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Last Updated : Mar 30 2020 9:56PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Social organisations play big role in countering superstitions, wrong beliefs, misinformation against COVID-19: PM Modi            Nation needs short-term measures, long-term vision to overcome COVID-19 challenge, asserts PM Modi            PM Modi holds video conference with Heads of Indian Embassies, High Commissions to discuss COVID-19 pandemic            Number of COVID-19 cases reported in last 12 days much less than those reported in developed countries            BSNL prepaid sims not to be discontinued till April 20: Ravi Shankar Prasad           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
17.02.2020

THE HEADLINES:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi affirms India’s commitment towards the conservation of Migratory birds; highlights various initiatives of government for conservation of wildlife and increase in forest cover in the country.

  • Supreme Court directs the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers in the Army who opt for it within three months.

  • Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat announces plan to create a Peninsula Command with Navy’s Eastern and Western Command under it.

  • BJP says, it has become habit of Congress to speak in favour of those who put India's security in danger.

  • India to send a consignment of medical supplies on board a relief flight to Wuhan; the flight to evacuate Indian Nationals on return.

  • And, Koneru Humpy wins Cairns Cup chess tournament.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the 13th Conference of Parties or (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar through Video Conferencing.


Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister affirmed India’s commitment towards the conservation of Migratory birds.


"With a view to conserved the birds, along the Central Asian Flyway and their habitats , India has prepared a national action plan for conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway. India would be happy to facilitate preparations of action plan for other countries in this regard. We are keen to take the conservation of migratory birds to a new paradime with active cooperation of all the Central Asian Flyway range countries."


The Prime Minister said that India has been championing Climate Action based on the values of conservation, sustainable lifestyle and green development model. He said that conservation of wildlife and habitats has been a part of the cultural ethos of India, which encourages compassion and co-existence.


"Conservation of wild life and habitat has been a part of the cultural ethos of India which encourages campassion and co-existence."


The Prime Minister highlighted various initiatives taken by his government for the conservation of wildlife and increase in forest cover in the country.


"India has initiated focus species conservation project programme. These has shown great results. The number of tiger reserves has increased from nine since its formative years to fifty at present . At present, India has the distinction of having a population of almost two thousand nine hundred seventy tigers. India has achieved this target of doubling the numbers of tigers two years before the committed date 2022".


The theme of CMS COP13 in India is, “Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home".


Union minister for Environment, forests and climate change Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo, and Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani were present on the occasion. The customized stamp for CMS COP 13 was also released on the occasion.

  

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The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to grant permanent commission to all women officers in the Army who opt for it within three months. It said there will not be any bar on giving them command postings. A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud rejected the Centre's argument of physiological limitations and social norms for denying them permanent commission and command postings, saying it is disturbing. The Court also observed that women officers will be eligible for command posts and that barring women in the army from such posts was irrational and against the Right to Equality.


The bench said women officers in the past have brought laurels to the country and a change of mindset is required on the part of the government to put an end to the gender bias in armed forces.


The apex court said that despite a 'no stay' being there on the 2010 Delhi High Court verdict allowing grant of permanent commission to women officers, the Centre showed little regard in implementing the directive in past one decade.


Senior advocate and BJP Leader Meenakshi lekhi expressed delight at the judgement:


"The message is very simple. I have been receiving some emails from young girl students and they are saying they are inspired, they want to join Army. Some girls who want to be engineers and then join the army. It is a fabulous call. I think when it comes to patriotism, how our women are less than men, they are more."


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Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat today said there are plans to create a Peninsula Command with Navy’s Eastern and Western Command under it. Talking to a news agency in New Delhi today, General Rawat said India is looking at setting up two to five theatre commands. He said Air Defence command will be rolled out by the beginning of next year and peninsula command will be rolled out soon. He also said that India may have a separate Jammu and Kashmir theatre but the shape would be finalised later. He added that India is also working on separate joint commands for logistics and training.


General Rawat said that a study has been ordered under the Air Force Vice Chief, on the Air Defence Command, which will be helpful in avoiding fratricides and timely implementation of orders in case of aerial attacks. General Bipin Rawat added that the shape of different theatre commands would be clear after the studies to be ordered in this regard are completed. He said India is looking at overseas bases for logistics.


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The BJP today hit out at Congress party accusing it of giving political colour to the violent incidents that took place in and around Jamia Milia Islamia. Briefing media in New Delhi, party leader GVL Narasimha alleged that Congress always sides with the forces that are inimical to the police and security forces of the country.


