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Last Updated : Sep 21 2020 11:29AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi to lay foundation stone for nine highway projects worth over Rs 14,000 Cr in Bihar through video conference today            Govt says Minimum Support Price for farmers will continue            Railways starts running 40 clone trains with higher speed and fewer stops            Many states to partially reopen schools for students of classes 9-12 from today as per Unlock 4 guidelines            Sikkim govt imposes complete lockdown in Gangtok municipal area till Sept 27           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0830 HRS
17.09.2020

THE HEADLINES:-

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to make statement in Rajya Sabha today on recent development between Indian and Chinese troops along LAC.

  • Welfare activities being organized across the country to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday today.

  • India, Brazil and South Africa call for comprehensive reform of UN Security Council.

  • Trump Administration reveals plans to offer COVID-19 vaccine to all US citizen free of cost.

  • Sports Ministry to upgrade eight Khelo India State Centres of Excellence to groom future Olympic champions.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to make a statement in Rajya Sabha today on the recent development between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. Earlier, on Tuesday, Mr Singh had made a statement in Lok Sabha over the issue. Mr Singh had asserted that India remains committed to resolve the current issues in its border areas through peaceful dialogue and consultations.

He said, India believes that mutual respect and mutual sensitivity are the basis for peaceful relations with neighbours. Defence Minister had said that India wants to resolve the current situation through dialogue. He said, India has been continuously maintaining diplomatic and military engagement with the Chinese side. Defence minister mentioned that both sides should strictly respect the LAC and asserted that any attempt to unilaterally alter the status quo will not be acceptable.

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The Centre has set up an expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator to study reports released earlier this week which said that a China-based company is mining data and snooping on hundreds of Indian politicians and leaders.

Our correspondent reports that sources in the government have confirmed that the panel will study these reports, evaluate their implications, assess any violations of law and submit its recommendations within 30 days.

Sources said, the Centre is deeply concerned with any report that suggest foreign sources accessing or seeking to access the personal data of Indian citizens without their consent. It has taken the issue of protection of privacy and personal data of citizens very seriously.

A media report published in a leading daily earlier this week stated that a Shenzen-based company, Zhenhua Data Information Technology has been keeping tabs on over 10 thousand Indian individuals and organisations in its global database.

The decision about setting up the expert panel has been communicated to Congress MP KC Venugopal by Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar in response to his demands along with other MPs to protect the data of Indian leaders and others from spying by Chinese companies. Sources have said that the Foreign Ministry has also raised the issue of alleged spying on prominent Indians with the Chinese Ambassador yesterday. China reportedly has said that Zhenhua is a private company and has made clear its position publicly.

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The Government has said that there has been a steady decline in Left Wing Extremism related violence and geographical spread of its influence in the country. Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy said this in a written reply to question in the Rajya Sabha yesterday. The number of deaths in Left Wing Extremism related violence has reduced consistently from over one thousand in 2010 to 202 in last year. In 2020, deaths have further reduced from 137 to 102 till 15th of last month in comparison with the corresponding period of 2019.

To combat the Left Wing Extremism menace, the Government has formulated National Policy and Action Plan in 2015, which consists of a multi-pronged approach comprising security measures, development initiatives and ensuring rights and entitlements of local communities. The Ministry said, apart from flagship infrastructure schemes of the Central Government, several development initiatives have been implemented. These are construction of roads, installation of mobile towers, skill development, improving network of banks and post offices, health and education facilities.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Batamaloo area of Srinagar city this morning. Talking to AIR News, DGP Dilbagh Singh said, the encounter broke out after terrorists opened fire on security forces while carrying out a search operation in Batamaloo area.

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The Lok Sabha passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 yesterday. This Bill replaces the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance which was promulgated on 26th June this year. Speaking about the Bill, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it aims to protect depositors' money. The Minister said, it will help in safeguarding interest of the co-operative bank depositors' in the country. She also raised the issue of PMC bank and asserted that this bill will protect depositors’ interest in similar situations.

The bill also enables the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make a scheme for reconstruction or amalgamation of co-operative banks to secure its proper management, and in the interest of depositors.

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Income Tax Department has issued refunds of over one lakh six thousand crore rupees to more than 30 lakh taxpayers between 1st April to 15th September this year. In a tweet, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said, Income tax refunds of 31 thousand 741 crore rupees have been issued in over 29 lakh cases and corporate tax refunds of 74 thousand 729 crore rupees have been issued in over one lakh 74 thousand cases.

