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Last Updated : Jan 21 2021 10:19PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Centre urges States and UTs to strategize speedy implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for rapid urbanisation            PM Modi to interact with beneficiaries of COVID vaccination drive in Varanasi tomorrow through video conferencing            Consignments of COVID-19 vaccines from India reach Bangladesh and Nepal            Five perish in fire at Serum Institute of India; Authorities say vaccine stock is safe and production will continue            Indian Army and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers sign MoU to boost use of indigenous spare parts under Atma Nirbhar Bharat           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Solar energy is Sure, Pure and Secure says, Prime Minister; Dedicates Asia's Mega solar project to the Nation in Madhya Pradesh.

  • COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 62.42 per cent. 

  • Uttar Pradesh government imposes three day restrictions from 10 pm tonight; Lockdown in ten districts of  Bihar including capital Patna begins today.

  • Gangster Vikas Dubey killed in an encounter near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.

  • ICSE and ISC exam results for Class 10th and 12th to be announced at 3 PM today.

  • Special flights to operate from 12th to 26th July between India and UAE to facilitate stranded citizens to reach their destination.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that solar energy is going to be a major source of energy needs not just today but in the 21st century as well, because solar energy is Sure, Pure and Secure.

सोलर पावर के मामले में दुनिया के टॉप पांच देशों में पहुंच गये हैं। सौर ऊर्जा आज की नहीं बल्कि 21वेीं सदी की ऊर्जा जरूरतों का एक बड़ा माध्यम होने वाला है। क्योंकि सौर ऊर्जा सौर, प्यौर है और सिक्योर है।

While  inaugurating through video conference Asia's largest solar energy project in Madhya Pradesh's Rewa, the Prime Minister said Rewa has really created history today. Rewa has been identified as Ma Narmada and a white tiger. Now the name of Asia's largest solar power project has also been added.

The Prime Minister said the people of Madhya Pradesh will get electricity from this solar plant and industries. Even the metro rail in Delhi will get its benefits. He added Like Rewa, work is going on on big solar power plants in Shajapur, Neemuch and Chhatarpur.

Referring to the energy needs of the country, Mr Modi said as India is moving towards a new era of development, our hopes and aspirations as also our energy and electricity needs are increasing.

विकास के नये शिखर की तरफ बढ़ रहा है। हमारी आशाएं, आकांशाएं भी बढ़ रही हैं और वैसे-वैसे हमारी ऊर्जा की, बिजली की जरूरतें भी बढ़ रही हैं। ऐसे में आत्मनिर्भर भारत के लिए बिजली की आत्मनिर्भरता बहुत आवश्यक है। इसमें सौर ऊर्जा एक बहुत बड़ी भूमिका निभाने वाली है और हमारे प्रयास  भारत की इसी ताकत को विस्तार देने के हैं।  

The Prime Minister cautioned that when we launch large projects of renewable energy, we also make sure that our determination towards clean energy is seen in every aspect of life. We are trying to ensure that that its benefits reach every corner of the country, every section of society and every citizen. Governor Anandi Ben Patel, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and many Union ministers attended the program.

The Solar Park has been developed over a total area of 1500 hectares, by the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Limited (RUMSL). It is a Joint Venture of Solar Energy Corporation of India and Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam Limited. More from our correspondent:-

The Rewa solar power plant project at Gurh area in Rewa is set up in an area of 1 thousand 590 hectares. It is one of the largest single side solar plants in the world. This solar power plant has a total of three units. Each unit is producing 250 megawatts of electricity. In the 750 MW project costing about 4 thousand crores, solar power generation has started with full capacity. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on 22nd December 2017. The project was completed in a record time of about two and a half years. The project has started generating cheap electricity. This project is also important in this sense because it has a purchase rate of 2 rupees 97 paise per unit, which is the lowest rate till date. If we look at the solar project from an environmental point of view, the emission of 15.7 lakh tons of carbon dioxide per year from the Rewa solar project will be stopped, which is equivalent to planting 26 million trees. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal.


