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7th round of corps commanders meet to discuss Ladakh stand-off will take place today


The meeting will take place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel Meeting Point.

The seventh round of corps commanders meeting to discuss the stand-off at the Line of Actual Control will take place on Monday morning.

Both the Asian giants are engaged in tensions since last five months at the eastern Ladakh border.

According to the reports, this will be the last meeting in which XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh will lead the Indian delegation before he hands over the command of the corps to Lt General P G K Menon, who will take over later in the week.

The meeting will take place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel Meeting Point.

Talks will be the first in which both sides will have senior military commanders and representatives of foreign ministries.

The Indian delegation included a diplomat during the last meeting and the Chinese delegation too will include a Foreign Ministry official.

Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary for East Asia, Naveen Srivastava, who has been representing India in the diplomatic discussions, was part of the senior military commander talks the last time, which had also included Menon, who was posted in the Army headquarters in Delhi, reported Indian Express.

Last week, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, referring to the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh said, “The Indian Air Force is very well positioned to deal with any threat and very strong deployments have been made in all relevant areas considering the security scenario.”

Addressing a press conference ahead of Air Force Day on October 8, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said Chinese air power can’t get the better of India’s capabilities but at the same time added that there is no question of underestimating the adversary.

He also said that the IAF is prepared to deal with a two-front war along the northern and western borders if such a scenario arises. “Be rest assured that we have deployed strongly to deal with any contingency,” the IAF chief said when asked about the situation in eastern Ladakh and possible threat from China in the region.




Family of Hathras gang rape victim leaves to appear before Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court


‘Proper security arrangements have been made. The district magistrate and superintendent of police are also accompanying us,’ Anjali Ganwar, Sub Divisional Magistrate said.

The family of the 20-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly gang raped and murdered in Hathras will appear before the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Monday amid tight security.

As per the reports, the family has left for state capital from Hathras in the morning.

“I am going with them. Proper security arrangements have been made. The district magistrate and superintendent of police are also accompanying us,” Anjali Ganwar, Sub Divisional Magistrate, was quoted as saying by news news agency ANI.

A division bench of Justice Rajan Roy and Justice Jaspreet Singh had ordered the Uttar Pradesh additional chief secretary, state police chief and an additional director general of police to appear before the court.

The bench also ordered Hathras district magistrate and superintendent of police to appear to brief the court, including the ongoing probe into it.

“The incidents which took place after the death of the victim on September 29, 2020, leading up to her cremation, as alleged, have shocked our conscience. Therefore, we are taking suo moto cognizance of the same,” the court had said in its order.




‘Time has come to accept that dialogue, agreements with China won’t help’: US NSA on Ladakh


‘China’s territorial aggression is also true in the Taiwan Strait where the PLA Navy and Air Force continue to conduct threatening military drills,’ he said.

China has “attempted to seize” control of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with India “by force” as part of its territorial aggression, US’ National Security Adviser has said, underlining that time has come to accept that dialogue and agreements will not persuade Beijing to change.

India and China are locked in a five-month-long tense standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained relations between New Delhi and Beijing. Both sides have held a series of high-level diplomatic and military talks to resolve the border row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.

“Chinese Communist Party’s territorial aggression is also apparent on its Indian border where China has attempted to seize control of the Line of Actual Control by force,” US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said in a remark on China early this week in Utah.

China’s territorial aggression is also true in the Taiwan Strait where the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Navy and Air Force continue to conduct threatening military drills, Mr O’Brien said.

“Beijing’s signature international development programme, One Belt One Road (OBOR), involves impoverished companies taking on opaque and unsustainable Chinese loans to pay Chinese firms employing Chinese labourers to build their infrastructure,” he said.

Many of these projects are unnecessary, shoddily built and are “white elephants”, the US National Security Adviser said.

“And now these countries’ dependence on the Chinese debt leaves their sovereignty eroded and with no choice but to hue to the party’s line on UN votes or any other issue that the Chinese Communist Party considers a red line,” he said.

