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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
21.09.2020

2030 HRS.


21st September, 2020



THE HEADLINES:-


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails passage of farm bills in Parliament; Reiterates commitment to Government procurement and MSP to farmers.

  • Government increases MSP of Rabi Crops.

  • Foundation stone of nine National Highway projects in Bihar worth over 14 thousand crore rupees laid by Prime Minister through video conference.

  • Parliament approves FCRA Amendment Bill to regulate foreign funding.

  • Covid recovery rate improves to 80.12 percent.

  • In Italian Open Tennis: Simona Halep lifts Women's Singles title; Novak Djokovic faces Diego Schwartzman in Men's Singles final.  

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the passage of the farm bills in Parliament, saying these bills will revolutionise the agriculture sector. He was speaking after laying the foundation stone of nine highway projects in Bihar through video conferencing today.


The Prime Minister pointed out that the farming sector in India is in need of technological and structural upgrades citing that the bills will pave the way for farmers to increase their yield by using better tools. The Prime Minister said, agriculture sector is in desperate need of the latest technology that assists the industrious farmers. Now, with the passage of the bills, he stressed that farmers will have easier access to futuristic technology that will boost production and yield better results.


Mr Modi assured India’s farmers that the Centre aims to serve the farmers and build a stronger agricultural industry for future generations. He also highlighted the need for removal of middlemen in the farming sector. He said that for many decades farmers in India have been ‘bullied by middlemen.’ The PM reiterated his assurance regarding the system of Minimum Support Price (MSP).


"इतने बड़े व्यवस्था परिवर्तन के बाद कुछ लोगों को अपने हाथ से नियंत्रण जाता हुआ दिखाई दे रहा है, इसलिए अब ये लोग एमएसपी पर किसानों को गुमराह करने में जुटे हैं। ये वही लोग हैं, जो बरसों तक एमएसपी पर स्वामीनाथन कमेटी की इन सिफारिशों को अपने पैरों के नीचे दबाकर बैठे हुए थे। मैं देश के प्रत्येक किसान को इस बात का भरोसा देता हूं कि एमएसपी की व्यवस्था जैसे पहले चलती रही थी वैसे ही चलती रहने वाली है। इसी तरह हर सीजन में सरकारी खरीद के लिए जिस तरह अभियान चलाया जाता है, वो भी पहले की तरह चलते रहेंगे।"


The Prime Minister also assured that the government procurement systems will continue unhindered and the passage of the bills does not affect them in any manner.


"कई जगह ये भी सवाल उठाया जा रहा है कि अब कृषि मंडियों का क्या होगा। क्या कृषि मंडियां बंद हो जाएगी? क्या वहां पर खरीद बंद हो जाएगी? जी नहीं, ऐसा कतई नहीं होगा और मैं यहां स्पष् कर देना चाहता हूं कि ये कानून, ये बदलाव, कृषि मंडियों के खिलाफ नहीं है। कृषि मंडियों में काम जैसे पहले होता था, वैसे ही अब भी होगा, बल्कि ये हमारी ही एनडीए सरकार है जिसने देश की कृषि मंडियों को आधुनिक बनाने के लिए निरंतर काम किया है।"


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar thanked  the Prime Minister  for the agriculture reform Bills. Mr Kumar said, these bills will be helpful for the welfare of farmers.


Earlier, Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone of nine highway projects worth 14,258 crore rupees in Bihar. These highway projects involve a road length of about 350 kilometres. Prominent road projects are six laning of 39 km stretch of Patna Ring road, four laning of Ara-Mohania section of NH 30, Bakhtiarpur-Rajauli section of NH 31 and four laning of Narenpur-Purnea section of NH 131A. Mr Modi said that paving the way for development of Bihar, these roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in and around the state.


"बिहार में कनेक्टिविटी को बढ़ाने वाली नौ परियोजनाओं का शिलान्यास किया गया है। इन परियोजनाओं में हाइवे को फॉर लेन और सिक् लेन बनाने का और नदियों पर तीन बड़े पुलों के निर्माण का काम शामिल है।"


The Prime Minister said the Government has announced to spend more than 110 Lakh Crore rupees on infrastructure in the country in the coming 4-5 years. Out of this, projects worth more than 19 lakh crore rupees are allocated for the development of Highways alone.


