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Last Updated : Mar 1 2021 6:27PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Nationwide 2nd phase COVID-19 vaccination drive to cover senior citizens & people above 45 years with co-morbidities begins today            PM Modi gets vaccinated at Delhi’s AIIMS; appeals people to come forward for vaccination to make country Corona free            India of 21st century needs post-harvest revolution & value addition amid increasing agriculture production, says PM            National COVID-19 recovery rate reaches to 97.07 per cent            Bidding for telecom spectrum auction to commence from today           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0830 HRS
18.01.2021

THE HEADLINES:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay foundation stone of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Phase 2 and Surat Metro Rail Project at 10:30 AM today.

  • More than 2 lakh 24 thousand people vaccinated for Covid-19 across the country during past two days.

  • Global leaders hail India for launching world's largest vaccination drive.

  • Full Election Commission to arrive in Guwahati today to review poll preparations in Assam.

  • Britain invites Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend G7 Summit to be held in June this year.

  • In Cricket, Australia were 161 for 4 against India in their second innings in fourth and final Test at Brisbane, a shortwhile ago.

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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. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project today through video conferencing. Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will witness the event along with other dignitaries. The Metro Projects will provide an environment friendly ‘Mass Rapid Transit System’ to these cities. Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II is 28.25 kilometres long with two corridors. The estimated cost of phase two of Ahmedabad Metro project is 5384 crore rupees.


"The center and Gujarat government have decided to create a major infrastructure for urban transportation in Ahmedabad- Gandhinagar and Surat to reduce traffic congestion, pollution, carbon emission and travel time. To implement these objectives, Gujarat Metro Rail Corporation -GMRC- Ltd- a Special Purpose Vehicle was set up with the objective to provide safe, fast and Eco-friendly rail based mass transit services to the public at affordable cost. Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II is an extension of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-I connecting Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. The total length of phase-I is 40.03 kilometres, out of which, one stretch of 6.5 kilometres is operational from March 2019. The remaining stretch of 33.5 kilometres is expected to be completed by August 2022. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off through video conferencing eight trains connecting different regions of the country with Kevadiya in Gujarat yesterday through video conferencing. These trains will facilitate seamless connectivity to the Statue of Unity. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, it is a historic day for the country as the beauty of Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat is being highlighted. He said, in the history of Indian Railways, for the first time eight trains from across the nation have been connected with a single destination.


The Prime Minister said, the NDA government has made sure that Indian Railways not only uses new Aatma Nirbhar techonologies but also ensure that they are environment friendly.


The Prime Minister said, there is no place like Kevadia and it is identified by the Statue of Unity and Sardar Sarovar Dam. Mr Modi said, it is becoming a new tourist destination of the country and it is estimated that in the coming years, one lakh people will visit Kevadiya daily.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people in the country and abroad in the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme on All India Radio on the 31st of this month. It will be the 73rd episode of the monthly radio programme.


In a tweet, Mr Modi urged people to share inspiring anecdotes for this. The Prime Minister said, he will be referring to some of them in the programme too.


People can share their views in the NaMo app or MyGov Open Forum. They can also dial the toll-free number 1800-11-7800 and record their message for the Prime Minister in either Hindi or English. People can also give a missed call on 1922 and follow the link received in SMS to directly give their suggestions to the Prime Minister.


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The Health Ministry has said, a total of 553 sessions of Covid-19 vaccination were conducted in six States in which 17 thousand and 72 beneficiaries were vaccinated on the second day of the launch of the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination drive. These States are Andhara Pradesh in which 308 sessions were conducted yesterday, 165 sessions in Tamil Nadu, 64 in Karnataka, 14 in Arunachal Pradesh, and one each in Karala and Manipur.


Addressing media in New Delhi, Additional Health Secretary, Dr Manohar Agnani said, with this taking both days, a total of 2 lakh 24 thousand 301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far.


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Congratulatory messages pour in from leaders of various countries around the world as India beganthe  nationwide Coronavirus vaccination campaign. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.


Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government on the launch of the COVID vaccination drive. Calling it an important step, Mr Rajapaksa said that we are seeing the beginning of the end of the devastating pandemic. Prime Minister Modi thanked Mr Rajapaksa in a tweet and said, the tireless efforts of our scientists and frontline workers have played a crucial role in the fight against this pandemic. He added that the fast development of vaccine and its launch is an important landmark in our joint endeavour for a healthy and disease free world.


