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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           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0830 HRS
20.01.2021

THE HEADLINES,

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release financial assistance to over 6 lakh beneficiaries of Uttar Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin.

  • India to begin supply of indigenous COVID-19 vaccine to several neighbouring and key partner countries from today.

  • Tenth round of talks between the Centre and farmers representatives to be held in New Delhi today.

  • US President elect Joe Biden to be sworn as 46th President under thick security cover.

  • BCCI announces 18 member squad for home tests series against England.

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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. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will release financial assistance of around 2,691 crores rupees to over 6 lakh beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojna - Gramin (PMAY-G) today through video conferencing. He is also likely to speak to some beneficiaries on the occasion. Union Rural Development Minister and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh will also be present in the function. The assistance would include release of first installment to 5.30 lakh beneficiaries and second installment to 80 thousand beneficiaries who have already availed first installment of assistance under PMAY-G. AIR Lucknow correspondent reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to speak to a woman named Rajkumari of Khoh village of Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand area in the state.

"With a click by Prime Minister, 5044 beneficiaries will be financially benefitted in Chitrakoot district. Uttar Pradesh bagged 9 national awards, which was the highest last year in different categories, for the excellent implementation of the scheme by Union rural development ministry. So far 1.26 crore houses have already been built across the country under PMAY-G, which was launched on 20th November, 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Along with the financial grant, the beneficiaries will also be provided unskilled labour wages, under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and will also be getting an assistance of Rs. 12,000 for the construction of toilets, through Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin. WITH SUSHIL CHAND TIWARI'S REPORT FROM LUCKNOW, TANVI KHURANA, AIR NEWS."

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India will start supplying COVID-19 vaccines from today, paving the way for many mid- and lower-income countries to get supplies of the easy-to-store vaccine. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet,  said, India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community.

In a statement, Ministry of External Affairs said, Government of India has received several requests for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries. In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to use India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of the humanity fight the Covid pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from today. The Ministry said, in respect of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius, India is awaiting their confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.

The Ministry said, immunization programme is being implemented in India, as in other countries, in a phased manner to cover the healthcare providers, frontline workers and the most vulnerable.

Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad. Prior to the delivery of vaccines, a two day training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects began today for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels.

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A consignment containing one lakh 50 thousand doses of COVISHEILD vaccines will reach Thimphu today. Official sources said, Bhutan is the first country to receive Government of India’s gift of the COVIDSHIELD vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, SII. In line with India-Bhutan unique and special relations, India ensured continuous supply of trade and essential items to Bhutan, despite COVID-19 related lock-downs. New Delhi has so far has provided essential medicines and medical supplies- including Paracetamol, Hydroxychloroquine, PPEs, N-95 masks, x-ray machine and test kits worth over two crore 80 lakh rupees to Bhutan.

A consignment containing one lakh doses of COVISHIELD vaccines will also reach Male today. With this, Maldives along with Bhutan has become the first recipient of India’s gift of the COVISHIELD vaccines.

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The Government has said that more than six lakh 31 thousand beneficiaries have been vaccinated for Covid-19 till date across the country. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, only 0.18 per cent adverse events happened and 0.002 per cent of the people were hospitalized following the immunization. He said, these are fairly low and the lowest so far in the world in the first three days. The Health Secretary said, India vaccinated more than 2 lakh seven thousand persons the highest number of persons in the world on the first day of vaccination. Mr Bhushan said, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Punjab have less than 40 per cent  vaccination coverage.


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Talking to All India Radio, Dr Nitesh Gupta of the Safdarjung Hospital said that it is common to get mild symptoms such as fever after getting any vaccine and similar is the case with the Covid vaccine.

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In the  first phase of covid-19 preventive vaccination drive  in Maharashtra, as many as 14,883 health workers were vaccinated so far.  Our Mumbai correspondent reports, in some places the vaccination drive continued till late last evening.

"In Maharashtra, health workers were administered with the covid-19 preventive vaccine at 274 centres. Dr. Pradeep Vyas, Principal Secretary, Department of Health said there were no serious adverse side effects reported during the vaccination drive. This Vaccination drive started in 34 districts and 27 municipal areas in the state on Saturday, with 17,762 vaccinators and 7,85,927 health workers registered on the CoWin portal. In the first phase of this vaccination drive, 52.68 per cent health workers were vaccinated till last evening. In Mumbai, about 1,597 health workers were vaccinated yesterday. Madhuri Pange, AIR News Mumbai."