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Railway Minister Piyush Goyal informed the Lok Sabha that 433 crore rupees have been collected as fare from state governments and their representatives for operating 4,621 Shramik Special trains since May 1st this year. In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Mr Goyal said in all 4,621 Shramik Special trains have been operated between May 1st and August 31st carrying 63.19 lakh passengers to their home states. He said, Railways have collected fare for Shramik Special trains from State Governments or their authorised representatives. Mr Goyal informed that Railways did not collect any fare directly from passengers.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu (mega bridge) to the nation through video-conference tomorrow. The dedication of the Kosi Rail Mahasetu is a watershed moment in the history of Bihar and the entire region connecting to the North East.

The Kosi Rail Mahasetu is 1.9 KM long and its construction cost is 516 Crore rupees. The project was completed during the COVID-pandemic where the migrant labour also participated. The dedication of this project will fulfil the 86 year old dream.

Apart from this, the Prime Minister will also inaugurate 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities for the benefit of the Bihar.

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has said that the government will continue with the two-language formula for education in the state. In reply to a question in state assembly, chief minister said, the government is committed to the two-language policy.

School education minister KA Sengottaiyan said, the government has formed two committees to look into all the aspects of the National Education Policy.

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Government has allowed RT-PCR testing at the entry of airport on pilot basis to facilitate the transfer of international passengers. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said this in a written reply in Rajya Sabha. According to the guidelines, airport operator will create sample collection cum waiting lounge facility for RT-PCR testing. The operator will provide option to the passengers to either stay at the waiting lounge awaiting the test results or to proceed to designated hotel, to isolate themselves till the test results are available. Passport of the passenger will be retained by the State authority at the Sample Collection cum Waiting Lounge till the test results are available. If the test result is negative, passenger will be permitted to exit the Waiting Lounge and proceed to the Departures to catch the connecting flight. However, if the result is positive, the passenger will be processed in line with applicable ICMR protocols by the State authorities.

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The country has registered the highest single day COVID-19 recoveries of 82 thousand 961 people. The Health Ministry said yesterday, the recovery rate of COVID-19 has further improved to 78.53 per cent. The total number of recoveries has reached to over 39 lakh 42 thousand. Maharashtra alone has contributed about 23.41 per cent of the total new recoveries today. 27 States and Union Territories are reporting recovery rate more than 70 per cent.

In the last 24 hours, more than 90 thousand new cases were reported in the country. With more than 20 thousand new cases in the last 24 hours, Maharashtra is leading the tally. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.63 per cent.

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In Bihar, COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 91.16 per cent. Active cases in the state is regularly decreasing. At present, 13 thousand 526 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals. Positivity rate in the state has decreased to 1.41 per cent. 1,724 patients recovered during the past 24 hours. The total number of tests has crossed over 52 lakh in the state.

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The Gujarat government has reduced the charges of RT-PCR test for Covid-19 in private laboratories. RT-PCR test will now cost 1,500 rupees in private laboratories instead of the existing 2,500 rupees. Charges will be 2,000 rupees if the sample is collected from home. Our correspondent reports, the new reduced charges comes into effective today.

"Gujarat has reported record 1364 new cases of Covid19 during the last 24 hours . The total cases in the state have gone up to 1 lakh 17 thousand 709. With recovery of 1447 patients yesterday, the recovery rate has further improved and reached upto 83.39 percent. Total 98,156 patients have been recovered in the state till now. More than 35 lakh 23 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date, out of which 85153 tests were carried out yesterday.  At present 16294 active cases in the state, out of which 98 patients are on ventilator.  Yogesh Pandya, AIR News,  Ahmedabad."

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Odisha reported the highest single day spike of 4270 covid-19 cases along with the highest single day recovery of 4121 persons yesterday. 

"While none of the 30 districts of the state is immune to the infection,  it is Khordha district which has been topping the state's covid-19 tally since long. The district reported a high of 876 cases yesterday, with the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area within its jurisdiction contributing as many as 362 cases.  As of now, the capital city alone owns up more than 60% of the cumulative caseload of the district which has crossed 28 thousand.  Second in  line of covid-19 fire is Cuttack which reported 374 cases yesterday. Worrying over the daily inflation of infection in the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Commissionerate area, the state chief minister has asked the Director General of Police to ensure strict compliance of covid-19 containment measures in the twin cities. Girish Chandra Dash, Bhubaneswar."

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Dr. Rupali Malik of Safarjung Hospital said that it is very important for all of us to take all the precautions to fight covid 19 including wearing masks and keep maintaining social distancing.