President of the Republic of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih conveyed his congratulations to Mr Modi and the Indian government. In a tweet, Mr Solih expressed confidence that India will be successful in the endeavour to end the scourge of COVID-19.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lauded India's efforts regarding the production of coronavirus vaccine and said, India already supplies more than 50 per cent of the world's vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic.

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali have also congratulated Mr Modi and the people of India for the landmark launch of COVID-19 vaccination drive.


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In Telangana, over 16 thousand grassroots level health and sanitation workers are likely to be vaccinated today on the 2nd day of first round vaccination against COVID -19. Director Public Health Dr G Srinivas Rao informed that 184 more vaccination centres will be added across the state today in addition to the 140 centres already set up for the purpose. Total 16200 people will be vaccinated today at a rate of 50 persons at each of the 324 centres in the state today. In Hyderabad, vaccination will be taking place at 42 centres while Nalgonda, Khammam, Ranga Reddy, Medchal Malkajgiri, Warangal, Adilabad and Siddipet districts are among the districts where over 10 vaccination centres will function from today. It may be recalled that 3962 health and sanitation workers have been vaccinated on the first day of vaccination on last Saturday in the state.


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In Odisha, Covid-19 vaccination drive will resume today. The state has already vaccinated 13,980 healthcare workers on the day of the nationwide launch of the vaccination program on Saturday.


"Having registered about 85% vaccination on day one, the state is aiming at immunizing about 1.92 lakh healthcare workers in about a week's time during the first phase. The state is supplied with 4.08 lakh doses of Covishield and twenty thousand doses of Covaxin for the purpose. According to sources, while on the inaugural day of the vaccination roll-out, the state targeted to vaccinate about hundred healthcare workers  each in 161 session sites across all the 30 districts, the number of sessions as well as the session sites may be expeditiously attuned to the beneficiary load of each participating health care institution. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar."


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Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar has said that Covid-19 vaccination drive will be conducted in more centres from today onwards. Speaking to media after visiting vaccination programme at a private hospital in Bengaluru yesterday, the Minister said that people should have faith in the vaccine.


"On the second day yesterday vaccination drive was conducted in private hospitals in  the State. In Bengaluru urban 3,223 and in Udupi 40 front line warriors were vaccinated. In Karnataka the vaccination drive  in the government hospitals will resume from today. Health and Medical Education Minister Dr.K. Sudhakar has said that there is no side effects reported from any where in the State. Resistance will be developed in the body 10 days after receiving the second dose. Till then one should  follow  the safety guidelines properly. The Minister further said that 62 percent of the designated people who received vaccination on the day one is a hopeful development. Meanwhile Karnataka reported 745 new Covid-19 positive cases 855 recoveries  and four deaths during the last twenty four hours. R.MURTHY, AIR NEWS BENGALURU."


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In Bihar, Covid-19 vaccination will be undertaken for four days every week starting today. Vaccination will be conducted on Monday, Tuesday, Thrusday and Saturday. 18,122 health workers were vaccinated on the first day of vaccination drive on January 16.

Health Minister Mangal Pandey appealed to people to follow all precautions even after vaccination. He said vaccination process is being minutely monitored to iron out glitches if any.


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Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has said that the farmers can tell the government what they want other than the withdrawal of the farm laws. Talking to a news agency, Mr Tomar urged the protesting farmers to hold a clause-by-clause discussion on the agricultural reform in the next round of meeting on Tuesday. This comes after the government and protesting farmers on Friday held the ninth round of talks on the farm laws but could not reach a decisive stage and later agreed to meet on January 19.


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National Road Safety Month will be inaugurated today to disseminate awareness regarding road safety and reduce road accidents in India. The inaugural function will be held in New Delhi and National Road Safety Month will be launched by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Gen VK Singh and CEO, NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant will also participate in the event.


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The full Election Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will arrive in Guwahati today on a 3-day visit to Assam to review the poll preparations in the state. Chief Electoral Officer of Assam said that the team will hold meetings with officials and representatives of various political parties to decide the dates for the assembly polls. They will also meet the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police. Assembly polls in Assam will be held this year.


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Schools in Delhi will reopen from today only for the students of Class 10th and 12th. All schools in the national capital were physically shut since March last year in order to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will be the first time after 10 months that students will return to their campuses.


