Top news of the day: Sakshi Malik refutes rumours of wrestlers’ protest withdrawal; NDRF ends rescue operation in Odisha rail accident; and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

June 05, 2023 07:35 pm | Updated 07:35 pm IST

A view of the site where a tragic Balasore train accident took place.

A view of the site where a tragic Balasore train accident took place. | Photo Credit: ANI

Sakshi Malik refutes rumours of wrestlers’ protest withdrawal, says ‘will continue fight till we get justice’

Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia on Monday said they will continue the fight for justice and asserted that none of the wrestlers have backed down from the protest and nor they will. “This news is completely wrong. In the fight for justice, none of us has backed down, nor will we. Along with Satyagraha, I am fulfilling my responsibility in Railways. Our fight continues till justice is served. Please don’t spread any wrong news,” Malik tweeted after reports of her distancing from the protest emerged.

Odisha train accident: NDRF ends operation, withdraws all nine teams

The National Disaster Response Force on June 5 ended its rescue operation with the withdrawal of all its nine teams from the triple train accident site in Odisha’s Balasore district that has claimed at least 275 lives, officials said. The force rescued 44 victims and retrieved 121 bodies from the spot since the teams were deployed after the accident on June 2, they said. The operation has ended and all nine teams have now been withdrawn as there are no live or dead victims present at the accident site near the Bahanaga Bazar Railway Station. Eight teams were relieved on Sunday, while one was drawn out on Monday, they said.

PM Modi driving Indian car looking into rearview mirror and it’s crashing: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that the Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are “incapable” of looking at the future and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to drive the Indian car by only looking in the rearview mirror which will lead to “one accident after another”. Mr. Gandhi addressed a massive community event at the Javits Centre organised by the Indian Overseas Congress — USA on Sunday as he wrapped up his visit to the United States which included trips to San Francisco and Washington DC. “Back home we have a problem, and I will tell you the problem. BJP and the RSS are incapable of looking at the future. They’re incapable. Unse aap kuch bhi poochowoh peeche ki aur dekhte hain [You ask anything they look into the past],” he said.

Railways signal-telecom wing needs a leg up

Odisha train tragedy which took 275 lives has exposed the failings in the functioning of Indian Railways of neglecting the critical signal and telecommunications wing even when new technology is being introduced for upgrading infrastructure like modern trains and machinery to maintain or lay tracks, overhead traction, increasing speeds and so on. “The mishap has put the spotlight on the human resource deployment problem, especially in the telecommunications-signalling wing. At the ground level it is saddled with semi-skilled workers promoted from linemen towards handling mechanical or sophisticated electronic systems,” explained senior railway officials, requesting anonymity.

India, U.S. firm up road map for Defence-Industrial Cooperation

India and U.S. on Monday concluded a road map for ‘Defence Industrial Cooperation’ which shall guide the policy direction for the next few years towards cooperation in high technology areas and identifying opportunities for co-development and co-production. This was concluded during the bilateral meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and visiting U.S. Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin. The visit comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. later this month. “The two Ministers explored ways of building resilient supply chains. Both sides will identify opportunities for co-development of new technologies and co-production of existing & new systems and facilitate increased collaboration between defence start-up ecosystems of the two countries. Towards these objectives, they concluded a roadmap for US-India Defence Industrial Cooperation which shall guide the policy direction for the next few years,” a Defence Ministry statement said. 

Why were grave red flags ignored: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to PM Modi on Odisha rail tragedy

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on June 5 wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Odisha railway tragedy, saying “all the empty safety claims” of Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw have now been “exposed” and the government must bring to light the real reasons that caused this grave accident. In his letter to PM Modi, Mr. Kharge hit out at the Railway Minister for seeking a CBI probe, saying the law enforcement agency is meant to investigate crimes, not railway accidents.

NIRF 2023 | IIT Madras occupies top spot; IISc Bengaluru ‘best university’

The Union Ministry of Education on June 5 announced the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranking for the year 2023. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is the best educational institute in overall rankings. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, bagged the second spot in the “overall” category followed by IIT Delhi. Among the engineering institutions, IIT Madras retained the top spot for the eighth consecutive year. IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay have been ranked second and third, respectively in the category. Delhi University’s Miranda House and Hindu College have bagged the first and second spot among colleges followed by Presidency College, Chennai. Among the management colleges, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad has been ranked at the top followed by IIM Bangalore and IIM Kozhikode.

