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News Highlights
Campaigning for first phase of assembly elections gains momentum in Bihar            COVID-19 recovery rate in country crosses 89 pct            Indigenously built ASW stealth corvette INS Kavaratti to be commissioned into Navy today            Inter-Ministerial team to visit Telangana to assess flood damage            IPL: Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 wickets           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS

2030 HRS.

23rd September, 2020


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a high level virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers of six COVID high caseload States and Delhi.

  • COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 81.25 percent.

  • Parliament passes three labour code Bills for the welfare of workers.

  • Railways target to complete 100 per cent electrification of broad gauge routes by 2023.

  • In IPL cricket, Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and chose to bowl against Mumbai Indians.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the limit of use of SDRF fund by states has been increased to 50 per cent from 35 per cent. Chairing a high level virtual meeting with the Chief Ministers and Health Ministers of six COVID high burden States and Union Territory of Delhi today, Mr Modi said, the funds have been increased for States to tackle covid situation. He reviewed the status and preparedness of COVID response and management. More than 63 per cent of the active cases of the country are concentrated in these six States and a Union Territory. These are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Delhi.

Prime Minister said, tracking and tracing network needs to be strengthened. He also stressed  the need for more focus in testing and treating and tracking. He said, mask plays a crucial role to curb the spread of virus. He said, even during difficult times, India has fulfilled the needs of the world with life-saving medicines. In such a scenario, seamless transport of medicines  must be ensured from one State to the other. Prime Minister said, common public is unnecessarily disturbed by the stopping of goods between States. He said, this affects both people and livelihood. Mr Modi said, constant monitoring will help in continuing the supply chain. Mr Modi also said, while fighting COVID-19, people need to move ahead with full strength on economic front.

"एक राज् से दूसरे राज् के बीच दवाईयां आसानी से पहुंचे, यह हमें सबने मिलकर के ही देखना होगा। संयम, संवेदना, संवाद और सहयोग की जो प्रतिबद्धता है इस कोरोना काल में देश ने दिखाई है उसको हमें और आगे जारी रखना है। संक्रमण के विस्द्ध लड़ाई के साथ-साथ अब आर्थिक मोर्चे पर भी हमें पूरी ताकत से आगे बढ़ना है। हमारे साझा प्रयास जरूर सफल होंगे।"


India's COVID-19 cases crossed 56 lakh tally with 83,347 infections being reported in a day, while over 45 lakh people have recovered from the disease so far. The Corona virus caseload surged to 56,46,010, while the death toll climbed to 90,020 with 1,085 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours. The total recoveries surged to 45,87,613 in the country so far. The recovery rate improves to 81.25 per cent today.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate due to the Corona virus infection has dropped to 1.59 per cent. There are 9 lakh 68,377 active cases of the  infection in the country which comprises 17.15 per cent of the total caseload.

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of six crore sixty two lakh seventy nine thousand four hundred sixty two samples (6,62,79,462 samples) have been tested up to 22nd of September with 9 lakh 53,683 samples being tested yesterday.


In Odisha, 4237 more people were found positive taking the covid-19 caseload of the state to one lakh ninety two thousand five hundred forty eight. With the recovery of 3834 persons, the total recovery of the State has also gone up to one lakh fifty three thousand two hundred thirteen. The State now has an active caseload of 38546.

"For the last few days, the daily viral of surge in Odisha continues to be in the vicinity of 4 thousand. Yet another  cause for concern is the steadiness with which the viral virulence has been proclaiming itself particularly in Khordha- the home district of capital Bhubaneswar and Cuttack-the adjacent district, for the last so many days.  Khordha with 647 and Cuttack with 577 new cases continue to top the covid-19 tally among all the 30 districts of the state, and that too by a wide enough margin. The silver lining however is about half the districts of the state have thus far managed to suppress the viral spread down below 100 cases, on any given day. Girish Chandra Dash, Bhubaneswar"


In Meghalaya, 170 new COVID 19 cases were registered today taking the total number of active cases to 2060 while 153 COVID 19 patients recovered bringing the number of recoveries to 2859.

