LIVE: India expects China to 'sincerely work' on disengagement, says MEA

A large number of people have been affected because of the worsening flood situation in Assam's Darang and Sonitpur districts. With the Brahmaputra and the Tangni rivers flowing well above the danger level, several villages in the large rural region of the eastern province of Darang have been submerged.

The floodwaters have destroyed crops and fishes from ponds have been swept away. People living in low-lying areas were forced to leave their homes. The overflowing waters of the Saktola River have wreaked havoc in hundreds of villages of the Mangalde and Sipajhar Vidhan Sabha areas in the western province of Darang.

The Supreme Court hearing adjourned hearing on a plea of Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi against the high court order restraining him till July 24 from conducting disqualification proceedings against 19 dissident Congress legislators, including sacked deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot.

The apex court also allowed the Rajasthan high court to go ahead and deliver its ruling, but said the verdict will remain subject to the outcome of the hearing in the SC.

 
Stay tuned for the latest news of the day


2:30 AM IST The Centre, late on Thursday, amended its General Financial Rules to restrict public procurement from countries which share a land border with India on grounds of national security, a move squarely aimed at China.   However, it provided relaxation in case of medical supplies in light of Covid-19. And keeping in mind some other neighbouring countries, nations with which India has a line of credit or provides development assistance were also exempted. Read more

2:29 AM IST US prosecutors allege Tang Juan, a researcher, lied about being connected to the Chinese military so she could enter the US. According to them, she is now avoiding arrest by taking refuge in the West Coast diplomatic mission.   According to court filings, investigators “discovered photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)”. According to reports, Tang was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where she denied having any connections with the Chinese Army. However, following the interview, US authorities claim that she fled to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

1:12 AM IST A man convicted of terrorism-related crimes, who served his sentence and was then detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has been deported after a legal battle to hold him indefinitely stalled.   Federal authorities held Adham Amin Hassoun at a federal detention facility in Batavia, New York, since his release from prison in 2018 in order to deport him.   But until Tuesday, they could not find a destination, and argued in court that they had the authority to detain him indefinitely under the Patriot Act until they could.

1:07 AM IST The United States accused Russia on Thursday of conducting a test of an anti-satellite weapon in space, asserting that it exposed Moscow's intent to deploy weapons that threaten US and allied satellites.   In Moscow, the Defense Ministry said the July 15 event involved a small space vehicle that "inspected one of the national satellites from a close distance using special equipment.   It added that the inspection provided valuable information about the object that was inspected, which was transmitted to the ground-based control facilities.

12:38 AM IST British and European Union negotiators failed to agree on underlying principles in the latest round of talks on post-Brexit trade between the bloc and its one-time member, again raising concerns about far-reaching economic damage if no deal is reached by the end of the year.   In comments delivered after the talks ended Thursday, chief U.K. negotiator David Frost said it was clear the two sides wouldn't meet their goal of reaching an understanding on ''the principles underlying any agreement" this month.   While progress has been made in the negotiations, Frost said there is still substantial disagreement, particularly on questions of fair and open competition, and fishing.

12:37 AM IST Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump discussed arms control and cooperation in fighting the coronavirus during a phone call between the two leaders Thursday, the Kremlin and White House said.   The presidents thoroughly considered various arms control issues given the special responsibility of Russia and the U.S. for maintaining international peace and security, the Kremlin said.   According to the White House, Trump reiterated his hope of avoiding an expensive three-way arms race between China, Russia, and the United States and looked forward to progress on upcoming arms control negotiations in Vienna.

12:01 AM IST Legendary boxer Mike Tyson is all set to return to the ring as he will fight against Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout on September 12.   Tyson, who turned 54 last month, announced his comeback on his official Twitter handle.   "I. AM. BACK. #legendsonlyleague. September 12th vs @RealRoyJonesJr on #Triller and PPV #frontlinebattle @TysonLeague," Tyson tweeted.   The bout will take place at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles and will be broadcasted on pay-per-view as well as multimedia platform Triller.

11:33 PM IST Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that trade can be an engine of reviving growth in the current scenario and this is premised on the strengthening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) based on its principles of openness, fairness, transparency, inclusivity, and non-discrimination.   The Minister called for removing multiple hurdles in access to medicines at affordable prices created by the WTO rules for protecting intellectual property. He mentioned that the TRIPS Agreement did not envisage a pandemic where demand for vaccines and medicines would come from several countries simultaneously, with the requirement changing at a rapid pace. He said that IPRs should not block access to critical medicines and other devices required for the treatment of the disease.

11:32 PM IST Amid the border row with China, the government on Thursday imposed restrictions on public procurement from China and other countries with common border.   The Government of India amended the General Financial Rules 2017 to enable imposition of restrictions on bidders from countries which share a land border with India on grounds of defence of India, or matters directly or indirectly related thereto including national security, an official statement said.   The Department of Expenditure has, under the said Rules, issued a detailed order on public procurement to strengthen the defence of India and national security, it said.

