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

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Reserve Bank of India's monetary policy committee decides to unanimously leave policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent;  RBI to continue with the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary to revive growth.

  • In Gujarat, eight COVID patients die in a major fire accident in Ahmedabad’s COVID hospital ; Prime Minister announces ex-gratia of 2 lakh rupees each to next of kin of the deceased.

  • India performs a record six lakh 64 thousand 949 Covid-19 tests in single day; Recovery rate improves to 67.61 per cent.

  • Manoj Sinha appointed as new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir following resignation of  G C Murmu. 

  • Incessant rain lashes Mumbai and suburbs; Prime Minister assures all possible help to Maharashtra.

  • India rejects China’s interference in internal affairs of the country; urges to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts.


RBI governor Dr. Shaktikanta Das today said that the apex bank's monetary policy committee has decided to unanimously  leave the policy repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent.  He added that  RBI  will continue with the accommodative stance of monetary policy as long as necessary to revive growth, mitigate the impact  of COVID-19, while ensuring that inflation remains within the target going  forward.


In an address after the conclusion of the three day MPC meeting today via video conferencing, Dr.Das said the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank rate remain unchanged at 4.25 per cent. He said, the reverse repo rate stands unchanged at 3.35 per cent.  He said the MPC’s assessment is that the global economic activity has remained fragile and in retrenchment in the first half of 2020.

The MPC also observed that a renewed surge in COVID-19 infections in major economies in July has subdued some early signs of revival that had appeared in May and June. The MPC is also of the view that the global financial markets, however, have been buoyant, with the return of risk-off sentiment ing a disconnect from the underlying state of the real economy.


The RBI Governor said the headline CPI inflation, which was at 5.8 per cent in March 2020, was placed at 6.1 per cent in the provisional estimates for June 2020.


He said given the uncertainty surrounding the inflation outlook and extremely weak state of the economy in the midst of an unprecedented shock from the ongoing pandemic, the MPC decided to keep the policy rate on hold, while remaining watchful for a durable reduction in inflation to use available space to support the revival of the economy.


Gujarat police have arrested the Director of Shrey Hospital where a major fire broke out today that took 8 lives.  A major fire broke out in the wee hours in a private COVID hospital in Navrangpura area of Ahmedabad. Eight COVID patients including three women from ICU died in this accident.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the tragedy. In a tweet today, Mr. Modi expressed condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the early recovery of injured persons.


The Prime Minister announced ex-gratia of 2 lakh rupees each to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives. He said, 50 thousand rupees each would be given to those who were injured.


Mr. Modi spoke to the Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani and Mayor of Ahmedabad Bijal Patel. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said that the primary reason for the fire is likely to be short circuit. Government has ordered an inquiry into this incident. Police and FSL experts have started investigations.


Quoting sources, AIR correspondent reports that the entire ICU department of the hospital on the fourth floor was completely burnt.

Gujarat government has ordered the inquiry into the fire incident in Shrey Hospital working as a dedicated Covid Hospital. Two senior IAS officers Additional Chief Secretary of State Home Department Sangita Singh and Additional Chief Secretary of Urban Development Department Mukesh Puri will submit their inquiry report in three days. Firefighters and police staff immediately rushed on the spot and rescued the other patients and staff. 41 patients have been evacuated and admitted in SVP Hospital run by Municipal Corporation. Shrey Hospital has been sealed by the authorities. Chief Minister has announced Rs. 4 lakh to the keen of the deceased and 50 thousand Rs. to the injured from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Ram Temple in Ayodhya will become a modern symbol of India's traditions. He said that Ram Mandir will  symbolise the power of collective resolution of crores of people which will keep inspiring the future generations. The Prime Minister was addressing the gathering at Ram Janmbhumi in Ayodhya yesterday. He performed Bhoomi Poojan and laid the foundation stone of the grand Ram temple.

"राम मंदिर के लिए कई-कई सदियों तक कई-कई पीढियों ने अखंड अविरत एक निष्ठ प्रयास किया। आज का ये दिन उसी तप, त्याग और संकल्प का प्रतीक है। राम मंदिर के लिए चले आंदोलन में अर्पण भी था तर्पण भी था संघर्ष भी था संकल्प भी था। त्याग, बलिदान और संघर्ष से आज ये स्वप्न साकार हो रहा है।"

With yesterday's ceremony the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya has started. The Prime Minister said that construction of the Ram temple marks a new chapter in India's history.

"आज पूरा भारत भावुक है सदियों का इंतजार आज समाप्त हो रहा है। करोड़ों लोगों को आज ये विश्वास ही नहीं हो रहा होगा कि वो अपने जीते जी इस पावन दिन को देख पा रहे हैं। बरसों से टाट और टेंट के नीचे रहे हमारे राम लला के लिए अब एक भव्य मंदिर का निर्माण होगा।"

Recounting the different Ramayans written in various languages, the Prime Minister noted that Shree Ram is the common thread of unity in diversity in the country. He said that Lord Ram is a symbol of strength and unity for all religions, irrespective of religion.


