26 JULY 2020
A) Rajasthan saga: Will approach President if needed, says Gehlot
Addressing his MLAs at a Congress Legislature Party meeting 25 July, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the Congress would even approach the President, if needed, for resolving the political stalemate in the State. Gehlot has accused the BJP of trying to topple his government by pressuring Governor Kalraj Mistra to stall a test of strength in the Assembly. On the night of 24. July, Mishra had asked Gehlot to resubmit his request for an Assembly session.
B) Shivraj Singh Chouhan tests positive for coronavirus.
On 25 July, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Twitter that he had tested positive for Covid-19. He appealed to those who came in contact with him to get themselves tested, and his close contacts to go into quarantine. BJP State media in-charge Lokendra Parashar said Chouhan would be admitted to Chirayu hospital, a private Covid-19 facility, for his treatment.
C) Significant numbers of ISIS terrorists in Kerala, Karnataka: UN report
A UN report on terrorism has alerted that there are a number of ISIS terrorists who are present in Kerala and Karnataka. As per the report, the al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent terror group, which reportedly has between 150 and 200 militants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, is planning attacks in the region. The report stated that one member state reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate, which was announced on May 10, 2019, has between 180 and 200 members, with a good number of them in Kerala and Karnataka.
D) Covid Watch: Numbers and Developments.
The number of coronavirus infections reported from India stood at 13,83,769 with the death toll at 32,090. India has really fastened up the testing. For the first time, it has conducted more than 4.2 lakh Covid-19 tests in a single day. 4,20,898 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, while tests per million (TPM) have further increased to 11.845, and cumulative testing to 1,58,49,068, the Union Health Ministry said on 25 July. Meanwhile, the Director of the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH) Prof GVS Murthy has said that there cannot be a uniform peak in Covid-19 cases in a large country like India since each State would have its own trajectory based on when people there were exposed to the infection.
E) Congress sends objections to draft EIA.
On 25 July, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has sent in his strong objections to the draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification (EIA) Notification 2020 to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, stating that the proposed changes display a mindset that environmental regulations are an unnecessary regulatory burden. The former Environment Minister, who is heading the Parliamentary Committee on Science & Technology, Environment, Forest and Climate Change now, said that the notification ignores the health and welfare aspect of the people. These changes are not based on the three A’s, audits, assessments, and analyses. The draft notification is right now open to public comments before the government gives its final seal of approval.
F) Four day meeting of RSS concluded. During the four-day meeting of its top office-bearers that began on July 21 and concluded on July 25, the RSS discussed the Ram temple, the India-China border stand-off, and issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and other senior office-bearers discussed ways to hold the proposed Bhoomi puja of a Ram temple in Ayodhya in compliance with Covid-19 protocols. The conclave, which was held in the Sharda Vihar area on the outskirts of Bhopal, also saw discussions on ways to strengthen the Swadeshi movement to counter Chinese expansionism.
A) Australia rejects China’s sea claims.
In a declaration to the United Nations, Australia has formally rejected China’s territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea, aligning itself more closely with the U.S. as tensions rise. In its declaration, Australia said the claims, which take in the majority of the sea, have no legal basis. Apart from the U.S. and Australia, other countries that have contested China’s claims over the South China Sea region include Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
B) No new foreign students for the online-only study say the U.S.
On 24 July, the United States has announced that it will not allow any new foreign student who wants to take admission only for online study. He revoked a highly debated order to expel those who are already here and preparing for that because of the pandemic. This change in the policy was declared in a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The President of the US, Mr. Donald Trump has made a tough decision on immigration. He has also suspended several kinds of visas of foreigners during the ongoing novel coronavirus situation.
C) Russia, China, Iran trying to influence the election: U.S.
On 24 July, the United States intelligence officials have issued a public warning on that China was expanding its influence efforts in the U.S. before the presidential election, along with Russia and Iran. The intelligence warning on 24 July did not accuse the Chinese of trying to hack the vote, instead, it said that they were using their influence in order to shape the policy environment in the United States.
D) Maldives should drop charges against migrants.
On 25 July, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged from the Maldives to drop charges against 80 migrant workers, who were arrested for demanding their unpaid wages. It further said that the authorities had detained the foreign workers during separate demonstrations against inhumane living conditions and work without pay. Workers in the construction sector had not been paid even before the country went into COVID-19 lockdown in March. HRW said that male was invoking national security to deflect from its failure to curb abuses against migrant workers. In response to this, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry said that it has acknowledged the unjust treatment which was done with the foreign workers.