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News Highlights
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to share his thoughts in 'Mann Ki Baat' programme at 11 this morning            Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan says Corona vaccine likely be available in country by January 2021            Last date for filing of Income Tax and GST returns extended till 31st of December            Dussehra is being celebrated across country today            IPL Cricket: Kings XI Punjab beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs in Dubai           

Text Bulletins Details


Evening News

2030 HRS
19.09.2020

2030 HRS.


19th September, 2020



THE HEADLINES:-


  • Rajya Sabha passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, temporarily suspending initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process.

  • National Investigation Agency arrests nine Al-Qaeda terrorists planning attacks at vital installations in India.

  • Centre tells states with higher caseload of COVID-19 to effectively plan and manage logistical issues regarding oxygen availability.

  • Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha MP Roza Deshpande passes away in Mumbai.

  • Indian Premier League kicks off in Abu Dhabi; Opening match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians underway.

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The Rajya Sabha today passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2020. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved the Bill in the house which is an amendment to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 which provides a time-bound process for resolving insolvency in companies and among individuals. It replaces the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 promulgated in June this year.


Insolvency is a situation where individuals or companies are unable to repay their outstanding debt. The Bill seeks to temporarily suspend initiation of the corporate insolvency resolution process, CIRP under the Code. The Bill provides that for defaults arising during the six months from 25th March of this year, CIRP can never be initiated by either the company or its creditors. The central government may extend this period to one year through notification. Replying to the discussion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Insolvency and Bankruptcy is a significant part of the business and it is helping the companies and people to resolve the issues without going to National Company Law Tribunal, NCLT.


"IBC is actually serving the purpose of making sure resolutions are offered. Although its a Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code it ensures that most of the resolutions are happening to make the company as a going concern only rather than liquidated."


Giving the comparative analysis of the recovery made by the Lok Adalat, SARFAESI and IBC in 2018-19, the minister informed:


"IBC has ensured 42.5 percent of recovery in the sense amount recovered 70 thousand 819 as supposed to 1 lakh 66 thousand 600 as the amount involved which came to the IBC and this pertains only 2018-19 which a provisional figures."


On the employment front, Ms Sitharaman said, 258 companies were rescued under the IBC mechanism. Initiating the discussion, Vivek Tankha of the Congress questioned the several provisions of the Bill urging that these must be relooked for the interest of the public. He said, some of the provisions will benefit the big companies and prove to be detrimental for the small companies including the MSMEs.

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The BJP has issued whip to its Rajya Sabha Members asking them to be present in the house tomorrow. Three farm bills are scheduled to come up for consideration and passing in the Upper House. The bills are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.


Several Opposition parties are opposing these legislations. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed the bills as historic and pro-farmer and accused the critics of misleading farmers over the bill. The Lok Sabha has already passed these bills.

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President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the New Education Policy aims to reorient the education system towards meeting the needs of the 21st century. He said, the policy will not only strengthen the future of our youth but also set the country on course in becoming Atmanirbhar.


President Kovind was speaking after inaugurating virtually the Visitor’s Conference on Implementation of New Education Policy 2020: Higher Education. The President said, Universities and institutes of higher education should be centres of innovation. They should provide innovative solutions to national and local problems. He said, effective implementation of the  NEP is likely to restore India’s glory as a great centre of learning.


"Effective implementation of the NEP 2020 is likely to restore India’s glory as a great centre of learning. One of the targets of the NEP 2020 is to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio or GER in higher education to 50 percent by 2035. Technology can help in achieving this target."

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National Investigation Agency, NIA has arrested nine Al-Qaeda terrorists from West Bengal and Kerala. The agency today conducted simultaneous raids at several locations, Ernakulam in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal and arrested the terrorists associated with Pakistan sponsored module of Al-Qaeda. Six terrorists were arrested from West-Bengal and three from Kerala.


The NIA said in a statement, that the group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India. The agency said, large quantity of incriminating material has been seized from their possession. As per preliminary investigation, these individuals were radicalised on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including the National Capital Region. 

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The Special Cell of the Delhi Police has arrested a freelance journalist Rajeev Sharma who was found working for Chinese intelligence officers. During the search of his house in Pitampura, New Delhi, one laptop, some confidential documents related to Indian Defence departments and some other incriminating documents were recovered. During his police custody remand, one Chinese lady Qing Shi and her Nepalese partner Sher Singh alias Raj Bohra have also been arrested who were found supplying him huge amounts of money routed through Hawala. 


