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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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Midday News

1400 HRS
17.01.2021
THE HEADLINEs:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off eight trains connecting different regions of the country to Statue of Unity at Kevadiya.
  • Prime Minister says new trains represent the beauty of Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat.
  • Nation's first Covid-19 vaccination drive held successfully, over 1.91 lakh people inoculated on day one.
  • COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 96.58 per cent in the country.
  • And in Cricket, India all out for 336 runs in their first innings in Brisbane test.

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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:

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today flagged off through video conferencing eight trains connecting different regions of the country to Kevadiya. These trains will facilitate seamless connectivity to the Statue of Unity. 
Speaking on the occasion Mr Modi said, today is a historic day for us as the beauty of Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat is being highlighted. He said, in the history of Indian Railways, for the first time eight trains from across the nation have been connected with a single destination.

"रेलवे के तेजी से आधुनिकीकरण का एक बड़ा कारण रेलवे मैन्‍यूफैकचरिंग और रेलवे टेक्‍नोलोजी में आत्‍मनिर्भरता पर हमारा बल है। हमारा फोकस है।  बीते सालों में इस दिशा में जो काम हुआ, उसका परिणाम अब धीरे-धीरे सामने दिख रहा है। आज भारत में ही बनी एक से एक आधुनिक ट्रेनें भारतीय रेल का हिस्‍सा है।
The Prime Minister said, today is the amalgamation of Indian Railways Mission and Sardar Vallabhai Patel's Vision. He said, there is no place like Kevadia and it is identified by the Statue of Unity and Sardar Sarovar Dam.
Mr Modi said, it is becoming the new tourist destination of the country and it is estimated that in the coming years one lakh people will daily visit Kevadiya.

"स्‍टेच्‍यू ऑफ यूनिटी देखने के लिए अब स्‍टेच्‍यू ऑफ लिबर्टी से भी ज्‍यादा टूरिस्‍ट पहुंचने लगे हैं। अपने लोकापर्ण के बाद करीब करीब पचास लाख लोग स्‍टेच्‍यू ऑफ यूनिटी को देखने आ चुके हैं। कोरोना में सबकुछ महीनों तक बंद रहने के बाद अब एक बार फिर केवडि़या में आने वाले टूरिस्‍टों की संख्‍या तेजी से बढ़ रही है। एक सर्वें में अनुमान लगाया गया है कि जैसे जैसे कनेक्टिविटी बढ़ रही है। भविष्‍य में हर रोज एक लाख तक लोग केवडि़या आने लगेंगे।"
The Prime Minister said, the biggest benefit of this rail connectivity will not only be available to the tourists visiting the Statue of Unity, but it will also change the lives of Kevadia tribals.

"केवडिया में जो रेलवे स्‍टेशन  बनाया गया है। उसमें भी सुविधा के साथ-साथ टूरिज्‍म का ध्‍यान रखा गया है। यहां ट्राइबल आर्ट गैलरी  और एक  गैलेरी भी बनाई जा रही है। इस विविंग गैलरी से पर्यटक स्‍टेच्‍यू ऑफ यूनिटी को देख पाएंगे। इस प्रकार के लक्ष्‍य और केन्द्रित प्रयास भारतीय रेल के बदलते स्‍वरूप का भी प्रमाण है। भारतीय रेल पारंपरिक सवारी और मालगाडी वाली अपनी भूमिका निभाने के साथ ही हमारे प्रमुख टूरिस्‍ट और आस्‍था से जुड़े सर्किट को भी सीधी कनेक्‍टिविटी दे रही है।"
The Prime Minister said, many facilities have been brought to Kevadia. Employment is generated in nearby Tribal villages. He said, more than 200 rooms in Adivasi villages have been turned into homestays.

