crucial to the development of the people's armed forces, and bear on the cause of strengthening the military and the long-term stability of the ruling party and the country, according to the meeting, Xinhua reported.
Formulating the regulations on party building in the military is of great significance to ensuring the absolute leadership of the CPC over the military and ensuring the effective fulfilment of the military's missions and tasks in the new era, the meeting noted.
The meeting stressed unswervingly to uphold the absolute leadership of the CPC over the military and focusing on enhancing combat capabilities.
To formulate and implement the regulations on primary-level party organisation elections is in line with the requirement for the party to exercise effective self-supervision and practice strict self-governance in every respect, it said.
It is also of great significance to consolidating the organisational foundation for the party's long-term governance, according to the meeting.
Monday's meeting was the first held by the 25-member Politburo of the CPC since the current tense standoff between the armies of China and India along the Line of Actual Control. -- PTI 
23:23   MEA slams Pak for linking terror attack to India
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 by India.
"India rejects the absurd comments of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan on the terrorist attack in Karachi. Pakistan cannot shift the blame on India for its domestic problems.  Unlike Pakistan, India has no hesitation in condemning terrorism anywhere in the world, including in Karachi," Srivastava said.
 "Foreign Minister Qureshi may wish to reflect on this, as also his own government's position, including his prime minister's description of the global terrorist as a martyr," the spokesperson said.
Four heavily armed militants attacked the busy Pakistan Stock Exchange building here with guns and grenades on Monday morning, killing four security guards and a police officer before being shot dead in an exchange of fire, Pakistani authorities said.
The militants, who arrived in a car, opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed hand grenades at the main gate of the multi-storey building situated in the city's high security commercial hub as they tried to storm it. 
23:01   Return Chinese firms' donations to PM CARES: Amarinder
Amid the Indo-China border tensions, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Monday asked the BJP-led Union government to return Chinese firms' donations to the PM-CARES Fund.
Addressing a press conference, the chief minister alleged that the PM-CARES Fund, set up to strengthen India's fight against coronavirus, received donations from some Chinese firms. 
"I think we must take a tough stand on China," said the senior Congress leader.
"When this confrontation is going on at this time, if any money has been received that should be returned," he said.
"I don't think we can afford to take Chinese money when our boys are being killed and Indian territory is being intruded, he said.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with the Chinese army in Galwan Valley of Ladakh on June 15-16 night. 
Singh also named some Chinese firms and firms with Chinese stake in them, which have allegedly given donations to the PM-CARES (Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund.
This is not a question of how much money has come," said Singh, adding "at a time when number one; they (China) are responsible for COVID, and number two; when they are responsible for aggression in my country", "even if one rupee" has come from Chinese firms, it should be returned.
"I think it is the time whatever money has been received from Chinese companies should be returned to them. We can easily manage without (that). India doesn't need Chinese money to look after itself and we will do it on our own," he said. -- PTI
22:33   Unlock 2: International air travel to remain shut
International air travel, except as permitted by govt, metro rail, cinemas, gymnasiums, bars to remain shut during 'Unlock 2': MHA.  
22:26   PM Modi to address nation at 4 pm tomorrow
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation at 4 pm tomorrow, the prime minister's office said. 
22:19   Unlock 2: Schools, malls to remain shut till July 31
The home ministry has issued guidelines for 'Unlock 2' phase across country between July 1 and July 31.

As per the guidelines, schools, colleges will remain closed till July 31. Online/distance learning will be permitted and shall be encouraged.

The advisory says that the lockdown shall continue to remain in force in containment zones till July 31.  

In containment zones, only essential activities to be allowed.

Night curfew timings have been relaxed from 10 pm to 5 am. 
22:05   Lockdown extended in Chennai, Madurai till July 5
Chennai and Madurai will continue to be under intense lockdown till July 5 and the current relaxations and curbs shall be in force till July 31 for the rest of Tamil Nadu, the government said.
Schools, colleges, malls, resorts, lodges, cinema halls, and bars would continue to be shut and religious congregations and prayers in places of worship in urban regions are banned.
Travel to tourist places like Nilgiris, Kodaikanal and Yercaud for non-residents and for tourism purposes is not allowed, an official release said.
While restrictions for Chennai, Madurai and other nearby areas of these two cities would ease from July 6, in other parts of Tamil Nadu, the current relaxations and curbs shall continue be in force till July 31. -- PTI
21:01   Govt bans 59 Chinese apps including TikTok
The Government of India has banned 59 Chinese mobile apps "which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order".

Apps like Tik Tok, UC Browser and other Chinese apps are included in the list, news agency ANI reported.  

The move came amid tension with China following the June 15 clashes at Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers died in action and more than 70 were injured.

