Today Picture



‘Hope members will unitedly stand with our soldiers’: Prime Minister ahead of monsoon session


‘Our soldiers are standing firm at the borders with a lot of courage, passion and strong resolve to protect their motherland,’ PM said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday delivered a strong message on the China issue right before the beginning of the monsoon session of Parliament by saying, “We hope parliament and all members will unitedly send the message that the nation stands with our soldiers.”

“Our soldiers are standing firm at the borders with a lot of courage, passion and strong resolve to protect their motherland. They are standing on difficult heights and in a few days, will weather snow. In the same manner, I am confident parliament will send a message, in one voice, that it stands firmly behind soldiers guarding our borders,” PM Modi said.

As per the reports, the government is likely to make statement in the parliament on the India-China issue in the Parliament.

There have been multiple attempts by the Chinese forces to drive the Indian troops out of the key heights at the mountainous Ladakh region in last few days.

Both sides blamed each other of firing in the air as shots were fired for the first time in 45 years.

A recent talks between the Defence Ministers at both the sides in Moscow on the sidelines of the SCO summit has brought again the series of accusation and blame game between the two Asian giants.

The coronavirus crisis is another major topic which will  be discussed in the Parliament.

The Lok Sabha Speaker had said that the Members of Parliament will be requested to get themselves tested for COVID-19 at least 72 hours before the beginning of the session.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that not only the MPs but all others who are expected to enter the Parliament premises, including officials from ministries, representatives from the media and staff of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats will also be tested for the virus.

The monsoon sessions of the Parliament begins today and will conclude on October 1.




‘Save your own lives because PM is busy with peacock’: Rahul Gandhi


‘The unplanned lockdown was the gift of one man’s ego, which led to the spread of coronavirus across the country,’ he said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the surge in coronavirus cases on Monday saying citizens should save their own lives because PM is busy with peacock.

In a tweet in Hindi, Rahul Gandhi attacked the Prime Minister over the surge in cases as well as an unplanned lockdown.

Taking it to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said, “India’s coronavirus cases will cross 50 lakh this week and active cases will cross 10 lakh. The unplanned lockdown was the gift of one man’s ego, which led to the spread of coronavirus across the country. Modi government said “be self-reliant” which meant “save your own lives” because the Prime Minister is busy with peacock.”


Rahul Gandhi was referring to the Prime Minister’s earlier tweet in which he shared a video of slideshows of him with a peacock at his official residence.

PM was seen feeding grains to Peacock – the national bird of India. He shared the video over social media.

The video was shared with a caption “precious moments” and showed various snippets of the Prime Minister spending time feeding the peacocks.

Rahul Gandhi has been vocal in attacking the government through his tweets.

However, Union minister Prakash Javadekar had earlier mocked him for his tweets.

“Rahul Gandhi is tweeting on a daily basis. It seems the Congress will become a party of tweets as they are doing no work among the people and losing one leader after another. A frustrated and depressed party is trying to launch all sorts of attacks on the government,” Javadekar had said.




Health Ministry releases fresh protocols for patients recovered from Covid


The ministry has also asked the recovered patients to share their positive experiences with their friends and relatives using social media.

 

The Union Ministry of Health on Sunday released a set of fresh protocols for patients recovering from deadly coronavirus.

After acute COVID-19 illness, the patients who have recovered may continue to report symptoms such as fatigue, body ache, cough, sore throat and difficulty in breathing, the Union Health Ministry said.

The recovery period is likely to be longer for patients who suffered from severe Covid symptoms and those with any pre-existing health conditions.

Health Ministry has recommended physical exercise and taking prescribed immunity-boosting medicines after recovery.

“One should constantly monitor their health and look for early signs like a drop in oxygen level or unexplained chest pain,” it said.

“Continue COVID appropriate behaviour (use of mask, hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing). Drink an adequate amount of warm water,” it said.

“Look for early warning signs like high-grade fever, breathlessness, unexplained chest pain, new onset of confusion, focal weakness,” the health ministry said.

The ministry has also asked the recovered patients to share their positive experiences with their friends and relatives using social media, community leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders for creating awareness, dispelling myths and stigma.

“The patients, who had undergone home isolation, if they complain of persisting symptoms, will visit the nearest health facility,” the government said.

“Severe cases requiring critical care support will require more stringent follow up,” it said.

India has recorded a daily spike of  94,732 Covid-19 cases that has pushed the country’s total tally of coronavirus cases to 47,54,356 cases, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

In the last 24 hours, India has recorded 1,114 fatalities, taking the total death count related to Covid-19 to 78,586.

