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Last Updated : Jan 21 2021 4:07PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Govt approves over one crore one lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) till date            More than 8 lakh beneficiaries get COVID-19 vaccine across country            Nation Covid-19 recovery rate reaches 96.75 per cent            Meghalaya, Manipur & Tripura celebrate their statehood day today; Prez, Vice Prez & PM greet the people            Sensex breaches 50,000 mark for the first time           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS
  • Cyclone Nivar likely to hit Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram after mid-night; Evacuation efforts in full swing.

  • Cabinet approves infusion of 6000 crore rupees in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund; Lakshmi Vilas Bank to be merged with DBS Bank India Limited.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, soft power of India can change its image worldwide.

  • Home Ministry issues Guidelines for COVID-19 Surveillance, Containment and Caution from 1st to 31st December.

  • And, New Zealand's Greg Barclay elected as new chairman of International Cricket Council. 


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. 
And now, the news:

The Severe Cyclonic Storm Nivar in the Bay of Bengal has further intensified into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm this evening. Under its impact, heavy and incessant rain is pounding Chennai and its suburbs and several other districts in Tamil Nadu, coupled with ferocious wind.

The MET Department has said the weather system has moved west-north westwards with a speed of 11 km per hour during the past six hours and lay centred at about 90 km east-southeast of Cuddalore, 115 km east southeast of Puducherry and 185 km south southeast of Chennai. It is set to move north westwards and hit Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram, close to Puducherry during the mid-night tonight and early hours of tomorrow as a very severe cyclonic storm, with a wind speed of 120 to 130 km per hour gusting to 145 km per hour.

Moderate to heavy rain has been experienced in most districts and is set to continue till tomorrow. North Chennai witnessed a maximum of 16 centimeter rain in the last 24-hours. As the sea is rough, fishermen have stayed off the seas.

The Greater Chennai Corporation, the Chennai Metrowater and all the district administrations that fall under the vicinity of the cyclone have announced separate helpline numbers for the public to address their grievances. They have established separate control rooms that function 24-by-7. The state police have also installed control rooms in the districts to coordinate rescue and relief efforts. In addition, the state disaster management authority is operating an emergency control room in Chennai which is functional for the past many days in a seamless fashion.

The Tamil Nadu Government has announced holiday tomorrow for thirteen districts that lie on the path of the cyclone including Chennai and its suburbs. Today is a holiday for the whole state. Heavy rain is expected to lash at least five north interior districts tomorrow and moderate rain in other places. The chief of the India Meteorology Department in Chennai, Dr Balachandran told reporters, the cyclone will start weakening six hours after its landfall and its impact will be felt in the region until 15 hours after its landfall. More from our correspondent:

"The officials have asked the public to remain indoors during the landfall of the cyclone. All the district administrations in the vicinity of the cyclone have said, sufficient number of relief centres and shelters have been arranged with enough space to follow social distancing norms. The Defence Forces have also kept their assets and teams prepared to join hands with the state governments in rescue and relief operations. Public transport in the vulnerable districts have been suspended. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy reviewed the Chembarambakkam Lake near Chennai from where the surplus water is being let off into the River Adyar, that traverses through Chennai. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

In view of the Severe Cyclonic Storm Nivar, the Regional News Unit of the Public Broadcaster All India Radio in Chennai is mounting special news bulletins. They are of five minutes duration each and will be broadcast for every half-an-hour. As the landfall of the cyclone is set to go on till tomorrow morning, the special bulletins are being broadcast from 5 pm today till 6 am tomorrow. The news bulletins are being carried in FM Rainbow and the prime channel. As most of the regions falling in the vicinity of the cyclone face power shut down, the radio news is expected to be the major source of reliable news, in most cases the only source, for the public to get reliable information on the cyclone’s course and the mitigation efforts of the administration during the time of the cyclone.

Coastal Puducherry is bracing for Cyclone Nivar, which has intensified further into a very severe cyclonic storm. More from our correspondent:

"With prohibitory order under section 144 Cr. Pc in force, Puducherry wore a deserted look. All vehicles were off the road and people remained indoors being a public holiday today. Southern railway cancelled some train services fully and some partially. Development Commissioner Anbarasu informed the press that the administration had put up camps to shelter people who are being evacuated from the coastal areas. Mr. Anbarasu also said that while, all the fishermen from Puducherry who ventured into the sea returned, those in 10 boats from Karaikal are yet to reach the shore. The District administration announced emergency numbers for the public during the impact of the Cyclone Nivar. Apart from the general number 100, 101, 112, and 1031, 104 is for medical and 108 for ambulance support and 1070 and 1077 for emergency natural disaster relief. The Electricity Department can be reached on 2339532 or toll-free line 1800-425-1912. For Karaikal, Free helpline numbers are 1070/ 1077, Control Room number 04368 - 228801, 227704. Chandra Mohan, AIR NEWS, Puducherry."

