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Last Updated : Sep 18 2020 10:31PM     Screen Reader Access
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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           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0830 HRS


  • Bhoomi Pujan for construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya at 12:30 PM today; Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay the foundation stone.
  • COVID-19 Recovery rate improves to 66.30 percent.
  • A slew of development measures over past one year mark the first anniversary of creation of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • Vaishno Devi yatra to resume from 16th of August as Jammu and Kashmir government decides to open religious places.
  • Polling begins for parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka.
  • At least 70 people killed and more than 4,000 injured in huge explosion in Lebanese capital Beirut.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in Bhumi Poojan function for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya today. He will unveil a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone and also release commemorative postal stamp on Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir. The Bhumi Poojan ceremony will start at 12.30 PM and culminate at 12.45 PM.

Mr Modi will first have Darshan at Shri Hanumangarhi Mandir, after which he will perform puja of Bhagwan Shri Ramlalla at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. It will be followed by the Bhumi Pujan. 175 guests including 135 Saints belonging to 135 spiritual traditions have been invited for the ceremony. Apart from the 175 invitees, Mahesh Bhagchandka and Pawan Singhal from family of late Ashok  Singhal, former President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, will be Mukhya Yajman for the Bhumi Pujan. During the Bhumi Poojan Function five people will be on the stage - PM Modi, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Mahant Nritya Gopaldas who is President of the Trust.

Heavy security arrangements are in place in Ayodhya due to the function and no mobile phones will be allowed at the venue of Bhoomi Pujan. Each invitee has been provided with invitation card that bears a code. This code will ensure that one invitee gets entry only once. Renu Kataria, AIR News, Delhi.

Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have appealed to all Rambhakts across the world to organise Bhajan, Kirtan and Prasad distribution in all villages and cities while taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Corona. After the appeal of the Chief Minister and the Trust, people in the state are lighting earthen lamps at their houses and a special deepotsav is being organized in Ayodhya. The Lanes of Ayodhya and Ghats of holy Saryu River are illuminated with thousands of earthen lamps. Beautiful Rangolis along with special gates and colorful streets depicting the saga of Ramayana are ready to welcome the Prime Minister. People are lighting Diyas in their houses and are in a festive mood.

Our correspondent reports, Ram temple in Ayodhya will be a very strong structure which can withstand an earthquake also.

"Ramo Vigrahwan Dharmah means Rama is the embodiment of dharma, the incarnate. And the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will give the chance to crores of Rambhakts worldwide to see this incarnation in a Grand Structure The historic  moment will come this afternoon when in same Abhijit Muhurt in which Lord Rama was born, Prime Minister will do the Bhumi Poojan for a Grand Ram Temple of Ram Lala in Ayodhya. The proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya will be a very strong structure which can withstand an earthquake because there will be no use of Steel during construction and only copper will be used. The three story structure will have Ramlala at ground floor while Ram Darbar will be on first floor. Second floor will be reserved for Shri Ram janmBhumi Teerth Shetra Trust. The Grand Temple will be 161 feet tall. Two mandaps have been added in the old design and it will now have five mandaps and one octagon shaped shikhar. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, AYODHYA.


All India Radio will broadcast live the Bhumi Pujan function from Ayodhya from 11:40 this morning. It can be heard on AIR FM Gold and additional frequencies. Doordarshan will also broadcast the function live.


The road to this bhoomi poojan ceremony witnessed a medley of historical, cultural, religious and political events. On 9th November last year, the apex court in its judgement of one of the longest drawn land-title dispute in the history allowed construction of Ram Mandir at the Ram Janmabhoomi sthan in Ayodhya. The judgement came exactly after three decades of Vishva Hindu Parishad laying down the first brick marking the 'shilanyas' at the site on 9th November 1989.

The Union cabinet earlier this year in the month of February approved setting up of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust. The trust was empowered to take decisions independently on the construction of the Ram Mandir and other related issues. It was also thereafter handed over the 67.7 acres of land at the temple site keeping in mind the needs of crores of devotees.


In Chhattisgarh, people are very excited about the Bhoomi Pujan for Ram temple to be held in Ayodhya today, as this region is considered as the maternal home of Lord Ram. There is an atmosphere of joy in the whole state as Lord Ram is believed to have spent a long time in this region during his exile.

