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Last Updated : Jul 4 2020 10:17PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi launches Aatmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge            COVID-19 recovery rate improves to around 61 per cent            Odisha: Two-day weekend shutdown in 17 districts begins            PM lauds BJP workers for their nationwide welfare work during pandemic            No flights to Kolkata from 6 cities to prevent further surge in Corona cases           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS

2030 HRS.

03rd June, 2020


  • Cabinet approves historic amendment to the Essential Commodities Act.

  • Government also gives nod to two ordinances paving way towards transformation of agriculture sector and raising income of farmers.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, Cabinet decisions will have a positive impact on rural India especially industrious farmers.

  • Cyclone Nisarga makes landall at Alibaug in Raigad district of Maharashtra causing heavy rainfall; Thousands shifted to safer places.

  • Covid-19 recovery rate improves to 48.31 percent in the country; More than 1 lakh people cured so far.

  • Government relaxes visa and travel restrictions for certain categories of Foreign Nationals.

  • HRD Minister releases alternative academic calendar for Class 11th and 12th.


The Union Cabinet today approved a historic amendment to the Essential Commodities Act. This is a visionary step towards transformation of agriculture and raising farmers’ income. Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, with the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes have been removed from list of essential commodities. He said, the decision will ensure better price for farmers' produce and also remove fears of private investors of excessive regulatory interference.

Mr Javadekar said, while India has become surplus in most agri-commodities and farmers were unable to get better prices due to lack of investment in cold storage, processing and export as the entrepreneurial spirit gets dampened due to hanging sword of Essential Commodities Act. He said, now the amendment will give  freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute and supply and will lead to harnessing of economies of scale and attract investment into agriculture sector.

Mr Javadekar said that Cabinet has also given nod to the setting up of an Empowered Group of Secretaries and Project Development Cells in Ministries and Departments to attract  investments in the country. This new mechanism will reinforce India’s vision of becoming a five trillion economy by 2024-25. Mr Javadekar said that this will make India a more investment friendly destination and give fillip to domestic industries.

Besides, the Cabinet has also given its approval to re-establish Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and  Homeopathy as Subordinate Office under Ministry of AYUSH. Mr Javadekar said, the commission will be established  by merging into it two Central Laboratories- Pharmacopoeia Laboratory for Indian Medicine and Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Laboratory located at Ghaziabad.


The Union Cabinet also approved two ordinances. It gave nod to the Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020. The ordinance will create an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will enjoy freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce.  The ordinance basically aims at creating additional trading opportunities outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee-APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition. This will supplement the existing Minimum Support Price procurement system which is providing stable income to farmers. It will pave the way for creating One India, One Agriculture Market.

Addressing media after the Cabinet meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that this will promote barrier-free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations. He said, this is a historic-step in unlocking the vastly regulated agriculture markets in the country.


The government also approved The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020. The ordinance will empower farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, wholesalers, large retailers and  exporters on a level playing field without any fear of exploitation. It will transfer the risk of market unpredictability from the farmer to the sponsor and also enable the farmer to access modern technology and better inputs. It will reduce cost of marketing and improve income of farmers.  Briefing media, Mr Tomar said, farmers have been provided adequate protection. Sale, lease or mortgage of farmers’ land is totally prohibited and farmers’ land is also protected against any recovery. Effective dispute resolution mechanism has been provided for with clear time lines for redressal.

In other decisions, the Cabinet also decided to rename Kolkata Port Trust as Kolkata Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust. It also gave its  approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of  Bhutan on Cooperation in the areas of Environment.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that today’s Cabinet decisions will have a very positive impact on rural India especially our industrious farmers. In a series of tweets, Mr. Modi said, long-pending agrarian reforms will enable the transformation of the sector and Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 will pave the way for the creation of One India, One Agriculture Market. He said, there are provisions which increase usage of technology and enable effective dispute resolution mechanisms.

The Prime Minister said, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 approved by the Cabinet will ensure that our farmers get greater freedom to engage with processors, wholesalers, large retailers, exporters while also protecting farmers’ interests.


