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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

Midday News

1400 HRS

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils seven projects worth 541 crore Rupees for  urban infrastructure and clean water supply in Bihar.

  • More than 50 projects worth  6000 crore Rupees approved in Bihar to keep River Ganga  clean.

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to make a statement in Lok Sabha this afternoon on India China standoff in Eastern Ladakh.

  • COVID-19 recovery rate reaches 78.28 percent; Over 38 Lakh 59 thousand people have recovered so far.

  • Parliament passes Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020; To convert existing bodies under the ministry into statutory bodies.

  • Engineer's Day is being celebrated in the country today.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today  inaugurated and laid the foundation stones for seven projects related to urban infrastructure in Bihar through video conferencing. Out of these, four projects are related to water supply, two to sewerage treatment and one to riverfront development. The total cost of these projects is 541 crore rupees. The implementation of these projects has been undertaken by BUIDCO under Urban Development and Housing Department of Bihar. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was also  present on the occasion. Sewerage treatment plants built under Namami Gange at Beur and Karmalichak in Patna Municipal Corporation were inaugurated by the Prime Minister. He also inaugurated water supply projects built under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation in Siwan Municipal Council and Chapra Municipal Corporation. Both these projects will help local residents get pure drinking water 24 hours a day.

The Prime Minister  said more than 50 projects worth 6000 crore rupees have been approved in Bihar to keep River Ganga clean. He said, Namami Gange project will change the life pattern of the people. Sewerage treatment plant has been setup to stop flow of polluted water into river Ganga. He said villages on the banks of Ganga are being developed as Ganga Gram. Prime Minister added Namami Gange will also be very helpful for Project Dolphin and in protecting the  bio diversity in the river .

The Prime Minister said, due to  joint efforts of the Center and the  Bihar government , basic amenities like drinking water and sewer are constantly improving in the cities across the State. In the last 4 to 5 years, lakhs of families have been connected to water facilities in the urban areas of ​​Bihar under the schemes of Mission AMRUT and State Government's schemes. He said, in the last one year, more than 2 crore water connections have been given all over the country under the Jal Jeevan  Mission.

Prime Minister added, today, more than one  lakh households in the country are being connected to piped  water. He said, clean water not only makes life better but also prevents  many serious diseases.

Participating in the function, Union Minister Ravi Shankar said digital infrastructure has been strengthened in Bihar and 8,743 panchayats have been connected through  Bharatnet in the State.


On the occasion  Bihar  Chief Minister Nitish Kumar expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for extending support to Bihar .Mr Kumar promised the state will try its best to complete central projects within stipulated time.He said the  water from treatment plant will be used for irrigation purpose in the state.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to make a statement in Lok Sabha today on the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. The statement assumes significance in the backdrop of demands made by the Opposition for a debate on the issue. In the Lok Sabha, the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are listed for consideration and passing during the day.


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said, the Centre is working to release the funds related to Polavaram Project to the State of Andhra Pradesh at the earliest. Responding to the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, the Minister said, the discussion is on with the State Finance Minister and she is also in touch with Union Water Resource Ministry for clearing the outstanding amount. The Minister said, the Centre has received the CAG audit report pertaining to the project. Earlier, Vijaysai Reddy of YSR Congress raised the issue saying an amount of 3,805 crore rupees related to this project is yet to be released by the Centre which is affecting the ambitious project. He urged the Centre to release the fund immediately to complete the project within the deadline of December 2021.


The Rajya Sabha took up the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill 2020 today for consideration and passage. The Bill seeks to provide for the establishment of an Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda and to declare it an Institute of National importance. The Bill also has the provision to merge three Ayurveda institutes into one institution. Moving the Bill, the Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, it will promote the quality education and research in the field of Ayurveda. He said, it will be the first institution in the country having the status of national importance. Initiating the discussion, L. Hanumanthiah of Congress said Ayurveda is an ancient medicine system and the purpose of this legislation is to promote the international level of training in this field. The discussion remained inconclusive.


India has been able to contain the spread of Covid-19 having the lowest per million cases and per million deaths as compared to other affected countries. Making a statement in Rajya Sabha today on the pandemic and the steps taken by the Government, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, India has taken several measures to contain the spread of this virus.