11:31 PM IST Concerted efforts by India to strengthen the business climate and encourage investment in the trade have helped to attract investment, but the country needs further economic reforms to ensure sustainable and more inclusive growth, the IMF said on Thursday.   The remarks by the International Monetary Fund's Chief Spokesperson Gerry Rice came in response to a question on the recent FDI announcements made by companies like Facebook and Google in India.   In recent weeks, several international companies have pledged $20 billion FDI in India, and a whopping $40 billion this year so far.

11:13 PM IST With three Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh resigning in the last two weeks, former chief minister Kamal Nath on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, exhorting him to protect "democratic values".   There was an "undemocratic pandemic" prevailing in the country in which the BJP was luring away MLAs to topple elected governments in states ruled by opposition parties, the Madhya Pradesh Congress chief alleged.   "I am sure...you will come forward to save the declining credibility of Indian democracy by not giving any place in your government and the party to such opportunist leaders who are facing charges of trading democratic values, so that India's established identity as a nation having democratic neutrality, transparency and maturity will remain intact," the letter said.

LIVE UPDATES

Govt imposes restrictions on public procurement from China, neighbours

The Centre, late on Thursday, amended its General Financial Rules to restrict public procurement from countries which share a land border with India on grounds of national security, a move squarely aimed at China.
 
However, it provided relaxation in case of medical supplies in light of Covid-19. And keeping in mind some other neighbouring countries, nations with which India has a line of credit or provides development assistance were also exempted. Read more

China harbouring military-linked fugitive scientist at consulate: FBI

US prosecutors allege Tang Juan, a researcher, lied about being connected to the Chinese military so she could enter the US. According to them, she is now avoiding arrest by taking refuge in the West Coast diplomatic mission.
 
According to court filings, investigators “discovered photographs of her in the uniform of the Civilian Cadre of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA)”. According to reports, Tang was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where she denied having any connections with the Chinese Army. However, following the interview, US authorities claim that she fled to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.

US deports man after push for indefinite detention stalls

A man convicted of terrorism-related crimes, who served his sentence and was then detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has been deported after a legal battle to hold him indefinitely stalled.
 
Federal authorities held Adham Amin Hassoun at a federal detention facility in Batavia, New York, since his release from prison in 2018 in order to deport him.
 
But until Tuesday, they could not find a destination, and argued in court that they had the authority to detain him indefinitely under the Patriot Act until they could.

US accuses Russia of testing anti-satellite weapon in space

The United States accused Russia on Thursday of conducting a test of an anti-satellite weapon in space, asserting that it exposed Moscow's intent to deploy weapons that threaten US and allied satellites.
 
In Moscow, the Defense Ministry said the July 15 event involved a small space vehicle that "inspected one of the national satellites from a close distance using special equipment.
 
It added that the inspection provided valuable information about the object that was inspected, which was transmitted to the ground-based control facilities.

EU negotiator cites 'objective risk' of no post-Brexit deal

British and European Union negotiators failed to agree on underlying principles in the latest round of talks on post-Brexit trade between the bloc and its one-time member, again raising concerns about far-reaching economic damage if no deal is reached by the end of the year.
 
In comments delivered after the talks ended Thursday, chief U.K. negotiator David Frost said it was clear the two sides wouldn't meet their goal of reaching an understanding on ''the principles underlying any agreement" this month.
 
While progress has been made in the negotiations, Frost said there is still substantial disagreement, particularly on questions of fair and open competition, and fishing.

Putin and Trump discuss arms control in phone call

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump discussed arms control and cooperation in fighting the coronavirus during a phone call between the two leaders Thursday, the Kremlin and White House said.
 
The presidents thoroughly considered various arms control issues given the special responsibility of Russia and the U.S. for maintaining international peace and security, the Kremlin said.
 
According to the White House, Trump reiterated his hope of avoiding an expensive three-way arms race between China, Russia, and the United States and looked forward to progress on upcoming arms control negotiations in Vienna.

Mike Tyson all set to make boxing comeback on September 12

Legendary boxer Mike Tyson is all set to return to the ring as he will fight against Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout on September 12.
 
Tyson, who turned 54 last month, announced his comeback on his official Twitter handle.
 
"I. AM. BACK. #legendsonlyleague. September 12th vs @RealRoyJonesJr on #Triller and PPV #frontlinebattle @TysonLeague," Tyson tweeted.
 
The bout will take place at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles and will be broadcasted on pay-per-view as well as multimedia platform Triller.

WTO reform process should be inclusive, consensus-based: Piyush Goyal

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said that trade can be an engine of reviving growth in the current scenario and this is premised on the strengthening of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) based on its principles of openness, fairness, transparency, inclusivity, and non-discrimination.
 

The Minister called for removing multiple hurdles in access to medicines at affordable prices created by the WTO rules for protecting intellectual property. He mentioned that the TRIPS Agreement did not envisage a pandemic where demand for vaccines and medicines would come from several countries simultaneously, with the requirement changing at a rapid pace. He said that IPRs should not block access to critical medicines and other devices required for the treatment of the disease.

