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Last Updated : Jan 25 2021 10:23PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
President Ram Nath Kovid asserts government remains singularly devoted to farmers' welfare            A self-reliant India manufactured its own COVID vaccine and added a glorious chapter to well being of humanity says the President            72nd Republic Day will be celebrated tomorrow with grandeur and enthusiasm            Prime Minister on occasion of Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awards ceremony asks children to commit to three pledges of consistency, country and humility            National Voters' Day observed across the country           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, agricultural reforms will give farmers new options and legal protection; Assures that old system will also continue if someone chooses to stay with it

  • Prime Minister appreciates efforts being made by scientists to come out with a vaccine solution to tackle COVID-19.

  • National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 93.81 per cent.

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, all arrangements in place for second phase of District Development Council elections tomorrow.

  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu calls upon SCO Member States to enforce statutes to eradicate safe havens and financial networks supporting terrorism.


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. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that new agricultural reforms have given farmers new options and new legal protection and at the same time the old system also continues if someone chooses to stay with that. He assured the farmers of the country that the new agricultural reforms have been introduced for their development. The Prime Minister was addressing a gathering in his parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh this afternoon.

"नए कृषि सुधारों से किसानों को नए विकल्प और नए कानूनी संरक्षण ही तो दिए गए हैं। पहले तो मंडी के बाहर हुए लेनदेन ही गैरकानूनी माने जाते थे। ऐसे में छोटे किसानों के साथ अक्सर धोखा होता था, विवाद होते थे। क्योंकि छोटा किसान तो मंडी पहुंच ही नहीं पाता था। अब ऐसा नहीं है। अब छोटे से छोटा किसान भी, मंडी से बाहर हुए हर सौदे को लेकर कानूनी कार्यवाही कर सकता है। यानि किसान को अब नए विकल्प ही नहीं मिले हैं और छल से, धोखे से, उसे बचाने के लिए कानूनी संरक्षण भी मिला है।"

The Prime Minister said, the government not just wants to provide them new market opportunities but also wants to strengthen the Mandi system. He said, the farmers of the country will lead the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign.

The Prime Minister alleged that miscommunication is being spread by the Opposition about the agricultural reforms. He said that a new trend has come up recently where every initiative taken by his government is opposed on mere apprehensions and misconceptions. Mr Modi said, decades of deceit have made farmers apprehensive but now there is no deceit and the NDA government is working with pure intentions. He alleged that in the name of farmers, many packages and projects were announced earlier but their benefits never reached the poor farmers.He added the government is also constantly answering those farmer families who still have some concerns. He expressed confidence that those farmers who have some doubts on agricultural reforms today, will also take advantage of these agricultural reforms in future and increase their income.

The Prime Minister asserted that the NDA government has a proven track record of keeping promises. He said, the NDA Government is helping farmers and trying to increase their income by providing seeds, irrigation facilities, market and insurance cover to them. He said, assistance is being provided directly to the bank accounts of more than 10 crore farmer families of the country. So far, about one lakh crore rupees have reached the farmers.

The Prime Minister said that the government has procured farmer's products many times more than what was procured in the 5 years of the UPA 2 regime. He said, the Government has delivered on the promise of stopping the black marketing of urea and giving enough urea to the farmers. He said the Government delivered on the promise of fixing MSP at 1.5 times the cost in line with the recommendation of the Swaminathan Commission.  He said, even during the lockdown period, the government has provided fertilizers to the farmers. He stressed that the government is spending crores of rupees to modernize the mandis. He assured that if his party’s government comes to power in those states which have not implemented it yet, then it will be implemented there also.

During his day-long visit, to his constituency, the Prime Minister dedicated to the nation the six-lane widening project of the Handia (Prayagraj) - Rajatalab (Varanasi) section of National Highway 19. The 73 Km stretch of the newly widened and six laned NH-19, made with a total outlay of 2447 crore rupees, will reduce the travel time between Prayagraj and Varanasi by one hour.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the newly upgraded highway will help the devotees and tourists a lot and further increase development. Mr Modi said, the image of Uttar Pradesh has changed after the new BJP government came to power in the State.