Mr O’Brien also noted that China’s other international aid efforts include selling surveillance systems and similar tools of repression to “pariah regimes” around the world, including Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro.

“The time has come to accept that dialogue and agreements will not persuade or compel the People’s Republic of China to change. There’s nothing to be gained from looking the other way or turning the other cheek. We’ve been doing that for far too long,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said the US must stand up to the Chinese and protect the American people.

“We must promote American prosperity, practice peace through strength and advance American influence in the world,” he said, adding that under President Donald Trump’s leadership that is exactly what the US has done.

Mr O’Brien said the Trump administration has adopted a competitive approach to China.

That approach, he said, has two primary objectives. First, improve the resiliency of US institutions, alliances and partnerships to prevail against the challenges that China presents; and the second is to impose tangible cost in order to compel Beijing to cease or reduce actions harmful to America’s vital national interest and those of its allied and partner nations.

“President Trump has taken decisive action to meet these objectives. He is working to prevent companies that answer to the Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence and security apparatus,” Mr O’Brien said.

Citing examples, he said Chinese telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE have been prevented from accessing Americans’ personal and private data and national secrets. The Trump administration, he said, has also imposed import and export restrictions on US semiconductor technology and other exports going to Huawei and similar Chinese telecommunications corporations.

Our democratic partners are starting to follow. Just last month, the UK joined democracies such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden in committing to using trusted suppliers to build their future 5G networks, Mr O’Brien said.

“Carriers like Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and others have prohibited the use of Huawei equipment in their networks. The Trump administration is investigating and prosecuting the economic espionage aggressively,” he said.

Mr O’Brien said the Trump administration has strengthened its military relationships in the Indo-Pacific region.

“One important partnership which will be one of the most key partnerships for the United States in the 21st century, India, is thriving,” he said.

He also noted that the US has signed extended US military access to Singapore’s air and naval bases. The country is also working closely with Japan, Australia and New Zealand to strengthen relationships with the Pacific Islands, especially Timor. It is also working closely with Mongolia.

However, Mr O’Brien said even as the US competes with China, it does welcome cooperation where America’s interests align.

“The US has a deep and abiding respect for the Chinese people and enjoys longstanding ties to that country, including our alliance in World War II,” Mr O’Brien said.




‘Courts should not interfere in fiscal policy’: Centre to SC on ‘interest on interest’ case


‘Any further relief, besides waiving of compound interest for loans up to Rs 2 crore, is detrimental to the national economy and banking sector,’ it said.

Centre told the Supreme Court that “it’s not possible to give more relief to different sectors” amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, stressing that the “courts should not interfere in fiscal policy”.

The centre’s response came days after the court has said that the government’s last week affidavit on waiving “interest on interest” on loans of up to Rs 2 crore was “not satisfactory”.

The amount was frozen by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a six-month moratorium granted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Policy is the domain of the government and court should not go into sector-specific financial relief. Any further relief, besides waiving of compound interest for loans up to Rs 2 crore, is detrimental to the national economy and banking sector,” government said in an affidavit.

The government on last week told the top court that it was ready to waive interest on the repayment of loans of up to Rs 2 crore.

On Monday, however, the top court said the centre’s affidavit was not satisfactory “fails to deal with several issues raised by petitioners”.

The apex court had asked the government to consider the concerns of the real estate and power producers in fresh affidavits.

The interest waiver is applicable for loans taken by MSMEs, educational, housing, consumer goods and auto loans and for credit card dues.

The government said in a fresh affidavit that “relief for specific sectors cannot be demanded through petitions”.

“Only solution is lending institutions and their borrowers formulate restructuring plans… and centre, and RBI cannot interfere,” the affidavit reads.




Commission cancels 2nd US Presidential debates, says ‘each candidate has own plan’


The move leaves just one more debate on the schedule October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee before the November 3 election.

