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News Highlights
PM to inaugurate Arogya Van& Arogya Kutir at Kevadia in Gujarat today            Finance Ministry extends I-T exemption under LTC cash voucher scheme to non-central government employees            EAM S Jaishankar stresses need for diversification & resilience of supply chain in post-Covid world            Pakistan Minister admits Islamabad's role in Pulwama terror attack            US economy registers record growth of 33 % in third quarter of current fiscal           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
17.09.2020
THE HEADLINES

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh says India is committed to resolve the border issue with China in a fair and peaceful manner.

  • India asserts Pakistan should desist from laying untenable claims to its territories which have no legal validity and international credibility.


  • Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan says COVID-19 vaccine would be available in the country by early next year.


  • Sewa Saptah being organised across the country to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday; President, Vice-President greet on the occasion.


  • In Jammu and Kashmir, three terrorists and one civilian killed in an encounter with security forces in Batamaloo area of Srinagar today.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said that India is committed to resolve the current border issue with China in a fair and peaceful manner and at the same time the country is also prepared to deal with all contingencies. He said, China is trying to change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control which is unacceptable to India in any condition. The Defence Minister was making a statement in the Rajya Sabha on the development on border in Ladakh region.


Mr. Singh said, the current situation is very different both in terms of scale of troops involved and number of friction points. He said, the conduct of Indian forces throughout the standoff shows that while they maintained patience in face of provocative actions, they also equally displayed valour when required to protect the territorial integrity of the country.

 

The Defence Minister added that Chinese actions reflect a disregard for various bilateral agreements and amassing of troops by China goes against the 1993 and 1996 agreements.


Mr Singh said, China, in the last many decades undertook significant infrastructure construction activity to enhance their deployment capabilities in the border areas.

 

The Minister added that the Indian government has doubled the budget for border infrastructure development. He said, China continues to be in illegal occupation of around 38,000 square kilometres in Ladakh and Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 square kilometres of Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China. Mr. Singh said, border issues are a complex matter and both India and China have accepted that peace is essential for bilateral ties.

 

Later, leaders cutting across party lines spoke in one voice against the Chinese aggression and reiterated their commitment to support the government and armed forces. Leader of Opposition, Gulam Nabi Azad said, Congress is committed to protect the unity and integrity of the country. Former Defence SMinister and Senior Congress leader A K Anthony said, the government should work to ensure the situation at LAC prior to the 15th of April. P. Wilson of DMK and Ravi Prakash Verma of Samajwadi Party also extended their support to the government. Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena said, the government should always keep in mind the Chinese nature of betrayal. Sanjay Singh of Aam Adami Party, Prem Chand Gupta of RJD, Binoy Vishwam of CPI, Elamaram Karrem of CPI(M), Veer Singh of BSP and other also supported the government on the issue.

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India has asserted that Pakistan should desist from laying untenable claims to its territories which have no legal validity and international credibility. This was stated by Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan in the Rajya Sabha on a question related to so-called political map of Pakistan in which the neighboring country had made absurd assertions and untenable claims to territories in Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

 

The Minister said, New Delhi has rejected Islamabad's obsession with territorial aggrandizement supported by cross-border terrorism. Mr. Muraleedharan added that the government continues to respond appropriately to Pakistan's malicious actions and propaganda including on the issue of J&K at various international fora.

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India today said, it desires normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan reiterating that issues, if any between the two countries, should be resolved bilaterally and peacefully in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence.

 

In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said, the onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere including by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible action to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross-border terrorism against India in any manner. He said, India has consistently raised the issue of Pakistan’s continued support to cross-border terrorism and terrorist infiltration at bilateral, regional and multilateral fora. He added that as a result, there is enhanced concern in the International community at terrorism emanating from Pakistan including the continuing activities of terrorists groups and individuals.

 

The Minister said, major partner countries have called upon Islamabad to not allow its territory to be used for terrorism in any manner.

