FIVE RAFALE FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS TAKE OFF FOR INDIA FROM FRANCE:
In a long-awaited development, five Rafale fighter aircraft today took off for India from an airbase in France to join the Indian Air Force fleet in Ambala on July 29. The five aircraft flying to India today includes seven Indian pilots including the commanding officer of the 17 Golden Arrows squadron. All the pilots have been trained on the aircraft by the French Dassault Aviation company as per the agreement signed for the biggest ever defence deal signed by India in 2016 for acquiring 36 Rafale jets for over Rs 60,000 crore.
INDIA BANS 47 MORE CHINESE APPS:
The government has banned 47 more Chinese apps, taking the total number of mobile applications banned for being prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and defence of the country, to 106, according to a source. The source privy to the development said that the 47 additional Chinese apps that have been banned now were clones and variants of the apps which were blocked earlier. An order to this effect was issued on Friday, the source said. The list of additional apps that have been banned was not immediately available, and there is no official word on the matter yet.
DEADLINE FOR MANDATORY HALL MARKING FOR GOLD JEWELLERY EXTENDED:
Last November, the Consumer Affairs Ministry set the deadline for January 15 2021. Till now, gold hallmarking, which is a purity certification of the precious metal, was voluntary in nature. The government had given jewellers more than a year to shift to hallmarking and register themselves with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The mandatory hallmarking, the BIS believes, will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
TELANGANA STATE UPDATES:
The Ganesh Chathurthi festival this year will be celebrated from August 22 to September 1. However, the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi on Monday declared that there would be no centralized immersion ceremony this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and appealed to pandal organisers to keep the celebrations a low key affair. Telangana recorded 1473 new Covid-19 infections and eight fatalities till Sunday night, which pushed the overall toll to 471 and the cumulative number of positive cases since the outbreak of the pandemic to 55,532. In the last 24 hours, according to the health bulletin, 774 persons recovered, which took the overall recoveries to 42, 106. The number of active Covid-19 cases across the State as on Sunday night was 12,955.
US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONA VIRUS:
President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Robert O’Brien has tested positive for the coronavirus — making him the highest-ranking official to test positive so far. The White House confirmed that Mr. O’Brien has mild symptoms and has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site, adding that: There is no risk of exposure to the President or the Vice President” and that the “work of the National Security Council continues uninterrupted”. Senior White House staff and anyone who comes into close contact with the President and Vice-President are tested for the virus every day.