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News Highlights
PM hails historic reforms in agriculture; says govt committed to MSP support for farmers            PM Modi inaugurates Kosi Rail mega bridge & 12 railway projects in Bihar            COVID recovery rate improves to 78.86 per cent            India -Japan economic cooperation is on upswing: S Jaishankar            Stage all set for 13th edition of IPL Cricket in Abu Dhabi           

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Midday News

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  • Record number of over 6 lakh 61 thousand Covid 19 tests conducted in the country in a single day.

  • Covid 19 recovery rate improves to 66.30 per cent.

  • Preparations in full swing in Ayodhya for tomorrow's Bhoomi Poojan for construction of Ram Mandir.

  • Incessant rain lash Mumbai and coastal areas of Maharashtra.

  • Punjab Police apprehend 12 more persons in Hooch tragedy case; Death toll goes up to 108.

  • Union Public Service Commission announces results of Civil Services Examination 2019.


A total of 12 lakh 30 thousand 509 people have recovered from coronavirus in the country so far. It is more than double the number of five lakh 86 thousand 298 active cases in the country. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, in the past 24 hours alone, 44 thousand 306 patients have recovered from the contagious disease, across the country. With this, the recovery rate has gone up to an impressive 66.30 per cent and the case fatality rate has further declined to 2.09 per cent.


The Health Ministry said, a total of 52 thousand 50 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country in a single day taking the total number of positive cases reported to 18 lakh 55 thousand 745. In a single day, 803 deaths have also  been reported taking the nationwide toll to 38 thousand 938.


A record number of six lakh 61 thousand 892 COVID tests were conducted in the country in the last 24 hours. This is the highest number of Covid-19 tests conducted by various laboratories in a single day since the outbreak of the global pandemic in the country.


More than two crore 8 lakh 64 thousand tests have been conducted in the country till now.


Our correspondent reports that starting from less than 100 tests per day, a multiple fold increase in a few months was made possible by dedicated teams of research institutions, medical colleges, testing laboratories, ministries, airlines and postal services. The government has created a robust health infrastructure for effective management of Covid-19 pandemic within a short span.


In January this year, there was only one  laboratory for COVID-19 testing in India. Now, 1356 labs are engaged in testing samples for COVID across the country, out of which, 917 are government labs while 439 are private laboratory chains.


In Mizoram 19 fresh Coronavirus positive cases were detected during the last 24 hours. Also, eight patients were discharged after recovery yesterday. With this the total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 501, while 266 patients have been cured. According to the official statement, the number of active cases in the state presently stand at 235.


Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb is undergoing self isolation at his residence after two of his family members tested positive for the novel Coronavirus yesterday. Mr. Deb has undergone a test and the result is awaited.


Official reports said, other members of the CM's family have tested negative. Earlier, two personal guards of the Chief Minister got infected and are undergoing treatment.


In the state, two BJP MLAs are also undergoing treatment after being tested positive. So far the state has registered 5,523 positive cases of which 1,848 are active and 3,675 have recovered. 28 persons have lost their lives.


In Punjab, Covid cases are on surge in all districts of the state especially in Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Bathinda. Till last night  677 new persons tested positive and 416  patients were discharged from various hospitals after recovery. 19 Covid patients lost their lives in a single day.


Our correspondent reports, the number of persons tested positive so far has risen to 18527 out of which 11882 patients have been cured and 442 have lost their lives due to this infection. 6203 Covid patients are under treatment in various hospitals of the state.


Participating in AIR live phone in programme on COVID-19, Dr Prasoon Chatterjee, Associate Professor, Department of Geriatrics at All India Institute of Medical Sciences appealed to people that they should wear their masks properly and not  contaminate the mask by touching the outer layer from time to time.


Telangana reported 1,286 fresh Corona virus positive cases during the past 24 hours taking the total COVID cases to 68 thousand 946.  As per the State Medical and Health bulletin, recovery rate has been increased to 72 per cent with over 1,066 people recovered from COVID and discharged from various hospitals in the state yesterday. Meanwhile, 12 more died yesterday due to COVID and other comorbidities taking the total deaths to 563 so far.


