Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation today. He said that negligence in personal and social behaviour has been increasing after 'Unlock 1' on June 1 and noted that there is need to be alert and follow norms as was done during the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
His address came against the backdrop of a bitter standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, where 20 Indian Army personnel had killed in clashes on June 15 in Galwan Valley.
Also, the country will be entering "unlock 2" from July 1 for which guidelines were issued by the Union Home Ministry on Monday night, further easing the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Indian and Chinese militaries will hold another round of Lt General-level talks today in an attempt to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ladakh and finalise modalities for disengagement of troops from the sensitive region, government sources said.
Assam flood situation remains bleak; death toll rises to 25
The flood situation continued to be grim in Assam, where three more people died due to the deluge, pushing the death toll to 25, officials said.
Two persons died in Barpeta district, while one death was reported from Dibrugarh district, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said in a bulletin.
Flood waters, however, receded from Udalguri and Kamrup (Metro), but continued to submerge 23 other districts, including Dhemaji, South Salmara, Lakhimpur, Nalbari, Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Kamrup, Morigaon, Golaghat, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, it said.
On Tuesday, 25 of Assam's 33 districts were hit by floods, affecting over 13.2 lakh people, besides claiming four lives.
Xiaomi to bear the brunt of Chinese apps ban
The ban on Mi Community could not have come at a worse time for Xiaomi. Just when the Chinese smartphone giant was recovering from poor sales and supply chain issues, the ban has hit right at the core of its India business model. Read on...
Major rejig of IPS officers in Tamil Nadu
As part of a major rejig of IPS officials in Tamil Nadu, the state government on Tuesday transferred City Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan and a host of other officers.
Viswanathan will be replaced by Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, according to a Home Department order issued late on Tuesday.
Viswanathan has been posted as ADGP, Operations, Chennai, vice Aggarwal.
Govt directs internet companies to immediately block Chinese apps
The government on Tuesday directed all internet service providers to block 59 Chinese mobile apps under emergency clause of the IT Act, according to sources.
The order has been issued in two sets -- the first set contains list of 35 apps and theother 24 apps based out of China, the sources said.
"Order to block all 59 Chinese apps to internet service providers have been issued now," a telecom ministry source told PTI.
The list has same set of apps as was announced by the government on Monday. It includes name ofTikTok, UC News, UC Browser, Viva Video, Mi Video Call, Bigo Live, Wechat etc.
India, China hold marathon Corps Commander talks
Indian and Chinese militaries on Tuesday held an over 10-hour Corps Commander-level dialogue with a focus on finalising modalities for the disengagement of troops from various standoff points in eastern Ladakh, and explored ways to ease tension in the region, government sources said.
In the meeting, the Indian delegation conveyed concerns over China's "new claim lines" in the region and demanded restoration of status quo ante as well as immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and a number of other areas, they said.
The talks took place on the Indian side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Chushul sector in eastern Ladakh. The meeting began at 11 AM and was continuing beyond 9 PM, the sources said.
TikTok goes offline
Short video sharing app TikTok went offline in the country on Tuesday following the government order banning it and 58 other apps citing threat to India's sovereignty and security.
The app was also removed from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The status of other banned apps could not be immediately ascertained.
According to some users, they were able to use the app for a brief period on Tuesday. It had 200 million users in India.
"Dear users, we are in the process of complying with the Government of India's directive to block 59 apps. Ensuring the privacy and security of all our users in India remains our utmost priority," as per a message displayed by the app.
TCS to announce Q1 results on July 9
IT services major Tata Consultancy Services on Tuesday said its board will meet on July 9 to approve the financial results for June quarter.
"...a meeting of the Board of Directors of TCS Limited is scheduled to be held on Thursday, July 9, 2020, inter alia to approve and take on record the audited financial results of the company under Indian Accounting Standards (Ind AS) for the quarter ending June 30, 2020," TCS said in a regulatory filing.
It added that the board will also consider declaration of interim dividend to equity shareholders.
Govt gives two-year extension to Union Bank of India MD
The government on Tuesday approved a two-year extension to Union Bank of India managing director Rajkiran Rai G.
With the extension of the term, he will continue as the MD of the bank till the superannuation - that is May 31, 2022 or until further order, according to a finance ministry notification.
As per the Banking Regulation Act, the upper age limit for the managing director of nationalised banks is 60 year.
Rai was appointed MD of Union Bank of India on July 1, 2017 for a period of three-years till June 30, 2020.
Non-food credit growth slows to 6.8 per cent in May
The non-food credit growth decelerated to 6.8 per cent year-on-year in May from 11.4 per cent in the same period of last year, RBI data showed.
The outstanding incremental non-food credit stood at Rs 90.3 lakh crore as of May 22, 2020, as against Rs 84.51 lakh crore on May 24, 2019.
In April, non-food credit growth decelerated to 7.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis from 11.9 per cent in the same month last year.
Bank loan growth to industry decelerated to 1.7 per cent in May from 6.4 per cent in the same month last year.
Within industry, credit growth to beverage and tobacco, petroleum, coal products and nuclear fuels, and paper and paper products accelerated, according to the RBI's release on Sectoral Deployment of Bank Credit May 2020.
Madhya Pradesh has the highest infant mortality rate in the country
Madhya Pradesh has the highest infant mortality rate in the country with 48 deaths for every 1,000 live births, while Kerala has the lowest IMR at just 7, according to latest data of Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India
IAF develops locust control system on Mi-17 helicopters
The Indian Air Force has successfully designed and developed an Airborne Locust Control System on Mi-17 helicopters for tackling the locust attacks. The machine developed by the Air Force can help in spraying pesticides over 750 hectares of land in one mission: Indian Air Force pic.twitter.com/oxYkdu6PGN
UK condemns China's 'deeply troubling' new Hong Kong law
The UK on Tuesday condemned the Chinese move to pass a controversial national security law in Hong Kong as a "deeply troubling" step, which it needs to see in detail to determine if it breaches the Joint Declaration under which the former British colony had been handed over to China in 1997.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said he would consider extra rights to an estimated 2.6 million Hong Kong-based people eligible for the British National (Overseas) passport, which would allow them visa-free travel to the UK for 12 months and a route to eventual British citizenship.