Speaking to media, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell Sanjeev Kumar Yadav said, Rajeev Sharma was involved in passing sensitive defence and strategic information to Chinese intelligence officers from 2016 to 2018. The DCP said, as per probe, transactions of 40 to 45 lakh rupees have taken place in last one year.


"पिछले एक सवा साल के अन्दर जो अभी तक का रिकॉर्ड चैक किया गया है 40 से 45  लाख रूपए  इनके पास आए हुए  है Through  डिफरेंट चैनलस। अभी इनकी इंट्रोगेशन चल रही है। इनके तीनों लोगों के पास से लगभग 10 से 12 मोबाइल फोन, लेपटॉप, टैब और एटीएम कार्ड इंक्लुडिंग चाइनीज एटीएम कार्ड रिकवर हुए हैं। 14 तारीख को जब इनको अरेस् किया गया था तो एक सर्च वारंट लेकर इनकी घर की सर्च की गई और उस सर्च में इनके घर से कुछ क्लासीफाइड डाक्यूमेंट्स मिले हैं जो डिफेंस से रिलेटेट है और बहुत से डाक्यूमेंट्स मिले हैं जिनका अभी एग्जामेशन चल रहा है।"

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As part of Centre’s coordinated strategy for effective containment and management of the COVID-19 pandemic, a high- level review meeting was chaired by Cabinet Secretary today. Member (Health) in NITI Aayog, Union Health Secretary, Secretary, Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, senior officials of the Health and Home Affairs Ministry along with Chief Secretaries of the 12 States and UTs participated in the review meeting. The 12 States and UTs that participated in the video conferencing include Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chandigarh, Telangana, Kerala, Delhi, Punjab and West Bengal. About 80 per cent of the COVID caseload in the country is concentrated in these States and UTs.


Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal also addressed the states and reviewed the oxygen availability in these states. He specifically requested them to focus on analysing district level and health facility level status and effectively plan and manage logistical issues related with oxygen availability.


The Cabinet Secretary urged the states to analyse mortalities district and hospital wise for identification of critical areas of intervention. He also exhorted the states to ensure optimal utilization of RT-PCR capacity.

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The country today registered the highest single day recoveries of 95 thousand 880 COVID patients. The Health Ministry said with this recovery rate of COVID-19 has further improved to 79.28 per cent. Total number of recoveries has reached over 42 lakh. India's COVID-19 tally has crossed 53 lakh with 93 thousand 337 new infections being reported in a day.


The actual caseload of the country is now reduced and comprises only 19.10 per cent of the total positive cases. The total number of active cases now stands at 10 lakh 13 thousand. In the last 24 hours, one thousand 247 deaths have been reported, taking the toll to 85 thousand 619.

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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today held a high level meeting to review the Unlock situation in Lucknow today. He has instructed to maintain containing of infection and treatment of COVID-19 in state. The Chief Minister said that along with adequate availability of oxygen in government and private hospitals, a good back-up of it should also be in place. The Chief Minister said, it should also be ensured that oxygen is available at the fixed price.


"Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath instructed that special monitoring of districts, Lucknow, Kanpur Nagar, Prayagraj, Jhansi, Ayodhya, Meerut and Gorakhpur should be done to strengthen the treatment system in these districts. He said that the OPD facility being provided through e-Sanjeevani app is proving very useful in state, therefore, in order to enable more people to  be benefited from this service, e-Sanjeevani app should be widely publicized. He further directed to intensify awareness campaign regarding  Covid-19 in state. MS Yadav AIR News Lucknow."

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In Sikkim, the State Government today announced a complete lockdown in Gangtok Municipal Area during the period from 21st to 27th September in view of increasing COVID-19 cases in the state capital. However, the State Government has allowed resumption of tourism-related services from 10th of October after almost six months.


"The fresh lockdown order for Gangtok municipal area has been issued following a spike in COVID19 cases in the area over the past week. On Saturday morning, state cabinet ministers Lok Nath Sharma, Karma Loday Bhutia and MN Sherpa; and MLAs Pharwanti Tamang and TT Bhutia tested positive for COVID19.During the Gangtok area lockdown from 21st to 27th September, movement of passenger and private vehicles will be prohibited except those involved in medical and essential services. All commercial establishments except medical and ration shops will remain closed. State government offices will operate with 30 percent attendance. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma from Gangtok for AIR."

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Veteran Communist leader and former Lok Sabha Member Roza Deshpande died at her residence in Mumbai today due to old age. Deshpande, 91, was the daughter of Shripad Amrit Dange, one of the founders of the Communist Party of India.