Earlier in a tweet, Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said that permission has been given to open schools in view of board examinations of Central Board of Secondary Education-CBSE and practical works. He said, students can be called to attend the  schools with the consent of parents and they will not be forced to come to schools. COVID-related precautions, including sanitization of classrooms, wearing of face masks and social distancing will be mandatorily followed.


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The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has said that cases of Avian Influenza have been confirmed in poultry at Central Poultry Development Organization (CPDO) in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Kheda Road in Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh.


Avian Influenza has also been confirmed in crows at Panna, Sanchi, Raisen, Balaghat, and in birds at Sheopur and Mandsaur districts of Madhya Pradesh as well as Bastar and Dantewada  districts of Chhattisgarh. The Ministry said, Avian Influenza has also been confirmed in crow samples from Haridwar and Lansdowne forest range of Uttarakhand. In Delhi, Heron sample in Rohini has aslo tested positive.


In Maharashtra, culling of poultry birds is underway in all the affected epicentres including CPDO, Mumbai. In Madhya Pradesh, Rapid Response Teams have been deployed and culling operation of poultry is also continuing in the epicentres of Haryana. The central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country are visiting the affected sites and conducting epidemiological studies.


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The Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the recently introduced Electronic “Pension Payment Order" (PPO) promises ease of living for senior citizens. Referring to some path-breaking reforms introduced in the Ministry, Dr Singh said that the Department of Pensions was often at the receiving end of complaints from senior citizens about the original copies of their Pension Payment Order getting misplaced. He said, in such situations, the pensioners, particularly the older pensioners, had to face several hardships. He congratulated the officials in the Department of Pensions who had successfully introduced the provision of Electronic "Pension Payment Order" during the COVID pandemic, which came as a boon to several of the retiring officials. He said, significantly, the entire process was accomplished much before the targeted time line in view of the difficulties being faced by the pensioners due to the pandemic. Accordingly, the Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare decided to integrate the electronic PPO generated through PFMS application of Controller General of Accounts with Digi-locker.


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United Kingdom has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the G7 Summit as a guest. The G7 Summit is to be held in June this year. A statement by the British High Commission said, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also likely to visit India ahead of the G7 Summit. Mr Johnson's earlier visit to India was called off by him due to the Cornavirus situation in UK.


The G7, made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and the EU, is the only forum where the world's most influential and open societies and advanced economies are brought together for close-knit discussions.


Prime Minister Johnson will use the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years to ask leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous.

Terming India as 'pharmacy of the world', the UK lauded the efforts regarding the production of coronavirus vaccine.


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The Government has said that more than 79 lakh paddy farmers have been benefited from current Kharif Marketing Season Procurement Operations with Minimum Support Price (MSP) value of over one lakh six thousand crore rupees. Agriculture Ministry said, the government continues to procure Kharif crops at its Minimum Support Price from farmers as per its existing MSP schemes. Around 564 lakh tonnes of paddy have been procured from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Karnataka and West Bengal. Government through its nodal agencies has also procured over two lakh 96 thousand tonnes of Moong, Urad, Groundnut Pods and Soyabean benefiting more than one lakh 59 thousand farmers.


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The 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) Goa has received significant participation despite the festival having a hybrid format this year. The festival will conclude on January 24.


"Good films showcasing and touching all facets of humanity, appeal to people transcending all boundaries. One of such film 'Rupsa Nodir Banke'- portraying the life struggle of left-wing leaders was the opening film for Country In Focus that was screened yesterday as the world premiere. Yesterday various sections were inaugurated including Indian panaroma and Satyajit Ray retrospective section. Today this enthusiasm will continue with showcasing of films across various sections. Today is third day of celebration of IFFI. Homages will be paid to veteran personalities in film art like Ivan Passer, Sushant Singh Rajput, and Basu Chatterjee by screening their films. With Mukesh Thali, Tushar Jadhav, for Air News from Panaji Goa."


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In a major boost to film industry, Bangladesh has announced several measures to boost the film Industry in the country. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka yesterday during the ceremony to give away National Film Awards 2019.


"Bangladesh will create a fund of Tk 1000 crore to provide concessional financing for building cineplexes and cinema halls for the people of the country. During the National Film Awards handing over programme, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the government will not only open the closed cinema halls but also modernise them to attract more and more people to the cinema halls. She called upon the film fraternity to make films on the theme of Liberation War of Bangladesh and its culture to let people know the real history of Bangladesh victory. Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud handed over the national awards to the winners on behalf of the Prime Minister. National Film Awards 2019 were given away in 26 categories to people for their outstanding contribution to the film industry. The awards were announced on December 3 last year. Eminent Actor Masud Parvez, known as Sohel Rana, and actress Kohinoor Akter Suchanda were conferred the lifetime achievement award for their contribution to the film industry. ‘No Dorai’ and ‘Fagun Haway’ jointly won the award in the best film category. Taneem Rahman Angshu was given the award for best director for his film ‘No Dorai’. Rajesh Jha for AIR News, All India Radio, Dhaka."