The Government today said, the COVID19 recovery rate has improved to 62.42 per cent and four lakh 95 thousand 513 people have recovered in the country so far. In the past 24 hours alone 19 thousand 135 people have recovered from the highly infectious disease. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is two lakh 76 thousand 685.

The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said, a total of 26 thousand 506 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country in the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to seven lakh 93 thousand 802. This is the highest spike of cases recorded in India since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. In a single day, 475 deaths have also been reported taking the nationwide toll to 21 thousand 604.

Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR informed that a total of one crore 10 lakh 24 thousand 491 tests have been conducted in the country since the outbreak of Covid 19. A total of two lakh 83 thousand 659 tests were conducted by various laboratories in the country in the last 24 hours. This is the highest number of tests conducted by the laboratories in one day since the outbreak of Covid-19.

ICMR is continuously ramping up its testing facilities for Covid-19 by giving approval to government and private laboratories. As of now,a total of one thousand one hundred and 69 laboratories across India have been given approval to conduct Covid-19 tests including 835 government laboratories and 334 private laboratory chains.


The Delhi Government has decided that Rapid Antigen Detection Test will be offered by all its dispensaries and polyclinics. The test will be conducted from 9 AM to 12 Noon on all working days.

The step has been taken to augment the Covid-19 testing and ensure its accessibility. Delhi's Directorate General of Health Services said that dispensaries have been allowed to undertake Rapid Antigen Testing of individuals with influenza-like illness symptoms and also of asymptomatic direct and high risk contacts. Rapid antigen testing will be undertaken in combination with RT-PCR test as per the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research.


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is planning to conduct a nationwide sero-surveillance in the near future to evaluate the trend of COVID-19 infection among the population. It will be a follow-up to a similar study conducted earlier. Briefing media in New Delhi yesterday, a Health Ministry official said the final results of the sero-survey conducted by the ICMR in May, which focused on infections of mid-April is still under process. The Health Ministry said India is dealing effectively with the Covid-19 pandemic and the country has the lowest caseloads and deaths in terms of its population in comparison to other nations. It said, there is no community transmission in the country.


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  yesterday announced the initiation of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In remarks to WHO Member States, the Director-General said the Panel will be co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Prime Minister Clark lead the United Nations Development Programme and President Sirleaf is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Operating independently, they will choose other Panel members as well as members of an independent secretariat to provide support.

At the historic 73rd World Health Assembly in May, Member States adopted a landmark resolution that called on WHO to initiate an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the lessons learned from the international health response to COVID-19.

Dr Tedros said this is a time for self-reflection, to look at the world we live in and to find ways to strengthen our collaboration as we work together to save lives and bring this pandemic under control. The magnitude of this pandemic, which has touched virtually everyone in the world, clearly deserves a commensurate evaluation.  Even as we fight this pandemic, we must ready ourselves for future global outbreaks and  many other challenges of our time such as antimicrobial resistance, inequality and the climate crisis. Dr Tedros said, COVID-19 has taken a lot from us. But it is also giving us an opportunity to break with the past and build back better.


In Nagaland, 23 new cases of COVID-19 positive have been reported taking the total cases in the state to 696.

Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom tweeted this morning Nagaland has 392 active cases while 304 have recovered.


In Mizoram, 23 persons were tested positive for coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, taking the overall tally in the state to 226. So far, 143 patients have been discharged after recovery, while active cases presently stand at 83. All the new positive cases have recently returned from different states.


In the Union Territory of Puducherry, 72 persons were tested positive for the Covid-19 pandemic and one died bringing the total number of active cases to 618.

In the COVID- 19 media statement released by the health department today 67 cases were reported in Puducherry region and 5 in Karaikal. Of the 72 new cases 60 were admitted to the Government Medical college,7 to Jipmer and 5 to Karaikal government hospital. One person died taking the toll to 2 in Karaikal region. So far 1272 persons in the Union Territory were infected by the virus of which 637 were treated and discharged and 17 died leaving 618 active cases in hospitals. Chandra Mohan, AIR NEWS, Puducherry.