Earlier on Tuesday, when asked about China's move, he said: We are obviously deeply concerned about the decision to pass the national security law in Beijing as it affects Hong Kong.
Delhi riots: Police files charge sheet against nine in three cases
Delhi police has filed three charge sheets against nine persons for allegedly bludgeoning three people to death in three separate cases during riots in north-east Delhi in February.
The charge sheets were filed on Monday before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Kumar Gautam for the alleged murder of Hamza, Aamin and Bhure Ali.
Though police said that nine Muslim persons had died in Ganga Vihar/ Bhagirathi Vihar area on February 25 and 26, the charge sheets have been filed in relation to only three deaths as the investigation in the matter is on.
Direct investment rises in FY20, portfolio investment declines: RBI
Direct investment into the country rose by $19 billion while portfolio investment declined by $13.7 billion during 2019-20, according to the data on the International Investment Position (IIP) released by the Reserve Bank on Tuesday.
International financial assets of Indian residents increased by $73.9 billion due to the rise in reserve assets and overseas direct investment by $64.9 billion and $13.0 billion, respectively, though other investments declined marginally during the year, the RBI said in a release.
"Overall, net claims of non-residents on India declined by $57.6 billion during the year," it said.
EU agrees to reopen its borders to 15 countries from July 1
Latest News LIVE: Drones being used to spray insecticides on swarms of locusts in Agra
#WATCH Agra: Drones being used to spray insecticides as swarms of locusts arrive in the district. SN Singh, Assistant Director, Agriculture Department says, "Around 60% of locusts have been killed. 4 drones given by central government are being used to spray insecticides." pic.twitter.com/T8Get4CHm0
NCLT reserves order on SBI plea to recover Rs 1,200 crore from Anil Ambani
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday reserved its order on the State Bank of India plea against Anil Ambani to recover over Rs 1,200 crore under the personal guarantee clause of the bankruptcy law.
The public sector lender had approached the tribunal under Section 97(3) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), seeking its intervention to direct the insolvency board to nominate a resolution professional (RP) to assess and submit a report on the assets owned by Ambani.
Anil Ambani had given personal guarantee to the loans given to Reliance Communications and Reliance Infratel. After hearing both the sides, a division bench of a judicial member Mohammed Ajmal and a technical member Ravikumar Duraisamy reserved the order. READ MORE...
Latest News LIVE update: CISF nabs US-bound man with bullet at Delhi's IGI Airport
CISF has apprehended a US-bound passenger at the Delhi airport for allegedly carrying a bullet in his baggage, PTI reported on Tuesday.
Bhagwant Singh, travelling to Washington on an Air India flight, was intercepted with a 7.65 mm calibre bulletin his bag at the Indira Gandhi International Airport Monday night, according to PTI report.
The Central Industrial Security Force personnel immediately segregated him and questioned him. As Singh had no documents for carrying the bullet, a prohibited item on an aircraft, he was handed over to Delhi police, they said. Limited domestic and international (only under the Vande Bharat Mission) flights are operational in the country in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinese President Jinping signs new security law restricting Hong Kong freedom amid global outrage
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday signed a controversial security law that gave Beijing new powers over Hong Kong that are tailor-made to crackdown against dissent, criminalising sedition and effectively curtailing protests, amidst global anger and outrage in the former British colony, Press Trust of India reported.
Xi signed the legislation soon after Chinese lawmakers voted unanimously to adopt the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), according to PTI report.
The law -- facilitating the presence of Chinese security offices in Hong Kong, besides prohibiting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security -- was passed by the 162-member Standing Committee of China's legislature the National People's Congress (NPC). As soon as the draft legislation was adopted by the NPC, regarded as the rubber-stamp Parliament for its routine approval of whatever the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) proposes, Xi signed it immediately, making it into law ready for implementation.
A partly cloudy sky and light rain in isolated areas kept the mercury in check in the national capital on Tuesday. However, humidity levels shot up to 91 per cent, causing inconvenience to the residents.
A fresh bout of rain is expected over the weekend, according to the India Meteorological Department's forecast. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative figures for the city, recorded a maximum of 37.5 degrees Celsius, as against 40.7 degrees Celsius on Monday.
Most places recorded their maximum temperatures between 36 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius. The Met department said the city has recorded 3.2 mm rainfall since 8.30 pm on Monday. On Monday evening, a squall with winds gusting up to 68 kilometers per hour hit the city, uprooting a number of trees across the national capital.
Latest News LIVE update: India planning to buy more Spice-2000 bombs
Seeking to further strengthen its capability to hit ground targets, India is planning to acquire a lethal and more capable version of the Spice-2000 bombs.
The bombs, which were used effectively to destroy the Pakistani terrorist camp in Balakot town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province last year, are planned to be acquired by the Air Force as part of the emergency financial powers granted to the services in the middle of a row with China.
"The Indian Air Force already has the Spice-2000 bombs. It is now planning to acquire more stand-off weapons like the Spice-2000 bombs under the emergency procurement powers granted to the services," government sources told ANI.
The Spice-2000 bombs can hit targets upto 70 kms and the new variant inducted in the force can also destroy bunkers and hardened shelters, they said. The version used in the Balakot airstrikes could penetrate into hardened shelters and buildings and cause destruction inside. Under the emergency powers, the Narendra Modi government has granted financial power to the defence forces under which they can buy any weapon system under Rs 500 crore.
This emergency power was given close on the heels of recent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives. The armed forces were granted similar financial power after the Uri terror attack and the Balakot airstrike against Pakistan.
