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News Highlights
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


Evening News

2030 HRS
21.01.2021

2030 HRS.


21st January, 2021



THE HEADLINES:-


  • Centre urges states and UTs to strategize speedy implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for rapid urbanisation.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to interact with beneficiaries of Covid vaccination drive in Varanasi tomorrow through video conferencing.

  • Consignments of Covid-19 vaccines from India reach Bangladesh and Nepal.

  • In Pune, five perish in fire at Serum Institute of India; Authorities say  vaccine stock is safe and Production will continue.

  • Indian Army and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers sign MoU to boost the use of indigenous spare parts under Atmanirbhar Bharat.

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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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The Union Government has said that more than one crore one lakh houses have been approved under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana PMAY(U) (Urban) till date. The construction of more than 70 lakh houses is in various stages and more than 41 lakh houses have been completed. The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said, the construction of one lakh 68 thousand 606 new houses have been approved in the 52nd Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee under the scheme. The Ministry said, 14 States and Union Territories participated in this meeting.


Speaking on the occasion, Secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Durga Shanker Mishra urged the States and UTs to strategize the expeditious implementation of PMAY(U) projects. He said, progress under the Mission has been steady and there is a need to move towards completion of houses with all basic physical and social infrastructure.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with beneficiaries and vaccinators of the Covid vaccination drive in Varanasi tomorrow through video conferencing. The participants will share their first hand experience of vaccination with the PM. 

 

The interaction follows continuous dialogue and discussion by the Prime Minister with scientists, political leaders, officials and other stakeholders to proactively ensure smooth conduct of the world’s largest vaccination drive.

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Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said the COVID-19 vaccines are completely safe and effective and these vaccines will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of COVID-19 disease.


While releasing the communication creative prepared by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry to address issues related to vaccine hesitancy, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, adverse events or side effects are common and they surface after any vaccination. He stressed that two indigenous vaccines have been authorized after sufficient scientific scruitiny, human trials and identifying the efficacy. He said, several countries are approaching India to export these vaccines to their country.


Urging the need to counter the misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, the Minister said, vaccines have played a critical role in the past in controlling various diseases like chicken pox and polio. He said, it is unfortunate that some people are spreading misinformation about the vaccines which has developed vaccine hesitancy in a few people. He said, the power of truth is unbeatable and with the help of this power, India successfully fought against the COVID-19 pandemic. 


" समाज में जो लोग वैक्सीन के खिलाफ भ्रांतियां गलत जानकारियां और गलत फैमिया फैला रहे हैं। उनकी जानकारियों को हर तरीके से इग्नौर करके हमको सबको मिलकर वैक्सीन को अपनी और समाज की कोविड के खिलाफ बेहतर सुरक्षा के लिए इस्तेमाल करना जरूरी है। बड़े-बड़े देश के डॉक्टरों ने वैक्सीन ली और उसके तुरंत बाद जाकर अपना काम करना शुरू कर दिया बिना किसी साइडइफेक् के ये अपने-आपको इस बात में प्रमाणित और पुष्टि करता है कि यह वैक्सीन पूरी तरह से सेफ और इफेक्टिव है।

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Head of Urology and Renal Transplant at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi,  Dr. Anoop Kumar asked people not to pay attention to rumours.


Talking to AIR News, Dr. Anoop Kumar said, he himself has taken the shot and he is feeling absolutely normal as there are no side effects of the vaccine.

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Government today said that a total of 9 lakh 99 thousand 65 beneficiaries have been given Covid19 vaccination in the country till now. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Additional Secretary in Health Ministry Manohar Agnani said, 18 thousand 159 vaccine sessions have been held till today.


He said, today, vaccination sessions were organised in 27 States and UTs and upto 6 PM around 1 lakh 92 thousand 5 hundred 81beneficiaries have been vaccinated. The Additional Secretary said, today there was one hospitalisation of a beneficiary who was vaccinated on 16thJanuary and developed intracranial haemorrhage yesterday and it is not related to vaccination.

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Taking forward the initiative started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in adopting a cooperative approach to fight the corona pandemic, India today handed over two million doses of the COVID 19 vaccine to Bangladesh.


The vaccine was handed over in Dhaka by the High Commissioner of India Vikram Doraiswami to the Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleq.


