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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           

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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates first ever Submarine Optical Fibre Cable for Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

  • Inaugurating the link Prime Minister says it is government's commitment to improve connectivity and ease of living.

  • Environment Minister Prakash Jawadekar releases document on Best Practices and launches portal on Human Elephant Conflict today.

  • Over 15 lakh people recovered from COVID-19 in the country so far; recovery rate further improves to 69.33 per cent.

  • Health ministry's tele-medicine platform provides over 1.5 lakh online consultations.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated 2300 kilometre submarine  optical fibre cable network between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Mr Modi said this project is Union government’s commitment for Ease of living.

हमारा सम्पर्ण रहा है कि राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा से जुड़े बॉर्डर एरिया और समुद्री सीमा पर बसे क्षेत्रों का तेजी से विकास हो। साथियों अंडमान-निकोबार को बाकी देश और दुनिया से जोड़ने वाला ये ऑप्टिकल फाइबर प्रोजेक्ट ईज ऑफ लीविंग के प्रति हमारी प्रतिबद्धता का प्रतीक है।

Saying this project will boost tourism in the Islands, Prime Minister expressed happiness over completion of the project before deadline. Mr Modi said this is Independence Day gift for the people of Andaman and Nicobar islands .


The Prime Minister said not only Andaman people will get a big  boost but also sea trade will rise exponentially. Mr Modi said, high speed net in Andaman and Nicobar islands is a big day as the people will get all the benefits of digital India. Saying connectivity is part of tourism growth, Prime minister emphasised the tourists who will travel to the Islands will also be benefitted by the digital initiative.


The Prime Minister said the Andaman and Nicobar Islands felt the need for years but no steps were taken to fulfil it.  He expressed his happiness for being able to deliver the project notwithstanding such major challenges. The Prime Minister said providing better and cheap connectivity to the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands is the responsibility of the country. Mr Modi said the Submarine Cable is one such effort to prove that Andaman and Nicobar Islands are not far away from Delhi and from the Hearts of the Mainland. He said the Government is committed to the speedy development of national security linked border areas and island states. The Prime Minister said that the Indian Ocean has been the center of India's trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years and that Andaman and Nicobar is an important centre for India’s Economic-Strategic Cooperation. He said all the Islands of India would be playing an important role under India’s new trade strategy for Indo-Pacific region.


Mr Modi said under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India's strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is very high and is going to increase.


Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad was also present on the occasion. 


This cable project is running 2313 kilometre under-sea between Chennai and Portblair at the cost of 1 thousand 2 hundred 24 Crore rupees.  Seven islands of Andaman and Nicobar  other than Portblair are connected namely Swaraj Dweep, Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Kamorta, Great Nicobar, Long Island, and Rangat. This will boost digital services like tele-education, tele-health, e-governance services and toursim on the islands.


The era of slow internet in Andaman and Nicobar islands has come to an end today with the launch of undersea optical fibre cable project by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Due to satellite connectivity  a very limited bandwidth available but with this OFC cable connectivity the bandwidth has been enhanced to nearly 100 times. Now, bandwidth of 400 GBPS is available between Chennai and Port Blair while bandwidth between Port Blair and the other seven islands is of 200 GBPS. This will easily cater the need of high speed internet by the users in Andaman and Nicobar.


Further, BSNL which is the project execution agency has also increased the monthly data volume and data download speed by 15 times for its existing broadband users without any change in the current tariff plans. Users can now download maximum data of 1500 GB per month with optical fibre cable. They will get a high internet speed upto 4 MBPS. BSNL, as mentioned in its press release, also increased the data download limit for mobile users ranging from two to 20 times. The mobile users will also have high speed internet plans of validity from seven days to one year. All these plans have been applicable with the launch of the undersea optical fibre cable project. The users in Andaman and Nicobar will be able to use the internet efficiently for the works related to their day-to-day activities and this will bring internet revolution in the islands.

The Chief Secretary of Andaman Nicobar islands Chetan B Sanghi stated that the undersea optical fibre cable project connecting Port Blair-Chennai and seven other islands is a historic one.


Today, the Andaman and Nicobar has been connected with the rest of the world.  The project will provide a new boon to local tourism. GAURAV PATWAL, AIR NEWS/PORT BLAIR.


The Lt. Governor of A&N Islands Admiral D.K. Joshi thanked Prime Minister for this historic project. He exclaimed that the project was on the agenda of Island Development Agency and able to be completed today with the valuable cooperation of the PMO and Ministry of Communication. He extends his greetings to all the Islanders for the project. 


The Minister for Environment and Forest Prakash Javadekar today released document on Best Practices and launched a portal on Human Elephant Conflict on the eve of World Elephant Day, 2020.