All apps must adhere to India's data integrity, privacy: Niti Aayog CEO
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Tuesday said all apps released in India must adhere to the country's data integrity, privacy and sovereignty, a day after the government banned 59 apps. Asserting that India has to be a data sovereign country, Kant also said apps must be transparent in terms of origin and final destination of data. The 59 apps, most of which have Chinese links, were banned by the government citing that they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.
"All Apps released in India must adhere to India's data integrity, privacy, sovereignty and transparency. "They must be transparent in origin & final destination of data. India has to be a data sovereign country. This is critical. Apps against whom action taken are lifestyle apps," Kant said in a tweet.
In a series of tweets, he also said that time is ripe for the best of India technology companies to develop technology solutions for India and the world.
Indians will leverage strength of diversity and build for India together, Kant said, adding that transparency, privacy, security and ease of access will be the key principles of our product design. He also pointed out thattheAarogyaSetu app, developed for tracking COVID-19 patients,has been a unique example of technology innovation in India, built for India, and used by millions of Indians.
"Many more such examples will be created by young Indian innovators," he said.
The ban on the 59 apps also came against the backdrop of the current stand-off between India and China along the Line of Actual control in Ladakh.
Sebi slaps Rs 11 crore fine on 28 entities on failing to make public announcement
Markets regulator Sebi on Tuesday slapped a total penalty of Rs 11 crore on 28 entities for failing to make public announcement related to the acquisition of shares of Murli Industries and not complying with directions passed by it.
The fine amount has to be paid by the entities jointly and severally.
In July 2015, Sebi had passed an order against the entities wherein it was established that they were acting in concert while acquiring shares in Murli Industries and were required to make public announcement within stipulated time period under the Takeover Regulations. By doing so, the entities violated Substantial Acquisition of Shares And Takeovers norms and consequently a total fine of Rs 10 crore has been levied on the entities. It was noted that the entities failed to comply with the directions of the regulator which required them to make the public announcement.
For not complying with the directions of the regulator passed in July 2015, the entities are facing a total fine of Rs 1 crore. Those who have been fined also include promoters of Murli Industries Ltd.
Among others, the entities include Runicha Alloys and Steel, Inco Infrastructure, Ramji Agri Business, Ambaji Papers, Kanhaiya Minning and Minerals, Krishnum Investment, Lakhi Packaging, Taitan Management service, Simple Mining and Power and Ramkrishna Fabrication and Machineries.
Core sector output shrinks for third straight month in May, shrinks 23.4%
Output of the 8 core sectors of the economy shrank by 23.4 per cent in May, as factories remained hamstrung by a lack of labour and cash in the wake of the nationwide coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.
While the contraction narrowed from April's record fall of 37 per cent, experts said the aftershocks of the lockdown would continue to weigh heavily on domestic industry, which is expected to post lower but certain contraction in coming months. ICRA predicts overall industrial production may see a contraction of 35-45 per cent in May, down from 55.5 per cent in April.
Updated figures released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Tuesday showed 7 out of the 8 core sectors of the economy continued to contract in May. The infrastructure segment continued to see the biggest production shocks among all sectors, despite slowing the fall. Steel production tumbled by 48.4 per cent after April's massive 78.7 per cent fall. However, cement production shrank by 22.2 per cent following a 85.3 per cent fall in April. Both the sectors were in the grip of volatility even before the lockdown, but strict social distancing norms have meant that construction activities have been suspended across the country.
Never claimed to have made medicine for Covid-19: Patanjali Ayurved
Patanjali Ayurved on Tuesday said that it never claimed to have made a medicine for coronavirus.
The Haridwar-based organisation has withdrawn from its earlier claim, in reply to the notice given by Uttarakhand Ayush Ministry.
"Patanjali has never claimed to make corona medicine. Rather, corona patients have been cured with this medicine. The drug was made under the license issued by the Ayush Ministry," stated the reply by Patanjali Ayurved CEO Acharya Balakrishna to the notice.
"We made the combination of Tulsi Giloy Ashwagandha at an advanced level and when the clinical trials were done on the patients of COVID-19, the coronavirus patients were cured. A conspiracy has been hatched against us and if the Ayush Ministry tells us to conduct clinical trials once again then we are ready to face it," he added.
Earlier in the month, Patanjali Ayurved, in collaboration with NIMS University, launched Coronil and Shwasari Vati, claiming to cure corona patients.
Gold in the national capital jumped Rs 119 to Rs 49,306 per 10 gram on Tuesday following rise in international prices of the precious metal, according to HDFC Securities.
In the previous trade, gold prices had closed at Rs 49,187 per 10 gram. Silver also rose by Rs 1,408 to Rs 49,483 per kg from Rs 48,075 per kg on Monday. In the international market, gold traded with gains at USD 1,773 per ounce and silver at USD 17.86 per ounce.
"Gold prices continued upside on Tuesday on weak global cues which fetched safe-haven interest from the investors," HDFC Securities Senior Analyst (Commodities) Tapan Patel said.
Testing of railway engine performed on the Pamban railway bridge in Rameswaram
Latest News LIVE update: HC suspends two FIRs against Arnab Goswami in Maharashtra
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday suspended two FIRs filed against Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami for allegedly making inflammatory comments, saying that on the face of it no offence was disclosed.
The FIRs pertain to Goswami's comments about the Palghar lynching incident and migrants gathering in large numbers in Bandra area of Mumbai during lockdown. A division bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Riyaz Chagla noted that while Goswami's comments targeted the Congress and its president Sonia Gandhi, he did not make any statement that would cause public disharmony or incite violence between different religious groups.
Citing observations made by the Supreme Court that India's freedom will rest safe as long as journalists can speak to power without being chilled by a threat of reprisal, the bench in its order said free citizens cannot exist when the news media is chained to adhere to any one position.
