The prime ministership eluded Pranab Mukherjee though it had come tantalisingly close more than once. He had held three of the four big portfolios — Defence, Finance and External Affairs. He had walked far.The Indian economy saw its worst contraction in decades, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrinking by a record 23.9% in the April to June quarter in comparison to the same period last year, according to data released by the National Statistical Office on MondayAn outpouring of mourning from across the aisle at the passing of a political leader is a testament to statesman-like qualities, but with former President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s very personal expressions of grief pointed to a special relationship that the two had forged over the years. A relationship that was encapsulated in Prime Minister Modi’s letter at the time when President Mukherjee demitted office at Rashtrapati Bhavan.Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday condoled the passing away of former President Pranab Mukherjee. In a letter to Mr. Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmishtha, Ms. Gandhi said while he had been ailing for some time, his death had come as a great “shock” to her. She described Mr. Mukherjee as an “integral and prominent part of public life, the Congress party, and the Central government for over five decades.”About 1,000 square kilometres of area in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is now under Chinese control, intelligence inputs provided to the Centre suggest. China has been amassing troops and fortifying its presence along the LAC since April-May. Twenty soldiers were killed on June 15 in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in violent clashes with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops.Seven States have contributed 70% of the COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours and of these Maharashtra has recorded the maximum case load of almost 21%, followed by Andhra Pradesh (13.5%), Karnataka (11.27%) and Tamil Nadu (8.27%). Uttar Pradesh with 8.27%, West Bengal with 3.85% and Odisha with 3.84% are the other States, said the Union Health Ministry on Monday.With just over two months to go for the elections, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence told potential Indian immigrants that there would be a merit-based immigration system if there is a second term for the Trump administration.With both the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention now over, how is the race for the U.S. presidency shaping up and what are the issues that will dominate the campaign ahead of the crucial November elections? We review the major discussion points for each party in this podcast and get a perspective from a former U.S. Ambassador to India on how each side could approach diplomatic equations in the South Asia region.India and China need to reach an understanding, given both their growth stories, said External Affairs S. Jaishankar, speaking to an American think tank on Monday, where he called for a “modus vivendi” (agreement to coexist) between the two Asian powers.The Delhi Assembly’s ‘committee on peace and harmony’ on Monday said prima facie it seems that Facebook had a role in the Delhi riots earlier this year, and Facebook India officials will be issued notices to appear at the next meeting of the committee.The Supreme Court on Monday re-kindled the ghosts of past, invoking the memory of an unprecedented press conference held jointly by four its senior most judges in January 2018 to complain of practices in the court which, according to them, threatened judicial independence and the future of democracy.N. Srinivasan said here on Monday that certain statements attributed to him about Suresh Raina, which appeared in some sections of the media, were taken “out of context.” Raina had pulled out of the upcoming IPL, beginning in the UAE on September 19, after travelling with the team to Dubai.
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