A five-member Central team delegated to study the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Tamil Nadu is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy today. The team is being led by Union Health Ministry Additional Secretary Aarti Ahuja. It made an on-the-spot study of several Covid-19 containment efforts in Chennai yesterday. Meanwhile, the total tally of Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu has crossed one lakh 26 thousand after 4231 people were tested positive for the disease yesterday.


In Bihar,  a complete  lockdown has been imposed in ten districts of  the state  today due to alarming spike in Covid-19 cases. Three-day lockdown has been imposed in four districts of Buxar,Nawada  Supaul and Kishanganj. In Khagaria, lockdown has been ordered for five days till 14th of this month. In Patna, Munger, Madhepura, Kaimur and Purnea districts lockdown will continue till 16th of this month.

The State government has also ordered a complete lockdown in districts of Begusarai, Nalanda and Vaishali for six days starting from tomorrow. Here is a report:-

Additional forces have been deployed for effective implementation of lockdown.Wearing of mask has been made mandatory for all.Fine is being imposed against  those who violates this norms. 14 days home quarantine has been made necessary for all rail passengers. Meanwhile the state recorded 704 new COVID-19 positive cases, taking the total tally to 13,978. On the other hand, 4076 patients are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. Personal Secretary of Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and two others were deployed at his residence were tested positive for the virus. Dinesh Singh a JD(U) MLC has also contracted the virus.In view of increasing positive  cases Railways has deployed two Covid 19 care rakes each comprising 21 coaches at two platforms of Patna Junction. K K Lal AIR News,Patna


The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to impose fresh restrictions for three days in the state from this evening amid spurt in Covid-19 cases. The restrictions will be in place from 10 PM tonight till 5 AM on the 13th of July. More from our correspondent:

"As per the directions issued by chief secretary of state RK Tiwari, All offices, business institutions and markets in Urban and rural areas across the state will be closed during the restriction period. Although All emergency services will continue as usual. Apart from the continuous working units in urban areas and industrial units in rural areas all other industrial activities will be closed. These restrictions will not affect rail and air services along with movement on national highways and road transportation including goods services. On these three days that is 10th,11th and 12th July a massive sanitization and clean water supply campaign will be launched across the state. Through public address system an awareness campaign will also be launched regarding covid-19 and other communicable diseases. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS,LUCKNOW.

Speaking exclusively to AIR news Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh RK Tiwari said these 55 hour long restrictions should not be considered as lock down and there is no need to panic. He categorically denied the rumours of the extension of restrictions and said that the restrictions will end at 5 AM on Monday. He said during this period a massive sanitization campaign will be launched so that there will be no spread of other communicable diseases along with covid-19. He said health teams will also continue the screening work for early identification of suspected covid patients. He appealed to the general public of Uttar Pradesh to follow these restrictions strictly. 


In West Bengal, fresh lockdown has been imposed for seven days in containment zones of the State. The restrictions were imposed last afternoon following the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the State. Here is a report:-

"West Bengal recorded highest number of 1088 COVID cases in last 24 hours. With this total number of infected patients have reached to nearly 26 thousand. 27 persons died in a single day so far taking the total number of death toll to 854. Strict Police vigil has been kept at Containment Zones in the State. Microphones are being used by the Police, requesting people for strict compliance of Lockdown and mandatory use of Masks. Arijit Chakraborty, AIR News, Kolkata".