Govt imposes restriction on public procurement from China, other neighbours

Amid the border row with China, the government on Thursday imposed restrictions on public procurement from China and other countries with common border.
 
The Government of India amended the General Financial Rules 2017 to enable imposition of restrictions on bidders from countries which share a land border with India on grounds of defence of India, or matters directly or indirectly related thereto including national security, an official statement said.
 
The Department of Expenditure has, under the said Rules, issued a detailed order on public procurement to strengthen the defence of India and national security, it said.

India needs further economic reforms to attract more investment: IMF

Concerted efforts by India to strengthen the business climate and encourage investment in the trade have helped to attract investment, but the country needs further economic reforms to ensure sustainable and more inclusive growth, the IMF said on Thursday.
 
The remarks by the International Monetary Fund's Chief Spokesperson Gerry Rice came in response to a question on the recent FDI announcements made by companies like Facebook and Google in India.
 
In recent weeks, several international companies have pledged $20 billion FDI in India, and a whopping $40 billion this year so far.

Kamal Nath writes to PM, says there is

With three Congress MLAs in Madhya Pradesh resigning in the last two weeks, former chief minister Kamal Nath on Thursday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, exhorting him to protect "democratic values".
 

There was an "undemocratic pandemic" prevailing in the country in which the BJP was luring away MLAs to topple elected governments in states ruled by opposition parties, the Madhya Pradesh Congress chief alleged.
 

"I am sure...you will come forward to save the declining credibility of Indian democracy by not giving any place in your government and the party to such opportunist leaders who are facing charges of trading democratic values, so that India's established identity as a nation having democratic neutrality, transparency and maturity will remain intact," the letter said.

IAF to integrate Rafale with new generation air-to-ground missiles

As it inducts a first batch of five Rafale jets in the midst of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Air Force is looking at integrating the fleet with new generation air-to-ground missile systems having a strike range of up to 60 KM, people familiar with the development said.
 
The aircraft is capable of carrying a range of potent weapons. European missile maker MBDA's Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system will be the mainstay of the weapons package of the Rafale jets.
 
The people cited above said the IAF is zeroing in on procuring new generation medium-range modular air-to-ground weapon system Hammer to integrate with the Rafale jets, using the emergency financial powers provided by the government to the armed forces for faster acquisition of key weapons and platforms.

ABB India June-quarter net down 76 per cent

Engineering firm ABB India on Thursday reported an around 76 per cent decline in net profit at Rs 16.75 crore for the June quarter, mainly due to lower revenues.

The company's net profit stood at Rs 69.74 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2019, it said in a regulatory filing.

Total income declined to Rs 1,021.40 crore in the quarter under review from Rs 1,746.12 crore earlier.

Goyal calls for removing hurdles in access to medicines at affordable prices

Calling for removal of "multiple" hurdles in access to medicines at affordable prices, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said intellectual property rights (IPRs) should not become a hindrance in their availability.

He said the TRIPS (trade related aspects of intellectual property rights) agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) did not envisage a pandemic where demand for vaccines and medicines would come from several countries simultaneously, with the requirement changing at a rapid pace.

"The minister called for removing multiple hurdles in access to medicines at affordable prices created by the lopsided WTO rules for protecting intellectual property," a ministry statement said.

PM Modi's ratings on handling Covid 19 going strong at 77.3%

The Narendra Modi government still enjoys high approval ratings for its handling of the Covid-19 situation in India with more than three-fourths of respondents endorsing how the government is dealing with the crisis, as per the IANS-CVoter Covid-19 Tracker.
 
As per the latest poll with a sample size of 1,723, 77.3 per cent respondents agree that the government is handling the crisis well, endorsing the Modi-led government's actions on tackling Covid-19 while 19.1 per cent disagree.
 
However, the approval ratings are not as high as in the previous months and the long economic lull seems to be testing people's patience. In the April-June period, the approval ratings were in the 90s and 80s, but have been coming down lately.

US blacklists a Pakistani, two Indian-origin men for anti-India activities

A Pakistani and two Indian-origin persons based in the US have been "blacklisted" by the government for their alleged anti-India activities.
 
The move came after Shiv Sena MP Rahul Shewale wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah apprising them about the alleged anti-India activities of Rehan Siddiqui, a US-based Pakistani, and Rakesh Kaushal and Darshan Mehta. The trio will not be able to travel to India following the blacklisting.
 
In a letter to Shewale, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the issue was examined by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) following his complaint. READ MORE...

Par panel to call chief secy officials from Centre to brief on issue of waterlogging in Delhi

The Delhi chief secretary, top officials of MCD, PWD and the Urban Development Ministry will be called by a parliamentary panel here to brief them on the issue of waterlogging due to heavy rains in the city, sources according to a PTI report said on Thursday.
 
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development, chaired by Jagdambika Pal, met here to discuss the issue of waterlogging, days after a 56-year-old man drowned when he was stuck under the waterlogged Minto Bridge in central Delhi.
 
