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News Highlights
RS passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (2nd Amendment) Bill, temporarily suspending initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process            NIA arrests 9 Al-Qaeda terrorists planning attacks at vital installations in India            Centre tells States with higher COVID-19 caseload to effectively plan and manage logistical issues regarding oxygen availability            Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha MP Roza Deshpande passes away in Mumbai            IPL kicks off in Abu Dhabi; Opening match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians underway           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
09.08.2020

THE HEADLINES

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches one lakh crore rupee Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for agri-entrepreneurs, startups, post-harvest management and nurture farm assets.

  • PM says the objective of making farmers self sufficient is being fulfilled.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says, import embargo on 101 items to be introduced to boost indigenisation of defence production.

  • Number of Covid-19 recoveries more than doubled the number of active cases; recovery rate improves to 68.78 per cent.

  • Nine people killed in a fire accident at hotel turned Covid care centre in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

  • And, Mahinda Rajapaksa takes oath as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka for the fourth time.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a financing facility of one lakh crore rupees under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for agri-entrepreneurs, startups, agri-tech players and farmer groups for post-harvest management and nurturing farm assets. Only 30 days after Cabinet formally approved the scheme, the first sanction of over 1000 Crore rupees was made to over 2,280 farmer societies. The event was conducted through video conference and was attended by lakhs of farmers.


Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that he was satisfied because the objective of making farmers self sufficient is being fulfilled:


Mr Modi said 17,000 crores of PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi have been deposited into bank accounts of 8.5 crore farmers, saying that no middlemen or commission, the fund went straight to farmers. The Prime Minister said India has a huge opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions and build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods.


The Prime Minister said this fund will also provide debt financing facility to farmers. He said, for post harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets, the fund will act as a catalyst. The Prime Minister also appealed to farmers to use fertilisers in lesser quantity:


Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the pace of implementation of the PM-KISAN scheme. He also noted that the scale of the programme is so large that the funds released today have reached more people than the entire population of several countries taken together.


Mr Modi also interacted with kisans of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. He also congratulated state governments for playing important role in the implementation of the schemes and assisting farmers through the entire process.


Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar was also present on the occasion.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Rashtriya Swacchata Kendra in New Delhi yesterday. The Prime Minister also announced a week-long campaign till 15th August to free India of garbage. Speaking on the occasion, he said that Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has boosted the self-confidence and will-power of every countrymen and its impact is visible on the life of the poor. The Prime Minister said, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has brought about a permanent change in our social consciousness and behaviour.


Mr Modi said, cleanliness drive has been a big support in fight against Corona virus. He said, in the last few years lakhs of people across the country, who are inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, have made Swachh Bharat Mission a goal of their lives. He said, this is the reason that government has been able to provide toilet facility to over 60 crore people in just 60 months.


Mr Modi said, Rashtriya Swachhata Kendra is a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi's efforts towards cleanliness. He said, a comprehensive Quit India Campaign is going on against poverty, garbage, compulsion of open defecation, compulsion of wandering for fetching water.


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The Ministry of Defence is now ready for a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said his ministry will introduce import embargo on 101 items beyond given timeline to boost indigenisation of defence production.


Mr Singh said Prime minister has given a clarion call for a self-reliant India based on the five pillars, Economy, Infrastructure, System, Demography and Demand. Defence minister in a series of tweets said, taking cue from the call of the PM, the Ministry of Defence has prepared a list of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them. Mr Singh said this is a big step towards self-reliance in defence. He said this decision will offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture the items in the embargoed  list by using their own design and development capabilities.


Mr Singh said the defence industry of the country can also adopt the technologies designed and developed by DRDO to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces. The Defence Minister estimated that contracts worth almost 4 lakh crore rupees will be placed upon the domestic industry within the next 6 to 7 years. Mr Singh said, items worth almost 1,30,000 crore rupees each are anticipated for the Army and the Air Force while items worth almost 1,40,000 crore rupees are aniticipated by the Navy. Defence Minister said, the embargo on imports is planned to be progressively implemented between 2020 to 2024. He informed the aim is to apprise the Indian defence industry about the anticipated requirements of the Armed Forces so that they are better prepared to realise the goal of indigenisation.


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At least 9 people have been killed and several others injured after a fire broke out in a hotel turned Covid-19 care centre at Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh this morning. About 30 Covid-19 patients were being treated at the time of the incident. About 10 para-medical staff were assisting them. Electric short circuit is said to be the cause of fire according to preliminary reports.


Most of the deaths have taken place due to suffocation from smoke.