Giving details of the preparedness in terms of tackling this virus, he said, the recovery rate is above 78 per cent in the country. He said, 30 vaccine candidates are in  different stages of the development in India and three are in advanced stages of phase I, II and III clinical trials. He said, India is conducting more than 10 lakh test per day and so far five crore tests have been done.


Dr. Harshvardhan said, effective containment strategies, contact tracing, and community surveillance mechanisms were adopted to control the virus. He said, 92 per cent of total Covid cases in the country are of mild nature and only 7 per cent patients are in ICU. The Minister also said, Centre has provided necessary support to the States with ventilators, PPE Kits, N95 Masks and Hydroxychloroquine.


The recovery rate of COVID-19 has reached 78.28 per cent. In all, 79 thousand 292 COVID patients have recovered and were discharged from the hospitals during the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached 38 lakh 59 thousand and 399. It said, the constant increase in recoveries ensured that the actual caseload of the country is reduced and currently comprises only 20.08 per cent of the total positive cases. Effective implementation of 'Test,Track and Treat' approach has led to higher recoveries and lower fatality. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.64 per cent. The total number of positive cases has now reached 49 lakh 30 thousand 236. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is 9 lakh 90 thousand and 61. In the last 24 hours,  1,054 deaths have been reported taking the toll to 80 thousand 776. In the last 24 hours, 10 lakh 72 thousand 845 tests were conducted. So far over five crore 83 lakh tests have been conducted across the country.


A demand was made in  the Rajya Sabha today  for using the term physical distancing for fighting COVID-19 instead of social distancing. It was argued that the use of the term social distancing  is promoting social stigma of coronavirus patients and their families and this  should be stopped.  During Zero Hour, Shantanu Sen  of TMC raised the issue  saying the term social distancing is regularly used to avoid the spread of coronavirus and it  has promoted social stigma which has led to nearly an attitude of boycotting of COVID-19 patients socially. Agreeing to the suggestion, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said an appropriate term should be used and suggested term safe distancing.


approving it today. The Bill has already been passed by the Lok Sabha. It  seeks to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934.  It has provisions to convert three existing bodies under the Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies. These three authorities are, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau. Under the bill, each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General who will be appointed by the Centre. Replying to a discussion on the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said privatization will help in the development of the airports in the country. Citing the successful privatization process of Delhi and Mumbai airports, he said, privatization of these airports has garnered 29 thousand crore rupees which were spent on the development of other airports in the country. On the air safety issue, the Civil Aviation Minister said, this government will not compromise on it  and India is doing well on the several parameters set by the air safety regulators. Appreciating the life line Udaan and Vande Bharat Schemes, he said, 16 lakh passengers were repatriated from the other countries.  Mr.  Puri said the legislation has given new definition to three bodies. He also said, the Bill raises the maximum limit on fines from 10 lakh rupees to one crore rupees.


Fines are related to carrying arms, explosives and other dangerous goods aboard aircraft and constructing building or structures within the specified radius around an aerodrome reference point. Earlier, initiating the discussion, K.C. Venugopal of Congress questioned the government’s move to lease out the airports including Trivandrum and Jaipur airports. He accused the Centre of favouring a particular company in this direction. Binoy Visvam of CPI also criticized the government on the issue. Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress said, Air India has played a vital role during the Vande Bharat Mission and plan for selling the airline should be reconsidered by the government. He urged the government to bring overall changes in the Aircraft Act, 1934. The Rajaya sabha has since been adjourned for the day.


In Rajasthan, with 799 cases reported this morning,  the active cases of COVID 19 touched a new high of 17468 in the state. The overall tally rose to 1 lakh 4937. Highest 141 cases have been reported in Jaiour while 93 new cases were reported from Jodhpur. COVID cases have also been reported in large numbers from Ajmer, Alwar, Nagaur and Kota. The active cases have continuously been on the rise in the state, though  the recovery rate in the state is still above 82 percent.


In Maharashtra, the state-wide programme to contain the spread of Covid-19 began today. As per the programme 'My Family-My Responsibility' each and every household in the state will be visited by health teams along with the help of local public representatives. The health teams will inquire about the health of members in the family and accordingly classification will be done with regards to the problems they face. The line of treatment will also be decided after examining the health condition of an individual.