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Trump Administration has unveiled its COVID-19 vaccine delivery plan which entails administering the drug to all US citizens free of charge. US government believes a COVID-19 vaccine will be available as soon as January and the distribution plans are outlined in two documents released by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Defence. The Trump Administration plans on delivering a ‘safe and effective’ COVID-19 vaccine to multiple sites with no cost for the providers and no out of pocket charge for the recipient.

In a statement, US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that there may be limited availability of the vaccine in the initial stages and in such an event, front line workers and essential workers will be given priority.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 70 today. Welfare activities are being organised across the country to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's  birthday today. Bharatiya Janata Party is organising a week-long Seva Saptah to mark the occasion.  Several programmes related to cleanliness, distribution of sanitation pads, wheel chairs and social service are being organized from 14th to 20th of this month across the country.

 BJP president JP Nadda will participate in various welfare activities at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi today as part of Sewa Saptah programmes to mark the birthday of the Prime Minister. Mr Nadda will plant a sapling and distribute pulse oximeter, wheelchair and hearing aid to specially-abled persons. Party leaders and workers all over the country are undertaking various welfare programmes to celebrate the birthday.

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In our series on seva saptah, today we bring you a special story on Agriculture sector. In the last six years, Modi government has laid a lot of emphasis on the welfare of farmers. With the Mantra of Annadata Sukhi Bhava, the Government is focusing on the dissemination of technology till the last mile and making the farmers more competitive in the global value chain. Last month Narendra Modi had launched the financing facility of one lakh crore rupees under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.

Our correspondent reports that various important schemes were launched by the government with an aim to boost agriculture sector and to double the income of farmers by 2022.

"Government has taken many steps for empowerment of farmers and development of agriculture in the country. Several initiatives like Pradhan Mantri-KISAN Samman Nidhi PM-KISAN, E-NAM, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana have been undertaken to benefit the farmers. A total of over one thousand mandis across 18 States and three Union Territories have been integrated with National Agriculture Market e- NAM platform. The government also launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan Dhan Yojana in September last year to ensure payment of minimum pension of  three thousand rupees per month to the eligible small and marginal farmers on attaining the age of 60 years. Besides, the Kisan Rath Mobile App was also launched to facilitates Farmers and Traders in identifying right mode of transportation for movement of farm produce. With Dipendra Kumar, Suparna Saikia, AIR News Delhi".

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Gujarat will celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 70th  birthday at 70 different places in all 33 districts. This includes e-dedication of completed projects and e-launching of new projects under the title ‘Panchamrit Dhara’.

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On the occasion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday, a series of programs are scheduled in all 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of the PM. However, it will be a low key affair due to the corona pandemic.

"In Varanasi, recitation of Ramcharitmanas, along with special feasts will be organised at various locations for the long life of the Prime Minister. People of Kashi will cut A 70 Kg Special cake made of Laddoo on the 70th birthday of their leader and blood donation camps will also be organised. Many Union Ministers as well as state ministers will take part in the cleanliness drives and fruits and sweets distribution programs  which will be organised across the state to celebrate PMs birthday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday week is being celebrated as Sewa Saptah by Bhartiya Janta Party. State BJP president Swatantra Dev singh will distribute tricycles and artificial limbs among the Divyangs in Lucknow on this occasion. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW".

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President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday today. In a tweet, Mr Kovind said, Narendra Modi has presented an ideal of loyalty in India's life-values ​​and democratic tradition. He  prayed for his good health and said, the nation continues to receive his invaluable services.

In a tweet, Mr Naidu congratulated Prime Minister for his efforts to take the country to new heights. He said, under his dynamic leadership, the government is effectively addressing the various challenges.

Home Minister Amit Shah has greeted the Prime Minister  on his birthday. In a tweet, Mr Shah said, Mr Modi is the most popular leader of the country, who is devoted to the nation's service and poor welfare.

In a tweet, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, Narendra Modi has taken the country to new heights with determination and strong will power.

BJP President JP Nadda has greeted PM Narendra Modi on his birthday. In a tweet, Mr Nadda said, the Prime Minister has raised the honor of India around the globe by moving the country on the path of progress. BJP President said, from life building to nation building, his life is an inspiration for everyone.

Prime Minister of Nepal K P Sharma Oli has greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday. In a tweet, Mr Oli said, the two leaders will continue to work closely together, towards strengthening relations between the two countries.

