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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


  • Recovery rate of COVID-19 patients improves to nearly 70 per cent; Over 15 lakh 35 thousand people recovered so far.

  • Week-long lockdown extended in Andaman and Nicobar Islands from today.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocates for extensive use of innovative technologies for improving weather forecast and warning systems.

  • BJP-led coalition government in Manipur wins trust vote.

  • Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigns following public outrage over major blast in Beirut last week. 


India's COVID 19 cases crossed the 22-lakh mark 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. The total number of affected people has reached 22 lakh 15 thousand 74, including 44,386 deaths. There are 6 lakh 34 thousand 945 active cases of the Coronavirus disease.


The Health Ministry today said that the Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul will meet tomorrow to consider logistics and ethical aspects of procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccine. The Committee will engage with all the stakeholders including State Governments and vaccine manufacturers.


A three-member Central team has visited Telangana and reviewed the COVID-19 management in the state. Headed by NITI Aayog Member Dr Vinod Kumar Paul, the team asked the State Government to step up testing for Corona virus and also made a presentation on how Delhi model led to better results in containing the spread of virus.

Telangana reported over 80 thousand COVID -19 cases and 637 deaths so far due to COVID and other comorbidities. Dr Paul later said the State and Central Governments will work on the action plan discussed in the meeting to flatten the curve.


In view of the sudden increase in the number of positive cases in A&N Islands, the Union Territory Administration has now decided to extend the lockdown out side containment zones for a week beginning from midnight today. Yesterday, the Chief Secretary Chetan B Sanghi informed about the through one of his tweets and later all three district authorities issued the order for extension of the lockdown. However, ration shops, medical store, vegetable, fish and meat shops along with petrol pumps are allowed to open. Banks and ATM will remain open.

"In Nicobar District, permission of the concerned Assistant Commissioner is required before opening of any shop. All government offices except providing essential services will remain closed. All religious places will be kept closed for general public. Passengers coming from mainland will be tested and they have to go for institutional quarantine for seven days . In Nicobar District, all passengers will go for home quarantine for 14 days. Passengers going in tribal areas will undergo RT-PCR test. On Andaman trunk road cargo drivers are only allowed to go once they tested negative for COVID-19. It is to mention that yesterday 135 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the islands. Till date, 1,625 cases have been reported out of which 709 recovered while there are 896 cases are still active. Twenty people died  of Corona GAURAV PATWAL, AIR NEWS, PORT BLAIR".


Delhi recorded 707 fresh Corona virus cases yesterday taking the city's tally to over 1.46 lakh. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted that with a current recovery rate of over 90 per cent, people of the city are slowly and steadily defeating COVID-19. He said, only seven per cent cases are active. The number of tests conducted yesterday stood at 12 thousand three hundred 23.

Twenty fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours. With this, the death toll from the COVID-19 mounted to four thousand one hundred 31.


In Uttar Pradesh, the State Government has decided to appoint Special Secretary rank officers to assist District Magistrates in seven districts. These officers will help District Magistrates in better management of health services and to stop the spread of Corona virus pandemic. The Government will also increase number of COVID beds in the state.

"Special Secretary rank officers will be appointed in Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Bahraich and Bareilly. These are the districts where Corona infection is on rise. These seven districts have almost half of the total COVID patients in state with capital Lucknow having highest number of cases in state. Chief Minister has directed for increase in number of beds in premier health institutes like SGPGI, Ram Manohar Lohia institute and KGMU. Meanwhile, yesterday 4,197 new COVID cases surfaced in state and 51 people lost their lives due to the  virus taking the death toll to 2,120. The total number of active cases in the state is 47,878 with 76,724 people discharged after treatment. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS LUCKNOW".


In Madhya Pradesh, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state climbed up to around 39 thousand 891 after 866 new cases reported in the past 24 hours. With 19 patients succumbing to the infection during the day, the death toll rose to one thousand 15.

