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Last Updated : Jan 17 2021 10:03PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Connectivity through 8 new special trains to Kevadiya will give a boost to tourism, job opportunities: PM            Home Minister reiterates govt's commitment to national security, self reliance & social welfare            Country's Covid-19 recovery rate reaches 96.58 per cent            Sporting facilities to be named after renowned athletes: Kiren Rijiju            Australia lead India by 54 runs at stumps on day three           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0830 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate multi-storey flats for Members of Parliament in New Delhi through video conferencing today.

  • Over 2.6 Crore families provided access to clean drinking water through taps since the launch of Har Ghar Jal scheme last year.

  • Country's Covid-19 recovery rate improves to 93.69 per cent.

  • Universities and degree colleges in Uttar Pradesh to reopen from today.

  • India - Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise SIMBEX-20 to begin today in Andaman Sea.

  • In ATP Finals, Daniil Medvedev wins the title beating Dominic Thiem in London.


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. 


Now, the news:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate multi-storeyed flats for Members of Parliament today morning through video conferencing. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will also be present on the occasion. These flats are located at Dr BD Marg in New Delhi. Eight old bungalows, which were more than 80 years old, have been redeveloped to construct 76 flats. More details on thisMore from our correspondent:

"The construction of these flats has been completed with savings of about 14 percent from the sanctioned cost and without time overrun despite the impact of Covid-19. Several green building initiatives have been incorporated in the construction. It includes bricks made from fly ash and construction and demolition waste, double glazed windows for thermal insulation and energy efficiency, energy efficient LED light fittings and occupancy based sensors for light control. It also includes air conditioners with VRV system for low power consumption, low flow fixtures for conservation of water, rainwater harvesting system and rooftop solar plant. With Anand Kumar report Tanvi Khurana,.......,AIR News, Delhi."


Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually laid the foundation stone for several rural water projects in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts in Uttar Pradesh yesterday. The projects, at the estimated cost of over 5,500 crore rupees, include nine water treatment projects for Mirzapur and 14 projects for Sonbhadra district. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that drinking water projects in the two districts will not only provide clean water to the people but will also be helpful in eradicating several diseases.

The Prime Minister lamented that despite having lot of resources, regions like Vindhyachal and Bundelkhand became regions of deficiencies.

The projects are planned to be completed in 24 months. The Prime Minister added that self-reliant India gets strength from self-reliant villages. During the last one and half years from the start of Jal Jeevan Mission, more than 2 crore 60 lakh families have been provided piped drinking water connection to their homes including lakhs of families in Uttar Pradesh as well.

Prime Minister said that Vindhyachal region is going to be Pioneer in the field of solar energy and people are not only able to light their houses but they can also make a earning. He said by implementing Swamitua Yojana disputes of land will be decrease and  people would be able to get loans also on peppers and  Documents.

Village Water and Sanitation Committees or Paani Samiti have been constituted in all these villages, who will shoulder the responsibility of operation and maintenance.

PM Modi lauded the Uttar Pradesh government saying that the state is an example of development despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He said, this is changing the image of the Uttar Pradesh government and its people.

Earlier. Mr Modi  interacted with members of Paani Samiti of the districts.

The Prime Minister urged the people to remain against Corona as the danger still lingers and asked the people to maintain basic precautions with great sincerity.

Speaking on the ocassion Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said after independence only 398 villages were connected with water facility and it will be a historic step when 2995 villages in these two district will get drinking water through pipe.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting G20 Summit in Riyadh successfully  and welcomed Italy as it takes over the G20 presidency in 2021. It was decided that the G20 Presidency will be held by Indonesia in 2022, India in 2023 and Brazil in 2024.

External Affairs Ministry said that at the end of the two day Summit, a G20 Leaders’ Declaration was issued which called for coordinated global action, solidarity, and multilateral cooperation to overcome the current challenges and realize opportunities of the 21st century for all by empowering people, safeguarding the planet, and shaping new frontiers.


With 45 thousand 2 hundred and nine new cases, the country's total COVID-19 cases went up to 90 lakh 95 thousand 8 hundred and seven. The Health Ministry said, with 501 new deaths in the 24 hour period, the death toll has reached 1 lakh 33 thousand 2 hundred 27. The  Recovery Rate has improved to 93.69 per cent as the country registered 43,493 new recoveries till last evening taking the total recovered cases to 85 lakh 21 thousand 6 hundred 17.

