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Last Updated : Apr 10 2021 7:32PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
West Bengal: Average voter turnout registered at 66.76 per cent till 3:30 PM            India and Netherlands announce launch of strategic partnership in water sector and setting up of fast track mechanism to facilitate bilateral trade            India's cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage nears 10 crore            Teeka Utsav to be organised from tomorrow across the country to control surging COVID-19 cases            Rajasthan govt imposes night curfew in 9 cities till April 30 to curb pace of COVID-19 infection           

Text Bulletins Details


World News

2220 HRS
26.02.2021

NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to 'World News: an Indian perspective', on All India Radio. This is NISITH KUMAR  and with me is RAGHU bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports, entertainment and more.


COVID OPENING

As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a message of caution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:

⦁ Wear a face mask.

⦁ Maintain social distancing.

⦁ Focus on hand and face hygiene

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THE HEADLINES

⦁ Election Commission of India announces schedule for Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.

⦁ FATF says Pakistan must give effective, decisive and proportionate punishment to those involved in terrorism.

⦁ United Nations welcomes the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan.

⦁ Brazil to purchase  20 million doses of COVAXIN prepared by Bharat Biotech.

⦁ Beijing  lauds New Delhi's  Vaccine Maitri Initiative.

⦁ India's GDP growth for 3rd  quarter of current fiscal shows that positive growth of economy is returning to pre-pandemic times.

⦁ And, First Ever India Toy Fair to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday through virtual mode.

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EC-ASSEMBLY POLLS

Election Commission of India on Friday announced the  schedule for Assembly elections in 4 States and 1 Union Territory. The elections in West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be held between 27th March to 29th April. The counting of votes in all the four states and one Union Territory will take place on 2nd May. 

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora announced the poll schedule in New Delhi this evening. The assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be held in a single phase on 6th April.

In West Bengal, the polling will be held eight phases. 

Assam will go to polls in three phases.

Chief Election Commissioner said, 18.68 crore electors will vote at 2.7 lakh polling stations for 824 seats in this elections for four states and one Union Territory.

Mr Arora said, the polling time has been increased by one hour. Elaborating about measures in view of Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Arora said, everyone on poll duty will be vaccinated before the elections. He said, door-to-door campaigning will be restricted to five persons including the candidate.

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PM MGR UNIV

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the role of Medical professionals in fighting an unknown enemy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the Indian health ecosystem is being seen with new high, new respect and new credibility and called upon the young medical graduates to live up to expectations. Mr. Modi  was addressing the 33 rd  Convocation of the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University through video conferencing on Friday. He said the world has great expectations from the medical graduates and they should carry the responsibility on their young and strong shoulders.

The Prime Minister said the COVID-19 pandemic was a completely unexpected occurrence to the world and there was no pre-set formula to fight the virus. In such a situatione, India not only made a new path but helped others to walk in it. The death rate in the country was the lowest and the recovery rate was high. India is now producing medicines and vaccines for the world.

[(null) - WN PM COVID - 37 SECS]

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INDIA- PULWAMA

Home Minister of India Amit Shah on Friday paid homage to the martyrs of the Pulwama attack. On the second anniversary of Balakot air strikes, Mr Shah said under the leadership of Narendra Modi, the safety and security of the country and the soldiers is paramount. He said, that the Indian Air Force had again made clear the policies of New India against terrorism by responding to the Pulwama terror attack.

In 2019, during early hours of 26 February, air strikes were conducted on terrorist training facilities in Balakot of Pakistan’s Khyber Paktunkhwa province. In this operation, a very large number of Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. The air strike was conducted after the terror attack by a Pakistan based terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14th of February 2019 in which 40 soldiers were martyred.

On the anniversary of Balakot Air Strikes, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has saluted the exceptional courage and diligence of the Indian Air Force. Mr Singh said, the country is proud of our Armed Forces who keep India safe and secure. He added that  the success of Balakot strikes has shown India’s strong will to act against terrorism.


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ASIA ECONOMIC DIALOGUE

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Friday stressed on turning India into an important engine for the growth of the global economy. Speaking at the inaugural session of MEA-PIC Asia Economic Dialogue 2021, Dr Jaishankar highlighted the need for standing up for businesses. He added that it is the business of government to support business, specifically Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.

