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UN General Assembly adopts India's resolution to declare 2023 as International Year of Millets            Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, India is honored to be at forefront of popularizing Millets            BJP CEC meets in New Delhi in wake of upcoming Assembly Elections            External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishanker visits Dhaka, says, Bangladesh is central to India's neighborhood first Policy            India commemorates Chabahar Day, External Affairs Minister says, Chabahar port facilitated delivery of humanitarian assistance during COVID-19 pandemic           

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Evening News

2030 HRS

2030 HRS.

15th January, 2021


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme tomorrow through video conferencing.

  • National COVID recovery rate improves to 96.53 per cent.

  • Ninth round of talks held between Centre and Farmer unions in New Delhi; Next Meeting on 19th January.

  • Third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana launched in 600 districts across the country.

  • India and Nepal discuss several areas of cooperation including connectivity, economy and security issues.

  • In Cricket: Australia were 274 for five at stumps on day one of final Test match in Brisbane.


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 launch the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination program tomorrow morning through video conferencing. This pan India rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination drive will cover the entire length and breadth of the country. 

A total of three thousand six session sites across all States and Union Territoriess will be virtually connected during the launch. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day.

This vaccination programme is based on the principles of priority groups to be vaccinated and Health Care workers, both in Government and private sectors including ICDS workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase.


NITI Aayog Member, Health and the Chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19, Dr V. K. Paul has said that the two Made in India vaccines-Covishield and Covaxin are safe and both have the capacity to develop an immune response system in the body. Talking exclusively to AIR News, Dr Paul said that both the vaccines have been given emergency use authorisation by the drug regulator and experts of the country and people should trust it.

Dr Paul also advised the people not to pay heed to the false information related to the vaccines.

The full interview can be heard in our SPOTLIGHT programme on FM Gold Channel at 9.15 P.M. tonight.


In Gujarat, the State Government has extended the night curfew in four major cities of the state till 31st of January. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced that the night curfew from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot will now continue till 31st of January. Earlier, it was extended till today. Meanwhile, the State Government has geared up for a nationwide vaccination drive starting from tomorrow.

"Administration and health department of Gujarat is fully ready for launching a nationwide vaccination drive. Gujarat has already received 5 lakh 41 thousand doses of Covishield vaccine manufactured by Pune based Institute. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will remain present at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital during the launch of Vaccine drive. 11 lakh frontline warriors including more than 4 lakh health workers have been identified for the first dose of vaccine during the first phase.Yogesh Pandya // AIR News // Ahmedabad"


Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will kickstart Mumbai's vaccination campaign at 10 a.m. at the Vaccination Centre at Bandra-Kurla Complex.

In the First Phase of Corona preventive vaccine developed by Pune-based Serum Institute, mainly health workers, doctors and nurses will be vaccinated, while the other essential service personnel group including police, cleaners, Central Reserve Police Force personnel and among others will be vaccinated in the Second Phase of the drive. In the Third Phase, the elderly persons above 50 years of age and patients with various diseases will be vaccinated. Vaccination can be done by showing official identity card.  The vaccinated person will be kept under the supervision of a specialist doctor for 30 minutes. If any side effects are found after vaccination,  one can call the municipality or the nearest immunization center for any help.

"Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal has informed that in Mumbai over one and a half lakh health workers will be vaccinated in the first phase of vaccination begining tomorrow. The  vaccination program will be conducted at the nine vaccination centers in Mumbai. All these centers will have a total of 40 vaccination booths. A total of 4,000 people will be vaccinated at these 40 booths every day. With jombo Covid Center of BKC there are eight key centers selected for the vaccination in Mumbai. In the first phase, health workers in essential services will be vaccinated. For this, the Covin app has been developed and the concerned will be informed about the center and time of vaccination text message. Nivedita, Air News Mumbai."


Karnataka has set up 243 centres across the state to administer Covishield and Covaxin vaccines tomorrow. Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru today, the Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar informed that the Prime Minister will virtually inaugurate vaccination drive in Bengaluru Medical College tomorrow morning. He added that 8,14,500 doses of both the vaccines are available for vaccination.

