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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


Midday News

1400 HRS
13.01.2021

THE HEADLINEs:

  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana completes five years; Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, scheme increased coverage, mitigated risk and benefited crores of farmers in the country.

  • Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to induct seven new members into the Cabinet today.

  • Prasar Bharati says, no station of All India Radio being closed anywhere in the country.

  • National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 96.51 per cent.

  • Celebration for festival of harvest begins across the country; President, Vice President and Prime Minister greet people on the occasion.

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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. 


And now, the news:


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The Central Government's flagship crop insurance scheme - the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana or (PMFBY) has successfully completed 5 years of its operation. The government took a historic step towards strengthening the risk coverage of crops for farmers and approved the scheme on 13th January, 2016. 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana is an important initiative to secure hardworking farmers from the vagaries of nature. Congratulating all beneficiaries on completion of its five years, the Prime Minister added that the scheme has increased the coverage, mitigated risk and benefitted crores of farmers in the country.


Home Minister Amit Shah also hailed the success of the visionary scheme which was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi five years ago. He said, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana has been able to ensure the income of the farmers by giving them crop-insurance cover even after the harvest. Mr. Shah emphatically asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre is committed to making farming easy as well as profitable for the farmers in the country.


The scheme was conceived as a milestone initiative to provide a comprehensive risk solution at the lowest uniform premium across the country for farmers. In the scheme, premium cost over and above the farmer share is equally subsidized by the Centre and States. The Agriculture Ministry has said that the average sum insured per hectare has increased from 15 thousnad 100 during the pre-PMFBY Schemes to 40 thousand 700 under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The Ministry has urged the farming community to take advantage of the the scheme in order to become self-reliant farmers. Claims worth  90,000 crore  rupees have so far been disbursed to farmers since the launch of the scheme. More from our correspondent:


"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"


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Kerala has become the 8th state in the country to successfully undertake Ease of Doing Business reform stipulated by the Finance Ministry. With this, the state has now become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of two thousand 373 crore rupees through Open Market Borrowings. In addition to Kerala, seven other states namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have already completed this reform. On completion of reforms facilitating ease of doing business, these eight states have been granted additional borrowing permission of 23 thousand 149 crore rupees.


In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centre had in May last year enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by two per cent of their Gross State Domestic Product. Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms by the states which include of implementation of One Nation, One Ration Card System, Ease of Doing Business reform, Urban Local body reforms and reforms in power sector. So far 10 states have implemented the One Nation, One Ration Card System, eight states have done Ease of Doing Business reforms, and four states have done local body reforms. Total additional borrowing permission issued so far to the states who have done the refoms stands at ­­56 thousand 526 crore rupees.


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Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank reviewed the implementation of New Education Policy-2020 with the senior officials of the ministry. During the meeting, Mr. Pokhriyal recommended constitution of a Task Force for coordinating implementation of the New Education Policy between Higher Education and School Education Departments of the Ministry of Education. The Task Force will facilitate smooth transition of students from school education to higher education. The Minister suggested the formation of a Review Committee and an Implementation Committee headed by Secretary, Higher Education in order to ensure speedy implementation of the policy.


Mr. Pokhriyal emphasised the need for shifting the focus from package culture to patent culture. He added that the National Education Technology Forum and National Research Foundation are critical for the success of the policy and directed the officials for their speedy establishment in the year 2021-22.


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Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa will induct seven new members into the State Cabinet today. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has announced the names of seven legislators who will be inducted into the State Cabinet this afternoon. Giving the information today, Chief Minister said that MLAs Umesh Katti, Arvind Limbavali, Murugesh Nirani and S. Angara and MLCs M.T.B. Nagaraj, R. Shankar and C. P. Yogeshwar will be sworn in today. He said Excise Minister H. Nagesh is being requested to step down. The R. R. Nagar MLA Munirathna who left Congress and won the by election recently on a BJP ticket has not been accommodated. Mr.Yediyurappa said that one seat will be kept vacant.


This will be the third expansion since Mr Yediyurappa took over as Chief Minister in July 2019. In August 2019, 17 ministers were inducted, while in February 2020, ten newcomers to the BJP were inducted into the Cabinet.


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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered an inquiry into the hooch tragedy in Morena. As per official sources, 20 people have lost their lives so far after consuming poisonous liquor on Monday night. Terming the incident as extremely unfortunate, the Chief Minister said that strict action will be taken against those who found guilty for the incident.


Meanwhile, the District Collector and Superintendent of Police  of Morena have been removed from their post with immediate effect in connection with the matter of deaths due to poisonous liquor. District Excise Officer of Morena was suspended yesterday for prima facie negligence in supervision.


