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Last Updated : Jan 18 2021 6:24PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi lays foundation stone of environment friendly Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project            National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 96.59 per cent            Over 2 lakh people vaccinated for Covid-19 across country during past two days            Britain invites PM Modi to attend G7 Summit to be held in June this year            Brisbane Test: Australia bundled out for 294 on day 4           

Text Bulletins Details

Morning News

0830 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges youth to contribute selflessly and constructively in politics .

  • Supreme Court stays three new farm laws; Forms committee to resolve the crisis.

  • Government urges farming community to take advantage of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana  which completes 5 years.

  • Karnataka cabinet expansion to take place this afternoon.

  • India proposes 8 point agenda to United Nations Security Council to combat 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 the New National Education Policy focuses on development of better individuals and from better individuals to a better country. Addressing the valedictory function of the Second National Youth Parliament Festival yesterday through video conferencing, Mr Modi said, this policy gives priority to our youth's understanding, their decisions and beliefs.

The Prime Minister said, the new National Education Policy is a step towards nation-building and the Government is building an eco-system which will give better opportunities to the youth.  Mr Modi said that our youth should come forward and write the destiny of our country. He exhorted the Youth to contribute selflessly and constructively in politics.

Mr Modi said, earlier there was a perception in the country that if a young man turned to politics, people used to say that the child is getting spoiled. He said, people believed that everything can change but politics cannot. The Prime Minister said, today honest people are also getting a chance in politics. Honesty and performance is becoming the first mandatory condition of today's politics.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the winners and final panelists of the second National Youth Parliament Festival.

Mr Modi said, as he  was hearing them speak, a thought came to him and he decided that he will tweet their presentations from his twitter handle, not just of the  three winners but, if recorded material is available, he  will tweet the speeches of all those who were on the final panel.

Later, The Prime Minister tweeted the speeches of the winners and final panelists of the  second National Youth Parliament Festival from his twitter handle. Tweeting , the speech of the first prize winner, Mudita Mishra who is from Uttar Pradesh, Mr Modi said that in her speech on Vocal for Local, she effectively decribed that 'India has now awakened.


The Supreme Court has put a stay on the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders. It has also set up a committee of agricultural experts to facilitate talks between the Centre and farmer unions to resolve the impasse. The Apex Court said, it was trying to solve the problem in the best way and had the power to suspend the laws. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India, S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said those genuinely interested in finding a solution would appear before the committee. The bench was hearing a batch of petitions regarding the Constitutional validity of the three farm laws passed by Parliament and a plea to disperse the protesting farmers. The bench said, it is concerned about the validity of the laws and also about  protecting the life and property of citizens affected by the agitation. The apex court also issued notice to farmers' unions on a Delhi Police plea to stop a tractor rally during the January 26 Republic Day parade. 


The Centre has urged the farming community to take advantage of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), which has completed 5 years yesterday, in order to become "self-reliant farmers". In a statement, the Union agriculture ministry said claims worth  90,000 crore  Rupees have so far been disbursed to farmers since the launch of the scheme on 13 th January 2016.

The scheme was conceived as a milestone initiative to provide a comprehensive risk solution at the lowest uniform premium across the country for farmers. Ministry of Agriculture has said that the average sum insured per hectare has increased from 15 thousand 100 during the pre-PMFBY Schemes to 40 thousand 700 under the Yojana.

With an  aim to  constantly bring about improvements, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was made voluntary for all farmers, post its revamp in February 2020. Besides,  the States have also been provided flexibility to rationalize the sum insured so that adequate benefit can be availed by the farmers.The Scheme covers over 5.5 crore farmers' applications year on year and till date, claims worth  90 thousand crore rupees have already been paid out under the Scheme. Aadhar seeding has helped in speedy claim settlement directly into the farmer accounts. Even during COVID-19 lock down period nearly 70 lakh farmers benefitted and claims worth  over  8 thousand 741 crore rupees were transferred to the beneficiaries. The government has  urged the  farmers to take advantage of the scheme by associating themselves to become self-sufficient in times of crisis and support the creation of an Aatmanirbhar Kisan.With Mohd.Naseem Naqvi, Anand Kumar, AIR News Delhi


The government has said that nearly  72.46 lakh  farmers have been benefitted so far from the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season- KMS procurement Operations with MSP value of  over one lakh 2 thousand crore rupees. Ministry of Agriculture in a statement said that Paddy procurement for Kharif 2020-21 is continuing smoothly in various States. 

It said, so far  over 541 Lakh Metric Tonnes of paddy have been procured which  is an increase of 26.07 per cent  against the last year corresponding purchase of 429.20 Lakh Metric Tonnes.