The members felt for a comprehensive discussion on the issue and therefore it was decided to call the Delhi chief secretary, officials of the Public Works Department (PWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Urban Development Ministry, the sources said.
 
Some members also raised the need for a proper masterplan for drainage of the national capital and suggested that it could be a long-term solution for this perennial problem, they said.

Unlike other carriers, no employee of ours will be laid off: Air India

2.4 million children affected by recent floods in India: UNICEF

An estimated 2.4 million children have been affected by the recent floods in India, the UNICEF said on Thursday, calling for immediate support, more resources and innovative programmes to address the challenges faced. In a statement, UNICEF said though flooding at this period of the year is common, this widespread scale of floods during mid-July is unusual.
 
"In India, over 6 million people across Bihar, Assam, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have been affected by the floods, including an estimated 2.4 million children," it said.
 
UNICEF said it is working with the government and partners to respond quickly and effectively.
 
It said it is also supporting the Assam government to implement the COVID-19 adapted relief camp management guidelines and child friendly spaces in select districts, in addition to its focused support for maternal and child health service continuity and COVID-19 response in many states, the statement said.

FM holds review meeting for stressed residential projects to boost investment in real estate

India won't accept unilateral attempt by China to change status quo: Govt

India on Thursday forcefully reiterated that it will not accept any unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, according to an IANS report.
 
In his weekly briefing, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "India is fully committed to observing and respecting the LAC and that we will not accept any unilateral attempts to change the status quo along the LAC." The statement comes amid speculation that the talks between India and China are running into a stalemate over the LAC issue in Ladakh.
 
Recalling his June 26 statement, Srivastava said, "I had noted that the conduct of Chinese forces this year, including the deployment of a large body of troops and changes in behaviour, accompanied by unjustified and untenable claims, has been in complete disregard of all the mutual agreements."
 
The spokesperson said, "Respecting and strictly abiding by the LAC is the basis of peace and tranquillity in the border areas. Several agreements concluded by India and China since 1993 firmly acknowledge this."
 
The two sides, he said, have agreed during the conversation of the Special Representatives to work towards complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.

PM Modi speaks at foundation stone laying event of Manipur Water Supply Project

We are leaving no stone unturned to make the Northeast our growth engine: PM Modi

Maintenance of peace and tranquility along LAC is basis of our bilateral relationship with China: India

India on Thursday asserted that the maintenance of peace and tranquility along the Line of Control(LAC) is the basis of its bilateral relationship with China, and said it expected the Chinese side to be sincere in completing the disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh.
 
At an online media briefing, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said another round of diplomatic talks under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) is expected to be scheduled soon.
 
"The maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is the basis of our bilateral relationship," he said. "Therefore it is our expectation that the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas at the earliest as agreed to by the Special Representatives," Srivastava added.
 
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a nearly two-hour-long telephonic conversation on July 5 to bring down tension between the armies of the two countries in eastern Ladakh.

Latest News LIVE: Assam CM inspects flood-affected areas, meets residents

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday inspected flood-affected areas and met the flood-hit people in Solmari and Rangia.
 
"I am travelling across the flood-hit districts of Assam and ensuring that immediate relief works are undertaken and quality food items and facilities are provided at flood relief camps," the Chief Minister said.
 
According to Assam Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Sonwal took stock of provisions and healthcare facilities at the Rangia TT College flood relief camp and interacted with the people stranded there.
 
He inspected an embankment damaged by flood at Janaram Chowka, Darrang and directed officials to expedite repair work on a war-footing. As many as 89 died and 5,627,389 people have been affected across 30 districts in Assam due to the floods, said the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

Haryana to enact law to reserve 50% seats for women in Panchayats: Deputy CM

The BJP-JJP government in Haryana will bring in a bill in the next Vidhan Sabha session for reserving 50 percent seats for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions, Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala said on Thursday.
 
Chautala, who is also the minister for Industries, Rural Development and Panchayats, said the state government has been taking adequate steps for ensuring maximum participation of women in PRIs and the society, according to a PTI report.
 
To give 50 percent reservation to women in Panchayats, we will bring in a Bill in the next Vidhan Sabha session, Chautala told a news conference here during which he also dwelt upon various steps of the state government for making Haryana a preferred industrial destination.
 
The JJP leader said a scooty (two-wheeler) will be given to 100 women who have done outstanding work in villages. The beneficiaries will include 30 women sarpanches, 10 Zila Parishad members, 20 Block Samitis' members besides 40 other women associated with PRIs.

Bihar flood: Darbhanga residents continue to struggle with little help from authorities

The people in the Darbhanga district of Bihar have been hit hard by the floods and the incessant rains in the region. People are struggling to feed their families and cattle, and are forced to live outside on the streets as houses are submerged. Jagdev, a resident of Dilahi village told ANI, "After the floodwater filled in our houses, we do not have a place to sleep."
 