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In Odisha, the second consignment of Covishield reached capital Bhubaneswar yesterday from the Serum Institute of India, Pune. The consignment is carrying 3,34,500 doses of Covishield. Later the vaccines were taken amidst tight security to the State Vaccine Centre for safekeeping and subsequent dispatch to the districts  to roll out  the first phase of the immunization drive.

"The 3.34 lakh odd doses of covid vaccines added up with more than 4 lakh doses received earlier, can now provide vaccination cover to all the 3.38 lakh healthcare and frontline workers databased by the state government. On the other hand, the state conducted as many as 182 sessions yesterday to vaccinate more than fourteen thousand registered beneficiaries across the vaccination facilities.  Meanwhile, the state health department has cautioned those healthcare workers refusing to be vaccinated during the ongoing phase will lose the chance of availing the vaccines free of cost later. Girish Chandra Dash AIR News Bhubaneswar."

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In Karnataka an estimated 47 percent of the designated beneficiaries were administered the Covid-19 vaccine  in the State yesterday. Our Bengaluru correspondent reports about  80,686 beneficiaries have been vaccinated in the state. 

"According to the data released by the office of State health department,  out of 32,205 targeted beneficiaries for vaccination, 15,223  beneficiaries were  vaccinated  yesterday in 346 sessions held.  In Bengaluru Urban  4,288 beneficiaries were vaccinated. Karnataka Health Minister Dr. K.Sudhakar  said that both Covaxin and Covishield  approved by the Drug Controller General of India are equally safe and there is no need for any apprehensions against Covaxin.  At present 7,865 covid patients are taking treatment in various hospital in the State among them 172 are in ICU. R. MURTHY, AIR NEWS BENGALURU."

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India continues to leap ahead in its fight against COVID-19 with over one crore two lakh 28 thousand cumulative recoveries so far. With this, the national recovery rate has further improved to stand at 96.66 per cent. The rate of new daily infection has further slipped with 10 thousand 64 cases being reported in the past 24 hours. This is the lowest single day spike since the second week of June. During the same interval, over 17 thousand 400 people have successfully recovered from the viral contagion. The gap between the recovered patients and active cases in the country has further widened and the number of recovered patients stands at nearly 50 times the number of current active cases. The active caseload in the country comprises  merely around two lakh people and continues to witness further reduction to stand at 1.90 per cent. Out of these, nearly 60 per cent are under home isolation and have mild to very mild symptoms.

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In Ladakh, the covid recovery rate has improved to 98 percent which is two percent higher than the national average. Also,  the infection rate in the UT has also come down and the covid siutation is in under control  so far. Our correspondent has filed this report.

"Covid infection in Ladakh is under control since early this month. The dectection of new cases have been minimal in this period. For instance  only five covid positive cases detected from the 413 samples tested  for covid yesterday at different Covid labs. With this the total present active caseload stands at 79. Kargil continued to remained zero infection for the past four days and at present it has only three covid positive cases isolated  at home. The UT administration under its strict survillence, is  contineosl  screening  Leh inbound passengers from flights at Khushok Bakula Rinpochey Airport Leh besides screening at inter district check posts. Yangchan Dolma for AIR news from Leh Ladakh."

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Gujarat has recorded 485 new cases of Covid19 during the last 24 hours. According to the state health department, the recovery rate has further improved to 95.98 percent. More details from our Ahmedabad correspondent.

"The total number of Covid19 cases detected so far in Gujarat has reached up to 2 lakh 56 thousand 552. Out of these, 2 lakh 46 thousand 516 patients recovered. 709 patients discharged from the hospitals after the recovery during the last 24 hours.  Maximum 103 new cases reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 92 new cases. At present total active cases in the state are 5967, out of which 52 patients are on ventilator.  2 patients died yesterday taking the total death due to Covid19 up to 4369.

Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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In Bihar two crore corona tests have been conducted in the state so far. Two lakh 54 thousand 508 patients have  recovered from the Covid-19 infection. The number of active cases of COVID-19 is continuously declining. Currently, three  thousand 102  patients are  receiving treatment at various hospitals. COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 98.24 per cent in Bihar. This is 1.58 per cent more than the national average. Meanwhile, 47 thousand 402 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state during the vaccination drive.

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NITI Aayog will release the second edition of the India Innovation Index in a virtual event today. The index will be released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar in the presence of NITI Aayog Member Dr V.K. Saraswat and Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant. NITI Aayog said in a statement that the release of the second edition of the index demonstrates the government’s continued commitment towards transforming the country into an innovation-driven economy.

