News Updates

08 July - 14 July, 2019
  • Unhappy with New Portfolio, Navjot Singh Sidhu Resigns from Punjab Cabinet After Feud with Amarinder Singh. Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has been at loggerheads with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and was stripped off key portfolios in the cabinet reshuffle in June, has resigned from the state cabinet. "I hereby resign as Minister from the Punjab Cabinet," Sidhu said in the letter to the Congress chief, which he posted on his Twitter handle. (News 18, 14 July, 2019)
  • Bihar floods: NDRF deployed in nine districts, nearly 18 lakh affected. A total of 45,053 people have taken shelter in 152 camps and are being served at 251 community kitchens being run by the state government, PTI reported. The floods have affected nearly 18 lakh people across nine districts. (The Financial Express, 14 July, 2019)
  • Karnataka crisis: Coalition leaders in hectic parleys on future course of action. Leaders of the crisis-hit ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka were locked in hectic parleys to discuss the future course of action to save the government that is on the brink of collapse, even as efforts to mollify rebel Congress MLA M T B Nagaraj failed. (The Times of India, 14 July, 2019)
  • India's Chandrayaan-2 moon mission called off minutes before launch. India’s moon mission, destined for the uncharted south pole, has been put on hold less than an hour before takeoff, following a technical glitch. The mission, which was scheduled to launch at 02:51 local time from Sriharikota space centre, north of Chennai, is India’s most ambitious to date. (The Guardian, 14 July, 2019)
  • ’80pc and beyond agreed upon,’ says Dr. Faisal following Kartarpur Corridor talks with India. Following the second round of talks between India and Pakistan regarding the Kartarpur Corridor, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said over 80 per cent has been agreed upon between the two sides. The second round of talks were held today at Wagah.The FO spokesperson said that he could not share details until a final agreement was reached. (Dawn, 14 July, 2019)
  • Kartarpur Corridor: Punjab CM welcomes 'Pak decision' to 'remove requirement of separate permit system'. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh welcomed Pakistan's "decision" to remove the requirement of a "separate permit system" for pilgrims to travel through the Kartarpur corridor. There was no announcement on the permit system in the talks between India and Pakistan, however, Islamabad "in-principle agreed" to allow visa-free travel for Indian passport holders and OCI card-holders. (The Times of India, 14 July, 2019)
  • India-US trade talks end without major progress; all eyes on Piyush Goyal's US visit next month. US and Indian trade negotiators ended talks without making major progress on a range of disputes over tariffs and other protectionist measures imposed by both sides that are straining bilateral ties, according to officials with knowledge of the discussions. Many tough questions on agricultural commodities, e-commerce, and steel and aluminum, have been put off until Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal goes to Washington for talks with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer next month. (Business Today, 13 July, 2019)
  • Indian government dismisses al-Qaeda threat. Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri in a video message called for “liberating the jihad in Kashmir from the clutches of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies” and asked militants in Kashmir to focus on “unrelenting blows” against India. Raveesh Kumar, spokesman for External Affairs Ministry, said during a media briefing in New Delhi, “Our security forces are well equipped and capable of maintaining our territorial integrity and sovereignty.” (Anadolu Agency, 11 July, 2019)
  • India ‘Clearly’ Conveyed Its Requirement for S-400 to US. A day ahead of tough trade negotiation with the US, the Indian Foreign Ministry stated that it will proceed with the purchase of S-400 air missile defence systems from Russia. He was replying to the threat of sanctions issued by the Donald Trump administration over the $5.43 billion deal with Russia. The agreement was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin's two-day visit to India. (Sputnik News, 10 July, 2019)
  • Centre bans pro-Khalistan fringe group Sikhs for Justice, Punjab CM welcomes move. The Centre banned pro-Khalistan outfit Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) for a period of 5 years. The fringe organization was founded in 2007. It is known to push for the Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda. (India Today, 10 July, 2019)
  • S Jaishankar takes oath as member of Rajya Sabha. Union Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in bye-elections held for two seats. (, 08 July, 2019)
02 July - 09 July, 2019
  • Karnataka government teeters as 12 MLAs submit their resignations. In a day of dramatic developments that brought the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka to the brink of collapse, 12 MLAs of the ruling coalition submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker’s office. (The Hindu, 07 July, 2019)
  • PM Modi launches BJP's membership drive in Varanasi, says will achieve $5 trillion economy goal. Prime Minister Modi launched the BJP's countrywide membership drive in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi. Speaking at the drive's launch, PM Modi said his government will fulfil the dreams of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, as the day marks his birth anniversary. PM Modi mentioned in his speech that earlier he had the honour to unveil a statue of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri in the city. (India Today, 06 July, 2019)