"There is no work due to the current situation and in this regard, the government has not provided any help to us," Jagdev said. Another local, Lal Vachan Yadav said, "Our houses have been submerged in the floodwaters. As a result, we are living on the streets." "Even the local leaders have denied to help us and are said they could only help with the government's support, said Yadav.
 
On being asked about the COVID-19 health norms, Yadav said, "If there are 10 members in a family, they have only given us four masks. It is not possible for us to follow coronavirus-induced health norms." Meanwhile, some are building makeshift boats using tubes and wood to travel in emergency situations.

Latest News LIVE: Rupee gives up gains to end flat at 74.75 against dollar

The rupee gave up day's gains to settle on a flat note at 74.75 against the US dollar on Thursday amid concerns over growing tensions between the US and China, according to a PTI report.
 
At the interbank forex market, the domestic unit opened on a strong note at 74.65, but erased the gains to finally close at 74.75, unchanged from its previous closing. During the session, the domestic unit witnessed an intra-day high of 74.52 and a low of 74.87 against the US dollar.
 
Forex traders said the uptick in the rupee during the day was supported by weak greenback, foreign fund inflows and positive domestic equities, but rising tensions between the US and China weighed on investor sentiment and restricted the gains.

UAE authorities extending all necessary cooperation to us in investigation: MEA on Kerala Gold Smuggling Case

GST, I-T mop up in Q1 very encouraging, indicates economic recovery: Finance Secy

Tax mop up in first quarter of the current fiscal is "very encouraging" and indicates that the economy is recovering sooner than what was anticipated at the time of imposition of lockdown, Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said on Thursday.
 
He said the Revenue Department wants to bring in self-compliance among taxpayers by making available data of all financial transactions via Form 26AS at the time of filing income tax (I-T) return, according to a PTI report. Pandey, who is also the Revenue Secretary, said about 70 per cent of the Rs 91,000 crore Goods and Services Tax (GST) collected in June is on account of transactions in May.
 
"For the month of June, going by the current trends, we have certain trend about how many people have made payment so far, and also the e-way bill...truck movement...all these things are giving encouraging signals that the economy is coming back to the realm sooner than what was being anticipated when the lockdown was started in March," he said while addressing a Ficci event here.
 

Officials in parliamentary panel blame each other for Delhi's waterlogging crisis

A meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development was held here on Thursday wherein the case of a person's death at waterlogged Minto Bridge, on July 19, was raised.
 
Three Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) officials present in the meeting said, as per the sources, that the Minto Bridge area falls under the jurisdiction of Delhi Public Works Department (PWD), according to an ANI report.
 
One of the committee members present at the meeting questioned the Delhi government for their preparedness in the three-month lockdown for the waterlogging issue during monsoon. Officials of Union Urban Development Ministry, New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), MCD and Delhi Jal Board were also present at the meeting.
 

Reliance Industries breaks into top 50 most valued companies globally, ranks 48

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd has broken into the top 50 most valued companies globally after it became the first company with market capitalisation of over Rs 13 trillion, according to a PTI report.
 
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate is ranked 48th in market cap globally, according to stock market data. Globally, Saudi Aramco is the company with the highest market cap of $1.7 trillion, followed by Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet. Reliance on Thursday closed at Rs 2,060.65 on the BSE, up 2.82 per cent over the previous day's close. This gave the firm a m-cap of over Rs 13 trillion.
 
Together with the firm's partly-paid shares that were issued in the recent rights issue and are traded separately, the company had a combined m-cap of Rs 13.5 trillion or over $181 billion. No Indian company has ever crossed an m-cap of Rs 13 trillion.

Congress' strength is nation's strength, says Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Latest News LIVE update: Flood waters continue to wreak havoc in Bihar

Flood waters have now started entering new areas in Bihar, triggering fears of more loss of life and property. Almost 6.50 lakh people in 10 districts have been affected by the floods so far, according to an IANS report.
 
Buildings in Gopalganj have all been submerged by the flood waters. The National Disaster Response Force and the State Disaster Response Force are working non-stop to rescue the people. Disaster Management Department Additional Secretary Ramchandra Doo said that the department is on alert in view of the increased water level in various rivers.
 
The rising water level has affected 55 blocks of 282 panchayats in the 10 districts of Sitamarhi, Shivhar, Supaul, Kishanganj, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj, West Champaran, Khagaria and East Champaran.
 
About six and a half lakh people have been badly affected by the floods. Doo said that relief camps are being run in Supaul, West Champaran, two each in East Champaran, three in Gopalganj and one in Khagaria. Apart from this, 134 community kitchens are being run in the flood-affected areas.

If they think they don't trust Rajasthan govt, they can send audio-tapes in the US for voice test: Rajasthan CM

Thousands affected by floods in Assam's Darang and Sonitpur districts

A large number of people have been affected because of the worsening flood situation in Assam's Darang and Sonitpur districts. With the Brahmaputra and the Tangni rivers flowing well above the danger level, several villages in the large rural region of the eastern province of Darang have been submerged.
 
