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Last Updated : Jan 17 2021 9:34PM     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 interact with three teams involved with developing COVID-19 vaccine today.

  • Prime Minister to take part in world famous Dev Deepawali festival in Varanasi this evening.

  • Rajasthan government decides to close schools, colleges, cinema halls, entertainment parks in the state till December 31.

  • India to host SCO Council of Heads of Government Meeting in virtual format today.

  • US President-elect Joe Biden announces all-women White House communications team.

  • Guru Nanak Jayanti being celebrated with traditional fervour across the country and abroad.


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 will interact with three teams involved with developing a COVID-19 vaccine via video conferencing today. In a statement, Prime Minister's Office said, Mr Modi will interact with the teams of the Gennova Biopharma, Biological E, and Dr Reddy's, who are involved in developing the vaccine.

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister had visited Serum Institute of India in Pune as part of efforts to get a first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges, and roadmap in India's endeavour to vaccinate its citizens against COVID-19.

Mr Modi had also visited Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad and Bharat Biotech facility at Hyderabad as part of his three-city visit to personally review the vaccine development and manufacturing process.

In his Mann Ki Baat yesterday, Prime Minister stressed the need for developing vaccine at earliest and warned against any negligence in fighting Coronavirus.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit his parliamentary constituency Varanasi today and take part in the world famous Dev Deepawali festival in the evening. During his day-long visit the Prime Minister will take part in many functions.

Mr Modi will dedicate to the nation the six-lane widening project of the Handia (Prayagraj) - Rajatalab (Varanasi) section of National Highway 19. The 73 Km stretch of the newly widened and six laned NH-19, made with a total outlay of 2447 crore rupees, is expected to reduce the travel time between Prayagraj and Varanasi by one hour. He will address a gathering also. During the tour, the Prime Minister will  undertake a site visit of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project and also visit the Sarnath Archaeological Site. More details on this from our Uttar Pradesh correspondent:

"Dev Deepawali, which has become a world famous festival of light and fervour in Varanasi is celebrated on every Poornima of the Kartik month. The festival will be started by the Prime Minister by lighting a diya on the Raj Ghat of Varanasi, which will be followed by lighting of more than 15 lakh diyas on various ghats on both sides of River Ganges. Many cultural troops will perform on the ghats to welcome the Prime Minister who will also address a small gathering there. Prior to this Prime Minister will undertake a site visit of the under construction Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project to review its progress. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, VARANASI."


Prime Minister Narendra Modi Yesterday said, the recent agricultural reforms have opened new doors of possibilities for farmers. Addressing the Nation in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, the Prime Minister said, farmers had been demanding these reforms for a long time and his government delivered on this front. He said, Parliament gave a legal form to the agricultural reforms after a lot of deliberations.

The Prime Minister recounted how the reforms have helped Jitendra Bhoiji, a farmer from Dhule district of Maharashtra in receiving his outstanding payments for selling corn. Mr Modi said, right knowledge which is free from misconceptions and rumors can act as a force multiplier for every individual. He lauded Mohammad Aslam from Baran district of Rajasthan for raising awareness among farmers.


Home Minister Amit Shah will e-dedicate two new flyovers in Ahmedabad Gujarat today. The first flyover at Sindhu Bhavan cross roads and second flyover at Sanand junction will be dedicated through virtual mode. 245 meter long Sindhu Bhavan flyover has been built at a cost of 35 crore rupees, while a 240 meter Sanand junction flyover has been built at a cost of 36 crore rupees. Mr. Shah who is also the member of Lok Sabha for Gandhinagar constituency will inaugurate the flyovers at 10.30 am today. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel will join the event virtually. Our correspondent reports that the State and the Centre are in the process to convert a 44 km long Sarkhej - Gandhinagar - Chiloda road into six a lane road.


The Rajasthan government has said that schools, colleges, cinema halls, entertainment park etc will remain closed in the state till December 31. The move comes after a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the state. The state reported 18 coronavirus deaths yesterday, taking the total number of fatalities to 2,292. State also reported 2,518 fresh cases. The maximum number of 555 fresh cases were detected in Jaipur, followed by 395 cases in Jodhpur.