The actual caseload comprises only 4.85 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, total active cases stand at 4 lakh 40 thousand 9 hundred 62. Presently, 26 States and UTs have less than 20 thousand active cases.

The ICMR said, a total of 13 crore 17 lakh 33 thousand 1 hundred 34 samples were tested for COVID19, in the country till yesterday. 


Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan virtually addressed the Boston Center of Excellence for Health and Human Development yesterday. Saluting millions of front-line health workers who bravely carried on with their duty in spite of risk and adversity, including professionals other than doctors and nurses, Dr. Vardhan elaborated India’s strategy to contain COVID-19. In this regard, the Health Minister observed that it is not the first one and definitely not the last one but this COVID 19 will soon be a past episode of the 21st century. He said, Govt's treatment protocol for COVID patients is well defined now. He said, vaccines will be available soon and  the cases will significantly go down in the next few months. Detailing that India has already mastered all components of Modern medicine from antibiotics to emergency care, surgery, immunization, and vaccine, Dr Vardhan  noted that the focus is now on the cost, quality, and affordability.


The Centre has sent high level teams to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to support the states in their COVID response and management. These states have been reporting either a rise in the number of active cases or daily new cases. The three-member teams will visit the districts reporting high number of COVID cases and support the efforts for strengthening containment, surveillance, testing, infection prevention and control measures and efficient clinical management of the positive cases.


In the national capital 6,746 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases in Delhi to 5 lakh 29 thousand 863. The total figure includes 4 lakh 81 thousand 260 recoveries and 40 thousand 212 active cases.

With 121 deaths yesterday, the toll in the city now stands at 8,391. Fifty four thousand 893 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours. The positivity rate currently stands at 12.29 per cent, while the death rate stands at 1.69 per cent.


In Madhya Pradesh, 85 percent of the new corona cases are coming from urban areas and 15 percent from rural areas. The reason for this is high density of population in urban areas. The state government has appealed to common people to make safe distance in cities. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"A review of new corona-infected cases in MP revealed that 69 percent of males and 31 percent of females have been infected. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has appealed to the youths not to be negligent in COVID 19 guidelines. He said that all preventive measures should be adopted as the percentage of young people in Corona infection is higher while just 10 per cent of elderly people have been infected so far in the state. Meanwhile, the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state climbed up to around 1 lakh 93 thousand after 1 thousand 798 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal".


Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced that only night curfew will remain in force in four major cities of the state from today. In a statement, he said that Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot will have daily night curfew from 9 pm to 6 am from today. He appealed to the people to strictly follow the compulsory mask and social distancing norms. Meanwhile, three member central team held a meeting with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Gandhinagar last evening. The team headed by Dr. S.K. Singh of NCDC - New Delhi expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the state government to check the spread of infection including real time monitoring of Covid19 patients. Our correspondent reports that the state has recorded 1495 new cases during the last 24 hours.

"Gujarat has recorded a total 1 lakh 97 thousand 412 cases till now. Out of these, 1 lakh 79 thousand 953 patients recovered. 1167 patients recovered during the last 24 hours.  More than 72 lakh 35 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date.  At present total active cases in the state are  13600, out of which 93 patients are on ventilator. 13 patients died yesterday taking the total deaths due to Covid19 up to 3859. Yogesh Pandya// AIR News// Ahmedabad."


Odisha's covid-19 recovery tally has gone up to 3,05,813. While 905 patients recovered yesterday, 638 new cases detected during the last 24 hours increased the total caseload of the state to 3,13,961. The state has lost 1640 lives to covid-19 so far. A report:

"With lower case detection and higher recovery, the active caseload of  the state has futher plunged down to 7360. Though the virus continues to have a foothold in all the 30 districts of the state, as many as 12 districts have reported cases in single digit during the last 24 hours, indicating massive loss of ground faced by the highly infectious virus. Also only three out of 30 districts have reported cases below 50. Yet, educational institutions and religious places continue to face closure as a crowd-curbing measure even as the government carefully maps the character of the viral virulence during the ongoing winter. Girish Chandra Dash,AIR News, Bhubaneswar."


