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Daily NEWS Summary: 31.07.2020

The output of eight core industries contracted 15%:

The long-awaited “green shoots” continue to elude the , and the output of eight major industries contracts for the fourth consecutive month. Production in eight central infrastructure industries fell 15% in June due to lower production of coal, crude oil, natural gas, steel, cement and electricity.

  • The eight main sectors had grown 1.2% in June 2019, according to data released Friday by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  • With the exception of fertilizers, all seven sectors (coal, crude oil, natural gas, refined products, steel, cement and power) posted negative growth in May. In April-June 2020-21, the sector’s output fell by 24.6%, compared to a positive growth of 3.4% during the same period of the previous year.
  • These eight industries represent 40.27% of the industrial production index ().
  • The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 16.89,388 at the time of this news summary, with a death toll of 36,469.
  • India reported a record 55,078 new coronavirus cases on Friday.
  • Supreme Court ordered the Center on Friday to ensure that the salaries of doctors and frontline healthcare workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus are paid on time, PTI reported.
  • The Center reported that four states, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka and Tripura, have yet to follow its orders for the timely payment of wages.
  • Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority has extended the suspension of international flights into the country until August 31.
  • At least 21 people have died in various districts of Punjab after allegedly consuming poisonous alcohol. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a high-level investigation into the tragedy. The top congress leader later tweeted that the culprit would not be saved.
  • The J&K government released People’s Conference (CP) leader Sajad Lone after 360 days, but extended the detention of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Mehbooba Mufti for another three months.
  • Mufti and Lone had been detained since the crackdown was imposed on August 5 last year following the revocation of J & K’s special status. J&K regional parties have claimed that more than two dozen senior leaders remain under house arrest, even after completing periods of detention in various sub-prisons in Kashmir since August 5 last year.
  • Lone was released today after spending 360 days under house arrest in Srinagar.
  • The University Grant Commission (UGC) presented orally to the Supreme Court that students should not interrupt their preparation for final year exams which will be held “at the end of September 2020”.
  • Although a UGC affidavit filed on July 31 said exams were scheduled “by the end of September 2020” to give universities enough time to make arrangements amid the pandemic, the same affidavit also informs the tribunal that information received from 818 universities shows that 603 universities had passed their final year exams or were in the process of taking exams from August to September 2020.
  • Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam postponed elections for the city’s legislature seats for a year on Friday. She cited an increase in Covid-19 cases as the reason for the decision. The development is a blow to the pro-democracy opposition which hopes to profit from the vote, Reuters reported.
  • The opposition hoped for a historic majority in the Legislative Council, where only half of the seats are directly elected and the other half are mostly held by pro-Beijing appointees.
  • Lam’s postponement comes after 12 pro-democracy candidates were disqualified from participating in the poll, for reasons that included perceived subversive intentions and their opposition to a new security law.
  • The coronavirus pandemic has given the world the opportunity to reflect and make ‘outrageously bold decisions’ to create a new order, Nobel laureate and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus said in a virtual conversation on Friday with former Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
  • Instead of being eager to ‘get back to where they were’, societies should think again and create a world order where ‘there is no global warming, no concentration of wealth and no unemployment’, he said. Yunus said.
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