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In cricket, Australia were 185 for 4 against India in their second innings in the fourth and final Test at Brisbane, a shortwhile ago.


Earlier, India were bowled out for 336 in the first innings, only 33 runs behind Australia's first innings total of 369. Debutant Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur scored fifties on the third day yesterday. The duo added 123 runs to bring India back in the game.


For India, Shardul Thakur was the top scorer with 67 runs while Washington Sundar scored valuable 62 runs. They gave the visitors a fighting chance of securing the draw India need in the fourth Test against Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

For Australia, Josh Hazlewood scalped five wickets. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc picked two wickets each while off-spinner Nathan Lyon, playing his 100th Test, scalped one.


The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first match in Adelaide while India registering a win in the second in Melbourne. The third Test in Sydney had ended in a draw.


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Parts of north India remained under the grip of an intense cold wave with dense fog completely engulfed parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh last night. India Meteorological Department said, dense to very dense fog observed over East Uttar Pradesh and moderate to dense fog over Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, northwest Rajasthan, northwest Madhya Pradesh, West Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam and Meghalaya at 11:30 pm last night.


Minimum temperature in Delhi dropped to 5.7 degrees Celsius but it is likely to rise over the next two days due to a change in the wind direction. IMD predicted that the national capital will see shallow fog this morning and light rain is likely to occur.


Weather department said dense to very dense fog is very likely to occur in the morning at a few placs in Uttar Pradesh today and cold day conditions are also very likely to prevail at isolated places over the state.

Cold weather conditions continued to persist at many places in Haryana and Punjab with temperatures hovering below the normal limits.


Intense cold wave conditions persisted in Kashmir, even as the minimum temperatures increased marginally across the valley.

The meteorological department said a western disturbance is likely to affect Jammu and Kashmir for a few days starting January 22, bringing snowfall and rain to the union territory.


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Take a look at the weather forecast for today.


The National Capital is likely to have fog. The city temperature will hover between nine degree Celsius and 20 degrees.


Mumbai will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was around 17 degree Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 29 degrees.


Chennai will witness partly cloudy sky. The temperature will vary between 21 and 29 degree Celsius.


In Kolkata, there was fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The city observed minimum temperature of around 15 degree Celsius and a maximum of 24 degrees.


Srinagar had fog in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. Temperature will hover between minus eight degree Celsius and nine degrees.


Jammu had fog in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was around seven degree Celsius while maximum will be 18 degrees.


Leh will have clear sky. The minimum temperature was around minus 12 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around one degree.


Gilgit will have clear sky. The temperature will hover between minus six degree to 11 degree Celsius.


In Muzaffarabad, sky will be partly cloudy becoming generally cloudy towards evening or night. The temperature will hover between four to 20 degree Celsius.


Dehradun observed minimum temperature of around six degree Celsius and a maximum of 19 degrees.


Chandigarh had fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The temperature is likely to hover between nine to 17 degree Celsius.


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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINE:

  • A smooth start to the Covid vaccination drive is the top mentioned headline in all the dailies today. Hindustan Times reports, "India vaccinates 220 thousand over two days of drive." The paper adds "India had the highest day 1 vaccination number in the world." The Times of India observes, "Though fear, logistics pose early-day challenges, Government expects footfall to rise ."

  • Hailing India as the 'pharmacy of the world 'the British Prime Minister Invites Modi to attend G-7 summit in June, writes The Asian Age.

  • The Tribune mentions how a community station started by an Army Officer in Kashmir brings entertainment and acts as a platform for locals to air their grievances under the headline "Radio Raabta brings cheer to troubled south Kashmir."

  • The upcoming budget may unveil faster resolution of disputes over Direct taxes observes The Economic Times under the headline, "Budget may offer New Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Framework.

  • Renowned Indian classical musician "Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passes away" writes The Statesman.

  • And Finally, "Biden ropes in 20 Indian-Americans, 17 in key White House positions "notes The Hindu, a record for the small  community that constitutes only one percent of America's population .

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