Out of the 153 recoveries registered today, 113 are from East Khasi hills, 17 from Ri Bhoi, 17 from West Garo Hills, three from South West Garo Hills, two from East Jaintia Hills and one from South Garo Hills district.

The Director of Health Services, Dr Aman War said that out of the four new COVID 19 deaths registered today three are from East Khasi Hills district and one from South West Garo Hills district. He added that all the patients had underlying medical conditions and the number of COVID fatalities have reached 42.

So far the State has detected a total of 4961 COVID 19 cases out of which 2060 are active, 2859 recovered and 42 deceased.


In the past twenty four hours, two persons including a 5 years old boy expired in Manipur due to COVID-19 positive thus increasing the total fatality due to the pandemic in Manipur to 62.

Meanwhile, 96 people including 19 personnel of the Central Armed Police Force were confirmed as COVID-19 positive cases in the past twenty four hours in the State while 221 persons were discharged.

So far Manipur has recorded total positive cases of 9376 and out of this 7108 were fully recovered and discharged from different COVID Care Centres. The number of active cases now stands at 2206. Recovery rate is 75.81 per cent.


Parliament has passed the three labour code Bills for the welfare and protection of workers. Rajya Sabha gave its nod to these bills today while Lok Sabha had already passed it yesterday.The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020, seeks to amend the laws regulating the occupational safety, health and working conditions of the persons employed in an establishment. The second Bill, The Industrial Relations Code 2020, aims at amending the laws relating to Trade Unions, conditions of employment in industrial establishment or undertaking, investigation and settlement of industrial disputes. The third Bill,The Code on Social Security, 2020 seeks to amend the laws relating to social security of the employees in the country. Replying to a discussion on the Bill, Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said that these historic Bills will have far-reaching effects on the interests of the workers by creating a time bound grievance resolution mechanism. He said, several provisions have been included in the Bills to provide a safe environment to the workers and robust social security mechanism.

He clarified that the government has not taken away the rights of labourers to protest. He said, 14 days of prior notice period for strike has been put there to find an amicable solution of the issues to be raised by the labourers. He added that several provisions have been made for the welfare of the migrant workers. He said process of licencing will be made online soon.

Intervening in the discussion, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that these historic Bills will ensure justice for the workers. He said, several provisions have been made in the Bills including guaranteed minimum and timely wages, free health check-up facility and allowances for migrant workers to visit their homes once in a year. He criticized the Opposition for their absence during the passage of such important legislations.


Talking to AIR News, General Secretary of All India Railway Men's Federation S G Mishra said, the three labour code Bills passed by Parliament have given lot of relief to more than 40 crore unorganised workers.


The Railways has planned for 100 per cent electrification of its broad gauge routes by 2023. This was stated by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

The Minister informed that around 63 per cent broad gauge lines have already been electrified out of a total 63 thousand 631 route kilometers as on 1st of April this year. He said, a total of 23 thousand 765 route kilometre lines are yet to be electrified in the country. In another question, the Railway Minister said, the vacant land of Railways which is not required for its immediate operational needs is utilized in the interim period for commercial development to mobilize additional financial resources. He said, station redevelopment is planned by leveraging real estate potential of spareable land and air spaces in and around the station by inviting private participation.


Rajya Sabha has returned the Appropriation Bills, 2020 without discussion. The Appropriation (No.3) Bill, 2020 provides the authorization of appropriation of money out of the consolidated fund of India to meet the amount spent on certain services during the financial year ended on the 31st March 2017 in excess of amounts granted for those services as passed by Lok Sabha.

The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2020 authorize payment and appropriation of certain further sums from and out of the consolidated fund of India for the services of the financial year 2020-21 as passed by the Lok Sabha.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman moved the Bills which were returned with voice vote.


Members from Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha today held a protest in Parliament House premises against the two Farm Bills. Displaying placards, the members staged a protest march against the passage of the Bills.


Rajya Sabha was today adjourned sine die eight days ahead of the scheduled time of the Monsoon Session in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Monsoon Session which had begun on 14th of this month was scheduled to end on 1st of next month.