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In Tamil Nadu, prominent Ayurveda physician and Managing Director of the iconic Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, PR Krishnakumar passed away in Coimbatore yesterday. He was 69. He had been under treatment for various ailments at a private hospital in Coimbatore for the past one week.

Krishnakumar, who had done yeomen service for the popularisation of the Ayurvedic system of medicine had been conferred the Padmasri award in 2009.

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The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of prominent Ayurveda physician PR Krishnakumar. In a tweet, Mr Modi said that Krishnakumar's persistent, enterprising and mission-mode activities have contributed to the global popularity of Ayurveda.

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The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district is all set to resume safaris from 1st October. Reserve’s chief conservator of forest and field director, Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar said, safaris will not be available for pregnant women, children below ten and senior citizens above the age of 65.

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India, Brazil and South Africa emphasized the need for the international community to redouble efforts to achieve tangible progress for accelerated and comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council. External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar, chaired the customary meeting of IBSA Foreign Ministers through video conferencing yesterday. On this occasion, the ministers adopted the IBSA Joint Ministerial Statement on the Reform of the UN Security Council, as a common endeavour of the Global South.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said  they issued a Joint Statement on reform of UNSC and expressed collective frustration with the slow progress of reforms in the Inter-Governmental Negotiations.

The Ministers also exchanged views on furthering IBSA cooperation. They exchanged views on various issues of global significance including peace, security, countering terrorism, climate change, and sustainable development. Further, the Ministers shared their experience on COVID-19 pandemic situation and appreciated the work done by the IBSA Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.

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The Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that India has taken significant steps to protect environment, forest and wildlife as well as combating pollution and climate change. Addressing the Environment Ministerial Meeting of the G20 countries through video conference, Mr Javadekar said, India is committed to work with G20 nations for a better world. He said, India is blessed with vast bio-diversity and ecosystem. The Minister noted that India’s steps towards dealing with climate change have been remarkable and stated that the world has to channel its best practices to deal with climate change and to get concrete results.

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The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said  that the bloc should significantly increase its emissions-cutting targets. In her first speech on the state of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU should significantly toughen its emissions-cutting target to at least 55% by 2030. She suggested that 30% of the bloc's €750 billion coronavirus recovery package should be raised through green bonds. The EU agreed the stimulus plan in July that will allow the European Commission to raise billions of euros on the global financial markets. Meanwhile, campaigners say 55% is not enough to hit the EU's longer-term goal of climate neutrality by 2050.

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Sports Ministry is set to upgrade eight Khelo India State Centres of Excellence (KISCE) at an estimated cost of 95.19 crore rupees with an aim to identify and groom future Olympic champions. Speaking about the decision, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, this is yet another step towards building a robust sports ecosystem and India's pursuit of excellence in Olympics. He said these centres will ensure that athletes proficient in a certain sports are given the highest level of training. The Minister said, he is confident that this will help to further India's effort of becoming one of the top 10 countries in the Olympics in 2028.

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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 27 degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 38 degrees.

In Mumbai, there will be Generally cloudy sky with Light rain. The temperature is likely to hover between 26 and 32 degree Celsius.

Chennai is likely to witness Generally cloudy sky with Light rain. The minimum temperature was 26 degree Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 32 degree Celsius.

Kolkata may have a Partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature was 28 degree Celsius while the maximum is likely to be 34 degrees.

On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was recorded at 25 degree Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 36 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.

In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 12 and 30 degree celsius. The city is likely to have mainly clear sky.

Ladakh will also have Mainly Clear sky. The temperature may hover between 9 and 26 degree Celsius.

In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was 13 degrees and the maximum will be 28 degree Celsius. The city will have a mainly clear sky.

Muzzafarabad is also likely to have Mainly Clear sky. The minimum temperature was 18 degree Celsius and the maximum is expected to be around 35 degree Celsius.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:

  • "New PLA tactics: Punjabi songs, warning to Indian troops in Hindi", is the lead headline in The Times of India

  • The top headline in The Indian Express reads, "Government sets up group under cyber security head to probe China Watching, will report in 30 days.

  • "Russia inks pact to test, supply Sputnik V vaccine to India" is the top story in The Hindu. Dr. Reddy's signs pact for 100 million doses, writes Business Standard.

  • Tatas frontrunners for Parliament project, headlines Business Standard.  Timeline 21 months, writes The Indian Express.

  • The Asian Age reports in a box item, news of the passing away of scholar and author, Kapila Vatsayan.

  • And finally, Hindustan Times reports, Ganga cleaner in 5 years, but may take decades for its water to be fit for drinking.

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