Above is the full list of apps.
20:43   Chardham yatra to open for Uttarakhand pilgrims
The Uttarakhand Devasthanam Management Board on Monday decided to open the 'Chardham yatra' for pilgrims from within the state from July 1.
The four famous Himalayan shrines of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttarakhand's Garhwal region are known as Chardham'. 
An order permitting Uttarakhand residents to visit the four temples from July 1 subject to various anti-COVID precautionary measures and restrictions was issued by the Board's CEO Ravinath Raman on Monday. 
The number of pilgrims visiting the temples daily, however, will be limited and they will not be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum and adjoining wings of the temples. 
The pilgrims will not be allowed to make any offerings or touch deities' idols either at the temples, the order said. 
Pilgrims from containment and buffer zones cannot visit the temples, it added. 
The SOP for pilgrims visiting the temples makes it mandatory for them to apply online for e-passes to the board on its website. 
They can embark on the yatra only after they are issued the e-passes.
People above sixty years, children below ten years and those with cough, cold and fever have been advised not to apply for e-passes and embark on the journey. 
Hand-sanitising, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance will be mandatory during the pilgrimage. 
A similar decision was taken by the board earlier this month but had to be withdrawn following protests by priests who were averse to opening the yatra even for locals as COVID-19 cases were on the rise at that time. -- PTI 
20:38   Nagaland govt extends lockdown till July 15
The Nagaland government on Monday extended the lockdown in the state till July 15 to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, a government spokesperson said.
The decision to extend the lockdown was taken during the state Cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Neiphiu Rio, planning and coordination and parliamentary affairs minister Neiba Kronu, who is also the government spokesperson on COVID-19, said.
The state cabinet after thorough deliberation and recommendations of the respective district taskforce on COVID-19, decided to maintain status quo on the current lockdown measures, he said.
The state government through different notifications earlier had relaxed agricultural activities, movement of essential commodities, opening of religious places, or public and plying of local taxis and also rickshaws.
Kronu said that the inter-state borders connecting Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will continue to remain sealed and the number of police personnel on duty in the inter-state check gates will be increased.
Meanwhile, 19 people, including 18 Army personnel tested positive for COVID-19 in Nagaland, taking the state's tally to 434 on Monday, state Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said.
Of the total 434 COVID-19 cases, 266 are active while 168 have recovered.
A total of 19 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported out of 322 suspected samples tested on Monday, he said. 
Eighteen are from Jakhama Army Camp Quarantine Centre under Kohima district and one from Peren district, the minister said, adding that four patients - three from Dimapur and one from Kohima - recovered on Monday. 
The districts with COVID-19 cases are Dimapur 183, Kohima  112, Peren  89, Mon  38, Tuensang  8, Zunheboto  3, and one in Phek district, a Health department release said.
The other four districts of the state - Mokokchung, Longleng, Kiphire and Wokha - have not reported any COVID-19 case till date. -- PTI 

20:36   Mumbai mayor hospitalised for kidney stone, condition stable
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar was on Monday hospitalised for kidney stone after she complained of shooting pain and her condition was stable, an official said.
A close aide of the mayor said she had been suffering from kidney stones for a long time.
Pednekar, a Shiv Sena corporator, has to continuously interact with people, medical staff etc as part of official duties as mayor, the aide said.
A former nurse, she had donned the uniform again in April to make the rounds of hospitals as a mark of support to frontline staff combating the coronavirus outbreak.
She tested negative for the virus in April after some journalists, who had interacted with her at a function, were detected with the infection. -- PTI  
20:27   Maha reports 5,257 new cases, tally at 1,69,883
Maharashtra on Monday reported 5,257 new COVID-19 cases, taking the number of the infected patients in the state to 1,69,883, a health official said. 
With 181 deaths, the number of fatalities has risen to 7,610, he said.
Monday is the fourth consecutive day when Maharashtra has reported more than 5,000 cases in a single day.
"Of the 181 deaths, 76 had occurred in the last 48 hours and the rest earlier, but they were not reported as COVID-19 fatalities," the official said.
With 2,385 patients being discharged in the day, the number of the recovered patients has mounted to 88,960, he said.
The number of active patients stands at 73,298. -- PTI 
19:51   No more demand for Shramik trains: Railways
There is no demand for Shramik special trains from any state now, the railways said Monday, but offered to run more if states request for them. 
At a press conference, railway spokespersons said no Shramik special ran on Sunday and none is scheduled for Tuesday either.
"There was demand for just one train from Karnataka and that train is running today (Monday) from Bengaluru to Muzaffarpur. There is no demand for such trains tomorrow as well. We will run them if demand arises from states," one of the spokespersons for the national transporter said.
He also said that so far 4,596 Shramik trains have operated since May 1.
Giving details, he said the demand for Shramik special trains has been reducing significantly starting June.

On May 31, the railways operated only 69 Shramik trains while the next day it run just over 100. 
Shramik special trains are being operated primarily on the request of the states which want to send migrant workers stranded due to the coronavirus lockdown to their native places.
The spokespersons also said that the railways' earnings from the 200 mail/express special trains, which started operations from June 1, was Rs 20-22 crore per day. 
They also said the occupancy in the 15 pairs of a/c trains running on Rajdhani routes from May 12 was 80 per cent.
They also said while the demand for migrant specials was reducing, the occupancy in trains going to big cities like Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru from states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal was almost 100 per cent, indicating beginning of economic revival. 
These three states together accounted for 81 percent of the 4,596 Sharmik Special trains that have been operated so far.
The railways is running 100 pairs of mail/express trains from June 1, and 15 pairs of air-conditioned trains on the Rajdhani routes. -- PTI
19:03   Punjab CM for reopening of Kartarpur corridor
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said he is for the reopening of the Kartarpur corridor with adherence to the physical distancing norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
His statement came two days after Pakistan conveyed its readiness to India to reopen the Kartarpur corridor on the occasion of the death anniversary of Sher-e-Punjab or "Lion of Punjab" Maharaja Ranjit Singh who ruled the Sikh empire spread across the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. 
The corridor was temporarily suspended because of the COVID-19.
"I want the Kartarpur corridor to be open. There can be social distancing," said Singh while replying to a question during a press conference here.
He said if he is asked on this issue, he would suggest the reopening of the corridor.
"If they ask me, I will suggest that it can be opened with social distancing," Singh added.
He, however, said that the Indian government could not be ready for reopening the corridor in a short time.
-- PTI
19:01   COVID-19: Thane Marathon cancelled
The 'Thane Varsha Mahapour Marathon', an annual event, organised by the civic body, has been cancelled this time due to outbreak of COVID19 pandemic. 
This announcement was made by city Mayor Naresh Mhaske in a recorded message.
He said since the last 30 years the marathon is being held uninterrupted in the city of Thane during the monsoon season.
"But this year, we are forced to cancel it due to the present prevailing conditions due to the Corona pandemic. During  the marathon social distancing and the crowd is imminent and hence it is being called off," Mhaske said.
The marathon is organised by the Thane Municipal Corporation and civic officials said every year, around 25,000 to 30,000 participants including national and international athletes participate in different categories like full and half marathon.
Thane, which is city neighboring Mumbai, is also one of the worst affected cities due to the pandemic. 
According to civic officials, the number of positive cases in the city have gone above 8,000. 

