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Last Updated : Jan 17 2021 8:33PM     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 says priority will be given to ensure that everyone gets COVID-19 vaccine.

  • National Covid recovery rate improves to 93.76 per cent.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind to inaugurate All India Presiding Officers’ Conference in Kevadia, Gujarat.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to virtually attend the celebration of Centennial Foundation Day of University of Lucknow.

  • “Nivar” in Bay of Bengal intensifies into severe cyclonic storm;  Seven districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry expected to get extremely heavy rainfall today.  


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. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed the nation that the Covid-19 vaccine for citizens will meet all necessary scientific criteria. He stressed that just like the focus in the fight against COVID has been on saving each and every life, the priority will be to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone. 

कोरोना के खिलाफ अपनी लड़ाई में हमने शुरुआत से ही एक-एक देशवासी का जीवन बचाने को सर्वोच्च प्राथमिकता दी है। अब वैक्सीन आने के बाद भी हमारी प्राथमिकता यही होगी कि सभी तक कोरोना की वैक्सीन पहुंचे, लेकिन कोरोना की वैक्सीन से जुड़ा भारत का अभियान, अपने हर नागरिक के लिए एक प्रकार से नेशनल कमिटमेंट की तरह है। इतना बड़ा टीकाकरण अभियान Smooth हो, Systematic हो, और Sustained हो, ये लंबा चलने वाला है, इसके लिए हम सभी को, हर सरकार को, हर संगठन को एकजुट हो करके, coordination के साथ एक टीम के रूप में काम करना ही पड़ेगा।

The Prime Minister has reassured that the government is keenly watching the development of COVID-19 vaccines. Mr Modi said , the government is in contact with Indian developers and manufacturers, along with global regulators, governments of other countries, multilateral institutions and international companies on vaccine development.  

The Prime Minister made his remarks during a high-level meeting held with Chief Ministers of all States and Union Territories via video conferencing, yesterday to review the status and preparedness of COVID-19 response and management, with special emphasis on eight States. These States are Haryana, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and West Bengal.

During the meeting, the Prime Minister noted that the priority of vaccination is being decided in consultation with the States and the requirements of additional cold chain storages has also been discussed with the States. Mr Modi asked the Chief Ministers to ensure regular monitoring of State Level Steering Committee and State and District Level Task Force to ensure better results.

The Prime Minister also forewarned that past experience tells us several myths, and rumours are spread around vaccines and fake news about side effects of the vaccine may also be spread. He emphasized that such anti social attempts need to be tackled by spreading greater awareness, by taking all possible help including civil society, students of NCC and NSS and the media.

The Prime Minister remarked that the country is facing the pandemic through concerted efforts and in terms of both recovery rate and fatality rate the situation in India is much better than most other countries.

हम सभी के अथक प्रयासों से देश में टेस्टिंग से लेकर ट्रीटमेंट का एक बहुत बड़ा नेटवर्क आज काम कर रहा है। इस नेटवर्क का लगातार विस्तार भी किया जा रहा है। पीएम केयर्स के माध्यम से ऑक्सीजन और वेंटिलेटर्स उपलब्ध कराने पर भी विशेष जोर है। कोशिश ये है कि देश के मेडिकल कॉलेज और जिला अस्पतालों को ऑक्सीजन जनरेशन के मामले में Self-sufficient बनाया जाए। इसलिए अभी 160 से ज्यादा नए ऑक्सीजन प्लांट्स के निर्माण की प्रक्रिया already शुरू की गई है।

Prime Minister Modi  reiterated that it is important to increase RT-PCR tests, ensure better monitoring of patients especially  those in home isolation, better equip health centres at village and community level and keep running awareness campaigns for safety from the virus.

Saying India fought COVID-19 bravely, Prime Minister cautioned against any complacency in the fight against Covid 19. The Prime minister observed that after seeing good recovery rates, many think that the virus is weak and cautioned this has led to rampant carelessness. He said, those working on vaccine are doing a tremendous job, but there is a need to focus on ensuring that people are and transmission is curbed. Mr Modi stressed the need to bring positivity rate under 5 per cent.