The Prime Minister also inaugurated the Optical Fibre internet services where all the 45 thousand nine hundred 45 villages of Bihar have been connected through Optical Fibre Internet Service.


Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, Bihar will get a major boost in the bridge sector with the inauguration of three mega bridges. The Prime Minister also urged the people of the country not to lower their guard in the fight against coronavirus and maintain the precautions to prevent its spread.


"इस साल कोरोना संक्रमण के दौरान भी रबी सीजन में किसानों से गेहूं की रिकॉर्ड खरीदी की गई। इस साल रबी में गेहूं, धान, दलहन और तिलहन को मिलाकर किसानों को एक लाख 13 हजार करोड़ रुपये एमएसपी पर दिया गया है। ये राशि भी पिछले साल के मुकाबले 30 प्रतिशत से ज्यादा है। यानी कोरोना काल में सिर्फ रिकॉर्ड सरकारी खरीद हुई, बल्कि किसानों को रिकॉर्ड भुगतान भी किया गया है।"


On the occasion, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said all gram panchayats in Bihar have been connected with high - speed  broadband under BharatNet. Mr Prasad said the next step will be extending internet connectivity to the villages under gram panchayats.


Union Power Minister R K Singh said, 70 thousand crore will be invested in the energy sector in Bihar. He said, electricity in all houses has been made available before the specified time.

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The Government has increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of six Rabi Crops. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, in his statement made in the Lok Sabha today informed that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has cleared the hike in MSP of Rabi Crops including Wheat, Chana, Masoor, Mustard, Jowar and Safflower.


The MSP of wheat has been increased by 50 rupees and now stands at one thousand 975 rupees per quintal whereas the MSP for Masoor has been hiked by 300 rupees. Mustard’s MSP has been raised by 225 rupees while the same for Chana also has been hiked by 225 rupees. Increase in Jowar's MSP is by 75 rupees while the same for Safflower has been hiked by 112 rupees per quintal.


Mr. Tomar informed that the government has sanctioned nearly 7 lakh crore rupees to the farmers for the government procurements in the last 6 years which is almost double the amount that was sanctioned from 2009 to 2014 in the UPA government's tenure.


"हमने छह साल के भीतर नरेन्द्र मोदी जी के नेतृत् में एमएसपी के भुगतान के रूप में सात लाख करोड़ रुपया किसानों को भुगतान किया है, जो यूपीए सरकार से लगभग दोगुना है, जो नरेन्द्र मोदी जी ने कहा वो एमएसपी घोषित करके उसको आज हमने प्रमाणित किया है।"


The minister said, the hike in MSP reflects the government’s commitment to guarantee MSP and government procurement in the country.  He reiterated that the recently passed farm bills in the Parliament do not impact MSP or provisions of APMC Act in any way. Mr. Tomar also appealed to the farmers not to fall prey to the false or misleading political tactics of the opposition parties.

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Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has termed the unruly behaviour of opposition members against the Deputy Chairperson of  Rajya Sabha  Harivansh as shameful, irresponsible and in utter disregard to the probity and propriety of  Parliamentary democracy. Briefing media in New Delhi, Mr Prasad alleged that the agenda of the oppostion was not to allow the government to  pass the two farm bills in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.


In reply to a question, Parlaimentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the bills are not being passed in both the House in a hurried manner. He said, the Lok Sabha has passed all the 11 bills related to the various ordinaces while nine were passed in the Rajya Sabha and two are pending. He said, no decision has been taken on curtailing the period of monsoon session of Parliament.

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Parliament gave its nod to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 with the Lok Sabha passing it by voice vote today. In his reply after the discussion on the bill, Union Minister of State for Home Ministry, Nityanand Rai said the bill ensures that foreign funds are not utilized to tamper the social fabric or disturb the internal security in the country. He said, the legislation will bring transparency in the transaction of foreign contributions and their usage.


The Bill seeks to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 which regulates the acceptance and utilisation of foreign contribution by individuals, associations, NGOs and companies in the country. The bill adds public servants among the list of entities prohibited to accept any foreign contribution which already includes election candidates, editor or publisher of a newspaper, judges, government servants, members of any legislature, and political parties, among others.