-- PTI
18:28   Nurse hugs two-year-old son after 11 weeks apart
Here's a story that shows what our frontline workers are sacrificing... 

A self-isolating nurse has finally hugged her two-year-old son after 11 "heartbreaking" lockdown weeks apart.

Charlotte Cole, 30, from Lancashire, says her "heart feels full again" now that she's been reunited with George.

George went to live with Cole's parents after Covid-19 was confirmed at one of the care homes where she works - and for all of that time, his parents only saw him through a window.

Read the full story HERE
18:01   Amit Shah meets Jaishankar, Goyal
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, officials said. It is immediately not known the subjects the three ministers discussed in the meeting. The meeting comes amidst the ongoing stand-off between the Indian Army and China's PLA in Ladakh. There have been campaigns in certain quarters to boycott the China-made products in view of the stand-off. -- PTI
17:59   Rahul will bring home points if there is debate on China in Parliament: Punjab CM
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday favoured having a debate in Parliament on relations with China in the light of face-off in Eastern Ladakh and expressed confidence that party leader Rahul Gandhi will "bring home the points" that have been raised by the party over the government's handling of the situation.

"Parliament is a forum for debate so let there be a debate. We are quite confident that Rahulji will hold his position and bring home the points that are being raised in this discussion," Singh said at a press conference.

The Chief Minister was responding to the remarks of Home Minister Amit Shah during an interview with ANI.

The Home Minister had accused Gandhi of doing "ochhi rajniti" (shallow-minded politics) and making remarks that were "liked by" China and Pakistan during border tensions with Beijing and asserted that the government was prepared for a debate in Parliament in which "1962 se aaj tak do-do haath ho jayein".

"There will be parliament session. If you want to discuss, we will. Let all be discussed from 1962 to today. No one is afraid of discussion. But when the soldiers of the country are making efforts, the government is taking solid steps after taking a stand. At that time, making statements that please Pakistan and China, this should not be done," he said. -- ANI
17:52   500 cases of child marriage in Bengal since lockdown
Over 500 cases of child marriage were reported in West Bengal since mid-March when the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was imposed, officials said, claiming that in most cases, underage girls were married off by families who lost their earnings due to the shutdown. 

Despite restrictions in travel and movement, there has been no let-up in child marriages over the past few months, although the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights has thwarted several such cases upon receiving complaints, she said. 

At least 22 cases of child marriage were registered this month at the WBCPCR helpdesk, which was set up on June 1, amid reports that the illegal practice was rampant in several parts of the state, Moumita Chatterjee, a consultant of the statutory body, told PTI on Monday. 

Some girls are married off young as the families find it difficult to bear their expenses, while there are others that also flee home to tie the knot with partners of their choice, the WBCPCR consultant said. Add to that, traffickers are always on the prowl in the rural areas, especially during times of crisis, when they can lure families with promises of job and money. The WBCPCR is coordinating with Childline and the police for all such cases, she said. 

"Between March 20 and April 14 (run-up to lockdown and its early stages), a total of 141 cases were recorded by the commission. The Childline has informed us that cases soared between April 15 and May-end with 357 such reports," Chatterjee said. -- PTI
17:46   Odisha receives 1st batch of Remdesivir
The Odisha government on Monday received the first consignment of Remdesivir and Favipiravir medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, P K Mohapatra said Remdesivir medicine will be used only in the treatment of moderate to severely ill COVID-19 patients.

"The Remdesivir medicines have been sent to all COVID hospitals across the state", he said. The drugs will help reduce fatality rate (which is 0.39 per cent in Odisha), Mahapatra said, adding that it is a nucleoside analogue pro-drug having inhibitory effects on pathogenic animal and human coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro.
17:39   Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump
Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad, a local prosecutor reportedly said on Monday. While Trump faces no danger of arrest, the charges underscore the heightened tensions between Iran and the United States since Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Trump and more than 30 others whom Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad face murder and terrorism charges," the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed that Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends. Interpol, based in Lyon, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
17:18   Karachi Stock Exchange attack: Balochistan Liberation Army claims responsibility
The Karachi Stock Exchange came under attack on Monday morning as four terror suspects tried to storm into the building on Karachi's II Chundrigar Road. The Baloch Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two security guards and a police officer were killed in the attack, along with all four suspected terrorists. Seven people, including three police officials, have been injured, the police said in a statement cited by Dawn.The attackers, armed with grenades and automatic rifles, launched the attack and attempted to enter the PSX compound.A clearance operation was held later. -- PTI
17:08   What the Maharashtra lockdown rules say
Maharashtra lockdown rules: All essential shops, e-commerce activity for essential and non-essential items, all industrial units which are presently operational and home delivery of food will be allowed.

All Government offices (excluding Emergency, health and Medical, treasuries, disaster management, police, NIC, food and Civil Supply, FCI, NYK, Municipal Services) to function with 15% strength or 15 persons - whichever is higher," it said.

All private offices in Mumbai Metropolitan Region can operate with 10% strength or 10 people.

See the guidelines for the lockdown alongside. 
16:59   India-China commander-level meet on Tue or Wed
The third round of Corps Commander-level meet to be held tomorrow or day after to diffuse LAC tensions, according to sources.

This time it's being held in Chushul on the Indian side. The last two meetings were in Moldo on the Chinese side.
15:57   Maharashtra govt extends lockdown till July 31st
Maharashtra Government extends lockdown in the state till 31st July. Concerned District Collector and Commissioners of the Municipal Corporations in the state may enforce certain measures and necessary restrictions in specified local areas on the permitted non-essential activities and movement of persons to control COVID-19, the government says. 