In order to cure critically ill Covid -19 patients, plasma therapy system has been launched in Maharashtra's Amravati today. The Pune civic administration is also trying to increase beds for coronavirus patients at private hospitals in the wake of the increasing number of Covid 19 patients. The city, which is among the badly affected in the state, has reported around 24,000 coronavirus cases and over 940 deaths so far. More from our Mumbai correspondent…

Maharashtra minister for Women and Child Development Yashomati Thakur today inaugurated Plasma Therapy System in Amravati District Hospital. She has appealed patients who have recovered from coronavirus to come forward to donate plasma for the treatment of other patients. On the other hand, anticipating a surge in cases in the month of August, Pune civic administration is trying to increase beds for Covid -19 patients at private hospitals. Municipal commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad said that he had a meeting with representatives of over 100 private hospitals in the city to increase COVID beds. He has also ordered that some hospitals be converted into 100 per cent COVID Care Centers. Meanwhile, 132 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus in rapid antigen tests conducted at Nagpur Central Prison, taking the number of virus infections in the jail to 219. Madhuri Pange, AIR NEWS, Mumbai


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. Ambuj Roy from the Department of Cardiology of AIIMS advises  elderly people and those suffering from other diseases like hypertension and cancer to take extra precautions to avoid the infection.

Dr Naresh Gupta of LNJP Hospital, Delhi tells  people to maintain hygiene and social distancing.


In Sri Lanka, another 196 people at a treatment & rehabilitation centre have tested positive for COVID bringing the total number of infected to 252 at the center. The results of 338 tests conducted on the inmates and staff at the Kandakadu center were received this morning and 196 were found positive.

Earlier, 56 inmates and a counsellor at the center were tested positive yesterday in the first instance of community transmission after a gap of two months in the country.

The development has come as a setback to Sri Lanka, which has been successful in containing the COVID spread so far. Around two thousand people from a total of 2100 infections had already recovered before the fresh cases surfaced from the center.The country has seen 11 deaths due to COVID. Here is a report:-

The first case from the centre came to notice on Sunday when a prisoner receiving treatment there was tested positive. Subsequently, all staff at the centre were tested of COVID and majority of them have tested positive. The prisoner who was shifted to prison when he tested positive, has been isolated and his ward inmates have been quarantined and tested. Health authorities have initiated steps of contact tracing to avoid any spread into the community. This is the highest number of cases in a single day since COVID outbreak in Sri Lanka even though country has not seen any community case for over two months. Almost two thousand of total 2100 COVID cases had already recovered before the fresh cases have surfaced bringing a challenge to Sri Lankan health authorities. SANTOSH KUMAR,AIR NEWS, COLOMBO,


The Ayushman Bharat Scheme is playing an instrumental role during the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 41 thousand Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centres have provided universal and comprehensive primary health care facilities to poor people during the COVID-19 crisis. Over 8.8 crore footfalls have been recorded at these centres in the last five months. More from our correspondent:

These Wellness Centres made outstanding contribution in the fight against COVID-19. In several states, Health and Wellness Centres’ teams screened people for Influenza like illness and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness symptoms and facilitated testing for COVID-19. They also conducted health check-ups and created awareness among people about the preventive measures like frequent hand washing, wearing masks and maintaining adequate social distancing. These Centres also conducted wellness sessions for migrants in the quarantine facilities. Teams of Health and Wellness Centres have also played a key role in providing of non-COVID essential services to the people. Immunization sessions are being organized and delivery of essential medicines is also being undertaken by these teams. Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi


The Asia Cup Cricket tournament, which was scheduled to be held in September this year, has been postponed till June next year by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) owing to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the region. The Asian Cricket Council tweeted that after careful consideration and evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Board of the ACC decided to postpone the Asia Cup tournament. Pakistan was to originally host the Asia Cup this time but due to security reasons, the tournament was later rescheduled to be held in Sri Lanka.


Gangster Vikas Dubey was killed in an encounter this morning after he tried to flee when the police vehicle carrying him met  with an accident near Bhauti area close to Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Vikas was the main accused in the killing of eight policemen in Kanpur. A team of Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force was bringing him back from Ujjain where he was arrested by Madhya Pradesh Police yesterday.

Kanpur SSP Dinesh said Vikas tried to escape after the vehicle carrying him turned turtle in an accident due to heavy rain. He said, Vikas while trying to flee, snatched a weapon from the police and was injured in an exchange of fire. He was then taken to hospital in Kanpur where he was declared dead.