The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has issued Gazette notification to pave the way for implementation of the upward revision in the definition and criteria of MSMEs in the country. The new definition and criterion will come into effect from 1st of July this year. After 14 years since the MSME Development Act came into existence in 2006, a revision in MSME definition was announced in the Atmnirbhar Bharat package last month. As per this announcement, the definition of Micro manufacturing and services units was increased to one crore rupees of investment and five crore rupees  of turnover. The Ministry in a statement said, as part of new definition, Exports will not be counted in turnover for any enterprises whether micro, small or medium.


Union Government has taken a slew of measures so that entrepreneurs are not hit badly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A sum of three lakh crore rupees has been allocated to provide easy loans for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. MSMEs can also apply for a loan at the nearest bank or on their portals.

"Government will provide 100 per cent guarantee for the  loan taken by MSMEs. Exemption in monthly EMI for one year will be provided with interest of only 7.5 per cent. Centre had also changed criteria for defining MSMES to boost the sector. Turnover limit for small manufacturing and service providing companies has been increased up to five crore rupees. And the turnover limit for Micro segment has been increased to 50 crore rupees and for medium industries, to 100 crore rupees. With Bhupendra Singh, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."


Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga made a landfall at Alibaug in Raigad district of Maharashtra at around 1.15 this afternoon causing heavy rainfall in the state. Thousands of people living in the low lying areas were shifted to safer places in wake of the storm.

The Cyclone has crossed Raigad district, and moved towards north Maharashtra. The India Meteorology Department said, due to a slight change of direction of the cylone path, the impact was less severe in Mumbai and Thane regions, than originally expected. However, the coastal districts of Maharashtra bore the brunt of rough weather condition experiencing strong winds, heavy rainfall and raging sea surge with tidal waves measuring up to 6 to 8 feet in Ratnagiri and Raigad districts. IMD says the Cyclone Nisarga is set to move North Eastwards and weaken into a cyclonic storm later tonight.

"Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has issued fresh instructions for maintaining a state of operational readiness and to ensure immediate rescue works as the cyclone moves from Mumbai and Thane region to North Maharashtra.  Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts were worst hit due to the cyclonic storm. The administration has begun relief and rescue operations in Alibaug since evening. Alibaug witnessed windspeeds of 120-130 kmph.  Efforts are on to restore the disrupted mobile network services in arts of Raigad district. Several low-lying areas in Pune remained inundated due to rains brought in by Cyclone 'Nisarga' since Tuesday night.  The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport  PRO informed that landing and take-off has been permitted at the airport since 6 pm.  SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."


In Gujarat, no major impact of Cyclone Nisarg has been witnessed so far. Relief Commissioner Harshad Patel said, no untoward incident has been reported on the southern coast of Gujarat so far due to the severe cyclonic storm Nisarga. Our correspondent reports that state authorities have so far shifted more than 63,700 people living close to the coast in eight districts to safer places as a precautionary measure.

"Briefing the media, Mr Patel said the wind speed remained normal in Valsad and Navsari districts, which are located close to the Arabian Sea. Valsad and Navsari received rainfall of 2 mm and 7 mm, respectively, since morning. Light to moderate rains were also reported in parts of coastal districts of south Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch. Union territory of Daman also witnessed light showers since morning. in Aparna Khunt, AIR, News, Ahmedabad."


The Central Government today said that the recovery rate has reached 48.31 per cent in the country and the number of recovered people from Corona virus crossed the one lakh mark. During the last twenty four hour, four thousand 776 people have recovered and the total number of cured reached to one lakh 303.

Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, eight thousand 909 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the last 24 hour taking the total number of cases to two lakh seven thousand 615 in the country. This is the highest spike in new cases in one day since the outbreak of Corona pandemic in India. During the last 24 hours, 217 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to five thousand 815. The fatality rate is 2.80 per cent in India. The Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR said that a total one lakh 37 thousand 158 samples of Corona virus were tested in the last 24 hours. With this, figure of total number of tests reached to 41 lakh 03 thousand 233 in the country.


The Government announced relaxation in visa and travel restrictions to permit certain categories of foreign nationals to come to India amid Coronavirus induced lockdown. The foreign nationals include businessmen, professionals, researchers, engineers related to health care and technical specialists. The Ministry of Home Affairs said, it considered the matter regarding relaxation of visa and travel restrictions for certain categories of foreign nationals and decided to permit them. The Ministry said, these foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa from the Indian Missions. The Foreign nationals holding a valid long term multiple entry business visa other than B-3 visa for sports issued by the Indian Missions would have to get the business visa re-validated. It clarified that such foreign nationals would not be permitted to travel to India on the strength of any electronic visa obtained earlier.


Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri today said, Air India has announced that it will open bookings on 5th June for 75 additional flights to destinations in US and Canada between 9th to 30th June under Vande Bharat Mission.These destinations include New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington, Vancouver and Toronto.

In a series of tweets, the Minister said, those who wish to travel to US and Canada and fulfill required entry conditions can book themselves on these outbound flights. Some foreign airlines have already carried out evacuation flights and are planning to operate more flights. These flights will also take foreign nationals. Mr Puri said, normal international civil aviation operations will only start when they can. He added that right now most of the metro cities are under some form of restrictions due to which people from other cities cannot travel to catch flights and there is also requirement for mandatory quarantine on arrival.


Under Vande Bharat Mission, 268 stranded Indian nationals from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Moscow in Russia reached Gaya in Bihar today. Amongst the returnees, 240 are from Bihar while 28 are from Jharkhand.  Meanwhile, 141 persons who had come from London and 142 persons who came from Muscat were sent back from hotels after completion of their quarantine period. 


Indian Railways has successfully refunded one thousand 885 crore rupees to passengers for cancellation of tickets due to COVID-19 lockdown. Railways had suspended its regular passenger train services during the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Corona virus in the country. 

The Northern Railway said, Railways has successfully refunded the amount towards cancellation of tickets to passengers during the period 21st March to 31st May on tickets booked through the online mode. The entire cost of the ticket purchased has been refunded. The money has been transferred in the account from where the payment was earlier made at the time of the booking of the ticket. 

Indian Railways has said that total four thousand 197 Shramik Special trains have been operated from across the country and over 58 lakh migrant workers have been transported in the last 34 days.


In Jammu and Kashmir, the Union Territory Administration today said that it has not taken any decision to re-open Educational Institutions on 15th of June. AIR correspondent reports that Adviser to Lieutenant Governor, K K Sharma, who is also in charge of School Education Department disclosed this today.

Meanwhile, Srinagar District Administration has set-up a Special Helpline to take care of the health related issues with a special focus on patients suffering from kidney ailments, diabetes or cancer. Deputy Commissioner Dr. Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said that dialysis has remained a major demand during the lockdown period with 3,292 patients have been assisted by the helpline at 12 different designated dialysis centres in Srinagar city.

"Srinagar district administration has set up a special helpline to provide assistance to over seven thousand and three hundred non- covid patients in getting free dialysis, chemo therapies,  medicines and transportation during the lockdown period following the outbreak of contagious coronavirus pandemic.  The endeavour of the administration was aimed at minimising the hardships faced by the patients.  Free medicines were delivered to more than eighteen hundred patients, who were in dire need of the same. Apart from this, prescribed life-saving and essential drugs were arranged by the Srinagar administration from New Delhi through Air Cargo on demand and delivered to patients at their doorsteps.  The helpline also attended thirty nine emergencies including accidents and injuries besides providing assistance to one hundred and seven pregnant women for their necessary medical-care." This is Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar."


In Rajasthan, the recovery rate of the Covid19 patients has gone up to 68.66 per cent. Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma told that six thousand 506 out of total of nine thousand 475 Covid patients have recovered so far in the state. The number of active patients of COVID 19 in the state has now come down to two thousand 766.  Our correspondent reports that more than four lakh 40 thousand samples have been tested so far in the state.

"Health Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma told that samples of COVID 19 are being tested at 21 places in 15 districts of the state. The testing facility will be started in 10 more districts soon. Sawai Mansingh Hospital of  Jaipur has tested more than one lakh samples so far. Meanwhile, life in the state is returning to the  gradually. Tourist places, museums and monuments have been opened for tourists. Production work has also started in most of the industrial units. State Roadways has today started the operation of more than 500 buses on 170 routes of the state. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."


Madhya Pradesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Narottam Mishra reviewed the situation and measures to control COVID-19 in Indore, Ujjain and Bhopal today with senior officials of Health Department. Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Mohammad Suleman apprised him about the current situation in the three cities. The highest numbers of Corona infection cases have been reported in these three cities of MP.