" The gift of two million doses of corona vaccine by India to Bangladesh symbolises the deep and historic relations between the two countries. Handing over the vaccine gift, High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami said that the gift was part of the country's neighbourhood first policy under which India accords high priority to its relationship with Bangladesh. He said that the gift of 20 lakh doses of Covishield is in fact the biggest such dispatches by India to any of the neighboring countries. The High Commissioner said that in line with the discussions held during the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, India has delivered the vaccines within a week of the vaccine roll-out in India.


He added that the arrival of the vaccine is only the latest of many steps already taken by the two countries to combat Covid19 together. It takes forward the initiative taken by Prime Minister Modi in March when he convened a meeting of SAARC leaders through video conferencing  to have a cooperative approach to fight the pandemic. Following the meeting, the SAARC COVID 19 emergency fund was set up. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr AK Abdul Momen thanked the government and people of India for the vaccines. He said India stood by Bangladesh during the Liberation War and has again come with the gift of vaccines for the country. Rajesh Jha, Dhaka, AIR News."

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A consignment containing 1.5 million doses of COVISHEILD vaccines from India will reach Yangon tomorrow. Sources said Myanmar is one of the first countries to receive Indian government's gift of the “Make in India” COVIDSHIELD vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Myanmar is an important land and maritime neighbour of India with which India shares close historical, civilisational, cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic ties.

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India also sent 1 million doses of a Covid vaccine to Nepal as gift under Vaccine Maitri Initiative. Nepal health minister Hridayesh Tripathi said the vaccine gifted by India will be given to health workers and other front-line personnel within a week to 10 days.


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar confirmed on Twitter that Nepal received Indian vaccines. The Minister said in another tweet, along with a photograph of Air India flight that carried the consignments to Dhaka, Touchdown in Dhaka. VaccineMaitri reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh.


Yesterday India had sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives.  In a major announcement, Indian Government said on Tuesday that it will send COVID-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles from Wednesday and supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will commence after confirmation of necessary regulatory clearances.


India is one of the world's biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.


The MEA said it will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad. India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic.

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The major fire that broke out at the Pune-based Serum Institute of India's building this afternoon has led to the death of five people.Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol said four people were evacuated from the building but after the fire was brought under control, five bodies were found by the jawans. The five people who died were suspected to be workers at the under-construction building.


The fire, which broke out at 2.45 pm on the fourth and fifth floors of the SEZ 3 building in the Serum Institute premises, was brought under control in two hours. A fire brigade official said the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team also rushed to the spot. Fifteen fire tenders were pressed into action and the fire was brought under control around 4.30 pm. Furniture, wiring and cabins were gutted but no major machinery or instruments were stored in the floors where the fire broke out.


Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India SII Chief Adar Poonawalla has expressed deep condolences over the loss of lives. SII, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, is involved in the manufacturing of the Covid-19 vaccine Covishield - developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca - which has been given emergency use authorisation in India recently and is being used for inoculation in the country's mega vaccination drive. The building where the fire broke out is part of the under-construction site of the Serum facility and is one km away from the Covishield manufacturing unit.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed anguish at the loss of lives due to an unfortunate fire at the Serum Institute of India. In his message, Mr Modi said his thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. He hoped for the speedy recovery of those injured.


Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the authorities to ascertain the cause of the blaze that erupted in a building under construction of vaccine manufacturing major Serum Institute of India (SII)’s plant in Pune this afternoon.


He also spoke to the CEO of SII about the incident and he will visit the site of the incident tomorrow afternoon to take stock of the situation. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has directed an immediate investigation into the cause of the fire.


Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the fire was caused due to a welding spark while inflammable material aggravated the fire. 


Mr. Tope further said that the Covishield vaccine storage is sited at a distance from the blaze and that it had not been harmed by the fire.  The Manjri facility, situated in the outskirts of Pune, is where the Covishield vaccine is produced. SII CEO Adar Poonawala assured the government and public that there will be no loss of Covishield production as multiple production buildings are kept in reserve to deal with such contingencies.

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The country's COVID-19 recovery rate has reached 96.75 per cent. More than 19 thousand COVID patients recovered during the last 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, the total number of recoveries has gone up to over one crore two lakh 65 thousand. The actual caseload currently comprises only 1.81 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is one lakh 92 thousand.


During the past 24 hours, 15 thousand 223 new cases were reported taking the total number of positive cases to over one crore and six lakh. The Ministry said, Currently, India's Case Fatality Rate is at 1.44 per cent which is one of the lowest globally. During the last 24 hours, 151 deaths were reported taking the toll to one lakh 52 thousand 869.