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India has occupied the top position in the world in terms of total recoveries of Covid patients. The Health Ministry said, India's recoveries constitute 19 per cent of the total global recoveries. It said, more than 43 lakh 96 thousand Covid patients have recovered till date. The total global recoveries in the USA is 18.70 per cent, Brazil 16.90 per cent and Russia is 4 per cent.


The Ministry said the country's recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has reached 80.12 per cent. During the last 24 hours, more than 93 thousand COVID patients have recovered.


The total cases of COVID-19 in India have crossed 54 lakh with 86 thousand 961 new infections being reported in a day. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is over 10 lakh.

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In Maharashtra, 20 people have been rescued so far from the debris of the collapsed Jilani building in Bhivandi of Thane District. Death toll has increased to 13. Guardian minister of Thane Eknath Shinde has announced 5 lakh rupees each to the kin of the deceased and said an enquiry will be ordered in this case. The rescue operation is still on as more people are feared trapped under the debris.


"The rescue operation is still on as there is a possibility of more people trapped under the debris of the ill-fated Jilani building that collapsed in the wee hours today in the powerloom city of Thane district. Even after rescuing 20 people from the debris, NDRF teams, Thane Disaster Response Team and other rescue teams are doing their best efforts to extricate people feared trapped under the rubble. Search is on with the help of NDRF’s dog squad. Guardian Minister Eknath Shinde visited the spot and took stock of the rescue work and announced government’s assistance to the kin of the dead. Leader of opposition in the state legislative council Pravin Darekar also visited the sight of the mishap. Shailesh Patil., Air News, Mumbai"

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WE BEGIN WITH REVIEW OF PROCEEDINGS IN THE LOK SABHA.


The Lok Sabha today passed the Foreign Contribution Regulation (Amendment) Bill 2020 (FCRA) by a voice while negating amendments moved by opposition.


Replying to criticism of opposition members, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai made it clear that the proposed law is not against any religion or any NGO as alleged by some of them. There is nothing like that, he said.


The Minister asserted that It is not for suppressing anyone but it is for those who work to undermine Indian people and its democracy. Several opposition members suggested that the bill be referred to the Standing Committee of House. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress alleged that the government had a political agenda behind the bill as it is trying to target its rivals through the provisions of the legislation.


Mr. Rai said the proposed law will bring more transparency.


The bill, introduced in the House on Sunday, seeks to make providing the Aadhar numbers of the office-bearers of any NGO mandatory for registration and public servants will be barred from receiving funds from abroad. It also proposes to enable the Centre to allow an NGO or association to surrender its FCRA certificate.


The Minister had earlier said there would be no discrimination and the permission which was given earlier to religious institutions for foreign contributions under the Act, will continue. But these institutions should not deviate from their objective and not be a threat to the country's security, he said.


The draft bill proposes that not more than 20 per cent of the total foreign funds received could be spent on administrative expenses. Presently, the limit is 50 per cent.


During the Zero Hour, Manish Tewari of the Congress demanded that the Centre should assure farmers that the government will continue to procure paddy and wheat at Minimum Support Price (MSP) as the passage of the two farm-related Bills has created apprehension among the farming community whether the Food Corporation of India (FCI) will purchase their crops. He also said the government should ensure the Food Corporation, the nodal agency for procurement and distribution of food grains, continue to give funds to state procurement agencies to carry out purchase operations smoothly.


Mr. Tewari hails from Punjab which contributes a significant quantity of food-grains to the central pool.


Raising the matter, Mr. Tewari said paddy procurement will start in the country from October last week.


Mr. Tiwari said due to the passage of the Agriculture related bills, there is an apprehension in the minds of crores of farmers whether the government agencies will carry out procurement operations or not. The MSP is relevant only when these agencies buy paddy from farmers, he said, adding that today crores of farmers are protesting on roads.


The government has already made it clear that the procurement of farmers' produce by government agencies will continue and the MSP mechanism will also continue. His party colleague Shashi Tharoor raised issues related to fishermen in Kerala. He said the fishermen community was hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdown and floods, and urged the government to provide additional relief to state government to expedite compensation and other support to help them tide over the exceedingly difficult period.


