Cricket Australia 2020, India tour, schedule, Virat Kohli, dates, Sydney, ODI, T20, Test matches, latest

NSW and Canberra are set launch the international men’s summer with six white ball matches against India, saving the tourists from the prospect of facing a Queensland boarding school.

Cricket Australia is still awaiting final approval from the BCCI but reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Daily Telegraph claim the NSW government had given their approval for India to quarantine and train in Sydney in what is the first step in getting the $300m summer schedule off the ground.

Virat Kohli and co. were originally set to quarantine in Queensland but those north of the border reportedly pulled the plug on that on Sunday evening, unless the team was willing to potentially serve quarantine at a boarding school.

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In India, 70 lakh people have recovered from COVID infection

With 54, 366 fresh cases, India on Friday registered a total of 77.61 lakh cases of novel coronavirus

New Delhi: With 54, 366 fresh cases, India on Friday registered a total of 77.61 lakh cases of novel coronavirus. In the last 24 hours 690 new deaths were recorded taking the country’s total death tally to 1.17 lakh.

According to the union health ministry, India has leaped across a significant milestone in its fight against COVID-19 as active caseload of the country has fallen below 7 lakh for the first time after two months. The active caseload was below the 7 lakh mark last on August 22.


The total positive cases of the country are 6.95 lakh and they comprise 8.96 per cent of the total cases. “With a high number of COVID-19 patients recovering every day along with a steadily falling and sustained low mortality rate, India’s trend of registering decreasing active cases continues,” health ministry officials said.

India is also reporting a high number of recoveries. The total recovered cases are nearly 70  lakhs and the difference between active and recovered cases is consistently increasing. It stands at 62.53 lakh now. The recovered cases are nearly 10 times more than the active cases, officials said adding 73,979 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases are 54,366. The national Recovery Rate has further progressed to 89.53 per cent. A constant drop in daily death figures too has been noticed and the Case Fatality Rate as on date is 1.51% and 24 States/UTs have less than 20,000 active cases.


India has also crossed the 10 crore-mark in conducting tests for detection of COVID-19 with 14,42,722 tests being done in a span of 24 hours. Officials said high level of comprehensive testing on a sustained basis has also resulted in bringing down the national positivity rate. “This indicates that the rate of spread of the infection is being effectively contained. The cumulative positivity rate continues to decline as the total tests cross 10 crore,” the ministry said. The national COVID-19 positivity rate is 7.75 per cent.

Fifteen states and union territories, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Chandigarh, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Delhi, are exhibiting higher COVID-19 positivity rate compared to the national figure, indicting the need for higher levels of comprehensive testing in these regions, the ministry said.


However, Health Economist Rijo M. John highlighted that of the 10 crore tests conducted by India so far, only 4.68 crores are RT-PCR. “The Test Positivity Rate on 7 day average has been declining consistently and is now at 5.2%, at the level it was on May 17. Growth of tests have been slightly above cases for a while and 7 day average daily testing has been at 11.2 lakhs. However, there are discrepancies between total tests reported by the states and ICMR. For the past few days, the 7 day average of daily number of tests reported by ICMR has been close to 2 lakhs more than those reported by the states combined. These needs to be reconciled. Most states do not report results of testing by test types separately. Many are increasingly relying on antigen tests without disclosing if false negatives are being re-tested sufficiently. There is a severe lack of transparency in reporting of some key variables by many,” John said.


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Rural employment falls, employment rate in urban India stays low

New Delhi: India’s labour market remains under stress, primarily because of a fall in the employment rate in rural India and continued low employment rate in urban India, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy said.

“The falling employment rate in rural India and the continued low employment rate in urban India are the weaknesses in India’s labour market recovery process,” the independent think tank said in its weekly analysis. “Given that rural India has a much larger weight in all-India estimates, it is imperative that its employment rate stops falling any further,” it added.

According to CMIE, keeping the employment rate from slipping is challenging.

“To merely keep the employment rate unchanged, the economy has to generate additional jobs. It needs to run to stay where it is,” CMIE suggested.

CMIE data shows that the gap between the monthly employment rate in 2020-21 and the corresponding month of 2019-20 narrowed consistently till August, when it was just 182 basis points, after which it rose to 254 basis points in September. There are apprehensions it may widen further in October.

As per the data, the average rural employment rate stood at 39.1% in the first three weeks of October, lower than 39.8% in September, which was its highest level since the lockdown and closer to the 40.7% rate in 2019-20.

The average employment rate in urban India in the first three weeks of October was 34.8%, slightly better than 34.4% in September, but still over 200 basis points lower than the 2019-20 level.

Citing labour market statistics derived from CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey, CMIE said the data is indicating a stagnation of India’s economic recovery from a shock in April during the lockdown.

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India completes successful test of its own 3rd-gen anti-tank missile, in bid to end reliance on foreign weapons — RT World News

Amid ongoing border tensions with China, India’s defense agency has completed the final test of its third-generation anti-tank missile, which is now set to be deployed by its army.

On Thursday, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) announced that the Nag anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), intended for use in the four-kilometer range, has successfully completed its final trial and is now ready for deployment to the frontline.

In response to continuing skirmishes with its neighbors China and Pakistan along the disputed borders, the DRDO has been actively testing domestic missile technologies in an effort to reduce its reliance on foreign defense equipment suppliers.

The third-generation ATGM, equipped with an imaging infrared seeker and integrated with a warhead, has, over several years, completed 10 trial launches, each of them declared successful. The missiles are now slated for production by the state-owned manufacturer Bharat Dynamics and subsequent deployment.

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The test of the Nag missile is the latest in a string of trials performed by the DRDO in the past month. The agency had earlier tested the supersonic surface-to-surface strategic missile Shaurya, as well as the Nirbhay cruise missile.

