Morning Digest | India toughens stand on EU COVID passport; Big tech firms should be held accountable, says EAM Jaishankar, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

India toughens stand on EU COVID passport

India took issue with the European Union’s plans to institute a “green pass” from July 1, with government sources warning that India will introduce a “reciprocal policy” only allowing ease of travel for those European countries that recognise Indian vaccines Covishield and Covaxin.

PM Modi advises Ministers to ‘put in all efforts’ to prevent a third COVID-19 wave

Prime Minister Narendra Modi cautioned his Council of Ministers that the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic still loomed large, urging them to ensure vaccinations in their areas on a war footing and “put in all efforts to prevent a third wave.”

Chhattisgarh’s excess deaths at least 4.8 times COVID-19 toll

The number of “excess deaths” registered by the Civil Registration System (CRS) in Chhattisgarh during the second wave (April to May 2021) was 43,062, which is 4.85 times the official reported figure of 8,878 COVID-19 deaths for the same period.

Government retains small savings rates for Q2

The government has decided to leave the interest rates on small savings instruments for the upcoming July-September quarter unchanged, the Finance Ministry said in a memo.

Drones, flying objects banned in J&K’s Rajouri district

The Rajouri district administration on June 30 banned sale or possession of flying objects, as at least five sorties of drones around the security installations in Jammu since June 27, including the IAF’s technical airport recently, have the security agencies on the tenterhooks in J&K.

Elections no guarantee against tyranny, says CJI

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Wednesday said the mere right of the public to change the “ruler” once every few years by itself need not be a guarantee against “tyranny”.

‘Centre’s digital agri proposals raise concerns of farmer exploitation’

The Centre’s digital agriculture proposals raise concerns of exploitation of farmers, data protection and consent, mismanaged land records, exclusion of landless cultivators and the corporatisation of agriculture, according to 91 organisations which sent in their feedback to the government on Wednesday. They also demanded that the Centre stop implementation of the pilot projects being rolled out in partnership with tech and retail giants including Microsoft, Amazon and Patanjali.

Big tech firms should be held accountable: Jaishankar

Big tech companies that harvest data of Indians should be held accountable, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar at an interaction with former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair at the India Global Forum 2021.

England beats India by 5 wickets in 2nd women’s ODI, clinches series

England beat India by five wickets in the second women’s ODI to take a 2-0 series-clinching lead here. Sophia Dunkley (73 not out) and Katherine Brunt (33 not out) shared 92 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket to chase down the target of 222 with 15 balls to spare on Wednesday.

Venus follows Serena out of Wimbledon

A day after sister Serena endured a heart-breaking Wimbledon exit after suffering an injury in the first round, Venus Williams also bowed out of the singles on Wednesday.

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