Speaking on the occasion, Mr Javadekar said, we are proud of the Indian culture which loves animals and killing them is not considered a good omen.


He said, Government has taken initiative of fodder and water augmentation in forest areas so that animals will get food and water in forest area and will not come outside. He added that LiDAR technology is being used for it.


Minister of State for Environment and Forest Babul Supriyo said, it is a moment of pride that  India is having 60 percent of Global population of Asian Elephants.


The World Elephant Day is observed every year to spread awareness about the animal. It was launched in 2012 to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. Poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants.


India's COVID 19 cases have crossed the 22-lakh mark today, with 62,064 new cases. Health Ministry said the death toll climbed to 44 thousand 386 with 1,007 more deaths.


The recoveries surged to 15 lakh 35 thousand 743 with a record 54 thousand 859 more people recuperating in the past 24 hours. This has taken the recovery rate to 69.33 per cent.


The case fatality rate has dropped to about 2 per cent. There are 6 lakh 34 thousand 945 active cases of the coronavirus disease.


The total coronavirus cases now stands at 22 lakh 15 thousand 74, including 44,386 deaths. This is the fourth consecutive day that the COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 60 thousand.


As many as 4 lakh 77 thousand 23 samples were tested yesterday,  taking the total to more than 2 crore 45 lakh, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.


Former President Pranab Mukherjee has tested positive for COVID19 today.  Mr. Mukherjee  has requested the people who came in contact with him in the last week  to self isolate and get tested for COVID-19.


Indian hockey team forward Mandeep Singh has tested positive, becoming the sixth hockey player of the national team to contract the Covid 19 virus. In a statement issued by the Sports Authority of India,  20 players camping at SAI’s National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru were given RT PCR test. Mandeep Singh has tested Covid positive, but is asymptomatic. He is being administered treatment by doctors, along with the other five players who were also tested positive. The players had returned to the national hockey camp in Bengaluru following a month long break.


In Union Territory  Chandigarh, Covid19 infection has reached Punjab Raj Bhawan.  Principal Secretary to Punjab Governor Sh. J.M. Balamurugan and four others tested asymptomatic positive for Covid19.  Mr Balamurugan has been home quarantined.


The test was also conducted on Punjab Governor & Administrator of Union Territory Chandigarh Sh. V.P. Singh Badnore but he has been tested negative


According to the  official spokesperson of Punjab Raj Bhawan, a two day Covid testing exercise with Rapid Antigen Test was carried out at Raj Bhawan in which  total 336 persons including security personnel, officers and staff members were tested for Covid-19.


The number of COVID cases in Telangana state crossed 80 thousand mark with reporting 1256 Coronavirus Positive cases during the past 24 hours. As per the daily bulletin issued by the state Medical and Health department this morning, the state so far reported 80 thousand 751 COVID cases. Recovery rate has been improved to 71.31 from about 70 per cent two days ago. With this, over 57 thousand people have recovered so far and get discharged from various hospitals in the state. Meanwhile, 10 more died yesterday due to COVID and other comorbidities taking the total toll to 637 so far.


In Mizoram, 27 fresh positive cases of Coronavirus were detected while two patients were discharged after recovery during the last 24 hours.


According to the official statement, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has reached 620 with two patients migrating to Assam. So far, 298 patients have recovered from the infection, while 322 patients are undergoing treatment.


In Madhya Pradesh, an Air India flight carrying 114 Indians, who were stranded in UAE due to the coronavirus- induced lock down, reached Indore yesterday night.


Of the total number of passengers, 64 disembarked in Indore, while the remaining 50 were further flown to Mumbai.

Nodal officer of Indore district for COVID-19 prevention, Amit Malakar, said that none of the 64 passengers, who got down in Indore, were found with symptoms of coronaviurus infection during the airport screening. "Those passengers, who already carried a test report of not being infected with COVID-19, will have to stay in home isolation for 14 days as a precautionary measure. Other passengers will have to stay at an isolation centre for the first seven days and under home isolation for as many days later.  Meanwhile, State Medical Education Minister Vishvas Sarang said that he has tested COVID-19 positive. He shared the information on his Twitter handle. Sarang is the fourth member of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's council of ministers to test positive. Earlier, state Cooperatives Minister Arvind Bhadoriya, Water Resources Minister Tulsiram Silawat and Minister of State for Backward Class and Minority Welfare Ramkhelawan Patel had tested positive for the infection besides the chief minister.  Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal.


Gujarat government has again hiked the amount of fine charged for not wearing a mask. Talking to media persons today, the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that Rs. 1,000 fine will be collected for violation of mask rule in the State effective from tomorrow. He said that fine has been hiked following the Gujarat High Court order in this direction. Earlier, the fine for not wearing a mask was hiked from Rs.200 to Rs.500 on 1st of August.