Universities and degree colleges across Uttar Pradesh will reopen today. Only 50 percent students on roster basis can attend the class in any enclosed area and a maximum of 200 students can attend the class at any given time. The universities and colleges in the state have been closed since March in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"The higher educational institutions have been asked to resume classes in a phased manner to avoid crowding on campuses. All students have to wear masks, use hand sanitisers and maintain social distancing to prevent spread of the virus. According to the guidelines, the universities and colleges have to make provision for thermal scanning and hand wash for students and staff. At the entry points, educational institutions must avoid overcrowding of students and that they may enter through a disciplined line. In the classroom, students will be required to sit at a 6 feet distance and they will not be allowed to share books, notes and laptops. Universities will be allowed to reopen hostels where all health protocols can be followed. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."<>


A five-day session of Bihar assembly will begin today. This is the first session after assembly elections in the state. Our correspondent reports that all newly elected MLAs are being tested for Covid-19 in view of the pandemic. 

Pro- tem Speaker Jitan Ram Manjhi will administer oath to  newly elected members today and tomorrow. Out of 243 members of the house  105 are new who will take oath for the first time. New assembly speaker will be elected on November 25 and the next day, Governor Phagu Chauhan will address the joint session of the State legislature. On the last day of session  vote of thanks and government reply will be given. In view of Corona pandemic Covid -19 tests are being done on all legislators. Tests on the staff of the assembly and legislative council secretariats have already been done. with K K Lal's report from Patna, Tripti Srivastava, AIR News.

In the new assembly, NDA has 125 seats. An independent MLA has also extended its support to the ruling alliance.


In Karnataka, former minister Roshan Baig has been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days in connection with I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam. He was arrested by CBI and produced before the designated Judge who remanded him to Judicial custody. Roshan Baig is accused in the multi-crore ponzi scheme run by IMA which allegedly duped lakhs of people by promising them higher returns. IMA jewels chief Mohammed Mansoor Khan had in an audio tape alleged that Baig had accepted 400 crore rupees from him before the Assembly election and had not returned it. Khan had appealed to the authorities to recover the amount from Baig for repaying the IMA depositors. CBI has filed a chargesheet against 28 accused including Mansoor Khan. An accused arrested in the case, IAS officer B M Vijay Shankar had committed suicide in June.


Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has blamed the 5-star culture among the Congress leaders for the party's recent losses in elections. In an interview to a news agency, he said Congress leaders have lost the connect with the people on the ground. Mr Azad said, till this 5-star culture is given up by Congress leaders, the party cannot win elections.

Veteran Congress leader further said that the party is at its lowest in the last 72 years and it does not even have the post of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha during the last two terms. Mr Azad was one of the 23 party leaders who wrote a letter to interim party president Sonia Gandhi in August this year, demanding a leadership overhaul.


Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has asserted that Kumbh Mela will be held in its divine form at Haridwar in 2021 despite the practical problems arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr Rawat attended a meeting with office-bearers of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) on  the preparations for the 2021 Kumbh Mela, which will begin on January 14. Chief Minister said, Kumbh Mela works are being reviewed periodically and efforts of the state government will be to ensure that the devotees do not face any inconvenience.


Paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is continuing smoothly in the procuring States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in a statement said that so far over 297 Lakh Metric Tonnes of paddy has been procured against the corresponding purchase of 252.69 Lakh Metric Tonnes last year. This shows an an increase of 17.73  per cent over last year. The Ministry said, out of the total purchase of over 297 Lakh Metric Tonnes, Punjab alone has contributed 201.73 Lakh Metric Tonnes which is 67.80 per cent of total procurement. It said, nearly 26.15 Lakh farmers have already been benefitted from the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season procurement Operations with MSP value of over 56 thousand 168  crore rupees.


In Chhattisgarh, many surrendered Maoists are playing crucial role in the government’s effort to eradicate the menace of left wing extremism. Recently, at a convocation held in Jagdalpur, over 200 youth became constables after training. About half of them were surrendered Maoists. They were inducted into the police force after rigorous training.

Inspector General of Police of Bastar Range, Sundar Raj P said that the surrendered Maoists who have joined the police force in the tribal Bastar region are proving to be very helpful in controlling left wing extremism in this area.


Assam government has clarified that there is no proposal to close down the Anganwadi Centers in the state as claimed in a section of media. A press release was issued  by the Secretary, Social Welfare Department in this regard. The release said, as per the New Education Policy 2020, Anganwadi centers will be further stengenthed.


THE Indian Navy is scheduled to host the 27th edition of India - Singapore Bilateral Maritime Exercise SIMBEX-20 from today in Andaman Sea. It will continue till 25th of this month. The SIMBEX series of exercises between Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy, being conducted annually since 1994, are aimed at enhancing mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices from each other. The scope and complexity of these exercises has increased steadily over the past two decades to include advanced naval drills covering a wide spectrum of maritime operations.