A total of 2 lakh 34 thousand 336 patients have recovered from the infection in the state and the number of active cases are 28,758.


The Government today said that India continues to have one of the lowest deaths per million population globally. In a tweet, Health Ministry said, focussed measures to ensure a low and manageable fatality rate have resulted in daily mortality figures of less than 500.


In Delhi, a total of four thousand 906 new confirmed cases of Corona virus infection were reported during the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to over five lakh 66 thousand. Delhi Government has said that over five lakh 22 thousand people affected with Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, 6 thousand 325 people recovered and 68 deaths were reported in the city taking the toll to 9 thousand 66. Presently, the total number of active cases in the national capital is 35 thousand 91.


In Bihar, COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 97.06 per cent. This is 3.38 per cent more than the national average. The number of active cases in the state are continuously declining. Currently, five thousand 648 patients are undergoing treatment at various hospitals. In all, 537 patients recovered in the last 24 hours while 606 new cases were reported. Maximum positive cases of 234 reported from Patna. Over two lakh 28 thousand 251 patients have so far recovered from the infection in the state. Over one lakh 35 thousand corona teste were carried out during the past 24 hours. Over one crore 45 lakh corona tests have been conducted in the state so far.


The efforts made by the Madhya Pradesh government to maintain mental health of children during COVID-19 have been appreciated by the Supreme Court. Justice Ravindra Bhatt has praised the efforts of trained counselors in Madhya Pradesh for keeping the children mentally healthy by formulating individual care plans for each child and enhancing their creativity during the Corona pandemic. The Supreme Court appreciated the MP Govt’s efforts during the two-day meeting organized recently through video conference on this subject. More from our Madhya Pradesh correspondent:-

"Justice Ravindra Bhatt also directed the other states to provide counseling to children in need and to create a pool of counselors in the line of outstanding work of Madhya Pradesh. It is noteworthy that a pool of 106 psychosocial consultants has been prepared in Madhya Pradesh to provide counseling to children at the state level. 3 thousand 921 sessions were organized by psychosocial counselors personally on issues related to mental health of children during COVID-19. 14 thousand 29 group counseling sessions were also organized with children and their families. Meanwhile, the numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state climbed up to more than 2 lakh after 1 thousand 514 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."


Gujarat recorded 1564 new cases during the last 24 hours. The recovery rate in the state is at 90.95 percent. More details on this from our Ahmedabad correspondent:

"The number of total cases of Covid19 detected so far in Gujarat has reached up to 2 lakh 8 thousand 278. Out of these, 1 lakh 89 thousand 420 patients recovered. 1451 patients recovered during the last 24 hours. More than 77 lakh 59 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date. At present total active cases in the state are 14889, out of which 86 patients are on ventilator. 16 patients died yesterday taking the total deaths due to Covid19 up to 3969. Meanwhile, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has added 152 private covid beds in the city hospitals and also added some hotels and hostels to work as Covid care centers. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


In Odisha, the covid-19 active caseload has further come down to 5264. 707 patients recovered yesterday taking the tally of recovery to 3,11,256. Five hundred 18 fresh infections increased the cumulative caseload of the state to 3,18,307. More details on this from our Odisha Correspondent:

"Against the backdrop of a sustained decline in new cases, the state for the first time since September 6th, reported  4 covid deaths in the last 24 hours. Earlier covid-caused fatalities in the state was in the range of 14 to 18 daily during the major part of the current month. With a positivity rate below 6%, while 10 districts out of 30 reported cases below 10 each during the last 24 hours, as many as 26 districts came up with fresh infection below 50 each. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar."


In Tamil Nadu, the active Covid-19 caseload dipped marginally yesterday to 11,052 while 1459 people across the state tested positive for the infection. The state government has said the vaccines against the viral infection would be given to all the people once it is ready. More details from our Chennai correspondent:

"The state health minister Dr C Vijayabhaskar inaugurated a 120-beded Covid-19 ward at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital at Chennai exclusively for Covid-19 patients with comorbidities. The ward has specialties including urology, nephrology and oncology. He said once the vaccines are rolled out, they would be given to the public without charging any fee. He said all preparatory works including arrangements for the cold chain network for the distribution of the vaccines are being carried out so that once the vaccines are approved, they could be made available to the public at short notice. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 6 fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday while 19 patients recovered. The number of active cases have declined to 106. As many as 88 cases are in South Andaman while 14 cases were detected in North & Middle Andaman district. The Tribal district of Nicobar has 4 positive cases. 61 persons have died till date.