The floodwaters have destroyed crops and fishes from ponds have been swept away. People living in low-lying areas were forced to leave their homes. The overflowing waters of the Saktola River have wreaked havoc in hundreds of villages of the Mangalde and Sipajhar Vidhan Sabha areas in the western province of Darang.
 
"You can see the water of the river has come to my field, this water has spoiled everything along with my entire cultivation. We are living in a shortage of essentials; it is our appeal to the government to pay attention to us," said one of the affected persons.
 
The situation is the same in the Sonitpur district as well and a large number of people have been hit hard by the flood in the Borsola area. Expressing distress, a flood victim said, "My house is submerged for the past seven days and there is little help from the administration. Sometimes we eat and sometimes we don't."
 
"The floodwater has put us in a lot of trouble. We were already anguished by the COVID-19 lockdown and now the floods. All our food items have been swept away. The jute crop is completely destroyed. Farming lands are submerged in water, yet no government official has come here. Let's see what happens, there are talks of the MLA coming to visit us tomorrow," said another victim.





Oil India Ltd issues statement on blowout in their gas well in Assam's Baghjan

Latest News LIVE update: Gold crosses Rs 51,000 mark, up by Rs 502

Gold prices went past Rs 51,000 mark in the national capital, rising by Rs 502 on Thursday on strong international prices, according to HDFC Securities. The precious metal rose by Rs 502 to Rs 51,443 per 10 gram from Rs 50,941 per 10 gram in the previous trade, according to a PTI report. Silver, however, declined by Rs 69 to Rs 62,760 per kg from Rs 62,829 per kg on Wednesday.
 
"Spot gold prices for 24 carat gold in Delhi hit new high trading above Rs 51,000, gaining Rs 502 on strong international gold prices," HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.
 
In the international market, gold was trading higher at USD 1,875 per ounce, while silver was flat at USD 22.76 per ounce.
 
"Gold prices gained strength on tensions between the US and China. Surge in virus cases in the US has boosted safe-haven demand for precious metals," he added.

Tejashwi Yadav tears into Bihar govt over flood situation

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday slammed the Nitish Kumar led NDA government in Bihar for not doing enough for the flood-hit victims.
 
Yadav had visited flood-affected areas yesterday. He visited Madhepur block of Madhubani district and donated money among affected people.
 
Notably, parts of Bihar are reeling with floods due to heavy rainfall. "Parts of Bihar are flooded but Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is missing and invisible," he had said while speaking to ANI.

 

Locals of Dilahi village in Darbhanga district of Bihar affected as homes submerged in floodwaters

ECI defers by-elections in 8 constituencies due to coronavirus pandemic and flood

Considering the ongoing pandemic situation and floods the Election Commission of India (ECI) has deferred by-elections of eight constituencies up to September 7 this year. The elections will be held as soon as the situation becomes conducive, according to an ANI report.
 
The eight constituencies are -- Bihar (1 Valmiki Nagar PC), Assam (108, Sibsagar AC), Tamil Nadu (10-Thiruvottiyur, AC and 46, Gudiyattam (SC) AC), Madhya Pradesh (166, Agar, (SC) AC), Uttar Pradesh (65, Bulandhahr AC and 95, Tundla AC) and Kerala (117, Chavara AC).
 
By the provision, vacancies are required to be filled through by-election within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancies provided that the remainder of the term in relation to the vacancy in one year or more.
 
"The situation of COVID-19 has not improved in several parts of the country and conducting elections in this situation would pose a grave risk to the health and safety of the citizen," a source from ECI stated.

No plan to monetise debt for now, GDP may not shrink too severely: DEA Secy

The Finance Ministry has not discussed any proposal to monetise its deficit with the Reserve Bank of India, Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said on Thursday.
 
Speaking at an event organised by industry body Ficci, Bajaj also said that based on tax collections so far, India’s economic contraction in FY21 may be less severe than previously anticipated, and that the proposal of a ‘bad bank’ had been discussed internally, but no decision had been taken.
 
“Currently there is no proposal for debt monetisation on the table. Questions on fiscal position and debt monetisation plan should be asked after 3-4 months,” Bajaj said.
 
A number of economists, including former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, and former advisor to the Prime Minister, Rathin Roy, have advocated that the government can get the RBI to monetise deficit, provided that it has a clear expenditure plan on where is wants to spend the resources it raises. READ MORE...

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal inspected flood-affected areas at Solmari and Rangia

For admissions in NITs and other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions, eligibility to secure minimum of 75%: HRD Minister

Latest News LIVE update: China launches first rover mission to Mars

China on Thursday launched its first rover mission to Mars.
 
The six-wheeled robot, encapsulated in a protective probe, was lifted by a Long March 5 rocket from the Wenchang spaceport on Hainan Island at 12.40 a.m., the BBC reported. It should arrive in orbit around the Red Planet in February. Called Tianwen-1, or "Questions to Heaven", the rover won't actually try to land on the surface for a further two to three months.
 
This wait-and-see strategy will allow engineers to assess the atmospheric conditions on Mars before attempting what will be a hazardous descent. Tianwen-1 is one of three missions setting off to Mars in the space of 11 days. Thursday's development comes after the United Arab Emirates on Monday launched its Hope satellite towards the Red Planet.

