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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

Morning News

0830 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hold Virtual Summit with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison today.
  • Centre amends Essential Commodities Act; Cereals, pulses, onion and potatoes removed from essential commodities list; Farmers can sell their produce outside State.
  • Seven-day home quarantine must for all those arriving in Delhi by flights, trains or buses.
  • Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga weakens into a deep depression.
  • World Health Organization to resume its trial of hydroxychloroquine for potential use against coronavirus. 
  • United States suspends passenger flights from China beginning 16th of June.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold India-Australia Virtual Summit with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison today. Dates for the visit of the Australian Prime Minister to India this year had been finalized, but the visit could not take place. It was agreed to hold a Virtual Summit. This is the first time that Prime Minister Modi will be holding a Bilateral Virtual Summit. It signifies the strengthening of ties with Australia and its upward trajectory.

The two leaders earlier had a telephonic conversation on 6th of April where they discussed the ongoing COVID-19, including facilitation and support for citizens stranded in each other’s country. The Indian diaspora has contributed significantly to the linkages between the two countries. During the telephonic conversation, Mr Morrison spoke of the Indian community, including Indian students being valued as a vibrant part of the Australian society.

India and Australia have very warm and friendly relations, which have been expanding and growing steadily. The Strategic Partnership between the two countries was strengthened in 2014 - with the visit of the then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to India and the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Australia in November 2014. The Framework for Security Cooperation between Australia and India signed in November 2014 during Mr Modi's visit to Australia. The economic engagement has also been growing. In 2018-19, the trade between the two countries was around 21 billion dollars. The two countries are looking at stepping up investments and trade with each other. As two democratic nations, India and Australia have developed an understanding of each other’s perspectives on regional and global issues. Both nations also have a shared approach to a free, open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.


The Union Cabinet has approved a historic amendment to Essential Commodities Act. This is a visionary step towards transformation of agriculture and raising farmers’ income. Briefing media after the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, with the amendment to Essential Commodities Act, commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes have been removed from the 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.

Our correspondent reports that the amendment  will help drive up investment in cold storages and modernization of food supply chain.

"The Government, while liberalizing the regulatory environment, has also ensured that interests of consumers are safeguarded.  It has been provided in the Amendment, that in situations such as war, famine, extraordinary price rise and natural calamity, such agricultural foodstuff can be regulated.  However, the installed capacity of a value chain participant and the export demand of an exporter will remain exempted from such stock limit  so as to ensure that investment n agriculture are not discouraged. The amendment to the Essential Commodities Act will help both farmers and consumers while bringing in price stability. It will create competitive market environment and also prevent wastage of agri-produce that happens due to lack of storage facilities. Anand Kumar, AIR News, Delhi."


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that 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.


Narendra Modi government recently completed one year of its second term. Our correspondent takes a look at the slew of measures and economic reforms introduced in last one year of the government.

"Nurturing national sentiments on one hand, the nation en marched on its path of inclusive Vikas Yatra when the uphill task to embolden the economy was handed to Nirmala Sitharaman. As the first full time woman finance minister of the country, she announced slew of economic measures catering to needs of middle class, corporates, MSMEs, labourers  and farmers in her two budgets. When the world was reeling under economic mayhem, Ms. Sitharaman's vision remained clear to push employment generation and stimulate the make in India and made for world initiative. Even when the economy was masked due to Corona Virus, the Narendra Modi government through its preemptive and proactive response rolled out a package of 1 lakh 70 thousand crore rupees on the second day of nationwide lockdown. Direct cash relief was extended to over 40 per cent of the population. Around 66 percent of the population received extra food grains for three months. The Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus of over 20 lakh crore rupees added new leaflets of historic reforms. The ambit of MSMEs was widened for all enterprises with turnover upto 250 crore rupees. Farmers were given freedom to sell their produce in any part of the country. Salaried employees  and employers were benefitted as government committed to bear the 24 percent EPF contribution on their behalf. Provisioning of 3 lakh crore collateral free loan for MSMEs, two lakh crore concessional credit for farmers and self reliant loan scheme for street vendors were few other major decisions by the government to heal the economy from to the viral contagion. Anand Chaturvedi, AIR News, Delhi."


The government has decided to permit foreign nationals including businessmen, professionals, researchers, engineers related to health care and technical specialists who need to come to India. The government has considered the matter regarding relaxation of visa and travel restrictions for certain categories of foreign nationals and decided to permit them.

Ministry of Home Affairs said, these foreign nationals would have to obtain a fresh business visa or employment visa from the Indian Missions. 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.


India has expressed grave concern that Buddhist symbols are being destroyed and the religious and cultural rights and freedom is being trampled upon 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.


Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri says, Air India has announced that it will open bookings on 5th June for 75 additional flights to destinations in US and Canada between 9th and 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 fulfil 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.


Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the country's focus in the current phase of fight against coronavirus is mainly on prevention and awareness and for these the role of civic bodies is very vital. Interacting with representatives of Municipal bodies of Jammu and Kashmir through video conference, Dr Jitendra Singh said the need of the hour is to follow the mantra of awareness, not anxiety. He said for this, the elected representatives of municipal bodies, who are the grassroot leaders, can play a convincing role by making people understand the importance of exercising precaution without panic.