During his historic address at Ayodhya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it is an emotional moment for the entire country. He said the construction of Ram Temple will also pave way for the development of Ayodhya and open up several opportunities across sectors which will change the economy of the region.


The Bhumi Poojan ceremony started at sharp 12.30 yesterday afternoon and culminated at 12.45 pm.


Many saints, spiritual leaders and other leaders associated with the Ram Temple movement were present at the ceremony. Mahesh Bhagchandka and Pawan Singhal from family of late Ashok  Singhal, Former President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad were Mukhya Yajman in Bhumi Pujan function.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister to have Darshan at Ram Janmbhumi and Hanumangarhi temple of Ayodhya. After planting a sapling of Parijat tree, he took part in the Bhumi Poojan ceremony.


With the IMD issuing a warning of extreme rainfall over the next 24 hours for Konkan and Central Maharashtra region, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked people to stay indoors and venture out only for essential work. Taking stock of the situation, Chief Minister asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to coordinate with the police and railway authorities, health machinery and the National Disaster Response Force to ensure that citizens do not face any hardship. Widespread rains coupled with gusty winds across Maharashtra and Mumbai in particular threw life out of gear yesterday. 


Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa  has directed the District in Charge Ministers to take precautionary measures in the wake of heavy rainfall across the State. He has instructed the ministers to remain  in their constituencies and tour the damaged areas. He also directed them to undertake relief distribution and other necessary measures.  A sum of 50 crore rupees has already been released  and the Chief Minister has assured that, if  necessary, more funds would be released. Revenue Minister R Ashoka will hold a video Conference with the Deputy Commissioners of 11 districts affected by flood.

Coastal Karnataka, Kodagu, Shimoga, Chickmagalur and Hassan are been hit hard by heavy monsoon showers since last one week. A red has been sounded in these districts. The Cauvery catchment area is receiving torrential rain. Landslide is reported from Talacauvery, where river Cauvery takes birth. Bagamandala in Kodagu received 136 mm rainfall. Baindur in Udupi district received 150 mm rainfall. Houses are damaged due to copious rainfall in Shringeri, Mudigere, and Bagamandala. Trees are uprooted in the coastal areas. Cauvery, Kapila, Kabini, Thungabhadra are flowing at high level. The district administration has been asked to take emergency works and compensate the losses. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru.


On account of depression formed in Bay of Bengal, heavy rain continues to lash Kerala today.

As rain continues, widespread damage is being reported from across the State.Warnings have been issued as the water level of many rivers is raising and shutters of dams are also being opened. Landslides are  reported from northern districts.Coastal regions are also facing rampant sea erosion.Meanwhile the Meteorological Department predicts that the  the state will experience heavy rainfall till Sunday and the National Water Commission had  also issued potential flood warning in Kerala.

Red is  issued today in kozhikode and Wayanad district. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that all necessary arrangements are being done and the State is fully prepared to face any situation. Control rooms are being opened at district level.On the  wake of Covid 19, people from flood prone regions are asked to shift to relative's houses than relief camps. Fisherfolks are warned from venturing into the sea in Kerala Lakshadweep coast. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram.


Pesident Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Manoj Sinha as the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. The President accepted the resignation of Girish Chandra Murmu as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Mr Murmu, a 1985 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer was appointed as the LG in October last year. Mr Murmu had sent his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind. 


Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar has congratulated Manoj Sinha for being appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.


In the  Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,  a BJP Sarpanch was shot dead by terrorists in Vessu Qazigund area of south Kashmir's  Kulgam district this morning.


Senior Superintending of Police, Kulgam  Gurvinder Pal Singh said that the terrorists fired upon the Sarpanch Sajad Ahmad Khanday near his residence this morning.


Meanwhile, the security forces have launched a massive manhunt to nab the assailants.


This is the second attack of its kind in less than 48 hours as a BJP Panch Arif Ahmad was critically wounded after terrorists had fired upon him at Akhran Qazigund on the evening of August 4.


India has firmly rejected China’s interference in its internal affairs and urged it to draw proper conclusions from such infructuous attempts.  The External Affairs Ministry said this in a statement following China initiating a discussion in the UN Security Council on issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. The Ministry said this is not the first time that China has sought to raise a subject that is solely an internal matter of India. It said that this attempt too was met with little support from the international community as on such previous occasions.