The Commission on Presidential Debates said Friday it has cancelled next week’s showdown between Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden, after the president said he would not participate in a virtual format.

“Each (candidate) now has announced alternate plans for that date,” the commission said in a statement, adding “it is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15.”

The move leaves just one more debate on the schedule — October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee — before the November 3 election.

Debates have been a feature of every US presidential election since 1976, with three debates near the end of a campaign the standard since 2000.

The commission had announced Thursday it was converting the October 15 town hall debate to a virtual affair out of an abundance of caution because Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.

But the president, who has been eager to return to the campaign trail and hold live events, refused to participate in the virtual format and sought unsuccessfully to return it to an in-person debate.

Biden had said earlier this week he would not debate Trump in person if he still had the virus, and his campaign called Trump’s refusal to adapt to a virtual format “shameful.”

“It’s shameful that Donald Trump ducked the only debate in which the voters get to ask the questions — but it’s no surprise,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said.

Trump “doesn’t have the guts to answer for his record to voters at the same time as vice president Biden.”

The US president meanwhile plans to hold his first live event at the White House since being diagnosed with Covid-19.

All attendees will be told to wear masks they must bring, and will have to submit to a Covid-19 screening (Saturday) morning. This will consist of a temperature check and a brief questionnaire, according to a source familiar with the preparations.




China amassed more than 60,000 troops along LAC with India: Mike Pompeo


‘They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight,’ he said.

China has amassed more than 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control with India, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said as he hit out at Beijing for its “bad behaviour” and the threats it poses to the Quad countries.

The Foreign Ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group – the US, Japan, India and Australia – met in Tokyo on Tuesday in what was their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The meeting took place in the backdrop of China’s aggressive military behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, South China Sea and along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

“The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border,” Mike Pompeo told The Guy Benson Show in an interview on Friday after his return from Tokyo where he attended the second Quad ministerial with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia.

“I was with my Foreign Minister counterparts from India, Australia, and Japan – a format that we call the Quad, four big democracies, four powerful economies, four nations, each of whom has real risk associated with the threats imposed attempting to be imposed by the Chinese Communist Party. And they see it in their home countries too,” he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Tokyo on Tuesday and they underscored the need to work together to advance, peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe. He described his meeting with Mr Jaishankar as “productive”.

“They see, the people of their (Quad) nations understanding that we all slept on this for too long. For decades, the West allowed the Chinese Communist Party to walk all over us. The previous administration bent a knee, too often allowed China to steal our intellectual properties and the millions of jobs that came along with it. They see that in their country too,” he said in the interview.

In another interview with Larry O’Connor, Mr Pompeo said in his meetings with his counterparts from Japan, India and Australia, they began to develop a set of understandings and policies that can jointly take these countries to work to present a true resistance to the threats that the Chinese Communist Party poses to each of these nations.

“They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight,” he said.

“But they’ve all seen it, whether it’s the Indians, who are actually having a physical confrontation with the Chinese up in the Himalayas in the northeastern part of India, the Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north whether it’s the Australians who did the simple thing of saying the Chinese screwed this deal up with the virus, and we’d like to understand what happened and said we ought to have a full investigation, and in exchange for that, the Chinese Communist Party began to extort, coerce, bully the Australians,” Mr Pompeo said.

Every one of these countries has seen this, he said, adding that people in each of these countries now understand the Chinese Communist Party presents a threat to them.

“The world has awakened. The tide’s begun to turn. And the United States under President Trump’s leadership has now built out a coalition that will push back against the threat and maintain good order, the rule of law, and the basic civic decency that comes from democracies controlling the world and not authoritarian regimes,” Mike Pompeo said.

In his third-interview to Fox News, Mr Pompeo said that the US under Trump administration has begun to build out all the edifice of the structure and the allies and the coalition to push back against China.

“We aim to protect the American people from the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses,” he said.

