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Army chief tells field commanders to be ready for any ‘eventuality’

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Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing border tensions with China, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane firmly told his commanders to be prepared for any “eventuality” and maintain the highest operational preparedness. He gave the remarks during his recent visit to the Tezpur-based 4 Corps, which looks after the China border with Arunachal Pradesh.

“The Army Chief has told all his commanders to be prepared for any eventuality and maintain the highest level of operational preparedness on the front,” Army sources told ANI.

The Army Chief was on a two-day visit to Eastern Command where he was briefed on the Indian and Chinese deployments and build up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) there.

The Chinese Army has maintained four to five Combined Armed Brigades, which are like the Integrated Battle Groups being planned to be set up by the Army for warfighting.

The Indian Army has deployed around 40,000 troops along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh to tackle the heavy build up by the Chinese.

The Chinese Army has also made significant deployments opposite Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. During the talks with the Indian side, the Chinese are refusing to disengage from the Finger area completely and have been raising insignificant issues to buy time.

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Smith won’t be bothered by short-pitch barrage: Andrew McDonald

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Australia’s No.1 batsman Steve Smith won’t be too worried about short-pitch deliveries from Indian fast bowlers during the upcoming tour Down Under, said the hosts’ assistant coach, Andrew McDonald.

“I don’t think it’s a weakness, is it? They’re taking a shot at that area to get him out early and then what you’ll see after that initial potential plan they will go to a more standard try and negate the runs [plan],” McDonald said in a virtual interaction with the media.

“I think they’ve used it before and he’s done well on it before. I’m suggesting that plan hasn’t necessarily worked to its full effect.”

Smith was felled by a short ball from England’s Jofra Archer during the 2019 Ashes, which marked his return to Test cricket after serving a one-year ban. While he missed one Test because of the injury, he scored as many as 774 runs in the series at an average of 110.57.

Smith was then peppered with short deliveries by New Zealand’s Neil Wagner in the Test series between the two sides later in the year.

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PM Modi to inaugurate multi-storeyed flats for MPs

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the multi-storeyed flats for Members of Parliament on Monday at 11 am via video conferencing. The Speaker of Lok Sabha Om Birla will also be present on the occasion. According to an official release, these flats are located at Dr B.D. Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats.

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Kerala clears 5-year jail for offensive social media posts

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday clarified that the new amendment made to the Kerala Police Act “will in no way be used to curtail free speech or impartial journalism”. His comments came a day after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan signed the Police Amendment Act ordinance. As per the ordinance, the law is aimed at stopping cyberbullying, insulting and disgracing individuals on online platforms. Offenders are likely to face a jail term of up to five years or a penalty of Rs 10,000. In some cases, both the jail term and penalty may apply.

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India’s Covid final trials may end in 2 months: Health Minister

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Harsh Vardhan

NEW DELHI: Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said India’s own Covid-19 vaccine candidate could complete its final trials in a month or two. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and privately-held Bharat Biotech this month started third-stage trials of COVAXIN, in a process that would involve 26,000 volunteers. It is the most advanced Indian experimental vaccine. “We are in the process of developing our indigenous vaccines, in the process of completing our third-phase trials in the next one or two months,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

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