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Morning Digest | Sonia Gandhi to appear before ED today; China plans another highway in Aksai Chin along India border, and more

Sonia Gandhi

Sonia Gandhi

Counting of votes of Presidential poll today

India on Thursday will know who will succeed incumbent Ram Nath Kovind to become the country’s 15th President, as counting of votes for the Presidential election begins at 11.00 a.m. at the Parliament House here. Ruling NDA's Droupadi Murmu and Opposition's Yashwant Sinha are pitted against each other in the contest. Ms. Murmu, if elected, will be the first tribal woman to occupy the top constitutional post in the country.

Congress plans protest as ED asks Sonia Gandhi to appear

Calling the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summons to Congress president Sonia Gandhi an example of “vendetta politics” of the Narendra Modi government, the Congress declared that it would hold country-wide protests, on Thursday, when Ms. Gandhi appears before the central agency.

China mulling another highway in Aksai Chin

China is planning to build another highway through Aksai Chin, running along the India border and connecting Xinjiang with Tibet, according to a newly released highway construction plan. The G695 national expressway will be only the second national highway through the disputed Aksai Chin region, where China controls 38,000 sq km of land claimed by India, since the controversial construction of the G219 highway in the 1950s, and is expected to be completed by 2035.

Parliament paralysed as Ministers and Congress leaders trade charges

Protests by Opposition parties against price rise and the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on essential items continued to paralyse the proceedings of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday .The repeated adjournments also triggered a war of words between the opposition and Treasury benches. For the third consecutive day, Rajya Sabha did not function even as the Chair allowed discussion on the issue of rise in prices. 

Incident of fire reported onboard INS Vikramaditya, no casualties

A fire broke out on board India’s lone aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya on Wednesday when it was operating off the strategic Karwar base in Karnataka, officials said. They said all personnel on board the warship were safe. In a statement, the Navy said a board of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the fire incident.

Sunak and Truss face runoff to become U.K.’s next leader

Former British Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will face each other in a contest to lead the U.K. as Prime Minister and the Conservative Party, after a fourth round of voting by Tory lawmakers, on Wednesday afternoon, eliminated the third remaining contender, Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt. The two surviving candidates will campaign for the votes of party members through the remainder of the British summer.

SC to hear Tamil Nadu, Karnataka pleas on Mekedatu project on July 26

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on July 26 the spat between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over the proposed construction of a reservoir by Karnataka at Mekedatu across the inter-State River Cauvery. The hearing was based on an application moved by Tamil Nadu in the apex court seeking a direction to restrain the CWMA from deliberating the proposed reservoir project.

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair released from Tihar

Alt News co-founder and fact-checker Mohammed Zubair walked out of the Tihar Jail hours after the Supreme Court granted him interim bail on Wednesday in six cases registered by the Uttar Pradesh Police accusing him of hurting religious feelings through his Twitter posts. The bail presents a decisive turn for Mr. Zubair, who has been booked in a “vicious cycle” of cases by the Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Police since his arrest in June 27.

SC dismisses plea to review decision on CBI probe against former police commissioner Param Bir Singh

The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed the plea filed by the Maharashtra government seeking a review of its order transferring the probe to the CBI against former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh over allegations of misconduct and corruption. The apex court on March 24 had transferred to CBI the investigation against Mr. Singh saying "a very murky affair is going on amid echelons of power".

Parliament proceedings | No Kashmiri Pandit left valley post-Aug. 2019: MHA in Rajya Sabha

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, that no Kashmiri Pandit migrated from the Valley post-August 5, 2019, when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked by Parliament. In a written reply, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said that 118 civilians have been killed in various terror incidents in J&K from August 5, 2019- July 9 this year, which includes 21 Kashmiri Pandits, Hindus and Sikhs.

India inks pact with Namibia for cheetah reintroduction; first batch likely to arrive before August 15

India came one step closer to bringing back the world’s fastest animal, which has been extinct in the country since 1952, with an agreement that was signed in Delhi on Wednesday between the government and the visiting Namibian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations, Netumbo Nandi Ndaitwah. The agreement, which has been negotiated for some years, will prepare the ground for the relocation of the first batch of cheetahs from southern Africa to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park, with officials trying to complete the first transfer before August 15.

Shinde faction stakes claim over Shiv Sena’s poll symbol

The Eknath Shinde faction of the Shiv Sena has written to the Election Commission (EC), seeking allocation of the party’s bow-and-arrow poll symbol to it. In a communication to the EC, the Shinde faction has claimed to be the real Shiv Sena and cited the recognition granted to it by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.

Commonwealth Games-bound sprinter Dhanalakshmi, triple jumper Aishwarya Babu fail dope test

Two Commonwealth Games-bound athletes, sprinter S. Dhanalakshmi and triple jumper Aishwarya Babu, have returned positive for banned drugs, as dope shame struck Indian athletics just a few days ahead of the multi-sport event. Both have been ruled out of the upcoming July 28 to August 8 Birmingham Games and have been handed provisional suspensions.

Parliament proceedings | Senior citizens not to get back train fare discount

The government on Wednesday said it is not “desirable” to restore concessions on railway tickets given to senior citizens and sports persons as the cost of granting concessions “weighs heavily” on the Railways. The Minister reasoned that Indian Railways is already bearing more than 50% of the cost of travel on an average for all passengers, including senior citizens on account of lower fare structure for passenger services. Apart from this, due to COVID-19, passenger earnings for the last two years are less in comparison to 2019-2020.

Centre allows ‘work from home’ for maximum one year in SEZ

The Union Commerce Ministry on Tuesday, July 19, 2022, said work from home (WFH) is allowed for a maximum period of one year in a special economic zone unit and can be extended to 50% of total employees. The Ministry said the notification was issued on demand from the industry to make a provision for a countrywide uniform WFH policy across all Special Economic Zones.

India expresses concern over UNSG’s report on Children and Armed Conflict

Days after the UN Secretary General’s report on ‘Children and Armed Conflict’ mentioned India, New Delhi has expressed concern that the report includes situations that are “not situations of armed conflict” or threats to maintenance of international peace and security. The report released last week mentions the situation in India under the category “Situations not on the agenda of the Security Council or other situations”.

U.S. House passes same-sex marriage bill in retort to high court

The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday, July 19, 2022, to protect same-sex and interracial marriages amid concerns that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade abortion access could jeopardise other rights criticised by many conservatives.While the Respect for Marriage Act easily passed the House with a Democratic majority, it is likely to stall in the evenly split Senate, where most Republicans would probably join a filibuster to block it.


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Printable version | Jul 21, 2022 8:04:48 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/morning-digest-july-21-2022/article65663685.ece