Earlier, Divisional Commissioner, Gwalior-Chambal Ashish Saxena formed an investigation team, consisting of officials of Excise and Police Department which has started the investigation.


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In Madhya Pradesh, bird flu virus has been found in 19 districts of the state so far. The Avian Influenza virus has now been found in Kadaknath breed chicken in Jhabua district. More from our Bhopal correspondent --


"Bird Flu virus has been detected in samples of famous geographical indication tagged Kadaknath chicken of Jhabua district. District Administration is sanitising and disinfecting the affected sites as per the advisory of Central Govt. Transport of poultry and poultry products will be banned in the infected area for the next three months. About 2,100 crows and wild birds have been reported dead from 42 districts of the state. So far, 386 samples from various districts have been sent to the National High Security Disease Research Laboratory, Bhopal for investigation. Pooja Vardhan, AIR News, Bhopal".


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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the authorities to complete the Gosikhurd National Irrigation Project by initiating the necessary process. He was speaking at a review meeting held to assess the issues related to Gosikhurd National Project, Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation and Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation at his official residence in Mumbai. Issues related to the problems of funding Gosikhurd project and rehabilitation were discussed in the meeting.


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Maharashtra Energy Minister Nitin Raut has said that his Ministry will do everything to reduce the electricity rates for industries. It could be done, if adequate funds are provided by the State Government for this purpose. Mr Raut was speaking at a meeting held with the representatives of industry associations at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai yesterday.


Industry Minister Subhash Desai said, the Energy Department has resolved to reduce the energy rates and directions have been given to Mahavitaran to formulate a roadmap for the next four years. He stressed the need to change the policy of cross subsidy which results in the higher rates as compared to other states. He said that the state should bear the burden of the cross subsidy and the relevant provisions will be made in the next budget.


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In Gujarat, the world's tallest statue- the Statue of Unity of Sardar Patel at Kevadiya will be linked by Railway to boost domestic tourism. According to sources, the Railway link with the Statue of Unity will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narenrdra Modi on next Sunday. More from our Ahmedabad correspondent --


"After getting connected with road, air and sea plane routes, the Statue of Unity will have Railway connectivity very soon. According to sources, the Railway infrastructure connecting Kevadiya Railway Station in Narmada district is now ready. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kevadiya Railway Station through virtual mode. The Prime Minister will also flag off several express trains connecting Varanasi, Dadar, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Rewa and Chennai with Kevadiya Railway Station. Ahmedabad will be linked to Kevadiya through Jan Shatabdi Express. A MEMU -the Mainline Electric Multiple Unit- train will also run to link Kevadia with Pratapnagar Station of Vadodara. According to sources, a new eco-friendly station at Kevadiya will have water harvesting and solar system attached.Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad"


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Prasar Bharati today clarified that no station of All India Radio is being closed anywhere in any state. Taking a serious note of the false reporting and fake news claiming closure of AIR stations by various media outlets across the country, Prasar Bharati has made it clear that these reports are baseless and factually incorrect.


Prasar Bharati stated that no AIR station is being downgraded or converted anywhere in any State or Union Territory. It added that AIR stations will continue to originate local programming in line with linguistic, socio-cultural and demographic diversity furthering the mission of AIR to nurture local talent.


Prasar Bharati further announced that it is moving ahead with its plans to strengthen the All India Radio and AIR Network with several key projects ready for implementation during 2021-2022, expanding its network with more than hundred new FM radio transmitters across India.

Prasar Bharati is also moving ahead with its plans to introduce Digital Terrestrial Radio in India. Select AIR channels are already available through Digital DRM technology to the listeners in many cities and regions on an experimental basis. Prasar Bharati is also in advanced stage of testing Digital Technology options for FM Radio and a standard for the same will be finalised near future to start the roll out of Digital FM Radio in India.


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In an effort to guard against fake news being circulated on various platforms, we bring you our segment on Fact Check and Mythbusters.

The Union Government has termed media reports claiming that its permanent employees will have to compulsorily take at least 20 days of Earned Leave every year to be fake and completely baseless. It added that no such announcement has been made as yet and urged the media groups to refrain from wide speculations.


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The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding on scientific and technical cooperation between National Centre of Meteorology of the United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Earth Sciences. The MoU will enable sharing of knowledge, data and operational products for meteorological, seismological and oceanic services between both the countries.


This MoU will facilitate exchange of scientific and technical information, deployment of Meteorological observation networks over ocean, mutual cooperation in the development of special capacities and research of Tsunami models for faster and more reliable forecasts of Tsunamis.


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The country's COVID-19 recovery rate has now improved to 96.51 per cent. A total of 17 thousand 817 COVID patients recovered during the last 24 hours. The total number of recoveries has gone up to over one crore one  lakh and 29 thousand. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is  two lakh 14 thousand 507.