"We cannot have the spectacle of a Damocles' sword hanging over the head of a journalist while conducting a public debate. India is now a mature democracy," the HC said. "Seventy years into our republic, we cannot be seen to be skating on thin ice so much that mere mention of a place of worship will lead to animosity or hatred among religious communities causing upheaval and conflagration on the streets. Subscribing to such a view would stifle all legitimate discussions and debates in the public domain," the court said.
While admitting for final hearing the petition filed by Goswami seeking to quash the two FIRs, the court directed the police not to take any coercive action until the disposal of the plea.
LIVE: India looks to sign long-term LNG deal benchmarked to spot prices
In a first, India's biggest LNG importer Petronet on Tuesday said it is close to signing a long-term LNG deal benchmarked to daily or spot prices, which generally are lower than standard rates of such contracts.
India bought liquefied natural gas (LNG) under long-term contracts from Qatar and Australia at an average of USD 3.5-4.5 per million British thermal unit in the current quarter. Spot or current prices of LNG - gas turned into liquid at sub-zero temperature for ease of transporting in ships - are in the range of USD 2.
"We are very close to a long-term deal on the daily benchmark. There will be a long term deal but on a daily benchmark," Petronet LNG Ltd CEO and Managing Director Prabhat Singh told reporters here.
Refusing to give details of the supplier, he said the company was initially looking at buying 1 million tonnes of LNG under such a contract and would scale it up depending on the response from customers. Petronet had in February sought bids from suppliers for 1 million tones of LNG per year for 10 years, starting 2024. The company wanted 1 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of LNG on a delivered ex-ship (DES) basis.
Loan recasts to only defer problem, NPAs may zoom up to 14% due to Covid-19: S&P
Amid reports of the RBI mulling restructuring of loans, global rating agency S&P on Tuesday said that a loan recast will only defer NPAs recognition and not solve the problem. The agency also said operational outages and the recession because of the pandemic will have a deeper and longer impact on lenders than previously assumed, and estimated the gross non-performing assets ratio to rise up to 14 per cent in FY2021 from the 8.5 per cent in FY2020.
"The COVID-19 pandemic may set back the recovery of India's banking sector by years, which could hit credit flows and, ultimately, the economy," the agency said.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to prolonged lockdowns and a chilling of economic activity, forcing the RBI to declare a six-month voluntary moratorium on loan repayments till September.
The RBI, which had stopped the practice of loan forbearance, is reportedly mulling to reintroduce restructuring with a few safeguards.
"... restructuring may not resolve the problem. It may just defer NPL (non performing loans) recognition, as it did a few years ago, the agency said.
It reminded that in the past, rampant restructuring had led the RBI to come up with an asset quality review and withdrew forbearance on the majority of restructured loans, leading to exceptionally high credit costs on banks. In its base case, the agency expects slippages or the addition to the NPAs to come at 6 per cent during the fiscal. If the RBI allows for restructuring of loans, it may reduce the loan slippages this fiscal, it noted.
Latest News LIVE update: HDFC Bank launches 'e-Kisaan Dhan' app for farmers
HDFC Bank on Tuesday launched 'e-Kisaan Dhan' app for farmers across India to access a bouquet of agricultural and banking services on their mobile. The app, which serves as a repository of knowledge and information for any individual engaged in farming, helps meet needs of the rural ecosystem.
The app will also provide value-added services, like mandi prices, latest farming news, weather forecast, information on seed varieties, SMS advisory, e-pashuhaat and Kisan TV, according to a HDFC Bank statement.
Users can also avail multiple banking services, like procuring loans, opening bank accounts, insurance facilities, online calculation of KCC loan eligibility, and for acquiring government social security schemes. The app will help with traditional banking services and keep users informed about new government schemes and ways to access them. It's part of the bank's 'Har Gaon Hamara' initiative to reach out to customers in the rural and under-served areas.
Banning some apps isn't enough, we have to give China a befitting reply: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
I am extending free ration for poor till June 2021: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee
Latest News LIVE update: AAP to hold protest against fuel price hike tomorrow
After Congress launched a nation-wide campaign against incessant hike in fuel prices, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said that it will also take to the streets to protest against the same on July 1.
"Aam Aadmi Party will lead a nation-wide protest against the spike in petrol and diesel prices on July 1 at 11 a.m.," stated party leader Gopal Rai on Twitter in Hindi.
This came a day after Congress leaders and party workers took out symbolic cycle rides and attacked the government for adding to the hardship of ordinary people by hiking fuel prices. The party blamed the Centre for increasing the fuel prices for three-weeks straight at a time when global oil prices were low. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also asked the government to stop profiteering from the motor fuel and roll back the recent hikes.
In a video, released here on Monday, Rahul Gandhi said, "The effect of rise in diesel and petrol prices are two-fold. One that you pay directly, and the other due to the rise in prices of consumer products, including essential items." Starting from June 7, petrol price has increased by Rs 9.17 and diesel by Rs 11.14 in the national capital. In the other cities the magnitude of increase was similar.
Latest News LIVE update: Sensex, Nifty pare early gains, end marginally lower
Equity benchmark Sensex surrendered all its early gains to end 46 points lower on Tuesday as investors turned cautious ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation.
After jumping 272.39 points during the day, the 30-share index turned negative and settled 45.72 points, or 0.13 per cent, down at 34,915.80; while the NSE Nifty slipped 10.30 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 10,302.10. PowerGrid was the top laggard in the Sensex pack, shedding around 2 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, ITC, ONGC, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries. On the other hand, Maruti, Nestle India, ICICI Bank and UltraTech Cement were among the gainers.
Indian market pared intra-day gains as participants adopted a wait and watch approach ahead of Modi's address. Concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and its impact on economic recovery remained a key factor for investors, analysts said. The number of cases around the world linked to the disease has crossed 1.03 crore and the death toll has topped 5.05 lakh. In India, the number of infections spiked to 5,66,840 and the death toll rose to 16,893.