In his remarks, Chairman, M. Venkaiah Naidu said that 25 bills were passed and six were introduced in the Upper House during the 10-day session.


Lok Sabha passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 today. The Bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in the country and provide greater autonomy to these ports.  It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. The legislation provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port. These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.

Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya while replying after the discussion on the Bill said that it will make the major ports in the country more autonomous and provide major thrust in the maritime sector. He said, the Bill will help the ports develop world class infrastructure and will also enhance transparency in their functioning.

After passing the Bill, Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with fitness influencers and citizens during a nation-wide online Fit India Dialogue tomorrow. The Dialogue is being organized to celebrate the first anniversary of the Fit India Movement.

The online interaction will see participants sharing anecdotes and tips of their own fitness journey while drawing out guidance from the Prime Minister on his thoughts about fitness and good health. Among those who will participate range from Virat Kohli to Milind Soman to Rujuta Diwekar in addition to other fitness influencers.

In times of Covid-19, fitness has become an even more important aspect of life. This dialogue will see a timely and fruitful conversation on nutrition, wellness and various other aspects of fitness.



Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die today eight days ahead of the scheduled end of the Monsoon Session due to the spread of Corona virus. The House has passed 25 bills during 10 sittings without any break. Six new Bills were introduced. The Session which started on 14th of September was to end on the first of October. This was for the first time the members were seated at different locations and the Chambers of both the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Referring to the difficult times due to Covid-19, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu observed that the 252nd Session of the House had registered over one hundred per cent utilization of the time. He said as against the scheduled available time of 38 hours and 30 minutes, the actual functional time of the House has been 38 hours and 41 minutes. He said 1,567 unstarred questions were replied in writing by the government. Members raised issues of urgent public importance during Zero Hour and 66 Special Mentions on which a total time of four hours 15 minutes was spent. Mr. Naidu said despite the pandemic, 198 members have participated in the discussions on various Bills. He lauded the members for the productivity of the session but lamented the unpleasant turn of events during the session. He appealed to all members to ensure that such unseemly behaviour is not repeated.

The Chairman recalled that in 1997 and 2012, the House had resolved that all members will uphold the dignity of the House by complying with the Rules and Procedures and urged members to ensure the smooth functioning of the House. The Chairman said he has been associated with the Upper House for the 22 years and got anguished whenever Bills are passed in the din. The Chairman said he was pained at the turn of events and had to perforce take action against members as per Rules and Procedures. He also lamented that some members announced the boycott of the House. Mr. Naidu said if the legislative work is not taken up during the boycott by some sections, it may legitimise such boycotts as an effective instrument of blocking legislation. Mr Naidu said though the current Session has been satisfying in terms of productivity, there have been some areas of concern as well. He underlined the need for pondering over such issues for making a difference in future. The Chairman lamented that for the first time in the history of the august House, a notice of motion for removal of the Deputy Chairman was given, which has been rejected. He further said the developments in the House surrounding this unprecedented move have been deeply painful for all those who hold the stature and the dignity of this august House dear to their hearts. Mr. Naidu said the overall productivity of the last four Sessions comes to a praiseworthy 96.13 per cent. This high productivity for four consecutive sessions is the best during the last five years, he noted.

The Upper House passed 15 Bills in the last two sittings with opposition parties boycotting the proceedings to protest the suspension of eight members on Monday for their unruly behaviour during the passage of two key bills relating to the farming sector. The Chairman said though it is not for the first time that some members are suspended and bills are passed when some sections of the House boycotted the proceedings. It is extremely unpalatable, the Chairman observed. In his concluding remarks, the Chairman said this kind of situation needs to be avoided by all means. The House passed key Bills including three on labour reforms, two Appropriation Bills and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment.

Rajya Sabha bid farewell to eleven of its members who will retire in November this year. They include Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Veer Singh of Bahujan Samaj Party and Raj Babbar of Congress. Other members who will retire are Javed Ali Khan, Chandrapal Singh Yadav and Ravi Prakash Verma-all of the Samajwadi Party, P L Punia of the Congress, Rajaram of BSP, Neeraj Shekhar and Arun Singh, both of BJP.



