Now, Trump offers to mediate between India and China
- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he had offered to help New Delhi and Beijing resolve their tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The offer came as a surprise on a day the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeared to soften its line on the standoff, suggesting the situation was “stable and controllable” now.
- Indian and Chinese troops have faced off at at least four points along the LAC, including Pangong Tso (lake), Demchok and Galwan Valley in Ladakh and Naku La in Sikkim, where PLA soldiers are reported to have occupied tracts patrolled by Indian troops, pitching tents and building trenches.
Govt. removes ₹4,500 ceiling on COVID-19 test
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has written to all the States and the Union Territories, suggesting that the upper ceiling of ₹4,500 for the reverse transcription-polymerase.
- Chain reaction (RTPCR) test for COVID-19 be removed so that they can negotiate with the approved laboratories and introduce cheaper tests.
CBSE students can shift exam venues
- Responding to demands from thousands of students who have been forced to move or been stranded during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has permitted Class 10 and 12 candidates to write their examinations wherever they are now.
- The CBSE had earlier expanded its list of examination centres from 3,000 to 13,000 to allow students a wider choice of venues, and also make it easier to implement social distancing norms.
Locust threat is bigger this year, warns monitor
- The threat of locusts, which have invaded vast swathes of land in Rajasthan and entered neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, is bigger this year in comparison with the damage caused to standing crops in a limited area in 2019.
- Immature locusts, which are not fully grown, have the capacity to cause more harm as they have a longer lifespan. Dr. Gurjar said the breeding grounds in Balochistan were responsible for the movement of 10 to 12 day old locusts towards the Thar desert, from where they were flying huge distances in search of food.
SC declines to modify order letting AI assign middle seats
- The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to further intervene or modify its May 25 order permitting Air India (AI) to assign middle seats to passengers in non-scheduled flights bringing back citizens stranded abroad.
- The court had allowed the public carrier to fill up the middle seats on these flights till June 6, after which AI would have to comply with whatever orders passed by the Bombay High Court in this regard.