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Meet Suriname's new Indian-origin President Chandrikapersad Santokhi who took oath in Sanskrit holding Vedas

Suriname's newly-elected President, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, took the oath in Sanskrit while holding Vedas during the inauguration ceremony on July 16. The Indian-origin Santokhi also repeated the Sanskrit verses chanted by the priest. He has become the ninth president of the South American country after replacing Desi Bouterse from the top post.

A video of the inauguration ceremony has gone viral on the internet with congratulatory messages pouring in for Chandrikapersad Santokhi.

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Who is Chandrikapersad Santokhi?

Born on February 3, 1959, in Suriname's Lelydorp, Santokhi received a scholarship to study in the Netherlands. He studied at the Police Academy of the Netherlands and returned to the South American country to work for the police. Since the age of 23, Santokhi worked as a police inspector. In 1989, he was appointed as head of the national criminal investigation department and later in 1991 he became the chief commissioner of police.

In September 2005, Santokhi was sworn in as Minister of Justice and Police on behalf of the Progressive Reform Party. During his tenure, he was known for being a no-nonsense officer and also cracked down crime in the country.

Interestingly, the country is a former Dutch colony where people of Indian descent make up the largest ethnic group comprising 27.4 per cent of the population of 587,000.

Earlier, Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar congratulated Art of Living (Suriname) President Krishna Mathoera on becoming the Defense Minister of the country. "Congratulations to Krishna Mathoera, President, @ArtofLiving Suriname, on becoming the Minister of Defence, Suriname. I wish her all success & good health," he tweeted.


India records highest single day spike of 49,310 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 12,87,945

India on Friday recorded the highest single day spike of 49,310 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours, while 1,129 new fatalities have been recorded in the country, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The total number of coronavirus cases stand at 12,87,945 including 4,40,135 active cases, 8,17,209 cured/discharged/migrated. The cumulative toll has reached 30,601 deaths.

Maharashtra has reported 3,47,502 coronavirus cases, the highest among states and Union Territories in the country. A total of 1,92,964 cases have been reported from Tamil Nadu till now, while Delhi has recorded 1,27,364 coronavirus cases.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 3,52,801 samples were tested for coronavirus on Thursday and overall 1,54,28,170 samples have been tested so far.

Is Amazon looking to invest 9.9 per cent in Reliance Retail?

After Facebook and Google invested heavily in Reliance Jio, a report that Jeff Bezos-led Amazon plans on investing 9.9 per cent in Reliance Retail Ltd, an Economic Times Now report said.

The reported talks between Amazon and Reliance Retail comes a few days after RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, who was recently named the fifth richest man in the world, expressed interest in backing for the retail chain.

Earlier, Reliance launched JioMart to take on Amazon and Flipkart.

JioMart will deliver groceries in more than 200 towns across the country, said Damodar Mall, Cheif Executive of the grocery retailer.

The launch of JioMart will be a formiddable challenge to the rivals who are looking to grow their businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier, after signing a massive $5.7 billion deal with Facebook, Reliance Industries latest venture to expand into the retail market, JioMart, had reportedly gone live with its official WhatsApp number.

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has said that in the near future, JioMart and Whatsapp will empower nearly 3 crore small Indian Kirana shops to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood. "This means all of you can order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items, from nearby local shops," Ambani said earlier.

He added that at the same time, small Kiranas can grow their businesses and create new employment opportunities using digital technologies.

Watch: Madhya Pradesh police team rescue two girls who ventured into Pench River to take a selfie

The Madhya Pradesh police on Friday rescued two girls who had ventured into the Pench river in the state to take a selfie.

A video of the same has gone viral.


In the video, the girls are seen standing in the middle of the river on a small rock, trying to balance themselves by holding each other. The river currents are rapid and one false move can pull a person down the waterfall that can be seen in the bottom right of the video.

A team of policemen are seen taking necessary precautions to rescue the girls.

According to a study published by US-based Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in Delhi Over the past two years, a total of 127 deaths have been reported to be caused due to selfies, of which whopping 76 deaths occurred in India alone.

According to reports, people have died while clicking dangerous selfies in front of train, falling from a slippery rock, slipping from mountain and near sea shore during high tide. In the quest for the coolest selfie, people lose their lives. This happens because of people’s desire for more ‘Likes’ and ‘Comments’ on social media for driving increasingly risky selfie-taking. The study suggests that most of the people who died were below the age of 24.