Talking to AIR, Dr. Neeraj Gupta of Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital said that precautions are important while attending marriage ceremonies.


India will host Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of Government Meeting in virtual format today. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will chair the meeting. In a statement, External Affairs Ministry said, it will be the first time that a Summit-level Meeting will be held under India’s Chairmanship, since it gained full membership of the organization in 2017. This Summit is held annually at the level of Prime Ministers of SCO and deals primarily with the trade and economic agenda of the organization. India assumed the Chairmanship of the SCO Council of Heads of Government on 2nd November last year as per rotation from the previous Chair - Uzbekistan and will complete its year-long tenure on 30th of this month.

"India hopes to further strengthen greater trade, economic and cultural cooperation within SCO by putting human beings at the center of SCO activities and to foster greater peace and prosperity in the region. India’s initiatives will not only be helpful for SCO Member States in overcoming the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but will also signal its continued commitment to strengthening the organization. Prime Ministers from the SCO Member States of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will attend the SCO meeting. Pakistan will be represented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Apart from the SCO Member States, the four Observer States of SCO will also participate- including Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia. Turkmenistan has been invited as a Special Guest of the Host. ANSHUMAN MISHRA, AIR NEWS, BEIJING."

SCO Secretary General made special mention of PM Modi’s proposal at this year’s SCO Summit of creating a working group in the field of traditional medicine. At the Summit, PM Modi also proposed to create a special working group on innovation and start-up that could share India’s rich experience in the field of start-up eco-system. Under India’s chairmanship, the first ever SCO Start-up forum was also launched this year.


India has strongly and categorically rejected the factually incorrect and unwarranted references to India in resolutions adopted by the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) at the 47th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Niamey of  Niger. The session was held on 27th to 28th of this month. External Affairs Ministry in a statement said that India has always maintained that OIC has no locus standi in matters strictly internal to India including that of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India. The Ministry said, it is regrettable that OIC continues to allow itself to be used by a certain country, which has an abominable record on religious tolerance, radicalism and persecution of minorities, to indulge in anti-India propaganda. The Ministry has strongly advised the OIC to refrain from making such references in future.


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has called on UAE Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and handed over a personal communication from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the meeting, both ministers underlined India's role as a reliable partner in all respects and discussed prospects for economic cooperation in the post-COVID era. He also thanked the UAE Prime Minister for taking care of the Indian community in UAE. Dr Jaishankar also visited the India pavilion at Expo 2020 site in Dubai and was briefed by India's Ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor. The minister reviewed the progress of India pavilion in showcasing India and UAE's strength in innovation and technology. Dr Jaishankar recently embarked in a three-nation tour to Bahrain, UAE and Seychelles.


US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed an all-women White House communications team. He has chosen former President Barack Obama administration's State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki as his White House press secretary. Psaki currently oversees the confirmations team for the Biden-Harris Transition. During the Obama-Biden administration, Psaki held several senior roles, including White House Communications Director and State Department Spokesperson under the then-Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mr Biden's communications team will be led by Kate Bedingfield, who will serve as the White House Communications Director. Bedingfield has served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for the Biden-Harris Campaign.


Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is being celebrated with religious fervour across India and the world today. It marks the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, who laid the foundation of Sikhism. This year marks the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. On this day, devotees around the world offer prayers. The Golden temple in Amritsar celebrates Gurpurab with much aplomb.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the occasion. In his Mann Ki Baat programme, Mr Modi said he is deeply inspired by the noble ideals of Guru Nanak Dev. Prime Minister Modi said, the world over, the influence of Guru Nanak Dev ji is distinctly visible.