"Covi-Shield will be administered in 237 centres and Covaxin in six centres in Shivamogga, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Chamrajnagar and Davangere. Totally 7,17,439 health warriors will be vaccinated in the initial phase. On the first day tomorrow the target is to vaccinate 24,300 warriors across the state. Health department frontline warriors, police and municipal Corporation workers will be vaccinated first. The initial phase will be completed within a week. The Health minister has said that emergency medical service will be available at the vaccination site to deal with any side effects for those who are vaccinated. He asked the public not to heed to rumours on vaccination being spread on social media. He asked them to take Covid vaccine without any fear. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru"


In Sikkim, COVID-19 vaccination drive will be launched from STNM hospital, Gangtok in East Sikkim and District hospital, Gyalsingh in West Sikkim. More from our Gangtok Correspondent:

"Sikkim has received 12,500 doses of Covishield vaccine for healthcare workers. A total of 12,120 doses have been allocated to central and state health care workers, and Armed Forces Medical Services. So far, 220 vaccinators have been trained for the programme. Director general cum secretary of state health department Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia speaks about preparations for the vaccination exercise.

Sikkim health minister Dr MK Sharma  has allayed concerns related to vaccination and affirmed that the vaccines have passed stringent scientific protocols for safety and effectiveness. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma from Gangtok for AIR."


In Assam, the stage has been set to administer COVID vaccination tomorrow. Talking to news persons in Guwahati, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that one lakh 90 thousand health workers or COVID Warriors will get vacination in the First Phase. He said that there will be 65 session sites for vaccination. The Health Department has trained eight thousand 651 nurses for vaccination. 

Mr. Sarma said that there are also 1,300 supervisors to monitor the nurses. He said that three health institutes including Gauhati Medical College and Hospital will be connected directly during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's inaugural session.  Several senior doctors of the state to take vaccination tomorrow.


In Uttar Pradesh, the State Government has added more than three lakh 67 thousand families to Ayushman Bharat Yojana in the last one month. This is a significant achievement since no member of these families ever had a golden card under the scheme and couldn't avail the health facilities being provided by Central Government under the scheme meant for the poor families.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said that State Government launched a special drive from 15th December 2020 to 14th January 2021 to bring those families under the ambit of the scheme who were not part of it. During this period, more than 10 lakh seven thousand golden cards were provided to the poor families who will now be able to to avail all the facilities being provided under the the Ayushman Bharat scheme. Talking about the vaccination drive, he said that all the necessary arrangements are in place for the vaccination drive to start tomorrow. In Lucknow, Postal Department will also release a Special Cover on Vaccination on this occasion. Meanwhile, after a long gap the number of active  patients in state has come down below 10 thousand. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, AIR News, Lucknow.


The Andaman and Nicobar Islands is all set to join the country-wide launch of COVID-19 vaccination drive tomorrow. The drive would be initiated  at G. B. Pant Hospital in Port Blair connected live from Delhi through video conferencing by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Commissioner-cum-Health Secretary Dr. V. Candavelu informed that in the First Phase, the Covishield will be given at two centres including G.B. Pant Hospital and Ayush Hospital to 240 health workers overall on day one. Afterwards, the vaccination drive will be carried on as per the protocols. Soon the vaccine will be delivered to Block Centres in Rangat, Mayabunder, Diglipur, Nancowry, Car Nicobar, Hut bay and Campbell Bay. He further added that the second dose will be given after 28 days of the first dose. Till then, all precautionary measures should be followed.


India continues to leap ahead in its fight against COVID-19 with over one crore one lakh 62 thousand recoveries so far. With this, the national recovery rate has further improved to 96.53 per cent. The number of daily infection also continues to remain below 20 thousand with only 15 thousand 590 cases being reported in the past 24 hours. During the same period nearly 16 thousand people have recovered from the pandemic.

The gap between the recovered patients and active cases in the country has further widened and the number of recovered patients stands at nearly 48 times the number of current active cases.

The active caseload in the country comprises nearly two lakh 13 thousand people and stands at 2.02 per cent. Out of these nearly 60 per cent are under home isolation and have mild to very mild symptoms.

The Health Ministry further said that this has also led to a commensurate dip in the fatality rate which stands at 1.44 per cent. The number of countrywide fatalities recorded in 24 hours has slipped below the 200 mark with 191 deaths being reported since yesterday.


The Third Phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana was launched today in 600 districts across the country. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, this phase will focus on new-age and COVID-related skills.