Pregnant woman crossed river in a utensil to reach 15-km away hospital in Chhattisgarh

Rajasthan HC can pass order on Pilot, MLAs plea against Speaker's move: SC

The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the Rajasthan High Court to pronounce order on plea of 19 dissident Congress MLAs, including sacked deputy CM Sachin Pilot, against the Assembly Speaker's notice for initiating disqualification proceedings against them, but said that it would be subject to the outcome of the petition before the top court.
 
Rajasthan Assembly Speaker CP Joshi however failed to get any interim relief on his plea alleging that the high court cannot interdict the disqualification proceedings undertaken by him under 10th schedule of the Constitution.
 
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari said Joshi's plea raises important questions and requires prolonged hearing. READ MORE...

It's an inauspicious time to lay foundation stone for Ram Temple: Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati

Latest News LIVE update: Delhi records 50% excess rainfall in July

With spells of heavy downpour lashing the national capital this week, the city has already recorded 50 per cent more rainfall than normal in July, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday. Rainfall recorded in the city in July till Saturday was just 47.9 mm, 56 per cent less than the normal for the period, according to a PTI report.
 
According to the IMD data, the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, has recorded225 mm rainfall in July so far, which is 50 per cent more than the normal of 149.8 mm.
 
The Lodhi Road weather station has gauged 246 mm rainfall which is 64 per cent more than the normal of 149.8 mm. The Palam weather station has recorded 37 per cent surplus precipitation -- 224 mm against the normal of 164.1 mm. However, since Jun 1, when the monsoon season begins, the city has recorded 29 per cent less rainfall than normal.

Several houses partially submerged in floodwater in Sonitpur due to floods in Assam

India to boost Rafale capabilities with HAMMER missiles under emergency order

With the Rafales arriving in the country in the middle of a dispute with China, the Indian Air Force is further boosting the capabilities of the combat aircraft by equipping it with the HAMMER missiles from France, according to an ANI report.
 
The order for the HAMMER standoff missiles with the capability to take out any types of targets at the range of around 60-70 kms is being processed under the emergency powers for acquisition given to the armed forces by the Narendra Modi government.
 
"The order for the HAMMER missiles is being processed and the French authorities have agreed to supply them to us at a short notice for our Rafale combat aircraft," government sources told ANI.
 
In view of the urgent requirement for these missiles by the Air Force, the French authorities would be delivering the systems to India from the existing stock meant for some other customer, they said. HAMMER (Highly Agile Modular Munition Extended Range) is a medium-range air-to-ground weapon designed and manufactured for the French Air Force and Navy initially.
 

Several parts of Hyderabad witness water-logging following heavy rainfall

Meeting regarding Delhi floods called by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development underway

A meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development is underway on Thursday with the three civic bodies of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) along with the chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) regarding the waterlogging and flood situation in the national capital.
 
The Standing Committee of the Urban Development has called to know why Delhi's water-logging situation was in such a sorry state, sources told ANI.
 
An inquiry will also be made into the work of the civic bodies and the death of a person under Minto Bridge in ITO from drowning after a spell of heavy rainfall earlier this week.
 

Over 26,69,900 people are affected due to floods in 25 district of Assam

Flipkart acquires Walmart India's wholesale biz to help transform Kiranas

Air India has constituted a committee for "identification of redundant/surplus manpower resources" to be sent on leave without pay for up to five years. The Committee is to submit its report to the regional director's office by 11th August for review, according to ANI.
 
The national carrier's board has approved a scheme for sending employees on leave without pay for six months to two years. The period can be extended up to five years. It has authorised chairman Rajiv Bansal to send employees on the leave without pay. Read on...

Home Minister Amit Shah launches a tree plantation drive, organised by the Union Coal Ministry, at his residence

Under the drive, 6000 acres to be covered in 38 districts of 10 states. 600 acres to be covered today. 6 lakh trees to be planted, 5 lakh plants will be distributed...World is dealing with climate change...there's only one solution, only trees can save us: HM Amit Shah

NDRF deploys 122 teams in 20 states including 21 in Bihar and 16 in Assam

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 122 teams in 20 states including 21 in Bihar and 16 in Assam. Currently, our focus is on Bihar and Assam where operations of rescue & relief are being carried out: NDRF Director General SN Pradhan

Trying to find out whether disqualification process against MLAs was permissible or not: SC on Rajasthan Speaker's plea

Issue whether disqualification process against MLAs is permissible or not cannot be taken note of at this stage: Rajasthan Speaker to SC

Air India panel to pick employees to be sent on leave without pay: Report

Air India has constituted a committee for "identification of redundant/surplus manpower resources" to be sent on leave without pay for up to five years. The Committee is to submit its report to the regional director's office by 11th August for review, according to ANI.
 
The national carrier's board has approved a scheme for sending employees on leave without pay for six months to two years. The period can be extended up to five years. It has authorised chairman Rajiv Bansal to send employees on the leave without pay. Read on...