The India Innovation Index-2020 seeks to rank the States and Union Territories based on their relative performance of supporting innovation and to empower them to improve their innovation polices by highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. The ranking methodology is designed in a way that states can draw lessons from the national leaders in innovation. The States and Union Territories have been divided into 17 Major States, 10 North-East and Hill States, and nine City States and Union Territories, for effectively comparing their performance. The States and Union Territories have been ranked on two broad categories: outcome and governance.

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The tenth round of talks between the Centre and the farmers representatives will be held in New Delhi today. The meeting was earlier scheduled for yesterday but had been postponed by a day. The ninth round of talks held on the 15th of January had remained inconclusive. Speaking to media after the meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had said the unions have been asked to form informal groups among themselves and submit a draft to the government regarding their demands.

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In Chhattisgarh, paddy procurement under the minimum support price scheme  is progressing. More than eighty lakh metric tonnes of paddy has been purchased so far.

"Chhattisgarh is one of the major paddy producing states of the country. Paddy procurement under minimum support price scheme was started from December 1, which will continue till 31st of January.  So far, over  eighty lakh metric tons of paddy has been purchased on MSP  from about 19 lakh farmers. Meanwhile, the National Vice President of the Bharatiya Janata Party and former Chief Minister  Dr. Raman Singh has demanded extension of the last date of paddy procurement by one month so that no farmer of the state is deprived of selling his crop. He alleged that the state government was not able to arrange paddy procurement properly. He said that  state unit of BJP will stage protest across the state against the policies of the Congress government on the  22nd January. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

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A total of 11,584 individuals have registered for Maharashtra Government's agriculture value chain development project. State agriculture minister Dadaji Bhuse yesterday reviewed the progress and instructed to increase participation of all regions of the state. Our Mumbai Correspondent has more details:

"As per the state government's release, 5,764 organizations applied for this project out of which approximately 2000 are farmer produce organizations. The project was approved last year. The project also called as Honorable Balasaheb Thackeray Agri Business and Rural Transformation (SMART) Project will be implemented in 7 years in all districts of the state. Its objective is to provide value chain to help farmers to enter into National and International Markets. It will help to reduce intermediaries and increase income of farmer produce organisations. Under this project, financial assistance will be extended to the farmers for technical assistance and infrastructure development. World bank and some private sector entities *have* also participated in project via CSR. Jeevan Bhawasar, AIR News Mumbai."

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The year long celebrations to commemorate 125th birth anniversary year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will commence on 23rd January this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over the inaugural event of the celebrations being held at Kolkata. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said, the birth Anniversary year of Netaji will be celebrated in a befitting manner at national and international level.

 

"फुटबाल टूर्नामेंट और मैराथन यह खेल विभाग ने तय किया है कि वर्षभर गतिविधियां नेताजी के नाम पर समर्पित करेंगे। पद यात्राएं और साइकिल यात्राएं ये भी युवा एवं कार्यक्रम विभाग ने तय किये हैं कि वर्षभर वो गतिविधियों को जारी रखेंगे। देखो अपना देश के तहत बेविनार्स होंगे पर्यटन मंत्रालय के, वो पूरी तरह से नेताजी के लिए समर्पित होंगे। आईएनए की धुन पर कदम-कदम बढ़ाए जा, बीटिंग रिट्रीट में गीत शामिल होगा, रक्षा मंत्रालय ने ऐसा फैसला किया है। एयर इंडिया ने विमानों पर नेताजी के चित्र लगाने का फैसला किया है। नेताजी के नाम पर एक एक्सप्रेस रेलगाड़ी रेल मंत्रालय ने तय की है। पांच भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों में नेताजी से संबंधित पांच पीठों की स्थापना होगी, ये शिक्षा विभाग का फैसला है। नेताजी पर लघु फिल्म प्रतियोगिता भारत के लिए नेताजी के सपनों को कैसे पूरा किया जाए, सूचना और प्रसारण मंत्रालय ने पूरा एक एपिसोड बनाने का फैसला किया है"

Meanwhile, the government has renamed Howrah-Kalka Mail as Netaji Express to show the honour to Netaji. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet said Netaji’s prakram had put India on the express route of freedom and development.

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Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force will conduct a bilateral Air exercise, Ex Desert Knight-21 at Air Force Station Jodhpur from today. The Air exercise will be conducted till 24th  January. French side will participate with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and approximately 175 personnel. The Indian Air Force aircraft participating in the exercise will include Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft, AWACS and AEW&C aircraft.