Meanwhile, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan and Seoul ended with significant gains. However, stock exchanges in Europe started on a tepid note. International oil benchmark Brent crude futures fell 1.36 per cent to USD 41.28 per barrel. On the currency front, the rupee settled 7 paise higher at 75.51 against the US dollar.
Centre's ban on Chinese apps draws mixed reaction from citizens
As the Central government on Monday banned 59 mobile apps including Tik Tok, some people opined that government should provide some time to save the videos and data that have been uploaded on these apps, before banning them while others strongly believe that such apps should be uninstalled from the mobile phones right away.
"It should happen, it's necessary. A lot of people have become famous by using these apps so at least a time period should be given of around two to three months before banning these apps," said Ajay Kumar from Chandigarh. "I do not have knowledge about Tik Tok app but many people used to upload their videos on it. According to me, these apps should not be operational," said Anil Kumar.
A Lucknow resident told ANI, China keeps on bothering us and attacks our country so it's a good decision. We should delete such apps. "I have deleted all these apps," he added. "It's a good decision, we will never tolerate if someone dares to harm our country. We are using such apps which are made by other countries and they are harming our country. I wish that the government should ban these apps as soon as possible. Some alternatives should also be planned," said Sneha.
Coronavirus LIVE: Recovery rate of Covid-19 patients nearing 60%, says Union Health Ministry
The recovery rate of COVID-19 patients in the country is fast approaching 60 per cent, with the Union Health Ministry attributing it to collective and focussed efforts of the Centre and states for containment and management of the pandemic.
As on date, there are 1,19,696 more recovered patients than COVID-19 active cases. The number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 2,15,125, while 3,34,821 patients have been cured/discharged.A total of 13,099 COVID-19 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours, the ministry said.
"This has resulted in the recovery rate amongst COVID-19 patients further improving to 59.07 per cent," it said on Tuesday.
The number of diagnostic labs is continuously increasing and India now has 1,049 labs dedicated to COVID-19. These include 761 labs in the government sector and 288 private labs. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 86,08,654 samples have been tested up to June 29 with 2,10,292 samples tested on Monday.
Uttarakhand wildlife advisory panel approves transfer of forest land for 3 roads near China border
Amid the continuing tension with China along the LAC in Ladakh, the Uttarakhand State Wildlife Advisory Board has approved proposals for transfer of 73.36 hectares of forest land within the protected Gangotri National Park for construction of three strategically important roads near the India-China border, PTI reported.
The roads will reduce the distance to the border considerably and make easier the movement of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel, who at present have walk up to 25 kms to reach there, officials said.
The proposals were approved on Monday during the 15th meeting of the board chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Principal Secretary (Forest) Anand Vardhan told PTI on Tuesday. A recommendation for a final clearance will now be sent to the National Board for Wildlife within a week, Vardhan said.
The three stretches include the 17.60-km Mandi-Sangchola road, the 11.85-km Sumla-Thangla road and the 6.21-km Tripadi-Rangmachgaad road. The roads are to be developed by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in the protected Gangotri National Park area in Uttarkashi district. Around 73.36 hectares of forest land at different sites within the Gangotri National Park are to be transferred for construction of the roads, Vardhan said.
The board unanimously agreed that proposals for the construction of roads which are important from the point of view of national security should be sent to the National Board for Wildlife for final clearance, the officer said. The panel also decided to send a recommendation to the National Board for Wildlife for transferring forest land for the expansion of Dehradun's Jollygrant Airport, he said.
Latest News LIVE update: Zomato rechristens membership programme Gold to Zomato Pro
Online restaurant guide and food ordering platformZomato on Tuesday said it hasrechristened its membership programme Zomato Gold to Zomato Pro to include more discounts and privileges, PTI reported.
"All Zomato Gold members across 10 countries will automatically get upgraded to Zomato Pro starting August 1, 2020," ZomatoCo-founder and COOGaurav Gupta said in a blog post.
The company has launched an initiative to rechristen Zomato Gold to Zomato Pro and make it a bigger, better all-encompassing membership that unlocks amazing privileges and discounts at the best restaurantsacross dining out and delivery,he added.
This is in addition to some never-seen-before exclusive privileges on the Zomato app and a unique money-back guarantee for all Pro members, Gupta said. Zomato Pro members will continue to enjoy existing offers (on Zomato Gold) across a wide selection of restaurants, he added. Zomato Pro has been designed to be much more friendly for a wider variety of restaurant businesses, Gupta said.
"We have signed up around 50 per cent more partner restaurants on Zomato Prothan what we had on Zomato Gold across dining out and delivery," he added.
The restaurant industry is struggling during the COVID-19 crisis, and "we hope that Zomato Pro can be one of the most important levers to drive growth, and help restaurant businesses cover up the losses incurred in the last few months," Gupta said.
PM Modi extends PM Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana till end of November
In his televised address to the nation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the PM Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana until the end of November. The scheme will cover around 800 million people. Explaining the steps taken by his government in dealing with the impact of Covid-19 in India, the PM said that we are at a stage, especially after lockdown, where we needed to take more precautions to stay safe from the coronavirus.
"We are entering a time when we all become prone to common illnesses. So, I urge everyone to take good care of themselves," he said. "So far as coronavirus is concerned, India is better placed than the rest of the world, said the PM. The timely implementation of the lockdown in India saved many lives," he added.
The Prime Minister also delivered a word of caution when he noted that since Unlock 1 has been implemented, we are becoming more and more careless. Measures like wearing maks and maintaining social distancing are not being followed strictly, he said.