"As per the State Health Bulletin, 654 Corona virus patients were discharged from the hospitals yesterday taking the number of recovered cases in the state to 29 thousand 674. There are now nine thousand 202 active cases in Madhya Pradesh. On the other hand, a Sero Survey will be started from today to detect the development of antibodies in citizens in view of Corona infection in worst- affected Indore. Indore Divisional Commissioner Dr Pawan Sharma informed that in the next few days, the target of Sero Survey of seven thousand people has been set in the urban limits of Indore.

The purpose of the Sero Survey is to find out what percentage of people in the city has developed herd immunity. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal".


In Gujarat, 1,138 COVID-19 patients recovered during the last 24 hours. According to official sources, the recovery rate in the state has gone up to 76.64 per cent.

"One thousand 56 new patients of COVID-19 recorded in Gujarat yesterday. Total cases of COVID-19 in the state have gone up to 72,120. Out of 14,170 active cases, 76 patients are in serious condition. On the other hand, the number of total patients recovered from COVID-19 in the state has gone up to 55,276. Twenty patients have lost their lives yesterday, taking the total death due to COVID-19 in the state up to 2,674. More than 10 lakh 17 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date, out of which 29,604 tests have been carried out yesterday. Door to door surveillance and mass screening will be launched in the new areas from today. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad".


In West Bengal, three thousand 208 Corona patients were discharged from hospitals after recovery during last 24 hours. It was the highest number of recoveries in a single day. With this, over 70 thousand such patients have been released from hospitals so far. The rate of recovery has improved to  over 71 per cent.

According to the State Health Department, two thousand 905 people were found infected by the virus taking the total number of affected people to 98 thousand 459.


In Tamil Nadu, the total caseload of COVID-19 infection has crossed the three lakh mark. With 5,914 people tested positive yesterday, the total count has gone up to 3,02,815. However, the number of recovered people has also surged to over two lakh forty four thousand.

 "An estimate by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture Department says the Kuruvai cultivation in the Cauvery Delta region is being made at 3.87 lakh acres this time. The crop season is equivalent to the Kharif season nationwide. The coverage of the paddy cultivation this year is over a lakh acres more as compared to the season last year. In the whole state this year so far, 28 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has been procured from the farmers, as against the average figure of 23 lakh metric tonnes in the previous years. It shows paddy cultivation remains unhindered by the prevailing pandemic situations. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai".


In Karnataka, 4,267 new COVID-19 cases were registered yesterday taking the tally to 1,82,354.  In all, 5,218 COVID patients were cured and discharged from various hospitals and the total number of recovered people have gone up to 99,126. So far, 114  COVID patients lost their lives and the total number of fatality has increased to 3,312.

"As per the State Health bulletin, 79,908 COVID patients are taking treatment in various hospitals in the state, among them 681 patients are in ICU.  In all, 22,620 swab samples were tested yesterday and the total number of tests have gone up to 17,29,067. The state recovery rate is 54.36 per cent  and the mortality rate is 1.82 per cent. Meanwhile, the karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa was discharged from the Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru yesterday where he was admitted on 2nd of August , after testing positive for the Novel Corona virus. Currently, the Chief Minister is in self-quarantine. R.MURTHY, AIR NEWS, BENGALURU".


In Meghalaya, 53 new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday including 39 from West Garo Hills district, taking the total active cases to 611. Eight COVID-19 patients also recovered taking the total recoveries number to 498.

So far, the state has registered a total of 1,115 COVID-19 cases out of which 611 are active, 498 recovered and six deceased.


Nagaland crossed 3,000 mark after 230 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday. This is the highest single day spike of positive cases in the state so far. With this, the state’s tally has climbed to 3,011 while 69 patients recovered in the day.

Health and Family Welfare Minister S. Pangnyu Phom in a tweet said, contact tracing is fully put in force and all primary contacts are kept under self-isolation to avoid further transmission. 


Participating in our live phone in programme on COVID-19, Dr Rajinder K Dhamija, Head of Neurology Department at Lady Hardinge Medical College said that Corona virus infection can affect other parts of the body such as heart and brain.


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, Dr. Amarchand Bajaj, Senior Consultant at the Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research in New Delhi highlighted the importance of hygiene and how to maintain it to contain Novel Corona virus.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized on better coordination between all central and state agencies to have a permanent system for forecasting of floods. He also advocated for extensive use of innovative technologies for improving forecast and warning system.