"ये कनेक्टिविटी सुविधा के साथ-साथ रोजगार और स्‍वरोजगार के नए अवसर भी लेकर आएगी। ये रेल लाइन मॉ नर्मदा के तट पर बसे तर्नाली, ओइचा और गरूडेश्‍वर जैसे आस्‍था से जुड़े महत्‍वपूर्ण स्‍थानों को भी कनेक्‍ट करेगी।"
Mr Modi said, modernisation of Railways is underway and Government is focussing on newer technology in Railways. He said, Indian Railways braved hard climatic conditions and raging COVID-19 pandemic to complete all its ambitious projects.
The Prime Minister said, we make sure that Indian Railways not only uses new Aatma Nirbhar techonologies but also ensure that they are environment friendly. He said, the beautiful Kevadiya is an excellent example of how both economy and ecology can be developed rapidly while protecting the environment in a planned manner.
Paying tributes to Bharat Ratna M G Ramachandran, Mr Modi said, today, one of the trains leaving for Kevadia is coming from Puratchi Talaivar Dr. MG Ramachandran Central Railway Station. He said, it is a happy coincidence that today is the birth anniversary of Bharat Ratna awaredee MGR.

"आज भारतरत्‍ना एमजीआर की जयंती भी है। एमजीआर ने हिम स्‍क्रनी से लेकर पॉलिटिकल स्‍क्रीन तक लोगों के दिलों पर राज किया। उनका जीवन, उनकी पूरी राजनीतिक यात्रा गरीबों के लिए समर्पित थी। गरीबों को सम्‍मानजनक जीवन मिले। इसके लिए उन्‍होंने निरंतर काम किया। भारत रत्‍न एमजीआर के इन कामों को पूरा करने के लिए आज हम सब प्रयास कर रहे हैं।"
Speaking on this occasion Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that today is the historic day for Gujarat. He said that the Center and state government have implemented a series of projects at the Statue of Unity site that will provide employment and livelihood to the local tribals. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was also present on the occasion.
The trains flagged off by Prime Minister today include  Kevadiya-Varanasi Mahamana Express (Weekly), Dadar-Kevadiya Express (Daily), Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Janshatabdi Express (Daily),
Nizamuddin - Kevadia Sampark Kranti Express (Bi-Weekly), Kevadia - Rewa Express (Weekly), Chennai - Kevadia Express (Weekly), Pratapnagar-Kevadia MEMU train (Daily) and Kevadiya-Pratapnagar MEMU train (Daily).
According to the Railway Ministry, the Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Jan Shatabdi Express has been provided with the new-age Vista-dome tourist coach which will offer a panoramic view of the skyline.
The Prime Minister also inaugurated Dabhoi-Chandod broad gauge railway line, Chandod Kevadiya new broad gauge railway line, newly electrified Pratapnagar- Kevadiya section and the new station buildings of Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya.
These projects are aimed to boost development and tourism in the region. The buildings have been designed aesthetically incorporating local features and modern passenger amenities. Kevadiya Railway Station is India's first station with a Green Building Certification.

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Chennai will stay connected to the monumental statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man of India, through the introduction of the superfast weekly trains. According to the Divisional Railway Manager of the Southern Railway P Mahesh, this project is a historic venture.

"Chennaiites will now be able to reach Kevadiya directly to visit the world renowned Sardar Patel Statue. Today nine hundred and nine passengers who began their journey from Chennai will reach Kevadiya  tomorrow at 2.52 pm. The superfast train will cover 1731 kms and make scheduled stop at ten places passing through stations at Andhra, Maharashtra , Chattisgarh, Bihar and reach Gujarat where the statue is situated. Joy/Chennai"

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The Dadar-Kevadiya superfast Express train was flagged off by the Prime Minister via video conferencing today. The inaugural train which left Dadar at 11.12 hrs today will reach Kevadiya at 18.42 hrs this evening. As a regular service train no. 02927 Dadar-Kevadiya Superfast  Express will depart Dadar daily at 23.50 hrs and will reach Kevadiya at 7.25 hrs the next day. Similarly train no. 02928 will depart from Kevadiya daily at 21.25 hrs and will reach Dadar at 5.30 hrs the next day. The train will halt at Borivali, Valsad, Surat, Bharuch and Vadodara junction stations in both directions.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will perform Bhoomi Poojan of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-2 and Surat Metro Rail Project at 10:30 AM tomorrow through video conferencing. The Metro Projects will provide an environment friendly Mass Rapid Transit System to these cities.
Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-2 is 28.25 Kilometre long with two corridors.

