Free Press Bulletin
Free Press Bulletin

Here are the top 5 news updates of June 23, 2021:

1. COVID-19: Delta Plus 'variant of concern', around 40 cases reported in India, says govt

Around 40 cases of the Delta plus variant, classified as a variant of concern (VOC), have been detected sporadically in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, the Union Health Ministry said today. Delta variant as well as all Delta sub-lineages including Delta plus are classified as VOC, it said. "As of now among the samples sequenced (45000+) in India, Delta plus variant has been observed sporadically in Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, with around 40 cases identified so far and no significant increase in prevalence," the ministry said in its statement. These three states have been advised to strengthen surveillance and take appropriate public health measures.

2. Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi's assets worth Rs 9,371 cr transferred to state-run banks: ED

About 40 per cent of the money lost by banks in alleged frauds perpetrated by fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya has been recovered so far, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said after the sale of attached shares worth over Rs 5,800 crore today. According to the agency, the latest sale proceeds take the total value of recovery to Rs 9,041.5 crore, or 40 per cent of the over Rs 22,000 crore allegedly defrauded by the trio. Commenting on the development, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted, "Fugitives & economic offenders will be actively pursued; their properties attached & dues recovered."

3. Poll strategist Prashant Kishor meets Sharad Pawar, 3rd time in a fortnight

Political strategist Prashant Kishor met Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar today, a day after leaders of eight opposition parties gathered at Pawar's residence and discussed various issues facing the country. According to PTI, the closed-door discussions between Kishor and Pawar, held at the latter's residence in Delhi, lasted for about an hour. This was their third meeting within a fortnight. These meetings with Pawar has fuelled speculations about the possibility of opposition parties coming together to form a third front against the BJP.

4. 76% parents say not sending children to school till Covid-19 cases down to zero: Study

A total of 76 per cent parents are not ready to send their children to school till cases in their district go down to zero or children get vaccinated. According to a survey by Local Circles, the percentage of parents who will send their children to school has reduced from 69 per cent to 20 per cent in 4 months. 65 per cent parents approve of their children receiving the Covid vaccine if it is made available by September 2021. Earlier, the government in its daily briefing announced this week that opening schools will be difficult till a major chunk of the population is vaccinated.

5. Sensex drops 283 points; Nifty ends below 15,700

Equity benchmark Sensex gave up early gains and tumbled 283 points today following losses in index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC and ICICI Bank. The 30-share BSE index ended 282.63 points or 0.54 per cent lower at 52,306.08. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty declined 85.80 points or 0.54 per cent to 15,686.95. Kotak Bank was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding over 1 per cent, followed by L&T, Tata Steel, HDFC, TCS, Reliance Industries, HCL Tech and ICICI Bank. On the other hand, Maruti, Titan, Bajaj Finserv and M&M were among the gainers.

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