"It is further directed that the movement of persons for the purposes of non-essential activities like shopping and the outdoor exercises, shall be restricted within the neighbourhood area limits with all necessary prescribed mandatory precautions of wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene," a statement read.

Only those attending offices and emergencies will be allowed unrestricted movement, the government said.

"It is also directed that unrestricted movement will be permitted only for attending place of work and bonafide humanitarian requirement including medical reason".
15:51   77 more Maha cops Covid+ve, tally 1,030
77 police personnel found positive for COVID-19 and two others have died in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of active cases to 1,030 and death toll to 59 in the force: Maharashtra Police.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced on Saturday that bravery awards will be given to policemen working in the frontline of the battle against Covid-19, during a visit to Solapur district.

The minister was reviewing the law and order situation in the district in view of the Ashadhi Ekadashi celebrations next week.

"The Maharashtra Police have done a good job working in the frontline. They will be given bravery awards for their work," Deshmukh, who was accompanied by state health minister Rajesh Tope, said.
15:31   95% appliances now made in India, but not components
Around 95 per cent of consumer electronics and appliances sold in India are produced locally, although dependence on China for components still ranges between 25-70 per cent which will be difficult to reduce overnight, according to industry body CEAMA. 

Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association said even before the call to boycott Chinese products, various companies had already started to look for alternative sources due to disruptions of supplies following the coronavirus-induced lockdown in China. 

"We as an industry have done a lot of work (all brands) in creating capacity in the last two-three years by putting new plants to start manufacturing of finished products across categories. We are now in a very good position across all categories in the finished goods segment," CEAMA President Kamal Nandi told PTI. 

In the air conditioner segment, around 30 per cent is still imported but this would have come down further had there been no lockdown as on streaming of new capacities which were being created got delayed, he said adding that "in the next season, it would be drastically low by all the organised players." 

Sharing the current scale of manufacturing in India in the sector, Nandi, who is also Godrej Appliance Business Head and Executive Vice President, said, "more than 95 per cent of products, which we sell in the country is produced in the country and the same is the case with Godrej Appliances." 

However, the dependence on China for components is still there and it varies from 25 per cent to 70 per cent from category to category. The least is washing machines and the highest is for the air conditioners. he said.

"Unless and until we develop an ecosystem for components, it is not possible to reduce dependence on China overnight. It will take time. We will have to find an alternative, which is available globally," Nandi said. Stating that there are alternatives in India, he said "but we would have to develop those alternatives... It will take time and we anticipate that it will take two years to develop an entire ecosystem of components in the country." 

The process has already started and the government is also encouraging investments and development of the manufacturing component ecosystem with schemes like Phased Manufacturing Program.
15:10   SC seeks MHA reply on visas of foreign Jamaatis
The Supreme Court on Monday asked Ministry of Home Affairs to clarify its stand about the status of visa of around 2,500 citizens from 35 countries, who were blacklisted for 10 years for their alleged involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities.

The top court asked the Centre to place on record whether individual notices were issued with regard to cancellation of visas of the foreign nationals.

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, which took up a batch of pleas filed by foreign nationals against their blacklisting for hearing through video conferencing, posted the matter for further hearing on July 2.

The bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Rajat Nair appearing for Centre that if visas of these foreign nationals are cancelled then the government should explain why they are still here in India but if their visas are not cancelled then it's a different situation.Nair, who initially appeared for the Centre said that the copies of these petitions has not been served upon them, therefore they need time to file reply.

Senior advocate C U Singh, appearing for the petitioners said that they have served the copy of the petition upon advocate on record and added that blacklisting note was a general order for over 900 persons.

The bench said that the notification of Ministry of Home Affairs says the decision has to be taken on case to case basis by the authorities and it needs to be found out whether any such orders were passed.

Singh said that there should not be any violation of visa norms, now their native countries want them back and embassies are asking about them.

The bench said then let the Union of India make a statement on the status of their visa and told Mehta to find out whether any individual orders were passed for cancellation of visa of these foreign nationals.

At the outset, the bench asked Singh as when was the order for cancellation of visa was served upon them, to which he replied that it was a general order and no individual notices were given to them.

The bench said its understanding is that in each case separate order needs to be passed for cancelling the visa.However, what is before the court is a press release and no specific order, it said.

Singh contended that as far as blacklisting or visa cancellation is concerned there was no individual order was served on any person and even during the hearing of bail applications before the high courts, no such orders were placed on record.   -- PTI
14:18   Delhi facing shortage of healthcare workers: AAP
Delhi was facing manpower shortage after losing four doctors to COVID-19 and thousands of healthcare professionals being infected, the AAP government informed the Delhi High Court on Monday and said it was "preposterous" to move a contempt petition against it over managing of dead bodies at such a time. 

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain appearing for the Delhi government. Jain said that at a time when four doctors have succumbed to COVID-19 with thousands more infected and government is hard-pressed to find manpower to manage the system, it was "unfortunate" and "preposterous" that a contempt petition has been moved. 

The plea moved by advocate Avadh Kaushik has sought contempt action against the Delhi government and medical director of LNJP hospital for allegedly not adhering to the undertaking given to the high court with regard to handling bodies of COVID-19 victims. 

Kaushik has alleged that bodies of the dead were lying in the same wards and corridors of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash hospital where COVID-19 patients are being admitted and kept. He has claimed that this a breach of the Delhi government undertaking in court that bodies would not be found lying in hospital wards or corridors. 

The ASG further said that the issue of dead body management is also before the Supreme Court which on its own took up the issue based on media reports and is scheduled to hear further arguments on July 20. After hearing the brief arguments, the bench said that since a similar matter is before the Supreme Court, which has issued guidelines regarding managing of dead bodies, and the Delhi government is taking steps as per them, "the present matters are adjourned to July 29". 