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India successfully rolled out the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination drive yesterday. It was launched by Prime M inister Narendra Modi through video conferencing. More than 1.91 lakh people across the country were inoculated on the first day. Health Ministry said not a single case of post-vaccination hospitalisation has been reported so far. SII-produced Covidshield was supplied to all States and UTs, while Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was sent to 12 States. Government said, vaccination drive is probably the beginning of the end of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said India's COVID 19 vaccination campaign is based on very humane principles and those exposed to maximum risk get priority.

"ऐसी ही उपलब्धियों के लिए राष्ट्र कवि रामधारी सिंह दिनकर ने कहा था- मानव जब ज़ोर लगाता है, पत्थर पानी बन जाता है, भारत का टीकाकरण अभियान बहुत ही मानवीय और महत्वपूर्ण सिद्धांतों पर आधारित है। जिसे सबसे ज्यादा जरूरी है, उसे सबसे पहले कोरोना का टीका लगेगा। जिसे कोरोना संक्रमण का रिस्क सबसे ज्यादा है, उसे पहले टीका लगेगा। जो हमारे डॉक्टर्स हैं, नर्सेंस हैं, अस्पताल में सफाईकर्मी हैं, मेडिकल-पैरामेडिकल स्टाफ हैं, वो कोरोना की वैक्सीन के सबसे पहले हकदार हैं। चाहे वो सरकारी अस्पताल में हों या फिर प्राइवेट में, सभी को ये वैक्सीन प्राथमिकता पर लगेगी।"
Mr Modi praised the scientists who had been involved in making the vaccine against Corona for the past several months. He exuded pride how two Made in India vaccines were readied in such a short period.

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Sanitary workers were among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday as about 9,500 persons were vaccinated in the state on the first day of nationwide drive.

"The drive carried out at 150 centres in Madhya Pradesh. State Health Minister Prabhuram Choudhary informed that about 57,000 health care workers will receive the vaccines in the first week of the drive. Meanwhile, In MadhyaPradesh 793 patients recovered yesterday. while 365 new positive cases were reported. With 5 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll rose to 3 thousand 751. Pooja P Vardhan, Air News Panaji, Goa".

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In Bihar 18,122 health workers were vaccinated on the first day of vaccination drive yesterday. Vaccination was undertaken at 301 health centres in 38 districts of the state. Health Minister Mangal Pandey said, vaccination will be conducted on four days every week.
Meanwhile Bihar  reported more recoveries than fresh Corona cases. 328 patients recovered during the last 24 hours, while 239 new cases were reported.

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Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that the state has received 10 lakh doses of the Covid19 preventive vaccine and it will require additional 7.50 lakh doses. He said that 8 lakh health professionals were registered for the vaccination drive and considering two doses each for the registered professional, the state will require more number of doses. While speaking to reporters after launching the vaccination drive yesterday at Jalna he said that, he will write a letter to the Union Health Minister to demand additional doses of the vaccine.

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Public Health Department of Maharashtra has made it clear that the vaccination drive has not been suspended anywhere in the state and the drive will continue according to the guidelines in the next week for four days. The clarification is given in the backdrop of the reports in some section of media that the drive is suspended in the state till January 18. The deparment has said that the vaccination drive was not planned on January 17 and 18. So question of cancellation does not arise.

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  The Andhra Pradesh public have welcomed the Historic Covid Vaccination. The AP State is in jubilation as the Andhrites watched and listened the Prime Minister Narendra Modi address. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has  attended the inauguration of COVID vaccination programme at Government General Hospital (GGH), Vijayawada, yesterday. The Covid vaccination took place with full swing across the 13 Districts in Andhra Pradesh. 
The First Covid vaccine recepient a sanitation worker ,  B Pusha Kumari  said she is very happy with the opportunity.
The state has received 4.7 lakhs doses of covishield (Serum institute of India) and 20000 doses of covaxin (Bharat Biotech). 

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 The country's Covid-19 recovery rate has touched 96.58 per cent, as over 17 thousand 1 hundred people recovered in the last 24 hours. With this, One crore 1 lakh 96 thousand 8 hundred 85 people have recovered from Covid-19.
Meanwhile 15 thousand 144 fresh infections in the same period have taken country's caseload to over 1 crore 5 lakh 57 thousand 9 hundred. Health Ministry said, 181 fatalities have pushed the death toll to 1 lakh 52 thousand 2 hundred 74. India's active COVID-19 cases stand at 2 lakh 8 thousand 8 hundred 26.