Referring to his Quad ministerial meeting, Mr Pompeo said that the three other countries Japan, India, and Australia were building out a coalition, build partners and allies around the world who understand the threat from the Chinese Communist Party in the same way that “we do so that they can protect jobs here at home”.

“Look, they’ve stacked 60,000 soldiers against the Indians in the north. When the Australians had the temerity to ask for an investigation of the Wuhan virus and where it began, something that we know a lot about, the Chinese Communist Party threatened them. They bullied them,” Mike Pompeo told Fox News.

“We need partners and friends. They’ll certainly try to react. But what the Chinese Communist Party had become accustomed to, frankly, for an awfully long time was watching America bend a knee, watching us turn the other cheek and appease them,” he said.

“That only encouraged their bad behaviour, their malign activity. Our push back they understand we’re serious about it. They’ve watched that we’re going to confront them and impose costs upon them. I am confident that this activity, over time, will change the nature of what the Chinese Communist Party tries to do to harm America,” Mr Pompeo said.

India is expanding bilateral cooperation with Japan, the US and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region.

The US has been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific which is seen by many countries as an effort to contain China’s growing clout in the region.




IPL 2020: Dominant Delhi Capitals at top after thrashing Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs


Despite putting up a moderate total of 184/8 wickets in 20 overs on a batting friendly track, the Delhi Capitals bowlers came all gun blazing.

Delhi Capitals continue to enjoy their dream campaign as they defeated Rajasthan Royals by a humiliating margin of 46 runs on Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

With five wins from six matches so far, Shreyas Iyer’s men now stand at the top of the points table in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Steve Smith’s team is placed at seventh.

Even though Rajasthan had restricted their opponents at 184/8 on a track where any total less than 200 is considered moderate, the Delhi bowlers came all guns blazing and bundled the Royals for 138.

Kagiso Ragada was once again the shining star for Capitals with his figures of 3/35. Marcus Stoinis and Ravichandran Ashwin contributed to the cause as well with two scalps each, while Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje and Harshal Patel picked one wicket each.

Chasing a 185-run target, RR lost opener Jos Buttler (13) cheaply off an Ashwin delivery, with just 15 runs on the board.

Skipper Steve Smith (24) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (34) tried their best to rescue RR from the early damage with a brief 41-run stand. However, Nortje didn’t let the duo convert it into something big as he packed back the RR skipper in the ninth over.

The RR’s middle-order once again succumbed under pressure and lost seven wickets for just 100 runs.

Earlier, Jofra Archer’s (3/24) brilliant show with the leather saw DC being restricted at 184/8 in the allotted 20 overs.

Put into bat, DC received jolts at regular intervals, thanks to RR bowlers who didn’t let a partnership develop and which ultimately hurt the Shreyas Iyer-led side’s chances of posting a big total.

It was Shimron Hetmyer, who was the top-score for DC with his 24-ball 45, and Marcus Stoinis, who chipped in with a 30-ball 39 run, helping their side reach a respectable total.

Apart from Archer, Kartik Tyagi, debutant Andrew Tye and Rahul Tewatia picked a wicket apiece.

Brief scores:

DC: 184/8 wkts in 20 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 45, Marcus Stoinis 39; Jofra Archer 3/24) beat RR: 138 all out in 19.4 overs (Rahul Tewatia 38, YashasviJaiswal 34; Kagiso Rabada 3/35) by 46 runs

With IANS inputs




‘They need US to be their ally’: Mike Pompeo on India amid China standoff


‘The world has awakened. The tide’s begun to turn. And the United States under President Trump’s leadership has now built out a coalition that will push back against the threat,’ he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged closer ties with India as he warned of China’s growing might on its doorstep, amid a flurry of diplomacy between the world’s two largest democracies.

“They absolutely need the United States to be their ally and partner in this fight,” Pompeo said of his four-way meetings earlier this week in Tokyo with his counterparts from India, Japan and Australia.

“The Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north,” Pompeo told radio host Larry O’Connor.