Dr Jaishankar and his Australian counterpart Marise Payne took part in a panel discussion on Resilient Global Growth in a post pandemic world. The Australian Foreign Minister spoke about resilient supply chains and the importance of comprehensive strategic partnership.

The Asia Economic Dialogue is the flagship geoeconomics conference of the Ministry of External Affairs. It is jointly convened by the Ministry and Pune International Centre. The theme for this year’s conference is “Post Covid-19 Global Trade and Finance Dynamics”.


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JAVADEKAR-OTT

Information & Broadcasting Minister of India Prakash Javadekar has said that the new guidelines for social media intermediaries, OTT platforms and Digital Media will bring uniformity among all in the field of media. Speaking about the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics code notified by the government on Thursday, Mr. Javadekar said this will empower the users and will for the first time ensure grievance redressal mechanism for them. The Minister asserted that the new guidelines which have been welcomed by the world community is based on the principle of responsible freedom.

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JAISHANKAR CHINA FM

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said that the recent disengagement of front-line Chinese and Indian forces in the Pangong Lake area has eased the situation on the ground. The statement follows the telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister Dr.S. Jaishankar and his Chinese Counterpart  Wang Yi . According to the statement,  both sides have agreed to establish a hotline for better communication and to exchange opinions in a time bound manner . It also calls for upholding the strategic consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, firmly follow the path of mutual trust and cooperation between neighboring powers. The statement added that border disputes are an objective reality and should be given sufficient attention and taken seriously. However, border issues are not the whole of China-India relations and should be placed in an appropriate position in bilateral relations.

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FATF-PAKISTAN

Global terror financing watchdog - FATF on Thursday decided to keep Pakistan on its Grey List till June this year. It said that Pakistan is yet to complete its action plan to remove blocks in its fight against money laundering and terror financing. FATF urged Islamabad to demonstrate effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions against all designated terrorists and their associates. FATF also said that Pakistan courts must give effective, decisive and proportionate punishment to those involved in terrorism. It has told that Pakistan must have an effective system to deal with terror financing. Once Pakistan completes three unfulfilled tasks, the FATF will verify and take decision on Islamabad's present status in June plenary.

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UNSG INDIA PAK CEASFIRE

A day after India and Pakistan announced ceasefire at the Line of Control and all other sectors in Jammu and Kashmir, the United Nations have welcomed the move. It has described the move as a positive step towards greater peace and stability in South Asia.

Spokesperson of the U.N. chief, Stephane Dujarric also hailed the India-Pakistan announcement of a ceasefire. He said, the Secretary-General is encouraged by the joint statement issued by the militaries of India and Pakistan on their agreement to observe the ceasefire at the Line of Control in Kashmir and engage through established mechanisms. Mr. Dujarric hopes that this positive step will provide an opportunity for further dialogue.

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UN-INDIA-PAK

United Nations General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir has  welcomed the agreement between India and Pakistan on ceasefire along the Line of Control and other sectors. In a tweet, Bozkir said both sides commitment to achieve sustainable peace through addressing each other's core issues and concerns sets an example for other countries and demonstrates the UN General Assembly values.

India and Pakistan on Thursday released a joint statement saying that they have held discussions regarding establishing a mechanism for hotline contact among both nations.

Talking to AIR News, former diplomat Rakesh Sood said, it is a positive development. He said, dialogue with Pakistan is necessary to manage matters.

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UNEP- LIGIA NORONHA

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres  has  announced the appointment of Ligia Noronha of India as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Ms. Noronha is an economist with over 30 years of international experience in the field of sustainable development. 

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INDIA - VACCINATION

India will start administering COVID-19 vaccine to people above 60 years of age from 1st of March. Those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will also be vaccinated in this phase. The preparation is underway for this phase of covid Vaccination. The vaccine will be administered free of cost at ten thousand government hospitals to these groups while the cost of the vaccine at 20 thousand private vaccination centres will be borne by them. 

Meanwhile, more than 134 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to the beneficiaries in the country so far and country's COVID-19 recovery rate stands at 97.17 per cent.

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BRAZIL COVAXIN

Health Ministry of Brazil on Thursday  signed a contract  to purchase 20 million doses of Covaxin vaccine made by India’s Bharat Biotech. The ministry said the first 8 million doses is expected to arrive in March. Meanwhile  Brazil reported 1,541 new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, the second highest daily death toll since the pandemic began in the country.