Before the success of the Nag, India had long lacked credible anti-tank weapons and was forced to purchase them from overseas partners. Last year, when tensions with Pakistan flared up, it made an emergency purchase of around 200 Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel, all of them immediately deployed along the so-called Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir to bolster defense against Pakistan.

India has been facing a two-front threat for decades, amid unresolved issues about disputed borders with neighbors Pakistan and China. In May, conflict flared up again in the Ladakh region, with armed skirmishes alongside the Line of Actual Control, India’s de facto border with China, though the two countries are currently in active talks to de-escalate the tensions.

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Australia to join India, US, Japan in large naval exercises

Conducted annually since 1992, the maneuvers have grown in size and complexity in recent years to address what the US Navy has previously described as a “variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.”

The participation of Australia means that all four members of the so-called Quad will be participating in the exercises for the first time since 2007.

The Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is an informal strategic forum for the US, Japan, Australia and India, featuring semi-regular summits and information exchanges between the four nations.

While not a formal military alliance like NATO, it is seen by some as a potential counterweight to growing Chinese influence and alleged aggression in Asia-Pacific. The collation has been denounced by Beijing as an anti-China bloc.

The Australian and Indian defense ministries announced the expansion of the drills, which had been long-speculated, late Monday.

Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said the Malabar exercises were key to enhancing Australia’s maritime capabilities, and showcased the “deep trust between four major Indo-Pacific democracies and their shared will to work together on common security interests.”

Australia’s previous participation in the drills in 2007 sparked diplomatic protests from China. Relations between China and Australia have since deteriorated, however, with the two countries locked in a series of long-running trade disputes.

Other members of the Quad have also seen tensions with Beijing spike in recent months. Indian and Chinese troops clashed along the Line of Actual Control — the de facto border between the two countries in the Himalayas — in June.
Japan and China remain at odds over the disputed Senkaku Islands, named the Diaoyus by China, where Beijing has increased the presence of its coast guard vessels.
The US meanwhile has increased the tempo of its naval and air missions in the South China Sea, while pushing back at Beijing’s claims to the vast waterway.

In a statement Monday, India’s Defense Ministry said the four participants “collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.”

The exercises will begin in November in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, India said.

Malabar began as a bilateral exercise between India and the US. Japan became a permanent Malabar member in 2015.

Previous exercises have taken place in the Indian Ocean as well as off the coast of Japan a year ago, and around the US Pacific territory of Guam and in the Philippine Sea in 2018.

The 2017 exercises in the Indian Ocean involved aircraft carriers from the US, India and Japan in what were then described as the largest naval exercises in the region in two decades.

CNN’s James Griffiths contributed reporting.

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India-China dispute: India hands over soldier who crossed border

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India Returns Captured China Soldier in Sign of Easing Tensions

India on Wednesday released a Chinese soldier its forces had detained along the disputed mountainous border with China, signaling an easing of months of tensions that at times this summer had threatened to descend into a broader conflict.

The soldier, a corporal who has not been publicly identified, inadvertently crossed the border while helping local herdsmen search for missing yaks, according to the news agency of the People’s Liberation Army, which reported his return on Wednesday morning.

The statement offered no new details about the circumstances of his disappearance, including why he would have wandered off unaccompanied by other troops. He was the first Chinese soldier detained by the Indian military since tensions escalated this year.

The soldier stumbled into an Indian border post at the base of a hill around 2 a.m. on Monday, an Indian official said. He was wearing civilian clothes and unarmed, and Indian officials believe that he was either genuinely lost or sent on a mission to scout out Indian defenses.

Indian forces have surged to the frontier, high in the Himalayas, following a series of incursions by China that began in April into mountainous terrain that India claims as its own, escalating a border dispute that has simmered for decades.

Violence erupted in June, when Chinese and Indian soldiers fought with clubs and other makeshift weapons. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed, as well as an undisclosed number of Chinese. Soldiers have repeatedly confronted each other since then, and at least one other soldier died after stepping on a land mine.

Both sides have sent reinforcements to the border, settling in for the winter dangerously close to each other, in many places only a few hundred yards apart. In September, a few shots were fired for the first time in decades, breaking a longstanding agreement not to use firearms during border confrontations.

The clash has whipped up nationalist fervor on both sides of the border and derailed relations that had in recent years shown signs of warming, leaving little room for the countries’ leaders, Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi, to make concessions.

In September, though, the foreign ministers of the two countries announced a five-point agreement to defuse the immediate standoff, if not the underlying territorial disputes. Since then, Indian and Chinese military officials have held a series of discussions that appear to have made some progress in avoiding new violence. An eighth round of talks is scheduled this week.

The Indian Army, in disclosing the soldier’s detention on Monday, said that it had given him food, warm clothes, oxygen and medical care to “protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions.” Conditions along the frontier — where the elevation exceeds 14,000 feet — have become even more forbidding with the onset of winter.

The Global Times, a newspaper controlled by the Communist Party of China that often assumes a nationalist tone, welcomed the soldier’s release on Wednesday, calling it a “positive sign” ahead of the next round of talks.

Jeffrey Gettleman contributed reporting from New Delhi.

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India coronavirus: The woman who ferries patients in a school bus

Neelam Singh had been driving a school bus for 18 years when the pandemic struck.

Schools shut as India went into lockdown but case numbers continued to climb, especially in Mumbai city where Ms Singh lives.

Faced with a shortage of ambulances, officials decided to use school buses to drive patients to and from hospitals.

Ms Singh knew the risks when she took on her new role. Mumbai is one of India’s worst-hit cities.

But, even after recovering from Covid-19, she says there was no question of quitting.

Video by BBC Marathi

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