Dr Jitendra Singh said the main consideration in earlier two phases of fight against COVID-19 was to arrange for the essential supplies for people held up in different parts of the country and in the later phase, the main responsibility was to ensure free movement of the people returning home from different parts of the country.


Union Environment Ministry has taken a serious note of the death of an elephant in Kerala's Silent Valley Forest and has sought complete report on the incident. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a statement in New Delhi that Stern action will be taken against the culprits.

The pregnant elephant was killed in Malappuram after eating a pineapple laced with explosives. The elephant was in such great pain that she died standing in a river -- an extremely unusual sight.


The Delhi government has said that all asymptomatic  passengers coming to Delhi by air, train or  bus will need to home quarantine themselves for seven days. Delhi Disaster Management Authoritiy has reduced the mandatory home quarantine period from 14 days to 7 days for asymptomatic travellers.

In the order issued  by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, the city government has said that  airport, railways and transport authorities  will provide passenger list to the office of Principal Secretary- (Revenue) - cum Divisional Commissioner of Delhi on daily basis. After that the passenger list will be sent to concerned District Magistrates under whose jurisdiction the passenger resides or stays to ensure the 7 day quarantine.


In our series 'Expert Speak' on All India Radio, we bring you the views of leading medical experts on COVID-19. Talking to AIR News, Dr. Uma Kumar, Head of  Rheumatology Department, AIIMS said that till date there is no proven medical treatment for coronavirus infection.

President of Public Health Foundation of India, Dr K Srinath Reddy said India is in a much better position as compared  to rest of the world as far as the COVID-19 cases are concerned  and the measures taken are yielding results.


Senior Physician Dr. Tanmay Talukdar said most of the people who got infected of Covid 19 are asymptomatic  or mild symptomatic and they can be silent carriers of the disease to spread it to healthy people.


The Union Health Ministry  has issued  guidelines for safe Ear, Nose & Throat- ENT practice amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The guidelines are aimed at minimising the spread of Covid-19 infection among ENT doctors, nursing staff, support staff, patients and their attendants.

According to the guidelines, all patients entering the ENT OPD shall be thermal screened to minimize exposure to staff and patients. The Ministry said that  patients having symptoms suggestive of Covid 19 whether ENT  or Respiratory Symptoms, should be seen in a separate Covid-19 screening Clinic and not in the ENT OPD.


Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga has weakened into a deep depression after making its landfall near Alibag in Maharashtra yesterday. Speaking exclusively to All India Radio, Director General of Meteorology of the Indian Meteorological Department Dr. Mrutyunjay Mahapatra said that the cyclone has further weakened.

The cyclonic storm lashed several parts of Raigad, Thane, Palghar, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. The cyclone has crossed over Nashik. The western coasts of Maharastra bore the brunt of  the cyclone and rough weather condition experiencing strong winds, heavy rainfall and raging sea surge with tidal waves measuring upto 6-8 feet in Ratnagiri and Raigad districts. With life returning back to normal, the state government has directed to conduct panchanama to ascertain loss caused by the Cyclone. More from our Mumbai correspondent

"Under the influence of Cyclone Nisarga, Gale wind reaching upto 80 kmph are vey likely to prevail over Pune and Ahmednagar and gustling winds upto 75 kmph in the adjoining Beed, Nashik, and Aurangabad district. Light to moderate rainfall is expected at some places while heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places.The cyclone has weakened further and proceeded further towards Madhya Pradesh. Four deaths were reported due to Cyclone, 2 each in Pune and Alibaug, while 3 people injured in Pune district. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray issued fresh instructions for starting relief and rescue operations in the areas hit by Cyclone. SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."


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

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 36 degrees Celsius. The city will observe Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be 11 degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 27 degrees. The city will observe Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius. The region will have Partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.

In Muzzafarabad, there will be Partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm.The minimum temperatures will be 15 degrees Celsius while maximum temperature will be around 32 degrees Celsius.


In Gujarat, the number of coronavirus cases crossed 18,000 mark with 485 new patients reported in the last 24 hours. Our correspondent reports that out of the fresh cases, 290 are in Ahmedabad alone. 30 new deaths were reported yesterday taking the death toll to 1,122. State health department said as many as 318 coronavirus patients also recovered yesterday. A report..

"Out of the total 18, 117 cases, 12,212 patients have been recovered and were discharged from the hospitals so far. According to state health department, the state's current recovery rate is 67.4 per cent which is more than the national average. At present, there are 4,783 active cases in the state, of which  64 patients are on ventilator. Ahmedabad remains a hotspot for covid 19. The district reported a total of 13,063 cases so far. In Surat, number of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,793 while in Vadodara, it went up to 1,140. APARNA KHUNT, AIR NEWS, AHMEDABAD."


Uttar Pradesh will soon have COVID testing labs at block level in the state and Central government will help in this project. Talking to All India Radio, Chief Minister of the state Yogi Adityanath said that along with the fight against this pandemic his government is also strengthening the health system of the state. He said that new machines are going to be set up in every district which will provide the test results of suspected corona patients in just one hour.

