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News Highlights
Centre appeals to Farmers to suspend protests and Join Talks; 4th Round of talks on Thursday            J&K: Phase-2 of District Development Council elections conducted peacefully ; 48.62% voter turnout recorded            FPI inflows in October and November witness a significant resurgence            India reports new daily COVID-19 cases below 50 thousand mark for 24 consecutive days            India to take on Australia in third and final ODI at Canberra: Live Commentary on All India Radio           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
23.10.2020

THE HEADLINEs:

  • Prime Minister and Senior BJP leader Narendra Modi launches his election campaign for Bihar Assembly Elections from Sasaram; Says Opposition is misleading people on new Farm Laws.
  • Congress leader Rahul Gandhi holds two rallies; BSP chief Mayawati addresses election meeting in Kaimur today.
  • COVID-19 recovery rate reaches 89.53 per cent; Active caseload of country falls below seven lakh for the first time after nearly two months
  • Maha Saptami is being celebrated across the country with religious fervor and gaiety.
  • In IPL Cricket, Chennai Super Kings to clash with Mumbai Indians in Sharjah today.

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As the nation fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps --

  • Wear a face mask.

  • Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.

  • Focus on hand and face hygiene. 

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Prime Minister and Senior BJP leader Narendra Modi has said that the voters of Bihar have taken a resolve that they won't let those who have a history of making the state 'Bimaru' come near them. He was addressing his first rally to launch the electoral campaign for the State Assembly Elections at Dehri-on-Sone in Sasaram today.

हर चुनाव में ऐसा भी होता है, जब कुछ लोग भ्रम फैलाने के लिए एक-दो चेहरों को अचानक बड़ा दिखाने लग जाते है। कभी किसी नई शक्ति के उभरने की बातें फैलाई जाती है, लेकिन इसका मतदान पर कोई असर नहीं पड़ता। बिहार का मतदाता तो इतना समझदार है कि वो भ्रम फैलाने वालों की हर कोशिश को खुद ही नाकाम कर रहा है। बिहार के लोगों ने ठान लिया है कि जिनका इतिहास बिहार को बीमारू बनाने का है। उन्‍हें आसपास भी नहीं फटकने देंगे।

Mr Modi said, NDA Government abrogated Article 370, but the Opposition wants it back. He categorically said, the government is firm on this decision. He said, Opposition is also misguiding people over new Farm Laws. Mr Modi said, Mandi and MSP are excuses, the Opposition wants to save the brokers and middlemen.

He said, the people who once ruled Bihar are again looking at the developing state with their greedy eyes. But, Bihar must not forget who pushed them backward, that was the time when there was worsening law and order situation and corruption in the state. He exhorted people to vote for the National Democratic Alliance to speed up the ongoing development works in the state.

Mr. Modi said, the Nitish Kumar-led NDA Government in the state is essential for the prosperity of the people of the state. He congratulated the people of Bihar for their strong fight against COVID-19.

Addressing another election meeting at Gaya, Mr. Narendra Modi slammed the Mahagathbandhan for supporting Naxals. Mr. Modi said, in the last few years, a lot of efforts and strict actions have been taken to limit the activities of Naxals in the country. Naxal presence has now been restricted to limited areas.

Mr Modi further said that the NDA is committed to empowering Bihar. He said, the Opposition is rattled by development measures undertaken by NDA Government.

Mr Modi will be holding a rally in Bhagalpur later.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will also launch his campaign in Bihar today. He will address two rallies in Nawada and Bhagalpur district. BSP Supremo Mayawati will address election meeting in Kaimur. 71 seats spread over 16 districts will go to polls in the first phase on the 28th of this month.

 Meanwhile, today is the last day for withdrawal of nominations for the Third and Final Phase of Assembly elections in the State. In this phase, total 1,249 nominations have been declared valid after scrutiny for 78 constituencies spread over 15 districts. The polling will be held on the 7th of November for this phase. For the bye-poll of Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha Constituency, seven nominations have been found valid. For the by-poll, polling will also be held simultaneously on the 7th of next month.

Campaigning has reached its peak for the first phase of elections as only three days are left for campaigning to end. Stalwarts, senior leaders and star campaigners of all political parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters.