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Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today expressed the hope that COVID-19 vaccine would be available in the country by early next year. He informed that three vaccine candidates have reached the clinical trial stage of Phase one, two and three.


He appealed to people to adopt social distancing and Do Gaz Ki Doori as a social vaccine till the arrival of a vaccine.

 

Replying to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha on COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, he said, an Expert Committee is working on the development of a vaccine by giving all the necessary support to the various bodies. He said, India is working with WHO and other international organizations in the direction of vaccine development.


Appreciating the role of COVID warriors in the fight against the pandemic, he said, the Prime Minister has taken every decision with the help of experts and the government tried to resolve every issue related to this disease. He said, India started the fight against the COVID-19 disease from the initial days and fought this battle in an honest and meticulous manner. He added that effective contact tracing, surveillance mechanism and lockdown reduced the number of COVID-19 cases and mortality.

 

The Minister said, the government provided every support to the State Government and strengthened the laboratories network across the country to improve the COVID testing mechanism. He added that the country is conducting 11 lakh COVID tests every day and within a few days India will be the first country in the total number of tests. He said, India has achieved self-reliance in the production of PPE kits and N-95 masks within a short span of time.

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The Union Government has allocated more than 818 crore rupees to promote online learning to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today, Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said over 267 crore rupees have been allocated for online teacher training.

 

The Minister said, internet access under Bharat Net scheme has been made available to government institutions and to improve the internet connectivity in rural areas. He said, his Ministry has held several consultations with the States and Union Territories to ensure that school going students do not lag behind in their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, various initiatives like PM e-Vidya, Diksha platform, E-textbooks rationalization of syllabus for examination and Manodarpan were started for the benefit of students. 

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The Union Government has set up a Task Force to reconsider the legal age of marriage for women. This was stated by the Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.

 

The Minister said, a Task Force was set up in June this year to examine the matters related to the age of motherhood, lowering Maternal Mortality Ratio and improvement of nutritional levels.

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The government has said there is no proposal to drop the Civil Services Aptitude Test from the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. This was stated by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today. He also denied that the government is going to change the examination pattern of Civil Services including the replacement of interviews with a psychological test.

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

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

 

Home Minister Amit Shah has also greeted Mr Modi on his birthday. In a tweet, he said, the Prime Minister is the most popular leader of the country, who is devoted to the nation's service and welfare of the poor. He said, in the form of Narendra Modi, the country has got a leadership that connected the sections deprived of public welfare policies to the mainstream of development and laid the foundation of a strong India.

   

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


Russian President Vladimir Putin extended greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday and lauded his personal contribution to the strengthening of strategic partnership between India and Russia.

   

In a letter to Mr Modi, President Putin said, his activity as India's Head of the Government has earned him the well-deserved respect of compatriots and high international prestige. He also said under Mr Modi's leadership India is successfully moving along the path of socio-economic, scientific and technical development.

 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel today greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday and noted that they have succeeded in consolidating further the traditionally good relations between Germany and India for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries. In a letter to Mr Modi, she said that she is happy to take this opportunity to thank him for their trustful and constructive cooperation. The Chnacellor said, together over the past few years, they have succeeded in consolidating even further the traditionally good relations between India and Germany. She also vowed to work together to overcome the challenges, including the Corona virus pandemic. 

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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, the 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 Mr Narendra Modi had launched the financing facility of one lakh crore rupees under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.

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In Maharashtra, the Seva Saptah organized by the BJP to celebrate the birthday of its senior leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being held at various places in the state. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a tweet extended best wishes to the Prime Minister on his birthday and wished him for a healthy and happy life. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who has wished Mr Modi on his birthday, expressed confidence that the country will once again walk on the path of development by overcoming the crisis of COVID-19, economic front under the leadership of the senior BJP leader.