During the past 24 hours, 15 thousand 968 new cases were reported taking the total number of positive cases in the country to over one crore four lakh and 95 thousand. During the last 24 hours, 202 deaths were reported taking the toll to one lakh 51 thousand 529.


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India will start the world’s biggest COVID-19 vaccination drive from Saturday. The much awaited distribution of the Covid vaccine -Covishield developed by Serum Institute of India in Pune has also begun.


Dr Sanjay Pandey of GB Pant hospital said, the government has decided that the vaccine will be given to the health workers and other frontline workers in the first Phase, since they are at higher risk of contracting the virus. Assuring people that the Covid vaccine is absolutely safe, Dr Pandey asked them to cooperate with the government in the vaccination drive


Dr Pandey appealed to people not to panic. He said, a person will be monitored for 30 minutes after administration of vaccine to check for any allergic reaction after vaccination.


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West Bengal has received six lakh 89 thousand doses of COVID vaccine from the Serum Institute of India and it is being distributed to the districts. More from our Kolkata correspondent


"After getting the first consignment of nearly seven lakh doses of Covishield vaccine yesterday, officials of the State Health Department are now gearing up for the first phase of immunization on 16th January. Required doses have already been dispatched to the districts. More than six lakh COVID Warriors and frontline workers have registered themselves for this drive. Vaccination will be done from 941 cold chain points across West Bengal. Madhuparna DharChowdhuri, AIR News, Kolkata."


Talking to AIR News, Director of State Health Services Dr. Ajay Chakraborty said, vaccines will roll out from all medical colleges, district and sub-divisional hospitals and super-speciality hospitals across West Bengal.


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The first consignment of Covishield vaccine arrived in Mumbai today. In all, 1,39,500 doses of the vaccine were received and they are kept in F South Ward Office of BMC. With the arrival of the vaccines, the preparations are in full swing to start the biggest vaccination programme in one of the worst-affected cities by the global pandemic in the country.  A report --


"Mumbaikars are all set to get the safety shield in this week against the Corona virus which created unprecedented situation throughout the world last year. Although the common people will have to wait for few more days to get this vaccine but those who faced this pandemic bravely and served the people of the metropolis are going to get the much-awaited protection against the virus. This is going to boost their spirit. The first consignment arrived by a special vehicle amid tight security at 5.30 a.m. today and the BMC Administration welcomed it on its arrival. The consignment of the vaccines  is stored at the storage facility at F/South Ward Office situated in Parel and it will be delivered across the Mumbai at designated Vaccination Centres for national inoculation drive set on 16th January. Health Minister Rajesh Tope has said that the preparations for the launching of the drive are in full swing and all arrangements have been done for the drive. He said more than  seven lakh 84 thousand health workers are registered on COWIN portal and the doses will be administered to those workers who have been registered till last midnight. Shailesh Patil, AIR News, Mumbai."


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Amid pandemic, cinema theatres in Kerala opened today after remaining closed for nearly 10 months. Theatres are being opened with 50 per cent seating capacity adhering to strict COVID guidelines. Tamil actor Vijay starrer 'Master' is the first movie to hit theatres after the break necessitated by the pandemic.


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Celebrations have begun for the festival of harvest across the country. The harvest festival is referred by different names in different parts of the country such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makara Sankranti in Gujarat, West Bengal, and Karnataka and Bihu in Assam.


The festival of harvest, Lohri, is being celebrated today in North India especially in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Chandigarh. Lohri is celebrated a night before Makara Sankranti, also called Maghi, which is a day in the Hindu calendar that is dedicated to the sun god. It marks the end of winter, and is a day for people to celebrate their harvest.


President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have extended their greetings and wishes to the citizens on the occasion of Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bhogali Bihu, Uttarayan and Paush Parva. In a message, President Kovind wished that these festivals may strengthen the bond of love, affection and harmony in our society and increase prosperity and happiness in the country.


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that these festivals are known for their colourfulness and symbolise good harvest and bountifulness of nature.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi prayed for universal happiness and good health for all on the occassion.


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The festival of Lohri welcomes the longer days of summer, as the Sun begins its journey to the Northern Hemisphere. In evening, bonfire will be lit to say goodbye to coldest days. The festival is mostly associated with crop harvesting and happiness, It also encouraged a sense of community and unity.  In Punjab, this harvest festival is marked by eating sheaves of roasted corn from the new harvest and eating Kheer of sugarcane juice from January sugarcane harvest. Sugarcane products such as gurh and gajak are central to Lohri celebrations, as are nuts which are harvested in January. 