The total Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu has surpassed two lakh sixty three thousand with 5609 people confirmed positive yesterday. Meanwhile, the state’s biggest resettlement area known as Kannagi Nagar in Chennai stands as a success story in containing new Covid-19 cases.

"Kannagi Nagar on the outskirts of Chennai is a sprawling area accommodating about 24-thousand residential units with close to one lakh people. When the Covid-19 pandemic reared its head in the area some four months back there were fears of the situation going out of control as it is densely populated. But the ground reality now is vastly different. The focus volunteers there deliver essential things to those under home quarantine and self isolation on a daily basis. The Corporation surveillance workers go door to door to screen people for fever. The police and the local youth and opinion leaders form an effective mask-force, to ensure people wear masks while moving out. Corporation officials say Kannagi Nagar is one of the areas now with the least spread of the disease and the positivity and doubling rate show a rosy picture. It stands as a glaring example of how the Government initiatives coupled with community participation and volunteering can turn the tide for the better. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai.


Former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Leader of the Opposition in Assembly Siddaramaiah has tested positive with Covid-19.  He has been admitted to Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru, where Chief Minister Yediyurappa is also currently admitted for  treatment of COVID19.


The 71-year-old Congress leader has tweeted that he has been tested positive for Covid19 and admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors as a precaution.

"Since March 8 when the first case of corona virus was confirmed in the state, 62,500 people have recovered and 2594 people have succumbed to the infection. Bengaluru tops the list in terms of caseloads.  At 115 deaths per million population, the mortality rate in Bengaluru remains relatively low when compared to Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, Delhi and Kolkota. The government capacity to treat Covid patients in Bengaluru is increasing. The state run Victoria hospital has 550 beds, Rajiv Gandhi institute of Chest disease has 104, Bowring hospital has 165 beds and 35 ICU beds, the Broadway hospital is being developed into 200 bed Covid hospital. Epidemic Disease hospital and C V Raman General hospitals too are being expanded to treat the Covid patients. The asymptomatic patients are being kept in Covid Care Centres separately. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."


In Himachal Pradesh, 119 fresh Corona cases have been reported in the state during the last 24 hours, with this the total number of corona-cases has increased to 2,825.

"119 more people tested positive for COVID19 in the state, taking the state tally to 2825. Maximum 37 cases have been confirmed in Mandi district followed by 32 in Solan. Currently, one thousand one hundred 35 corona patients are under treatment in the state. Meanwhile, the recovery rate in the state is also progressively increasing. According to the Department of Health, 99 Corona patients have fully cured and returned home during the last 24 hours. One thousand six hundred 58 corona patients have been cured after the treatment in the state. The virus has claimed 12 lives in the state, So far. Sanjeev Sundriyal,AIR News Shimla."


Bihar government has instructed to do COVID19 test on all the patients who are undergoing treatment for various diseases in hospitals across the state. The decision has been taken to contain the spread of Corona.


All districts have been instructed in this regard. 36 thousand 524 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. Altogether over Six lakh 48 thousand samples have been tested so far.Positivity rate in the state came down to 6.28 percent. Positive cases have gone up to 59 thousand 567.  38 thousand 508 patients have been recovered and 20 thousand 722 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals. 336 patients have lost their lives so far. And the Coronavirus recovery rate of Bihar stands at 65 percent.


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. Ghanshyam Pangtey, Professor of Medicine at Lady Hardinge Medical College 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 listen to it on our mobile app news on AIR.


Now moving on to our special series on development and empowerment of people in Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. After Ladakh, became a Union Territory, various panchayats are directly benefitting from the Government Schemes. 


Jammu and Kashmir has set benchmarks for other states with a realization that if determined, any herculean task can be accomplished.

"The Union Territory has registered a phenomenal progress under Saubhagya scheme, realizing the dream of 100 per cent household electrification in the country. 3,57,405 households were provided with electricity even before the target date. The achievement came despite difficult conditions like tough geographical terrain, scattered households, close proximity to the international border and limited working season. 

The Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department teams established close synergy with other Departments, Gram Sewaks, Revenue functionaries and public representatives. They all worked jointly to achieve the goal. Besides, Mobile Apps like Gram Jyoti Doot, UrjaVistaar were also devised by the Department for fast track release of power connections.  Despite  achieving 100 per cent electrification, the Department launched special electrification vehicle ‘SaubhagyaRath’ in all 22 districts so that no household is left un-electrified. With Gulshan Raina's report from  Jammu, Tripti Srivastava AIR News."


In Ladakh, shortage of electricity remains a major challenge for people living in far-flung areas which remain cut-off from rest of the country during winter.


To address this issue the government is focusing on Renewable energy and according to the Prime Minister, Ladakh will be a Carbon Free Union Territory in India.

"In places like Ladakh, schemes initiated by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) have been a boon as they help people generate electricity locally without harming their environment in any way.   These schemes not only helps lighting the houses but also open avenues for employment. The renewable sector is becoming an industry in Ladakh which is directly or indirectly helping the youths to earn a living. KREDA has helped the unemployed youths of Kargil by its improved Solar Green House with Polycarbonate Hollow Sheet having benefited increased duration of Growing season as compared to the normal polysheet green house.   The potential of Renewable Energy in Ladakh has a tremendous Scope. For Air News this is Anayat Ali From Kargil UT OF Ladakh."


Things have changed for good during last year for the tribal BPL families of the far off Panchayat Kencha-Bitola in the Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district. 32 shelter-less families have got permanent roof over their heads under PMAY scheme. Located on a hilly slope with scattered population, Kencha-Bitola Panchayat, 75 km from Doda town is mainly inhabited by BPL families, with cattle rearing as their sole source of earning. Although members of the BPL category and majority of them being tribals, they did not get the benefits of centrally sponsored schemes till last year. However, according to Sarpanch Kencha-Bitola, Jaffer Hussain Malik, things  changed for good after 2019 for the tribes.


Beneficiaries  expressed their gratitude to the Union  government and said PMAY, has come as a boon in their lives.


Long pending reforms have been brought in Jammu and Kashmir to deliver good governance. The Power department was unbundled, land registration process was moved from the judiciary to the executive, urban local bodies were restructured and financial systems and processes were reformed.

"The Power department was unbundled into 5 autonomous corporations with independent mandates and responsibilities. The unbundling of the department moved the focus to improved services, better consumer responsiveness and stable and predictable revenue mechanism. In the Revenue Administration, the Land Registration Process has been shifted from Judiciary to the newly created Department of Registration. 77 Sub-Registrars have been appointed and nearly 25,000 registrations have been carried out so far. The engineering wings of the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies have been abolished and the civil works of Urban Local Bodies have been entrusted to the Public Works Department for faster execution. Government has undertaken a number of other structural and financial reforms for bringing in transparency, probity and speed in the functioning of institutions and financial transactions. The reforms have been introduced in financial processes such as tendering and procurement process as well as in other departments by way of structural changes and reorganizations. With Diwaker, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."


In Ayodhya, on the second day of the three-day long rituals preceding Bhoomi Poojan for construction of Ram Temple, a special six-hour long Ram Racha Anushthan will be performed today. The Bhoomi Poojan function will take place tomorrow in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part. Along with him, many religious heads and saints from all over the country and from Nepal are expected to take part in the function.


Over 135 Saints belonging to 135 spiritual traditions will be present in the programme. Some eminent citizens of Ayodhya have also been invited by the Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust. Meanwhile, Ayodhya is already in a festive mood and eagerly waiting for the historic moment.

"Many religious activities including Ram Keertan and reciting of Ramcharitmanas have already started in Ayodhya. Ghats of holy Sarayu River are beautifully decorated. The city is all set to witness the historic Bhoomi Poojan ceremony tomorrow in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take part. Prime Minister will first have Darshan at Shri Hanumangarhi Mandir, after which he will perform Pooja of Bhagwan Ramlalla at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. General Secretary of Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust Champat Rai said that Apart from the 175 invitees for the ceremony, Mahesh Bhagchandka and Pawan Singhal from family of late Ashok  Singhal, Former President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad will be Mukhya Yajman in Bhoomi Pujan Ceremony. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW".