The most common cause of death worldwide was falling off a building or mountain, which was responsible for 29 deaths. The second-most common is being hit by a train, which is responsible for 11 deaths. Most of the Indian deaths were water related.

Cold War heats up: China orders the United States to close its consulate in Chengdu

It’s like the Cold War revisited again. China has ordered the United States to close its consulate in Chengdu two days after the United States called for the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas to be shut down, the Spectator Index reported.

The United States and China have been at loggerheads even before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, with the two nations almost getting into a trade war.

Then when COVID-19 pandemic broke out, US President Donald Trump kept referring to it as the Wuhan virus or the Chinese virus, much to the chagrin of the Xi Jinping-led government. Chinese authorities even suggested that the United States was the one to spread the virus after its officials visited China with the infection.

Earlier, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin condemned the US calling for the closing of the US Consulate in Houston, which comes as tensions rise between the world's two largest economies. He warned of firm countermeasures if the U.S. does not reverse its decision.

Media reports in Houston said that authorities had responded to reports of a fire at the consulate. Witnesses said that people were burning paper in what appeared to be trash cans, the Houston Chronicle reported, citing police.

China's move to impose national security law in Hong Kong, its human rights violation in Xinjiang and territorial aggression in South China Sea have all drawn fierce criticism from Washington.

For a period of time, the U.S. government has repeatedly shifted blame to the Chinese side, stigmatized and attacked China, made unprovoked attacks on China's social system, and deliberately put obstacles in the way of Chinese diplomatic and consular staff in the United States. In the meantime, the U.S. side has also intimidated, interrogated Chinese students studying in the United States, confiscated their personal electronic devices, and even detained them for no reason, noted Wang.

'PM Modi 100% focused on building his own image': Rahul Gandhi in latest China video

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday posted a new video and slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "not having any vision" amid the tensions between India and China. In the two-minute five seconds video, the Wayanad MP explained, "how India should respond to China".

Gandhi said that India must deal with China from a position of strength and have an international vision. "If you deal with them from a position of strength, you can work with them, you can get what you need and it can be actually done. But if they sense weakness then you had it. The first thing is you are not going to take on China without a vision and I don't mean a national vision, I mean an international vision. In an attempt to change the nature of the planet, India has to have a global vision. India now has to become an idea and it has to become a global idea. The thing that is going to help India is to think big," he said.

He said that India has to change its approach regarding the border issue with China. "We have to change our approach. We have to think about the long term and not disturb our internal balance. We are fighting among one another. Just look at the politics all day long. It is because there is no clear cut vision going forward," he said.

Rahul Gandhi added that PM Modi doesn't have any vision and that is the reason for China's incursion. "I know the PM is an opponent, my responsibility is to ask him questions and put pressure on him so that he does his work. His responsibility is to give a vision, which is not there and that is why China is in there today," the Gandhi scion said.

Tweeting the video, he wrote, "PM is 100% focused on building his own image. India’s captured institutions are all busy doing this task. One man’s image is not a substitute for a national vision."

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Coronavirus latest update: India's COVID-19 case tally crosses 12 lakh-mark, reports 45,720 new cases

With a highest single-day spike of 45,720 cases and 1,129 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, India's COVID-19 case tally crossed 12 lakh-mark on Thursday, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India added 45,720 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Thursday pushing the country's tally to 12,38,635. The total number of cases includes 4,26,167 active cases, 7,82,606 cured/discharged/migrated and 29,861 deaths, the Health Ministry informed.

Maharashtra has reported 3,37,607 cases, highest in the country followed by Tamil Nadu with 1,86,492 cases. Delhi coronavirus count has reached 1,26,323 cases.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 1,50,75,369 samples were tested till July 22 out of which 3,50,823 samples were tested yesterday.


From not paying a cancellation fee to more customer-friendly options, here are the new e-commerce rules

E-commerce shopping experience will change soon, given the new rulings in the Consumer Protection Act 2020.

In one of the biggest pieces of news, people will now not be charged a cancellation fees in case they cancel an order on an e-commerce portal, one of the rulings states.