Apart from the contempt plea, the bench was also hearing a PIL by the high court on its own based on news reports about the lack of facilities to cremate those who have died of COVID-19 and that such bodies were piling up in the mortuaries. 

An anguished high court had said if this was the correct situation then it was "highly dissatisfactory and violative of the rights of the dead". Besides that, the court was also hearing a PIL moved by NGO ''Mokshda Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti'', which runs green crematoriums, offering its services in disposing of the dead bodies. 

The NGO, represented by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, moved the high court after coming to know about the PIL initiated by it. In response to the NGO''s plea, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (North DMC) has filed an affidavit stating that cremations of both COVID and non-COVID dead is going on smoothly and bodies are not piling up at any of the crematoriums in the city.
13:55   Maha begins 'world's largest plasma therapy trial'
Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray announces that CM Uddhav Thackeray has just launched 'Project Platina', which he says is the world's largest convalescent plasma therapy trial.

"Maharashtra has been working on plasma therapy since the beginning of the Covid fight, but now it will be a formal trial-treatment project across Maharashtra. The entire funding to support this plasma therapy trial has been done through the CM Relief fund and we hope this will be a landmark trial in the global fight against the covid pandemic."

The CM also tweeted, "This trial will help formulate definite treatment guidelines for the entire country in managing serious COVID patients and thus be a milestone in turning a page in this pandemic."

Thackeray has approved Rs 16.65 crore for the purposes of this project-cum-clinical trial from the Chief Ministers Relief Fund. 
13:40   Govt allows export of COVID-19 PPE medical coveralls
Partially relaxing export norms, the government on Monday permitted shipments of Personal Protection Equipment medical coveralls for COVID-19 with a monthly export quota of 50 lakh units. The product was banned for export earlier, but it has now been moved to the restricted category. 

In a notification, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said: "A monthly quota of 50 lakh PPE medical coverall for COVID-19 units has been fixed for issuance of export licence to the eligible applicants to export PPE medical coveralls for COVID-19 as per the criteria to be separately issued in a trade notice". All other items that are part of PPE kits continue to remain prohibited, it said. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted: "Boosting Make in India exports, PPE medical coveralls for COVID-19 have been allowed with a monthly export quota of 50 lakh.' -- PTI
13:38   India's recovery rate for Covid is 58%: Govt
The gap between recoveries and active cases of COVID-19 is 1,11,602 as of today. So far, as many as 3,21,722 patients have been cured. The recovery rate is 58.67% : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India recorded 19,459 new coronavirus cases and 380 deaths in the last 24 hours.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday, the total coronavirus cases in the country stands at 5,48,318 including 2,10,120 active cases, 3,21,723 cured/discharged/migrated and 16,475 deaths.

Maharashtra's COVID-19 count touched 1,64,626 and cases in Delhi have reached 83,077.

The total number of samples tested up to 28 June is 83,98,362 of which 1,70,560 samples were tested yesterday, as per the data provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). -- ANI
Representational image
Representational image
13:31   Alone with Covid-19
"The narcissism of bourgeois life is concealed in normal times by good manners but becomes obvious in moments of crisis. When I discovered I was running a temperature one afternoon late last month, my world shrank to me. The middle-class Indian's ability to quarantine painlessly via digital payments, vendors at the gate and an inherited gift for social distancing induces an expectation of immunity. I couldn't believe that I had a fever after the endless handwashing, the monotony of hour-long walks up and down a short driveway, the double-valve N99 masks I wore when I ventured outside. Having barred virus-bearing people and limited the intrusion of the outside world to things, I had systematically sanitized those things. I remember scrubbing the polythene surface of shrink-wrapped prawns with Scotch-Brite and Pril and wondering, but only for a second, if I was going too far.

But there it was: 99.5. (Fahrenheit, in case you're alarmed. Like others my age, I'm inconsistently metric.) Disbelief didn't mean that I didn't know what to do. I knew exactly what to do. I felt like a character in a play that I hadn't expected to be cast in, but I knew my lines."

Columnist Mukul Kesavan on testing Covid positive and isolation. Read the story here.
13:25   You have crossed all limits... Geelani on why he quit Hurriyat
Veteran separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday announced his dissociation from the faction of the Hurriyat Conference that he floated in 2003 by enforcing a vertical split in the amalgam. In a four-line letter and an audio message to the media, a spokesperson for the 90-year-old leader said, "Geelani has announced complete dissociation from Hurriyat Conference forum." 

Geelani has written a detailed letter to all constituent parts of the amalgam about the reasons behind his decision to leave the Hurriyat Conference, of which he had been nominated as a lifetime chairman, he said. Geelani said the activities of Hurriyat Conference members currently in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were being investigated by the amalgam for various allegations. "The activities of these representatives were limited now to seeking access to assemblies and ministries for joining the government there (PoK). Some members were expelled while others started holding their own meetings. These activities were endorsed by you (constituents) by holding a meeting here to endorse their decisions," Geelani said in his two-page letter. 

He referred to inaction by the Hurriyat members post the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and the division of the erstwhile state into two Union territories. "I sent messages to you through various means so that the next course of action could be decided but all my efforts (to get in touch) went in vain. Now that the sword of accountability is hanging over your heads for the financial and other irregularities, you thought of calling the advisory committee meeting," he alleged. 

