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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


Morning News

0830 HRS
07.08.2020
THE HEADLINES:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver Inaugural Address at ‘Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’ today.
  • Former Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu to be the new Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
  • Manipur extends complete lockdown till 15th August amid rise in COVID-19 cases.
  • Country's first Kisan Special Parcel Train to run from today to provide seamless supply of perishable products.
  • National Handloom Day being observed today.
  • In Sri Lanka, ruling party led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa registers landslide victory in parliamentary elections.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the Inaugural Address at the ‘Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’ today.
The conclave that is being organised through video conference, will have sessions dedicated to significant aspects of education covered under the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020. These include holistic, multidisciplinary and futuristic education, Quality Research, and Equitable use of technology for better reach in Education.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and Union Minister of State for Education, Sanjay Dhotre will also participate in the event. A number of dignitaries including the Chairman and Members, Committee for Draft NEP as well as eminent academicians and scientists will speak on different aspects of the National Education Policy.
Vice-Chancellors of universities, Directors of Institutions and Principals of colleges and other stakeholders will also participate in the programme.

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A Mega Hackathon will be organised today where the top finalists selected under the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’ across categories will be showcasing their Apps. The Mega Hackathon will be streamed live from 12 noon to 5 PM on Social Media platforms of MyGov India and Digital India.
The AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge’, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the 4th of last month, which saw participation from 6 thousand 9 hundred 40 tech entrepreneurs and start-ups across the country. The mega Challenge had entries for 9 different categories namely Business, eLearning, Entertainment, Games, Health, News, Office and Work from Home, Others and Social.

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The country's first Kisan Special Parcel Train or Kisan Rail will start from today. The train will start at 11 AM and it will transport material between Maharashtra's Devlali and Bihar's Danapur Railway station. The Kisan Rail will carry fruits and vegetables and will make stoppages at several stations and pickup and deliver them.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Rail Minister Piyush Goyal will flag off the train through video link. The train is scheduled to reach its destination Danapur tomorrow at 6:45 PM, covering a distance of one thousand 519 kilometres in around 32 hours.
The train will halt at Nasik Road, Manmad, Jalgaon, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Khandwa, ltarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katni, Manikpur, Prayagraj Chheoki, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar and Buxar.
With the launch of Kisan Rail, the Railways aims to help double farmers’ income. The Railway Ministry said, this will help in bringing perishable agricultural products like vegetables and fruits to the market in a short period of time.
The Kisan Rail train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk. Our correspondent reports that, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced to start 'Kisan Rail' in the current year's Budget, for providing a seamless supply chain of perishable produce.

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The Centre has initiated the Jal Jeevan Mission to provide safe and adequate drinking water to every rural household of the country by the 2024 with the motto Har Ghar Jal. To achieve this goal, Prime Ministre Narendra Modi created a new Jal Shakti Ministry last year in his second term. The Ministry of Jal Shakti has been implementing the mission in partnership with States with an aim to provide potable water in adequate quantity of prescribed quality through tap connections to every rural household in the country. There are about 19 crore households in India and only 24 percent have Freshwater Household Tap Connections. Under the Jal Jeevan mission, the focus is on 256 water stressed districts and 1,592 water stressed blocks.
Talking exclusively to AIR News, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, earlier, only 16 percent of the households had access to drinking water through tap connection. He said after the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission, drinking tap water now reaches 25 percent of households in the country.
The mission is providing drinking water in every rural household, which will certainly improve the lives of the rural population especially women and girls and save them from drudgery as well as water-borne diseases.

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Former Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Girish Chandra Murmu will be the new Comptroller and Auditor General of the country. Mr Murmu will succeed Rajiv Mehrishi. An IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, Mr Murmu resigned as Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

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The RBI has announced a loan restructuring window for corporates following demands from bankers and industry. RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das made the announcement yesterday. Last week, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the government is working with RBI on the need for restructuring of loans to help the industry tide over the impact of Covid 19.

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Reserve Bank of India has barred banks from opening current accounts for customers who have availed cash credit or overdraft facilities, with a view to improve credit discipline.
In a notification, the central bank said, rather than opening a new current account, all transactions should be routed through Cash Credit,CC or OverDraft,OD account. The RBI stated that there is a need for discipline by the banks in opening current accounts. However, the RBI did not specify the exact reasons for initiating such a move.