 

 




Ghulam Nabi Azad loses post, Rahul Gandhi’s squad get promotions in Congress shake-up


Apart from Azad, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni and Mallikarjun Kharge have also been removed as general secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

In a move which looks like a ‘hit back’ on the dissenters, the senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has lost his post in a major shake-up seen to promote Rahul Gandhi’s squad.

Azad has been dropped as a general secretary though he remains a part of the Congress Working Committee.

Ghulam Nabi Azad was one of the 23 leaders who had written to party chief over the leadership crisis. He had also openly attacked Rahul Gandhi over his alleged comment of links with BJP, a move which he withdrew soon after.

Apart from Azad, Motilal Vora, Ambika Soni and Mallikarjun Kharge have also been removed as general secretaries of the All India Congress Committee (AICC).

P Chidambaram, Tariq Anwar, Randeep Surjewala, and Jitendra Singh have been named as CWC regular members.

Randeep Singh Surjewala, a Rahul Gandhi loyalist has been named general secretary in charge of Karnataka, a member of the special committee to oversee organizational changes.

Surjewala is currently the chief spokesperson of the part and he retains the post.

KC Venugopal – who has been at the front in attacks to BJP over Facebook crisis — is also a member of most committees.

Jitendra Singh, another ally of Rahul Gandhi is now in charge of Assam.

Tariq Anwar has been made general secretary in charge of Kerala, where elections are due next year.

Anwar had quit Congress along with Sharad Pawar and PA Sangma over Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin but returned before the national election last year.

Rajeev Shukla, who is considered close to Priyanka Gandhi, has been made in-charge of Himachal Pradesh.

In a major snub to Manish Tewari, who was also a signatory, former Union Minister Pawan Bansal has been made in-charge of headquarters replacing Motilal Vora who has crossed 90 years of age.

Another old hand, Karnataka leader H.K. Patil has been made in-charge of Maharashtra in place of Mallikarjun Kharge who may be the next Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.

Rajni Patil has been shifted to Himachal Pradesh to Jammu and Kashmir as in-charge.

While former Union Minister Salman Khurshid has been given place in the CWC, Vivek Bansal, who is close to him, has been appointed in-charge of Haryana where party leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda was a signatory to the letter.

Other in-charges are Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for Uttar Pradesh, Oomen Chandy for Andhra Pradesh, Harish Rawat for Punjab, R.P.N. Singh for Jharkhand, Shaktisinh Gohil for Delhi and Bihar, and Dinesh Gundu Rao for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Goa.

(With inputs from IANS)




Coronavirus case tally crosses 46-lakh mark; 97,570 new cases in 24 hours


The Health Ministry data showed that India reported a record 81,533 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

The coronavirus cases in India has surged to 46,59,984 on Saturday with the highest single-day spike of 97,570 new cases in the last 24 hours, the government data showed.

In terms of recovery, more than 36 lakh patients have recovered from the deadly virus so far.

In the last 24 hours, 1,201 Covid-linked deaths have been registered taking the number of total fatalities to 77,472.

The Health Ministry data showed that India reported a record 81,533 recoveries in the last 24 hours.

The Health Ministry said that the gap between the percentage of recovered cases and the percentage of active cases is progressively growing wide.

“The gap between %Recovered Cases and %Active Cases progressively growing wide. More than 3/4 of total cases (more than 36L) recovered & discharged. Active Cases (less than 10.5L) only a small proportion (less than 1/4) of total cases. (sic),” it tweeted.

 




India, China reach a five-point consensus to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ladakh, to ‘quickly disengage’ troops


In Delhi, Singh and the country’s top military brass deliberated on the five-point agreement, government sources said.

India and China have reached a five-point consensus to resolve the four-month-long military standoff in eastern Ladakh agreeing to “quickly disengage” troops, avoid any action that could escalate tensions and take steps to restore peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The agreement in which the two countries said the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side was finalised during the “frank and constructive” talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday evening. The talks on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet lasted two-and-a-half-hours.

The consensus came days after a fresh confrontation between the armies of the two countries in eastern Ladakh on Monday that further escalated the standoff which erupted in May and triggered a massive military build up by both sides in almost all friction points along the LAC, the de-facto border between the two countries.

Indian government sources said the five-point agreement will guide the approach of the two countries in tackling the current border situation which has remained volatile and tense.

“The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions,” said a joint press statement issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs(MEA) in the early hours of Friday.

However, there is no mention of any timeline in the statement for disengagement and restoration of peace and tranquillity. India has been consistently maintaining that China should restore status quo ante of April in eastern Ladakh.

The joint statement said Jaishankar and Wang agreed that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.

