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Daily briefing: JEE begins today; Pune overtakes Delhi to become city with highest Covid cases

From fresh tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to CBI, ED finding that Sushant and his sister Priyanka had exchanged messages about anxiety, read the top stories from print edition here.




Good Morning readers,

We are covering the GDP slump, fresh tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and some new evidence that has come to light in the Sushant Singh suicide case.

Big story

In sync with the pandemic induced series of lockdowns, India’s GDP growth plunged by almost 24 per cent in the April-June quarter. The data is expected to be revised further as it is based on limited data sources in view of the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, NSO said.

Also read our Explained on the economics behind the GDP math.

From the Front page

Well, with the extent of the damage the pandemic has inflicted on the economy now becoming clearer, policy experts working closely with the government suggest it is time the finance ministry quickly announced a second round of fiscal stimulus targeted at the poor.

With the LAC situation already on a tinderbox, sources told The Indian Express that more than 200 PLA troops are massed at a ridge on the south bank of Pangong Tso in an attempt “to change the status quo”. The Army responded by sending “adequate forces” and “pre-empted” the Chinese operation. The latest friction point between the two sides has led to fears of a massive military escalation on the LAC. 

Former President and Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee passed away Monday at a hospital in New Delhi where he had undergone surgery earlier this month. He was 84. We recap the remarkable life he had led and the illustrious career he has had. 

The ongoing investigations by the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case have found that the actor and his sister Priyanka had exchanged messages about anxiety and the latter had recommended him some medicines six days before his alleged suicide. 

Must Read

Of the list of 44 pages opposed to the BJP, which it had flagged to Facebook India during 2019 Lok Sabha elections, claiming they were “in violation of expected standards” and carried posts “not in line with facts”, 14 are no longer on the platform as of Monday. Also, in November last year, the BJP had asked Facebook to re-instate 17 deleted pages and that are now back on the platform.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was last week held guilty of criminal contempt over two tweets, has been fined Re 1 by the Supreme Court. Now, if Bhushan doesn’t pay the fine by September 15, he will undergo a simple imprisonment for a period of three months and be debarred from practising in this Court for a period of three years.

Not all who recovered from Covid had antibodies in Delhi, according to results from a sero-survey. In its July survey, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) did not find antibodies in the blood of 97 out of 208 people who had previously tested positive. This finding indicates that immune response generated by the virus may be “transient in nature”.

With Pune reporting 1,931 new cases on Monday, it has now overtaken Delhi to become the city with the maximum number of people infected with the novel coronavirus. As of now, Pune’s total case count is 1,75,105, while Delhi had 1,74,748 infections.

ICYMI

  • Four people died and four others were injured after a car ran over pedestrians before smashing into the wall of Cafe Janata in Mumbai’s Crawford Market on Monday night.
  • Even when the Centre has made it clear that states cannot enforce local lockdown outside containment zones without consulting it, the Bengal govt said it will continue biweekly lockdown.
  • Karnataka and Goa have allowed bars to reopen from today. This is the first time bars have been opening since the nationwide lockdown was put in place in March.
  • The Election Commission Monday passed a majority order awarding the disputed ‘two leaves’ symbol of Kerala Congress (Mani) to the faction led by Jose K Mani, son of party founder K R Mani.
  • April-June 2020 is the third straight quarter where the country’s farm sector output has grown at a higher rate than the overall GDP in ‘real’ terms.

And Finally

Students across Chhattisgarh were on Monday scrambling to get to centres for IIT-JEE Main, to be held between Tuesday and September 6, with transport preparations made by the state government at the last minute, due to the uncertainty over whether the exam would be held, catching many unawares.

Delhi confidential: The Bangladesh government declared a one-day national mourning after former President Pranab Mukherjee passed away. The Bangladesh national flag will be flown half-mast that day. 

In today’s podcast, we’re looking at the impact of people getting reinfected by COVID-19.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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