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Telangana state has reported 299 fresh COVID cases during the past 24 hours. With this, the total cases reported in the state has gone up to over 2 lakh 91 thousand. The recovery rate improved to 98.02 per cent with 379 more people recovering yesterday.

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 In Tripura, Covid-19 active cases are gradually declining. The total caseload has now dropped down to 36 as of today. In the past 24 hours, four new positive cases were recorded while five patients recovered from the virus. The recovery rate has also improved to 98.72%.  With this the total cases has reached 33,329, out of which 32,879 patients have recovered so far. 

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In Mizoram, eight new cases of Covid19 were recorded while three people recovered in the past 24 hours. Presently, the number of active cases is 85. With this Covid-19 tally has reached 4,322. Also, the recovery rate has improved to 98 per cent.  According to the state medical bulletin, so far 4,228  patients recovered from the infection in the state

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Startup India Seed Fund Scheme of about one thousand crore rupees for startups to spur entrepreneurship across the Nation. Speaking after interacting with Startups during Prarambh: Start Up India International Summit through video conferencing yesterday, Mr Modi said, easy availability of capital is essential for entrepreneurs at the early stages of growth of an enterprise. More than 41 thousand start-ups are engaged in various campaigns across the country. Startup India Seed Fund can be availed by startups through selected incubators across India.

"स्‍टार्ट-अप्‍स को शुरुआती पूंजी उपलब्‍ध कराने के लिए देश एक हजार करोड़ रुपये का स्‍टार्ट-अप इंडिया सीड फंड लॉन्‍च कर रहा है। इससे नए स्‍टार्ट-अप शुरू करने और ग्रो करने में मदद मिलेगी। स्‍टार्ट-अप्‍स को गारंटी के जरिए  कैपिटल रेज़ करने में मदद मिलेगी। भारत एक ऐसा कैपिटल ईको सिस्‍टम बनाने का प्रयास कर रहा है, जिसका आधार स्‍तंभ ऑफ द यूथ, बाय द यूथ फॉर द यूथ का मंत्र हो। अब हमें अगले पांच सालों का लक्ष्‍य तय करना है और ये लक्ष्‍य होना चाहिए कि हमारे स्‍टार्ट-अप्‍स हमारे यूनीकॉन्‍स अब ग्‍लोबल जाइंट के तौर पर उभरें। फ्यूचरिस्टिक टैक्‍नोलॉजी के तौर पर हमारे स्‍टार्ट-अप्‍स लीड करें।"
The Prime Minister said, this century is the century of digital revolution and new age innovation. He said, this century is also called the century of Asia. Mr Modi said, it is the need of the hour that the technologies of the future come out of the lab of Asia.

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The full Election Commission of India team under Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will reach Guwahati tomorrow on a 3 day visit to review poll preparedness. Earlier, a team of ECI recently visited Dibrugarh and Guwahati and has too reviewed poll preparedness.  The Chief Electoral Officer of Assam said that Mr. Arora and his team will hold meetings with officials and representatives of various political parties to fix assembly polls dates . Before wrapping up their visit  , ECI will meet Chief Secretary and Director General of police of the state. Assembly polls in Assam are to be held this year.

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 In Himachal Pradesh the first of the three-phase Panchayati Raj Institution elections is underway in the state today. Our correspondent reports that polling is being held for 1,227 panchayats from 8 am to 4 pm. The remaining two phases are slated to be held on January 19 and January 21. It may be recalled that State is having 3615 gram panchayats of which polling will be held for 3583 panchayats except 32 keylong in Lahaul Spiti district.

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Government has said that around 563 lakh tonnes of Paddy have been procured during the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season. This is an increase of 26.28 per cent against the last year corresponding purchase of around 445 lakh tonnes. Agriculture Ministry said, government continues to procure Kharif crops at its Minimum Support Price from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes. The Ministry said, more than 78 lakh paddy farmers have been benefited from current Kharif Marketing Season Procurement Operations with MSP value of over one lakh six thousand crore rupees. The Paddy procurement is continuing smoothly in the varoius States and Union Territories.Government through its nodal agencies has also procured over two lakh 96 thousand tonnes of Moong, Urad, Groundnut Pods and Soyabean benefitting more than one lakh 58 thousand farmers.