"As part of the Sewa Saptah, a series of programmes have been organised by the state unit of the BJP in Maharashtra. In Nagpur, eye testing camps are been organised by the BJP along with Mahatme Eye Bank Eye hospital in rural areas of the district. The camp is held by following the Covid-19 protocols and people are seen maintaining physical distancing. Apart from this free distribution of eyeglasses is also been done. In Washim, cleanliness drive was organised and saplings were planted. In Dhule, a pledge was taken on the occasion to make the district Covid free. Health checkups of people are also been done by the teams of municipal corporation in the city. The state unit of the BJP has also organised photo exhibition of Prime Minister Modi in its office in Mumbai. Besides, plasma donation and blood donation camps are also held. KUNAL SHINDE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI"

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As part of 'Seva Hi Sanghatan', Karnataka Wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party is organizing Seva Saptah from the 14th of September. State BJP President Naleen Kumar Kateel has called upon the party cadres to engage in social service activities to mark the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The state party office has organized various events for the welfare of the specially abled and marginalized sections of society during the Seva Saptah.


"Seva Saptaha is being organised across the state at the mandal level. Each mandal office is distributing prosthetic limbs and assistive devices to seventy physically challenged persons. Those who have recovered from Covid infection are donating their plasma, 70 persons in each mandal office level will be distributed free eye glasses. As part of the saptaha, blood donation camps, tree plantation drive, swachata drive and distribution of fruits and provisions among the poor are being carried out. The party is also organising 70 virtual seminars on the positive impact of flagship programmes of the Central Government.Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru"

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In Assam, various programmes are being held today to mark the Birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Sewa Saptah. The BJP is carrying a plantation drive at 28 thousand booths. State BJP President Ranjit Kumar Dass inaugurated the plantation drive in Guwahati. Later in the day, a felicitation programme is to be held in Guwahati where Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will also be present. A total of 70 artists will be felicitated.

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The Government today said the country's recovery rate among the COVID-19 patients has reached 78.64 per cent. During the last 24 hours, more than 82 thousand COVID patients have recovered. The Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached over 40 lakh 25 thousand. The constantly increasing recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country has reduced and currently comprises only 19.73 per cent of the total positive cases. It said, that active cases of Covid 19 in the country are less than one fifth of the total cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is 10 lakh nine thousand. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.63 per cent, which is one of the lowest globally. In the last 24 hours, one thousand 132 deaths have been reported taking the toll to 83 thousand 198.

 

According to the ICMR, the total number of samples tested so far has reached over six crore five lakhs.

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Odisha has already conducted more than 26 lakh tests for COVID-19. With about 50 thousand tests per day, the cumulative tests have reached 26,19,601, resulting in a total of 1,67,161 positive cases. While 1,29,859 patients have already recovered, the state now has an active caseload of 36,580.


"Going by the day's tally yesterday, while the positive cases mounted by  4241, the recovery casecount too  climbed up by 4121, thereby closing the gap down to a little over hundred positive cases. Yet another positive trend in the viral spread in the state is that only about half the districts of the state had been reporting a daily addition of 100 plus cases, with the other half standing tough against the transmission. Among these,  Ganjam district has emerged as one signing example in limiting the viral surge down to below 100 and even below 50 cases per day for the last so many days not so long ago. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar"

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The Gujarat Government has decided not to follow the guidelines of the Centre for partial opening of schools from the 21st of September. This was announced by State Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama in Gandhinagar. AIR correspondent reports that this decision was taken during the State Cabinet meeting held yesterday.


"The Centre had permitted the class 9 to 12 students to visit their school with the written consent of parents from 21st September. However, this guideline of Unlock 4 will not be implemented in Gujarart.  As this provision was not binding for states, the Government of Gujarat has decided that the partial reopening of schools for classes 9 to 12will not be effective as of now. The state government has taken this decision in view of continuous spread of Covid-19 infection in the State. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad"

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In Tamil Nadu, the active COVID-19 caseload remained under fifty thousand for the eighth consecutive day yesterday. The total infection has reached nearly 5.2 lakh while the recoveries have gone up to more than 4.64 lakh. Meanwhile, the Madras IIT said, its team has developed a novel method to detect the COVID-19-causing virus in a person in just five minutes.