"The new TRINET machines will be placed at Non- COVID hospitals. These machines will provide test results in one hour and will help Non-Covid patients in getting early treatment in case of emergency.  Talking to AIR Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Whether it is strengthening of facilities at Hospitals or the opening of new testing labs, Central government has helped the UP government at every front.

Uttar Pradesh has recently become the first state in the country to prepare one lakh  beds for COVID-19 patients, with each of the 75 districts having dedicated beds for patients in the respective facilities. SUSHIL TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."


In West Bengal 340 people tested Corona positive in the last 24 hours , which is the highest single day toll in the State so far. Another 10 persons died of the infection during the period. More from our Correspondent:

"Spread of Carona infections is still abated in the State. Fire Services Minister Sujit Basu has admitted into a Nurshing home last evening in Kolkata following he tested positive. According to the latest report of the State Health Department most of the affected people and deaths have been detected from Kolkata followed by Howrah and North 24 Paraganas districts. As of now 6 thousands 508 people have been affected by the virus while total number of deaths stands at 273. Altogether 2 thousands 580 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovery. The rate of recovery is pegged at over 39 percent at present in the State. Arijit Chakraborty, AIR News, Kolkata."


In Tamil Nadu, the total number of Covid-19 infected people has surged past the 25-thousand mark yesterday with 1,286 people testing positive on a single day. Chennai alone reported 1012 new cases taking the total to 17,598 whereas the state tally has gone up to 25,872. 610 patients were discharged from hospitals after being cured while 11 others died of the disease, taking the fatalities to 208.

Meanwhile, the state health department has revised the guidelines on organ transplant surgeries due to the Covid-19 situation. More from our correspondent:

"The health department in Tamil Nadu has notified a revised set of regulations for organ transplant operations in hospitals to ward off the SARSCoV2 viral infections. The state, especially the capital Chennai, tops the chart in organ transplant surgeries in the country. However, to safeguard the interests of the patients, it has been made compulsory that the doctors of different specialties, nurses and paramedical staff involved in organ transplant surgeries should be designated only for that purpose. They should be tested for the virus periodically and they should not be involved in any other wings in a hospital. The sensitive and complex surgeries are ruled out in Covid-19 designated hospitals. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


World Health Organization Director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that WHO will resume its trial of hydroxychloroquine for potential use against the coronavirus,  after those running the study briefly stopped giving it to new patients over health concerns. Speaking at an online media briefing he said that WHO experts had advised the continuation of all trials including hydroxychloroquine.

The UN agency had last month paused its large study of HCQ treatments against COVID-19 in which newly enrolled patients were getting the anti-malarial drug due to fears of increased death rates and irregular heartbeats.


The United States has issued an order seeking to suspend passenger flights from China from 16 June. The Trump administration said that the step was taken in retaliation to China's refusal to let US airlines resume flights to China. The order still needs final approval from US President Donald Trump.

US Department of Transportation order applies to four airlines - Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines - which have continued to fly between the two countries during the pandemic, although at reduced levels. The Trump administration has said it would continue to "engage" on the air travel issue.

Beijing in March said domestic and foreign airlines could operate no more than one weekly flight between China and any given country, adding that carriers could not exceed the level of service they were offering on 12 March. The Department of Transportation said the March order had effectively banned US airlines, which had voluntarily suspended service between the two countries in February due to the coronavirus pandemic.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme today will bring you a Special discussion on  Covid-19.

Dr. (Lt General) Ved Chaturvedi, senior physician, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi will participate in the discussion.

Listeners can ask questions to the experts on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444  and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews s by #tag Askair.

This can be heard tonight on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM onwards. This programme will also be available on our website NEWS ON AIR DOT COM and on our YouTube Channel NEWSONAIROFFICIAL. You can also follow us on the NEWSONAIR app for s.


Newspaper Headlines

  • Many dailies carry photographs of the fury of Nisarga in Maharashtra. "Nisarga rains misery amid war on Covid", headlines Mail Today.  "Mumbai escapes Nisarga's fury, Gujarat heaves sigh of relief", writes The Hindu

  • The Hindu highlights the massive spike of 9,577 cases in a day in India, with the toll rising to 6077.

  • But there is some good news. "Plasma therapy raises hope", reads the headline in The Pioneer.

  • "Workers begin to travel back from UP to Mumbai", headlines Hindustan Times.  In UP, just 3 percent of returning migrants tested are positive, informs The Indian Express.

  • The top story in both Business Standard and Business Line refers to the US announcement of investigating India's digital services tax.  US probing 'Google Tax by India, 9 more" is the headline in Financial Express.

  • The Statesman reports, "Top commanders of India, China to meet on Saturday on border stand-off".  Government to boost infrastructure in areas along China border is the headline in The Hindu.

  • "Key agri reforms cleared, farmers freed from mandis", writes The Indian Express.  "Now, farmers can sell their produce anywhere, to anyone", reports Business Line.

  • The Asian Age reports, "Visa rules eased, foreign bizmen, techies can visit".


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