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RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das has said, the banking system will move to a positive pay practice in cheque transactions to curb frauds.
Under the 'positive pay' system, a customer who issues the cheque clicks a picture of the cheque before handing it over to the beneficiary and uploads the same on the bank's mobile application. He said, the limit of 50,000 rupees will cover approximately 20 per cent of transactions by volume and 80 per cent by value. RBI Governor said, The operational guidelines for which will be issued soon.

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The RBI has permitted banks to invest in debt instruments through mutual funds or exchange traded funds without allocating additional charges. As per RBI's extant Basel III guidelines, if a bank holds a debt instrument directly, it would have to allocate lower capital as compared to holding the same debt instrument through a mutual fund- or exchange traded fund. While unveiling the bi-monthly monetary policy review yesterday, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said it has been decided to harmonise the differential treatment existing currently.

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The CBIC has urgently directed Customs and field formations to immediately verify and confirm within 48 hours that any hazardous or explosive material lying in warehouses and ports across the country meets all safety and fire standards and presents no danger to life and property. In a tweet, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said, the precautionary step has been taken in view of the recent incident of explosion at Beirut in Lebanon caused by such material.

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National Handloom Day is being organised today by the Ministry of Textiles on virtual platform. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani will be the Chief Guest on the occasion. During the function, handloom clusters across India, NIFT campuses, all the 28 Weaver Service Centres, National Handloom Development Corporation and others will be connected online.
7th August was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on the same date in the year 1905. The objective is to generate awareness about Handloom Industry among the public and its contribution to the socio-economic development.
To mark the occasion and to instil pride of workmanship of handloom weaving amongst citizens, social media campaign is planned for the handloom weaving community.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, the Handloom and Handicrafts of India encompass a glorious history of hundreds of years. In his Mann Ki Baat address on All India Radio last month, the Prime Minister urged everyone to use Indian Handloom and Handicrafts as much as possible, and also communicate to more and more people about them. He said, local artisans and weavers will benefit from conversations about the richness and diversity of Indian handloom and handicrafts. The Prime Minister emphasized that the correct and positive approach always goes a long way in transforming distressing times into opportunities, adversities into triggers of development and progress.

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In Madhya Pradesh, the Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporation is organizing various programmes in 17 weaver clusters in the state, on National Handloom Day today. On the occasion, the 36th showroom of the state's famous brand Mriganayani will also be launched. "Even during the Corona pandemic, the handloom industry has created new employment opportunities in Madhya Pradesh.  Handloom and handicrafts commissioner Rajiv Sharma told AIR that during the Corona period, 900 people were employed by the corporation through three hundred looms. He said that there is a plan to increase the number of looms to one thousand by October. This will provide employment to 3 thousand more people.
Madhya Pradesh is home to the world-famous handloom products including Chanderi and Maheshwari saris. The state government has also increased the remuneration of weavers by 25 percent. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

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In Tamil Nadu, Handloom weavers in Namakkal district, near Trichy, have said that the various welfare schemes of the Central and State governments have helped improve their standard of living. On the occasion of National Handloom Day, several awareness programmes are being organised in different parts of the state.
Besides various financial aids from State government, the Handloom weavers are also getting aid under schemes like Prime Minister's Insurance Scheme as well as Mahatma Gandhi Handloom Welfare scheme.

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In Tamil Nadu, industrialists coming forward to invest in southern districts of the state will be given various incentives including subsidies for the cost of land. This was informed by Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy while talking to media in Madurai yesterday after the review meeting. He also said that steps are being taken to de-clutter the congested Goripalayam junction at the heart of Madurai city. An over bridge has been planned spanning the junction and more than 160 crore rupees has been allotted for land acquisition.

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In Manipur, a state Cabinet meeting held last evening has decided to extend the ongoing Statewide complete lockdown and curfew till the 15th of August in view of rise in COVID-19 cases in the State.  The recently affected people are suspected to have been infected through local transmission.
The Statewide lockdown and curfew commenced from the 23rd of July till today.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh led Cabinet meeting thoroughly discussed the COVID-19 pandemic in the State and measures required to contain the spread of virus infection. The meeting decided to extend the complete lockdown till the 15th August.
Later Manipur Chief Secretary issued an Order informing that certain activities will have relaxation in the proposed lockdown. All locality based retails shops dealing with essential commodities will be opened in all districts from 8 am to 12 noon on all days except Sundays. Moreover, certain parts of Imphal market and other markets in districts will be opened on roster basis to cater the requirement of retailers.