Skill Development Minister Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey interacted with various students of the skill development centres.

Skill India Mission-PMKVY 3.0 envisages training of eight lakh candidates over a scheme period of 2020-2021 with an outlay of 949 crore rupees .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched skill India programme in 2015 and it has gained tremendous momentum through launch of its flagship scheme PMKVY to unlock the vision of making India the Skill Capital of the world.


The two-day ‘Prarambh’, Start-up India International Summit began in New Delhi today. Members of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries are participating in the inaugural event. The summit is being organized by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.

Declaring the summit open, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said that it is a demonstration of Neighbourhood First Policy which will boost partnership among the member countries. He hoped that this will usher in a new beginning, showcasing various aspects of the start-up world. He said that Indian start-up ecosystem has made big progress in the last five years since the launch of Start-up India. The Minister said that the partnership among the BIMSTEC countries in the sector will take start-ups to the forefront of new India, new world, new neighbourhood in the new normal. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also interact with startups and address the summit through video conferencing tomorrow evening.


The summit is being organised as a follow up of the announcement made by the Prime Minister at the fourth Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit held in Kathmandu in August 2018 wherein India committed to host the BIMSTEC Startup Conclave.

The Summit marks the fifth anniversary of the Start-up India initiative, launched by the Prime Minister on 16th of January, 2016. With participation from over 25 countries and more than 200 global speakers, the summit will be the largest start-up confluence organised by the Government of India since the launch of the Start-up India initiative.

Prarambh is expected to bring together top policy makers, industry, academia, investors, startups and all stakeholders from across the globe. In addition to deliberating on good practices from best of the ecosystems across the world, the sessions of the Summit are designed to showcase the spread and depth of entrepreneurship based on innovation in India. The objective is to focus attention of global capital for startups in India, mobilize domestic capital, provide opportunities for accessing international markets to our start-ups and evolve enabling policy provisions.

The first day of the Summit has been devoted to host BIMSTEC Start-up Conclave. Ministers and Senior Officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Executive Director of National Innovation Agency of Thailand and the Secretary General of BIMSTEC will participate in the Summit.


The ninth round of talks between the Central Government and farmer unions was held in the National Capital today. 

Speaking to media after the talks, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, no conclusive decision was taken in the meeting and the next round of talks will be held on the 19th of January. Saying that the talks were held in a cordial atmosphere, Mr Tomar hoped that a consensus will be arrived at soon. He added that  the government suggested to farmer unions to form informal group to finalise concrete proposals that can be discussed further at formal talks. He also expressed concern at the farmers protesting in the cold conditions. Mr Tomar said, all the three farm legislations were discussed in detail.

The Minister added that the Centre has identified the concerns of the farmers and is trying to allay these concerns. Replying to a query, the Minister said, Centre will present its side before the Committee constituted by the Supreme Court when asked.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday had stayed the implementation of three farm laws till further orders. It had also announced the formation of a committee to hear the grievances of the farmers and the opinion of the government.

Bhartiya Kisan Union President Bhupinder Singh Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana, Maharashtra President Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute's Pramod Kumar Joshi and Agriculture Economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel. Yesterday Mr Mann recused himself from the four-member committee.


The sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali in New Delhi today. The Joint Commission comprehensively reviewed all aspects of multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries and explored ways to further strengthen the traditionally close and friendly ties. Both sides discussed several areas of cooperation including in the areas of connectivity, economy and trade, power, oil and gas, water resources, political and security issues. External Affairs Ministry said, the progress made since the last meeting of the Joint Commission in taking forward several bilateral initiatives was acknowledged.

The close cooperation between the two sides in combating COVID-19 pandemic in the region was noted. Nepal congratulated India on the remarkable success in production of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in India and requested for early provision of vaccines to Nepal.


India and Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance cooperation in the field of Information and Communications Technologies today. The MoU was signed by Minister for Communications, Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad and the Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Takeda Ryota. It was exchanged through a video conference today.

Department of Telecom and Japan's Ministry of Communications will enhance mutual cooperation in the field of 5G technologies, telecom security, submarine optical fiber cable system to islands of India, spectrum management, smart cities, high altitude platform for broadband in unconnected areas, disaster management and public safety etc.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off eight trains connecting different regions of the country to Kevadiya on 17th of January via video conferencing. These trains will facilitate seamless connectivity to the Statue of Unity. Prime Minister will also inaugurate several other projects related to the Railways sector in Gujarat during the event. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and  Railways Minister Piyush Goyal will be present on the occasion.