Amid rise in Covid caseload in Maharashtra, state health minister Rajesh Tope has informed that 500 ambulances have been procured to transport patients which can enable timely treatment to them. Besides, to curb the spread of the infection, the district administration of Aurangabad has decided to undertake a scientific sero survey from today onwards.

Aurangabad District Collector Uday Chaudhary has appealed citizens to participate in the sero survey. Aurangabad has 4994 active cases in the region. On the other hand, coronavirus infection, which had spread rapidly in North Mumbai including Dahisar, Borivali and Kandivali areas, seems to be coming under control. Effective measures have been taken to increase the screening process of hawkers and shopkeepers through door-to-door screening by the municipal corporation. As a result, the rate of increase in new coronavirus cases has reduced by 30 per cent in the last 15 days. Meanwhile, the police department has clarified that the e-pass is still required to travel from one district to another. Madhuri Pange, AIR News, Mumbai.


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


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


President of Public Health Foundation of India, Dr K Srinath Reddy said, India is in a much better position as compared to rest of the world as far as the COVID-19 cases are concerned and the measures taken are yielding results.


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. Rajinder K Dhamija, Head of Neurology Department, Lady Hardinge Medical College will participate in the discussion.


Listeners can ask questions to the experts on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews s by #tag Askair. This can be heard tonight on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM onwards. This programme will also be available on our website NEWS ON AIR DOT COM and on our YouTube Channel NEWSONAIROFFICIAL. You can listen to it on our mobile app news on AIR.


One day Assembly session of Manipur Legislative Assembly is ongoing now in which a confidence motion will be moved by the State Chief Minister N. Biren Singh.


The session began from 11.AM today and the session maade obituary references for late former governor of Manipur Ved Prakash Marwah and two other former MLA who expired recently. The house is also likely to have thorough discussion on rising number of COVID -19 positive cases in Manipur due to movement of Central Security Forces.


The trust motion which will decide the fate of present BJP led, State government will be taken up this evening. Both the ruling party and opposition party has already issued whips to their party MLA asking them to attend the session and vote as per the party line.


The Supreme Court today granted time to the University Grants Commission (UGC) to respond on the decision taken by  Maharashtra and Delhi Government to cancel university exams amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Apex Court  has also sought reply by UGC to address the question whether the Disaster Management Act would override the UGC notification on guidelines for exams.


The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah took up the matter  for hearing today. The governments of Delhi and Maharashtra had earlier filed affidavits in the Court stating that the exams would not be conducted in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. The UGC on the other hand maintained that the exams need to be conducted by September 30. The apex Court has given time to UGC to file the reply on the issue and the Supreme Court fixed the matter for hearing on August 14.


In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the critically injured BJP worker who was shot at by terrorists yesterday in Ompora area of central Kashmiri's Budgam district, succumbed to his grievous injuries at SMHS hospital this morning.


Police said that Abdul Hamid Najar, a resident of Ompora, Mehendipora area of Budgam was shot at by terrorists yesterday morning resulting into critical bullet wounds in his abdomen. Security forces have already launched a manhunt to nab the assailants.


The Health ministry’s initiative eSanjeevani OPD, a telemedicine service, has registered one lakh 58000 online consultations. Health and family welfare minister Harsh Vardhan said, since last November, 23 states have launched the services covering 75 per cent of the country’s population, while others are in the process of rolling it out. The eSanjeevani platform has enabled two types of tele-consultations-doctor-to-doctor (eSanjeevani) and patient-to-doctor (eSanjeevani OPD). Dr Harsh Vardhan said, eSanjeevani is being implemented under the Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWCs) programme. It seeks to connect all 1,50,000 health and wellness centres using the hub-and-spoke model by December 2022, he said. So far, 12,000 health professionals, including 2,800 doctors, have been trained to offer consultations on the national e-platform through over 3,000 HWCs across ten states. Every day, around 250 doctors and specialists are providing eHealth services despite the lockdown, he said. This service is available on Android apps. A patient gets to see the doctor in around five minutes after logging in.


In the run up to the 74th Independence Day celebrations, we bring you today a special story about the initiatives for Digital India. The NDA government has laid a lot of emphasis on transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The Digital India programme was launched on the 1st of July, 2015 to achieve this objective.


The Digital India journey in the past 5 years has centred around empowerment, inclusion, and digital transformation. It has positively impacted all aspects of the lives of Indian citizens identity management through Aadhaar, Direct Benefit Transfer, Common Services Centres, DigiLocker, mobile based UMANG services, participatory governance through MyGov, Ayushman Bharat, and PM-Kisan.