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An MoU was signed between the Indian Army and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers today. It was signed on the occasion of 25 Years of the Army-Industry Partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry. Collaboration between the Indian Army and industry started in 1995 with the indigenisation of spares and has progressed to major defence platforms and a wide range of weapons and equipments.


The MoU has been signed to provide further impetus to indigenisation under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and to achieve strategic independence by reducing dependence on foreign origin equipment.

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the government has started supplying COVID vaccines to the neighbouring countries and the vaccines will be provided to other countries across the world, if the need arises. Addressing the NCC cadets at the NCC camp in New Delhi today, Mr Singh said, our scientists have developed two COVID-19 vaccines and following the concept of 'world is family', India is extending help to other countries.


" हम केवल भारत में ये वैक्सेसन का काम नहीं करेंगे बल्कि अपने पड़ौसी देशों को भी जहां-जहां आवश्यकता पड़ रही है। वहां पर हम वैक्सीन प्रोवाइड करने का काम कर रहे हैं। जरूरत पड़ी तो दुनिया के अन् देशों को भी हम वैक्सीन प्रोवाइड करेंगे।


The Defence Minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to expand National Cadet Corps and the government has identified more than one thousand 100 schools wherein the NCC training will begin.


He expressed satisfaction over the girls participation in NCC incresing rapidly.


"गर्ल् ..में देख रहा हूं। हमारे बॉय उनके जिस तरीके से सामने रहे थे जो चुस्ती दिखाई दे रही थी। वहीं चुस्ती हमारे गर्ल् ..में हमको दिखाई दी है। हमें खुशी है पहले एनसीसी में जहां पर 28 पसेंट, गर्ल् ..थी।  आज उसका पर्सेंटेज बढ़ता ....43 पर्सेटेज हो गया। "

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today spoke to his Indonesian counterpart, General Prabowo Subianto. In a tweet, Mr Singh said they had fruitful and substantive discussions on bilateral defence engagements. He said India is committed to enhance the defence engagements with Indonesia as part of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

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Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for upskilling the workforce in the textile and apparel sectors and adopting state of the art technologies to gain competitiveness in exports to capture the global market. He said that though India has a strong base of raw material and skilled workforce, the country is lagging in global fabric exports because of the  use of outdated technology and mostly smaller sized firms.


Launching the Virtual Platform of Apparel Products for the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), he said India cannot manufacture quality items and export at competitive prices unless the average size of the apparel firms grows and adopt the latest technologies. The Vice President said concerted efforts must be made to deliver the benefits of the scheme to the firms in second and third-tier towns and rural areas.

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Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi today presented Coal Minister’s Award to three coal companies of Coal India Limited, Northern Coalfields Limited, Central Coalfields Limited and Western Coalfields Limited in a function held in New Delhi. The award has been instituted to promote best and sustainable practices for coal mining in the country. Mr Joshi also launched ‘Project Passion’- the Enterprise Resource Planning of Coal India Limited which will help improve business performance and growth of the company with enhanced data integrity.

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released the "Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report" for the Quarter ending 30th September, 2020 today. This Report provides a broad perspective of the Telecom Services in India. It presents  the key parameters and growth trends of the Telecom Services as well as Cable TV, DTH & Radio Broadcasting services in India  for the period covering 1st July, 2020 to 30th September, 2020.  It is compiled mainly on the basis of information furnished by the Service Providers.

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BJP national president Jagat Prakash Nadda reached Lucknow today on a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh along with many ministers and party workers greeted Mr Nadda on his arrival.


According to the party's media in-charge Manish Dixit, during this visit Mr. Nadda will hold meetings with BJP office bearers and  meet Uttar Pradesh ministers at the BJP office. BJP national president will address a conference of social media volunteers and intellectuals and also attend a meeting of  party workers during the tour.

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Senior BJP leader and party national spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Vikasheel Insaan Party VIP Chief Mukesh Sahni were elected unopposed today to the Bihar legislative council.Today was the last day of withdrawal of candidature. With this, VIP has opened its account in legislative council. The two seats of the legislative council fell vacant after former deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi was elected to the Rajya Sabha and Vinod Narayan Jha to the legislative assembly.

