Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of July 9, 2021:

1. After taking charge as rail minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw directs officials in his office to work in 2 shifts

Hours after taking charge as the new Railways Minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet, Ashwini Vaishnaw ordered officials and staffers in his office to work in two shifts.
The first shift will start at 7am, an order by his office said hours after he took charge on Thursday.

An order to that effect was issued from the office of the Minister of Railways, Communication, Electronics and Information Technology. "Hon'ble MR has directed that all the officers and staff of MR Cell will work in two shifts ie 7:00 hrs-16:00 hrs and 15:00 hrs - 12:00 midnight with immediate effect," it said.

2. Whatsapp puts new privacy policy on hold. Here is all you need to know

WhatsApp on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it has voluntarily put its updated privacy policy on hold during a hearing about WhatsApp and FB's plea challenging CCI's enquiry into the policy.

Representing WhatsApp, senior Advocate Harish Salve tells Delhi HC that Whatsapp has responded to MEITY's notice seeking a response. "WhatsApp will not limit functionality for some time and continue to show users the updated until Data Protection Bill comes into force", he added.

WhatsApp had initially announced its new privacy policy in January and gave users an ultimatum to sign up or lose their accounts. After pushback, it had halted this but in February again sent out reminders with a new message.

However, this saw various complaints, all of which said that WhatsApp's privacy policies were harmful to the privacy and interests of Indians. Facebook and WhatsApp responded to complaints, but the company had already taken steps to halt the rollout.

3. Bhima Koregaon violence case: Maharashtra govt-appointed Inquiry commission to record statement of Sharad Pawar

Maharashtra govt-appointed Inquiry commission will record statement of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, ANI reported.

Recently, Bhima Koregaon accused Stan Swamy on Monday passed away in Mumbai's Bandra Hospital. He was 84.

On January 2, 2018 violence erupted at an event to mark 100 years of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, leaving one dead and several injured, including 10 policemen. The police had filed 58 cases against 162 people during a state-wide shutdown in January following clashes in Bhima-Koregaon.

Following this, on March 18, 2020, Bhima Koregaon Commission had summoned Sharad Pawar to appear before the Commission. The Commission was inquiring into the reasons which led to the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence in Maharashtra.

While speaking to ANI, Ashish Satpute, inquiry commission lawyer said, "Maharashtra government-appointed inquiry commission will record the statement of NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the Bhima Koregaon violence case. Witnesses' statements to be recorded from August 2 and Pawar will be summoned as well."

4. Uttar Pradesh: Two test positive for Kappa variant of COVID-19

Two individuals in Uttar Pradesh have reportedly tested positive for the Kappa variant of COVID-19.
A genome sequencing of 109 samples done at King George's medical college in Lucknow has returned 107 confirmed samples of highly infections Delta variant of Covid-19, and also carried two samples of the Kappa variant.

This is not a new variant. According to the World Health Organizations's site on tracking SARS-Cov-2, the Kappa variant was first detected in India in October 2020. The variant is identified as B.1.617.1, while Delta is represented as B.1.617.2.

WHO at present has not classified this variant as a variant of concern, but as 'Variant of Interest', like Lambda, which has already spread in 30 countries across the world.

Kappa variant is a double variant as delta because of two mutations -- EE484Q and L452R.

5. Markets end weak for second straight session; RIL, TCS, Bajaj Auto lead fall

The Benchmark Indices fell intra-day over half percent, tracking the decline in global peers amid concerns that the spread of COVID variants could disrupt economic recovery but later recovered partially from the intra-day low mainly led by Metal and Realty stocks. Central Depository Services (CDSL), has become the first depository to cross more than four crore active Demat accounts in India. Union Cabinet approved India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II amounting to $3.10 billion for FY22.

On the back of global clues and SGX Nifty, the index opened on a gap-down note and made an intraday low at 15,632.75 levels but managed to close at 15,689.80 levels with a loss of 38.10 points. While, bank Nifty closed at 35,071.95 levels with a loss of 202.15 points. The Indian VIX closed at 12.95 down by 4.57 percent.

On the sectoral front, the Nifty Metal inched up by 2 percent while the Nifty FMCG and Energy ended in red. Stocks like Tata Steel, Bajaj Finserv, Adani Ports, and Bharti Airtel were top gainers while Bajaj Auto, TCS, HDFC Bank, were top losers in the Nifty.

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