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Last Updated : Apr 8 2020 2:33PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi discusses COVID-19 situation with leaders of different political parties through video conferencing            Home Ministry directs States to ensure availability of essential goods at fair prices for citizens            Health Ministry says 402 patients recovered in country so far; 773 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported during last 24 hrs            Govt to set up three levels of health care facility for management of COVID-19 cases            UN suspends deployments of peacekeepers till 30th June in wake of Coronavirus pandemic           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
20.02.2020

THE HEADLINES,


  • Government to set up Central Consumer Protection Authority by the first week of April.

  • All members of FATF barring Turkey ask Pakistan to honour its commitments to stop terror funding before June this year.

  • Kashi Mahakal Express, linking three Jyotirlingas, to begin commercial run from Varanasi this afternoon .

  • China decides to postpone new semester of several universities in the wake of  COVID-19.

  • Indian wrestlers win  three bronze medals  in Greco-Roman events at  Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi.

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Food  Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said  the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set up by the first week of April this year. The CCPA to be set up under Consumer Protection Act 2019, will address issues related to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and impose penalties for selling spurious and adulterated products.

Briefing reporters in New Delhi after interaction with industry bodies on the roles and functions of CCPA, Mr. Paswan said, an investigative wing will be formed under the aegis of the authority and it will carry out inquiries in matters related to unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements. 

He also said the rules related to Consumer Protection Act will be finalized within one and half months. The Minister asserted that protecting the interest of consumers is paramount for the government.

During the meeting with industry bodies, Mr. Paswan also stressed on the need to regulate e-commerce and direct selling as there is no regulatory body for these sectors right now.

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In a significant development, all the members of Financial Action Tasks Force (FATF) except Turkey are learnt to have sent a stern message to Pakistan to complete its commitments on action against terror financing before June this year. Even Pakistan's all weather friend China and Saudi Arabia have joined hands with India, US and European countries in this move.

Ahead of the FATF plenary session in June, a sub group tasked to review Pakistan's case, has recommended that Islamabad should continue to be in a grey list for its failure to check terror funding. It has stopped short of recommending the country for the black list.

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And now, news about US President's visit to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump will hold extensive talks on 25th of this month to deepen cooperation in a range of key sectors including defence and trade. Briefing media in New Delhi yesterday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the US President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation on his two day visit to India. Mr Trump is scheduled to visit India on the 24th of February. The Foreign Secretary said the visit will have three legs - Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi. President Trump will address the “Namaste Trump” event jointly with Prime Minister Modi at the newly built Motera Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad.  Our correspondent has filed this report:

"This will be President Trump’s first visit to India. It is also going to be the first standalone visit by a US President to India. The highlight of the programme in Ahmedabad will be the exhibition of India’s rich and diverse culture and heritage to President Trump in a public manner that has few parallels in India or elsewhere. From the moment of their arrival at the airport in Ahmedabad, the delegates will be treated to a display of famed Indian hospitality and India’s Unity in Diversity. The route of their travel to the Motera stadium is expected to have thousands of people as well as artistes showcasing the performing art from different states and Union Territories. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would then visit Agra, where they would spend about an hour at the Taj Mahal before heading for Delhi. Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar inaugurated the Indian pavilion yesterday at the Berlin International Film Festival for which three feature films and one documentary from the country have been selected. Information and Broadcasting ministry in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is participating in the 70th edition of the festival.

Earlier, Dr Jaishankar held a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas and thanked him for the support of  his country in expanding cooperation between India and the European Union (EU). The External Affairs Minister, who was in Germany during the weekend for the Munich Security Conference, arrived in Berlin on Monday to prepare the ground for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned visit for the India-EU summit in Brussels next month.

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The Kashi Mahakal Express, the third private train of IRCTC, will start from today. The train service will link the three Jyotirlinga - Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar, in Ujjain and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi.   

First Kashi Mahakal train will start from Varanasi this afternoon and will reach Indore tomorrow morning on the day of Mahashivratri. This is also the first overnight journey train run by IRCTC. Chief Regional Manager of IRCTC Ashwini Shrivastava told AIR news that apart from giving high class facilities, IRCTC is also offering tour packages of Omkareshvar.

"इस गाड़ी में जो लोग यात्रा करेंगे उनके किराये में खानपान सम्मिलित है। जो लोग वहां जाकर पैकेज का लाभ उठाना चाहते है और उज्जैन के अलावा ओंकारेश्वर के दर्शन भी करना चाहते है और वहां ठहरने की व्यवस्था चाहते है, उनके लिए हमने आईआरसीटीसी पैकेज भी लॉन् किये है। जिसके माध्यम से वो दर्शन और घूमने का आनंद उठा सकते है।"

Flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, the train will cover 1,131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1,102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj in approximately 19 hours.

Light devotional music, two dedicated private guards in every coach and only vegetarian meals are some of the  features of the fully 3-AC service. The train will run thrice a week between Varanasi and Indore.