Union Health Secretary calls for preparation with a sense of urgency ahead of the next pandemic

Cautioning that the next pandemic would not “wait for us to make global treaties”, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan called on countries to work together. “It’s the need of the hour to ensure that the next pandemic sees us adequately prepared as billions of lives and livelihoods will be at stake. Hence, we must act with a sense of urgency,” he said at the third Health Working Group of G20 India, at Hyderabad, on Monday. Reiterating this, Michael Ryan, Executive Director, World Health Organization Health Emergency Programme, said that it’s time countries came together to ensure drugs, vaccines and diagnostics reached those who needed them the most, in an equitable manner. 

Amit Shah meets wrestlers at his official residence, tells them to ‘trust the investigation’

Days after the wrestlers decided to immerse their medals, won at various championships, in Ganga, a delegation, consisting of wrestlers and their coaches, met with Home Minister Amit Shah at his official residence on late June 3, sources said. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs has denied that any such meeting took place. According to Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait, the wrestlers were planning to approach both the President and the Home Minister for their demands pertaining to the ongoing agitation. He announced regarding the meeting on June 1, at a mahapanchayat held in Muzaffarnagar.

Indian Army chief meets Bangladeshi counterpart; discusses issues of mutual interest

Indian Army chief Gen Manoj Pande on June 5 met his Bangladeshi counterpart General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed in Dhaka and discussed various aspects of mutual interest and explored ways to further expand bilateral defence and security ties. Gen Pande, who arrived here earlier Monday on a two-day visit to Bangladesh — his second trip to the country as Army chief, also interacted with Lt Gen Waker-Uz-Zaman, the Principal Staff Officer of the Armed forces division. The Indian Army chief visited Bangladesh in July last year on his first foreign visit after assuming charge of the top post.

‘Delhi Declaration’ for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace for G20 countries

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Dr. Rajesh Pant, the National Cybersecurity Coordinator, on June 5, outlined a draft of what he called the “Delhi Declaration,” a series of commitments to “responsible state behaviour in cyberspace” for G20 member countries, drawn from existing non-binding norms that they have already signed onto under United Nations auspices. If adopted, G20 countries would commit to “not damage critical infrastructure or other essential … systems; commit to cooperate, mitigate and investigate cyber incidents, and other malicious activities in cyberspace, in particular when it comes to ransomware; commit to protect and not disrupt software supply chains; commit to respect international law and rule of law in cyberspace; and finally commit to protecting the humanitarian sector,” Dr. Pant said, reading out the draft.

Days after the horrific accident in Balasore, another goods train derails in Odisha

Several wagons of a goods train carrying limestone derailed near Sambardhara in the Bargarh district of Odisha on June 5. The train was en route to Bargarh from Dunguri. No casualty was reported. The incident happened on a private track laid inside the ACC Cement plant near Bargarh. This is a narrow gauge line owned by the Bargarh cement works, and not by Indian Railways. The incident happened days after the horrific train accident that happened in the State, which claimed 275 lives.

Saudi Arabia welcomes Venezuelan leader Maduro; defying U.S. relations

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on an official visit, reaching out to yet another U.S. foe as the oil-rich kingdom engages in a flurry of diplomacy. Mr. Maduro arrived late on June 4 in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where he was greeted by Saudi officials, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. It did not give a reason for the visit or elaborate on his schedule, but Saudi Arabia is hosting an international conference on combating extremism later this week in the capital, Riyadh. The gathering will be co-chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

More than 2 million people displaced, Burkina Faso’s government says, as aid falls short

Violence linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group has made Burkina Faso a country with one of the world’s fastest-growing populations of internally displaced people, with the number mushrooming by more than 2,000% since 2019, according to government data. Figures released last month showed more than 2 million people are internally displaced in the West African nation, the majority of them women and children, fueling a dire humanitarian crisis as the conflict pushed people from their homes, off their farms and into congested urban areas or makeshift camps.

WTC final | Green’s presence has changed around Australia dugout after recent success in India, say teammates

Cameron Green’s game-changing potential is well documented among his Australian teammates, who feel that his presence in the dressing room has got a new meaning following his success in Indian sub-continent in the last four months. Green scored his first Test century during his maiden Test tour of India earlier this year. He hit an aggressive 114 of just 143 balls in the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Ahmedabad in March this year. Green carried on his form in this year’s IPL, scoring 452 runs from 16 innings at a strike rate north of 160 for Mumbai Indians, which also includes a 47-ball ton that took the five-time champions to the play-offs.

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