  • Budget 2019 updates | Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman arrives at North Block. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is set to present the maiden budget of Narendra Modi 2.0 government in Lok Sabha on Friday, July 5, 2019. It is a tight rope walk for India’s first full time woman Finance Minister who has to contain fiscal deficit target and lay the roadmap for the ambitious $5 trillion dollar economy dream of the country. (The Hindu, 05 July, 2019)
  • India set to play key role of security guarantor in Indian Ocean region: Maldives def forces chief. India has been providing swift help to its neighbours at times of natural calamities and security threats, and it is all set to play the key role of a "security guarantor" for peace and stability within the greater Indian Ocean region, Maldivian Defence Forces Chief Abdulla Shamaal said. (Business Standard, 05 July, 2019)
  • United States Senate passes provision to give India status of NATO ally. The United States Senate has passed a legislative provision that brings India on par with America’s allies like South Korea, Australia, Israel and Japan in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. This will increase cooperation between the United States and India in the areas of humanitarian assistance, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and maritime security in the Indian Ocean. (, 04 July, 2019)
  • India says its relations with Iran not influenced by any third country. "India's bilateral relations with Iran stand on their own and are not influenced by India's relations with any third country," Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said in a written reply. After six-month-long exemptions from US sanctions to buy oil from Iran ended in May, India said it will deal with the issue based on three factors: the country's energy security, commercial consideration and economic interests. (Press Tv, 04 July, 2019)
  • Amit Shah solution for J&K peace: Jobs for youth, exposé of corrupt Separatists. The Centre considers President’s rule in Jammu & Kashmir as ‘golden opportunity’ to win the hearts of people. With BJP chief Amit Shah at the helm of the crucial home ministry, the government is working on a two-pronged strategy — a strong push to development projects for generating employment opportunities and “expose” local politicians involved in scams and serving their vested interest. (The Times of India, 04 July, 2019)
  • Rahul Gandhi resigns as India's Congress party leader after crushing defeat. India's main opposition Congress Party is preparing to choose a new leader after Rahul Gandhi stepped down as president in the wake of his party's crushing defeat in the country's recent elections. "It is an honor for me to serve the Congress Party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation. I owe the country and my organization a debt of tremendous gratitude and love," Gandhi tweeted alongside a four-page letter. (CNN, 03 July, 2019)
  • Second meeting on Kartarpur Corridor to be held on July 14. Pakistan has conveyed to India that the second meeting to discuss the draft agreement for finalising the modalities of Kartarpur Corridor and related technical issues will be held on July 14 at Wagah border crossing. (Daily Times, 03 July, 2019)
  • 800 terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir between 2014-18, says Modi government. The security forces have killed 800 terrorists since 2014, of which 249 were in 2018, the Centre told the Parliament. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State in the Defence Ministry Shripad Naik said 104 terrorists were killed in 2014, 97 in 2015, 140 in 2016 and 210 in 2017. (The New Indian Express, 03 July, 2019)
  • ISRO Chooses Russia to Train Astronauts for Gaganyaan. India signed a deal with a Russian organisation to help train the astronauts for its major Gaganyaan mission. In this mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation aims to send three astronauts in a spacecraft into low-Earth orbit, keep them there for seven days before bringing them back home. The US and France had also offered training support, but ISRO eventually picked Russia’s Glavkosmos. (The Wire, 02 July, 2019)
  • IAF to get Rafale fighter jets in September, flight to India next May. India will get its first Rafale fighter jets in September this year with a ceremony being planned in France to officially hand over the cutting-edge combat jets to the air force. (The Economic Times, 02 July, 2019)
  • If Article 370 is temporary, so is our (J&K) accession: Farooq Abdullah. On a day when the Rajya Sabha passed two key proposals regarding the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha, former J&K chief minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah fiercely defended Article 370. “If Article 370 is temporary then our accession is also temporary. When Maharaja acceded, it was temporary,” Abdullah told media persons in Kathua. (Times Now, 01 July, 2019)
  • 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan': Govt launches water conservation campaign. With some parts of the country reporting water shortage, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched a conservation campaign, with a focus on five aspects — water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development, and intensive afforestation, Drinking Water sanitation secretary Parmeswaran Iyer said. (Times of India, 01 July, 2019)