Significantly, the statement said the ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude “new confidence building measures” to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

At the talks, the Indian delegation highlighted its strong concern over massing of troops and military equipment by China along the LAC besides referring to “provocative behaviour” by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army(PLA) personnel at numerous incidents of friction, Indian government sources said.

They said the Chinese side could not provide a credible explanation for the troops buildup.

The Indian side insisted that the immediate task is to ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops in all the friction areas and that it is necessary to prevent any untoward incident in the future, the sources said.

Jaishankar also told Wang that maintenance of peace and tranquillity on the border areas was essential to the forward development of ties, the sources added.

He conveyed to his Chinese counterpart that the recent incidents in eastern Ladakh, however, inevitably impacted the development of the bilateral relationship.

The sources said the Indian side clearly conveyed during the talks that it expected full adherence to all agreements on management of border areas and would not countenance any attempt to change the status quo unilaterally.

“It was also emphasized that the Indian troops had scrupulously followed all agreements and protocols pertaining to the management of the border areas,” said a source.

The joint statement also said Jaishankar and Wang agreed that both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus reached between leaders of the two countries on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes.

It was clear that the reference was to the broad decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the talks following the Doklam episode of 2017.

“The two sides also agreed to continue to have dialogue and communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question,” the joint statement said.

“They also agreed in this context that the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), should also continue its meetings,” it said. Foreign Minister Wang and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are special representatives for the boundary talks.

The Indian Army and the PLA have been locked in a tense standoff in multiple areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh since early May. Shots were fired across the LAC on Monday for the first time in 45 years with the two sides accusing each other of firing in the air.

A press release issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing quoted Wang as having told Jaishankar that it is normal for both the countries to have differences but it is important to put them in proper context and take the guidance of the leaders.

“Wang noted that it is normal for China and India to have differences as two neighbouring major countries. What is important is to put these differences in a proper context vis-a-vis bilateral relations”, the release said.

Wang stressed that as two large developing countries are emerging rapidly, what China and India need right now is cooperation, not confrontation; and mutual trust, not suspicion, the release added.

“Whenever the situation gets difficult, it is all the more important to ensure the stability of the overall relationship and preserve mutual trust”, Wang said.

“China-India relations have once again come to crossroads. But as long as the two sides keep moving the relationship in the right direction, there will be no difficulty or challenge that can’t be overcome,” Wang added.

It is also important to move back all personnel and equipment that have trespassed. The frontier troops must quickly disengage so that the situation may de-escalate , he said.

The Chinese side is willing to support enhanced dialogue between the frontier troops on both sides to resolve specific issues. The Chinese side will stay in touch with the Indian side through diplomatic and military channels and be committed to restoring peace and tranquility in the border areas.”

The meeting between Jaishankar and Wang was the second highest political contact between the two countries in a week. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe had also met in Moscow on September 4 on the sidelines of another SCO meet.

In Delhi, Singh and the country’s top military brass deliberated on the five-point agreement, government sources said.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen. MM Naravane, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were among others who were present, they said.

The armies of India and China are expected to hold a fresh round of Corps commander-level talks early next week with a focus on implementing certain provisions of the five-point agreement, the sources said.

The sources said the Indian Army will keenly observe Chinese military’s overall approach along the LAC in eastern Ladakh to make an assessment of their seriousness in easing tension as agreed in Jaishankar-Wang talks.

It is also learnt that Gen. Naravane deliberated on the overall situation in Ladakh as well as on the provisions of agreement with top military officials in the Army headquarters.

In Chushul, another round of Brigade commander-level talks also took place for around four hours from 11 AM on Friday with a focus on bringing down tensions at the face-off sites.




Swami Agnivesh’s body to be kept for final tributes by the public


The 80-year-old reformer was a former MLA from Haryana.

The body of deceased Arya Samaj leader and social crusader Swami Agnivesh will be kept at the Bandhua Mukti Morcha (BMM) office on Saturday to allow the public to pay their final respects, albeit adhering to COVID rules, said Professor Vithal Rao Arya, his close associate and former general secretary of Bandhua Mukti Morcha.

“He will be placed at Bandhua Mukti Morcha office from 11 AM to 2 PM for the final public tributes. We request all our friends to pay their last tribute by following Covid rules,” he added.

Agnivesh died after suffering a cardiac arrest at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences on Friday evening. The hospital attempted to revive him for 30 minutes before declaring Agnivesh dead at 6.30 pm. “On Friday, his condition deteriorated and he went into cardiac arrest at 6:00 PM. Resuscitation was attempted but the stalwart passed away at 6.30 pm. We join the country in mourning the loss of this beloved leader,” the hospital said in a statement.