Geelani said he was forced by the constituent parties in 2003 to take over the reins of the Hurriyat Conference and later, made lifetime chairman. "The lack of discipline and other shortcomings were ignored and you did not allow a robust accountability system to be established over the years but today, you have crossed all limits and indulged in rebellion against the leadership," he added. PTI 
File pic
File pic
13:17   HP's Lahaul-Spiti reports first COVID-19 case
Himachal Pradesh's tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti reported its first COVID-19 case on Monday after a 25-year-old labourer from Bihar tested positive for the disease, officials said. The sample of the labourer, who is working with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), was taken at the Keylong regional hospital, they said. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh has risen to 918. The state has 379 active cases. So far, 518 people have recovered, 11 migrated out of the state and eight died, according to the officials. Hamirpur has the maximum number of active cases in the state at 117, followed by 115 in Kangra, 45 in Solan, 31 in Una, 20 in Shimla, 16 in Bilaspur, 14 in Sirmaur, nine in Chamba, five each in Mandi and Kinnaur, and one each in Lahaul and Spiti and Kullu. PTI
13:13   Brahmaputra river flows above danger level
Brahmaputra river flowing above danger level in Guwahati following heavy rainfall in the state. Sadikul Haq, Central Water Commission says, "Water is flowing 20 cm above danger level; water is rising by 1-2 cm per hour."
12:51   Bhumi Pednekar to feed 550 impoverished families as tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput
Actor Bhumi Pednekar on Monday pledged to feed over 550 impoverished families as a mark of tribute to late Bollywood actor and her 'Sonchiriya' co-star Sushant Singh Rajput.

Pednekar made the announcement through an Instagram post where she shared a picture of the departed actor and penned down a note along with it.

"I pledge to feed 550 impoverished families through the Ek Saath Foundation in the memory of my dear friend. Let us show compassion and love towards everyone that is in need, now more than ever," Pednekar wrote.

The two actors shared screen space in the Abhishek Chaubey directorial which continues to be a critically acclaimed film.

Rajput was found dead at his Mumbai's Bandra residence earlier this month. The detailed post-mortem report has also confirmed that he died by "asphyxia due to hanging."-- ANI
12:30   Delhi govt sets up plasma bank for Covid patients
The Delhi government has decided to start a 'Plasma Bank' in Delhi for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. "This 'Plasma Bank' will be set-up at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in Delhi. Anyone who needs plasma will need a recommendation from a doctor," he said.

Kejriwal said the Delhi govt has so far conducted clinical trial of plasma therapy on 29 COVID-19 patients and the results were good. "The 'Plasma Bank' will start operation in the next two days. I appeal to COVID19 recovered patients to donate their plasma," the CM said.

Kejriwal also announced Rs 1 crore for the family of LNJP Dr Aseem Gupta who died due to COVID-19. 

Of the 380 new deaths reported, 156 are from Maharashtra, 65 from Delhi, 54 from Tamil Nadu, 19 from Gujarat, 16 from Karnataka, 12 from Andhra Pradesh, 11 from Uttar Pradesh, 10 from West Bengal, eight from Rajasthan, seven from Madhya Pradesh, five each from Haryana and Punjab, four from Telangana, three from Odisha and one fatality each was reported from Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand and Bihar.

Of the total 16,475 deaths reported so far, Maharashtra tops the tally with 7,429 deaths, followed by Delhi with 2,623, Gujarat with 1,808, Tamil Nadu with 1,079, Uttar Pradesh with 660, West Bengal with 639, Madhya Pradesh with 557, Rajasthan with 399 and Telangana with 247 deaths.
12:18   4 terrorists killed in terror attack near Pak stock exchange
Update: Four heavily armed terrorists attacked the busy Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday morning, killing four security guards and a police sub-inspector before being shot dead in an exchange of fire, media reports said. The unidentified terrorists opened indiscriminate fire and lobbed hand grenades at the main gate of the building as they tried to storm it, Geo News reported. 

Police said that all the terrorists have been killed while five persons injured in the attack. Four security guards and a police sub-inspector were also killed in the attack.

"An unfortunate incident took place at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. They made their way from our parking area and opened fire on everyone," said Abid Ali Habib, Director Pakistan Stock Exchange. The firing by militants caused panic among the people in the building. Sindh province Governor Imran Ismail condemned the incident.

"Strongly condemn the attack on PSX aimed at tarnishing our relentless war on terror. Have instructed the IG & security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are caught alive & their handlers are accorded exemplary punishments. We shall protect Sindh at all costs," he said on Twitter. Police and rangers have arrived on the spot and surrounded the area. PTI
11:55   Separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani resigns from Hurriyat
Senior separatist leader and Chairman of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani has decided to distance himself from his party in the wake of the present condition of the party and has therefore resigned from the party. "In this regard, a detailed letter has been sent to the Hurriyat Conference. Keeping the present state of Hurriyat Conference into view, I resign from the Hurriyat Conference," Geelani said.
File pic
File pic
11:52   Civilians, terrorists dead at Pak stock exchange
Three terrorists killed during grenade attack at Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi: Pakistan media.  

Pakistan's Geo News reports that a gun and grenade attack at the Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi has killed at least two civilians and injured three. Law enforcement agencies have gunned down all four militants that stormed the PSX building and opened indiscriminate fire. 

Polcie said militants launched a grenade attack at the main gate of the building and stormed the building after firing indiscriminately. 

A police officer and the security guard stationed outside the PSX building were among the wounded. The surrounding areas have been sealed by police and Rangers personnel.  -- Geo News 
11:43   ITC shares gain over 4 pc after Q4 earnings
Shares of ITC on Monday gained over 4 per cent after the company reported 9.28 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31. 

The scrip rose 4.10 per cent to Rs 203.10 on BSE. On NSE, it gained 3.99 per cent to Rs 203. ITC on Friday reported 9.28 per cent rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs 3,926.46 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 3,592.80 crore during the January-March quarter of the previous fiscal, ITC said in a regulatory filing. 

However, its revenue from operations was down 4.93 per cent to Rs 12,560.64 crore during the quarter under review as against Rs 13,212.19 crore in the corresponding period previous fiscal. 
-- PTI
11:40   Create infra in UP to decongest Mumbai: Sena
The Shiv Sena on Monday hit out at Union minister Nitin Gadkari's remarks on the need to decongest Mumbai, saying if smart cities like Mumbai and Pune are created in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the population density of the country's financial capital will naturally come down.