" हिंसक प्रदर्शन करते हैं उनके साथ लगातार कांग्रेस पार्टी अपनी संवेदना जताती है। और जो पुलिसकर्मी, सुरक्षा बल, देश के सैनिक बल जिस प्रकार अपने जान को खतरे में डालकर देश को सुरक्षित रखने के लिए जो लगातार अपनी सेवा देते हैं, कुर्बानी देते हैं, उनके खिलाफ कांग्रेस पार्टी लगातार आवाज उठाती है।"


Mr Narasimha said these are the times when everyone must exercise restraint and not jump to conclusions.


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India will send a consignment of medical supplies on board a relief flight later this week to Wuhan to help China in its fight against COVID-19 epidemic. The Indian Embassy in Beijing has said that on its return, the flight will have some limited capacity to take on board Indian nationals who want to return to India from Wuhan. Many Indian nationals currently in Wuhan have already been in touch with the indian embassy for past two weeks. Indian Embassy also urged all Indian nationals from Wuhan who intend to avail this flight and have not yet contacted the Embassy, to urgently call the hotlines 008618610952903 and 008618612083629 or send email to helpdesk.beijing@mea.gov.in before 7 p.m. local time today.


Meanwhile, the final test reports of all 406 people who are at Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Quarantine Facility in Chhawla, New Delhi have been found negative for new corona virus. These people had travelled from Wuhan, China. The dispersal of people from the ITBP centre will commence in the afternoon today, based on the advisory of the Ministry of Health with due medical procedures and protocols. The group includes seven persons from Maldives who were taken to the ITBP facility on 1st and 2nd of this month. There are also 7 children including an infant in the group.


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Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today handed over appreciation letters written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to officials and staff of Air India who evacuated Indians from corona virus hit Wuhan in China.


Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan also handed over appreciation letters written by the Prime Minister to doctors and nursing officers who were part of the team who evacuated Indians.


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Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal took charge as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the third time today. Members of his Cabinet, including Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Rajendra Pal Gautam and Imran Hussain, also took charge at the Delhi Secretariat. The new cabinet is expected to meet soon and portfolios of the Ministers are likely to be announced after the meeting.


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We now move on to our special series on Nation wide campaign on Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat.


Under the “Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat” initiative of the Government, the southernmost state of Tamil Nadu has been paired with the northernmost Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. A series of activities are going on as part of the national programme aimed at fostering national integrity and brotherhood. As part of it, 46 youths from Jammu and Kashmir are currently touring various places in Tamil Nadu. More from our Chennai Correspondent:


"Under the unique programme “Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat” initiative, the group of forty-six youth from Jammu and Kashmir spent a day as guests in the houses of their hosts in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts. They cooked the traditional meals of the two states together and learnt a few sentences from their languages of Tamil and Kashmiri and Urdu. The youth coordinator of the Nehru Yuva Kendra in Chennai Mr Sampath Kumar said the visiting youth were excited to have such a new experience and their hosts also expressed happiness over learning from their guests about their customs and practices. The youth later visited Mamallapuram where they saw the world-famous heritage monuments like the stone-carved Pancha Ratha’s. Afterwards, they went to Puducherry and are scheduled to visit Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


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In another of our series "Har Kaam Desh Ke Naam" we take a look at the programmes and policies of the government aimed at reaching out to the last mile of development and welfare of all. Today, we take a look at the Soil Health Card Scheme launched in February 2015.

Encouraged by the benefits that the farmers are getting through Soil Health Cards, the Telangana State Government is making efforts to scale it up by five times during the coming financial year. Over 1.10 lakh Soil Health Cards have been distributed to farmers so far in the state. Assistant Director in the State Agriculture Department SriDevi informed that one village in each block has been covered as a pilot project during the current year.


"We have collected samples from each farm holding. In this way we will be able to create awareness among the farmers that we are issuing a soil health card specific to that farmer's field. By following the fertilizers recommendations mentioned in that soil card, farmers will be able to reduce investment on fertilizers and would be able to yield good harvest. There will be a reduction in the cost of production. During 2020-21, we are selecting five villages from each block and we are collecting soil samples. We will conduct the soil testing and  will distribute soil health cards to all farmers."  


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Grand master Koneru Humpy has won the Cairns cup chess tournament. In the 9th and final round of the tournament at St. Louis, USA, she drew with fellow grand master Drona Valli Harika. Humpy ended up with 6 points ahead of the reigning world champion Zu Wezun who finished with 5.5 points. Drona Valli Harika finished 5th with 4.5  points.


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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on 'Mission Indradhanush: Complete Immunization. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM. Listeners can ask questions to the experts sitting in our Studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444.


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