“The world has awakened. The tide’s begun to turn. And the United States under President Trump’s leadership has now built out a coalition that will push back against the threat,” he said.

Following the Tokyo meeting, Pompeo will travel shortly to New Delhi with Defense Secretary Mark Esper for annual talks with their Indian counterparts.

Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will also travel to India next week to prepare the meeting, the State Department said.

Tensions have soared between India and China since violent hand-to-hand fighting in the Himalayan region of Ladakh in June that left 20 Indian troops dead.

China has acknowledged suffering casualties but has not revealed any figures.

Citing national security grounds, New Delhi has since banned dozens of Chinese apps including TikTok, the blockbuster video-sharing platform which had counted on India as its largest overseas market.

Despite wide concerns about China, India has historically shied away from formal alliances with outside powers under its doctrine of “strategic autonomy.”

Asked at the conservative Heritage Foundation about tensions with China, India’s ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, stressed that the Asian powers had historic linkages and welcomed each other’s scholars.

US-India ties have been rapidly growing and “this relationship has a much wider perspective than simply China,” Sandhu said.

But he said he expected India and the United States to discuss boosting defense ties during the visit by Pompeo and Esper.

“I would underline that there is a great further potential for our defense cooperation,” he said.




RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 4%, GDP to contract 9.5% in current FY


Consequently, the reverse repo rate, at which the RBI borrows from lenders, stood at 3.35 per cent.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday kept the repo rate unchanged at four per cent, said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.

Consequently, the reverse repo rate, at which the RBI borrows from lenders, stood at 3.35 per cent.

The RBI decided to maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance to support growth amid the pandemic.

He said that the Indian economy was entering into a “decisive phase” in the fight against Covid-19.

The RBI projected the country’s GDP to contract 9.5 per cent in the current financial year, which ends in March 2021.

Governor Shaktikanta Das said a “silver lining is visible and mood of the nation has shifted from despair and fear to confidence and hope”.

“Modest recovery in first half of the year could further strengthen in second half… economic activity to gain traction in third quarter,” Das was quoted as saying by PTI.

The RBI Governor said inflation is likely to remain at elevated levels in September, and ease in the third and fourth quarters of current financial year.

Kharif sowing has surpassed last year’s acreage, food grain is set to to be a record, migrant workers are returning to work and the population mobility as well as energy consumption increasing, he said in a virtual address to the media.

RBI was forced to postpone the bi-monthly meeting of the MPC scheduled for September 29, 30 and October 1 as the government failed to nominate its three members to the six-member panel.

MPC is the statutory committee that fixes the key policy interest rate and monetary policy stance of the country as well as the inflation target.

The tenure of the three members appointed by the government in 2016 expired after the previous policy on August 6.

(With agency inputs)




Delhi needs to be prepared for 15,000 Covid cases per day during winter season: Report


According to the report submitted to the Delhi government, there are three reasons to worry that may cause excessive pressure on healthcare services.

Delhi needs to be prepared for about 15,000 fresh cases of COVID-19 per day taking into account the upcoming winter season-related respiratory problems, large influx of patients from outside and festive gatherings, a report drafted by the NCDC has warned.

The report drafted by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) under the guidance of the expert group under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr V K Paul has recommended the Delhi government to make arrangements for hospitalisation of about one-fifth of these patients with moderate and severe disease.

The NCDC in its ”Revised Strategy for control of COVID-19 version 3.0” also observed that the overall COVID-19 case fatality rate in Delhi is 1.9 per cent, which is higher than the national average of 1.5 per cent. It stated that reducing mortality to the extent possible should be one of the key objectives of managing the pandemic.

According to the report submitted to the Delhi government, there are three reasons to worry that may cause excessive pressure on healthcare services such as winter months that make respiratory illnesses severe and with festive gatherings there could be a sudden rise in cases.

Also, patients may come from outside Delhi in large numbers. Patients coming from distant areas are likely to be more serious, the report underlined.





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