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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

Evening News

2030 HRS
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls for increased COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in states with high case load.

  • Coronavirus recovery rate close to 70 percent across the country.

  • Defence Acquisition Council approves procurement worth 8,722 crore rupees including106 Basic Trainer Aircraft for Indian Air Force.

  • Renowned Lyricist and Poet Rahat Indori passes away.

  • Russia launches first Coronavirus vaccine in the world; President Putin's daughter among those inoculated.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed on the need to increase testing in states where testing rate is low and positive rate is high, particularly in Bihar, Gujarat, UP, West Bengal and Telangana.He was interacting with the chief ministers of 10 states through video conferencing today.


"जिन राज्यों में testing rate कम है, और जहां positivity rate ज्यादा है, हाँ टेस्टिंग बढ़ाने की जरूरत सामने आई है! खासतौर पर, बिहार, गुजरात, यूपी, पश्चिम बंगाल  तेलंगाना, यहाँ टेस्टिंग बढ़ाने पर खास बल देने के बाद हमलोगों की बातचीत में उभरकर रही है!साथियों, अब तक का हमारा अनुभव है कि कोरोना के खिलाफ containment, contact tracing और सरवेलंस, ये सबसे प्रभावी हथियार है! अब जनता भी इस बात को समझ रही है, लोग पूरी तरह सहयोग भी कर रहे हैं।"

The Prime Minister said with collective efforts, India will win the fight against covid-19. He said, the most important thing is that people's confidence has increased and the fear has gone down. Mr. Modi said efforts to contain the COVID 19 pandemic are proving effective as the percentage of active cases has decreased and recovery rate has increased.

"टेस्टिंग की संख्या बढ़कर हर दिन 7 लाख तक पहुँच चुकी है, और लगातार बढ़ भी रही है। इससे संक्रमण को पहचानने और रोकने में जो मदद मिल रही है, आज हम उसके परिणाम देख रहे हैं। मारे यहाँ average fatality rate पहले भी दुनिया के मुक़ाबले काफी कम था, संतोष की बात है कि ये लगातार और कम हो रहा है! Active cases का प्रतिशत कम हुआ है, recovery rate लगातार बढ़ता जा रहा है, सुधरता जा रहा है, तो इसका अर्थ यह है कि हमारे प्रयास कारगर सिद्ध हो रहे हैं!"

He said the states learnt a lot from each others' experiences through today's interaction. The Prime Minister said Contact tracing, containment and survellance are the most effective weapons against COVID 19. He said experts are now saying that if cases are identified within 72 hours of onset, infection slows down to a great extent. He said that besides the testing network, Aarogya Setu App also helps in contact tracing, containment and surveillance. He interacted with the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh.


The Health Ministry today said that successful implementation of containment strategy, aggressive testing coupled with standardized clinical management of critical patients has resulted in an increase of COVID-19 recovery rate. It is nearly 70 per cent across the country, while the case fatality rate has fallen below 2 per cent. The Ministry said with more patients recuperating and being discharged from hospitals and home isolation, the total recoveries have jumped to 15,83,489. 47,746 patients were discharged in a span of 24 hours.

The national recovery rate has risen to 69.80 per cent. The actual case load of the active cases is 6,39,929 which is only 28.21 per cent of the total positive cases. With a consistent and sustained increase in recoveries, the gap between recovered patients and active COVID-19 cases has reached nearly 9.5 lakh and the gap between percentage of recoveries and percentage of active cases of COVID-19 is growing every day. Focus on improved and effective clinical treatment in hospitals, use of non-invasive, improved and coordinated services of the ambulances for ferrying patients for prompt and timely treatment have resulted in seamless efficient patient management of COVID-19 patients. As a result, the case fatality rate, which  has been low as compared to the global average, has fallen below 2 per cent  and currently stands at 1.99 per cent. India's COVID-19 caseload rose to 22,68,675 with 53,601 new infections being reported in a day. The death-toll climbed to 45,257 with 871 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours.


The Union Health Ministry today said ,an expert committee under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul will meet tomorrow to consider the logistics and ethical aspects of procuring and administering the COVID-19 vaccine. The ministry said in a tweet, the committee on vaccine administration will engage with all the stakeholders including state governments and vaccine manufacturers.


In our series "Expert Speak" on All India Radio we bring you views of leading medical experts on COVID-19. Speaking to AIR News, Dr. Saurabh Mehrotra, consultant at Mental Health Division in Medanta Hospital emphasised that people should indulge in positive activities. He said, special care should be taken, not to over-expose oneself to excessive COVID related News which leads to anxiety related issues.


Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has appealed to the Centre to grant special funds to combat the pandemic. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction with the chief ministers of ten states, Mr Palaniswamy placed his requests for the funds and materials. He  said the sustained efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has helped in controlling the situation. The total Covid-19 infection in the state has risen to more than three lakh eight thousand with 5834 people confirmed positive today. Over two lakh fifty thousand of them have recovered. More from our correspondent:


"During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s interaction, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy placed his demand for the Centre to give a special grant of 9000 crore rupees to the state. He said it is to make up for the loss of tax revenue during the pandemic, that may lead to a shortfall of the Budget Estimate. He wanted the Centre’s Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness package for the state to be enhanced to three thousand crore rupees. He also insisted releasing an ad-hoc grant of a thousand crore rupees under the National Disaster Relief Fund. He sought help to procure high-end ventilators and asked to provide nearly 66-thousand metric tonnes of toor dal for supply through the public distribution system till November. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


In the union territory of Puducherry, 276 more persons tested positive for COVID-19 and 2 succmbed to it. At present, there are 2277 active cases in the Union Territory. A Report


"According to the COVID 19 status report released by the health department today ,241 new cases were reported in Puducherry region, 30 in Karaikal and 5 in Yanam region. As many as 172 persons were treated and discharged. Presently,1053  persons are being treated in puducherry,161 in Karaikal GH,114 in Yanam GH, and 3 in Mahe GH. Another 946 positive cases are under home isolation. So far, 5900 persons were infected by the virus of which 3532 were treated and discharged, 91 died leaving 2277 active cases here. Chandra Mohan, AIR News, Puducherry."


The Andhra Pradesh Government is initiating all the steps to control the pandemic. At least 25,34,304 samples have been tested so far in the State. Several Mobile Vehicles have been deployed across the State to conduct Covid -19 tests and the State Covid Control Room is monitoring the situation continuously. On an average, Andhra Pradesh, reported 10,000 positive cases daily during the past week. It decreased to 7,665 yesterday. The State’s Covid 19 tally has risen to 2,35,525. The death toll due to the virus has gone up to 2,116, with 80 new fatalities reported during the past 24 hours.


Karnataka today asked the Prime Minister to issue new guidelines to utilise final year MBBS and degree students for Covid mitigation duties, to ensure adequate supply of trained medical professionals. The Medical Education minister in the state Dr. K Sudhakar informed this after a video conference with the Prime Minister today. In the absence of Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who is in home quarantine, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C N Ashwathnarayan had briefed the Prime Minister along with his cabinet colleagues and senior officers. During the press conference later, Dr.K Sudhakar informed that a request was made to the Prime Minister to increase seats of graduates in medical courses by 10,000 and MBBS seats by 2000 in the state. He said the Prime minister has asked the state to focus on reducing the fatality rate to one percent and to ensure contact tracing upto 70 percent to control the spread of the virus.


Kerala reported more recoveries than new Covid cases today as 1417 new cases were confirmed, 1426 persons recoverd from virus infection in the State. A Report:

"Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan while addressing the media in Thiruvananthapuram said that,  locally transmitted covid cases are on a rise in the State, as among the new cases 1242 covid  cases were  contracted through contact. Mr. Vijayan  informed  that  restriction will be  further tightened in  containment and covid clusters. Meanwhile as 5 more death were confirmed today due to Covid the death toll reached 120 in the State.Presently 12721 active Covid cases are there in Kerala. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram"


Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today said that the state government is planning to set up dedicated hospitals in all districts to control the spread of coronavirus. In his interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing, Mr. Thackeray said efforts are on to reduce mortality rate and prevent a second wave of the infection, if any. It may be noted that Maharashtra is among the worst affected states with a case count of over 5.25 lakh and death toll of over 18,000. A report….


"During the interaction Mr. Thackeray informed the Prime Minister that the state has a capacity of 3.5 lakh beds equipped with ventilators and other facilities to treat coronavirus patients. The Chief Minister reiterated his demand for not holding final year examinations for students of non-professional courses to ensure their safety amidst the raging pandemic. Meanwhile, the high voltage and much anticipated Dahi Handi festival, that is celebrated with much fervour in Mumbai is likely to be a low-key affair. Most of the famous Dahi Handi events scheduled for tomorrow, have been cancelled. Their organisations, along with many others have decided to instead hold Arogya Utsav, wherein health camps for senior citizens and blood and plasma donation camps will be organised across the state. Meanwhile, the ISKCON temple at Mumbai’s Chowpatty will remain closed for devotees; however, people can watch the live stream of all the rituals on the temple’s YouTube and Facebook channels.  NISHA RANEY, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI"


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to increase Covid beds of L2 and L3 category in 6 cities where the number of Covid cases is on the rise. He also directed for effective contact tracing and door to door survey along with improvement in surveillance to curb the spread of corona virus. More from our correspondent...