"In Ramayan era, Chhattisgarh’s Bastar division was known as Dankaranya. Shri Ram had spent significant amount of time during exile in forest. As per belief, Shri Ram had established a ‘Shivling’ at Rampal area of Bastar district before moving from Northern to Southern part of India. Chhattisgarh government has identified 75 places believed to have been traversed by Lord Ram during his exile. These places will be developed as a part of Ram Van Gaman Paryatan Paripath. The Chief Minister has announced that a grand temple of Mata Kaushalya will be constructed at Chandkhuri, near capital city Raipur. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur".


Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has asked all the temples in the state to organise special puja and darshan today to coincide with Shri Ram janmaboomi temple boomi pooja in Ayodhya. The Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments department has issued an order asking the temple priests to organise the puja for the success of bhoomi puja, unhindered completion of Ram Temple and for the wellbeing of all the citizens in the state. The temples are however asked to ensure social distancing and other norms while performing special puja in the background of the pandemic.


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the scheduled laying of the foundation stone for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. In a statement in Chennai last evening, he said, the historic apex court ruling on the Ayodhya issue has paved the way for the construction of the temple amiably.


DMK legislator in Tamil Nadu Assembly KK Selvam met BJP President JP Nadda in New Delhi last evening. He was accompanied by the Tamil Nadu BJP chief L. Murugan and the party national general secretary Muralidhar Rao.

Later, talking to reporters outside Mr Nadda’s residence, Mr Selvam denied reports that he is joining BJP. He said he visited the national capital to meet Railways Minister Piyush Goel to seek installation of lifts at a railway station in his constituency. Mr Selvam said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is providing good governance and praised him for the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.


A total of over 44 lakh tonnes food grains has been lifted by States and Union Territories till date under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana-2. Consumer Affairs Ministry said, a total of 201 lakh tonnes of food grains will be distributed among 81 crore beneficiaries under the scheme. A total of 12 lakh tonnes chana will also be distributed among 19 crore families. PMGKAY-2 has been started from 1st July and it will continue till November this year. The Ministry said, a total of over 759 lakh tonnes food grain stock is available with Food Corporation of India.


A slew of development measures over past one year mark the first anniversary of creation of Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Development is taking place at a rapid speed in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh since the two union territories were carved out. On 5th of August last year, Government revoked the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir by modifying Article 370 of the Constitution.

During one year period prior to August 5 2019, a total number of 172 locals joined different terrorists groups. After August 5, 2019 till date, recruitment fell by 42 percent from 172 to 100. The total number of terrorists who attempted infiltration from Pakistan occupied Kashmir also decreased by 33 percent.

"There has been a 54 percent reduction of terrorist initiated violence in Jammu and Kashmir. As against 395 incidents prior to 5th August last year, it is 181 post that date till now. Eighty percent of the total 1391 law and order incidents in the past year were reported during the first three months of August, September and October. The situation improved dramatically as average law and order related incidents fell from 370 per month to the current rate of 28 per month. With Diwaker, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi".


It has been a year since Government of India scrapped the article 370 and 35 A and created two Union Territories - Ladakh and J&K. For security agencies, there is a reason to cheer as figures suggest that zero street protests were reported while only 14 incidents of law and order took place in the first half of the ensuing year.

"According to Official data no major law and order situation was witnessed in Kashmir since January 1 this year barring a few incidents that were small in nature. The law and order incidents were less violent in nature compared to previous years and no civilian killing took place in the protests. It becomes evident that youth of Kashmir have understood the futility of the street protests and have decided to not to indulge such things. With only 14 incidents of law and order taking place and that too in southern parts of Kashmir. The number is too less if compared to previous years. This signifies a big change and makes one believe that  this year post abrogation of article 370 has witnessed a sea change. R K RAINA, AIR NEWS, JAMMU".

Meanwhile, the Central Government has taken several steps for the improvement of business and trade sector in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. These steps played an instrumental role in the development of the region.

The 15th Finance Commission has allocated grants of more than 30 thousand crore rupees for the development of Jammu and Kashmir and around 6 thousand crore rupees for Ladakh for this financial year. In addition, Global investment summits have been organized to attract the investor to make investment in the region. Reforms have been made in all the departments to make better synergy between them and removing the hindrances. Kashmiri Kesar has been given geo indicator tag and this shows that the trade of the region is acquiring global dimensions. A new industrial policy for the region will be announced soon. Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi.


Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu has approved the creation of Block Development Fund on the pattern of Constituency Development Fund. 25 lakh rupees each will be placed at the disposal of Block Development Council (BDC) Chairpersons to be used for local block developmental works. The works in this regard, could be identified by the BDC Chairpersons as per the local priorities.


Ladakh is celebrating the first anniversary of realisation of its seven decades-old dream today. It was on this day last year, Ladakh was granted the status of a Union Territory. Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur has greeted the people on the occasion.

In an exclusive interview to AIR News, Mr Mathur expressed his belief that Ladakhis have all the potential to prosper in all spheres of life. He said, deciplined and hard working Ladakhis deserve better life. The UT administration is working on all aspects that could bring opportunities and fulfill expectations of people of Ladakh.


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

The government has taken several steps to provide quality and accessible education and build a robust education infrastructure in the country during the last six years.

Exclusively speaking with AIR News, Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that radical changes in every field of education have been done in the last six years.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated all the bright youngsters who have successfully cleared the Civil Services Examination, 2019.  Extending his best wishes, Mr. Modi said, an exciting and satisfying career of public service awaits them. 


Indian Army has kickstarted the process to grant Permanent Commission to eligible women officers, nearly two weeks after the defence ministry approved the proposal.  It has asked women officers to apply for permanent commission by 31st August this year.


The COVID-19 recovered cases are now double of active cases in the country. Currently, the recovered cases are over 12.30 lakh. With this, the recovery rate has gone up to an impressive 66.30 per cent. The fatality rate is also the lowest at 2.10 percent since the first lockdown. Briefing media in New Delhi yesterday, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, the fatality rate has seen a progressive decline and it is continuing. 


Gujarat recorded 1020 new cases of Covid19 yesterday. In Gujarat, 898 Covid-19 patients have been discharged from various hospitals after recovery during the last 24 hours as the recovery rate has further improved to 73.60 percent.

"According to official sources, 1020 new cases have been reported in the state yesterday. Total cases in the state have gone up to 65704. Out of 14811 active 87 patients are on ventilator support. 25 patients have lost their lives yesterday, taking the total death due to Covid19 in the state up to 2534. More than 8 lakh 54 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date, out of which 20735 tests have been carried out yesterday. Door to door surveillance and mass screening will be launched in the new areas in micro containment zone from today. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


In Tamil Nadu, the total Covid-19 infection has touched two lakh and eighty thousand while those discharged has exceeded two lakh eight thousand. The discharge ration has gone up to 77.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, the state Health Minister Dr C Vijayabhaskar has said legal action will be initiated against those spreading rumours about the Covid-19 pandemic. Talking to reporters in Chennai yesterday, he said a report is being circulated in social media claiming that 43 doctors treating the disease in the state have died of it. He said the report is false.

"The Minister Dr Vijayabhaskar has said false information on the pandemic situation would affect the morale of the doctors, nurses and other paramedics who are in the frontline, battling against the disease. The report about the mortality among the doctors was attributed to the Indian Medical Association IMA. However, he said the IMA has distanced from it, asserting that the medical body has not released the data. He also said the doubling rate of Covid-19 cases in Chennai has gone up to 65 days which is 100 days in some of its zones, showing signs of improvement. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai".


Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s test result for Covid came negative. Meanwhile, the state government has extended full lockdown in the 193 containment zones till the 31st of this month.


In Madhya Pradesh, 413 mask banks have been set up so far under the Ek Mask-Anek Zindgi campaign aimed at protecting citizens from corona infection. Our correspondent reports, these Mask banks have been set up with the help of voluntary organizations, public representatives and citizens.

"Urban Development and Housing Minister Bhupendra Singh has said that the mask is the simplest and cheapest means of preventing corona infection. So far, over one lakh 30 thousand masks have been donated by various institutions and citizens in this campaign. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state climbed up to around 35 thousand 82 after the 797 new cases reported in the past 24 hours in Madhya Pradesh. The death toll rose to 912. As per the state health bulletin, 1 thousand 315 coronavirus patients were discharged from the hospitals yesterday taking the number of recovered cases in the state to 25 thousand 414. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal".