Deshpande had taken part in the movement for the creation of the state of Maharashtra and the Goa liberation struggle as a Member of the All India Students' Federation. In 1974, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Bombay South Central constituency. She had also led a campaign to secure maternity leave benefits for working women and served on various Central and State Government Committees on labour problems, particularly those of women workers.


Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has expressed his condolences over her demise.

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Decommissioned aircraft carrier Viraat today set sail for the last time, on the way to Alang in Gujarat from Mumbai, where it will be broken down and sold as scrap. The Navy veterans who watched the huge vessel being towed by tug boats bade it an emotional farewell from the Gateway of India.


The vessel had served the Indian Navy for 30 years before being decommissioned.

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Khadi and Village Industries Commission’s, KVIC firmness has forced e-commerce portals like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal and others to remove over 160 web links selling products in the brand name of Khadi. In a statement, KVIC has said that the development comes in the wake of KVIC serving legal notices to over one thousand firms using the brand name Khadi India to sell their products and causing damage to its reputation and the loss of work to Khadi artisans. It said, Khadi Global has also discontinued using its website www.khadi global store.com and also removed its social media pages on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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After a long wait, cricket fans are seeing some action in the game as the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, IPL kicked off in Abu Dhabi this evening. The opening match is being played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.


Put into bat first, Mumbai Indians were 116 for the loss of 3 wickets in 13 overs, when the reports last came in.


The 53-day tournament, which has been shifted to the UAE due to COVID-19 pandemic, can be watched on TV and online streaming platfroms only. In all, 60 matches will be played in three venues- Abu Dhabhi, Sharjah and Dubai.

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NOW HERE IS A REVIEW OF PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT TODAY, FIRST FROM THE RAJYA SABHA.


The Rajya Sabha today adopted an amendment to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill, 2020 by voice vote after rejecting opposition amendments. Replying to a brief discussion, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman justified the promulgation of the ordinance saying that the step was necessitated in view of COVID-19 pandemic situation. She said, there were apprehensions that the country’s economy was likely to be adversely affected. The Finance Minister said, the government had settled thousands of disputed cases involving several lakh crores of rupees without any dissent. She said, the Insolvency Bankruptcy Code (IBC) Bill is helping to resolve the dispute much before it is entering the NCLT. This is due to the ecosystem created because of the IBC. The Minister said, the number of disposed cases even before admission in NCLT, as of 31st of July 2020 related to Section 7 is 2,789 company cases, whereas the amount is over 1.96 lakh crore rupees. She said, under Section 9, 11,581 cases have been disposed of whereas under Section 10- 140 cases disposed of amounting to 1.53 lakh crores rupees.


K. K. Ragesh of CPI-M alleged that the government was trying to protect corporate houses. He was supported by several opposition members. Vivek Tankha of Congress, Anuj Singh of BJP, Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress, A. Vijaya Kumar of AIADMK, Dr. Amar Patnaik of Biju Janata Dal, Ravi Prakash Verma of Samajwadi Party, P. Wilson of DMK, Rama Chandra Prasad Singh of Janata Dal-United, Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha of RJD, Anil Desai of Shiv Sena, K. Ravindra Kumar of Telugu Desam Party, Naraian Dass Gupta of Aam Admi Party, Veer Singh of Bahujan Samaj Party, Praful Patel of NCP and Binoy Viswam of CPI participated in the discussion on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Amendment Bill.


Earlier, the house took up discussion the Epidemic Disease (Amendment) Bill 2020, moved by Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan. Moving the bill, the Minister said, the country faced an extraordinary situation due to COVID-19 pandemic. He said doctors, paramedics, health workers and NGOs had faced attacks by the people. Keeping in view of the atrocities on the frontline warriors, the government has promulgated ordinance with several provisions including imprisonment and heavy fines on the people attacking the Covid workers. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, the government has received several complaints that some private hospitals have charged heavy amounts from the COVID patients. In reply to a question, he said, the Centre has also received several suggestions from State Governments in connection with the COVID pandemic. Anand Sharma of Congress praised the commendable services rendered by doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, health workers and police personnel. He underlined the need for strengthening the health care facilities in the rural areas. He also called for standard operating procedures for maintaining surveillance at district level.