"Special directions have been given to increase the number of Covid beds in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Gorakhpur Varanasi and Kanpur districts. Chief Minister also directed officials to complete the construction work of special Covid hospital in KGMU Lucknow as early as possible and start its functioning by the end of this month. This under-construction Hospital has dedicated 319 beds for Covid treatment. After completion of the work it will become the second largest Covid dedicated hospital in state after the recently inaugurated Covid special hospital in Gautam buddh nagar Noida. Meanwhile state capital Lucknow recorded highest number of 831 new cases in last 24 hours in state. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW"


Nagaland today reported 20 new COVID-19 positive cases taking the total confirmed cases in the state to 3,031. The Health and Family Welfare Minister in a tweet informed that out of 192 samples tested, 10 new positive cases have been detected from Kohima, nine in Dimapur and one from Tuensang. Among the positive cases reported, 13 are from Armed Forces, three from traced contacts and two each from returnees and frontline workers. In addition, 12 people have also recovered today, taking the recovery tally to 985.


In the last twenty four hours, 88 persons including 13 personnel from Central Armed Police Forces were confirmed as new COVID-19 positive  in Manipur. A 60 year old person from Imphal East district died due to COVID-19 and other health conditions.

Out of the new positive cases, 73 are locals who do not have travel history and suspected to be infected with the virus through local transmission.

So far Manipur has recorded total positive cases of 3941 out of which 2155 have recovered and been discharged from different COVID Care Centres. The number of active cases now stand at 1774 whereas the total number of death  is 12. The recovery rate is 54.68 percent.

A newly set up 100 bed COVID Care Centre was inaugurated at Thoubal district of Manipur today by the State Education Minister Thokchom Radheshyam. The centre  is set up at Lamding Higher Secondary School of Wangjing, Thoubal district. With the new centre, the district has three COVID Care Centres now.


The Railway Protection Force, RPF of the North East Frontier Railway has contributed in fighting the pandemic and also providing help to the needy persons as frontline warrior. Official sources in Guwahati said, 1.5 lakh food packets were distributed to the needy villagers and downtrodden people by them. Besides, 642 Shramik and 16 pairs of special trains were effectively escorted by RPF personnel during the last  few months. On the other hand, due to relentless vigilance RPF managed to rescue 135 destitute children in North East.


Russia has developed the first vaccine against the coronavirus. The announcement was made by President Vladimir Putin during a televised video conference call with ministers today. He said one of his daughters has already been inoculated. As the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise at an alarming rate across the globe, scientists and medical experts are making accelerated efforts to develop a vaccine fit for human use. Currently, there are more than 160 vaccine candidates in different stages of production and 27 of these have reached the human trials. While the vaccine created by Oxford University and drugmaker AstraZeneca is considered one of the frontrunners in the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, Russia to day became the first country in the world to launch its very own coronavirus vaccine. Russia currently has two COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the race. Russia will reportedly begin producing the vaccine soon and already has plans for a massive, country-wide vaccine drive. 



The Government today said that 91 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been opened in Jammu and Kashmir and three in Ladakh region between January and July this year. Chemical and Fertilizer Ministry said, Bureau of Pharma PSUs of  India, BPPI has opened these Jan Aushadhi Kendras with an aim of making available quality generic medicines at an affordable price to the residents of these regions. The total sales in last one year has crossed four crore 39 lakh rupees in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh which led to total savings of 31 crore rupees for residents of this area. The Ministry said, Government of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have proposed to open 73 new Jan Aushadhi Kendras for which locations have already been identified. BPPI has supplied over one crore 56 lakh sanitary pads to Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The National Health Mission has been distributing these pads free of cost to young girls and women as a part of Rashtriya Kishore Swasthya Karyakram.


The Government today dismissed a report in an English daily which states that Indian Army has conducted a formal inquiry into the Galwan valley clash on 15th June and a report has been submitted. In a tweet, Press Information Bureau clarified that no such inquiry has been conducted or ordered by the Indian Army.


Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) today approved procurement proposals worth over 8,722 crore rupees . It includes 106 Basic Trainer Aircraft for Indian Air Force. The decision was taken during the DAC meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi to strengthen the Armed Forces by relying on indigenous capability to take forward the initiative on Atmanirbhar Bharat. With HAL having successfully developed Basic Trainer Aircraft (HTT-40) Prototypes and certification process underway, the DAC approved procurement of  Basic Trainer Aircraft from HAL to address the basic training requirements of the Indian Air Force.