An editorial in Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' claimed that nearly 1.50 lakh migrant labourers, who went to their native places during the lockdown, have returned to Maharashtra as they "do not have any work" back home. Mumbai has been significantly contributing to the national treasury, but it has "not got the due share of financial assistance from the Centre" in the battle against COVID-19, it claimed.

Gadkari last month said there is a need to decongest Mumbai as the densely populated city is facing "disastrous consequences", referring to the mounting coronavirus cases. 

In response, the Sena on Monday said, "If you create smart cities like Mumbai and Pune in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the population density of Mumbai and Pune will come down naturally. Jobs should be created in those states first." Gadkaris concerns will automatically be addressed if those states create more and more infrastructure, the Marathi publication said.

"Nearly 1.50 lakh migrant labourers have returned to Maharashtra again during the lockdown period. They do not have any work in their native states. The reason behind it is that development has not reached those states, it said. Some seven to eight lakh migrant workers went back from Mumbai to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha (during the lockdown), it noted. 

"Nearly three lakh left from Pune and now they have started coming back. This is what is increasing the burden on Mumbai and Pune, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said. "It clearly indicates that hunger is prevailing over the coronavirus threat. People are willing to take the risk and are travelling in search of jobs, it said. The Union government launched the 'Smart City' mission in June 2015, but how much of it has actually materialised in so many years? the Sena asked. 

"Mumbai has taken the burden of the countrys population and is significantly contributing to the national treasury, but it did not receive the due share of financial assistance from the Centre in the current fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," it said. PTI
11:16   Fuel price hike protests rage through India
In Patna, Congress workers ride bicycles, bullock cart and horse cart as a mark of protest against the increase in fuel prices. The price of diesel on Monday scaled a new high after prices were hiked for the 22nd time in just over three weeks, taking the cumulative increase to Rs 11.14 per litre. Petrol price was increased by 5 paise per litre and diesel 13 paise a litre across the country, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies.

In Delhi, members of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee were detained by police while protesting near IP College against the continuous hike in fuel prices. In Bengaluru, Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah rides a bicycle from his residence to reach Minsk Square, to participate in party's protest against the hike in fuel prices.
11:05   Siddaramaiah goes on a bike ride
Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah rides a bicycle from his residence to reach Minsk Square, to participate in party's protest against the hike in fuel prices.
10:24   Shh! Modi finds Voldemort
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pulled off a communication feat in his Mann ki Baat on Sunday that has gifted India a new Voldemort, similar to the fictional Harry Potter character who strikes such terror that he is referred to as "You Know Who' or "He Who Must Not Be Named'.

The Voldemort avatar for India is not a person but a country: That Which Must Not Be Named.Living up to his reputation as the Great Communicator, the Prime Minister has managed not to mention "China' in the latest episode of his radio broadcast while referring to the clash along the Line of Actual Control and paying tribute to the 20 Indian soldiers who were killed.

The English transcript uploaded by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) did not mention "China' although the speech had several indirect references to the belligerent neighbour.  Read the column here
10:19   21 more BSF men test Covid +ve, tally 655
As many as 21 more Border Security Force (BSF) personnel tested positive for coronavirus in the last 24 hours, said BSF on Monday. "In the last 24 hours, 21 more Border Security Force (BSF) personnel tested positive for COVID-19 and 18 have recovered," stated an official statement released by the BSF.

It further said that till date 655 personnel have recovered from coronavirus and have been discharged. The active cases as on Monday stand at 305. India recorded 19,459 new coronavirus cases and 380 deaths in the last 24 hours. 

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday, the total coronavirus cases in the country stand at 5,48,318 including 2,10,120 active cases, 3,21,723 cured/discharged/migrated and 16,475 deaths. -- ANI
10:13   How to Turn Off COVID-19 Exposure Tracking
If youre interested in learning more about how COVID-19 contact tracing works on your Android handset, the API and exposure notifications are identical to that found on Apples iPhone. Read the report here
10:10   Have Apple And Google Uploaded A COVID-19 Tracking App To Your Phone?
Social media is buzzing with complaints from people after apparently discovering that Apple or Google has suddenly uploaded a COVID-19 tracking app to their phone without permission. 

Here's what actually happened.If you have opened up your Facebook or Twitter apps only to be bombarded by messages from people warning that Apple or Google has suddenly and stealthily installed a COVID-19 tracking app to their phone, and you should check yours, then you are not alone. Read the report here
Masood, a district commander and a HM commander, was killed
Masood, a district commander and a HM commander, was killed
10:08   Doda becomes 'terrorist-free' after Hizbul Mujahideen commander killed in encounter: J-K DGP
Doda has become totally "terrorist-free" district after Hizbul Mujahideen  commander Masood was neutralised in an encounter, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said.Three terrorists including Masood were killed in an encounter with security forces at Khulchohar area of Anantnag.

"With today's operation at Khulchohar area of Anantnag by Police along with Local RR unit in which 2 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists including one district commander and one HM commander Masood were neutralised, Doda district in Jammu Zone becomes totally militancy free once again," Singh said.

The J-K DGP said that Masood who hails from Doda district was involved in a rape case registered by Doda police and was absconding ever since."He later joined Hizbul Mujahideen and shifted his area of operation to Kashmir," he said. -- ANI
10:00   Sensex tumbles over 300 pts in early trade; Nifty below 10,300
Equity benchmark Sensex tumbled over 300 points in early trade on Monday dragged by losses in index-heavyweights HDFC twins, ICICI Bank and Infosys amid negative cues from global markets. The 30-share index was trading 323.91 points, or 0.92 per cent, lower at 34,847.36, while the NSE Nifty fell 83.65 points, or 0.81 per cent, to 10,299.35. Bajaj Finance was the top loser in the Sensex pack, dropping around 4 per cent, followed by Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, HDFC duo and Infosys. 