Cyclone Nivar's impact is visible in Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore District of Andhra Pradesh. NDRF teams have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh for reilef and rescue operations. The IMD, Amaravathi says, moderate rains or thunder storms are very likely over entire AP, with isolated heavy to very heavy rains at one or two places of South Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. Extremely heavy rain likely to occur at Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore and Chittoor districts today and at Kurnool tomorrow.

Met department has said Cyclone Nivar has the potential to cause extensive damage. Talking exclusively to AIR News, DG, IMD Dr Mrityunjay Mohapatra said, it can have three types of hazardous outcomes - extremely heavy rainfall, very strong winds and tidal wave from the sea. He added that the intensity of rainfall will increase as the Cyclone gets nearer to landfall. He said trees may get uprooted and crops can get damaged on a large scale. He said road, rail and air traffic will also be affected.

Mr Mohapatra said warnings are being issued every three hours. He said, action is being taken at the highest level in coordination with all concerned agencies.

Talking to AIR News, Deputy Commandant in NDRF Rakesh Ranjan said, evacuation efforts are going on in full swing in close coordination with all concerned agencies. He added that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed, out of which 15 are in Tamil Nadu, 4 in Puducherry and 6 in Andhra Pradesh.


Union Cabinet has approved equity infusion by Government of 6000 crore rupees in NIIF Debt Platform sponsored by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, comprising of Aseem Infrastructure Finance Limited and NIIF Infrastructure Finance Limited. This was one of the twelve key measures announced by Finance Minister as part of Government's stimulus to the economy, under AatmaNirbhar Bharat 3.0 on 12th November. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi about Cabinet decisions, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the NIIF Infrastructure Debt Financing Platform is expected to contribute nearly one lakh crore rupees in debt to the infrastructure sector over the next five years.

This will act as a catalyst in attracting more investments into the infrastructure sector as envisaged in National Infrastructure Pipeline.

Union Cabinet also approved Scheme of merger of Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with DBS Bank India Limited.

Mr Javadekar said, speedy merger and resolution of the stress in LVB is in line with Government's commitment to a clean banking system while protecting the interests of depositors and the public as well as the financial system.

Customers, including depositors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd will be able to operate their accounts as customers of DBS Bank India Limited with effect from 27th of this month. The moratorium on Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd will cease to be operative from that date.

Cabinet was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Physical Culture and Sport signed among BRICS Countries.

Cooperation in the field of sports among the five countries will help in expanding knowledge and expertise in the area of sports science, sports medicine, and coaching techniques. This would result in improvement in performance of Indian sportspersons in international tournaments and strengthening of bilateral relations with BRICS member countries.

Mr Javadekar also informed that CCEA has approved FDI of 2480 crore rupees in M/s. ATC Telecom Infrastructure Private Limited by M/s. ATC Asia Pacific pvt Ltd.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the soft power of India can strengthen the country’s image worldwide just like the Yoga has done. The Prime Minister was speaking at the celebration of Centennial Foundation Day of University of Lucknow via video conferencing this evening. The University is celebrating its 100 year of establishment. 

"भारत की सॉफ्ट पावर, अंतर्राष्ट्रीय जगत में भारत की छवि मजबूत करने में बहुत सहायक है। हमने देखा है पूरी दुनिया में योग की ताकत क्या है। कोई योग कहता होगा, कोई योगा कहता होगा, लेकिन पूरे विश् को, योग को अपना एक प्रकार से जीवन के हिस्सा बनाने के लिये प्रेरित कर दिया है।"

Addressing the gathering of students, teachers and former students, the Prime Minister asserted that Universities are not just a center of higher education but they are a power house of making characters and providing inspiration.

"यूनिवर्सिटी सिर्फ उच् शिक्षा का केन्द्र भर नहीं होती। ये, ऊचे लक्ष्यों, ऊचे संकल्पों को साधने की शक्ति को हासिल करने का भी एक बहुत बड़ा पावर हाउस होता है। एक बहुत बड़ी ऊर्जा भूमि होती है, प्रेरणा भूमि होती है। यह हमारे कैरेक्टर के निर्माण का, हमारे भीतर की ताकत को जगाने की प्रेरणास्थली भी है।"

He said that for a long time we have not used the full capacity of our strength and it was also the case in governance. 