The exercise marks an important milestone in the series of engagements between the two Air forces.  It is unique as it includes fielding of Rafale aircraft by both sides and is indicative of the growing interaction between the two premier Air Forces.

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The Government has asked Social Media Platfarm WhatsApp to withdraw the recent changes in its privacy policy saying the unilateral changes are unfair and unacceptable. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has written a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart saying the proposed changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy without giving users an option to opt-out, raise grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens. It said, India is home to the largest user base of WhatsApp globally and is one of  the biggest markets for its services.

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In Bihar, 354th  birth anniversary of tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Govind Singh, Prakashotsava is being celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety. The main function is organised at Takhat Sri Harmandir Sahib Gurdwara, Patna Sahib, the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh, where thousands of pilgrims across the country  are offering prayers. Special langars are also being organised. Born at Patna Sahib in 1666, Guru Govind Singh was the 10th Sikh guru. He succeeded his father Guru Tegh Bahadur as leader of Sikhs at the age of just nine. On this auspicious day, the Sikh community remembers Guru Gobind Singh's contribution by offering prayers.

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Various sessions held at International Film Festival of India IFFI are quite informative and interesting. The festival will run till 24th January.

"Prof. Madhu Apsara, Associate Professor, FTII said that Sounds are crucial for a film to feel realistic for the audience. Sounds and dialogue must perfectly sync with the actions in a cinema without any lag he added. He delivered a lecture on ‘Sound Design in Cinema’ through OTT. John Mathew Matthan, Chairperson of IFFI 51 Indian Panorama Jury and noted film writer, producer and director opined that It is quite important for any film-maker to understand the elements of sociology and politics. The director must have sensitivity towards society he added. He threw light on many facets of film making in virtual In-Conversation Session. With Tushar Jadhav, Mukesh Thali, for Air News, from Panaji."

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US President-elect Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the 46th President and 49th Vice-President of the United States today.  Ms Harris will make history as America's first woman, first Black and first person with south Asian roots to take the office of the Vice President. Joe Biden, 78, will take the oath on his 127-year-old family Bible, which will be held by his wife, Dr Jill Biden.  Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in on the West front of the US Capitol building. Meanwhile, the security has been beefed up at the US Capitol building in view of recent clashes between Trump supporters and Police.

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India’s regular skipper Virat Kohli will return to the team for next month’s four-test series against England after  Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the official squad for the first two Tests for the home series against England. Surprisingly, in view of COVID-19, BCCI has named a 18-member squad instead of the regular 16-member squad. The first test is scheduled for February 5th to 9th followed by the second from February 13th to 17th, with both games to be played in Chennai. The third and fourth tests will be played at Ahmedabad on February 24th to 28th and  March 4th to 8th.

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

Srinagar had fog in the morning and will have partly cloudy sky later. Temperature will hover between minus seven and ten degree Celsius.

Jammu had fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was around nine degree Celsius while maximum will be around 22 degrees.

Leh will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was around minus 12 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around one degree.

Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between minus six and 12 degree Celsius.

In Muzaffarabad, sky will be mainly clear. The temperature will hover between three and 19 degree Celsius.

Dehradun observed minimum temperature of around five degree Celsius and a maximum of around 22 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.

Chandigarh had fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The temperature is likely to hover between seven and 24 degree Celsius.

The National Capital is likely to have moderate fog. The city temperature will hover between nine and 19 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will have a clear sky. The minimum temperature was around 19 degree Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 31 degrees.

Chennai witnessed fog in the morning and will have partly cloudy sky later. The temperature will vary between 22 and 30 degree Celsius.

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NEWSPAPER HEADLINES.

  • Most newspapers today lead with stories on the Covid-19 preventive vaccination. The Hindustan Times says "Vaccination lagging, government appeals against hesitancy."  The Pioneer informs, 'Covid-19 vaccine makers factsheets to help recipients understand shots' risk and benefits, "SII Biotech release Jab dos and don'ts."

  • "With visibility zero, 50 flights delayed", "City, Air Quality Again Enters 'severe' zone' writes the Times of India.

  • Amidst the ongoing controversy once their new privacy policy, "Government asks WhatsApp to drop new policy" asks to clarify privacy and data issues within seven days, states "The Business Standard".

  • And finally, most newspapers carry pictures of the beaming team India celebrating their victory at The Gabba, in the Test match at Brisbane. "Thriller for India at the Gabba" writes the Asian Age.

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