"The IIT Madras has claimed that its new method to test for the SARSCoV2 virus in a person that caused Covid-19 disease can be detected in just five minutes from his saliva. It is developed jointly with an US based healthcare diagnostics platform called Ricovr Healthcare. The project has won the ‘Ignition Grants’ Award from the US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund established jointly by both the countries. The new diagnostic process is said to be capable of sensing active viral particles on the spot without needing a specialized laboratory. The IIT says the innovative detection technique and the simple use of saliva will help bring a cost-effective and user-friendly device for making Covid-19 tests economical and reliable. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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In Assam, the State Education Department has issued guidelines for opening of schools and colleges from 21st of this month. The Standard Operating Procedure issued by Principal Secretary of the department B Kalyan Chakravarthy said classes will resume for 9th to 12th standard students with due care. Standard 9th and 12th students to attend classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday while other three days will be reserved for Standard 10th and 11th students. For every class, maximum of 20 students to be allowed to attend and classes will be held in two batches. However, the students must carry the No Objection Certificate of the guardians.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people on Mahalaya. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, this Mahalaya, we pray to Maa Durga to bless us with strength to overcome the global pandemic. He hoped that the divine blessings of Maa Durga will ensure good health and happiness in everyone’s life. The Prime Minister hoped that our planet will prosper.

 

The Prime Minister has also greeted people on Vishwakarma Jayanti. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, today is a day dedicated to those for whom work is worship, who by their creation enrich the entire humanity. In a video message, the Prime Minister said, we should have skills as we have knowledge of books to move forward in life.

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In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, three terrorists were killed in an encounter that broke out between terrorists and security forces at Batamaloo area in the outskirts of Srinagar city today.

 

According to police, a joint team of security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Batamaloo  following the intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area. As the joint team approached towards the suspected spot, the terrorists fired upon them that ensued an encounter which resulted into the killing of three terrorists. The identity  of the slain terrorists is being ascertained.

 

A 45-year old woman identified as Kounsar Riyaz of Batamaloo was also killed in cross-firing and a Deputy Commandant of 117 Battallion of Central Reserve Police Force was critically injured and subsequently shifted to Army's 92 Base hospital at Badami Bagh in Srinagar for treatment.

 

Meanwhile, Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh in a press conference in Srinagar said that 177 terrorists have been killed this year in Jammu and Kashmir. Giving details to media persons, the DGP said that 165 terrorists have been killed in Kashmir and 12 in Jammu region. Among them, 22 were foreign terrorists who have been killed in different encounters this year. Twenty terrorists have also been brought back into mainstream this year, he added.

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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 Neeraj Nischal, Assistant Professor at AIIMS will participate in the discussion.

 

Listeners can ask questions to the expert on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767 One can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444  and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews s by #tag Askair.

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

 

In the National Capital Delhi today, the minimum temperature was recorded at 27 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 38 degrees.

 

In Mumbai, sky is likely to be cloudy and there is also possiblity of light rain. The temperature is likely to hover between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius.

 

In Chennai, the lower limit of temperature was 26 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 32 degrees.

 

In Kolkata, the minimum temperature was 28 degrees Celsius while the maximum is likely to be around 34 degrees.

 

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

 

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

 

Ladakh has mainly clear sky and the temperature may hover between 9 and 26 degrees Celsius.

 

In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was 13 degrees and the maximum will be around 28 degrees Celsius, with the city having mainly clear sky.

 

Muzzafarabad is also have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 18 degrees Celsius and the maximum is likely to be around 35 degrees Celsius.

 

In Dehradun, the minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 33 degrees.

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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.

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