"Senior RJD leader Tejaswi Prasad Yadav alleged that the 15 years of tenure of Nitish Kumar led government is an era of betrayal with youth and poors. He was addressing a rally in Koch in Gaya. Lok Janshakti Party President Chirag Paswan addressed a public meeting at Chakai in Jamui. He blamed that corruption is prevalent in every government department. Mr Paswan said if voted to power it will be curbed. Addressing rallies in support of CPI-ML candidates, senior leader Dipankar Bhattacharya said people of Bihar want change and this election will witness ouster of NDA from the state. Jan Adhikar Party chief Pappu Yadav also addressed multiple rallies in support of party candidates. Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News Patna"

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Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Senior BJP leader claimed a Nitish Kumar-led NDA Government will be constituted after the Bihar Assembly Elections. Talking to reporters in Patna today, Mr Prasad said, free Corona vaccine will be distributed among the people of Bihar with assistance of the Centre.

"कोरोना वैक्सिन जब बन जाएगी। बिहार में हमारी सरकार बन रही है तो बिहार सरकार केंद्र सरकार के साथ सहयोग कर बिहार के कोरोना पीडि़त लोगों को ये वैक्सिन मुफ्त उपलब्‍ध कराएगी और जो कोरोना पीडि़त नहीं भी हैं उनके लिए भी उपलब्‍ध कराई जाएगी। ये बहुत ही सीधा हमारा संकल्‍प है, लेकिन सबसे आश्‍चर्य लग रहा है कुछ लोग इसको कह रहे है ये राजनीतिक मुद्दा है, तो क्‍या स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य की सेवा के लिए संकल्‍प करना चुनाव में नहीं होना चाहिए।

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India's indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate, COVAXIN, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has received the nod for Phase-3 clinical trials in the country. The Subject Expert Committee which functions under the drug regulator Drug Controller General of India has given approval for the last phase of clinical trials with certain conditions.

In the Third Phase of trials, which is proposed to begin in the first week of next month, the potential vaccine candidate will be tested on over 28 thousand people aged 18 years and above. These tests will be conducted across 10 states and 19 sites including Delhi, Mumbai, Patna and Lucknow among others.

Besides, Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, another indigenously developed vaccine candidate by Zydus Cadila Limited is also in Phase -2 of human clinical trials.

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India has achieved a significant milestone in its fight against COVID. The active caseload of the country has fallen below seven lakh for the first time after nearly two months. The total positive cases in the country today are six lakh 95 thousand 509 which comprises merely 8.96 per cent of the total reported cases.

With a high number of COVID patients recovering every day along with a steadily falling and sustained low mortality rate, India’s trend of registering decreasing active cases continues. India is also reporting a high number of recoveries. The total recovered cases are nearly 70  lakhs and the difference between active cases and recovered cases is also consistently increasing. The recovered cases are nearly 10 times more than the active cases.

Nearly 74 thousand patients recovered and were discharged in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases reported in the same time span stood at nearly 54 thousand. The national recovery rate has further progressed to 89.53 per cent.

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In Telangana, 1421 new cases of COVID -19 have reported during the past 24 hours. With this, the total COVID cases in the state gone up 2 lakh 29 thousand one (2,29, 001). The state conducted over 38 thousand tests yesterday. The recovery rate reported at 90.53 per cent with 1221 more people recovering yesterday.

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In Himachal Pradesh, 223 fresh COVID-19 cases were registered during the last 24 hours taking the total positive tally in the state to 19,844. However, 231 patients have also recovered from the disease yesterday. The total number of recoveries in the state stands at 16,914. On the other hand, deaths due to COVID-19 in the state rose to 279. Maximum 60 deaths each have been reported from Kangra and Shimla district. Currently, 2,623 active cases  are being treated in the state. Maximum number of 473 active cases have been reported from Mandi district followed by Shimla with 445 cases.

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In Madhya Pradesh, the number of COVID-19 cases in the state climbed to more than one lakh 64 thousand after one thousand 45 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. With 14 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll rose to two thousand 842.

"As per the state health bulletin, 1 thousand 271 corona virus patients were discharged from the hospitals in the past 24 hours taking the number of recovered cases in the state to around 1 Lakh 49 thousand. There are now 12 thousand 126 active cases in Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced  that Corona vaccine will be made available free of cost to every citizen of Madhya Pradesh. The state government has also started preparations regarding the distribution of Corona vaccine. Sources informed that private hospitals have been given a format by the government in which they have to fill the information from doctors to class IV employees.-Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal"

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In Maharashtra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is strictly implementing the use of Mask Policy and not leaving any stone unturned to let people move in public places without a mask. The Civic Body has collected one crore 65 lakh fine from the people who are not wearing masks. Eighty two per cent of the action was taken within the last 21 days.