India achieved a remarkable feat today by performing the highest numbers of Covid-19 tests in a single day. A record six lakh 64 thousand 949 tests  were conducted by various laboratories yesterday. More than two crore 21 lakh tests have been conducted in the country so far. This is the third consecutive day when the laboratories conducted more than six lakh tests in a single day across the country.


In January this year, there was only one testing laboratory for COVID-19 in India. Now, 1370 government and private laboratory chains are conducting tests for coronavirus samples across the country. ICMR is continuously ramping up its testing capabilities by approving new laboratories, RT-PCR kits, True Nat Test, CBNAAT Test and rapid antigen test kits. The Health Ministry and ICMR have asked the States and Union Territories to include additional testing methods to improve the availability of testing.


Total recoveries from Covid-19 in the country surpassed the 13 lakh mark today. A total of 13 lakh 28 thousand 336 people have recovered so far. In the past 24 hours, 46 thousand 121 recoveries have been reported across the country. With this, the recovery rate has improved to 67.61 per cent. The case fatality rate has further declined to 2.07 per cent in the country.


The Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, a total of 56 thousand 282 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country within 24 hour taking the total number of cases to 19 lakh 64 thousand 536. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is five lakh 95 thousand 501. 904 deaths have also been reported in a single day, taking the nationwide toll to 40 thousand 699.


Centre has released over 890 crore rupees as the second installment of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Package to 22 States and Union Territories. These States and UTs are Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. The amount of the financial assistance is based on the COVID-19 case load in these States and UTs. Union Health Ministry said, the financial aid will be used for strengthening of public health facilities infrastructure for testing including procurement and installation of RT-PCR machines and RNA extraction kits.


The Ministry said, as part of the ‘Whole of Government’ approach, Centre is leading the COVID-19 response and management, and supporting the States and Union Territories through technical and financial resources.


In our series "Expert Speak" on All India Radio we bring you the views of the leading medical experts on COVID-19.

Dr. Nand Kumar, Professor of Psychiatry, AIIMS suggested people to stay at home, spend time with family members and practice Yoga. 


Dr. Anvita Aggarwal, Resident, Infectious Diseases, AIIMS advised people to not be negligent and stay at their homes.



In Bihar Corona testing capacity has been increased to over 50 thousand per day.51 thousand 924 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. Altogether seven lakh 39 thousand tests have been conducted so far. Recovery rate stands at over 65 percent.64 thousand 732 people have tested positive for the virus and 369 patients have died so far.42 thousand 370 patients have been recovered and 21 thousand 992 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals.Maximum number of  positive cases of 10 thousand 989 are from Patna followed by 3,010 in Bhagalpur and 2,889 in Muzaffarpur.52 personnel of Bihar sector headquarters of CRPF at Patna had been tested COVID 19 positive.The state government has set up toll free number for corona related information.


In Assam, nearly 36 thousand patients are discharged from hospitals so far. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that One thousand 471 persons have been discharged during the last 24 hours.  There are 14 thousand 429 active cases in the state . Meanwhile, rapid antigen tests are being carried out across the state including Guwahati. The Assam government has  already started 4 no of plasma banks in the state.


In the wake of rising number of corona virus cases, three jumbo hospitals will be set up in Pune. One such hospital at Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will be ready by 20th August. Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said that the 1000-bedded hospital will have 200 ICU beds and 800 oxygen beds.


According to the state’s public health department, Maharashtra now has 1,45,961 active cases. The number of recovered patients stands at 3,05,521 while the death toll has climbed to 16,476. The state has conducted 24,13,510 tests so far.


The Telangana state government has decided to scale up COVID tests to contain the spread of virus. The state Cabinet has decided to conduct 40 thousand Coronavirus tests daily and the government directed officials to increase the testing capacity to this extent. Presently the state is conducting about 20 thousand tests per day and conducted over 5.43 lakh tests ever since the pandemic began. 


Meanwhile, the surge in COVID-19 cases continued in Telangana, with 2,092 new cases being reported during the past 24 hours. It is the highest single day spike so far, while the death toll mounted to 589 after 13 more people succumbed to the virus.


In Tamil Nadu, the national health teleconsultation service called eSanjeevani has got a tremendous response from the public. So far, over 25-thousand people have consulted doctors through video-call.


Meanwhile, the total Covid-19 infection in the state has zoomed past two lakh 73 thousand with 5175 new cases reported yesterday.

Over a hundred doctors in Tamil Nadu are being deployed for the tele-consultation under the E-Sanjeevani scheme. As many people with ailments other than Covid-19 infection are afraid of visiting hospitals during the pandemic situation, the scheme provides a very good alternative for them. The process of availing the service is also made very simple. All it takes is, registering in the exclusive portal esanjeevaniopd.in by providing the mobile number with video call facility. The average waiting time for the turn of the patient to be attended is less than five minutes. ePreions are given at the end of the consultation that can be downloaded by the patients. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai.