Neeraj Dangi of the Congress alleged that the Centre was not serious in the initial stage despite warnings by his party. Saroj Pandey of BJP lauded the efforts of the government to contain the pandemic. Derek ‘O’ Brien of Trinamool Congress, A. Vijaya Kumar of AIADMK, Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party, M. Shanmugham of DMK, Dr. K. Keshava Rao of Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Subhash Chandra Bose Pilli of YSRCP, Rama Chandra Prasad Singh of Janata Dal-United, Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha of RJD, Binoy Viswam of CPI, K. Ravindra Kumar of Telugu Desam Party, Vandana Chauhan of NCP, Priyanka Chaturvedi of Shiv Sena, Veer Singh of BSP, Dr. Sasmit Patra of Biju Janata Dal, Jharna Das Baidya of the CPIM, P. L. Punia of the Congress and Anil Jain of BJP participated in the discussion. Earlier in the morning, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu asked members to follow safeguards and precautions to be taken for COVID-19 containment. He told them about the facilities available for Covid testing in the Parliament House complex. He said, COVID-19 testing facility is available every day in Parliament and asked the members to undergo tests at their convenience. He informed that yesterday he had held a meeting with Home Secretary and officials of the Health Ministry and ICMR on measures to contain COVID. Several members raised the matters of public importance. They included Dr. Sasmit Patra of Biju Janata Dal, Raja Ram of BSP, Derek ‘O’ Brien of Trinamool Congress, Subhash Chandra Singh of BJD, Dr. Chandrapal Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party, Neeraj Sekhar of BJP, M. Venkataramana Rao of YSRCP, Ahmed Patel of Congress, Priyanka Chatruvedi of Shivsena, K. J. Alphons of BJP and Y. S. Chowdhury of BJP. Several members also tabled their Special Mentions on matters of public importance. The house, earlier observed silence as a mark of respect to a former Member Nazneen Farooqui who passed away. In his obituary reference, Chairman Naidu said in the death of Nazneen Farooqui, the country has lost an eminent social worker and an able Parliamentarian.


Earlier, the house witnessed noisy scenes for a brief period as Opposition demanded discussion on Agriculture Bills passed by the Lok Sabha. Responding to this, Chairman said the bills can be taken next day.


In his Zero Hour mention, P. Wilson of the DMK asked the government to look into the issue of decline in representation of all communities in appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.


This was followed by Special Mentions.

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NOW REVIEW OF PROCEEDINGS IN THE LOK SABHA. 


Union Government today introduced three bills related to labour laws, including on industrial relations in the Lok Sabha amid Opposition from the Congress and other parties. Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar introduced the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, 2020, the Industrial Relations Code, 2020 and the Code on Social Security, 2020. He withdrew the three bills that were introduced last year and introduced the three new ones.


According to the Minister, over 29 labour laws have been merged into four codes and that one of them has already been passed. The Code on Wages Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament last year.


Mr Gangwar noted that the government engaged in wider consultations over these bills with various stakeholders and that more than 6,000 comments were received online on the bills. These bills were later sent to a Standing Committee and 174 of its 233 recommendations have been accepted, the Minister told the members.


Congress leaders -- Manish Tewari and Shashi Tharoor -- opposed the introduction of the bills. Mr. Tewari noted that the three bills are fundamentally changed versions of their earlier forms. He urged the Minister to withdraw them and hold wider consultations before introducing them. He said, the bills are a blow to the rights of workers.


Referring to the bill on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, Mr. Tharoor said, it fails to have specific provisions to safeguard interests of the unorganized sector workers. He complained that there was no exclusive chapter on inter-state migrant workers. He also said that the bill is discriminatory since there is no specific provision for the welfare of women.


With respect to the industrial relations code, Mr. Tharoor said, it severely restricts the right of workers to strike and also allows State or Central Governments to amend the threshold for applicability relating to layoffs and retrenchment.


Opposing the bills, A. M. Arif of the CPI-M said, the bills should be send to the Standing Committee. Earlier, N. K. Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party opposed withdrawal of these bills. Several members raised the matters of public importance during the Zero Hour.


Speaking in Parliament,  the National Conference President and MP Farooq Abdullah advocated talks with Pakistan. He said, India can talk to China to defuse their border row, it can also speak to its other neighbour to deal with the situation at Jammu and Kashmir borders. Stating that Border skirmishes have been rising and people are dying, Mr Abdullah said that a way has to be found to deal with this.


As you are talking to China to attempt that it withdraws from Ladakh border, we should also talk to our other neighbour to find a way to get out of this situation, he said. This led to strong protests from treasury benches in the house. The Srinagar MP also expressed his happiness at the findings of an Army inquiry into the killings of three men in Shopian in an encounter.