Mr Modi held a meeting with Chief Ministers of Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala through video conference to review their preparedness to deal with south-west monsoon and current flood situation in the country. He said, over the past few years, forecasting agencies like India Meteorological Department and Central Water Commission have been making concerted efforts to make better and more usable flood forecasts. They are trying to provide not only rainfall and river level forecast but also location specific forecast of inundation.  


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 2300 kilometre submarine  optical fibre cable network between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Mr Modi said this project is the Union government’s commitment for Ease of living. Saying this project will boost tourism in the Islands, the Prime Minister expressed happiness over the completion of the project before deadline. The Prime Minister asserted 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 will 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.

This cable project is running 2313 kilometre under-sea between Chennai and Portblair at the cost of 1 thousand 2 hundred 24 Crore rupees. This will boost digital services like tele-education, tele-health, e-governance services and toursim in the island.


Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad  has said, Government will provide mobile connectivity in villages located in strategic and border areas. Talking to reporters in New Delhi yesterday, he said, Central Government  has been taking measures on priority to provide connectivity in the far flung, difficult, border areas of strategic importance, so as to ensure better quality of life to people as well as to those who are working in these areas. Mr Prasad spoke about various projects being implemented by the Department of Telecommunications to provide connectivity in remote and difficult areas. He informed that a tender for 354 uncovered villages in the strategic, remote and border areas of the country has been finalised and is under implementation in 144 villages of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and remaining villages in the States of Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh and other priority areas of Gujarat. 


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has launched the initiatives of a number of modernisation and up-gradation of facilities along with new infrastructure creation by Defence Public Sector Undertakings, DPSUs and Ordnance Factory Board OFB through digital link in New Delhi. It was part of the Atmanirbhar Week celebration of the Ministry of Defence.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Singh recalled Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call for Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan and his 5-I formula of ‘Intent, Inclusion, Investment, Infrastructure and Innovation’ will put the economy on high growth trajectory.

The Minister said, Government has made timely and thoughtful interventions during Covid-19 times like issuing negative list for import, increase in FDI limits, separate budget for domestic capital procurement and emphasis on indigenisation.


In Manipur, the N. Biren Singh-led government won the trust vote during one-day State Assembly session yesterday. The BJP led-coalition headed by Chief Minister Singh won the confidence vote by a margin of 12 votes in the house. Eight Opposition Congress MLAs skipped the session defying the party whip.

The 60-member house has an effective strength of 53, including Speaker Y Khemchand.

The Congress had submitted a notice of No Confidence Motion against the government on 28th of July. Days later, the State Government submitted a notice to the Speaker for a trust vote.


The political instability in Rajasthan over the last month seems to be coming to an end now. Former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and his supporter MLAs expressed his satisfaction over the meeting held in New Delhi with the top leadership of Congress. Interacting with the media in New Delhi last night, Mr. Pilot said that he and his supporters had some issues with the organization and the government that they wanted to highlight. He said that these were theoretical issues, which have been placed on the party's forum. Mr. Pilot said that a three-member committee constituted by the party chief would address their issues.

Earlier in the evening, rebel MLA of Congress Bhanwar Lal Sharma returned to Jaipur and met Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. After the meeting, he told that the State Government is safe and will complete its five years term.

"The political crisis in the state started when notices were served by SOG to Sachin Pilot and other MLAs for questioning under the sedition section in the case of alleged horse-trading in the state. Mr. Pilot then moved to Delhi with 18 supporter MLAs and claimed that the Gehlot Government was in minority. On August 4, SOG removed this section and closed the case. In a period of one month, there were many diversions in the state's politics and the case of power struggle reached the court many times. During this period, the MLAs who were supporters of Chief Minister Gehlot camped in the hotels. Now, all eyes are on the session of the State Assembly which is going to start on August 14. JITENDRA DWIVEDI, AIR NEWS, JAIPUR".


In Union Territory Ladakh, Leh has began steps towards a roadmap for sustainable development. As a part of it, on last night Leh has launched Mass Public Consultation campaign for the Leh Vision Document-2030.