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Pongal is a festival celebrated by Tamils all over the world and signifies the birth of Thai month or the spring season. The four-day festival begins with the celebration of Bhogi which means the end of the winter. On this day, people get rid of the old things from their houses. More from our Chennai correspondent:


"On Bhogi festival, it is a custom to burn all the old things on this day and the day break usually is smoggy. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had appealed to the people not to burn materials which could harm the environment and create health hazard. The Board said that it is illegal to indulge in burning of ruber, tyres, chemical residues which could also affect the flight landing at airports. Arrangements have been made to monitor air quality before and after the festival at 15 places throughout the day. JoY, AIR News, Chennai"


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Samkranthi, is being celebrated throughout the Andhra Pradesh with rich fervour. The situation is different this year due to the Covid pandemic and people celebrate the Festival cautiously by following all the COVID protocols. 


It is a four-day festival in Andhra Pradesh,  Sankranti, Kanuma and Mukkanuma. The rituals are a mix of various regions around the state, with plenty of kites flown and special sweets  and new clothes and books and home appliances purchased. A report -- 


"The festival of festivals, Makarsamkranthi is celebrated for four days, from this Wednesday  to  Saturday  in Andhra Pradesh. The first day, that is Bhogi Panduga , people burn all old articles. The second day, Pedda Panduga is the Sankranti day when the big festival is held. People are dressed in new clothes and pray to God. On the third day, Kanuma is celebrated. Kanuma is very intimate to the farmers as it is the day for praying and showcasing their cattle with honour. The fourth day is Mukkanuma which is popular among the non vegetarians of the society on the normal days. The Festival is being celebrated in Godavari Districts of West Godavari and East Godavari in a big way and Godavari Districts are known as "rice bowl" of Andhra Pradesh.  Kite festivals and Rangoli  festivals are bring  organised  in several pockets across the State of Andhra Pradesh.Thus, Ryots celebrate the festival with great enthusiasm and fervour in Andhra Pradesh, Dr. G. Kondala Rao, AIR News  Vijayawada."


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In Arunachal Pradesh, the Parshuram Kund pilgrimage in Lohit District, held on the occasion of Makar Sankranti every year, started yesterday. Devotees from across the country visits the sacred place to take a holy dip in the Kund on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.


Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lohit District Administration has cancelled the Parshuram Kund Mela held on the occasion. Moreover, this time the days of pilgrimage has also been reduced to five days from 10 days.


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In Assam, all preparations have been made to celebrate Uruka tonight on the eve of Magh or Bhogali Bihu, the post-harvest festival in a grand scale. Community and household feast will be held tonight on the occasion of Uruka. Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal have greeted people on the occasion of Bhogali Bihu.


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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested former Trinamool Congress leader and Rajya Sabha M.P. K.D. Singh in a money laundering case today. Mr. Singh, who was elected to Rajya Sabha in April 2014 on a Trinamool Congress ticket, has been arrested in connection with an alleged money laundering case.


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Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today visited the District General Hospital at Bhandara and directed the District Administration to take adequate measures to avoid recurrence of incidents like the recent fire at the Infant Care Unit. The Governor announced an assistance of two lakh rupees to the families of all children who lost their lives in the incident from his discretionary grant.


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A 122-member strong Bangladesh Armed Forces contingent departed for India to take part in the Republic Day parade. The contingent comprises Soldiers of the Bangladesh Army, Sailors of the Bangladesh Navy and Air Warriors of the Bangladesh Air Force. It left Dhaka by a special Indian Air Force  C-17 Globemaster yesterday.


According to a press release issued by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, this is only the third time in India’s history that any foreign military contingent has been invited to participate in the National Parade at Rajpath in Delhi. It is especially significant as the year 2021 marks 50 years of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.


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Indian Metrological Department today said that a cold wave has gripped Delhi as frosty winds from snow-clad western Himalayas continued to sweep the plains and brought the minimum temperature down to 3.2 degrees Celsius. Dense fog blanketed parts of the city, lowering visibility to fifty metres and affecting traffic movement.


Cold wave conditions prevailed at the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city. It recorded a minimum of three degrees Celsius, four notches below the normal.


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Now, let us take a look at the weather for today.


The National Capital experienced dense fog in the morning. The minimum temperature was three degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 18 degrees. 


Mumbai will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 22 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 33 degrees.


Chennai will have generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and maximum will be 29 degrees.


Kolkata experienced mist in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was 16 degrees Celsius and  maximum will be around 27 degrees.


Srinagar will experience mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus eight degrees celsius and  the maximum will be six degrees.


In Jammu, the minimum  temperature was seven degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 15 degrees.


Leh will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus 14 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be minus one degree.


Gilgit will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus five degrees Celsius and the maximum will be 11 degrees.


Muzaffarabad will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was three degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 17 degrees.


Dehradun is likely to have mist in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was nine degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 19 degrees.


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