Sangeeta Azad of the BSP raised the matter related to the appointment of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes candidates in different universities in Uttar Pradesh including in the University of Allahabad and Purvanchal University. She alleged that SC/ST candidates were declared ineligible in interviews despite the fact that some of the students were highly educated. She demanded those vacancies be filled.


Making a statement, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced that the government procurement of farmers' produce at minimum support price will continue. He accused the opposition of spreading false propaganda.


The Centre today hiked the minimum support price of wheat by 50 rupees per quintal to 1,975 rupees per quintal to encourage farmers to increase cultivation of the crop.


The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was announced by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the Lok Sabha.


The announcement comes in the backdrop of widespread protests by Opposition parties as also by farmer groups in Punjab, Haryana and some other states after Parliament passed two key farm bills on Sunday, which the government says will give farmers' marketing freedom and better price for their produce.


Mr. Tomar said the CCEA has approved increasing MSP of six rabi crops. Wheat MSP has been increased by 50 rupees per quintal to 1,975 rupees per quintal. The minister said the government has always maintained that MSP and APMC mechanisms will continue as against the false propaganda spread by Opposition parties. Some Congress members walked out of the House after Mr. Tomar made the announcement about MSPs.


The Lok Sabha also took up the Insolvency and Bankruptcy code (amendment) Bill 2020 for consideration and passage.


Participating in the discussion on the bill, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the constitutional measure of bringing ordinance should be resorted to as an exception and not rule. Criticising the bill, which replaces an ordinance, he said it is weakly constructed with minimum logic and a lot of grey area. He said it is nothing but aimed at patronising the government preferred corporates. He alleged that the MSME sector will be its worst casualty. The bill does not safeguard any stakeholder, and the government is trying to save corporate debtors. He also claimed that under the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CRIP), the success rate has been very low. There has been a poor and dismal performance, he said, referring to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.


Countering his criticism, Nishikant Dubey of the BJP said the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has changed the culture, and its recovery rate has been between 42.5 per cent  to 45 per cent.


All the non-performing assets of Rs 14 lakh crore on banks that the Modi government inherited happened during the UPA government's time, he said.


The recovery rate under various laws during the UPA government was anywhere between three to 14 per cent, Mr Dubey said, adding that the bill was required to save industry and people's employment, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said people have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is working to save the country from the pandemic. He hit out at the Congress, saying it is the same party which questioned people's faith in Lord Ram.


Pratima Mondal of Trinamool Congress said the bill is a classic example of good intentions but bad drafting. The YSR Congress party  welcomed it.


Supriya Sule of the NCP spoke about the woes of Jet airways and asked as to why when it is being treated differently from a government-run airline like company like Air India.


When a government-run company makes mistake, it is alright but in the case of a private company, it is always corruption, she alleged, adding that the Jet Airways has a huge hub and employment.


Pinaki Misra of Biju Janata Dal said the legislation is very much in order but wondered as to who an important body like National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has remained headless for so long. Discussion was continuing till the writing of the .

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NOW REVIEW OF PROCEEDINGS IN RAJYA SABHA.


Eight Rajya Sabha members have been suspended from the House for the remaining part of Monsoon Session for their unruly behaviour during the passage of two bills relating to the farming sector yesterday.


They are Rajiv Satav, Ripun Bora and Nazeer Hussain--all Congress, Derek O’Brien and Dola Sen, both Trinamool Congress, K.K. Ragesh and Elamaram Kareem, both CPI-M and Sanjay Singh of Aam Aadmi Party. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, V. Muraleedharan moved the motion to suspend these members for creating ruckus and disrespecting the Chair by their unruly behaviour. The motion was accepted with voice vote and thereafter Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu announced the names of the suspended members in the House.


Mr. Naidu also condemned yesterday's incident terming it unacceptable and condemnable. He also said that the incident has tarnished the image of the Upper House. Mr. Naidu also said some members used un-parliamentary language and threatened Deputy Chairman Harivansh, who was conducting the House proceedings. Mr. Naidu said that the agitating members also defied social distancing and other COVID norms by trooping into the well of House.


The Chairman rejected the No Confidence motion moved by the 46 opposition members against the Deputy Chairman, Harivansh citing that the notice was not in the proper format. He said, it does not fulfil the requirement of fourteen days’ notice period for moving the no-confidence motion.