"पिछले 6 वर्षों में बनारस में हज़ारों करोड़ रुपए के प्रोजेक्ट्स तेजी से पूरे किए गए हैं और बहुत सारी परियोजनाओं पर काम चल रहा है। एयरपोर्ट से शहर को जोड़ने वाली सड़क आज बनारस में विकास कार्यों की पहचान बन गई है। रेलवे स्टेशन की कनेक्टिविटी भी बेहतर हुई है। यहां से कुछ दूरी पर ही रिंग रोड फेज-2 का भी कार्य तेजी से चल रहा है। इसके पूरा होने से सुल्तानपुर, आजमगढ़ और गाजीपुर से आने-जाने वाले भारी वाहन शहर में एंट्री लिए बिना, सीधे इस नए सिक्स लेन हाईवे से निकल सकेंगे।"

The Prime Minister highlighted that the development which is taking place right now in Varanasi has never happened after independence and Varanasi is now exporting vegetables and fruits to the foreign markets. The famous Black Rice of Chandauli is also reaching the markets of Australia and increasing the income of farmers. The Prime Minister said that the government is supporting farmers in its production.

The Prime Minister took part in several functions in Varanasi today. After taking stock of the work progress of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor Project, he offered prayers to Lord Shiva at the temple. Travelling in a cruise on the river Ganga, the Prime Minister reached Rajghat and took part in Dev Dipawali festival which is being celebrated today. Dev Deepawali, the festival of Kartik Poornima is celebrated on the full moon day of the auspicious Karthik Month of the Hindu lunar calendar.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to preserve India's cultural heritage. He further said that now India is giving befitting reply to those forces who challenge its internal and external security.

The Prime Minister hailed the tradition of Akashdeep in Varanasi in which people light lamps to pay tribute to the bravehearts of the country.

More from our correspondent from Varanasi:

"The entire river front of holy Ganga was gleaming with lights of lakhs of earthen lamps. All Ghats were decked up with colourful lights . The Dev Dipawali festival started by the Prime Minister by lighting a diya on the Raj Ghat and was followed by lighting of more than 15 lakh diyas on various ghats on both sides of River Ganges. Adhering to the Covid protocol thousands gathered to welcome Narendra Modi who became the first Prime Minister to take part in this festival. Cultural troops performed Shiv and Ganga Aarti. Standing on the cruise in the middle of the Ganaga, the visibly mesmerized Prime Minister took a glance at the illuminated ghats and saw the laser show. The Prime Minister also launched the website of Pawan path Varanasi on the ocassion. Pawan Path is a circuit of prominent temples in Varanasi with Kashi Vishwanath temple as the centre point. It includes more than 100 prominent temples of the holy city. Later, he saw the Light and Sound show at the archaeological site of Sarnath. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, VARANASI.


The Government has brought a number of reforms for the welfare of farmers. Farmers can now sell their produce even outside the state. As a result, the farmers are not required to pay the exorbitant market fees, cess or levies applicable on sales in the designated mandis or markets by the state governments. A report

"Freeing farmers from restrictions of selling their produce in the local mandis has rattled the big commission agents and their handlers seeking to retain their stranglehold on the farmers, suppressing their income and rural communities.Farmers that were forced to undertake distress sale owing to nexus between middlemen, buyers and marketing committees can now go for alternative competitive avenues to sell their agricultural products. Farmers that forked out mandi commissions and taxes as high as 16.5 per cent of his product value would benefit big time as they need not fork out these levies when the agriculture produce is sold outside the mandis. Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."


In its direction of agriculture reforms, the Central Government has launched one lakh crore rupees Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF).The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium - long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee. The duration of the scheme is from Financial Year 2020 to 2029. Under it, farmers can avail benefits from better production and marketing facilities created by this fund. More form our Delhi correspondent.