The rescued covid patients have been shifted to nearby Covid Centers. Condition of two more persons is said to be critical. NDRF teams have joined the local authorities, Fire and Police department officials the in relief operations.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured Andhra Chief Minister Y S Jaganmohan Reddy of all possible support. Expressing his anguish at the fire, Mr Modi said his thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. Prime minister spoke to Mr Reddy and discussed the prevailing situation.


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President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have expressed grief at loss of lives in Vijayawada fire mishap. The President said he is shocked after hearing the tragic news. He said his thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families. Mr Kovind wished speedy recovery for the injured. Expressing condolences to bereaved families, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.


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Detailed investigations began on the flight crash that occured at Karipur airport in Kerala on Friday. A special team comprising of 30 police officials had started the probe. Meanwhile 18 people  including 14 adults and 4 kids have lost their lives in the accident. The condition of the 14 critically injured  passengers remain serious and three people are in ventilators. Authorities informed that the condition of 101 persons remain stable.


Air India Express flight  that was part of Vande Bharat mission, carrying 190 passengers including crew  from Dubai skidded off the table top runway while landing at Karipur Airport, Kozhikode in Kerala on Friday evening at 7:41pm. The plane after skidding from the table top runway crash landed nearly 35 feet below and  spilt into two pieces.


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With a record single-day spike of 64,399 cases, India's COVID-19 tally has crossed 21 lakh, while the death toll climbed to 43,379 with 861 more fatalities. Health Ministry said the number of recoveries too surged to 14 lakh 80 thousand 884. A record 53 thousand 879 more people recuperated in the past 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 68.78 per cent. The case fatality rate has dropped further to 2.01 per cent, according to ministry data. There are 6 Lakh 28 thousand 747 active cases comprising 29.20 per cent of the total caseload in the country. This is the third consecutive day that the COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 60,000. India had crossed the 20-lakh mark on Friday. According to ICMR, as many as 7 Lakh 19 thousand 364 samples were tested yesterday, which is the highest in a day so far.


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In Tripura, four more persons including two  jawans from Border Security Force have lost their lives due to Covid-19 in the last 48 hours. So far, 40 persons have lost their lives due to COVID in the state. Out of 1 lakh 97 thousand 7 hundred and 34 COVID tests, 6 thousand 164 samples have been found positive. Currently the state has 1 thousand 8 hundred and 76 active cases. The positivity rate stands at 3.04 percent. Test rate per million is 49 thousand 463 while the recovery rate stands at 69.61 percent and mortality rate is 0.67 percent.


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In the midst of the Covid pandemic where the field of education is severely hampered, the Maharashtra government is attempting to provide some relief to the students studying abroad. The state government has said that it will pay education fee and subsistence allowance to students from the state studying in foreign universities for 2019-20 and 2020-21. A report by our Mumbai correspondent: 


"The Maharashtra government has said that those students who are taking education in foreign universities for academic year 2020-21 through online classes and also those who have taken education in 2019-20 such students will be given educational fees as well as subsistence allowance. This particular financial benefit will be given for the period between February to September 2020. Also, those students who were selected to study in foreign universities in 2019-20 and at present taking education by attending online classes for first semester i.e. for academic year 2020-21 by staying in India itself will be given educational fees as permissible. Besides, under present cicumstances, those students who are willing to come back to India will be given subsistence allowance till the date of their return. In addition to this the government has clarified that it will reimburse these students the to and fro air ticket fare as per the rule. Kunal Shinde, AIR News, Mumbai."


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


Talking to AIR News, Director, AIIMS, Delhi, Dr Randeep Guleria advised people to aggressively follow social distancing and hand hygiene norms to check the spread of COVID-19 infection.


Talking to AIR News, Dr. Uma Kumar, Head of  Rheumatology Department, AIIMS suggested to the people to follow social distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquettes.


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Prime Minister will inaugurate and dedicate the submarine Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) connecting Chennai and Port Blair to the nation tomorrow through video conferencing. The submarine cable will also connect Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island and Rangat. This connectivity will enable delivery of faster and more reliable mobile and landline telecom services to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, at par with other parts of India. At present, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have very weak telecom systems, that hamper communications with mainland and within the islands. More from our Chennai correspondent:


"The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar is a long chain of scenic emerald islands. Its dense green cover, pristine beaches and exotic marine species attract thousands of footfalls to . But the internet and telecom connectivity remained a major area of concern for the islanders and the visitors alike. It is going to be a thing of the past, as hi-speed connectivity will be ensured by the submarine cable system, says the BSNL Chief General Manager in Chennai, Munindranath, who led the team who executed the project.