"The need of the hour is that everyone take the same level of precaution as during lockdown, especially in containment zones. We will have to take it upon ourselves to caution and advise everyone who is not taking the precautions. We saw recently that the PM of a country was fined the equivalent of Rs 13,000 for not wearing a mask at a public place. He advised local administrations to adopt a similar attitude.
Govt able to provide free food grains to the poor and the needy, the credit goes to farmers and honest taxpayers: PM Modi
Today, if the government is able to provide free food grains to the poor and the needy, the credit goes to two sections. First, the hardworking farmers of our country and second, the honest taxpayers. I thank you from my heart: PM Narendra Modi
Hard work and dedication of honest taxpayers and farmers allowed India to tide over such a grave crisis: PM Modi
The hard work and dedication of you — honest taxpayers and farmers — is what has allowed the country to tide over such a grave crisis for the financially weaker sections of the country
Every member of household will get 5 kg or rice or flour every month until the end of November: PM Modi
Every member of household will get 5 kg or rice or flour every month until the end of November, in addition to 1 kg chana every month for each family: PM Narendra Modi
We need to have a special focus on containment zones: PM Narendra Modi
During lockdown, rules were strictly abided by. Now, governments, local administration and citizens again have to show similar caution. We need to have a special focus on containment zones. If you see someone flouting norms, tell them to not do so: PM Narendra Modi
In our country, during monsoon and after that, primarily there is a lot of work in the agriculture sector: PM Modi
In our country, during monsoon and after that, primarily there is a lot of work in the agriculture sector. The other sectors go relatively easy, with several festivals and festivities all lined up in quick succession: PM Narendra Modi
2.5 times as many people as the population of the US — have got the benefit of free ration in this country: PM Modi
Aside from all these, what has surprised the world is how such a large number of people — 2.5 times as many people as the population of the US — have got the benefit of free ration in this country: PM Narendra Modi
Soon after the lockdown was announced, immediately we came up with PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana, under which Rs 1.75 trillion were spent: PM Modi
We will have to take it upon ourselves to caution and advise everyone who is not taking the precautions: PM Modi
The need of the hour is that everyone take the same level of precaution as during lockdown, especially in containment zones: PM Modi
However, since Unlock 1 has been implemented, I see we are becoming more and more careless: PM Modi
However, since Unlock 1 has been implemented, I see we are becoming more and more careless. Measures like social distancing are not being followed strictly: PM Narendra Modi
LIVE updates: PM Narendra Modi begins address to the nation
India's Chinese app ban seen jolting $1 billion expansion of ByteDance
An Indian ban on dozens of Chinese apps following a border clash between the two nations has possibly derailed a $1 billion India expansion plan of China's ByteDance, while also sparking an uproar from users of its popular TikTok video app, Reuters reported.
TikTok was removed from Google and Apple app stores in India after New Delhi said on Monday night it was among the 59 apps which it believed posed a "threat to sovereignty and integrity".
The government order didn't name China, or cite the border clashes. App analytics firm Sensor Tower said all the 59 apps named were of Chinese origin, including Tencent's WeChat and Alibaba's UC Browser. "If this is not rolled back, these companies would be constrained to cut back their operations in India, potentially resulting in a loss of employment," said a lawyer who advises a Chinese company whose app has been banned in India.
China's foreign ministry said it was "strongly concerned" about India's decision, adding that India had a "responsibility to uphold the legitimate legal rights of investors including the Chinese companies."
The biggest casualty of the move appears to be ByteDance, which has since last year hired several senior executives and laid out plans to invest $1 billion in India. India is TikTok's top growth market and accounts for 30% of its 2 billion downloads worldwide. TikTok said in a statement the Indian government had invited the company to respond to the ban and submit clarifications, adding that it complies with all data security and privacy requirements.
Employee of a hotel in Nellore under Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department beat up a woman colleague
The police complaint in the matter states that the incident took place after the woman asked the man to wear a mask. It also mentions that the two had previous enmity. #AndhraPradeshhttps://t.co/TPz9vtrkrQ
Global supply chain to shift, low imports from China will benefit: Raymond
Homegrown textiles and apparels major Raymond expects to reap the benefits of likely low imports from China in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. It is also looking at long-term funding and alternate working capital availability to manage liquidity as business restarts with gradual easing of lockdown.
Disclosing its current status of operations post lockdown, the company said commodity prices have softened due to the pandemic. This would lower the input costs and support the overall profitability this fiscal. Easing of commodity prices such as of cotton and wool are likely to benefit the company going forward along with softened oil prices, it said.
Latest News LIVE update: Retail inflation for industrial workers eases to 5.1% in May
The retail inflation for industrial workers dipped to 5.1 per cent in Maydue to lower prices of certain food items and kerosene oil. The retail inflation for industrial workers is measured through Consumer Price Index for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW).
"Inflation based on all items stood at 5.10 per cent for May, 2020 as compared to 5.45 per cent for the previous month (April 2020) and 8.65 per cent during the corresponding month ( May 2019) of the previous year," a labour ministry statement said. Similarly, as per the data,food inflation stood at 5.88 per cent against 6.56 per cent in the previous month and 5.21 per cent in May 2019.
The All-India CPI-IW for May 2020 increased by 1 point and stood at 330. On 1-month percentage change, it increased by 0.30 per cent between April and May, 2020 compared to 0.64 per cent increase between the same months of the previous year. The maximum upward pressure in current index came from Food group contributing 0.67 percentage points rise to the total change.
Not right to make children wait for midday meals: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court has said that it's not right to make children wait for midday meals for months and that children should not be made to suffer on this account.
"Midday meals for children (in schools) can't wait for months...," the court remarked while hearing a petition that sought directions to provide midday meals or food security allowance to children in the national capital. "Plus and minus keep on happening in accounts, but because of this, children should not suffer," a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan said.
The court observations came after Delhi government counsel said that funds needed for providing midday meals in government schools are yet to come. During the course of the hearing, the counsel urged for more time to file an additional affidavit in this regard. The court accepted the request and posted the matter for further hearing on July 21.