The social activist was admitted at the ILBS on Tuesday. He was critically ill and suffered from liver cirrhosis and had been on ventilator support since Tuesday owing to multi-organ failure. His condition deteriorated on Friday.

The 80-year-old reformer was a former MLA from Haryana. He had founded a political party, Arya Sabha, in 1970, that was based on the principles of the Arya Samaj. He was also an advocate of dialogue between religions.

Agnivesh was involved in various areas of social activism including campaigns against female foeticide and women’s emancipation. He was a prominent associate of Anna Hazare during the India Against Corruption campaign run in 2011 to implement the Jan Lokpal Bill.




India, China foreign ministers reach five-point consensus; agree to disengage, de-escalate situation at LAC


The two ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries on developing India-China relations, and ensure differences do not become disputes.

 

The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers, S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi after two-and-half hours of bilateral talks agreed to disengage and de-escalate the situation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The duo also came to a five-point agreement.

As per a joint statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs Friday, both ministers had a “frank and constructive” discussion on the developments in the India-China border areas, as well as the relations between the two countries.

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India met Wang Yi, State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China yesterday in Moscow on the side-lines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting.

According to the statement, the two ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries on developing India-China relations, and ensure differences do not become disputes.

“The two foreign ministers agreed the current situation was not in the interest of either side. “They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions,” the MEA statement said.

The two ministers also agreed both sides should abide by all existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters, the statement said.

“The two sides also agreed to continue to have dialogue and communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question. They also agreed in this context that the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), should also continue its meetings,” the statement read.

The Ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence Building Measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas, it added.

On Tuesday, soon after the Chinese accusation of Indian troops violating the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and firing warning shots after crossing LAC in the south bank of Pangong Lake in Ladakh, the Indian Army on Tuesday dismissed Chinese claims by saying at no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC.

“While India is committed to disengagement and de-escalating situation on the LAC, China continues to undertake provocative activities to escalate. At no stage has the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC or resorted to use of any aggressive means, including firing,” Indian Army said in a statement.

“It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress,” it added.

 




India’s coronavirus tally crosses 45-lakh mark; records single-day surge in cases, fatalities


The recovery rate stood at 77.76 per cent, while the fatality rate stood at 1.6 per cent.

The single-day rise in coronavirus cases in India is increasing day-by-day as on Friday, according to government data, India witnessed 96,551 new infections and 1,209 deaths registered in the last 24 hours, taking the tally past 45 lakh.

According to the reports, over 76,000 patients have died due to the virus.

India is the second worst-hit nation by the coronavirus. Overall, 2.8 crore people are affected due to the deadly virus worldwide.

The recovery rate stood at 77.76 per cent, while the fatality rate stood at 1.6 per cent.

The positivity rate was reported to be 8.2 per cent as compared to yesterday’s 8.4 per cent.

According to the government data, about 5.4 crore samples have been tested so far in the country.

The Serum Institute of India yesterday said it will stop the Phase 3 trials of vaccine that were to begin in India next week.

The Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the coronavirus vaccine Covishield, developed by the Oxford University along with pharma major AstraZenca.

“We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till @AstraZeneca restarts them. We are following DCGI’s instructions and will not be able to comment further on the same. You can connect with DCGI for more updates on this front,” it said in a tweet.

The national capital, Delhi, on Thursday recorded a new spike of 4,308 fresh infections, taking its tally past 2.05 lakh.

Talking about the worldwide data, the United States has recorded 63.96 lakh cases followed by India at 45.62 lakh, Brazil at 42.38 lakh, Russia at 10.42 lakh and Peru at 7.92 lakh.




India inches closer to 1L Covid cases a day


Out of the total 44,65,863 cases, 9,19,018 are active, 34,71,783 have recovered, while 75,062 patients have died.

With a surge of 95,735 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single day increase till date, India on Thursday recorded a total tally of 44,65,863, according to Union Health Ministry.

There were 1,172 deaths reported in the previous 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry data updated at 8 a.m. on Thursday, which is also the highest number of fatalities in a single day so far.

India on Tuesday recorded 1,133 deaths and on July 29 there were 1,129. India’s daily death toll is now going past the USA’s, which is the worst-hit by the pandemic.

India is currently the second worst hit country after the USA in terms of number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Out of the total 44,65,863 cases, 9,19,018 are active, 34,71,783 have recovered, while 75,062 patients have died.

A PTI tally compiled at 9 p.m. on the basis of cases reported by states put the total number of confirmed cases at 45,48,797, recoveries at 35,30,209 and of fatalities at 76,207, indicating the addition of 96,492 new cases, 72,274 recoveries and 1,272 deaths to the previous day’s figures.





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