Furthermore, once the new rulings are enforced, ecommerce sites cannot refuse to take back goods or withdraw services or refuse funds, in case the products are defective, deficient, delivered late or do not meet the description on the platform.

ECommerce Rule.pdf

These rules shall apply to:

(a) all goods and services bought or sold over digital or electronic network including digital products;

(b) all models of e-commerce, including marketplace and inventory models of ecommerce; (c) all e-commerce retail, including multi-channel single brand retailers and single brand retailers in single or multiple formats; and

(d) all forms of unfair trade practices across all models of e-commerce:

Every e-commerce entity shall provide the following information in a clear and accessible manner on its platform, displayed prominently to its users, namely:

(a) legal name of the e-commerce entity;

(b) principal geographic address of its headquarters and all branches;

(c) name and details of its website; and

(d) contact details like e-mail address, fax, landline and mobile numbers of customer care as well as of grievance officer

Every e-commerce entity shall appoint a grievance officer for consumer grievance redressal, and shall display the name, contact details, and designation of the officer on its platform.

Furthermore, the company is expected to ensure that the grievance officer acknowledges the receipt of any consumer complaint within forty-eight hours and redresses the complaint within one month from the date of receipt of the complaint.

In case of imported goods, the e-commerce site shall mention the name and details of any importer from whom it has purchased such goods or services, or who may be a seller on its platform.


'Two great sons of India': PM Modi, Amit Shah and others honour Chandrashekhar Azad and Lokmanya Tilak on their birth anniversaries

Today (July 23) marks the birth anniversaries of two Indian revolutionaries - Chandrashekhar Azad and Lokmanya Tilak.

Let us get to know about their great lives in brief:

Chandrashekhar Azad was born on July 23, 1906, in Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua district. He joined the freedom struggle at a very young age. When he was 15, he was arrested for taking part in Mahatma Gandhi's e Non-Cooperation Movement. However, after the movement was suspended in 1922, Azad became aggressive and became past of the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA), a revolutionary organisation. He was involved in the Kakori Train Robbery of 1925, in the attempt to blow up the Viceroy of India's train in 1926, and the shooting of J. P. Saunders at Lahore in 1928 to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai. He was jailed several times for his protests against the British. However, his ability to evade capture and remain a "free" man till his death is perhaps the most important. The revolutionary leader died at Alfred Park, which was renamed as Chandra Shekhar Azad Park, in Allahabad on February 27, 1931.

Lokmanya Tilak (Keshav Gangadhar Tilak) was born on July 23, 1856, in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri. He was one of the first and strongest advocates of Swaraj (self-rule). His quote in Marathi inspired many freedom fighters: "Swarajya is my birthright and I shall have it!". He worked closely with many Indian National Congress leaders during the freedom movement. The trio of Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal was famously called as 'Lal Bal Pal'. He had been tried thrice for sedition charges by British India Government. Tilak also started two weeklies, Kesari in Marathi and Maratha in English. He is also credited for starting the Ganapati festival and Shiv Jayanti to build a national spirit among the fellow countrymen.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and others honoured the two great sons of India. Here are the Twitter reactions:


Coronavirus in Pune: Cop cycles across jurisdiction to spread COVID-19 awareness, stay fit

Pune: Devidas Gheware, an inspector at Duttawadi police station in Pune, has been conducting regular patrols in his area on a cycle to raise awareness about COVID-19.

According to Gheware, there are 12-14 containment zones in the area and using a cycle helps him to reach places where cars cannot go.

"There are 12-14 containment zones in our jurisdiction and most of them are from slums. Since these areas have been sealed most of the time it becomes difficult to travel but cycle allows us to be mobile and reach places where cars can not go," the cop told ANI on Wednesday.

Exercising is very important to stay safe from coronavirus but we do not get enough time for it. Cycling allows us to exercise during work time and interact with people: Devidas Gheware, Inspector at Duttawadi police station #Pune

— ANI (@ANI) July 22, 2020
"Exercising is very important to stay safe from coronavirus but we do not get enough time for it. Cycling allows us to exercise during work time and interact with people," Gheware added.

As many as 3218 positive cases and 62 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours in Pune district, taking the total number of cases in the area to 59634, said health officials on Wednesday. It was the highest single-day total of positive cases and deaths till date reported on Wednesday, they added.

The death toll due to the disease in the district now stands at 1,504.