The 51st Edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will begin in Panji, Goa  tomorrow. The Opening ceremony will be held in the presence of Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar. The festival will showcase best of the movies from across the globe during 16th January to 24th January 2021. 

Preparations are  on in full swing  for  the International Film Festival of India in Panaji. The inauguration ceremony would be held at the Shyamaprasad Stadium in Bambolim. This  year IFFI is being organised in hybrid form which includes physical as well as virtual  screening of films along with  extensive use of OTT platform. Tributes would be paid to legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray with the screening of his  famous films like Charulata and so on.  Other Indian artistes who would be given tributes are filmmakers Basu Chatterjee, Nishikant Kamat, Manmohan Mahapatra, Urdu poet Rahat Indori, choreographer Saroj Khan,and  singer SP Balasubrahmanyam. The movie gala will also showcase films of 19 artistes from India and nine international names who passed away last year. IFFI will pay homage to Irfan Khan, Sushant Singh Rajput, Rishi Kapoor and Hollywood star Chadwick Boseman and Soumitra Chatterjee by screening their movies Bobby, Paan Singh Tomar, Kedarnath, Charulata and 42. From global cinema, films of actors including Kirk Douglas, Olivia De Havilland; directors Alan Parker, Ivan Passer, Goran Paskaljevic; cinematographer Allen Daviau and composer Ennio Morricone will be screened. Twelve foreign films  will be screened under the Kaleidoscope section. Every year well chosen films are included in this category. Three films from France have made it to the section, including Night of the Kings. Film enthusiasts will get an opportunity to watch Only human by Igor Ivanov, The Audition by Ina Weisse and many other films. Saand Ki Aankh, directed by Tushar Hiranandani and featuring Taapsee Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar, will open the Panorama section at the festival. A total of 224 films will be screened under different sections during this edition of IFFI. This is VALSA WILLIAMS, AIR NEWS.


Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today reviewed preparations for the launch of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive scheduled to begin tomorrow. The Union Minister visited the Dedicated COVID Control Room which has been set up at the Nirman Bhawan premises of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will flag off the First Phase of the pan-India roll out of COVID-19 vaccination drive tomorrow at 10:30 A.M. via video conferencing.  This vaccination programme will cover the entire length and breadth of the country, with a total of 3,006 session sites across all States and UTs which will be connected virtually throughout the exercise. Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated tomorrow at each of the session sites. The vaccination drive has been planned in a phased manner, identifying priority groups. Health Care workers, both in government and private sectors including Integrated Child Development Services-ICDS  workers, will receive the vaccine during this phase.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, India’s exercise to vaccinate its population against COVID-19 shall be the largest immunization drive of the world. The Union Minister reiterated that both the indigenously manufactured vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, have proven safety and immunogenicity records and are the most important tools to contain the pandemic.


In Cricket, Australia were 274 for five at stumps on the opening day of the Fourth and Final Test at The Gabba in Brisbane today. Skipper Tim Paine on 38 and Cameron Green on 28 were on crease.

For the hosts, Labuschagne starred with the bat scoring 108, while Matthew Wade and Steve Smith also made notable contributions. Earlier, electing to bat, the hosts did not get off to a good start as both the openers David Warner and Marcus Harris were out with just 17 runs on the scoreboard.

For India, debutant southpaw pacer T Natarajan claimed two wickets whereas Siraj, Shardul and Sundar scalped one each.


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

The National Capital is likely to have dense fog in the morning. The minimum temperature will be four degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 20 degrees.

Mumbai will have a partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature will be around 18 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 30 degrees.

Srinagar will have a mainly clear sky.  The temperature will hover between minus seven and six degrees Celsius.

Jammu will have fog in the morning and a mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature will be around seven degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 16 degrees.

Leh will have a partly clear sky. The minimum temperature will be around minus 13 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around zero degree.

Gilgit will have a mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between minus four and 11 degrees Celsius.

In Muzaffarabad, the sky will be mainly clear. The temperature will hover between five and 18 degrees Celsius.


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