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Last Updated : Aug 11 2020 10:20PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi calls for increased COVID-19 testing & contact tracing in states with high case load            Coronavirus recovery rate close to 70% in country: Govt            DAC approves procurement proposals worth over Rs. 8,722 crore including 106 Basic Trainer Aircraft for IAF            Renowned lyricist & poet Rahat Indori passes away            Russia launches first vaccine against coronavirus           

Text Bulletins Details


Evening News

2030 HRS
31.07.2020
THE HEADLINES:
  • Government working with RBI to restructure loans due to the impact of Corona virus, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address Smart India Hackathon tomorrow.
  • India achieves milestone of more than ten lakh COVID-19 recoveries; Recovery rate improves to 64.54 per cent.
  • Government says Kharif crops sown over total area of 882 lakh hectares.
  • Central Government to fund 112 startups to promote Agri Firms.
  • And, President and Vice President greet people on the eve of Idu’l Zuha. 

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government is working with RBI on the Industry’s need for the restructuring of loans due to the impact of COVID-19. The Minister was addressing the National Executive Committee Meeting (NECM) of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) today. Ms. Sitharaman asserted that Banks cannot refuse credit to MSMEs covered under the emergency credit facility and any aberration in such cases must be brought to notice. She was responding to the concerns raised by the FICCI members on the difficulties faced by the MSMEs in taking loans under the Emergency Credit Guarantee Scheme. On the suggestion for creating an institution to handle the emerging credit requirements of the industry, the Finance Minister informed that the government is working on a plan to create a Development Finance Institution in the country. She said, the details will be shared after formalisation of the plans. Ms. Sitharaman informed that the decision on reducing GST rates on healthcare and other products will be taken by the GST Council. She also affirmed that the Finance Ministry is working with RBI on the demand of the hospitality sector for extension of moratorium or restructuring of the loans.

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The High Level Group (HLEG) on Agricultural Exports set up by the Fifteenth Finance Commission has submitted its report to the Commission today. The HLEG was set up to recommend measurable performance incentives for states to encourage agricultural exports and to promote crops to enable high import substitution. After intensive research and consultations from stakeholders and the private sector, the HLEG has made its recommendations.

The recommendations include a demand driven approach and focus on 22 crop value chains. The group has also suggested creation of state led export plan with participation from all stakeholders.

The group has recommended that private sector players play an anchor role in driving outcomes and execution of the agricultural export plan. The group has stated that the additional exports generated after implementation of the recommendations are likely to create an estimated 7 to 10 million jobs in the country. It said that it will also lead to higher farm productivity and farmer income.

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The Central Government will spend nearly twelve crore rupees for funding 112 startups to promote agri firms in the current financial year. Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar said the funds will be given to the start-ups selected by different knowledge partners and agribusiness incubators in the area of agro-processing, food technology and value addition. He said, the funds will be provided under the Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme launched under the revamped Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana. These start-ups were trained for two months at 29 agri-business incubation centres spread across the country. The Minister said that the government is promoting start-ups in the field of agriculture for enhancing income of farmers and providing employment opportunities to the youth.

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The Agriculture Ministry today said that the Kharif crops have been sown on over 882 lakh hectare area against 774 lakh hectare area during the corresponding period of last year. The Ministry said, government is taking several measures to facilitate the farmers and farming activities at field level during the COVID-19 pandemic. It said, over 266 lakh hectare area has been covered under the cultivation of rice, as compared to around 224 lakh hectares during the corresponding period last year. The Ministry said, pulses have been sown in over 111 lakh hectare area as compared to around 94 lakh hectares during the corresponding period of last year. Coarse cereals have been sown in about 148 lakh hectare area, while about 51 lakh hectares have been brought under sugarcane.

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Union Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri released Affordable Rental Housing Complexes (ARHC) Knowledge Pack today. This includes MoUs to be signed with States and Union Territories to provide ease of living to urban migrants in the country. The Union Cabinet had approved ARHC as a sub scheme under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) earlier this month to provide housing facility to migrant workers and urban poor.

The Affordable Housing Complex scheme will be implemented through two models in the country. Under the first model existing Government funded vacant houses will be converted into ARHCs through Public Private Partnership or by public agencies for a period of 25 years. Under the second model ARHCs will be constructed, operated and maintained by Public or Private Entities on their own available vacant land for a period of 25 years.