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Health Ministry has said that India has significantly ramped up its diagnostic lab network. It said, higher number of tests will push the positivity rate initially, but as the Delhi experience has amply shown, will eventually lower when combined with other measures. The Ministry said, it is to the credit of the graded and collaborative efforts of the Centre and States and Union Territories that widespread testing has enabled more than 6 lakh tests daily for 3 days in a row. It said, from one lab in January 2020, India now has 1370 labs. Health Ministry said, focused and coordinated  containment, widespread testing combined with supervised isolation and effective treatment have resulted in increasing recovery rates and steadily falling case mortality. These have ensured declining percentage active cases.

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The Chhattisgarh Government has given instruction to ensure immediate testing of COVID-19 suspected patients coming to private clinics, nursing homes and hospitals for treatment. The Health Secretary Niharika Barik Singh has written letter to Chairman of Indian Medical Association of Chhattisgarh Unit asking them to ensure immediate testing of COVID-19 suspected patients undergoing treatment in private hospitals, so as to identify the Corona positive patients. In case they are found COVID-19 positive, they should be referred to COVID Hospital. Instructions have been issued that if any patient in hospital is tested positive for COVID-19, then the hospital should be disinfected as per the guidelines of Central government, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and State Government and be reopened after 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Chhattisgarh government has classified one hundred and fourteen development blocks in the state as the Red zones and six blocks as orange zones to contain the spread of corona virus. 

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Gujarat recorded 1034 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. According to the State Health Department, the recovery rate has improved further to 74.21 percent.
"Total cases of Covid-19 in the state have gone up to 67818. Out of 14905 active cases in the state, the conditions of 82 patients are serious. At the other end, 917 patients have been discharged from various hospitals after recovery. With this, the total patients recovered from Covid-19 till date have gone up to 50322. Twenty seven patients have lost their lives yesterday, taking the total death due to Covid-19 in the state up to 2584. More than 9 lakh 3 thousand tests have been carried out in the state. Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has added 16 new areas in the Micro Containment Zone, while removing 22 areas. Door to door surveillance and mass screening will be launched in the new areas from today. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has said, the COVID-19 infection in Madurai is gradually coming down and is now well under control. The Chief Minister yesterday reviewed the pandemic situation in various southern districts including Madurai, Dindigul and Tirunelveli.
"The positivity rate in Tamil Nadu is hovering below nine percent for the past few days indicating that if a hundred people are tested, only about nine are confirmed positive. Though it shows that the situation is improving, concerns are being raised about the daily count of mortalities, as the number has exceeded a hundred every day since last Monday. However, the State Health Department insists that it is only due to the last minute arrival of patients in hospitals. Meanwhile, in the Government Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital in Chennai, feeding nurses have been deployed to assist those Covid-19 patients who cannot normally eat on their own. A pre-arrival intimation system has also been introduced in the hospital to avoid delay in admitting patients after they are brought there. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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The Maharashtra government has announced a partnership with Google for introducing digital education tools in schools across the state. It will enable 2.3 crore students and teachers to access the technology giant's blended learning programmes that combine classroom approach with online learning.
Speaking at the virtual launch of the partnership, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said Maharashtra is the first state in the country to launch G Suite for Education and Google Classroom. He requested Google to help use their technology for work from home.

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In Maharashtra, after three days of heavy downpour, rainfall has seen gradual decrease in Mumbai and other coastal areas of the state.  However, gusty winds have been blowing in the state with the wind speed reaching up to 60-70 km per hour.
"According to the IMD, monsoon remained widespread vigorous over Konkan yesterday with heavy to very rainfall at many places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places. At Colaba in Mumbai a highest single day rainfall of 331.8 mm in 24 hrs was witnessed. This is also the second highest all time record over Colaba after 575.6mm recorded on 5th July 1974. With Kunal Shinde, Devapriyo Bhattacharjee, AIR News Mumbai."

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In Bihar, floods continue to wreak havoc in the state.  More than 70 lakh people across over 16 districts are reeling under the floods. Rail traffic remained suspended on Darbhanga- Samastipur rail section of East Central railway.
Flood water is also posing a threat to Sitamarhi-Darbhanga and Saharsa-Manasi rail sections. The power supply has been disrupted in many flood affected areas.

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 Weather forecast for today
The National Capital Delhi will have Partly cloudy sky with possibility of development of thunder lightning. The minimum temperature was recorded at 27 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 37 degrees.
Mumbai will experience generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature will be around 27 degrees.
Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 27 and 35 degrees Celsius.
Kolkata will witness generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis was 26 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 29 degrees.
In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 16 and 36 degrees Celsius. It will experience mainly clear sky.
In Muzzafarabad,there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature was 20 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature will be around 34 degrees.