Earlier, after the laying of papers, members raised several issues of public importance during Zero Hour. Binoy Viswam (CPI) made the demand to provide face masks free of cost to poor and vulnerable sections of society to help them combat the threat of pandemic. He said the masks must of good quality so that the spread of COVID-19 can be prevented.


G K Vasan of TMC-M raised the issue of manual scavenging, and said scavenging of sewers and gutters manually goes against human dignity. He said it will lead to promote discrimination in the society as only persons belonging to particular sections of society are engaged in manual scavenging. He reminded that there have been more than 100 deaths of scavengers while cleaning the gutters last year.


Stating that in the interest of social justice and safety of the scavengers, he appealed to the Government to enforce the laws strictly or bring in a new powerful law so that the country put an end the shameful practice for ever.


Anil Desai of Shiv Sena raised the issue of using harmful and poisonous pesticides by farmers. He said some pesticides are not good and have harmful effects on the health of farmers, he said adding in recent years 63 farmers died while spraying these pesticides in cotton, soybean, and other crops in Yavatmal and other districts of Maharashtra.


P L Punia of Congress sought deployment of 7 CRPF battalions in Chhattisgarh that were sanctioned in 2018 for anti-Naxal operations. He said 10 CRPS battalions have been freed from Jammu and Kashmir recently and these can be used to deploy the promised 7 battalions in Chhattisgarh to tackle Naxal threat.


Dola Sen of Trinamool Congress raised the issue of contractual employees of BSNL not being paid wages since April 2019. She said BSNL has offered VRS to its permanent works but has failed to pay the contractual workers. Prasanna Acharya of Biju Janata Dal demanded naming of the Paradip port in Odisha after Biju Patnaik as per the central government policy of renaming important ports in the memory of great sons of India.


Biju Patnaik is one of the builders of modern Odisha, he said adding he was a pilot who rescued the freedom fighters of Indonesia from the clutches of Dutch in 1948.


Mr Acharya said Biju Patnaik was the founding father of Paradip Port Trust in Odisha.


P Wilson of DMK raised the issue of the Union Public Service Commission, the Staff Selection Commission and other recruiting bodies planning to hold entrance examinations from October 4 in various states simultaneously. He said these entrance examinations are going to be conducted flouting the ICMR norms endangering the public health and public interest. He said the competitive examinations are not like qualifying examinations which should be held without any delay.


He sought postponement of all competitive examinations which are to be held in October and November.


K C Venugopal of Congress said banks are refusing to give loans to the small and micro enterprises (MSME).


Roopa Ganguly (BJP), in a special mention, demanded standardising guidelines to address loss and inconvenience to passengers due to changes in flight routes during Covid-19. Subhash Chandra Singh of BJD sought setting up of a committee to revise MGNREGA norms to benefit migrant workers affected by lockdown.


Ripun Bora of the Congress demanded stopping of privatisation of Guwahati airport while K K Ragesh of the CPI-M wanted Chitrakoot to be developed as a tourism centre.


Dr. Amar Patnaik (BJD) sought classical status to Odissi music.


The Upper House today witnessed five adjournments before adjourning finally for the day on account of protests by opposition members. 

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In Italian open tennis, top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania lifted the Women's Singles title as Czech player Karolína Pliskova retired half way following injury in the finals played this evening at Rome. Halep was leading 6-0, 2-1 when the defending champion Pliskova retired hurt.


Meanwhile, in Men's singles final, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic is facing Diego Schwartzman of Argentina for the title.

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In IPL Cricket, Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and chose to field against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Dubai International Stadium this evening.


When the reports last came in, Royal Challengers had scored 131 runs losing 3 wickets in 17 overs.

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


The National Capital Delhi will have a partly cloudy sky. It will have a minimum temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and maximum of 35 degrees.


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


Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius.


Kolkata will witness clear sky with thunderstorm and rain. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 25 degrees while the maximum will be 31.


On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 24 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 37 degrees. The city will have a mainly clear sky.


In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be around 9 degrees while the maximum will be 29 degrees. The city will have a mainly clear sky.


Ladakh will also have a mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between 8 and 24 degree Celsius.


In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 11 and 34 degrees.


In Muzzafarabad, the temperature will hover between 16 and 35 degrees.

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