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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

Evening News

2030 HRS

2030 HRS.

20th January, 2021


  • Cabinet approves investment of over 5200 crore rupees for 850 MegaWatt Hydro Power Project in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi releases over 2,500 crore rupees for more than six lakh beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin.

  • Tenth round of talks between government and Farmers' Unions concludes in New Delhi.

  • Election Commission says, those excluded from Assam NRC can exercise their voting rights in assembly polls in the state.

  • First Consignment of Made in India COVID-19 vaccines reaches Bhutan and Maldives.

  • Joe Biden to be sworn in as 46th President of United States of America tonight.


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. 


The Union Cabinet, has given its approval for the investment of over 5200 crore rupees for 850 megawatt Ratle Hydro Electric (HE) Project located on Chenab river in Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir. This will be a new Joint Venture Company (JVC) of National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and Jammu with equity contribution of 51 per cent and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation Ltd (JKSPDC) with 49 per cent.

The Government is also supporting the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir by providing a grant of 776.44 crore rupees for Equity contribution of JKSPDC in the JVC to be set up for construction of Ratle HE Project.

The Ratle Hydro Electric Project shall be commissioned within  60 months. The Power generated from the Project will help in providing balancing of Grid and will improve the power supply position. 

Our Correspondent reports, the construction activities of the Project will provide direct and indirect employment to around 4000 persons and will contribute immensely in the overall socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.


The Union Cabinet was today apprised of signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Uzbekistan for cooperation in the field of Solar Energy. The main area of work under the MoU is to identify research, demonstration and initiation of pilot projects between the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India and the International Solar Energy Institute, Uzbekistan. The reserach and cooperation will primarily focus in the areas of Solar Photovoltaic, Storage Technologies and Transfer of Technologies. Based on mutual agreement, both parties would work for implementation and deployment of pilot project in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released financial assistance of around 2,691 crore rupees to over six lakh beneficiaries in Uttar Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Gramin (PMAY-G), through video conferencing. The financial assistance include release of first installment to 5.30 lakh beneficiaries and second installment to 80 thousand beneficiaries who have already availed first installment of assistance under PMAY-G.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister asserted that Aatmanirbhar Bharat is directly linked to the self-confidence of the citizens of the country and a house of one’s own enhances this self-confidence manifold. He listed out various development projects underway in the Uttar Pradesh.

"अनेक एक्सप्रैस वे का तेजी से चल रहा काम, तो दूसरी तरफ एम् जैसे बड़े संस्थान। मेरठ एक्सप्रैस-वे से लेकर बुंदेलखंड-गंगा एक्सप्रैस-वे तक, यूपी में विकास की रफ्तार तेज करेंगे। यही वजह है कि आज यूपी में बड़ी-बड़ी कंपनियां भी रही हैं और छोटे-छोटे उद्योगों के लिए भी रास्ते खुल रहे हैं। यू.पी की वन डिस्ट्रिक, वन प्रोडेक्, इस योजना से स्थानीय कारीगरों को फिर से काम मिलने लगा है। हमारे गांव में रहने वाले स्थानीय कारीगरों की, गरीबों की, श्रमिकों की यही आत्मनिर्भरता, आत्मनिर्भर भारत के लक्ष् को पूरा करेगी।"

The Prime Minister said the scheme was launched five years ago and in a short span of time, PMAY-G has has started changing the face of Indian villages. He recalled that during the time of previous governments, the poor did not have the confidence that the government could be of any help in getting their house constructed. The Prime Minister said, the poor had to face the brunt of wrong policies. Mr Modi said, keeping in mind the plight of the poor people, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna was started with an aim to provide every poor family with a house before completion of 75 years of independence.

"गांव में रहने वाले गरीब को पक्की छत देने के लिए प्रधानमंत्री आवास योजना-ग्रामीण शुरू की गई है। देश में आजादी के 75 साल पूरे होने तक हर गरीब परिवार को पक्का घर देने का लक्ष् तय किया। इस लक्ष् को पूरा करने के लिए बीते वर्षों में लगभग दो करोड़ घर सिर्फ ग्रामीण इलाकों में ही बनाये गए। अकेले प्रधानमंत्री आवास योजना के तहत भी करीब सवा सौ करोड़ घरों की चाबी लगी दी जा चुकी है, सवा सौ करोड़ घरों की चाबी। इन घरों को बनाने के लिए करीब-करीब डेढ़ लाख करोड़ रूपये अकेले केन्द्र सरकार ने दिए।"

The Prime Minister said Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna has moved rapidly under the present government and has helped the poorest of the poor in Uttar Pradesh. He stressed on the aspect of women empowerment in the scheme as these units are mostly in the name of women of the family.

"प्रधानमंत्री आवास योजना के तहत ये घर ऐसे परिवारों को मिल रहे हैं जिनके पास अपना पक्का घर नहीं था। इनमें गाँव के सामान्य कारीगर हैं, हमारे दिहाड़ी मजदूर हैं। हमारे खेत मजदूर हैं। इसका बहुत बड़ा लाभ गाँवों में रहने वाले उन छोटे किसानों को भी मिल रहा है, जिनके पास बीघे दो बीघे जमीन होती है। हमारे देश में बड़ी संख्या में भूमिहीन किसान भी हैं जो किसी तरह अपना गुजारा करते हैं। इनकी पीढ़ी दर पीढ़ी गुजरती रहीं, ये अपनी मेहनत से देश का पेट भरते रहे, लेकिन अपने लिए पक्के मकान और छत का इंतजाम नहीं कर पाते। आज ऐसे सभी परिवारों की पहचान करके भी उन्हें इस योजना से जोड़ा जा रहा है।"

The Prime Minister termed Pradha Mantri Swamitva Yojana as a game changer in improving the lives of the people living in rural areas. He said work is going on to provide fast internet access to more than 6 lakh villages through Optical fibers. This project would also create new employment opportunities for the villagers.