Andaman and Nicobar has been served by satellite transponders so far, but they were hugely inadequate to cover the entire length of the archipelago. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


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


Government's tireless efforts and bold policy reforms have changed the world's perspective towards India. Through path-breaking decisions and special production linked incentive schemes, government has been able to improve the country's ranking substantially in terms of ease of doing business. 


India is poised to become world leader in terms of electronic manufacturing, especially in the field of mobilephone manufacturing.  The forex reserves have touched new heights even in the midst of a global pandemic due to impetus on domestic manufacturing while ensuring a robust global supply chain. A report:


"Make in India, Made for the world, has been the key driver of major government policy reforms in the past few years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government offers the world business community a rare combination of a strong and stable democratically elected government supplemented with availability of huge skilled and semi-skilled human resources. With an objective of reducing excessive dependence on non-essential imports, duty was increased on more than 100 items and restrictions were imposed on several others. Decisions like hiking customs duty on bamboo produce are creating launch pads for small local suppliers and manufacturers. FDI inflow in the country grew by over 18 per cent in last fiscal to reach around 73 billion dollars. To facilitate investment, 100 per cent FDI under automatic route was permitted for coal mining activities and contract manufacturing. Anand Chaturvedi, AIR News, Delhi."


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Moving on to our special segment on Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. During the difficult time of COVID 19 pandemic, India has sustained world food supply chain and continued to export. The agricultural export during March-June 2020 increased by 23.24 per cent compared to last year. Agriculture sector grew by 2.9 percent during 2019-20 as against 2.74 percent in 2018-19. The commodities which witnessed positive growth in exports in April to June, 2020 when compared with same period last year are tur, wheat, Bengal gram and groundnut oil. Agri exports is expected to increase from 40 billion dollars to 60 billion by 2022. There has been a high yield in Agricultural production despite COVID. Production of foodgrains is expected to be 295.67 million tonnes, which is an increase of 3.67 percent.


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District administration of Udhampur in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has identified 424 works under Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana for execution in 31 villages having maximum Scheduled Caste population.  


AIR Jammu Correspondent reports that under the scheme, 20 lakh rupees is earmarked for each village for development in six identified sectors. 31 villages in 12 blocks of the District, where Scheduled Caste population is maximum, have been selected for the implementation of PMAGY.


In this context, need based assessment in consultation with Village Convergence Committee headed by Sarpanch of the concerned village has been done and 424 works under designated sectors have been identified for execution in these villages.


DDC Udharmpur Dr. Piyush Singla has directed the officers of RDD, Social Welfare, Jal Shakti, Health, PWD and other departments to prioritize the works with high outcome and fill the infrastructural gaps in the identified villages. 


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In Uttar Pradesh, IIT Kanpur has developed indigenous seed balls named BEEG (Bio -compost Enriched Ecofriendly Globule) which will help people and farmers in plantation with safety in Corona times and will also  provide employment to people. The BEEG is developed  in collaboration with Agnys Waste Management Private Limited (start-up at IIT Kanpur). More from our lucknow correspondent:


" The Seed Balls  are comprised  of indigenous variety of seeds, compost, and clay.  There is no need of digging pits for planting  saplings. These seed walls are to be thrown at aimed places and they will germinate when come in to contact of water.


IIT Prof J . Rajkumar said BEEG is enriched with the right ingredients and seeds to early germinate, and are the best way to utilise Monsoon and plant as many trees as possible without risking lives by social gathering during Covid 19.


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In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, terrorists fired upon a BJP activist in central Kashmir's Budgam district today.


Police sources said that the terrorists fired upon the BJP activist, identified as 38 year old Abdul Hamid Najar near Railway Station when he was on a morning walk. He has recieved bullet injuries in his abdomen and has  been rushed to SMHS Hospital Srinagar, in a critical condition.


The security forces have cordoned off the area and had launched massive manhunt to nab the assailants.