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Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today inaugurated the upstream carriageway of Mahatma Gandhi bridge over river Ganga in Bihar through video conference. Over 5.5 kilometres long, the four lane bridge lies on NH-19 between Patna and Hajipur. It is being constructed at a cost of one thousand 742 crore rupees. It involves replacement of the existing concrete superstructure of old bridge by new steel deck superstructure. The work on the bridge was started in June 2017.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Gadkari said, this is the first ever bridge using modern technology for improving the existing structure. Calling it an engineering marvel, he said, it can be a good case study for civil engineering students. He also announced a new bridge over river Ganga in Patna, which will be five kilometres long, with larger spans to facilitate movement of ships under it.  It will cost about three thousand crore rupees.

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The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to supply mustard oil to ITBP. This development is seen as another major step towards making India Atmanirbhar. KVIC said, the development comes in wake of the instructions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the paramilitary forces to encourage local products in a bid to support the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Mr. Shah had also made it mandatory to sell only Swadeshi products through the CAPF canteens across India. The ITBP is the nodal agency appointed by MHA for the procurement of provisions on behalf of all paramilitary forces.

The ITBP will soon be placing an order for supply of 1200 quintals of high quality kacchi ghani mustard oil which will be supplied by KVIC through its Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme units in a month’s time.

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Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said triple talaq cases have come down drastically after the enactment of the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Act. Addressing Muslim women from across the country at an event marking the first anniversary after the enactment of the law, Mr Naqvi said the present government at the centre made it a criminal offence thus bolstering self-reliance and self-confidence among Muslim women.


Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, more than 20 Muslim countries even regulated the Triple Talaq but it took so long here.


Women and Child Development minister Smriti Irani also said that Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Act empowered and strengthened the Muslim women of the country.

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The Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan chaired the 19th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers on COVID-19 in New Delhi today. Speaking at the ocassion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said, India has achieved the milestone of more than ten lakh recoveries which has taken the recovery rate to 64.54 per cent. This shows that the active cases under medical supervision are only 33.27 per cent or approximately one third of total positive cases. He said, India’s Case Fatality Rate is also progressively reducing and currently stands at 2.18 per cent, one of the lowest globally. On the severity of cases found in the country, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that, out of the total active cases, only 0.28 per cent patients are on ventilators, 1.61 per cent patients needed ICU support and 2.32 per cent are on Oxygen support. He said, through a network of one thousand 331 labs, India has conducted a record of over six lakh 42 thousand tests in the last 24 hours. This has taken the cumulative tests to more than one crore 88 lakh. The GoM was also apprised of the ramping up of the domestic production capacities of various sectors for manufacturing PPEs, masks and ventilators. The GoM was briefed that the highest recovery rate is in Delhi at 89.08 per cent, followed by Haryana 79.82 per cent. Karnataka has the lowest recovery rate.  

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The Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan presided over a meeting of the Bureau of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) through video conference today. In the meeting, the Health Minister asserted that unified action is necessary to ensure a timely, adequate and coordinated global response against COVID like situations. 

Dr. Vardhan expressed his deepest condolences and concern at the loss of lives due to COVID-19 and offered sincere gratitude for the efforts of those on the frontline. He said the magnitude of the damages caused to the world economy due to the pandemic was significantly high. He further stated that the world has now realised the importance of health. He called for greater cooperation amongst countries to tackle risks and dangers posed by communicable and non-communicable diseases.

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In Delhi, a total of one thousand 195 new confirmed cases of Corona virus have been reported during the last twenty four hours taking the total number of cases to one lakh 35 thousand 598. Delhi Government has confirmed that over one lakh 20 thousand people affected with Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, one thousand 206 people have recovered and twenty seven deaths were reported taking the toll to three thousand 963. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the national capital is 10 thousand 705.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has stressed on the need for strict compliance with the unlock guidelines issued by central government. The State registered a new high by testing more than 1 lakh 15 thousand samples for corona virus. More from our correspondent:

"Yesterday 1 lakh 15 thousand 618 covid tests were conducted in state. The average of last three days testing is 97516. Along with this state traced maximum 4453 infections in a day. More than 48 thousand covid patients have been discharged from hospitals after full recovery. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked for extra vigilance to break the chain of Corona. He also instructed officials for arrangement of more ambulances with CSR fund. Meanwhile restrictions will be imposed in the state from 10 p.m. tonight and it will continue to the 5 am of 3rd August. in some districts administration has allowed Rakhi and Sweet shops to remain open because of the festival of Rakshabandhan. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWW, LUCKNOW."