Tamilnadu Chief Minister  Edapadi K Palanisamy has announced that a food park will soon be set up in  ten acre premises at Vedansathoor in Dindugul district of Tamilnadu.


He was speaking at a district level review meeting held at Dindigul today.

The Chief Minister also declared opening of  a vegetable market, set up at a cost of Rs 10 crores near Dindugul.

He further observed that the incidence of Covid 19 was gradually coming down in Dindigul district. He appreciated the sterling work being undertaken in the district under the able guidance of WHO, Union and State Health ministries etc.


Considering the importance of technology and to increase public participation in governance the Himachal Government has decided to start a program in line with Mann ki Baat for the people of the state.

The program would be broadcast once in every month through social media, radio, and television.  It will be organized along the lines of "Mann Ki Baat". People of state can share their suggestions regarding the events, inspirational works, and schemes of the Himachal government. Through this interface, common citizen of the state can also convey his personal views to the Chief Minister as well. State government has asked suggestions from the people, for this Digital platform. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News Shimla.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live

phone-in programme today will bring you a Special discussion Programme on Covid-19 .


Dr. Geeta Kampani, Senior Physician, Safdarjung Hospital 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.


In the run up to the 74th Independence Day celebrations, we bring you today a special story about the initiatives for women welfare. Women safety is an integral part of NDA government's policy making, governance and agenda. In the last five years, nation has witnessed some pathbreaking announcements that ensured dignity and welfare of women.


The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill was passed by Parliament last year which makes instant triple talaq in any form illegal and void. Committed to providing a safe and secure growing environment to young girls, government introduced a law to severely punish the criminals from indulging in such heinous crimes. Capital punishment for those found guilty of raping a child under the age of 12 was introduced to deter such crimes. With launch and widespread implementation of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, now there is no need for women to venture into forests to get firewood for cooking. Awareness campaigns like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao have contributed towards saving the girl child, educating her, and making her a self sufficient citizen. With Diwaker, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the 21st century an era of knowledge. To make India a knowledge superpower, efforts have been made on learning, research and innovation. These efforts not only transformed the education sector but also created a robust education infrastructure in the country in the last six years. 

Building a New India where every people get the opportunity for quality education is the primary goal of the central government. To provide quality education to all, recently, a new National Education Policy has been launched with an aim to transform the existing education system. The new policy will focus on interdisciplinary studies which will open the new gates of opportunities for the students. Another initiative, PM-e-Vidya will provide multi mode access to education through digital, online and on air platforms. This initiative will benefit 25 crore school going children across the country. A unique initiative for mentoring the talented students ‘Pradhan Mantri Innovative learning Programme DHRUV was also launched. Government has also announced to launch one TV channel per class from class 1st to 12th with an extensive use of Radio and Community Radio stations. A mechanism called Manodarpan has also been introduced to provide psycho-social support to students, teachers and parents for mental health and emotional well being. Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi.


Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar remembered senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Sushma Swaraj on her first death anniversary today. Addressing a function through video conferencing on this occasion, he described her as a lively person. Recalling his memories with Sushma Swaraj, Mr Javadekar said she was a great human being and used to give respect to her family and friends. 


लोक सभा में हो, राज्य सभा में हो और पब्लिक मीटिंग में हो उनके भाषण के लिए लोग आतुर रहते थे, सुनते थे। अगर न बुलाते तो भी हम सुनने के लिए आ ही जाते। और वो सूचना प्रसारण मंत्री रही फिर उनको उद्योग का दर्जा दिया। तो मेरे लिए तो वो आज भी मेरी गाइड है और हमेशा बनी रहेंगी। इतना ही मैं कहूंगा और मेरी भावभीनी आज सुषमांजलि।


A veteran parliamentarian Sushma Swaraj died last year at the age of 67.


India looks forward to further increase its cooperation and working together with Japan to meet the global requirements of the future.  Addressing the Digital Edition of Make in India, Japan Roadshow 3.0 today, Commerce and Industry Minister  Piyush Goyal said the whole world is looking at a balanced and equitable trade and  India would like to work with Japan to balance the Indo-Japan trade. He said Japan is one of India's most trusted trading partners and the fourth largest contributor of FDI. 


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

The National Capital Delhi may witness strong surface winds during day time. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 36 degrees.


Mumbai will experience generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature will be around 28 degrees.


Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or Drizzle. 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 28 degrees 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 28 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 33 degrees Celsius. The city will have Generally cloudy sky with moderate rain.


In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was 19 degrees while the maximum will be around 31 degrees Celsius. The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Ladakh will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night. The temperature will hover between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius.


In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 20 and 34 degrees Celsius. It will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.


In Muzzafarabad, there will be partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night . The minimum temperature was 19 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature will be around 37 degrees.


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