"Under the initiative,  a credit guarantee for loans up to two crore rupees is provided by the government.  The government also  provides  three per cent rebate in interest on loans upto two crore rupees for a maximum period of 7 years. Moratorium for loan repayment under this financing facility will be  from  6 to 24 months. Under the Fund, agri-entrepreneurs, start-ups, and farmer groups will have access to credit for construction of warehouses, sorting grading unit  and packhouses, creation of supply chain  and cold chain facilities. Besides, the fund will also help setting up of  Primary Agriculture processing centres  and strenghtening vision from seed to market. With Anand Kumar's report, Swati Rakheja for AIR News, Delhi "


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today held virtual meetings with three teams working on developing and manufacturing the COVID-19 vaccine. These teams were from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd of Pune and Biological E Ltd and Dr. Reddys Laboratories Ltd of Hyderabad.

Mr Modi appreciated the efforts being taken by the scientists in these companies to come out with a vaccine solution to tackle COVID-19 pandemic. The potential of various platforms for vaccine development was also discussed. He also asked the companies to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.

All the vaccine candidates discussed are at different stages of trials and detailed data and results are expected early next year onwards. 


The Country's COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 93.81 per cent as a total of 45 thousand 333 patients have recovered during the last 24 hours. According to Health Ministry, the total number of recoveries has gone up to over 88 lakh 47 thousand. During the past 24 hours, 38 thousand 772 new cases were reported taking the total number of positive cases to over 94 lakh 31 thousand.


India is putting up a better fight against the COVID-19 pandemic than the most of the countries. The countries like the USA, the UK , France, Brazil and Italy have reported  about four to five times the number of cases on  a per million basis than India as on the 28th of this month. More from our correspondent.

"In case of number of deaths due to COVID-19 per million population, India has reported 98 death as of 28th of November. On the otherhand, USA reported 813 deaths, Brazil saw 805 , UK  846 and France witnessed 780 deaths. Thus, almost all these countries  have about  8-to 9 times more deaths than India on a per million  basis. Currently India's curve is showing  a downward trend in daily cases as from the peak  of almost 97 thousand 894 daily cases in mid September, there were 43 thousand 174 cases as on 26th of this month. Anand Kumar , AIR News, Delhi"


Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan distributed masks and soaps at the Old Delhi Railway Station today. Emphasizing on the importance of wearing a Mask and washing hands, Dr Harsh Vardhan said the most important principle is to follow basic principles of hygiene and physical distancing.

Speaking on the COVID situation in India, Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted the progress in COVID parameters. He said India has one of the highest recovery rate in the whole world.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed private labs to reduce the rates of RT PCR tests in Delhi. In a tweet, Mr. Kejriwal said, tests are being conducted free of cost in government establishments.


To curb the spread of infection in Mumbai, Commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has asked the authorities to collect fine of 200 rupees from the people found not wearing masks in public places. Post-Diwali season, the civic body has further increased inspection drives all across the city. In a release, the BMC said, from April till November 28, it took action against 4.85 lakh citizens for not wearing masks in public places and collected over 10.7 crore rupees as fine from them. More from our Mumbai correspondent:

"To encourage COVID-19-appropriate behaviour among Mumbaikars, the BMC has decided to provide 'free' masks to those found without face cover in public. Besides it will also collect a fine of Rs 200 from them. The BMC said when an offender, after being fined, goes ahead without a face mask, the objective of implementing the COVID-19 prevention protocol remains unfulfilled. According to BMC, from April till November 28, the maximum number of 32 thousand citizens without masks were fined in the K-west ward of the city. Nivedita, Mumbai"


Odisha Government has identified 30 thousand sites across the state to administer Covid-19 vaccine, as and when available. This was revealed in a national level review meeting by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba in which state chief secretary and other top level officials took part through video conference today. It was also disclosed in the meeting that the state government has enlisted 8300 vaccinators for smooth covid-19 immunization. More from our Bhubaneswar correspondent:

"Odisha government has drawn up a multispectral response strategy involving stakeholders like NGOs and NCC and the civil society in their vaccination campaign. While the government has already prepared the database of the first priority group consisting of about 3.2 lakh health and frontline workers for vaccination, multiple task force committees have been put in place right from state level down to the block level to oversee the the massive immunisation drive. In addition, the vaccination strategy as envisioned by the government has also embedded systems to ensure seamless supply of vaccine to the districts, onboarding community leaders and Panchayati Raj representatives to curb. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar"


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme tonight will bring you a Special discussion Programme on Covid-19 . Dr Lt Gen Ved Chaturvedi, who is Rheumatologist at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital will participate in the discussion. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM onwards.  


In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, all arrangements are in place for the second phase of District Development Council (DDC) elections tomorrow. Along with it, Panchayat by-polls will also take place tomorrow. Voting will be held from 7 AM till 2 in the afternoon. The elections are being held in eight phases. State Election Commissioner K.K Sharma today said that arrangements have been made to ensure that polling is held in smooth and peaceful manner. Out of the total 280 constituencies in the Union Territory, voting for DDC elections will be held in 43 constituencies in this phase, including 25 seats from Kashmir and 18 from Jammu Division. There are total 321 candidates in the electoral fray including 196 from Kashmir and 125 from Jammu division. 

Meanwhile, by-elections of Panches and Sarpanchs will be conducted in 83 constituencies. Similarly, in Panchs by-poll elections are going to be held in 331 constituencies. Moreover, 58 Sarpanches and 804 Panches  have been elected unopposed.


In Telangana, elaborate arrangements have been made for the polling for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation tomorrow. Over 74 lakh 67 thousand voters are likely to exercise their franchise in this election

State Election Commissioner C Parthsarathy informed that the voting will be held from 7AM to 6PM tomorrow through ballot paper in the wake of COVID -19 pandemic.

Our Hyderabad Correspondent reports that there are a total of 1122 candidates in the fray for the 150-division Municipal Corporation.

"The State Election Commission authorities have made all arrangements for free and fair poll tomorrow. Over 52 thousand police forces have been deployed near and around 9101 polling stations out of which more than half of them were identified as sensitive or hypersensitive.  Over 48 thousand polling staff have been put on duty. Considering the COVID pandemic,  one lakh 20 thousand COVID-19 kits have been distributed. Special arrangements have been made for the aged electors who are above 80 years of age, differently abled, and mothers with small children and those who are COVID positive. The COVID positive electors will be allowed to exercise their franchise during the last hour of the polling.  Lakshmi, AIR News, Hyderabad'


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has called upon Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States to enforce internationally recognized legal statutes to comprehensively eradicate safe havens, infrastructure and financial networks supporting terrorism. Virtually addressing the 19th session of the SCO Council of Heads of Government, hosted by India today, the Vice President expressed concern about States that leverage terrorism as an instrument of State policy. He said, India condemns terrorism in all its manifestations. 


In yet another ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir this afternoon. PRO defence, Colonel Davinder Anand said that Pakistani troops initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing with small arms and thereafter heavy mortar shelling along the LoC in Shahpur sector of the district at about 1510 hours. The vigilant Indian Army troops, guarding the fence are retaliating befittingly with equal caliber. There are no reports of any damage to property and any loss of life from Indian side so far. Further details are awaited.


Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is being celebrated with religious fervour in the country and across the world. The day marks the birth of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev, who laid the foundation of Sikhism. This year marks the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

On this day, Sikh devotees around the world offer prayers. Starting with ‘Akhand Path’, the gurdwaras recite 48-hour long, non-stop verses from Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival this year, is being celebrated with simplicity.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkiakh Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted the people on the occasion.

In Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, Guru Nanak Jayanti is being celebrated with great religious fervour and devotion. On this occasion, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh laid foundation stones of six projects in Sultanpur Lodhi, to be completed at a cost of nearly 40.75 crore rupees. More from Chandigarh correspondent:

"Thousands of devotees  thronged gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh to offer prayers on the occasion of Parkash Purab of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. In Amritsar  'Harmandar Sahib', in Sultan Pur Lodhi Gurdwara Ber Sahib and in Dera Baba Nanak Gurudwara Shri Darbar Sahib and Gurdwara Shri Chola Sahib and other gurdwaras elsewhere saw religious fervour to the fore on Gurpurab. Hymns were rendered at the holy shrine and hundreds of other gurdwaras across the region to mark the occasion. The bhog of Shri Akhand Paath Sahib was performed in the Gurdwaras.The shrine complex has been  decorated with lighting. Guru Ka Langar was also served at various Gurdwaras in the region.

Ashwani Kumar Sharma, AIR NEWS, Chandigarh"


Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today  released a Book titled Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government's Special Relationship with Sikhs on the occasion of Gurupurab. The book was released in New Delhi in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. The book, published by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, was released in English, Hindi and Punjabi languages. The book is based on the messages of Guru Nanak Devji. Speaking on the occasion, Mr  Puri said that it is a compilation of many steps taken for welfare of the Sikh community in India by the Narendra Modi government. He said, more steps have been taken for Sikhs in the last 6 years, in comparision to the last 60 years. He said, these initiatives include the opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, development of Sultanpur Lodhi, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act clearance to Sri Darbar Sahib,  grand celebration of 550th Prakash Parv and better connectivity to all Sikh pilgrimages.


Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa launched a Learning Management System based on Digital technology for Government colleges. The Learning Management System (LMS) will be implemented in 430 Government First Grade Colleges, 87 Polytechnics and 14 Government Engineering Colleges during this academic year. More from our Bengaluru Correspondent: 

"Learning Management System will have a progressive impact on the teaching of about 24,000 teachers and the learning of about 4.5 Lakh students in the state. Bridging the digital divide, this digital platform will have multilingual e-content in the form of PPTs, videos, quizzes, assignments and e-study materials developed as per University prescribed syllabi of 14 affiliating Universities by the faculty of the Department of Collegiate and Technical Education. There will be analytics with scope for ranking of students, teachers and colleges, student’s feedback, content rating and e-tracking of usage. This will also make ‘learning from anywhere’ possible during the pandemic. Sudhindra, AIR News, Bengaluru"


The One Nation One Ration Card scheme has been commenced in Andaman and Nicobar Islands today. The Aadhar Enabled Biometric e-POS machines have been installed at nearly 50 shops in the islands. The Director, Department of Civil Supply Dr. Navlendra Kumar Singh informed about the same and affirmed that work is being rapidly done to set up these e-POS machines at all 458 Fair Price Shops of the islands.


The weather forecast for tomorrow.

The National capital will have fog in the morning and later clear sky with temperatures varying between 7 and 27 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will have mainly clear sky and the temperature will vary between 23 and 35 degree Celsius.

Chennai is likely to witness thunderstorm with rain and temperature will hover between 24 and 30 degree Celsius.

Kolkata is likely to have clear sky and  temperature will vary  between 16 and  29 degree Celsius.

On to the North, Jammu will have a mainly clear sky and

temperature will hover between 9 degree Celsius 25 degrees.

Srinagar will also have mainly clear sky and may become partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Temperature will hover between minus two degree celsius and 13 degrees.

In Leh, there will be mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening and temperature will vary between minus five degree Celsius  and four degree.

Gilgit will have mainly clear sky with temperature varying between minus three degree celsius to 14 degrees.

Muzaffarabad will have mainly clear sky and temperature will vary between three to 22 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 10 and 25 degree Celsius. The sky will be mainly clear.

Chandigarh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature in the city will hover between 9 and 25 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, temperature will vary between 19 degree Celsius and 29 degrees. The city will have generally cloudy sky.


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