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President Ram Nath Kovind has expressed sadness on the loss of lives in a bus accident in Jalore, Rajasthan. He expressed condolences to the bereaved families. He wished speedy recovery to the injured.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed sadness on the loss of lives in a bus accident in Jalore, Rajasthan. He said, precious lives have been lost in this accident. Mr Modi expressed condolences to the families of the deceased. He wished speedy recovery of the injured. Six passengers were burnt alive and more than 30 people sustained injuries after a private bus caught fire after coming in contact with a live electricity wire in Rajasthan's Jalore district.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hand over land patta to indigenous landless people on 23rd of this month at an event in Sivsagar, Assam. Participating in an AIR talk show  last night, Commissioner-Secretary in the Revenue department M S Manivannan said that the Assam government will give land pattas to 1 lakh 3 thousand people this month. He said that Prime Minister will start the distribution process at Sivsagar. Mr Manivannan said that the Assam government provided land pattas to over 1 lakh people recently and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal took the decision to provide land pattas to another over 1 lakh people this month.

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Today is the 104th Birth anniversary of legendary actor and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.G. Ramachandran.

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51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has announced Indian Personality of the Year Award for veteran actor and director Biswajit Chatterjee. The Award was announced at the opening ceremony of the festival by Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in Goa yesterday.

The award will be conferred on him when National Film Awards are presented in March this year.
Apart from acting and direction, Biswajit Chatterjee has also been a producer and singer of Bengali and Hindi cinema.
The momentum of 51st IFFI continues its fascination on second day today. IFFI has already commenced in Panaji Goa yesterday. 8 days event will continue till 24th January.

"Indian panorama is one of the important sections of Iffi. It encompasses the best contemporary Indian feature and non feature films. It was inaugurated today in Panaji in the presence of Additional secretary of Ministry of Information and broadcasting Nirja Shekhar, Joint Secretary Films Anju Nigam, DFF director Chaitanya Prasad and jury members headed by John Mathew Matthan. Indian Panorama was kicked off today with Saand ki Aankh (सांड की आंख) Hindi feature film directed by Tushar Hirnandani and Gujarati non feature film Paanchika (पांचिका) directed by Ankit Kothari. Saand ki Aankh film is based on lives of sharpshooters Chandro and Prakashi Tomar. Films Paanchika hits hard on caste based prejudices in society. Dadasaheb Falke and Satyajit Ray restrospective section  will be inaugurated in the evening session.  With Mukesh Thali, Tushar Jadhav, for Air News Panaji Goa".

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In Cricket, Australia were 21 for no loss in their second innings at stumps on day three of of the fourth and final test against India at the Gabba in Brisbane today.
Earlier, India were bowled out for 336 in the first innings, conceding a lead of 33 runs. Australia scored 369 runs in their first innings.
For India, Shardul Thakur was the top scorer with 67 runs. He smashed nine boundaries and two sixes during the course of his innings and shared a record 123-run stand with debutant Washington Sundar, who also scored valuable 62 runs.

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Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for today.
In the National capital haze is expected during the day. The minimum temperature was 7 degree Celsius and maximum will be around 17 degrees. 
Mumbai will have partly cloudy sky towards afternoon or evening.
Chennai will have generally cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was  21 degrees Celsius and maximum will be 30 degrees .
Kolkata is expected to have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 13 degree Celsius and  maximum will be around 23 degrees.
Srinagar will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus eight degree celsius and  the maximum will be 9 degrees.
In Jammu, the minimum  temperature was  8 degree Celsius while maximum will be 15 degrees. The sky will be clear.
 Leh will have partly cloudy sky.The minimum temperature was minus 12 degree Celsius while the maximum will be zero point six degree.
Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky.The minimum temperature was minus six degree  celsius and the maximum will be 11 degrees.
Muzaffarabad will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was four degree Celsius and maximum will be around 20 degrees.
 In Dehradun, sky will be partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was 7 degree  Celsius and  maximum will be 20 degrees.

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