Lok Sabha was adjourned sine die. The House has passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 after discussion. The Bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in the country and provide greater autonomy to these ports.  It seeks to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. The legislation provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.  These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts. Union Shipping Minister Mansukhlal Mandaviya while initiating the discussion said that bill would make the major ports in the country more autonomous and provide major thrust in the maritime sector. A BJP member in Lok Sabha today raised the issue of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook allegedly arbitrarily censuring the content posted by users, especially those with, what he called a nationalistic approach and sought protection of such content. Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, Tejasvi Surya of the BJP said for a long time, there have been many credible allegations made against the Twitter, Facebook and their affiliates of arbitrary and unilateral regulation and ensuring of content posted by third party users. He said this posed a significant Constitutional challenge not only on the grounds of unreasonable restrict of free speech but also amounts to illegal interference during elections.

The MP said Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms claim themselves to be intermediaries within the meaning of the term under the IT Act, 2000. He said the key element of this definition is that the role of the said intermediaries is limited to processing, storing and transmitting data of third party users and does not include intervention on content of the users and therefore, Section 79 of the Act provides these intermediaries exemption from liability. An intermediary receives protection that a regular publisher does not receive, he said. Mr.Surya said while this is the explicit spirit of the statute, the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, while laying down what sort of third party content must be prohibited by the privacy policy and terms and conditions of the intermediary, goes far beyond the remit of Article 19(2) of the Constitution read with Section 79 and 69 of the IT Act. It essentially empowers private party intermediaries to remove on the basis of user complaints or suo moto any content deemed to be in violation of its guidelines, he said.

He said these guidelines are not only ultra vires the parent statute but also is unconstitutional as the grounds it provides are so wide that it will fail the standards of constitutionality set out by Supreme Court in Shreya Singhal case while striking down Sec 66 A of the IT Act. They are problematic because they empower private enterprises performing essentially a public function to act as censors as free speech without govt oversight, thus effectively and severely impacting safeguards of fundamental right to free speech, he said. He urged the government to repeal such unconstitutional guidelines and issue new ones to govern social media platforms, thereby protecting the fundamental right to free speech of our citizens and protect our democracy from foreign interference, he said. 


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

The National Capital Delhi will have partly cloudy sky. It will have a minimum temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and maximum of 37 degrees.

In Mumbai, there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature will be 25 degrees Celsius and the maximum 28 degrees.

Chennai will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius.

Kolkata will witness generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 27 degrees celsius while the maximum will be 32 degrees.

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 mainly clear sky.

In Srinagar, Ladakh, Gilgit and Muzzafarabad, there will be mainly clear sky. In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be 10 degrees celsius and the maximum 30. In Ladakh, the temperature will hover between 8 and 27 degrees Celsius. In Gilgit, the minimum temperature will be 15 degrees celsius and maximum 31. In Muzzafarabad, the temperature will hover between 15 and 36 degrees Celsius.


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its programme  SPOTLIGHT will broadcast an Interview with Director General of  Employees' State Insurance Corporation and Additional Secretary in  Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms Anuradha Prasad, on  reforms in labour laws.

This can be heard tonight on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies  from 9.15 PM onwards. This programme will also be available on our  website NEWSONAIR.COM and on our YouTube  Channel NEWSONAIROFFICIAL. You can listen to it on our mobile app news on AIR.


In IPL Cricket, Mumbai Indians were 142 for 2 in 14.2 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders at Abu Dhabi a short-while ago.Earlier, Kolkata won the toss and choose to bowl. Yesterday, Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 16 runs at Sharjah.

In tomorrow's encounter, Kings Eleven Punjab will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated Defence Research and Development Organization for successfully conducting test firing of Laser Guided Anti-Tank Guided Missile from MBT Arjun at K K Ranges in Ahmednagar. In a tweet, the Minister said, India is proud of Team DRDO which is assiduously working towards reducing import dependency in the near future.


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