Mr. Abdullah said, Jammu and Kashmir has not seen any progress and spoke about authorities blocking 4G facilities in the Union Territory. He said, this goes against the interest of students and traders. He also conveyed his gratitude to Parliamentarians for speaking for him when he was under detention. Mr. Abdullah and many other leaders were put under detention by authorities last year after the Centre abrogated Article 370, which had given special powers to the erstwhile state and split Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. He was released in March this year.


Making an intervention during the Zero Hour, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Lok Sabha that the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan was not implemented in West Bengal as the state did not provide any data regarding migrant workers who returned to their native places during the COVID-19 lockdown. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on June 20 launched the employment scheme for migrant workers.


The Minister replied after the issue related to migrant labourers in West Bengal was raised by Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mr. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.


The Finance Minister said that the 'Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan' was implemented on a mission mode for 125 days in 116 districts of six states -- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha -- that received at least 25,000 returning migrant workers by May 30. She said, West Bengal government did not provide any data about migrant workers, then how we can include West Bengal. We did not get information about whether over 25,000 migrant workers returned to any district of the state, she said, adding that it also needed to be considered if the state allowed them to return. She was apparently referring to the state government's initial opposition to trains carrying migrant workers to their homes. She also said after the launch of the scheme, some states like Tripura and Chhattisgarh had demanded the inclusion of new districts, but we could not.


A Lok Sabha member observed that there is a fear that if Hindi is pushed as the sole medium of communication, then it might lead to eventual decline of regional languages. Sumalatha Ambareesh, an Independent member from Karnataka, mentioned about the government's proposed three-language formula during the Zero Hour. A three-language formula has been proposed in the new National Education Policy. The member urged the Central Government to look into these issues and ensure that the country's previous past is preserved for a beautiful future. The house also took up The Taxation and Other Laws (Relexation and Amendment of certain provision) Bill for consideration and passage.


A Congress member in Lok Sabha has demanded a fair and transparent investigation into the gold smuggling case in Kerala, saying agencies should inquire into the conspiracy angle. Raising the matter during the Zero Hour, Hibi Eden, who is an MP from Ernakulam constituency, also alleged that the Kerala Government has been brutally attacking youths and women who were leading a peaceful protest on the issue.


As we all know the gold smuggling case in Kerala, where gold was smuggled in diplomatic baggage in which the Chief Minister's Office is directly involved, he said. Agencies are investigating the case, and a  fair and transparent inquiry is needed, he said. He added that all those who are involved in this case should be brought to light.


The conspiracy factor should be inquired, he said, urging upon the central government to direct the Kerala Governor to furnish a detailed report on the law and order situation and to have a joint investigation in this matter.


Raising the matter of Gorkhaland, Darjeeling MP Raju Bista requested the government to resolve the issue as early as possible.


P. Ramulu of TRS demanded allowance for SC/ST youths who have lost their jobs due to the CIVID-19 pandemic.He claimed that many SC/ST students are working under MNREGA and also selling fruits and vegetables.


Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur made an intervention in Lok Sabha to hit out at the Opposition over their allegations about lack of transparency in the PM CARES Fund and asserted that it is fully in line with laws and transparent. The fund was created to mobilise funds to meet the exigency caused by the coronavirus pandemic and everyone, from the rich to the poor, contributed voluntarily, he said.


Mr. Thakur said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi contributed his personal money worth 2.25 lakh rupees to provide initial corpus for the find and the PM's mother also contributed.  Even beggars and many poor people also contributed, he said. The fund has been set up as a public charitable trust and is fully transparent, he said, adding that the PM is its ex-officio chairman and Home Minister, Defence Minister and Finance Minister are its ex-officio trustees. Attacking Congress, he said its President was made a trustee of Prime Minister Relief Fund which was audited by a person who was made a governor by the party's government earlier.

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


National Capital Delhi will have partly cloudy sky. It is likely to have minimum temperature of 27 degree Celsius and maximum of 37 degrees.


In Mumbai, there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. Minimum temperature will be around 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 30 degrees.


Chennai will have generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum and maximum temperatures will hover between 24 and 32 degrees Celsius.


Kolkata is likely to have thunderstorm with rain. Minimum temperature is expected at around 26 degree celsius and maximum could go upto 35 degrees.


In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar and Jammu will have mainly clear sky. Minimum temperature in Jammu will be around 25 degrees and maximum around 36. Minimum and Maximum temperatures will hover around 10 to 39 degree celcius in Srinagar.


Ladakh, Gilgit and Muzaffarabad are also going to have mainly clear sky. In Gilgit, minimum temperature will be around 10 degrees and maximum would be around 26 degree Celsius.

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