The Ministry said,  based on the proposal from the States, approval was accorded for procurement of 51.66 Lakh Metric Tonnes of Pulse and Oilseeds of Kharif Marketing Season 2020 under Price Support Scheme.


Union Health Ministry has said that the Central Government  is maintaining close collaboration with States and Union Territories  for the launch of the world's largest Covid-19  vaccination drive and all preparations are on track for the vaccine  roll-out from 16th of  January. Addressing media in New Delhi, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that it is  expected of states that all logistics should be ready for vaccination roll-out. They ensure personal involvement on the entire process at the highest level. Cost for vaccination of health care  and  frontline workers will be borne by the Central government. The number of healthcare workers are about one crore, frontline workers are two crore and 27 crore people are of prioritzed groups.  Mr Bhushan said there are four other COVID-19  vaccines which will be manufactured in India and  will be available soon.

Mr Bhushan said, the Government of India has agreed to procure 110 lakh doses of Covishield  from the Serum Institute of India at a cost of 200 rupees per dose. He said, 55 lakh doses of Covaxin are being procured from Bharat Biotech out of which 16.5 lakh doses are  provided free of cost to the government  while the rate of the rest of the 38.5 lakh doses will be 295 rupees per dose. Hence, the cost of Covaxin will be 206 rupees per dose.


Madhya Pradesh is all set to launch Covid Vaccination from January 16 along with the rest of the country. Vaccine doses are expected to arrive today in the state.  Meanwhile state reported 471 corona-positive cases on Tuesday.

"In the first phase of Covid  vaccination, 4 lakh 16 thousand health workers have been registered including 85 thousand private health workers along with all government health workers. The work of registration for Covid vaccination of frontline workers, including police personnel, security personnel, home guards and sanitation workers is underway. The last date of registration is 25th January . Meanwhile the Covid positive rate has gone down below 2 per cent on Tuesday. Consistently, the number of corona-positive cases is declining in the state. Pooja P. Vardhan , AIR News Bhopal."


 In Bihar thirty thousand health workers will be vaccinated on the  first day of the vaccination programme on January 16. Health Minister Mangal Pandey said altogether one hundred people at each of three hundred centres in the state will be administered the shots on the inaugural day. On this occassion Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will present at a vaccination centre in Patna.

Health Minister Mr Pandey said those who registered for the vaccination would receive notification via SMS. 25th January  is the last day to get registered for the first phase of vaccination drive. The first consignment of 54 thousand nine hundred vials of Covashield vaccine of Serum Institute of India has already reached Patna.


Gujarat has recorded 602 new cases of Covid 19 during the last 24 hours. According to the state health department, the recovery rate has further improved to 95.34 percent.

"The total number of Covid 19 cases detected so far in Gujarat has reached up to 2 lakh 53 thousand 161. Out of these, 2 lakh 41 thousand 372 patients recovered. 855 patients recovered during the last 24 hours.  Maximum 133 new cases reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 121 new cases. At present total active cases in the state are 7439, out of which 58 patients are on ventilator. 3  patients died yesterday due to Covid19. Yogesh Pandya/ AIR News/Ahmedabad."


Karnataka reported 751 new Covid-19 cases, 1,183  recoveries and 5 deaths during the last 24 hours. At present 8,909 people are under treatment in various hospitals in the State. Meanwhile the State received  the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccine yesterday.

"Karnataka Health Minister Dr. K.Sudhakar has said that the State received 6.48 lakh doses of covid vaccine in 54 boxes from the Serum Institute of Pune yesterday.  stored in a storage facility in Bengaluru. Today 1.40 lakh doses of covid vaccine will reach Belagavi in North Karnataka.  The Minister further said that all health  warriors who are relentlessly working in this fight against Covid-19 will get the vaccine  in the first phase starting January, 16th. .  Guidelines for administering covid vaccine will be issued very shortly and two lakh staff have been trained to administer  the  vaccine. R.MURTHY, AIR NEWS BENGLURU."


In Andaman and Nicobar, the Covid-19 vaccination drive is going to begin from 16th of January. In the first phase,  Covidshield will be given to 4687 healthcare workers. This includes Asha and Aaganwadi workers along with ICMR functionaries and defence health care personnel as well.

Initially, the vaccination will be carried out at two sites in Port Blair GB Pant Hospital and Ayush Hospital which later extended to other six sites located at different Islands.

A total of 100-200 beneficiaries will be vaccinated in a day under the supervision of a team consisting of 5 members. Meanwhile, the first lot of vaccines consisting of about 6500 doses is reaching Port Blair this afternoon. After the first phase, the vaccine will be made available to 6000 front line workers.


The country's COVID-19 recovery rate has reached to 96.49 per cent. More than 18 thousand COVID patients recovered during the last 24 hours. The total number of recoveries has gone up to over one crore one lakh. Health Ministry said, the COVID-19 recovery rate of India is among the highest in the world.


A total of 386 new confirmed cases of Corona virus infection were reported in Delhi during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to six lakh 30 thousand 892.Delhi Government said that six lakh 17 thousand and 6  people affected with Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, 545  people recovered and 16 deaths were reported in the city taking the toll to ten thousand 707. Presently, the total number of active cases in the national capital is 3 thousand 179.


The World Health Organization (WHO) team of international experts to investigate the origin of the novel coronavirus will arrive in the Chinese city of Wuhan from Singapore tomorrow. This was informed by the Chinese foreign ministry but the ministry did not give further details on the mission’s itinerary.

Earlier the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the world health body looked forward to working with China on the mission to identify the source of the virus and how it entered the human population.

The coronavirus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has since spread around the world, infecting more than 90,500,000 people and killing nearly 2 million.


China is stepping up measures to contain a possible widespread coronavirus outbreak, in areas surrounding capital Beijing with Langfang city in Hebei province put under lockdown on Tuesday. Beijing also shut highways from the neighboring province amid rising infections. In total, about 22 million people in three cities - Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang of Hebei Province neighboring the capital Beijing have been placed under COVID-19 lockdown as of Tuesday. Vehicles and people in the three cities are not allowed to leave, unless necessary, Hebei authorities said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

Since January 2, Hebei Province has reported a total of 326 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, and 234 asymptomatic carriers.


Karnataka Chief  Minister B S Yediyurappa is expanding his cabinet and the oath taking ceremony will be held today afternoon. Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru yesterday, the Chief Minister said that seven to eight legislators will be sworn-in by the Governor. The State cabinet has a total strength of 34 and seven seats are vacant at present.  This will be the third expansion since Yediyurappa took over as CM in July 2019. In August 2019, 17 ministers were inducted, while in February 2020, ten newcomers to the BJP were inducted into the Cabinet.  The Chief Minister had met BJP national President J P Nadda and other senior leaders of the party in New Delhi recently before announcing the cabinet expansion. Our Correspondent adds that cabinet expansion derives importance in the event of by election to Maski and Basavakalyana assembly segments and Belagavi Lok Sabha seat which is vacant after the death of former Union minister Suresh Angadi.


A four member team of the election commission led by Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain is visiting  Kolkata to check the preparedness of the upcoming Assembly Elections.

They will be meeting with the District Magistrates, Police Commissioners and Superintendents today. DM and SPs of far away districts of North Bengal will be joining the meeting through video conference. The Chief Electoral Officer and district electoral officers will also attend the meeting. The ECI team will also take stock of the law and order situation of the state as well as preparation of the voter list.


The meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry was held  on the subject "New Foreign Trade Policy 2021-26". The meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry  Hardeep Singh Puri, and attended by Members of Parliament and senior officers of the Ministry.

During the meeting, it was informed that that the new Foreign Trade Policy-FTP will come into effect from 1st April 2021 for a period of five years. The policy  will strive to make India a leader in the area of international trade and channelize the synergies gained through merchandise and services exports for growth and employment with a goal to make India a  5 trillion dollar economy.


As part of the 72nd Republic Day Celebrations, Ministry of Defence and various other Central Ministries have planned a number of activities to create a festive and patriotic mood across the nation. The Ministry of Defence in a statement said that online quiz Contest on the subject of 1971 - Bangladesh Liberation War is being conducted by it in association with MyGov from the 11th to 22nd of January, 2021. It also said that Live Band Concerts across the Country are being conducted by Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Police from 10th to  22nd of this month. The Ministry will also launch  the  revamped Gallantry Awards Interactive Website on 25th January. Besides and online Bharat Parv will be conducted by Ministry of Tourism from 26th to 31st of this month.


Another feather is going to add into the cap of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi. The city famous for its silk sarees is now going to export quality fabric to multinational companies. The Japanese lifestyle retailer, UNIQLO is planning to bulk purchase the raw material for its stylish clothing from Kashi.

"After successfully exporting the  langda and Dussehra variety of mangoes, green peas and green chillies from neighbouring Gazipur and black rice from Chandauli district Varanasi city is going to make its mark in export of fabric also. The Japanese company UNIQLO will bulk purchase the raw material for its fabric from  Varanasi and very soon the representatives of company will make ground visit and meet with the weavers here. The Japanese multinational is interested to purchase raw material from Varanasi and will process it in a factory in Gujarat. The deal will definitely help the weaving industry of Varanasi where weaving is typically done in household from ancient times. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."


The Government of Odisha has waived the examination fees for matriculation students of on going academic session. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday ordered the waiver in the larger interest of the students. Our Bhubhaneswar Correspondent reports that more than six lakh students will stand to benefit from this decision.

Though the decision to exempt the students from paying their exam fees entails about  27 crore rupees as cost to the government, no student of the schools under the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha will be deprived of sitting for the matriculation examination due to want of money. The government understands that the pandemic has impacted the finances of many of the parents. Meanwhile classes for the tenth and twelfth standard have resumed from the 8th of this month after a long gap of nine months with a fair degree of attendance. While the classes are meant to offset the academic loss of the students, the waiver of four hundred twenty rupees as exam fees per head, will help them pin their focus on their academic preparation and performance.Girish Chandra Dash AIR News Bhubaneswar.


In Telangana, Makara Sankranthi festivities commenced with people celebrating Bhogi today with traditional fervour and gaiety. Our correspondent says the three-day post-harvest festival is being celebrated across the state but predominant in rural areas as all segments of society celebrating the festival with much pomp.

"The upcoming vaccination process to be rolled out nationwide has made Sakranthi festivities more joyful for people of Telangana this time. The First day of Sankranti festivities began with Bhogi Mantalu, that is bonfire lit early this morning. People along with children came out in large numbers to light the bonfire at the street corners and cross roads. They burnt their old and unused belongings in the fire as a symbol to get rid of the bad and evil. People are inviting the Sankranthi Lakshmi a symbol of Prosperity by decorating their houses traditionally with colorful Rangoli and Mango leaves and flowers. The three-day festivities are predominant in rural areas across the state as farmers reap their harvest before the festival. Meanwhile, the state Road Transport Corporation and South Central Railways are operating hundreds of special services for the past two days to facilitate large number of people who are travelling to their native villages in the two Telugu States. Meanwhile, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Sounderarajan, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and leaders of various sections of society have greeted people on the occasion." LAXMI AIR NEWS TELANGANA.


External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar has  said that COVID-19 has further aggravated the terrorism concerns for the world.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council open debate on the topic of Threats to International Peace and security caused by terrorist acts, Dr Jaishankar said the economic uncertainty caused due to the pandemic has made the radical extremist ideologies more susceptible towards terrorist activities. External Affairs Minister proposed an eight point action plan in order to combat the menace of terrorism. He said, the council should not countenance double standards in their battle against terrorism.

Dr. Jaishankar added that there are no good and bad terrorists. He asserted, those who propagate such distinctions have an agenda and those who cover up for terrorists are equally culpable. He urged the council members to stand united in the fight against terrorism. External Affairs Minister gave a call to all the member nations to fulfill the obligations enshrined in the international counter-terrorism instruments. He said, enlisting and delisting individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes must be done objectively and not for political or religious considerations.


Take a look at the weather forecast for today.

Srinagar, Jammu and Gilgit had fog or mist in the morning. However, the day is expected to be sunny in these places. In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between minus one degrees Celsius and six degrees. In Jammu, the minimum temperature was nine degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 15 degrees. In Gilgit, the lower limit of temperature was minus Five degrees and maximum of Eleven degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Chandigarh was nine degrees Celsius and maximum will be 13 degrees Celsius. The day is expected to have clear sky.

The National Capital witnessed mist this morning. The city observed a minimum temperature of four degrees Celsius and a maximum will be nearly 18 degrees.

Mumbai will have mainly clear sky.

Chennai will also have a generally cloudy sky with light rain.

Kolkata, after misty morning, is expected to have a clear sky.



  • Most dailies lead with the news of the Supreme Court staying the farm laws. 

  • "SC stays new farm laws, forms 4-member panel", healines Business Standard.  SC stays 3 farm laws for fruitful parleys, writes The Pioneer

  • "India's biggest vaccine rollout begins as SII ships 55 lakh doses", reads the headline in The Times of India.  "Vaccines hit the road, over 50 lakh doses are shipped acros India" writes Indian Express.  Covishield delivery begins, 13 cities receive first batch reports The Tribune.

  • The Hindu quotes the Health Secretary as clarifiying that recipients do not have the option to select between the 2 vaccines.

  • Don't drop your guard as vaccine acts 14 days after 2nd dose, says the Centre, reports The Pioneer.

  • India's Covid-19 vaccines cheapest in the world, writes The Hindu Business Line.

  • India logs 12,584 new cases, lowest in seven months reports The Statesman.

  • Cold to worsen over next 4 days warns The Tribune.

  • And finally, in some good news for wildlife enthusiasts, the Aravalis in Gurgaon and Faridabad harbour a rich variety of mammals - Leopards, hyenas and Jackals amongst them, reports The Times of India.


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