Steady decline was seen in number of COVID cases in Mumbai as well as in the state in last few days. As the phases of unlock are unfolding, there is sharp rise in number of people in public places like roads, railway stations, shops, markets and other places. In this situation, masks have gained more importance to avoid the spread of pandemic and the Civic Body is continuously requesting people to wear masks properly in the public places and at the same time the BMC is more vigilant to implement the use of masks in public places. It has fined more than 82 thousand citizens Rs. 200 each, who did not wear masks in thesec places since first October. This has resulted in increasing the revenue of the BMC and also increasing the discipline among the citizens. Shailesh Patil, Air News, Mumbai.

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Professor of Ophthalmology at AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr. Radhika Tandon says, people should not become complacent towards COVID-19. Talking to AIR News, she said, the only way to avoid infection is to follow precautions. Dr. Tandon also advised everyone to take special care of elderly family members.

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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. Raman R Gangakhedkar, Former Head Scientist in the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division of ICMR will participate in the discussion.

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

This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 P.M. onwards. This programme will also be available on our website NEWS ON AIR DOT COM and on our YouTube Channel NEWSONAIROFFICIAL. You can also follow us on the NEWSONAIR app for s.

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Maha Saptami is being celebrated across the country with religious fervor and gaiety. Today is Mahasaptami Puja of five-day Durgotsav. The Puja began in the morning in all temples, ashrams and community pandals with Vedic hymns, playing of Conch or Shankha and beating of drums.

In Tripura, Durga Puja festival is being held  amid COVID-19 pandemic and strict health guidelines.However, less number of devotees are visiting temples and pandals. Around 2,000 Community Pujas are being organized across the state. Our Correspondent reports that amid drizzling since morning, devotees assembled in various pandals to offer Puja and Pushpanjali. They were wearing face cover and following physical distance from one another. The government has imposed strict guidelines for all Community Puja and public to prevent further spread of infection of the virus. Superintendent of Police Shailesh Yadav said, as a preventive measure, the night curfew has been lifted to avoid larger crowds during non-curfew time. Also, the Director of Health Services Dr Subhasis Debbarma made an appeal for all to follow COVID appropriate behaviour and try to enjoy Puja staying at home.

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Devotees across Kerala are celebrating Durgashtami today.


"Today evening the auspicious ceremony of Poojavaipu will begin. Students will keep their books and study material and workers their tools  for Pooja,  seeking the divine blessing of Goddess Saraswathy. The Poojavaipu will be held in all major temples, cultural centres and homes following strict COVID protocol. Special Poojas will be held on Mahanavami Day tomorrow. On Monday, the Vijayadashami Day, the books and implements will be removed known as thePuja Eduppu' ceremony. Vijayadashami  is  also celebrated as Vidhyarambham day in kerala on which the kids are initiated into the world of letters and  knowledge.Amid rising COVID cases in the state, authorities had issued detailed instructions to be followed during this festive time. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had urged the public to conduct Vidhyarambham preferably in one's own home. Pregnant women, children below age 10 and elderlies above 65 years are advised to remain  safe in home and to stay away from celebrations. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."

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Prime Minister Narenda Modi will inaugurate virtually three key projects in Gujarat tomorrow. He will also launch the Kisan Suryodaya Yojana for the farmers of Gujarat. He will inaugurate the Paediatric Heart Hospital attached with the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology and Research Centre and a Mobile Application for tele-cardiology at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. Mr Modi will also inaugurate the Ropeway at Girnar on the occasion.

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy has urged the Railway Ministry to resume operation of the suburban rail services in Chennai at the earliest.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goel, he said, the resumption of the Electric Multiple Unit - EMUs in and around Chennai will greatly help the general public and quickly revive the local economy. He has also pointed out that the State Government has already permitted public transport and that the Chennai Metro rail services are currently in operation.

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In Karnataka, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Higher Education Dr. C. N. Ashwathnarayan has announced commencement of offline degree colleges from the 17th of November. Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru today, after a high level meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, Dr. Aswathnarayan said that Degree, Diploma and Engineering colleges will begin offline classes according to the guidelines issued by University Grants Commission.

"Dr. C. N. Ashwathnarayan announced today the reopening of degree colleges in the state. He said, all precautions will be taken to receive students willing to attend the classes in person. They will have to register their willingness with the consent of parents to attend the classes. Depending on the number of students willing to attend the classes a Task Force headed by the Deputy Commissioner will model the sitting arrangements, ensure wearing of masks, social distancing and provide thermal screening. The Minister said, it could be staggered or batch wise attendance. The students hostel will also open for which Standard Operating Procedure will be introduced. Those not willing to attend the classes will have the option to continue their online classes. The Minister said, the Learning Management System portal will be launched by the Chief Minister on November 17, which he said, will revolutionize the learning process in degree colleges. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru."