Mr Modi mentioned the Rail coach Factory of Raebareli and said that many things were announced but nothing was done at the ground till 2014 when his government used the capacity of the factory and then within few months it started producing coaches and it will soon be a global hub.

The Prime Minister said that will power can change the situations that can be understood by the way Urea was being produced earlier and how the production in full capacity and neem coating has benefitted the farmers. He said that government is going to restart many factories in Uttar Pradesh with the help of technology which were closed earlier.

Hailing the role of students and teachers during Corona period the Prime Minister suggested that Universities should do research, branding and value addition to the products famous in those districts which are under educational ambit of university. This will help the government in framing the policies and it will help the One district One product Scheme.

The Prime Minister called upon students and teachers to discuss new education policy. He also suggested the students to spare time for introspection and said that they must spare time for themselves and talk with self.

The Prime Minister unveiled the University’s Centennial Commemorative Coin on the occasion. He also released a special Commemorative Postal Stamp issued by India Post and its Special Cover during the event. Defence Minister and Local MP Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Aditynath were virtually present on the occasion. Alok Kumar, Vice Chancellor of Lucknow University said that during centennial year, many initiatives were taken by the university.


Home Minister Amit Shah today chaired the first meeting of National Implementation Committee on India@75. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel also attended the meeting.


Communications Ministry today said all Fixed to Mobile calls will be dialed with prefix ‘0’ from 15th January next year. There will be no change in dialing plan from fixed to fixed, mobile to fixed and mobile to mobile calls.


Home Ministry has issued an Order today with Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution, which will be effective from 1st December and remain in force upto 31st December.

The main focus of the Guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against the spread of COVID-19 which is visible in the steady decline in number of active cases in the country. Further, keeping in view the recent spike in new cases in few states and UTs, it has been emphasised that there is a need to maintain caution and strictly follow the prescribed containment strategy.

Local district, police and municipal authorities shall be responsible to ensure that the prescribed Containment measures are strictly followed. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19.

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions, with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19 such as night curfew. However, state and UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government. There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission, approval or e-permit will be required for such movements.


India has leaped across a significant milestone in its fight against COVID. The number of new daily cases have been below the 50 thousand mark for 18 consecutive days. In the last 24 hours, nearly 44 thousand new confirmed cases were reported while nearly 38 thousand people recovered successfully in the same time span. With cumulative recovery of more than 86 lakh 42 thousand people so far, the national recovery rate has reached 93.72 per cent. The recovered cases in the country stand at nearly 20 times the number of active cases. The active caseload of the country also continues to remain below 5 per cent.


In Maharashtra, as the SOPs for passengers travelling to the state from Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa are coming into effect, intense screening is being done at various checkposts and railways stations.

A special healthcare centre has been set up in Nashik to screen passengers coming from the four states. The Nashik municipal corporation has set up a 24x7 screening centre for arriving passengers at the railway station. Besides, the screening centres have been set up at Manmad, Lasalgaon, Nandgaon, Deolali and Igatpuri as well.

At the Ozhar airport in Nashik too, screening centre has been set up. Screening of people was also done at the Dahanu railway station in PALGHAR district for people arriving from neighbouring state of Gujarat.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the PRAGATI meeting today. It marked Prime Minister’s thirty-third interaction through PRAGATI - the ICT based multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, involving Central and State governments.

In today’s PRAGATI meeting, multiple projects, grievances and programmes were reviewed. The projects taken up were of the Ministry of Railways, MORTH, DPIIT and Power Ministry. These projects, with a total cost of 1.41 lakh crore rupees, were related to ten states and union territories, including Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Prime Minister asked the concerned Secretaries of the Union Government and Chief Secretaries of the State Governments to ensure that they complete the work before time.


Amid the growing number of Corona cases, Uttar Pradesh government has imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) in the state. The order released in this regard says that the act will be imposed for 6 months. More from our correspondent:

"The Uttar Pradesh Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1966, prohibits strikes by employees in a long list of essential services like railway, airport, post and telegraph. It also bans the strike in government departments, government run corporations and development authorities. Last time the act was imposed in state on 22nd May this year and the time period of six months had been expired. The order says that the State Government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient in the public interest to do so. State is witnessing a surge in the cases of Covid infection and the order is being seen as a step to deal with this situation. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."