Chief Ministers of Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana among others attended the meeting through video conferencing. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog Member Dr. V K Paul were also present in the high level COVID review meet.


A two-day All India Presiding Officers' Conference will begin at the Statue of unity in Kevadia Gujarat from today. The theme of this year's conference is Harmonious Coordination of Legislative, Executive and Judiciary - Key to a Vibrant Democracy.

The Conference will be inaugurated by the President Ram Nath Kovind this morning. Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu will be present on this occasion. Lok Sabha speaker and Chairperson of the Conference Shri Om Birla will grace the two day conference.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the valedictory session of the conference on 26th to mark the celebration of the constitution day.Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other dignitaries will also attend the conference.   AIR Ahmedabad correspondent reports that the Presiding Officers of all State Legislative Assemblies and legislative councils have been invited to the conference. 27 presiding officers have already confirmed their participation. Secretaries of State Legislatures and other senior officials are also expected to participate in the conference. 

Gujarat is the birth place of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, who led India's freedom struggle.The State is also the birthplace of Iron Man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who welded the nation together after the independence. 

During this Conference, the Presiding Officers of the Legislatures shall discuss the need for better cooperation and coordination between the three pillars of the democracy in order to strengthen Indian democracy and to make it more effective.The conference will also discuss the ways to ensure effective constitutional accountability of the legislature and the executive to the people. The two day Conference will conclude on 26 November on the occasion of Constitution Day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the concluding session. All delegates at the Conference will recite the Preamble to the constitution of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad".


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually attend the celebration of Centennial Foundation Day of University of Lucknow today. Prime Minister will unveil the University’s Centennial Commemorative Coin on the occasion. He will also release a special Commemorative Postal Stamp issued by India Post and its Special Cover during the event. Defence Minister, Uttar Pradesh governor and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister will also be present on the occasion. 


The government has approved seven proposals of Food Processing Projects worth over 234 crore rupees. It also includes  grants-in-aid of  60.87 crores rupees  in Meghalaya, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra.

Minister of Food Processing Industries  Narendra Singh Tomar, virtually chaired the Inter-Ministerial Approval Committee meeting  yesterday.  Proposals received under the Scheme for Creation of Infrastructure for Agro-Processing Cluster of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana were considered. Ministry of Food Processing Industries in a statement said that these projects will leverage private investment of  173.81 crores  rupees and are expected to generate employment for 7750 persons. 


The Uttar Pradesh government has passed an ordinance to ban unlawful religious conversions for marriage. Unlawful conversion for the sake of getting married through force, deceit, undue pressure or by way of alluring into marriage will come into the category of non-bailable offence and can lead to imprisonment of a maximum of 10 years and penalty of 50 thousand rupees. More from Our Correspondent:

The Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, recommends 1-5 years imprisonment if an accused fails to prove that the conversion of the woman was not for marriage or by use of force, deceit and allurement. The jail sentence for the offence would be 3-10 years if the woman is from the Scheduled cast Scheduled Tribe community or is seen as part of mass conversion. Any marriage entered into after such a conversion can be declared null and void. Talking to the media after the cabinet meeting, government spokesperson and Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said that if any couple wants to perform marriage after converting into any other religion, they need to take permission from the relevant district magistrate two months before the marriage. He claimed that over 100 incidents of forceful religious conversions were noticed in state. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW".


Election of new Bihar Assembly Speaker will be held today.Senior BJP leader Vijay Kumar Sinha filed nomination paper for the post of Bihar Assembly Speaker yesterday as the candidate of NDA . RJD leader Awadh Bihari Choudhary has also  filed nomination papers on behalf of Grandalliance. 

Opposition leader Tejaswi Yadav has  appealed members to vote in favour of Mr.Choudhary. In the new assembly, NDA has 125 seats including 74 members of the BJP. 


Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, died at a Gurgaon hospital this morning. He was 71. The veteran politician had been at a private hospital since his health worsened after a Covid infection. In a tweet at around 4 am, his son, Faisal Patel, said that the Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat had passesd away at 3.30 am today.