Petitioner-NGO Mahila Ekta Manch had prayed for court directions to the Delhi government to provide cooked midday meals or food security allowances to eligible children during the COVID-19 lockdown when schools in the national capital are shut. The petitioner said the purpose was to boost the immunity of poor children during the pandemic, citing that they were approached by the parents of children who were beneficiaries of the scheme.
Latest News LIVE: Eastern Ladakh standoff: India, China hold third round of Lt Gen-level talks
Indian and Chinese militaries on Tuesday held another round of Lt General-level talks with a focus on finalising modalities for disengagement of troops from several friction points in eastern Ladakh, government sources said. The talks took place at a meeting point in Chushul sector on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, they said.
In the previous two rounds of talks, the Indian side pitched for restoration of status quo ante and immediate withdrawal of Chinese troops from Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and a number of other areas.
The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a bitter standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last seven weeks, and the tension escalated manifold after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. In the talks on June 22, the two sides arrived at a "mutual consensus" to "disengage" from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh.
The previous two rounds of dialogue took place at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC. The Indian delegation at the meeting is headed by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh, while the Chinese side was to be led by the Commander of the Tibet Military District Major General Liu Lin.
French Defence Minister writes to Rajnath Singh, condoles death of 20 Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley
French Defence Minister Florence Parly writes letter to her Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, condoles death of 20 Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley, offers to visit India to boost bilateral strategic cooperation: French diplomatic sources (PTI)
Latest News LIVE update: Odisha allows counter sale of liquor from Wednesday
The Odisha government will allow over-the-counter sale of liquor from Wednesday after more than three months, and one needs to book a time-slot through an online system for buying alcoholic beverages from the outlets, PTI reported. The liquor shops across the state will remain open from 7 am to 6 pm, according to a notification issued by the Excise Department on Tuesday.
The government allows the counter sale of liquor in OFF and ON shops in addition to the ongoing home delivery of these items from July 1, the notification said. An online system for generation of e-token and booking of time-slot has been developed by the Odisha State Beverage Corporation with the National Informatics Centre to regulate crowd at the shops, it said.
The liquor shops in the state remain closed since March 22 in the wake of the lockdown. Retailers have also been asked to ensure that consumers book time slots to visit their outlets and give adequate publicity for the same, an official of the department said.
Latest News LIVE update: Chopper flagged off for locust control operations in Rajasthan
Greater Noida: Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar flags off a helicopter for locust control operations in Barmer, Rajasthan. pic.twitter.com/wVeP2XsfIx
Latest News LIVE update: Rupee settles 7 paise higher at 75.51 against US dollar
The rupee on Tuesday settled 7 paise higher at 75.51 (provisional) against the US dollar tracking gains in the domestic equity market.
Forex traders said rupee traded in a narrow range as positive domestic equities supported the local unit, while foreign fund outflows and concerns over rising COVID-19 cases weighed on investor sentiment. The rupee opened strong at 75.48 and settled for the day at 75.51 against the US dollar, up 7 paise over its previous close. It had settled at 75.58 against the greenback on Monday.
During the four-hour trading session, the domestic unit saw an intra-day high of 75.45 and a low of 75.58 against the American currency. Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.09 per cent to 97.62. The 30-share BSE benchmark Sensex was trading 115.95 points higher at 35,077.47 and broader NSE Nifty rose 32.25 points to 10,344.65.
Indian bond yields fall to over one-week low after special OMO announcement
India's benchmark 10-year bond yield dropped to its lowest level in over a week on Tuesday after the Reserve Bank of India announced a special open market operation to simultaneously buy and sell debt on July 2.
The yield dropped to a low of 5.86%, its lowest level since June 22 and down 4 basis points versus its close on Monday.
The RBI said on Monday it will buy up to Rs 100 billion ($1.32 billion) worth of papers in the 9-13 year tenor from the market on July 2, while also selling 6- and 12-month treasury bills of the same value. READ MORE...
Latest News LIVE update: AAP to hold nationwide protest tomorrow against fuel price hike
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Rai on Tuesday announced that the party will hold protests across the country on July 1 against the rising prices of petrol and diesel.
"On July 1, at 11 am, Aam Aadmi Party will hold protests across the country against the rising prices of petrol and diesel," Rai tweeted.
After the prices of petrol and diesel were increased by Rs 0.05 and Rs 0.13 respectively on Monday. The cost of petrol per litre stands at Rs 80.43 and diesel prices stand at Rs 80.53 in Delhi.
Oil marketing companies have been adjusting retail rates in line with costs after an 82-day break from rate revision amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. These firms on June 7 restarted revising prices in line with costs. Before the nation entered the lockdown, the average price of petrol and diesel in Delhi was Rs 69.60 per litre and Rs 62.30 per litre respectively.
Pakistan repeatedly trying to send terrorists from launching pads, attempts have been foiled: Jammu and Kashmir DGP
Pakistan is repeatedly trying to send terrorists from their launching pads, but many such attempts have been foiled earlier and will be thwarted in future too: Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh pic.twitter.com/RyyTes0Bkl
Latest News LIVE update: 4.0-magnitude earthquake hits Jammu region
An earthquake of magnitude 4.0 hit the Jammu region in the early hours of Tuesday, officials said. No casualty or damage to property was reported, they said.
The earthquake occurred at 8.56 am and its epicenter was in Bhalasa belt of Doda district, according to the officials. The tremors were also felt in Kishtwar, Ramban, Kathua and Udhampur districts, they said.
Water-flow increases in Galwan river, need for specialised waterproof clothing felt on Indian side
As the water-flow has increased in the Galwan river, the Indian Security forces are now feeling the need for specialised waterproof clothing for the troops deployed there in a standoff position with China, ANI reported. The Chinese side seems to have come prepared for the deployment as their troops deployed in the Galwan river valley bed are wearing water-proof clothes which allows them to step in the icy water there.