Incessant rain has been lashing Mumbai, parts of suburbs, neighboring Thane district and other coastal areas of the state since last night. The Meteorological Department has forecast torrential to very heavy rain in these areas today and tomorrow. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has tweeted that owing to the heavy rainfall since last night and forecasts of extremely heavy rain by the IMD, all offices and establishments in Mumbai, except emergency services, will remain closed. Mumbaikars are requested not to venture out unless extremely necessary and stay away from the shore and waterlogged areas.

Meanwhile, a holiday has been declared today to all the state government offices in Mumbai and suburban region in the wake of heavy downpour. However, essential services will be working as usual. Some long distance trains inluding CSMT-KSR Bengaluru, CSMT-Lucknow, LTT-Gorakhpur and LTT-Varanasi have been rescheduled in the wake of heavy rains.

"Heavy rains lashed Mumbai and neighbouring Thane district overnight, causing water-logging at several places and affecting local train services and road traffic movement since morning. Suburban train services on the harbour line were stopped in the morning due to water-logging on rail tracks while services on the western and central lines were also affected. A massive landslide near suburban Kandivali disrupted vehicular movement from western suburbs towards south Mumbai. The water levels in Mithi and Poysar rivers have risen, prompting the evacuation of citizens from the riverine settlements. Due to water logging, traffic has been diverted at Dadar, Hindmata, Kings Circle, Pratikshnagar, Chembur Naka, Bandra and Sion. In Raigad district, several rivers are overflowing. The Savitri and Kundalika rivers have crossed the danger mark. District administration has issued an to the citizens nearby Savitri river. In Ratnagiri district, Jagbudi river has crossed the danger level in Khed. Sindhudurg district is also experiencing heavy rains and recorded 112 mm rain in last 24 hours.  Madhuri Pange, AIR News, Mumbai."


Many parts of Kerala were lashed by heavy rains today as a depression is formed in the Bay of Bengal.


"Met  department predicts extremely heavy rainfall in northern and central districts of  the State in coming days. High is issued in landslide prone regions and low lying areas. Orange and Yellow is declared various districts for today and tomorrow.  Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the State is prepared to face any kind of situation and  urged to  relocate the people living in  disaster-prone areas. Shutters of the  smaller dams are raised. 24 x7 control room opened. On account of high waves and storm , fisherfolks are warned from venturing into the sea in the Kerala , Karanataka, Lakshadweep coast. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."


Punjab Police has apprehended 12 more persons, including two businessmen in the Hooch tragedy case. The Police has launched a manhunt for a Ludhiana-based paint business owner who had initially supplied three drums of spurious liquor.


With these arrests, the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to 37, including five kingpins of the illicit liquor mafia that spanned several districts of the state.

Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta said that a manhunt has been launched for 8 more accused persons, including the Ludhiana-based paint shop owner.


The DGP said, the death toll in the case has gone upto 108, with 82 in Tarn Taran and 13 each in Amritsar and Batala.


An official spokesperson told AIR, that Punjab Police has also launched a departmental inquiry against the 2 DSPs and four SHOs who were suspended for negligence. He said that the involvement of all suspects, as well as the 6 police and 7 Excise & Taxation Officers whose suspension was ordered by the Chief Minister on Saturday, is being probed in the magisterial inquiry.


In Bihar, the flood situation has further deteriorated following breaching of embankments in Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur. Flood water is now entering in low-lying urban areas of these two districts. The swirling water of Gandak, Burhi Gandak and Bagmati is also  inundating fresh areas of affected districts.


Over 56 lakh people of 14 districts spread over 1,082 Panchyats are reeling under the impact of flood. Flood situation is grim in Samastipur, Madhubani, Sitamarhi and East Champaran. Twenty three people have lost their lives in flood related incidents during the last 24 hours in affected areas of the state. Rail traffic remained suspended on Darbhanga -Samastipur section of East Central Railway following overflooding of railway track. Vehicular trafffic has been disrupted at many places in flood affected areas.