On the other hand, ITC, Sun Pharma, Nestle India and PowerGrid were among the gainers. In the previous session, the BSE barometer closed 329.17 points, or 0.94 per cent, higher at 35,171.27, and the broader Nifty surged 94.10 points, or 0.90 per cent, to finish at 10,383. Foreign institutional investors were net sellers on Friday, offloading equities worth Rs 753.18 crore, provisional exchange data showed. -- PTI
09:58   Diesel at new high as prices hiked for 22nd time
Diesel price on Monday scaled a new high after prices were hiked for the 22nd time in just over three weeks, taking the cumulative increase to Rs 11.14 per litre. Petrol price was increased by 5 paise per litre and diesel 13 paise a litre across the country, according to a price notification of state oil marketing companies. In Delhi, a litre of petrol now comes for Rs 80.43 per litre as compared to Rs 80.38 earlier. Diesel rates have been increased to Rs 80.53 per litre from Rs Rs 80.40.  

Rates vary from state to state depending on the incidence of local sales tax or VAT. In Mumbai, petrol price went up from Rs 87.14 per litre to Rs 87.19, while diesel was hiked to Rs 78.83 from Rs 78.71. 

While the diesel rates have been hiked for the 22nd time since June 7, petrol price has been raised on 21 occasions. There was no change in prices on Sunday. The cumulative increase since the oil companies started the cycle on June 7 now totals to Rs 9.17 for petrol and Rs 11.14 in diesel. -- PTI
09:38   India adds 19,459 new Covid cases in 24 hrs
JUST IN: 380 deaths and 19,459 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours.

Positive cases in India stand at 5,48,318 including 2,10,120 active cases, 3,21,723 cured/discharged/migrated and 16,475 deaths, says Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.  -- ANI
09:35   Hafiz Saeed's India-born counsel dies in Lahore
Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's India-born counsel has passed away after a brief ailment in Lahore. He was 86.

Abdullah Khan Dogar, whose family had migrated to Pakistan from India's Rampur in Uttar Pradesh after the Partition, breathed his last at a hospital in Lahore on Sunday.

He was the father-in-law of former chief justice of Lahore High Court Mamoon Rashid Sheikh. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

Dogar was the counsel of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Saeed for many years and defended him in Pakistani courts following the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed.

He was also the lead counsel of Saeed in the terror financing cases in which he was sentenced to jail for 11 years.

Dogar had challenged the coup by former military dictator General (retired) Pervez Musharraf in 1999 in the Supreme Court and represented Kulsoom Nawaz against the detention of her husband, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.   -- PTI
Image only for representation
Image only for representation
09:07   Taliban, JeM terrorists may intrude Bihar: Alert
Bihar Special Branch has issued a high alert to all districts in the state after a warning was issued regarding possible terrorists from Taliban and Jaish-e-Mohammad entering the state through the Nepal border.

It is learnt that the Inter-Services Intelligence has formulated a plan to send about 5-6 Taliban and Jaish terrorists, trained by the Pakistan army, through the Nepal border into the state.

'As per an input, a threatening email was received on NIA control room indicating a hit list having names of Hon'ble Union Home Minister and other BJP Leaders.

'Please keep a lookout for the movements of Kashmiri terrorists, Muslim Fundamentalists ie Jaish-e-Mohomed, Al Qaeda and all Pakistan, Taliban, Afganistan, Jihad, terrorist organisation, Islamic Terrorist Organisation, Left-wing extremist elements, and North-eastern Insurgent Groups, All India Security Suspect and Rabid Communalists who could threaten the security of the VVIP,' read the alert.

'Requested to keep a close watch in your jurisdiction from now onwards till the VVIP visits are over. A watch would also be required individuals who have come to notice for addressing threatening letters to VVIP and those noticed moving under suspicious circumstances near VVIP locations,' it added.

Local police authorities may also be sensitised to such threats, the order stated. -- ANI
08:15   UP Guv Anandiben Patel gets additional charge of Madhya Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has been given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh during the absence on leave of incumbent Lal Ji Tandon, according to a Rashtrapati Bhavan statement on Sunday.

Tandon, 85, has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Lucknow since June 11.

'The President of India is pleased to appoint Anandiben Patel, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, in addition to her own duties, during the absence on leave of Lal Ji Tandon,' the statement said.   -- PTI
08:06   Ganga bridge tender involving China cos nixed
The Centre has cancelled the tender of a mega bridge project over the Ganga in Bihar as Chinese companies are involved in it, officials said on Sunday.

"Two of the four contractors selected for the project were Chinese and the tender was cancelled because of their involvement in it," a top Bihar government official said.

The capital cost of the entire project, including a 5.6-km-long bridge, other minor bridges, underpasses and a rail overbridge, was estimated at over Rs 2,900 crore.

The decision to cancel the project came in the backdrop of the killing of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15.

The skirmish at the border with China has led to a widespread call for a boycott of Chinese products and business entities.

The project was cleared by the Union government's cabinet committee on economic affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 16, 2019.

The proposed bridge was to be built parallel to the Mahatma Gandhi Setu across the Ganga river and it would have helped the people of Patna, Saran and Vaishali districts, officials said.

Besides the main bridge, the project included four vehicular underpasses, a rail overbridge, a 1.58-km-long viaduct, a flyover, four minor bridges, five bus shelters and 13 road junctions, they added.

The construction period for the project was three-and-a-half years and it was supposed to be completed by January, 2023.   -- PTI
Image only for representation
Image only for representation
07:47   3 terrorists killed in Anantnag encounter
Three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces at Khulchohar area of Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir Police said on Monday.

'Their identities are being ascertained. The search operation is underway,' Kashmir Zone Police said in a tweet.

Further details are awaited. Earlier on June 26, three terrorists were killed in an encounter in Tral by security forces.

The encounter took place after security forces received input from Jammu and Kashmir Police about the presence of terrorists in Chewa Ullar village. -- ANI