The 2020 edition of SIMBEX will witness participation by Indian Navy ships including destroyer Rana with integral Chetak helicopter and indigenously built corvettes Kamorta and Karmuk. According to Ministry of Defence, the exercise, is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 pandemic.


In Tennis, Daniil Medvedev beat Dominic Thiem to win ATP Tour Finals, the biggest title of his career. Medvedev fought back from losing the first set to beat Thiem 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in a thrilling final in London last night. Thiem was denied the title second year in a row.

In the doubles final, Dutch-Croatian duo Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic claimed their first title together edging Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 3-6, 10-5.


India International Cherry Blossom Festival, the calendar event of Meghalaya which attracts record number of tourists annually in Shillong has been cancelled this year in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. The capital, Shillong hosts the only Cherry Blossoms festival in India. These beautiful flowers can be spotted across Meghalaya during this time of the year.


National Capital Delhi's air quality is in the poor category today morning as the air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 279 at 6 am.  The city has been struggling with very poor air quality since the beginning of winter season.


The Low Pressure Area in the south and the central Bay of Bengal is expected to get intensified into a Depression by today. Met Department in Chennai said it will turn into a cyclone in the next 24-hours. It is likely to make landfall on Wednesday between Karaikal in Puducherry and Mamallapuram in northern Tamil Nadu. More details from correspondent:

As per the naming convention, the cyclone in the Bay of Bengal will be known by the name Nivar, once it is formed. Weather officials say Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur will experience isolated heavy rain today. They say, very heavy rain will be recorded tomorrow in seven districts in the delta region and central Tamil Nadu and Karaikal. 12 other districts including Chennai and Puducherry are expected to witness isolated heavy rain. On Wednesday, the day of the landfall, 27 of the 37 districts in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal and Puducherry falling under the neighbouring Union Territory will get heavy to very heavy rain. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea during the period, due to rough weather. Currently, barring four districts in Tamil Nadu, all others are deficient in rainfall. The shortfall is expected to be offset by the rain during the cyclone. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


The weather forecast for today.

The National capital is likely to experience fog or mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later with temperatures varying between 9 and 24 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will observe mainly clear sky and the temperature will vary between 22 and 33 degree Celsius.

Chennai will have generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 22 and 32 degree Celsius.

Kolkata is likely to have mainly Clear sky. The city observed a minimum temperature of 17 degree Celsius and is likely to experience maximum temperature of 28 degree Celsius.

Jammu witnessed a minimum temperature of 11 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 20 degrees. The city will have generally cloudy sky with light rain.

In Srinagar, the sky will be mainly clear becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between minus one and 14 degree Celsius. 

In Leh, the sky will be generally cloudy with Light rain. The minimum temperature was minus ten degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 2 degrees.

In Gilgit the sky will be generally cloudy with light rain with temperature hovering between zero degree and 12 degree Celsius.

Muzaffarabad is likely to have thunderstorms with rain. The temperature will move from 06 to 15 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 9 and 23 degree Celsius with Partly cloudy sky with possibility of development of thunder lightning.

Chandigarh will have Partly cloudy sky. The temperature is likely to vary from 10 to 23 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was 19 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around 32 degrees. The city will have partly cloudy sky with haze.

Ahmedabad will witness a clear sky. The minimum temperature will be 17 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 31 degrees.

Patna will have fog or mist in the morning and mainly clear sky lateron, with temperature hovering between 10 and 23 degree Celsius.

And, Guwahati is likely to have Fog or Mist occur in the early morning. The temperature will rise from 17 to 27 degree Celsius.


Newspapers Headlines

  • Most newspapers today lead with the statement of Prime Minister Narendera Modi at a virtual event held yesterday on the margins of the G-20 summit. Quoting the PM the Statesman writes "Fight climate change in holistic way".

  • Many newspapers today also carry picture of the freshly dug 150 meters passage unearthed in Samba. "Tunnel used by Jaish militants found in Jammu and Kashmir" states the Hindu.

  • As Covid-19 pandemic continues unabated across the country, "Central teams rushed to contain Covid" is the opening headline in the Pioneer.

  • Amidst the pandemic, "Parliament may skip winter session, reopen Jan-end, before Budget informs the Times of India.

  • As the government kickstarts the Budget exercise for 2021-22 under stressed revenue position, "Health outlay may get 50 percent boost in Budget" informs the Business Standard.


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