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The opposition parties of West Bengal have asked the election commission to deploy central forces well in advance in the state to impart confidence among voters and to correct the erroneous voter list. Representatives of ten recognized political parties met the full bench of the ECI who are on a visit to the state. After the meeting, the president of state unit of BJP, Dilip Ghosh told reporters that, they have asked the commission to take necessary steps to make the poll process free, fair and peaceful. He alleged that names of at least 5 lakh Rohingyas are included in the voter list, which needs to be dropped.


The left and the congress leaders also expressed their concern regarding the voter list and asked the Chief Election Commissioner to instruct the officials to rectify it.


On the other hand, the ruling TMC delegation complained to the commission regarding influencing voters. 

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Union home minister Amit Shah has said that the Modi Government will provide a home to every citizen of the country by August 2022. He was speaking after the e-dedicatiion of one kilometer long Railway overbridge at Shilaj in Ahmedabad today.


Mr. Shah said that the government is undertaking the rural and urban housing projects in such a way that everyone will get home by 15th August 2022. He said that the Modi government has already provided 10 crore units of affordable housing. He said that more than 13 crore poor families were provided LPG gas cylinders under the Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana.


He said that the government has provided electricity to all villages in the country and now the focus is to provide drinking water to every household by 2022. The Home Minister said that the Government has decided to convert more than one lakh railway crossings in the country into overbridges or underpasses. This project has been taken up with  state governments on fifty- fifty percent cost sharing basis.

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The members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, who are on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir, today met several delegations.


Besides the 31-member panel, Minister of State at the Prime Minister’s Office, Dr Jitendra Singh, and Member Parliament from Srinagar, Dr Farooq Abdullah, were also present during the meetings. The Committee initially met a delegation of Kashmir Chambers of Commerce and Industry KCCI during which the issue of frequent closure of the Jammu-Srinagar Highway was brought to their notice. President, KCCI, Mohammad Yasin Khan, later told the media that the chamber urged the committee to take immediate steps to make the highway an all-weather road. Rajya Sabha member and Chairman of the Committee, T G Venkatesh, said that Kashmir has huge potential in the tourism sector.

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Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr. Kiran Bedi has constituted a search committee to select a suitable Vice - Chancellor for the Puducherry Technological University.


" Lieutenant Governor Dr Kiran Bedi, who is the Chancellor of the University appointed Dr. Ramgopal Rao, Director , IIT , Delhi as convenor and Dr. V. Jagadeesh Kumar, professor IIT Madras, Secretary to Government of puducherry (Higher and Technical Education)  as members of the committee. The search committee is expected to submit its recommendations as early as possible. As per the Act passed by the Legislative Assembly with the concurrence of the central government, the Puducherry Engineering College, has become the Puducherry Technological university with effect from 5th September, 2020 and the perunthalaivar Kamarajar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Karaikal the constituent institution of the University. Chandra Mohan, AIR NEWS, Puducherry."

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Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today inaugurated two newly constructed buildings of Kendriya Vidyalayas through video conferencing. Mr Nishank virtually inaugurated new buildings of Kendriya Vidyalaya Bettiah in Bihar and Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 4 Korba in Chhattisgarh. Addressing the audience virtually the Minister said that Kendriya Vidyalayas have become the hallmark of excellence in the country. He said that during the last 6 years, more than 150 new KVs have been opened in the country and their construction process is also going on in a steady pace.

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The National Girl Child Week is being observed from today to 26th of this month. National Girl Child Day is celebrated in India every year on 24th January to promote awareness of issues facing girl child in India.

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


The National Capital is likely to have dense fog. The temperature will hover between seven  and 20 degree Celsius.


Mumbai will have a clear sky. The minimum temperature will be around 17 degree Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 31 degrees.


Chennai will witness mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. The temperature will vary between 23 and 30 degree Celsius.


In Kolkata, there will be fog in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. The city will observe minimum 14 degrees Celsius  and a maximum of around 26 degrees.


Srinagar will have light snow. Temperature will hover between minus four and 8 degree Celsius.


Jammu will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The minimum temperature will be around seven degree Celsius while maximum will be around 18 degrees.


Leh will have overcast sky. The minimum temperature will be around minus 10 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around one degree.


Gilgit will have generally cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between minus six and 11 degree Celsius.


Muzaffarabad will experience thunderstorm with rain. The temperature will hover between four and 16 degree Celsius.


Dehradun will observe minimum temperature of around six degree Celsius and a maximum of around 21 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.


Chandigarh will have generally cloudy sky. The temperature is likely to hover between nine and 20 degree Celsius.

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