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Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways General V K Singh will today review the progress of Char Dham project. Gen Singh is visiting Uttarakhand to review the progress of the project with engineers and officials. The Minister will also conduct aerial survey of the area.

Char Dham National Highway connectivity programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016. The project aims to improve the connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas, making journey to these centres safer, faster and more convenient.

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Chinese authorities have decided to postpone the new semester of several universities including Southwest University. In a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador recently, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan had raised the issue of students who had returned from China and were being asked by their universities to join back or lose their admission. Chinese Embassy has informed Union Health ministry that the State Council of China has decided to postpone the new semester of universities in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The students will be notified by their respective universities.

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Niti Aayog along with top executives of pharma industry and senior government officials discussed ways to boost domestic manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). The discussion was held amid concerns over supply disruption from China due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The meeting, chaired by Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, came a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will soon announce measures to deal with the impact of the  outbreak on the domestic industry. The meeting was attended by Pharmaceuticals Department Secretary PD Vaghela, Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Zydus' Pankaj Patel and Dr Reddy's Laboratories' Satish Reddy.

Meanwhile, six Chinese nationals, who arrived in Himachal Pradesh in the past few days, were put under surveillance yesterday and advised to report to the health officials in case of symptoms of cough and fever.

Two people have died yesterday in Iran after testing positive for the new coronavirus, Islamic republic's first cases of the disease.

In Japan, one more Indian aboard a quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess has been tested positive for the COVID-19 taking the number of Indian nationals infected with the virus on the vessel to seven.

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Now moving on to our series "Har Kaam, Desh Ke Naam". In this series, 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.

On 21st of February, 2016 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission to drive economic, social and infrastructure development in rural areas. Mr Modi had said, the mission intends to bridge the rural-urban divide by bringing civic and infrastructural amenities to clusters of villages and making them smarter evolving a new mantra for urbanization.

"ग्रामीण और शहरी दोनों को एक साथ मिला दिया वो है ररबन जिसका मतलब है विकास  की  ऐसा हो जिसकी आत्मा गांव की हो और सुविधा शहर की हो।"

Under the mission 288 Rurban clusters with thematic economic growth points are being developed across the country. Rurban clusters are identified across the country’s rural areas showing increasing signs of urbanization. The mission aims to transform these Rurban clusters by stimulating local economic development, enhancing basic services, and creating well planned Rurban clusters.

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Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat programme has been promoting India’s unity and diversity across the country. Under the scheme, Sikkim has been paired with Delhi for cultural exchanges. A report from our correspondent:

"A National Integration Camp is scheduled in the last week of February at Chemchey, South Sikkim as part of this campaign, where over 250 youth and 38 cultural troops will perform. Gangtok-based senior Journalist Nita Nirash, who hails from Delhi, speaks about the highlights of her over four-decade stay in Sikkim…

Gangtok-based Tara Prasad Dhungel, who would participate in the National Integration Camp in South Sikkim, shares his expectations…

 For Sikkim’s youth, the camp would be an opportunity to explore Delhi’s culture and tradition as well as to showcase their own lifestyle. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma from Gangtok for AIR."

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Arunachal Pradesh is celebrating its 34th Statehood Day today. It  attained statehood on February 20, 1987. Home Minister Amit Shah will attend the celebrations at Itanagar.

"Home Minister will launch a slew of projects on the occasion. He will launch the Arunachal Pradesh Industrial and Investment Policy, 2020, inaugurate the Joram-Koloriang Road constructed by BRO, lay the foundation stone of the new headquarters of the state police and along with other projects. Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju and Dr. Jitendra Singh will also attend the function. RAKESH DOLEY, AIR NEWS, ITANAGAR."

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Ashu, Aditya Kundu and Hardeep have won a bronze medal each in their respective weight categories in Greco-Roman events of the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi yesterday. While Ashu won a bronze in in 67kg category, Aditya and Hardeep also bagged the medals of same colour in the 72kg and 97kg respectively on the second day of the competitions.    

 India has so far five medals in the championships, after Sunil Kumar's historic gold in 87kg and Arjun Halakurki's bronze in 55kg Greco-Roman category on Tuesday.

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Newspapers Headlines


  • Newspapers have led with different stories this morning. Hindustan Times quoting US president Donald Trump writes "Saving a big deal with India for later".

  • On green push the Business Line says "Government revamps crop cover scheme, prunes premium subsidy". The paper adds that to plug loopholes, government makes scheme voluntary for farmers.

  • "Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) Ok's 2.6 billion dollar deal for 24 US naval copters" reports the Pioneer.

  • "Supreme Court mediators fail to convince Shaheen Bagh women to shift" is the lead in the Asian Age.

  • On the failure of the Congress to find a new president after all these months, the Indian Express writes "Now Sandeep Dikshit speaks up on leadership: 'Who will bell the cat?' ".

  • In a front page story the Times of India  headlines "Muslim to head Lingayat math". The paper adds that a Lingayat math in Gadag district of north Karnataka is set to make a Muslim youth Diwan Sharief Rahimansab Mulla its pontiff.

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