Messages of condolences and tributes poured in soon after the announcement of Mr Patel's death.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have expressed grief over the demise of the veteran Congress Leader Ahmed Patel.

In a tweet, President Ram Nath Kivind said that  an astute Parliamentarian, Ahmed  Patel combined the skills of a strategist and the charm of a mass leader. He said, his amiability won him friends across party lines. The President also conveyed his condolences  to the family and friends.

In a tweet, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said,  Ahmed Patel was an able parliamentarian and always maintained cordial relations with leaders across the political spectrum. Mr Naidu also expressed his  condolences to the bereaved family members.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered the seasoned politician, saying  Ahmed Patel is known for his sharp mind and his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. In a tweet Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Ahmed Patel spent years in public life, serving the society. Mr Modi also spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. 


India has leaped across a significant milestone in its fight against COVID. With recovery of more than 86 lakh people so far, the national recovery rate has reached at 93.76 per cent. With overall recovery of nearly 86 lakh 5 thousand patients, the recovered cases in the country stand at nearly 20 times the number of active cases. Over 42 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 38 thousand.

The active case load of the country also continues to remain below 5 per cent. The total active cases in the country stands at four lakh 38 thousand 667 which comprises merely 4.78 per cent of the total reported cases. The Health Ministry has informed that 26 States and Union Territories in the country have reported less than even 20 thousand active cases. The Health Ministry has said that fatality rate stands at 1.46 per cent. It informed that 480 case fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, nearly 11 lakh COVID samples were tested in the country in last 24 hours. With this, the cumulative testing figure has reached nearly 13 crore 37 lakh mark. The Central Government and ICMR have scaled up the TESTING infrastructure in a calibrated manner. India's testing capacity has touched 15 lakh per day ensuring easily accessible COVID19 tests for all.


A total of 6 thousand 224 fresh cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Delhi during the last 24 hours taking the total number of affected people in the city to over  five  lakh 40 thousand.

Delhi Government has said that over four lakh and 93 thousand people have recovered from the infection so far. In the last 24 hours, four thousand 943 people have recovered.

109 deaths were reported in the National Capital taking the toll to 8 thousand and 621. Presently, the total number of active cases in Delhi is 38 thousand 501.


In Bihar, COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 97.30 per cent. This is more than the national average. The number of active cases in the state is continuously declining.


In Chhattisgarh, to mitigate the spike of corona infection,  intensive Covid screening of all passengers will now be mandotarily done at airports. A report:

“Chhattisgarh Government has issued revised instructions to conduct proper Covid screening of all passengers coming from outside at Raipur and Jagdalpur airports. According to the guidelines, health check-up of all passengers will be done at the airport. The passengers who have any symptoms of corona infection will be kept in an isolation center established by the administration. It is mandatory for All Passengers coming from abroad will have to stay in paid quarantine centers prescribed by Raipur Municipal Corporation for fourteen days. Meanwhile, the number of corona infected patients in the state has crossed two lakh twenty seven thousand. Currently, more than twenty thousand patients are being treated in various hospitals. So far, more than two thousand seven hundred and fifty people have died due to corona infection in the state. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur".


In Tamil Nadu, the Covid-19 active caseload has dropped to 11-thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Five. The number of new patients has come down marginally to 1557 including 469 in Chennai. 1910 patients have recovered from the illness in the last 24-hours while 17 others succumbed to it. More than 66-thousand people were tested yesterday using RT-PCR kits.


In Madhya Pradesh, around a dozen districts of the state including Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Ratlam, Vidisha and Shivpuri have shown higher positivity rates since last week.

The positivity rate for the last seven days in Bhopal is 12 percent, while that of Indore is 10 percent. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has instructed officials to ensure strict observance of mask wearing. Fines are also to be imposed for violating covid appropriate behavior of wearing masks. A Report:

"A review of Corona infection in Madhya Pradesh शोड showed that active cases of COVID-19 have increased again in the state from November 3. The number of active cases has now reached to 12 thousand 979. The state's recovery rate is 91.8 percent while the death rate is just 1.6 percent. The Chief Minister directed the senior officers posted in each district to control the pandemic and constantly monitor COVID-19 infection. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal


Centre has assured all necessary assistance to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh state governments in view of cyclonic storm NIVAR. Chairing the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting through video conferencing, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba said, the  aim should be to ensure that there is no loss of life and damage is minimum. Mr Gauba said normalcy should be restored in power, telecom and other important sectors in shortest possible time.

