Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech to the nation, announced today that the free food grain program for poor families will continue until November. It was his sixth speech in the nation since the Covid-19 outbreak. It follows in the footsteps of the new directives published Monday by the Ministry of the Interior, further relaxing the closure restrictions from July 1 as part of the “Unlock-2” phase.
Highlights of the Prime Minister’s speech
- The Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Rozgar Yojana, under which 80 million family received free rations of 5 kg and 1 kg of dal (cereals) per month, will continue until the end of November. The program will cost the Treasury 90 billion rupees.
- Bring a One Nation One ration card for the whole country. This will greatly benefit migrant workers and their families.
- As we enter Unlock-2 in the battle against the coronavirus, we are also entering a season that will see a lot of rain and people will be more prone to disease. Therefore, I ask everyone to take all necessary precautions.
- People who do not respect safety rules in the context of the pandemic must be detained and educated. No one, not even the country’s leader, is above India’s rules.
A day after India banned 59 apps with Chinese links, China expressed deep concern over the move, saying the Indian government has a responsibility to defend the “legitimate and legal rights” of international investors.
- In a briefing from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China was very concerned about the relevant advice from the Indian side and that it was checking and verifying the situation. Talks between Indian and Chinese corps commanders began in Chushul, Ladakh earlier this morning.
- The aim has been to reduce tensions along the border, as previous efforts to reduce failure have failed on the ground. Talks between Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, corps general commander based at Leh 14, and Major General Liu Lin, commander of the southern Xinjiang military district, began at the Chushul border meeting point on the Indian side.
- The previous rounds of negotiations have taken place on the Chinese side. In the second round of talks on June 22, the two sides reached a “mutual consensus” to disconnect along the current line of control (LAC), and defense sources said the procedures for disconnecting of all areas of friction in eastern Ladakh and would be reported. However, no tangible progress has been made since then.
The General Drug Controller of India has authorized a pharmaceutical company in Hyderabad to conduct clinical trials in humans on a possible vaccine against Covid-19. Trials are expected to begin nationwide in July, called Covaxin, it was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.
- It is an inactivated vaccine created from a strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Inactivated vaccines use the killed version of the pathogen. It can help the immune system generate an antibody response against the virus.
- The number of coronavirus cases in the country amounted to 5.82,205 and the number of deaths to 17,089 so far. India reported 18,522 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
China has officially passed a controversial security law that gives it new powers over Hong Kong. The legislation has heightened fears about the erosion of political freedoms in Hong Kong. The new law will penalize secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, and will also reduce protests and freedom of expression.
- The move follows growing unrest and a growing pro-democracy movement. The BBC reports that democracy activists in Hong Kong have started to resign, fearing the new law and the sanctions it allows.
- The pro-democracy organization Demosisto reacted to the news by announcing that it would cease all operations and activist Johsua Wong, who led the group, said he was leaving. But some other veteran activists have announced that they will launch a protest march on Wednesday, despite the risk of arrest under the new law.
- A team of Chinese researchers has discovered a new flu virus in pigs that could become infectious to humans and potentially trigger another pandemic. The study indicates that the risk
“Pigs are intermediate hosts for the generation of pandemic influenza virus. Thus, systematic surveillance of influenza viruses in pigs is a key measure for pre-warning the emergence of the next pandemic influenza.”According to the paper, published in the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS),