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Last Updated : Jan 21 2021 7:18PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Govt approves over one crore one lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) till date            More than 8 lakh beneficiaries get COVID-19 vaccine across country            Nation Covid-19 recovery rate reaches 96.75 per cent            Meghalaya, Manipur & Tripura celebrate their statehood day today; Prez, Vice Prez & PM greet the people            Country's major indices of stock exchanges register new all-time high           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0830 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, government will continue MSP and old Mandi system along with agricultural reforms.

  • Centre invites farmer leaders for talks today in New Delhi.

  • Voting is underway for second phase of DDC elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Health Ministry issues new COVID guidelines for market places.

  • US President elect Joe Biden names Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary and Indian American Neera Tanden as Director, Office of Management and Budget.


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 yesterday.

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.

Mr Modi said, decades of deceit makes 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 Centre has invited farmers for talks with high level ministerial committee today. In a letter addressed to the protesting farmers, Secretary, Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare Ministry, Sanjay Agarwal invited farmer leaders for talks at 3 PM at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that farmer leaders present in the first round of talks have been invited for the dialogue. The invitation came after consultations among senior BJP leaders over ways to reach farmers’ leaders in order to end the stalemate. Farmers’ organisations are agitating against the new farm laws.


Narendra Modi government has taken several measures with an aim to  transform  agriculture sector in the country and raise farmers’ income. The government has recently implemented new farm Acts in this direction which include Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.

"These Acts provide for creation of an ecosystem where the farmers and traders will have freedom of choice of sale and purchase of agri-produce. It will promote barrier free inter-state and intra-state trade and commerce outside the physical premises of markets notified under State Agricultural Produce Marketing legislations which will reduce marketing costs for the farmers. The farmers will not be charged any cess or levy for sale of their produce. The Acts aim at creating additional trading opportunities outside the APMC market yards to help farmers get remunerative prices due to additional competition. Anand Kumar, AIR News, Delhi".


In Jammu and Kashmir, polling is underway for the second phase of District Development Council elections. Voting is taking place for 43 DDC constituencies in this phase. More than 7 lakh 90 thousand voters will decide the fate of 321 candidates. A report by our Srinagar correspondent:

"Out of 43 DDC constituencies going to polls in this phase, 25 are in Kashmir valley and 18 in Jammu division. The polling commenced amid severe cold in the morning. It is expected to pick up as the day progresses and temperature improves. All arrangements are in place for peaceful and smooth polling. The first phase of 8-phased DDC election in the UT saw 52 per cent voter turnout on Saturday. 83 vacant Sarpanch seats and 331 panch seats are also going to bypolls with this DDC polls. Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, AIR News, Srinagar".


Home Minister Amit Shah today saluted the Jawans of Border Security Force, BSF for their service and dedication on the occasion of 56th raising day of the force. In a tweet, Mr Shah said, BSF has always lived up to its motto 'Jeevan Paryant Kartavya' with its valor. He said, India is proud of BSF.


In Uttar Pradesh, voting has begun for 11 legislative council seats. Polling which started at 8 this morning, will end at 5 in the evening. Out of 11 seats, 5 are graduate consultancies and 6 teachers constituencies. More from our Lucknow correspondent:

"The polling  for these 11 seats is going in 72 districts in state except kanpur Nagar, kanpur Dehat and Unnao districts. In wake of Covid-19 infection all  necessary arrangements have been made at  polling booths.There are 12,69,817 voters registered  for graduate constituencies  who could franchise on 1808 polling booths, for 6 division teacher constituencies  there are 2,06,335 voters  who could vote  on  813 polling booths.For Total 11 seats  there are 199 candidates in fray out of which for graduate constituencies there are 114 candidates  and for teachers constituencies 85 candidates. MS Yadav, AIR News, Lucknow".


In Telangana, amidst tight security arrangements, polling has begun in Hyderabad to elect new corporators for Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation during its general election. Through ballot paper, over 74 lakh electors will elect 150 corporators out of which at least 50 per cent will be women. Polling has commenced at 7AM and will continue till 6 PM at 9101 polling stations across 4 districts, Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medchal Malkajgiri and Sangareddy. Our correspondent says, elaborate arrangements have been made by the authorities to ensure fair and free polling besides safety of electors in the wake of COVID pandemic. 

"The State Election Commission authorities have made elaborate arrangements for ensuring each and every elector to exercise their vote, even in the pandemic conditions. COVID positive electors will also be allowed to cast their vote, but during the last hour of the polling. However, they are allowed to utilise postal ballot also. Besides, electors above 80 years of age, persons of differently abled, have also been given this opportunity besides officials on polling duty. Ten COVID-19 kits have been kept at each polling station in addition to sanitizer bottles. About 48 thousand officials have been put on polling duty and over 52 thousand police personnel have been deployed for the same. Lakshmi, AIR News, Hyderabad".


The Health Ministry has issued new Covid-19 guidelines for market places. These include fines for not wearing masks and discounts for shopping during lean hours. The SOPs outlined that market places in containment zones shall remain closed.

The guidelines also suggest closing of markets if large number of Coronavirus cases are reported. The SOPs said that online booking of groceries and doorstep delivery of those must be encouraged.

The SOPs outlined that market places in containment zones shall remain closed. Shop owners and employees living in containment zones shall not be allowed entry into marketplaces, it stated.

According to the SOPs, COVID-appropriate behaviour in marketplaces may be regulated by market associations through a number of measures.


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. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.45 per cent which is one of the lowest globally.


India is putting up a better fight against the COVID-19 pandemic than most of the countries. The Narendra Modi Government took many quick decisions which saved people from the pandemic. India was among the quickest to react at the government and institutional level. China notified the world on 7th January about the Wuhan virus and the very next day, India had a mission meeting on 8th January itself. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"India started screening passengers from 17th January, among the first countries in the world to do so. First case in India was detected on 30th January and aggressive containment and screening measures were instituted. On the other end of the spectrum, India was among the first to introduce Rapid Antigen Tests along with RT-PCR tests. India was criticised initially for this strategy but later the World Health Organisation, WHO itself adopted this model. It was in March first week itself that Prime Minister Modi announced that he would not join any Holi Milan event since the scientific advice was to stay away from social gatherings. It was among the earliest examples among the world leaders to send a message to the country. When Mr Modi sent this message of staying away from mass gatherings to millions of countrymen, India did not even have 50 cases. Large parts of India made masks mandatory way back in April itself, with Mr Modi himself wearing masks in public since early April, while the WHO waited till June before recommending it the world over. With Anand Kumar's report, tanvi khurana, for AIR News, Delhi."


The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has started the process of identifying places for cold storage facilities for storing the Covid-19 vaccine. It is converting a 5,000 square feet floor in a building at Kanjurmarg into a cold storage facility. It will be ready by December 15th. More from our Mumbai correspondent -

"The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has said that it  will set up cold storage houses at three places in the city's eastern and western suburbs to store the much awaited Corona vaccine. Additional Commissioner of BMC Suresh Kakani informed that the search for the exact sites for the cold storage houses is currently underway. While, one site at Kanjurmarg has been finalized. This building at Kanjurmarg is being used for covid-19 screening and management at present. One of its floor will be converted into cold storage. Kakani also said that when the vaccine becomes available in Mumbai, it will first be given to front line personnels.Madhuri Pange, AIR News, Mumbai".


In Tamil Nadu, the active Covid-19 caseload has dropped to 10-thousand 997 while the new infections yesterday have been 1410.


In Odisha, covid-19 active caseload has further gone down below five thousand. With 809 fresh recoveries yesterday, the active cases have decreased to 4868. On the other hand , while the cumulative caseload has increased to 318 725, covid-19 fatalities have jumped to 1739. More from our Bhubaneshwar correspondent:

"During the last 24 hours the state witnessed to the intraday positive cases plunging down below 500,  first time since the 16th of July. During the period, the number of recoveries at 809 was almost double the number of case discovery at 418. All the medical colleges in the state are reopening from today with proper covid-19 protocol in place. However, the government, in a fresh set of guidelines continue to prohibit large congregations across the state till the end of this month. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar".


Gujarat recorded 1502 new cases during the last 24 hours. The recovery rate in the state remains at 90.96 percent. More from our Ahmedabad correspondent:

"The number of total cases of Covid-19 detected so far in Gujarat has reached up to 2 lakh 9 thousand 780. Out of these, 1 lakh 90 thousand 821 patients recovered. 1401 patients recovered during the last 24 hours.  More than 78 lakh 25 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date.  At present total active cases in the state are 14970, out of which 83 patients are on ventilator. 20 patients died yesterday taking the total deaths due to Covid-19 up to 3989. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad".


In Delhi, a total of 3,726 new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday taking the total count of cases in the national capital to 5,70,374. According to the Delhi Health Department, the death toll due to COVID-19 has gone to 9,174 with 108 persons succumbing to the virus. The last time the city saw over 100 deaths due to the disease was on November 24. The department said that 50,670 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the city in the last 24 hours. The cumulative positivity rate in the national capital is 9.07 per cent. The Delhi government has fixed the price of RT-PCR test by private labs at 800 rupees.


US President-elect Joe Biden has named ex-Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as his nominee for treasury secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, she will be the first woman ever to hold the post. She is among several women chosen for top economic positions. The Biden transition team said others were set to break racial barriers if confirmed.

Indian American Neera Tanden has been named as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mr Biden also named Wally Adeyemo, a former Obama administration official and the first CEO of the former president's nonprofit foundation, as his nominee for deputy treasury secretary. He also unveiled his White House economic team, consisting of economists Cecilia Rouse, Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey.


The 19th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Governments that was Chaired by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu ended with the adoption of the Joint Communique.

Addressing media virtually, Secretary, West in the External Affairs Ministry, Vikas Swarup said that this is the first time that a Summit-level Meeting was held under India’s Chairmanship, since it gained full-membership of the organization in 2017. He said, ​India considers the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an important regional organization to promote cooperation in the areas of peace, security, trade, economy and culture. He said, India is committed to deepening its cooperation with SCO by playing a proactive, positive and constructive role in the organisation. ​

He said, India also congratulates and expresses its full support to Kazakhstan as the next incoming chair of the SCO Council of Heads of Government in 2021.


Nagaland will celebrate its 58th Statehood day today. It became the 16th State of the Union of India on 1st of December 1,963. The formal inauguration of the state was done by the then President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan.

On the occasion, a state level programme will be held at Civil Secretariat Plaza Kohima today wherein Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio will deliver his speech and takes the salute from the marching contingents.


A Task Force Committee headed by former Chief Secretary S V Ranganath appointed by the Karnataka Government to suggest a road map to implement the National Education Policy submitted its report to the government yesterday. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa received the report from the Committee in Bengaluru. The report will be submitted for consideration in the next Cabinet meeting. Deputy Chief Minister holding higher education portfolio Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan, Primary and Secondary Education minister S Suresh Kumar were present on this occasion. The report submitted by the Committee has suggested to reform Department of State Education Research and Training (DSERT) set up the separate operations for regulating schools, attract CSR grants for gender and disability funds, establish Special Education Zones and create a single platform for all types of scholarships. In the higher education sector, the Committee has suggested a new Karnataka State Universities Act and another Act to establish the Karnataka Higher Education Commission, empower affiliated educational bodies and autonomous colleges and identify Special Education Zones.


A Task Force Committee headed by former Chief Secretary S V Ranganath appointed by the Karnataka Government to suggest a road map to implement the National Education Policy submitted its report to the government yesterday. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa received the report from the Committee in Bengaluru. The report will be submitted for consideration in the next Cabinet meeting. Deputy Chief Minister holding higher education portfolio Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan, Primary and Secondary Education minister S Suresh Kumar were present on this occasion. The report submitted by the Committee has suggested to reform Department of State Education Research and Training (DSERT) set up the separate operations for regulating schools, attract CSR grants for gender and disability funds, establish Special Education Zones and create a single platform for all types of scholarships. In the higher education sector, the Committee has suggested a new Karnataka State Universities Act and another Act to establish the Karnataka Higher Education Commission, empower affiliated educational bodies and autonomous colleges and identify Special Education Zones.


The 10-day-long Áadi Mahotsav’, a festival of tribes will be launched today by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda in a virtual format.

Keeping in view restrictions due to Covid-19, the TRIFED has decided to organise its annual event Aadi Mahotsav-2020 in an online mode.

At the festival, Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Renuka Singh, Minister for Tribal Development, Madhya Pradesh Meena Singh and TRIFED chairman Ramesh Chand Meena would be the guests of honour for this online inauguration.


World AIDS Day is being observed today to raise public awareness about Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS. The theme this year is  ‘Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic: resilience and impact.’

The day also provides an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and to show support for those living with HIV.

WHO said, the global HIV epidemic is not over and may be accelerating during the  COVID-19 pandemic, with a devastating impact on communities and countries.


The well-marked Low Pressure Area that originated in the Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood has intensified into a Depression early this morning. The MET Department has said in its latest weather bulletin, the system is moving into the South East and its adjoining South West Bay of Bengal and is traveling at a speed of seven kilometers an hour for the past six hours. It was 590 km east southeast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka and 1000 km east of Kanyakumari when observed last.

The weather officials say the system is very likely to intensify into a Deep Depression in the next six hours and into a cyclonic storm in the subsequent 12-hours. It is likely to cross Trincomalee in Sri Lanka by tomorrow evening or night. It is very likely to move westwards afterwards and emerge into the Comorin area in the morning on 3rd of December and move towards the South Tamil Nadu coast. More from our Chennai correspondent:

"The previous cyclone Nivar that crossed the shores in the intervening night of the 25th and 26th November brought rain to the northern districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. This time the heavy rain is set to be in the southern districts, as said by the weather officials. Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Tenkasi, Ramanathapuram and Sivagangai districts are expected to get heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely very heavy rainfall at isolated places from the 2nd to 3rd December. The southern district administrations have been ed to take all precautions to mitigate the effects of the new cyclone, which is the second this season. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai".


In  Kerala, arrangements on war footing as  Met Department  predicts heavy rain,  strong winds and cyclone in the State for coming days. More from our Kerala correspondent:

"Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that all the departments are instructed to coordinate and facilitate  the  relief activities in southern districts from Thiruvananthapuram to Ernakulam. Arrangements are being done to shift the people  living in vulnerable settlements.Relief and rescue operations in coasted regions are being arranged in coordination with Navy and coastal guards.State had requested for 7 more NDRF teams. As cyclone is expected to intensify Red/Orange  had been issued  in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki districts for 2nd & 3rd December.Fishing is banned in Kerala coast. Fishermen who are out in the sea,  are directed to reach the nearest coast at the earliest. Mayusha, AIR News, Thiruvananthapuram".


Take a look at the weather forecast for today.

The National capital had generally fog or mist with temperatures varying between 07 and 27 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will observe Mainly Clear sky and the temperature will vary between 23 and 35 degree Celsius.

Chennai will have Thunderstorms with rain. The temperature will hover between 24 and 30 degree Celsius.

Kolkata is likely to have Mainly Clear sky. The city observed a minimum temperature of 16 degree Celsius and is likely to experience maximum temperature of 29 degree Celsius.

On to the North, Jammu witnessed a minimum temperature of 09 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 25 degrees. The city will have a mostly clear sky.

Srinagar will have Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Temperature will hover between minus two degree Celsius and 13 degree Celsius.

In Leh, there will be Partly cloudy sky towards afternoon and evening. The minimum temperature was minus five degree Celsius while the maximum will be around four degrees.

Gilgit will have Partly cloudy sky between minus three degree Celsius to 14 degrees.

Muzaffarabad is mainly clear sky. The temperature will move from three to 22 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 10 and 26 degree Celsius. The sky will be mainly clear.

Chandigarh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature is likely to move from 09 to 24 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was 17 degree Celsius while the maximum will be 30 degrees. The city will have Partly cloudy sky with haze.

Ahmedabad will have a clear sky. The minimum temperature was 18 degree Celsius while maximum will be 33 degrees.

Patna will have mainly Clear sky. Temperature will hover between 10 degree Celsius to 25 degrees.

And, in Guwahati Fog would occur in the early morning. The minimum temperature was 14 degree Celsius while maximum will be 28 degrees.



  • "Government invites farm leaders for talks today; PM blames protest on rumour and propaganda" is the top story in The Indian Express.

  • Moderna set to seek EU, US clearance for emergency use in the treatment of Covid, writes Hindustan Times.

  • Fresh cases dip but share of semi-urban, rural areas in total up to 45% from 20% in April, reports The Times of India.

  • The Pioneer quotes Dr. Harsh Vardhan as saying that the government plans to vaccinate around 25 to 30 crore people by August 2021.

  • PM Modi will hold all-party meet on Friday to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country, reports The Asian Age

  • While chairing a meeting of SCO heads of government, the Vice President said, cross border terror is the biggest challenge for SCO region, writes The Hindu.

  • "Pauri Garhwal district's nod to gender rights: girl of the house gets nameplate" - this story appears in The Indian Express.

  • Depression puts Tamil Nadu, Kerala on another cyclone watch, according to IMD, reports The Hindu.

  • And finally, IMD data shows that this November was the coldest in 71 years, writes Hindustan Times. "City's coldest November since birth of Indian Republic", writes The Times of India.


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