The Chief Secretaries of three states informed the NCMC about their preparedness. DG, IMD briefed the committee about the latest situation of NIVAR cyclone. DG, NDRF informed about the preparedness to meet the situation in next three days and said that 30 teams of NDRF have so far been deployed.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea and the people in coastal areas are also being evacuated to shelter houses. Talking to AIR news, Weather scientist RK Jenamani said:


The cyclonic storm “Nivar” in the Bay of Bengal intensified into a SEVERE cyclonic storm early this morning. The MET Department in Chennai says it is set to further intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm later in the day today. It is expected to make a landfall from late this evening between KAAraikal (कारैक्कॉल) and MAAmalla-Puram (मामल्लपुरम), close to Puducherry. During its landfall, the wind speed is expected to be in the range of 130 to 140 km an hour, gushing to 155 km per hour.

The MET Department in Chennai says the Severe Cyclone Nivar currently lies 380 km south-south east of Chennai, 320 km east-south east of Puducherry and 310 km east-southeast of Cuddalore (कडलूर). It is found to be moving westwards with the speed of six kilometres an hour for the past six hours. It is expected to move in the west-northwest direction for the next six-hours and then turn towards the north-western direction and reach the coast.

Under the impact of the cyclone, seven districts in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are expected to get extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places today. Sixteen other districts including Chennai and its suburbs will experience isolated heavy to very heavy rain, as informed by the weather officials.

In view of the cyclone, public holiday has been declared today in Tamil Nadu.

The Defence forces have mobilised teams and assets to help the states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during and after the cyclone. We have more from our correspondent:

 "The Indian Coast Guard has kept four Offshore Patrol Vessels ready for assisting merchant and fishing vessels in distress at sea. Two helicopters are on standby to assist in rescue and relief operations. In addition, three Dornier aircraft are mobilised at Visakhapatnam to carry out surveillance and damage assessment after the landfall of the cyclone, besides assisting in relief operations. It has readied fifteen relief operations teams to assist the administrations in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The Indian Navy on its part has mobilised five flood relief teams and a divers’ team in Chennai. Similar teams are on at its bases at Nagapattinam and Rameswaram as well. The naval ship INS Jyoti has been deployed from Visakhapatnam to render assistance along the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast.  Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai'.

Our Puducherry Correspondent has filed this report:

District administration is geared up and taken a wide range of precautionary measures to meet any eventualities , due to NIVAR . prohibitory order clamped in Puducherry district from 9PM yesterday to 6 AM tomorrow. The District collector Poorva Garg said that all the departments and National Disaster Response Force teams are well prepared. The movement of one or more people in public places in the Puducherry region is prohibited  and shops and other business establishments need to be closed. The Government declared public holiday today. Chandra Mohan, AIR News, Puducherry".

Our Andhra Pradesh Correspondent adds that under the influence of the cyclone NIVAR moderate rains or thundershowers  are very likely over entire Andhra Pradesh, today and  tomorrow. With isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall at one or two places  of South coastal AP and Rayalaseema, extremely heavy rain is likely to occur at Nellore , Chittoor on 25th Nov and at Kurnool on 26th Nov'2020.

According to S. Stella, Director, IMD., Amaravathi, heavy rains are likely at one or two places of North coastal AP on 25th and 26th Nov'2020.


WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the world's poorest and most vulnerable must not be "trampled in the stampede" for Covid-19 vaccines. He said, the scientific community had set “a new standard for vaccine development” and now the international community must set “a new standard for access”.

Mr. Tedros said , 187 countries are taking part in the COVAX facility, to collaborate on the procurement and rollout of vaccines, ensuring the best possible prices, volumes and timing for all countries”.