"Minister directed the officials to continuously monitor the health arrangements of Indore, Ujjain and Bhopal and all the necessary steps should be ensured for the betterment of the system.  Additional Chief Secretary Health Mohammad Suleman informed that all necessary steps are being taken for effective control of corona virus infection, so that the conditions of Indore, Ujjain and Bhopal can be controlled at an accelerated pace. The situation is currently under control. Madhya Pradesh reported more than 85 hundred COVID-19 cases and 398 deaths due to the disease so far. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."


In the wake of the COVID-19 situation, the Centre has approved the Tamil Nadu Government’s proposal to extend the tenure of the State Chief Secretary K Shanmugham by three months. He was about to retire next month. An order issued by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions  said, he will continue as the Chief Secretary till the end of October. Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 infected cases has surged past the 25-thousand mark with 1,286 people testing positive on a single day today. Our correspondent reports that the State Government is making arrangements for the Tenth Standard public examinations.

"The state school education department is making all out efforts to conduct the deferred Tenth Standard public examinations this month. In a circular, the department has said in a classroom, only ten students should be seated. Irrespective of the student strength in the Tenth standard, all schools outside containment zones where they have studied have been made the examination centres to minimize travel and to ensure social distancing. 9.79 lakh students are going to appear for the examinations from the middle of this month in 12690 centres. For the Eleventh Standard, the public examinations are due for a couple of subjects only, which will also be conducted in the respective schools of the students. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


Kerala reported a spike in COVID cases today with 82 new positive cases, taking the total active cases in the state to 832.

"Among the fresh cases 72 are returnees from abroad  and other States and 5 are health workers.24 people recovered from the disease today.Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said even as the contact spread Covid cases are very less in the State, continuous vigil is necessary to contain the virus. Meanwhile under Vande Bharat mission 8 flights are  carrying stranded Indian nationals from Dubai, Abudhabi, Muscat and Doha to Kerala today. Meanwhile as monsoon intensifies in the State, orange is issued in 3 districts today and yellow in 6 districts tomorrow.  As heavy rain and storm is  predicted in Kerala coast, fishermen are warned from venturing into the sea for next 12 hours. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."


In our series 'Expert Speak' on All India Radio, we bring you the views of the leading medical experts on COVID-19. Talking to AIR News, Dr. Rakesh Garg of All India Institute of Medical Sciences Delhi said that public support is very crucial to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Dr Sanjay Pandey of G B Pant Hospital, Delhi said that the symptoms of the Corona virus are upper respiratory tract infection, sneezing and cough.


In an effort to guard against fake news being circulated on various platforms, we bring you our segment on Fact Checking and Mythbusters.  A claim has been made in an article published in scroll.in that India let 65 lakh tonnes of grains go waste between January to May 2020. Press Information Bureau, PIB said that the article is baseless and misinterpretation of facts. It said, the stock in transit by Food Corporation of India is interpreted as food being wasted.


India has expressed grave concern that Buddhist symbols are being destroyed and the religious and cultural rights and freedoms are being trample with impunity in the Indian territories under illegal occupation of Pakistan. In response to media queries regarding reports of vandalism, defacement and destruction of Buddhist archaeological sites in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, External Affairs Ministry Spokesman Anurag Srivastava said, India has conveyed strong concern at these reports. He said, egregious activities of this nature which display contempt for the ancient civilizational and cultural heritage are highly condemnable. India has sought immediate access for its experts to the area in order to restore and preserve this invaluable archaeological heritage.


Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank released the alternative academic calendar for higher secondary stage that is for Classes 11th and 12th in New Delhi today. The calendar has been developed by the NCERT under the guidance of the Ministry to engage students meaningfully during their stay at home due to COVID-19 through educational activities with the help of their parents and teachers. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said the calendar provides guidelines to teachers on the use of various technological tools and social media tools available for imparting education in fun-filled, interesting ways, which can be used by learners, parents and teachers even while at home.


Now, Let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.

The National capital Delhi will witness minimum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and maximum 35 degrees Celsius with thunderstorm with squall. Mumbai will witness rain or thundershowers towards evening or night. The minimum and maximum will be 26 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius respectively. In the south, Chennai will see a generally cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 29 and 39 degrees Celsius.

Kolkata will also witness partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or Thunderstorm. On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 23 degrees Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 36 degrees Celsius.

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be 11 degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 27 degrees. The city will face mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. The Partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.

In Muzzafarabad, the sky will be Partly cloudy with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm.


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