 "An eight-member Strategic Planning Committee headed by the former Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir and Vice Chancellor of University of Ladakh, C. Phuntsog has prepared a draft report of Leh Vision-2030. Speaking on the occasion, C. Phuntsog said keeping the change of course the report would be flexible. Themes like Happiness, Ecological Sensitivity, Compassion for All are  given thrust in the document. With the consultation of public on the document a final implementable Leh Vision will be finalized. Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal appealed the Committee to consider the views of remotest villagers also in the vision to make it comprehensive. Ramesh Chandra, AIR NEWS, Leh".


In the run up to the 74th Independence Day celebrations, we bring you today a special story about the several initiatives for urban development.

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is implementing several schemes in urban areas to improve facilities and better living for citizens. In the last five years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has launched various schemes including Smart Cities Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Housing for All in urban areas.

Talking to AIR News, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar spoke about the benefits of Smart Cities Mission and the work being done under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).


In Bihar, the flood situation continues to be grim in flood affected areas of the state. The flood water has entered new areas of Siwan and Madhepura. Surging water of Gandak and Kosi spread out in fresh areas after the river continues flowing at above danger mark in their courses. Over 75 lakh people of 16 districts spread over 1,240 Panchayats are reeling under the impact of flood.

The flood situation is particularly serious in Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur and Saran district.


The Meteorological Department has corrected its forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall to only heavy rainfall at isolated places in Maharashtra. In its earlier forecast, the Department had predicted that south west monsoon would become active again from Monday and that Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra will receive heavy rainfall at isolated places.It said yesterday that the low pressure area is being developed in the Bay of Bengal at a slow pace.


President Ram Nath Kovind today congratulated Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu on completing three years as Vice President of India. In a letter, Mr Kovind said, as Vice President, Mr Naidu has already emerged as an inspiration for posterity to learn from his ability to transform a mix of wisdom, energy and spirited enthusiasm into creative solutions for sustained nation building.  


Lebanon's Prime Minister Hassan Diab has resigned from his post in the wake of major blast in Beirut that has triggered public outrage. In a brief televised speech after three of his Ministers resigned, Mr Diab said, he was taking a step back, so he could stand with the people and fight the battle for change along side them.

The Prime Minister's resignation follows a weekend of anti-government protests after the August 4 explosion in Beirut's port that decimated the facility and caused widespread destruction, killing 160 people and injuring about six thousand more.  


Director General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom has impressed upon the need to put in concerted efforts to check the spread of the Corona Virus pandemic. Detailing about the essential elements to address the COVID19 pandemic effectively, Dr Tedros said,


Today's weather forecast

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was 26 degree Celsius in Jammu while maximum will be around 33 degrees. The city is likely to experience thunderstorm with rain today.

Srinagar is likely to have partly cloudy sky and also witness thunderstorm with rain. Minimum temperature was recorded at 19 degree Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 32 degrees.

Ladakh will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 16 and 32 degree Celsius.

In Gilgit, the region will experience partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.

In Muzzafarabad, there will be partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust-storm.

Chandigarh will have a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 26 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 33 degrees. 

The National capital Delhi witnessed minimum temperature of 24 degrees Celsius. Maximum temperature is expected to be around 34 degrees Celsius with generally cloudy sky and moderate rain.


Newspaper Headlines

  • The top headline in Hindustan Times writes on the India data on COVID19, "62 percent cases but only 13 percent fatalities among those below 45 years." 

  • The Economic Times cites "Increased demand for groceries lifts household consumption to 2 yr high."

  • "Pranab tests positive, flooded with 'get well soon', reports The Pioneer adding  the Ex-President was admitted for brain surgery.

  • "Ahead of induction, Rafale busy with practice sorties " informs The Times of India.

  • The Statesman writes about an 'IIT Mandi scientist making a vital Covid breakthrough' that will help in finding a cure for the Corona virus disease.

  • Reporting about the bureaucrat- turned- politician Shah Faesal The Indian Express writes, "In custody for year,Shah Faesal quits politics."

  • The Hindu notes the increase in demand of the postal department's new service of delivering money home ,with the postman acting as a human ATM , turning out to be a big hit countrywide under the headline ,"When the postman rings with cash. "


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