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Using the state of the art Facial Recognition System, CBSE will  enable students, to download their digital academic documents of class X and XII. This computer application matches human face from a digital image already stored in the database. The computer and the human interact to map the facial features. In a Similar way, a live image of the student will be matched with the photograph on the CBSE admit card already stored in repository, and once successful, the certificate will be emailed to the student. This application is now available on “Parniaam Manjusha” and Digi Locker at https://digilocker.gov.in/cbse-certificate.html for all 2020 records.

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In a boost to organic farming and food production in Sikkim, IFFCO’s organic joint venture, Sikkim IFFCO Organics Ltd. or SIFCO, has initiated construction of two integrated food processing units at Rangpo, East Sikkim. The project would be completed by October 2021 at a cost of around 50 crore rupees.

Establishment of integrated food processing units in Sikkim is aimed at providing a safer food supply chain to domestic and global consumers. The units would initially process ginger, turmeric, large cardamom and buckwheat, which are the major agricultural products of Sikkim with significant export potential. Sikkim IFFCO Organics would start trading fresh ginger through its agencies in Germany, Italy and other European countries. MoUs for marketing and distribution in North America and Europe have also been signed. All products will be 100 per cent organic certified. This is expected to promote sustainable agriculture and promote Green Himalayan Economy through Sikkim, which is already recognized as a 100 per cent organic state. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma Gangtok AIR.

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The global anti-terror financing watchdog, Financial Action Task Force-FATF is expected to announce its decision whether to keep-Pakistan in the gray list or in the black list today. Pakistan has not yet not complied with six out  of the 27 points of the FATF Action Plan. These six points relate to terror financing. The three-day Plenary Meet in Paris comes to a close today. FATF President Dr. Markus Pleyer, will brief media on the outcome of FATF plenary this evening.

The implementation plan to curb money laundering and terror financing was supposed to be put in place by the end of 2019. However, the deadline was extended in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

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Director at Society for Policy Studies and noted Defence Analyst Uday Bhaskar said that the 22 Ministerial Dialogue between Indian Defence and Foreign Minister and their US counterparts scheduled to be held on next Tuesday holds high significance after the recent QUAD meet in Tokyo, Japan. He said, the meeting is likely to witness signing of few very important defence agreements between the two countries.

"The two issues that would come up for some degree of progress, would be the agreement between India and the United States and particularly the Geo spatial agreement which is referred to as BICA. My sense is that there would be some movement on this. And the second is, the deliberations of the foreign ministers in Tokyo, the QUAD foreign minister had hinted at certain areas where there would be some, again agreement at the bilateral level. And whatever was said about the QUAD in Tokyo,  my sense again is that the two plus two in Delhi would give us some details about how his particular area, the maritime area, domain, would be taken forward. Because the US secretary of State is also likely to visit other capitals in the region in the Indian Ocean."

​India will be hosting the Dialogue in New Delhi. Briefing media in New Delhi, External Affairs  Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said both sides will also exchange views on regional and international issues. 

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In the US Presidential Debate, Donald Trump and Joe Biden exchanged barbs over tackling of Covid-19 pandemic. During the debate, US President Trump insisted that Covid-19 would soon go away through medical breakthroughs and pointed to his own recovery. He  defended his push to reopen the United States as soon as possible.

Mr Trump said, US has a vaccine that's coming, it's ready, it's going to be announced within weeks.

Biden assailed President Trump as having no plan to stop a dark winter of coronavirus deaths. Biden said, anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States.

This was their their second and final presidential debate before November 3 elections.

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In IPL Cricket, Chennai Super Kings will clash with Mumbai Indians in Sharjah today. Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed Rajasthan Royals by eight wickets to keep their play-off hopes alive in Dubai last night.

With this win, Hyderabad moved to fifth place in the points table with eight points while Rajasthan were pushed down to seventh place with eight points.

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Take a look at the weather for the day.


The National Capital Delhi will have mist with the minimum temperature recorded at 14 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 34 degrees.

Mumbai will have partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 33 degrees.

In Chennai, there will be generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 25 and 33 degrees Celsius.

Kolkata will have generally cloudy sky with a few spells of rain or thundershowers. The minimum temperature in the city was 26 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 28 degrees.

On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,  the minimum temperature was 16 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 32 degrees. The city will have a mainly clear.

In Srinagar, the sky will be mainly clear sky. The temperature in Srinagar will hover between three and 24 degrees Celsius.

Leh in Ladakh will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus five degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 20 degrees Celsius.

Gilgit and Muzafarrabad will experience mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between four and 27 degrees Celsius in Gilgit. In Muzaffarabad, the minimum temperature was 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 30 degrees.

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