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In Madhya Pradesh, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has appealed to the Ministers and MLAs in the state to contribute 30 per cent of their salaries to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund in the fight against the pandemic. Mr Chouhan is also donating 30 per cent of his salary to the fund. He also appealed to the people to contribute to the Fund. The Chief Minister reviewed the situation through video conferencing. More from our correspondent:

"The Chief Minister in clear words stated that any individual, whether he is chief minister, minister, public representative or officer, action will be taken if the guidelines are not followed. All are required to follow the precautions necessary to eliminate coronavirus. The Chief Minister also directed the Ministers not to undertake any public tour till August 14; hold meetings through Video Conferencing, hold virtual rallies and do not meet more than 5 people at a time at their homes too. The Additional Chief Secretary Health Mohammad Suleman has informed that antigen tests have been started in Bhopal. This will help in conducting tests in large numbers with speed. Meanwhile, the state government is starting the second phase of the COVID-19 test drive Kill Corona from August 1 to 14. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal.'

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The Bombay High Court today directed the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit about the benefits extended to the kin of frontline health and administrative workers, who get infected or succumb to COVID- 19 in the line of duty. We have a report from our Mumbai Correspondent:

"Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, who appeared for the state, told the court that the Maharashtra government had already issued a resolution stating that the kin of doctors or policemen, who die of COVID-19, would be given Rs 50 lakh. The Advocate General also informed the court that the state had also extended the benefit of the Centre's Pradhanmantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, an insurance scheme, to several frontline workers. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang Kotwal who was hearing a PIL, however, noted that the said GR did not clarify the benefits that will be granted to doctors and nurses specifically and directed the state to file an affidavit clarifying the same by August 4. The Bombay High Court today also directed the Maharashtra government to take a decision on the representation made by city-based lawyers seeking that legal services be recognised as essential services and that they be permitted to use local trains to commute to courts during lockdown. The bench hearing the matter asked the state government to inform the court of its decision by August 6. Meanwhile, in another development, public gatherings have been banned in Bhiwandi city and Paghar district of Maharashtra during Bakrid celebrations tomorrow in the light of covid 19 pandemic. SWEETY JAIN, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."

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In Karnataka, Covid 19 cases remain at the peak level with 5,483 new cases and 84 deaths reported today. With this the total number of positive cases have climbed to 1,24,115 and deaths to 2,314 across the state. However, the number of Covid patients discharged after recovery is showing steady improvement. A total of 3,130 persons were discharged today. More from our Correspondent:

"The state recovery rate is 40.14 percent. Vijayapura and Yadgiri are however recording a better recovery rate of over 70 percent. Fatality rate is hovering around two percent. Today the Fatality rate reported is 1.86 percent. The state conducted 36,936 Rapid Antigen and RT PCR tests today. Bengaluru urban district continues to remain dynamic with 2220 new positive cases 20 deaths reported today. There are 37,618 active cases in the district and 1029 have died of the virus. The district has also seen 16,896 people getting cured and discharged. In order to control the spread of Corona Virus the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has arranged free testing facilities in almost every municipal ward. The public are asked to call zonal help lines for details. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."

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Kerala confirmed 1,310 new Covid-19 cases today. A report:

"The State Health department informed,  that out of the new cases an alarming 1,162, persons contracted the virus through contact. Source of  infection of 36 patients is unknown. Creating concern, 20 health workers, also tested Covid positive. Todays Covid numbers included the results of samples tested from Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Kasaragod, yesterday, which was on hold due to maintenance works on ICMR web portal. Thiruvananthapuram continue to report highest number of covid cases, 320, among which 311 are through local transmission. State also confirmed 3 deaths due to Covid today, taking the death toll to 73. Meanwhile, 864 people recovered from the virus infection today.At present there are 10,495 active Covid cases in Kerala. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."

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The Assam government has issued directions to district authorities, banks, civic bodies and private organizations in pursuance of the new guidelines of the Ministry of the Home Affairs. The order said wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places, workplaces and during travelling. The state government has also prohibited large public gatherings. A report:

"The Assam government has ordered government departments and private organizations to strictly follow the health and hygiene norms to prevent the spread of Covid -19. Mission Director of National Health Mission Dr. Lakshman S said that the number of cases are gradually decreasing in Guwahati city. He further said that cases have increased at some other places due to more number of tests. Meanwhile, Bhutan King Jigme Khesar hailed Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and the Assam government for helping Bhutan in tackling the the COVID 19 situation. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR News, Guwahati"

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Nagaland recorded a big spike of 126 new cases of COVID-19 today, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 1,692. This is  the highest single day spike in number of COVID cases so far in the state. Health and Family welfare Minsiter S Pangnyu Phom tweeted this afternoon that out of the 418 samples tested, 95  new cases have been reported from Dimapur and 31 from Kohima. With this, the number of active cases has increased to 1,061. So far, 625 patients have recovered from COVID-19 while four have lost their lives.