"There is a need felt for specialised clothing for deployment alongside the river with ice-cold water as the water flow has increased in the river with the rise in temperature," sources told ANI.
The Chinese side which has made camps all along the Galwan river valley up to near the Indian Patrolling Point 14 has come with specialised clothing where the lower portion of the combat dress is made up of waterproof material which allows them to step into the water, the sources said.
The Galwan river after originating from Aksai Chin passes through the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and merged with the Shyok river near Indian PP-14. Earlier also while patrolling the area from KM-120 post to the PP-14, Indian security men had to step inside the river water which would wet their shoes, they said.
Sources said the special clothing with Chinese could have helped them in avoiding a higher number of hypothermia casualties during the Galwan valley clash on June 15 with Indian soldiers. The Indian side is also preparing itself for the possible long term deployment in the Galwan valley and other areas where the Chinese have deployed heavily along the LAC.
China says concerned about India banning Chinese apps
China said on Tuesday it was concerned about India's decision to ban Chinese mobile apps such as Bytedance's TikTok and Tencent's WeChat and was making checks to verify the situation, Reuters reported.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that India has a responsibility to uphold the rights of Chinese businesses.
India on Monday banned 59, mostly Chinese, mobile apps in its strongest move yet targeting China in the online space since a border crisis erupted between the two countries this month.
Latest News LIVE update: Aditya Birla Fashion's Rs 995-crore rights issue to launch on July 8
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail will be launching a rights issue at Rs 995 crore on July 8, ANI reported.
It will allow existing shareholders of the company to subscribe to shares at a price of Rs 110 per share. The rights issue will close on July 22, the company said in regulatory filings at stock exchanges. The proceeds of the rights issue will largely be used to repay in whole or part some of the existing loan facilities availed by the company.
As per terms of payment of issue price, the investors will have to pay 50 per cent of the subscription amount upfront with the rest payable in two tranches of 25 per cent each in January 2021 and July 2021. Existing shareholders are eligible for nine shares for every 77 existing shares held by them.
The promoter group, led by Kumar Mangalam Birla, will fully subscribe to the extent of their rights entitlement and do not intend to renounce such rights except to the extent of renunciation within the promoters and promoter group. It will also subscribe to any additional equity shares in the issue for ensuring subscription to the extent of at least 90 per cent of the issue.
Latest News LIVE: Held wide-ranging discussion with French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian, says S Jaishankar
Wide-ranging discussion with French FM Jean-Yves Le Drian. Covered issues of contemporary security & political importance. Agreed to address COVID-related challenges in health & aviation. Thanked him for strong support in UNSC, look forward to working together: EAM S Jaishankar pic.twitter.com/4LDDOov20y
Coronavirus peak linked to consistent decline in daily toll: Healthcare expert
Only when the daily death toll due to coronavirus comes down consistently can one say for sure that COVID-19 has peaked in India, a prominent public health care expert said on Tuesday.
President of Public Health Foundation of India Prof. K Srinath Reddy said the country is seeing greater spread of the virus because of increase in testing rates, and mobility and mixing of people post the COVID-19-induced lockdown. The explosion in cases is seen mostly in big cities and in surrounding districts, while large parts of India are still not showing high intensity of infection, according to him.
"So, our duty is to try and protect those places and slow down the spread there as well as quickly put down the infection in some of the urban areas where we are seeing high intensity of infections," Reddy, who formerly headed the Department of Cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),told PTI.
With 18,522 people testing positive for coronavirus in a single day, India's COVID-19 tally climbed to 5,66,840 on Tuesday while the toll rose to 16,893 with 418 new fatalities, the Union Health Ministry data said. He said with testing numbers increasing and testing criteria changing, it's difficult to say in relative terms when COVID-19 will peak and when it will come down.
"But if daily death counts start coming down, then we are certain about it.
Tuticorin SP shunted out, put on 'compulsory wait'
The Superintendent of Police of Tuticorin, where a father-son duo died after being allegedly thrashed by the police last week, was on Tuesday shunted out of the district and placed under "compulsory wait" by the Tamil Nadu government.
Arun Balagopalan IPS "is brought to the compulsory wait at office of the Director General of Police," a Home Department order said.
Villupuram SP S Jeyakumar has been appointed in place of Balagopalan.
The government also posted S Murugan, IG, Economic Offences Wing, Chennai as the IG, South Zone, vice KP Shanmuga Rajeswaran, who is retiring today.
Madurai Bench of Madras High Court asks Tirunelveli IG if it will be possible to take up the case until it is handed over to CBI
Postmortem report presented before the court. Judges say that there are grounds for registering a case against the police officials.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says over 1 crore people benefitted from state govt's 'Shiv Bhojan' thali scheme
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray says over 1 crore people benefitted from state govt's 'Shiv Bhojan' thali scheme, which was started in January this year to serve full meal to the poor at Rs 10
UP Congress minority cell chief Shahnawaz Alam arrested
UP Congress minority cell chief Shahnawaz Alam arrested in connection with violence during anti-CAA protest in Lucknow on December 19 last year: Police
2 hardcore terrorists were killed in an encounter in Waghama area of Anantnag today: J&K police
2 hardcore terrorists were killed in an encounter in Waghama area of Anantnag today. In the last 24 hours, Anantnag Police and security forces have neutralised 5 terrorists. Police are playing a leading role in anti-terrorist operations: IG Kashmir Vijay Kumar
A team on Enforcement Directorate arrives at the residence of Congress leader Ahmed Patel for questioning in connection with Sandesara scam
Delhi: A team on Enforcement Directorate arrives at the residence of Congress leader Ahmed Patel for questioning in connection with Sandesara scam pic.twitter.com/6t7lXXLh8h