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National Film Development Corporation is organizing a first of its kind, online patriotic film festival. The festival is a part of Independence Day Celebrations by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The festival begins today and will run till 21st of this month. It will showcase Indian history that marks the bravery of freedom fighters and aims to create a festive and patriotic mood among Indians across the globe. The festival will showcase high quality Independence Day themed patriotic films daily at the website www.cinemasofindia.com free of cost.
Critically acclaimed films from various Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati and Malayalam will be showcased in the festival. Moreover, for the first time ever, the film Gandhi by Sir Richard Attenborough will be made accessible and can be enjoyed by people with vision and hearing impairment. 

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In Sri Lanka, the ruling party led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa registered a landslide victory in the general elections held on Wednesday. Mr Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka People’s party (SLPP) has won 145 seats in 225-member Parliament, nearing a two-thirds majority. Samagi Jana balawega (SJB) led by former minister Sajith Premadasa has emerged as the main opposition party with 54 seats while the oldest party in the country United National Party (UNP) led by former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe has got only a single seat. SLPP got around 59 percent of popular vote while SJB was able to garner around 24 percent. SJB is an offshoot of UNP and was formed early this year after Mr Premadasa failed to wrest control of UNP.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared the SLPP winners and also expressed confidence of establishing a strong Parliament to implement his policies. President Gotabaya is the younger brother of Mahinda Rajapksa who became Prime Minister after the victory of Mr Gotabaya in the Presidential election in November last year.
"The resounding victory of SLPP has put the Rajapaksa family fully in control of Sri Lanka’s politics. President Gotabaya Rajapksa was looking for a parliament majority since his victory at Presidential elections last November. The counting preferential votes to decide upon winning candidates is continuing. Prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa along with former President Maithripala Sirisena are set to enter the parliament while former Prime minister Ranil Wickremsinghe has failed to gain victory. This election has also completed churning within Sri lankan politics for last few years with the victorious party and main opposition, being offshoots of oldest political parties in the country. PM Rajapksa had said that he will bring a new constitution for the country if they get two-third majority. SANTOSH KUMAR, AIR NEWS, COLOMBO."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated his Sri Lankan counterpart on his victory in the parliamentary election. Later in a tweet, Mr. Mahinda Rajapksa said that he looks forward to closely working with Prime Minister Modi to further enhance the long-standing cooperation between the two countries. He added that Sri Lanka and India are friends and relations.

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External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held a telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday. In a tweet, Mr Jaishankar said, in a wide-ranging conversation, the two leaders reviewed the bilateral cooperation including working of relevant mechanisms. The leaders shared assessments on regional and global issues including South Asia, Afghanistan, Indo-Pacific and beyond. Dr Jaishankar said, both also exchanged views on responding to the Coronavirus challenge and discussed meeting in the Quad format in the near future.

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US President Donald Trump has signed executive orders banning popular Chinese apps like TikTok and WeChat, terming them a threat to national security and to the country's economy. The ban comes into effect in 45 days. India was the first country to ban TikTok and WeChat, citing national security concerns. India has banned as many as 106 Chinese apps.

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has suspended the title sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone company Vivo for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The BCCI in a statement said that Vivo will not be associated with the IPL this year. VIVO had won the IPL title sponsorship for five years from 2018 to 2022 for a reported sum of 2190 crore rupees.

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Newspaper Headlines
  • "Reserve Bank hits pause button on interest rate cut" writes the Statesman. "RBI allows one-time recast of retail loans to soften Covid blow" headlines the Hindustan Times. The Business Standard terms it "Breather for borrowers".
  • "India warns China to halt meddling in Jammu and Kashmir "reports The Asian Age. "Another bid to raise Kashmir-issue at UN; Pak, China get no support" is the lead in The Tribune.
  •  The Hindu Business Line observes "Post Beirut blast, 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored near Chennai set the alarm bells ringing".
  • "New Rules Expand Ambit of Aadhaar Use" beyond welfare schemes. The Economic Times notes, the 12-digit unique ID can now be 'voluntarily' linked to several government services, including the upcoming health identity card-for-all project.
  • 'Mr. Blue Sky', the Hindustan Times captions a photograph of clear blue skies in Delhi on Thursday, as easterly winds, monsoon showers and low emissions brought down air pollution to just 69 AQI, the lowest for the second time since April 2nd.

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