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In Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa took oath as the Prime Minister for the fourth time this morning. He was administered oath by his younger brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a ceremony held at Kelaniya Mahaviharaya near Colombo. More from our Colombo correspondent:


"Today’s swearing in as Prime minister marks the return of Rajapaksa family at the helm of Sri Lankan politics. Mahinda Rajapksa has completed 50 years in politics a month ago and he had a perfect gift in waiting with his landslide victory at elections. The two-time President is remembered for ending the three-decade long conflict in 2009. However, he lost the 2015 Presidential elections amidst accusations of nepotism and corruption. He was planning a comeback since then and his party’s victory at 2018 local body elections signaled a shift and his brother Gotabaya’s victory at last year’s Presidential elections cemented his return. The main challenge before the government will be to tackle economic slowdown and manage the debt burden amidst dwindling foreign exchange reserves. He has also promised a new constitution for the country and provisions of it will be keenly watched in coming months. SANTOSH KUMAR, AIR NEWS, COLOMBO"


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The major dams in Tamil Nadu are witnessing a huge inflow as the South West Monsoon is active. The water inflow into the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur this morning has been observed to be a whopping one lakh cusecs which is expected to go up even further by this evening. Its water level rose by 11 feet in just two days. The reservoir primarily caters to the agricultural needs of the state’s granary, the Delta districts.


Meanwhile, IMD Chennai has said in its weather bulletin, 16 districts in Tamil Nadu are set to witness heavy to very heavy rain in the next 24-hours. Pamban in Ramanadhapuram district witnessed a maximum of 12 centimeter rain in the last 24-hours.


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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswamy has spoken to his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan this noon over the tragic death of several people in the Munnar landslide. Over 29 people are reported dead in the landslide and it is feared that the toll may climb up further. Most of the victims are said to be skilled workers from Tamil Nadu who were employed in the tea estates at Munnar. According to reports the relatives of the victims in Tamil Nadu could not reach the place for want of e-Pass for inter-state travel. In this backdrop, Mr Edappadi Palaniswamy had tweeted, that he has spoken to his Kerala counterpart and had offered all necessary support by Tamil Nady state in the ongoing rescue and relief efforts.


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In Kerala, 3 more bodies were recovered from the massive landslide hit region in Rajamalai in Idukki district today, the death toll in the mishap has gone upto 29. A report:


"Rescue and search operations are on going in the region.Over 30 people are reportedly still  missing in the landslide hit region.Adverse weather is  affecting the  search operations. Meanwhile  heavy rain  is continuing to lash across Kerala. Red is issued today in Alapuzha, Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Malappuram, Idukki and Kasargode districts.Met dept  predicts very heavy rain in coming days especially in the next 24 hours.Hilly regions are in high .Many low lying regions are flooded across the State, mainly in Alapuzha, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts.Major rivers including Pampa, Anchankovil, Manimala,  Meenachal etc are flooding.Two people had reportedly died  in Kuttanad region. As water level  in Mullaperiyar dam is rising, high is issued in the nearby  regions of Periyar river. Shutters of major dams are raised and 24 x7 monitoring of water level in all dams across the State is being done. As sea remains rough fisher folks are warned from venturing into the sea.Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram." 


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Several rivers in Coastal Karnataka are at spate as people are shifted to safer locations and relief efforts are on to clear roads and bridges blocked by landslides. Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa sought details on the rain and flood situation in the state from Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary today. Union Minister Prahlad Joshi visited the family of a girl who had slipped into swelling river and died in Kalaghatagi taluk of Dharwad district. He handed over ex gratia payment of five lakh rupees to the family members. Chickmagalur district incharge minister C T Ravi visited Charmudi ghat today and inspected the road clearing work.


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India Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rain across northwest region during the next two days. It has issued an orange category warning for parts of northwestern India, which means disaster management authorities should be prepared to avert any possible disasters. IMD said the monsoon trough is likely to shift northwards and cause heavy to very heavy rain in Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and eastern Rajasthan.


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


The National Capital Delhi may witness thunderstorm with rain. The minimum temperature was recorded at 27 degree Celsius and maximum will be around 35 degrees.


Mumbai will experience generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature was 25 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature will be around 31 degrees.


Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain. The temperature will hover between 24 and 35 degree Celsius.


Kolkata will have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis was 27 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 33 degrees.


On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature in Jammu was 25 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 35 degrees Celsius. The city will have generally cloudy sky with moderate rain.


In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was 21 degrees while the maximum will be around 35 degree Celsius. The city will have generally cloudy sky with moderate rain.


Ladakh will have partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust-storm. The temperature will hover between 18 and 35 degree Celsius.


In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 19 and 40 degrees Celsius. It will experience generally cloudy sky with moderate rain.


In Muzzafarabad, there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature was 21 degree Celsius while the maximum temperature will be around 37 degrees.


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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme tonight will bring you a Special discussion on Covid-19.


Rheumatologist in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, Dr. Lt Gen Ved Chaturvedi will participate in the discussion. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM onwards.


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