Post Certification, 70 Basic Trainer Aircraft will be initially procured from HAL and balance 36 after operationalisation of HTT-40 fleet in IAF. The DAC also approved procurement of an upgraded version of Super Rapid Gun Mount which is fitted as the main gun onboard Navy and Indian Coast Guard warships from BHEL to improve the fire power of the Indian Navy. The upgraded version of SRGM has enhanced capability to perform against fast manoeuvring targets like missiles and Fast Attack Crafts and increase the maximum engagement range. Besides, the Council cleared  procurement of 125 mm Armour Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot ammunition for Indian Army as a Design and Development Case. The ammunition being procured will have a 70 per cent indigenous content. The DAC also gave approvals that are likely to speed up the procurement of AK 203 and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle upgrades.


The Prime Minister launched financing facility of one lakh crore rupees, under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. It is aimed to transform farmers into entrepreneurs in line with the vision of doubling farmers’ income. Our Bengaluru Correspondent has filed this report about the utility of this announcement in Karnataka.

After the announcement of one lakh crore rupees package by the Prime Minister, NABARD has identified 163 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies, PACS in Karnataka in the first phase for the creation of agricultural infrastructure with concessional refinance and interest subvention under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund with net interest of one percent. The Vice Chancellor of Central Agricultural University in Imphal S Ayappan who is also the Chairperson of Science and Technology Academy in the Karnataka, spoke to AIR on the significance of Prime Minister’s announcement.

Byte of S Ayappan

Karnataka is one of the three states in the country selected by Prime Minister’s office for formal launch of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. On this occasion NABARD regional office handed over the in-principle sanction to 163 PACS. These Credit Societies will develop into one point solution to all the needs of the farmers like warehouse, hi-tech equipments, processing centres, information disseminators, buyers market among others. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru.


The Tribal Affairs Ministry is developing “Tribal Freedom Fighters’ Museums dedicated to the contributions of the tribal people in India to the freedom struggle. Out of nine sanctioned museums, two museums are near completion and remaining seven are at different stages of progress. The Ministry said by the end of 2022 all the museums will come into existence.


In Madhya Pradesh, noted Urdu poet and lyricist Rahat Indori died of cardiac arrest in Indore today. He was also tested positive for COVID-19.

The 70-year-old poet was undergoing treatment at Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences in Indore.

"With a 50-year career in poetry, Indori was known for the lyrics of hit films like Munnabhai MBBS, Kareeb, Ghatak and Ishq.Indori did his schooling from Nutan School in Indore and his graduation from Islamia Karimia College, Indore. He passed his MA exam in Urdu literature from Barkatullah University, Bhopal in 1975 and was awarded a PhD in Urdu literature from the Bhoj University in 1985. Rahat Sahab had faced poverty in his childhood, so in his words people could see the truth of life.There are famous lines of Rahat Sahab, which look right on him today.   

Sanjeev Sharma, AIR New, Bhopal"


The European Union today said it is providing 1.65 million euro in humanitarian aid in response to severe flooding that has affected South Asia-most notably Bangladesh, India and Nepal. The funding comes on top of the 1.8 million euro announced earlier this year to support families affected by a series of disasters, including Cyclone Amphan that ravaged India and Bangladesh in May. In a statement, EU's  European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations said, this brings the total EU support to victims of disasters in the region to 3.45 million euro. Our correspondent reports, a further 5 lakh euro will be used in India to provide food and livelihood assistance, emergency relief supplies, and water and sanitation services.


In the massive landslide that hit Rajamala in Idukki district on Friday, 52 people have died, as  3 more deadbodies were recovered from the site today.Even as the intensity of rain in the State reduced the hilly regions remain on high .


Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.

The National Capital Delhi will have generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. It will have a minimum temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius and maximum of 32 degrees. Mumbai will see a generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature will be 26 and the maximum will be around 30.

On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 26 in Jammu while the maximum will be around 34 . The city will have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or Dust storm. In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be around 17  while the maximum will be 34. The city will see a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Ladakh will have a mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between 17 and 31. In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 18 and 36. It will see a partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night. In Muzzafarabad, there will be a partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or duststorm.

Chennai will have a partly cloudy sky tomorrow. The temperature will hover between 27 and 35 . Kolkata will witness a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 27 while the maximum will be 34 .


Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari has called upon Apparel Export Promotion Council to take measures to target doubling exports of apparels.

He also emphasized on technology up gradation and research to improve quality and remain cost competitive in the global market. Inaugurating the virtual workshop- A Joint initiative of Apparel Export Promotion Council and MSME Ministry through Video Conference, Mr Gadkari said, government is providing support through a package announced recently for liquidity and stress management in the MSME sector.


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