Lockdown and uneven rainfall hits tea crop, prices firm up at auctions

Tea crop during the year has been affected due to the two-month lockdown in April and May and subsequent uneven rainfall in Assam, industry experts said.
 
As per the Indian Tea Association (ITA) estimates the production in north India, comprising Assam and north Bengal is down by 40 per cent from January to June as compared to the figures of 2019. Read on...

The state government is working day and night to control the spread of Coronavirus in Manipur: PM Modi

The state government is working day and night to control the spread of Coronavirus in Manipur. The state government has taken all steps to make necessary arrangements for the people of Manipur during the lockdown, or special arrangements to bring them back: PM Modi

Northeastern India is dealing with double challenge (coronavirus & floods), says PM Modi

Northeastern India is dealing with double challenge (coronavirus & floods). Heavy rainfall has caused huge damages, several people lost lives, many are displaced. I express my sympathies to all affected families. I assure you that the country stands with you in this tough time: PM Modi

Tamil Nadu cancels all college semester exams

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K.Palaniswami today ordered cancellation of semester exams and allowed the students to proceed to the next academic year.
In a statement, the Chief Minister said that based on the guidance of University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) the students of under graduate, post graduate, engineering, computer science and vocational courses are exempted from exams for this semester alone.

Coronavirus in US: Fauci to testify next week to House panel on coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci and two other top public health officials will testify next week to a House subcommittee that's been investigating the federal response to a coronavirus pandemic still inflicting a relentless toll on Americans, officials with the panel said Wednesday.
 
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has become the government's most visible face in the battle against the virus, and polls show him as its most trusted authority as well.
 
That's in sharp contrast to President Donald Trump, who gets low marks from the public after ceding much of the U.S. response to the nation's governors, resulting in an inconsistent hodgepodge of restrictions and a resurgence of the disease in many states.

Direct tax refunds down 10% amid Covid-19 pandemic, says CBDT

Direct tax refunds are down 10 per cent, compared to the same period last year, despite the central government’s efforts to expedite these amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
 
Refunds, or cash outflow from the income-tax (I-T) department, stood at Rs 74,000 crore up to July 18 this fiscal, against Rs 82,000 crore worth of refunds disbursed in the same period last year.
 
According to a senior Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) official, refunds have been held up in only cases where response is awaited from assessees and/or where cases have been picked up for scrutiny. Read on...

Joe Biden calls Donald Trump the country's 'first' racist president

Joe Biden said Wednesday that President Donald Trump was the country's first racist president.
 
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's comments came during a virtual town hall organised by the Service Employees International Union.
 
When a questioner complained of racism surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and mentioned the president referring to it as the China virus, Biden responded by blasting Trump and his spread of racism. Read on...

Trump sees China as a threat, would work hard to re-elect him: Nikki Haley

US President Donald Trump sees China as a threat, Republican leader and Indian American Nikki Haley said, adding that she would campaign and work "very hard" to get him re-elected in the November elections.
 
Addressing the virtual India Ideas Summit organized by US India Business Council, Haley said on Wednesday that the threat China poses to the US would be one of the factors in the November presidential elections. Read on...

Tension escalates as Trump orders closure of Chinese consulate in Houston

The United States ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, escalating tensions between the world's largest economies as President Donald Trump ramps up punitive measures against China ahead of the November US election.
 
Beijing denounced the order Wednesday as outrageous and said it would draw a firm response if not reversed.
 
The physical closure of the consulate, one of China's six missions in the United States, marked a dramatic step in increasingly contentious relations that have been strained not only by the conronavirus pandemic but disputes over trade, human rights, Hong Kong and Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. Read on...

Gehlot writes to PM Modi, alleges attempts to destabilize elected governments through horse-trading

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that "despicable attempts" had been made "to destabilize elected governments through horse-trading".
 
He said attempts to destabalise governments were an insult to mandate of people and violation of constitutional values.
 
"For some time now, there have been despicable attempts to destabilise elected governments through horse-trading, disregarding the spirit of the anti-defection law enacted by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985 and amended later by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This is an insult to the people's mandate and a clear violation of constitutional values. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are examples of this," Gehlot said.
 
"I don't know to what extent you are aware of all this or you are being misled. History will also not forgive those who are complicit in these plots," he added.

Pilot camp MLA wants Centre to be party in petition against Speaker

Congress MLA Prithviraj Meena filed an application before Rajasthan High Court seeking Centre to be impleaded in the ongoing case filed by rebel Sachin Pilot and 18 other MLAs case challenging Para 2 (1) (a) of the Schedule X of the Constitution.
 
In his petition filed on Wednesday, he said, "It is humbly prayed that Union of India through The Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs), be made a Party Respondent to the present writ petition in the interest of justice and law."
 
The Speaker CP Joshi served disqualification notices to 19 rebel MLAs including Pilot for their alleged "anti-party activities" soon after they skipped two meetings of Congress legislative party meetings.

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