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CHINA-VACCINE

China has recognized India’s efforts in supplying COVID-19 vaccines to the world especially poorer nations. In response to a question at a press briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that it welcomes India shipping more doses of free COVID-19 vaccines around the world, especially to poorer countries, compared with Chinese vaccine supplies. He added, China hopes to see more countries taking actions to provide vaccines to the world, especially developing countries, to help with the global response.

True to its earned fame of World’s Pharmacy, India focused on its production capacity to vaccinate its own billion plus population as well as supplying to the world especially, poorer nations through WHO led COVAX. More from our Beijing Correspondent:

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WHO-INDIA VACCINE

Director General of World Health Organisation Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has thanked India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for supporting Vaccine Equity. He said, India's commitment to COVAX and sharing of COVID-19 vaccine doses with other countries, is helping over 60 countries worldwide.

Dr. Tedros underlined that this act of Vaccine Equity by India has helped the recipient countries to start vaccination programme for their health workers and other priority groups. He wished other countries as well to follow India's example.

In response to this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet said, We are all together in the fight against this pandemic. He added that India is committed to sharing resources, experiences, and knowledge for global good.

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PM - TOY FAIR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the India Toy Fair 2021 on Saturday  through video conferencing. The Fair aims to provide an impetus to the underlying themes of Atmanirbhar Bharat and vocal for local campaigns, launched by the Government to promote indigenous industries. It also aims to leverage the potential of toys in making learning joyful across all ages in education.

In his Mann ki Baat programme in August last year, the Prime Minister had said that toys not only augment activity, but also give flight to aspirations. Noting the importance of toys in the holistic development of a child, the Prime Minister has earlier also emphasized boosting toy manufacturing in India.

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DETAILED Q3-GDP

India's economy grew 0.4 percent in October-December period of current fiscal. According to official data released on Friday, the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in third quarter, Q3, of 2020-21 is estimated at 36.22 lakh rupees crore showing a growth of 0.4 percent at constant prices of 2011-12 fiscal.

GDP of the country witnessed growth after logging contraction in last two quarters. The statement has highlighted that the measures taken by the Government to contain spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have had an impact on the economic activities as well as on the data collection mechanisms.

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BOEING FAA-AUSTRALIA

Boeing has agreed to pay $6.6 million in penalties to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) after U.S. regulators said it failed to comply with a 2015 safety agreement and cited other safety concerns.

The penalties include $5.4 million for not complying with the agreement in which Boeing pledged to change its internal processes to improve and prioritize regulatory compliance and $1.21 million to settle two pending FAA enforcement cases.

In anothoer development, Australia said on Friday it would lift a near two-year ban on flights involving Boeing Co 737 MAX planes. With this, Australia becomes the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so. The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after two deadly crashes.

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FPR

Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:

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FB AUSTRALIA

Facebook Inc on Friday announced preliminary commercial agreements with three small local publishers in Australia. The social media company has ended a one-week blackout of Australian news on its popular social media site.

The moves reflected easing tensions between Facebook and the Australian government, a day after the country’s parliament passed a law forcing facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay local media companies for using content on their platforms.

Responding to the developments, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said,  Global tech giants, they are changing the world but we can’t let them run the world,”. He added that Big Tech must be accountable to sovereign governments.

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US AIR STRIKES

The United States carried out air strikes against facilities belonging to the Iraqi militants in eastern Syria on Thursday. The Pentagon said that air strike was  in response to rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq.

Since late 2019, the United States has carried out high-profile strikes against Kata’ib Hezbollah in Iraq and Syria in response to deadly rocket attacks against U.S.-led forces.

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NEW ZEALAND MAUI DOLPHINS

The government of New Zealand said on Friday that it will support a new project that uses drone technology to understand and protect the endangered Māui dolphins in the country.

Maui dolphins live in a small stretch of ocean off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island . As per the latest data only 63 dolphins older than one year remain, raising concerns that they may soon become extinct.

The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is capable of finding and tracking Māui dolphins using artificial intelligence.

The drone ensures dolphins remain undisturbed as they fly at an altitude of over 120 metres.

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India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite Bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from UAE.

AND WITH THAT, WE END THIS BULLETIN. SEE YOU AT SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.

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