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The Sikkim government today extended the statewide lockdown till 6 in the morning on 3rd of August. The lockdown was enforced from 21st to 27th July and then extended to 1st August due to increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the state.

The state government has also issued revised guidelines regarding phased reopening from 3rd to 31st August. All existing guidelines would be effective till 3rd August.

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The Gujarat High Court today struck down a clause in a State government resolution which asked self-financed schools not to collect fees during online education.

Our correspondent reports that the government resolution was issued by the State Education department on 16th July. It was challenged in the High Court by Federation of Self Financed Schools, saying that it is difficult for the schools to pay salaries to staff and teachers without collecting fees. The High Court today set aside that particular clause and directed the government and school federation to work together to find an amicable solution on the fee issue.State Education Minister BhupendraSinh Chudasama  said that the  state government respects the High Court’s order.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Smart India Hackathon of All India Council for Technical Education at 4:30 PM tomorrow. He will also interact with students on the occasion. The Smart India Hackathon is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems we face in our daily lives. The Grand Finale will be organized online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation together over a specially-built advanced platform. Over ten thousand students will be competing to solve 243 problem statements from 37 Central Government departments, 17 State Governments and 20 industries.

On the ocassion, the Prime Minister will also speak on the new National Education Policy 2020. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has termed the new National Education Policy-2020 a revolutionary change in school and higher education systems in the country.

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Now moving on to our special series on development and empowerment of people in Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Government has empowered the Panchayat representatives to directly implement various centrally sponsored developmental works. The Government has also released funds to the Panchayats to strengthen the rural economy. Additionally, utilisation of funds under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir has increased. More from our Srinagar Correspondent:

"The Blocks and Panchayats were for the first time included in the first ever 5-day winter sports games that were organized under "Khelo India" at Gulmarg in Kashmir from 7th of March this year. Over and above, during the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, the Panchayats have played a very significant role in Jammu and Kashmir. The Panchayat representatives not only are reaching to the public by mitigating their sufferings but also have ensured the delivery of ration at the door steps of the destitute and the weaker sections of the society during the unprecedented circumstances.This is Sunil Koul for AIR News from Srinagar."

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President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have greeted the people on the eve of Idu’l Zuha. In his message, President said, Idu’l Zuha symbolizes the spirit of sacrifice and amity which inspires people to work for the well-being of one and all. On this festive occasion, President asked people to share their happiness with others and promote mutual harmony. He urged  people to follow all the rules and guidelines prescribed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, Id-ul-Zuha is a celebration of unswerving devotion to God and the boundless compassion and love the Almighty has for his creation. He said, the festival inspires us to inculcate empathy, practice sacrifice and promote peace and universal brotherhood.

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In Bihar, flood fury continues in 14 districts of the state. The swirling water of Bagamati, Kamla Balan and Burhi Gandak has engulfed fresh areas of Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur and Samastipur. Rains in North Bihar have further aggravated the situation. Gandak is posing a threat to its embankment at several places. Train services on Darbhanga- Samastipur section remain suspended. Long route trains have been diverted on alternate routes. Over 45 lakh are reeling under the impact of flood. The worst affected district is Darbhanga. The Met Department  has predicted heavy rainfall in catchment areas of Nepal and northern parts of Bihar.

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

The National Capital Delhi may have thunderstorm with rain tomorrow. It will have a minimum temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius and  maximum of 34 degrees. Mumbai will have a generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature will be 25 and the maximum temperature will be around 28 . Chennai will have a partly cloudy sky and become generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night. The temperature will hover between 26 and 35. Kolkata will have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 28 while the maximum will be 36 . In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 25 in Jammu while the maximum will be around 33 degrees celsius. The city will have a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be around 18  while the maximum will be 32 .The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.  Ladakh will have a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between 14 and 27 .In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 19 and 39 . It will see a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. In Muzzafarabad, there will be  partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature will be 23 while the maximum temperature will be around 35.

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