Constitution Day or Samvidhan Diwas will be celebrated across the country tomorrow. The day is also known as National Law Day and commemorates the adoption of the Constitution in India. On 26th November in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of the country formally adopted the Constitution of India which came into force on 26th January 1950. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in the year 2015, notified the decision of the Government to celebrate 26th November as 'Constitution Day'. The day is celebrated to promote values of the Constitution among citizens. The Day is also celebrated as a mark of tribute to India's first Law Minister Dr. B R Ambedkar, who played a pivotal role in drafting the Constitution. AIR News brings you an excerpt of an Archive Speech of Dr. B R Ambedkar delivered in the Constituent Assembly on 17th December 1946.

On the occasion of the 71st Constitution Day tomorrow, Films Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will be streaming 4 films on its website and Youtube Channel. The films will be ranging from topics which include adoption of the Indian Constitution, its salient features and life of Dr. B R Ambedkar.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people in the country and abroad in the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme on All India Radio at 11 AM on Sunday. It will be the 71st episode of the monthly radio programme. It will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan and also on AIR News website www.newsonair.com and newsonair Mobile App. It will also be streamed live on the YouTube channels of AIR, DD News, PMO and Information and Broadcasting Ministry.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released a book on the life and ideals of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, the book has been penned by Kirpal Singh, who is based in Chandigarh.


New Zealand's Greg Barclay has been elected as the new independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). The head of the New Zealand Cricket team, NZC, Barclay beat Imran Khwaja in the second round of voting. Imran was interim chairman after Shashank Manohar stepped down from the post in July this year.

In the first round of voting last week, Barclay had 10 votes to Khwaja's six, and needed 11 votes for a two-thirds majority of the 16-person ICC Board. That vote arrived from Cricket South Africa in a second round of voting. Barclay is the second independent chairman of the world body, after Shashank Manohar of India.


Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said, the fight against Tuberculosis needs to be made into a Jan Andolan, a people’s movement. He said, an effective communication strategy is needed which would focus on reaching the maximum population, complement with preventive, diagnostic and curative aspects of TB management. Dr. Harsh Vardhan was chairing a meeting with the various developmental partners working in the field of TB care and management in India. The Health Minister urged for a joint collaborative platform where all the partners could join hands and forces together in elimination of Tuberculosis by 2025 from India. The meeting also served as a platform to highlight the main areas in which advocacy by all national and international organizations would help the country in its fight against TB.


Kerala and West Bengal have communicated their acceptance of Option-1 to meet the revenue shortfall arising out of GST implementation. The number of states who have chosen this option has gone up to 25. All the 3 Union Territories with Legislative Assembly - Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry - have also decided in favour of Option-1. The States and Union Territories who choose Option-1 are getting the amount of shortfall arising out of GST implementation through a special borrowing window put in place by the Centre.


In Jammu and Kashmir, snowfall in upper reaches of Kashmir valley is continuously reported while plains of the Union Territory are experiencing intermittent rains since this morning. According to reports, 4 feet snow has accumulated on Saadhna Pass which connects border area Karnah with Kupwara whileas Machil Gali, Nougam and Bangus Valley have received 4 feet snow that has crippled the normal life in these remote areas of north Kashmir's Kupwara district. More than two and a half feet fresh snow has also accumulated on the Heerpora-Peer Ki Gali stretch resulting into the continuous closure of the alternate road-link Mughal Road, that connects Kashmir Valley with rest of the country.


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

The National capital Delhi will have generally cloudy sky with light Rain or drizzle. Tempearture will hover between 10 and 23 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will have mainly clear sky. Temperature will vary between 21 and 32 degree Celsius.

In, Chennai rain or thundershowers would occur towards evening or night and the temperature will hover between 24 and 30 degree Celsius.

Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky. The city will observe minimum temperature of 18 degree Celsius and a maximum of 27 degree.

Srinagar will have generally cloudy sky with light rain. Temperature will hover between one degree celsius and nine degree.

In Jammu, the minimum temperature will be 12 degree Celsius while the maximum will be 21 degree. The city will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards evening or night

Leh is expected to have  generally cloudy sky. The minimum temperature will be minus six degree Celsius while the maximum will be one degree.

Gilgit will experience generally cloudy sky with temperature hovering between zero degree to seven degree celsius.
Muzaffarrabad will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will move from three to 12 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 12 and 21 degree Celsius. Sky will be partly cloudy with possibility of development of thunder lightning.

Chandigarh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature is likely to move from 14 to 22 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature will be 17 degree Celsius while the maximum will be 29 degree. The city will have generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers


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