A group art-exhibition was inaugurated in Dhaka today to pay tribute to the Bangladesh Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It has been organised by the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre of the High Commission of India in association with the Bangladesh Shilpa Kala Academy. Education Minister Dipu Moni has inaugurated the exhibition as Chief Guest of the function.

The exhibition is curated by eminent curator Ripon Saha. It features artwork by 12 well known Bangladeshi painters like Abdul Mannan, Md. Muniruzzaman, Syeda Mahbuba Karim Mimi, Quader Bhuyan and others working in different media.

Paying tribute to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the inaugural ceremony, High Commissioner of India Vikram Doraiswami called him as one of the greatest sons of south Asia and among the greatest statesmen of the last century. The High Commissioner also felicitated the artists whose works have been displayed at the group art-exhibition.

The art-exhibition has been organised on the occasion of the ongoing 'Mujib-Borsho', birth centenary celebration of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The exhibition will also be mounted in four other cities of Bangladesh namely Rajshahi, Sylhet, Jashore and Chattogram starting from 4th of next month.


The weather forecast for today.

The National capital is likely to experience Fog/mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later with temperatures varying between 11 and 23 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will observe Mainly Clear sky and the temperature will vary between 22 and 34 degree Celsius.

Chennai will have Generally cloudy sky with Heavy rain. The temperature will hover between 24 and 28 degree Celsius.

Kolkata is likely to have partly cloudy sky. The city observed a minimum temperature of 18 degree Celsius and is likely to experience maximum temperature of 27 degree Celsius.

On to North, Jammu witnessed a minimum temperature of 12 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 18 degrees. The city will have Generally cloudy sky with Light rain.

Srinagar will have rain or snow.  Temperature will hover between zero degree celsius and four degrees.

In Leh, there will be Light snow. The minimum temperature was minus four degree Celsius while the maximum will be around zero degrees.

Gilgit will experience light snow with temperature hovering between minus two degree celsius to seven degrees.

Muzaffarabad is likely to have thunderstorms with rain. The temperature will move from five to 10 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between nine and 22 degree Celsius. Sky will be partly cloudy with the possibility of rain or thunderstorms or Dust Storm.

Chandigarh will have Mainly Clear sky. The temperature is likely to move from 12 to 19 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was 20 degree Celsius while the maximum will be 30 degrees. The city will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle.

Ahmedabad will witness a generally cloudy sky with Light Rain or Drizzle. The minimum temperature was 18 degree Celsius while maximum will be 30 degrees.

Patna will have fog or mist in the morning and mainly clear sky later. Temperature will hover between 11 degree celsius to 26 degrees.

And, in Guwahati fog or mist would occur in the early morning. The minimum temperature was 13 degree Celsius while maximum will be 27 degrees.


Prominent Shia cleric and All India Muslim Personal Law Board vice president Maulana Kalbe Sadiq died in Lucknow yesterday. He was 83. Maulana Sadiq was having health complications and breathed his last at around 10.00 pm.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed his grief over the death of Maulana Sadiq who was  an educationist, Islamic scholar and ambassador of communal amity.


Newspapers Headlines

  • The headlines on Prime Minister Modi laying the vaccine road map in meet with Chief Ministers dominates the front page of all the dailies today. The Asian Age quoting the Prime Minister writes, " Vaccine for all ,Avoid politics over Covid."

  • An Economic Times headlines says " Day after vaccine news, Nifty sets new benchmark ."

  • The Times of India headline reports on the UP ordinance , " Jail upto 10 yrs for 'unlawful' conversions".

  • " Improved version of Brahmos missile test fired successfully" writes The Pioneer.

  • " Alibaba, dating apps among 43 more with China links , banned by Government" reports The Indian Express.

  • " 20 dollar  Sputnik shots likely in India by January" , is a headline in The Tribune .

  • A study on Urban India notes" Over half of those aged 20 now may get diabetes" says Hindustan Times.

  • "Tamilnadu, Puducherry on edge as Nivar closes in " writes The Hindu, with Public Holiday being declared in the state today.

  • " Elon Musk overtakes Gates , now second -richest " notes Financial Express.


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