ICSE and ISC exam results for students of Class 10th and 12th will be announced at 3 pm today. The results will be uploaded on the website of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination.  Students will be able to view their result by logging on to cisce.org and results.cisce.org. Results will also be available through SMS for which detail has been posted on the websites. A press release said, affiliated schools can access results by logging into the CAREERS portal using Principal's login ID and password.


The Government has rejected a note circulating in the media which claims that CBSE has released result dates for board examinations and also lists three websites to view the results. In a tweet, Press Information Bureau has termed it as fake. It clarified that  CBSE has not announced any date. The PIB said, such dates will be announced on CBSE official website or social media account.


India and the UAE have agreed to operate special flights between the two countries between the 12th and the 26th of July 2020 to help facilitate stranded citizens and residents of the UAE to get back to their places of stay .

Minister Hardeep Puri in a tweet said that this is part of the close strategic partnership between the Govts of India & the UAE, and with a view to assisting UAE residents who are presently in India to return to the UAE, the Civil Aviation Authorities of both countries have agreed to operationalise a special arrangement. Indian carriers operating repatriation flights & UAE carriers operating charter flights to bring Indian citizens from the UAE to India can now carry ICA approved UAE residents from India to the  UAE. This arrangement will be in place for a period of 15 days from 12th to 26 of July, 2020.  The UAE had earlier announced that it is opening up to allow residents who are stranded in different parts of the world due to Covid lockdown to return . The UAE residents however, have to apply for special permit after registering on the UAE government’s website.


Public sector enterprise Steel Authority of India Limited  (SAIL) has shown impressive performance in the month of June under Atmanirbhar Bharat Project. SAIL has achieved the highest ever June month sales during last month. The domestic and export sales stood at 12.77 Lakh tonnes which is a jump of more than 18 per cent over the corresponding period last year . Last month,  the Company has also recorded the highest ever exports for any month. It exported 3.4 Lakh tonnes steel during this period. SAIL has also sold 42 thousand ton of pig iron during June 2020.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today carried out a comprehensive review of the situation in eastern Ladakh with top officials. Army Chief  General  M M  Naravane gave a detailed account of the implementation of the disengagement of troops from friction points. Our correspondent quoting sources reports,  Army chief apprised Defence minister about combat readiness  in the region to deal with any eventualities .


In Arunachal Pradesh, incessant rain for the last couple of days that triggered landslides and floods have left a trail of large-scale devastation in the entire state. Landslides and flash floods have been reported from many places disrupting surface communication. More from our correponent:

In Papum Pare District, a house and 4 people in it were buried in a landslide at Tigdo Village today morning. Chief Minister Pema Khandu has expressed deep shock and sorrow over the loss of lives and has announced immediate release of ex-gratia of Rs. 4 lakhs each to next of kins of the deceased. In East Siang District, water levels in the Mighty Siang River and its tributaries are rising due to the heavy downpour. Two persons were rescued by rapid response team on Thursday who were stranded in the flash flood of Sibo Korong river in Pasighat. In the Capital City Itanagar, landslides triggered by heavy downpour have been reported from multiple places causing property damage and road blockade. Rakesh Doley/AIR NEWS/ Itanagar


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

The national capital Delhi may witness strong surface winds during day time. The minimum temperature was recorded at 30 degree Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 39 degrees.

Mumbai is expected to have  cloudy sky with moderate rain.

In Chennai, the temperature will hover between 23 and 36 degree Celsius. The city will have a cloudy sky.

Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers with a minimum temperature of 28 degree Celsius.

The maximum temperature will be nearly 34 degrees.

In Jammu and Kashmir; the minimum temperature was 29 degree Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 37 degrees. The city is likely to have a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers.

In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 16 and 33 degree Celsius. The city is expected to witness generally cloudy sky towards afternoon or evening.

In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was recorded at 18 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 32 degrees and the sky will be partly cloudy with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm.

Muzzafarabad may see partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm. Chandigarh will see a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28 degree Celsius and maximum temperature will be around 35 degrees.



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