Chief  Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that with the life gradually getting back to normalcy it is important to break the chain of the virus. He said people will have to learn to live with coronavirus by adopting to a new lifestyle for effective COVID -19 control. He told the administration and people's representatives not to be complacent and try to reach out to the last person in the society under the mission My Family- My Responsibility. Thackeray said that each and every individual should identify the responsibilty and work towards taking care of his or her family. Saying that it is going to be a turning point in the lives of people in the state, he said the programme will also prepare the masses for future pandemics. Meanwhile, residents of Bhiwandi city in neighbouring Thane district are getting themselves tested with the city aiming to attain mission zero deaths. In order to ensure there is no increase in the number of cases, Bhiwandi Nizampur City Municipal Corporation has started testing complete housing societies even if one person in the society tests positive.KUNAL SHINDE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI.


In Karnataka, the recovery rate of COVID-19 has exceeded the positive cases yesterday. The state reported 8244 new Covid cases and at the same time 8865 patients were discharged post recovery. The state conducted 45,961 tests .  119 deaths were reported yesterday. Bengaluru Urban district with highest caseload in the state reported 3495 people discharged against 2966 new Covid Cases.

Bengaluru which stands first among cities with highest case loads, has recorded 75.23 percent recovery rate and 1.42 percent death rate. The positivity rate in the city is 14.05 percent and active cases rate is 23.34 percent. There are 15,806 active containment zones. Out of 12,35,880 Covid tests conducted so far, 1,73,628 are found positive, 1,30,627 have recovered and 2474 have died of the infection in Bengaluru. State wise comparison shows that Karnataka comes after Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu in terms of total positive cases reported till date. But in terms of deaths due to Covid the state holds the third position in the country after Maharashtra and Tamilnadu. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru.


Telangana reported 2058 fresh COVID -19 cases during the last 24 hours taking the number of cases reported so far in the state to one lakh 60 thousand 571 . The recovery rate in the state has also slightly improved to 80.45 per cent with 2180 more people recovering yesterday. This took the number of recovered people so far in the state to 1 lakh 29 thousand 187 .


Kerala will conduct genetic study of Covid patients.Presently the state has 30,486 active covid cases.

Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan said that a state-wide genetic study on Covid patients will be carried out. It has been decided that the genetic study of patients infected by the Covid 19 virus that was conducted in the northern districts of the State in collaboration with the Institute of Genomics and Integrated Biology under CSIR, will be extended across the State. Chief Minister further said that as per the experts, the rate of the spread of the virus is very high in the State and the elderly population is at high risk. As the number of patients are increasing, the State Government has expedited the setting up of Covid First Line Treatment Centers in all the districts and these centers are  being transformed into public healthcare centers specially designed to combat the pandemic. The Covid Brigade in the State will be expanded to provide the services of more healthcare workers for better treatment. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram.<


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 .


Dr Narendra Saini, former Secretary General, Indian Medical Association will participate in the discussion. Listeners can ask questions to the expert 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 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. 


Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has  released  the NCERT eight-week Alternative Academic Calendar- AAC for the secondary stage. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Pokhriyal said that the Calendar provides guidelines to teachers on the use of various technological tools and social media tools available for imparting education in  interesting ways, which can be used by learners, parents and teachers even at home. He said, however, it has taken into account, the varying levels of access to such tools like Mobile phone, Radio, Television, SMS and various social media. The Minister also highlighted that many of us may not have internet facility in the mobile phone, or may not be able to use different social media tools,  the calendar guides teachers to further help parents and students through SMS on mobile phones or through voice call. He said, parents are expected to help elementary stage students to implement this Calendar.The calendar contains week-wise plan consisting of interesting and challenging activities, with reference to theme and chapter taken from syllabus or textbook. 


Union Government has banned the export of all varieties of onions with immediate effect. The move is aimed at increasing availability and checking the price of the commodity in the domestic market.Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification that the export of all varieties of onions is prohibited with immediate effect. The DGFT, under the Commerce Ministry, deals with exports and imports-related issues.The provisions under transitional arrangement shall not be applicable under this notification.


In Bihar, a two member team of the Election Commission, which is touring the state, is  holding review meeting today for the upcoming assembly elections.The team includes Deputy Election Commissioners Sudeep Jain and Chandrabhushan Kumar. Yesterday they held a meeting in Muzaffarpur and Patna. The team today held a review meeting in Bhagalpur with the DMs and SPs of twelve districts including Katihar Kishanganj and Purnea. Later in the afternoon today, the Commission will hold a meeting at Bodghgaya with district officials of seven districts including Gaya,Nawada and Aurangabad. Before returning to Delhi the Election Commission Team will meet with Chief Secretary and other senior officials in Patna. Assembly elections in Bihar are due in October-November as the term of the current Assembly is scheduled to end on November the 29th.