Relief and rescue operations have been intensified. Thirty one teams of NDRF and SDRF have been pressed into service. Over four lakh people have been evacuated so far and 20 thousand people are taking shelter in relief camps.


In the run up to the 74th Independence Day celebrations, we bring you today a special story about Rural Development in the country.


Government has been pursuing big goals in terms of rural development and particularly employment generation in the rural areas of the country. The main objective has been to reduce poverty and make villages self-sustainable. The policies introduced by the government in the last six years ensured unabated pace of rural development in the country even during the testing times of a global pandemic.

Our correspondent takes a look at few of the major thrust areas of the recent government policies aimed at rural development:

"Soul of India lives in its villages, inspired by these words of Mahatma Gandhi, historic and path-breaking decisions were taken by the government in the last 6 years. Special emphasis was laid to ensure the basic needs of food, shelter and sustainability through ever evolving policies taking care of every citizen in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the Grameen Awas Yojana in 2016 with an aim to provide pucca shelter to every family in rural India. To ensure nutritious food the National Food Security Act was implemented in the most unprecedented and efficient manner. Through the One Nation One Ration Card scheme, all loopholes in the public distribution are being checked. Government facilitated the cottage and small textile industries in the villages through special financial packages providing means of sustainable and respectable income. In an attempt to make the villages self-reliant and establish a robust supply chain, huge stretches of new roads are being constructed every day under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Sadak Yojana. Integrating the efforts of Jal Shakti ministry, under Har Ghar Jal mission, safe drinking water is being ensured to every rural household reaffirming the government's pledge to fortify the true spirit of India, its villages. Anand Chaturvedi, AIR News, Delhi."


Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today launched DD Assam 24x7 channel through video conferencing. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Javadekar said, it was necessary for the State to have a new channel. He said, it  is  Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision that Northeast India will become an engine for growth for the country.


He said the northeast region is full of resources and diversities.


"प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी जी का ये विजन है कि पूर्वोत्तर भारत के लिए एक ग्रोथ इंडियन बनेगा क्योंकि यहां आपार सम्पदा है प्राकृतिक। यहां बहुत मेहनती और अच्छे लोग हैं। उसके साथ-साथ उद्योग के लिए जो चाहिए वो सब यहां है।"


Mr. Javadekar said  Doordarshan free Dish offers 104 channels free of cost for lifetime and people need to just get a set top box and enjoy the channels without paying any subsciption fee. 


"मैं बताना चाहता हू्ं डीडी फ्री डिश योजना जनता को बतानी चाहिए। केवल एक सेटटॉप बॉक्स हमें लाना है जो डीडी फ्रीडिश का सेट टॉप बॉक्स कहलाता है उस सेट टॉप बॉक्स पर आपको 104 चैनल जिंदगी भर फ्री में दिखेंगे। हर महीने आपके 200, 250, 300 रूपये तक जो खर्च होते हैं वो सब खत्म हो जाएंगे और आपको फ्री में ये डिश मिलेगा।"


Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced the results of Civil Services Examination - 2019.  A total of 829 candidates have been selected to various Civil Services through this examination.


We spoke to Pratibha Verma who is the topper among the women candidates :-


The final result is available on the official website of UPSC.


Now, let us take a look at today's weather.


The National Capital Delhi may have generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature was recorded at 29 degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 37 degrees.


Mumbai will experience cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature was 25 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature will be around 30 degrees.


Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 27 and 31 degree Celsius.


Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis was 26 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees.


On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature in Jammu was 27 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees Celsius. The city will have a  clear sky becoming partly towards evening or night.


In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was 18 degrees while the maximum will be around 33 degree Celsius. The city will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening.


In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 17 and 37 degree Celsius. It will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.


In Muzzafarabad, there will be mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The minimum temperature was 23 degree Celsius while the maximum temperature will be around 37 degrees.


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