Digital India’s initiatives have played a pivotal role during the CoVID-19 situation, such as Aarogya Setu, E-Sanjeevani, sensitisation through MyGov and Social media platforms.  The number of e-Services has increased from 2,463 in 2014 to 3,858 till May this year. Daily average electronic transactions have increased from 66 lakh in 2014 to 16.3 crore in 2020. Aadhaar has been issued to 125.7 crore residents and 4,216 crore authentications have been facilitated. Direct Benefit Transfer to the tune of 11.1 lakh crore rupees has been disbursed for 426 schemes from 56 Ministries. Mobile connections are being used by 117 crore and internet connections are being used by 68.8 crore users. With Anupam Mishra, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi.


Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced Mukhya Mantri Kisan Sahay Yojana for the current Kharif season. Addressing a press conference in Gandhinagar today, he said that all farmers of the state will be covered under this scheme. He said that there is no need to pay any premium or registration process. Mr. Rupani said that the State Government had to pay 5700 crore rupees premium of crop insurance for the current agriculture season. Therefore, the State Government has decided to scrap the tender and choose an alternate simplified crop insurance scheme. The new scheme announced today replaces the existing crop insurance scheme. He said that those who have already paid the premium for the existing scheme will get it refund. Tribal farmers are also included in this scheme contrary to the previous in which they were excluded.


In Sri Lanka, all government schools have re-opened today for all grades nearly five months after they were closed due to COVID outbreak in the country.

The COVID situation in Sri Lanka has been under control after country remained under curfew for almost two months. The cases increased in between because of two clusters at a navy command in April and a rehabilitation center last month. Schools were opened in phases last month but got shut because of outbreak at rehabilitation center and general elections. The government under President Gotabaya and PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has made the successful control of COVID one of their major election plank and the success contributed significantly to the two-third majority achieved by government at last week elections. The repatriation flights to bring Sri Lankans back were also suspended and will be resumed from this week.  SANTOSH KUMAR, AIR NEWS, Colombo.


Four students from Tamil Nadu studying medicine in Russia are reported to have lost their lives due to drowning. They were the students of the Volgograd State Medical University in southern Russia on the bank of the River Volga. They are said to have gone for a bath in the river last Saturday while one of them was washed away. The other three are said to have died in their efforts to rescue him.


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi palaniswamy has expressed his condolences to the bereaved families.


In the landslide that hit Rajamala in Idukki district in Kerala on Friday, 49 lives have been lost so far, as 6 more  dead bodies were recovered from the site today.


Rescue and search operations are ongoing  in the landslide hit  region. Weather is comparatively favorable today in the area. Meanwhile the strength of rain had reduced in many places in the State, even as Met dept predicts very heavy rain across the State. As the water level in Mullaperiyar dam had risen , the authorities informed that the  matter had been taken up with the Tamilnadu Govt . The Theni district authorities said that, in case of opening of the dam’s shutters , Kerala will be informed in advance. Three people had died in various rain related incidents in Kerala. Tribal hamlets of the Idukki districts are isolated.People are being shifted to relief camps. Kuttanad region in Alapuzha is flooded and widespread agriculture damage is being reported from the region. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram .


In Uttarakhand, normal life has been affected following the incessant rain during last 24 hours. Many roads have been blocked due to landslide and debris  on roads.Char Dham yatra have been also affected due to roads block. According to officials agencies concerned were working to open the roads. In Pithoragarh and Bageshwar many link roads were blocked due to debris. Kumaon region witnessed heavy rainfall at some places during the last 24 hours.


Now, Let us take a look at the weather forecast for today.


The National capital Delhi was experienced minimum temperature of 27 degree Celsius. Maximum temperature is expected to hover around 33 degree Celsius with Thunderstorm with rain


Mumbai will have a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature recorded was 27 degree Celsius and maximum will be around 30 degrees.


Chennai will have generally cloudy sky and light rain. The minimum temperature recorded was 24 degree Celsius and maximum is expected to go upto 31 degrees.


Kolkata will have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis was 28 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 34 degrees.


On to North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was 25 degree Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 32 degrees. The city is likely to experience thunderstorm with rain today.


Srinagar will also witness thunderstorm with rain. Minimum temperature was recorded at 20 degree Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 30 degrees.


Leh will have Partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm. The temperature will hover between 17 and 30 degrees Celsius.


In Gilgit, the minimum temperature will remain generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night. The temperature will be between 20 and 34 degree Celsius.


In Muzzafarabad, thunderstorm with rain is expcted. The minimum temperature recorded was 20 degree Celsius and maximum is expected to be around 34 degrees.


Chandigarh will be generally cloudy with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 27 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 32 degrees.


In Dehradun, will generally have cloudy sky with a few spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 25 while the maximum will be around 30 degree.


In Hyderabad, the sky will be generally cloudy with heavy rain.The minimum temperature was 20 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 30 degrees.


Guwahati will also have a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 26 degrees celsius while the maximum will be around 34 degrees.

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