President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu have greeted people on the occasion. In his message, Mr Kovind has said that the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev are inspiration for all human-beings. He showed people the path of unity, harmony, fraternity, comity and service, and gave an economic philosophy to realize a lifestyle based on hard work, honesty and self-respect. The President said that Guru Nanak Dev gave the basic mantra of ‘Ek Onkar’ to his followers and insisted on treating all human beings equally, without discriminating on the basis of caste, creed and gender. Mr Kovind said that his message of 'Naam Japo, Kirat Karo and Vand Chhako' contains the essence of all his teachings.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the nation on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti. In his message, Mr Naidu said that the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji has remained an icon of truth, compassion, and righteousness through his noble life. He has a unique place among the spiritual leaders, preceptors, reformers and saints of India. Mr Naidu said, his teachings have universal appeal and would forever inspire us to follow the path of compassion and humility and to show respect for all humankind, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.


In Chhattisgarh, paddy procurement at minimum support price will commence from tomorrow. This procurement will continue till 31st January next year. All preparations have been completed for paddy procurement. A report from our Chhattisgarh correspondent:

"Paddy is the major crop of Chhattisgarh. The state is known as the Rice Bowl of India. This year, more than twenty-one lakh farmers have registered themselves to sell paddy under MSP scheme. These farmers have grown paddy crops in about twenty eight lakh hectares. Last year, the government had purchased around 84 lakh metric tons of paddy from more than 18 lakh farmers at a support price. A state level team of officials has been constituted to conduct paddy procurement in a proper manner and to ensure that farmers do not face any problems. Apart from this, the government has made strict arrangements to keep vigil in the border districts, so that no person from the neighbouring states could illegally sell paddy in Chhattisgarh. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."


The Low Pressure Area observed in the Andaman Sea and its adjoining South East Bay of Bengal and the Equatorial Indian Ocean intensified into a Well-Marked Low Pressure Area yesterday. Met Department in Chennai said that the weather system is expected to further intensify into a Depression and move towards the coast.


Kerala State Disaster Management Authority has urged the public to take adequate precautions as the Meteorological Department forecasts heavy rain and strong winds in the State from tomorrow, on account of low pressure formed in the Bay of Bengal.

Fishing activities have been prohibited from midnight tonight as the sea is expected to be rough. Fishers who are out at sea have been advised to make for the nearest coast by tonight. The departments of Revenue and Local Self-Government have been directed to make arrangements for opening relief camps in case of emergency.


Take a look at the weather forecast for today.

The National capital had generally fog/mist in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later with temperatures varying between 09 and 25 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will observe Partly cloudy sky and the temperature will vary between 22 and 33 degree Celsius.

Chennai will have Partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 22 and 30 degree Celsius.

Kolkata is likely to have Mainly Clear sky. The city observed a minimum temperature of 16 degree Celsius and maximum temperature of 28 degree Celsius.

On to North, Jammu witnessed a minimum temperature of 09 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 25 degrees.

Srinagar will have Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Temperature will hover between minus two degree Celsius and 13 degrees.

In Leh, there will be Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The minimum temperature was minus nine degree Celsius while the maximum will be around one degrees.

Gilgit will have mainly clear sky between minus two degree Celsius to 16 degrees.

Muzaffarabad is Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will move from four to 18 degree Celsius.



  • With a rise in the frequency of cold waves this season, "Harsher winter ahead, Delhi sees coldest-November writes the Asian Age.

  • On the Covid front, the Hindustan Times writes, "Capital adds fewer than 5000 cases for second day. While the Business Standard writes "Covid vaccination plan to match election drill" Aadhar, Voter ID card may be used to draw up the first round of names.

  • Many newspapers today have captured pictures of participants of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon on Sunday, the Hindustan Times caption reads, "Marathoners brave Delhi's pollution."

  • The Tribune carries a picture of an illuminated Golden Temple as the country celebrates the 551st Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

  • With 'Working from anywhere' being the emerging trend in the corporate world, "Work from Home" to spur contract hiring in small cities is a lead story in the Financial Express.

  • And finally, the Indian Express has a unique story of the 90 feet ecobridge built on the Kaladhungi-Nainital highway. This bridge would help reptiles cross the jungle road without the fear of being crushed under vehicular traffic.


Australia defeated India by 51 runs in the second One Day International of the three-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground last evening. After setting a target of 390 runs, Australia restricted India to 338. 


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