National Investigation Agency NIA- has arrested a key suspect working for Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence -ISI from Godhra in Gujarat. Key accused Giteli Imran has been involved in espionage activities for ISI. The case relates to an international espionage racket in which Pakistan-based spies recruited agents in India for collecting sensitive and classified information regarding locations and movements of Indian Naval Ships and Submarines, and other defence establishments.


Giteli is a key accused in the Visakhapatnam naval spy ring case. He was involved in depositing money in the accounts of a few personnel of the Indian Navy in lieu of sensitive and classified data. Some digital devices and incriminating documents have been seized from the house of the arrested accused. According to sources,further investigation is underway.


In our series on Atmanirbhar Bharat today, we bring you a special story on a wearable gadget for implementing social distancing norms. Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode based incubate start-up has come up with a unique user friendly wearable device that alarms proximity for helping implement social distancing norms. Known as the Veli Band, this wearable device has been developed by Qual5 India Pvt. Ltd, a startup co-founded by woman entrepreneur Kiranmayee. The start up was mentored and funded by IIMK’s business incubator and entrepreneurship development center, LIVE. Veli Band helps implement social distancing and location and contact tracing which can help organizations comply with social distancing norms during the current pandemic situation.


The entire nation today celebrates Engineers' Day to mark the Birth Anniversary of the renowned Indian engineer Bharat Ratna awardee Mokshagundam Viseswaraya. Civil Engineer and Statesman, Viseswaraya is popularly known as Sir M.V. He was the Chief Engineer of Krishna Raja Sagara dam in the north west suburb of Mysuru city. Mokshagundam played a crucial role in important constructions and projects in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two Telugu states. He used his expertise to solve the erosion problem of Visakhapatnam Port from sea water and also designed flood protection system for Hyderabad, which brought laurels. Several engineering institutions, organizations and educational institutions celebrate the day by organizing meetings and competitions for students.On the occasion of Engineer's Day, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today paid tributes to India's first engineer, M  Visvesvaraya.  Vice President  also extended his  greetings to  the  country's engineers who have played a big role in nation-building and also urged them to take India to newer heights. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the people on the occasion. Home Minister Amit Shah also paid  tributes to prolific engineer and statesman, Bharat Ratna M. Visvesvaraya on his jayanti. On the occasion, the Home Minister said, he salutes the talented and  skilled engineers who have contributed significantly in the development of nation. On the occasion of Engineer's Day, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar also  paid rich tributes to the visionary and  pioneering engineer  M. Visvesvaraya. 


Today is the International Day of Democracy. On the occasion, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu extended his greetings and said, Democracy gives voice to the common man and ensures that all are equal before the rule of law. He also appealed to everybody to strengthen the foundation of Indian democracy and make it more vibrant.On the occasion, Information and Broadcasting Minister  Prakash Javadekar extended his greetings and said, democracy is the best system of governance, accountability, checks and balance.


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


The National Capital Delhi will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature recorded in the city was 26 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 37 degrees.


In Mumbai, there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The temperature is likely to hover between 25 and 32 degrees Celsius.


Chennai is likely to see a generally cloudy sky with light rain Drizzle.The minimum temperature was 25 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 32 degrees Celsius.  Kolkata may have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm. The minimum temperature was 28 degrees Celsius while themaximum is likely to be 35 degrees.


On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was recorded at 25 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 35 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.


In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 15 degrees and 30 degrees celsius. The city is likely to see a mainly clear sky.


Ladakh will also have a mainly clear sky. The temperature may hover between 10 and 26 degrees Celsius.


In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was 15 degrees and the maximum will be 30 degrees Celsius. The city will have a mainly clear sky.  Muzzafarabad is also likely to see a mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum is expected to be around 37 degrees Celsius.


In Dehradun, the minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 33 degrees. The city may have thunderstorm with rain. Chandigarh may see a partly cloudy sky. The temperature may hover between 26 and 35 degrees Celsius.


In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 28 degrees Celsius. The city will see a generally cloudy sky with heavy rain.


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