In our series "Expert Speak" on All India Radio, we bring you the views of leading medical experts on COVID-19. Dr S Rajeshwari, Department of Anesthesiology, AIIMS has advised  people to maintain hand hygiene.


Vaishno Devi Yatra will resume on August 16 after Jammu and Kashmir government decided to open religious places in the union territory. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board announced the resumption of the pilgrimage almost four months after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to open all religious places across the union territory from 16th of this month, a day after Independence Day celebrations.


New Delhi has described a so-called political map of Pakistan issued by Prime Minister Imran Khan as an exercise in political absurdity, laying untenable claims to territories in the Indian State of Gujarat and our Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. A press statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said, these ridiculous assertions have neither legal validity nor international credibility. It said, in fact, this new effort only confirms reality of Pakistan’s obsession with territorial aggrandisement supported by cross-border terrorism.


In Lebanon, at least 70 people have been killed and more than 4,000 injured in a huge explosion in the capital, Beirut, last night. The explosion sent shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.

Officials are blaming highly explosive materials stored in a warehouse for six years. President Michel Aoun said, it is unacceptable that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored unsafely.

President Aoun has declared a three-day mourning and said the government will release 66 million dollar as emergency funds. Indian Embassy in Lebanon is in touch with the Indian community. The Embassy has also shared its helpline numbers with the Indian community.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he is shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. He said, our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured.


Polling has begun for Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka. Voting is taking place for 225 seats with strict health guidelines amidst COVID 19 pandemic. The polling, which began at 7 this morning, will continue till 5 PM. The counting of votes will be taken up on Friday and results are expected by late evening on that day. Over 7450 candidates are in fray. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former PM Ranil Wickremsinghe and former President Maithripala Sirisena are among the main contestants.


Mumbai and its adjoining areas have been receiving heavy rainfall for the second consecutive day today. Heavy rains lashed several parts of Mumbai, Thane and adjoining Palghar district in Maharashtra overnight. The Met department has issued a red for today, forecasting extremely heavy rains at isolated places in Mumbai, Thane and Raigad. Citizens have been asked to avoid the coast while fire brigade and NDRF teams are ready to act in case of an emergency. 

Mumbai today woke up to heavy rainfall for the second consecutive day. Yesterday the city had recorded 268 mm of rainfall in a single day. Several low-lying areas in Thane district were submerged and tree falling incidents in Thane city and its surrounding areas were reported. Meanwhile, the city corporation of Mumbai has also put on fire brigade, pumping stations and operating staff at temporarily installed 300 pumping stations. Officers have also been put on in case if evacuation is required in areas around rivers. Education officers have been told to keep the BMC schools prepared if any emergency situation arises and people need shelter. Devapriyo Bhattacharjee, AIR News, Mumbai.


In Bihar, the flood situation continues to be remain grim in affected areas of the state. Over 64  lakh people of 16 districts spread over 1,152 Panchayats are reeling under the impact of flood.  42 people have lost their lives in flood related accidents during the last 24 hours. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed to conduct corona test for those who are staying in relief camps. Relief and rescue operations have been intensified.


Weather forecast for today

The National Capital Delhi may have generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 37 degrees.

Mumbai will experience a generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature will be around 26 degrees.

Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 27 and 36 degrees Celsius.

Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis was 27 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees.

On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature in Jammu was 26 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees Celsius. The city will have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust-storm.

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was 19 degrees while the maximum will be around 33 degrees Celsius. The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night.

Ladakh will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.

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

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


Newspaper Headlines

  • The front page headlines in all the dailies today talk about the foundation laying of the majestic Ram Mandir . "Ayodhya all decked up "writes the Statesman. The Times Of India reports, "Back in Ayodhya after 29 years, PM to lay first Ram Temple brick today."

  • The Economic Times notes , "15 new names in list of 47 banned Chinese Applications."

  • "In a first, Army deploys women soldiers near LOC" notes the Times of India.

  • The Asian Age reports about the huge blow to Indian IT professionals eyeing the US job market , "Trump bans hiring of H-1B visa holders for government jobs ."

  • Western Railway to flag off the first rake of 42 wagons containing onions for Bangladesh is a story in the Hindu Business Line.

  • The Indian Express writes about the inspirational UPSC success stories as the results were declared yesterday , with a farmer's son , an IIT graduate and a fireman among the rankers.


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