"अभी कुछ महीने पहले देश ने एक और अभियान शुरू किया है जिसका लाभ हमारे गांव के लोगों को होने जा रहा है। ये अभियान है, देश के 6 लाख से ज्यादा गांवों तक तेज गति वाला इंटरनेट पहुंचाने का। इस अभियान के तहत लाखों गांवों में ऑप्टिकल फाइबर बिछाए जाएंगे। ये काम भी गांव के लोगों के लिए रोजगार के नए अवसर बनाएगा।"

On the occasion, the Prime Minister also interacted with beneficiaries of five districts namely Kheeri, Chitrakoot, Varanasi, Ayodhya and Saharanpur.

One of the beneficiary, Rajkumari from Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand told Prime Minister Modi that the house she received under the scheme will solve a lot of problems of her life.

Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also present on the occasion.

So far 1.26 crore houses have already been built across the country under PMAY-G which was launched in November, 2016 by Prime Minister. Along with the financial grant under the scheme, the beneficiaries of PMAY-G, are also provided support of unskilled labour wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and assistance of 12,000 rupees for construction of toilets through Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin.


The tenth round of talks between the Central Government and farmers' Unions was held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi today. The meeting was attended by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Prakash and representatives of various farmers' unions.

The next round of talks between the Central Government and farmers' Unions will be held on the 22nd of January. Addressing media in New Delhi, the Agriculture Minister said that during discussions, the government has said that it is ready to put on hold the Implementation of three farm laws for one or one and half years.


Madhya Pradesh reported record purchase of 37.26 lakh metric tonnes of paddy on Minimum Support Price in the state this year.

"MadhyaPradesh recorded excess paddy purchase in all the districts of the state on support price except Vidisha compared to last year. Districts with maximum procurement include Hoshangabad, Raisen and Sehore. Payment of Rs 5 thousand crore has also been disbursed to the farmers. Chief Minister Mr Chouhan while reviewing the work of paddy procurement on support price instructed the officials that the remaining payment of farmers should also be made at the earliest. Registration of farmers for Rabi will be done from 25 January to 20 February. For this, a total of 4529 registration centres have been set up in the state. Pooja P. Vardhan, AIR News, Bhopal."


The Union Government has convened an all party meeting on 30th of this month in view of Budget Session of the Parliament. During the meeting, it will seek support of political parties to ensure smooth functioning of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Talking to media, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said, the meeting will take place virtually. He added that the government is ready for discussion on any issue on the floor of the house.

The Budget Session will begin on 29th of this month with President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the Joint Sitting of both the Houses. The Union Budget will be presented on 1st of February.


Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora has said that as per the guidelines issued by the Union Home Ministry, those people whose names were not included in Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) could also exercise their voting rights in the assembly polls scheduled in the state this year.

The Chief Election Commissioner was talking to newspersons in Guwahati today after holding series of discussion with various stakeholders. Full team of Election Commission led by the Chief Election Commissioner was on a three-day visit to the state to take stock of poll preparedness in Assam. Mr. Arora said, voting rights of the people should not be affected as already been cleared by the Home Ministry. He said, the Election Commission is committed to conducting a free, fair, peaceful, transparent, ethical and Covid safe election in the state.


After concluding visit to Assam, the full bench of the Election Commission of India arrived at Kolkata in West Bengal this evening on a three-day visit to take stock of the law and order situation and poll preparedness for the ensuing Assembly Elections in West Bengal. The bench comprises the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar.

The Bench held meeting with the Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal Ariz Aftab. The ADG (Police) law and order Gyanwant Singh was also present in the meeting.


One more MLA of the Trinamool Congress has joined BJP today. Arindam Bhattacharya, MLA of Santipur Constituency of West Bengal joined BJP in New Delhi in the presence of the party’s national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. Mr. Bhattacharya alleged that the youth in Bengal are jobless and the present government lacks proper vision.


India continues to leap ahead in its fight against COVID-19 with over one crore two lakh 45 thousand cumulative recoveries so far. With this, the National recovery rate stand at 96.70 per cent. The rate of new daily infections slipped to 13 thousand 283 cases in the past 24 hours. During the same interval, nearly 17 thousand people successfully recovered from the viral contagion.


Union Health Ministry today said that a total of 14 thousand 119 sessions of COVID-19 vaccination were conducted in 20 States and Union Territories of the country. One lakh 12 thousand and 7 beneficiaries were vaccinated on the fifth day today since the launch of the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16th of this month. Addressing media in New Delhi, Additional Health Secretary Dr Manohar Agnani said, a total of 7 lakh 86 thousand and 842 beneficiaries have been vaccinated in five  days. He said, there were no cases of any serious or severe Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) attributable to vaccination reported till date in the country.

Dr. Agnani also informed that Co- WIN software has also been enhanced and a new feature has been added in the ongoing session.


India has started the supply of Covid vaccines to its neighbouring and key partner countries. India today dispatched the COVID Vaccines to Bhutan and Maldives under Vaccine Maitri initiative. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said that Vaccine Maitri has begun and the consignment reached Bhutan. Mr Jaishankar said it is  another example of country's Neighbourhood first policy.

Bhutan's Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji expressed profound gratitude to India for generous gift of one lakh 50 thousand doses of Covishield vaccine developed by Serum Institute of India(SII). Mr Dorji thanked India for its abiding friendship and unconditional support to Bhutan’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said, the country is happy to receive as grant one lakh doses of SII developed Covishield. Mr Shahid said, as always, India stands strong and  steadfast with Maldives as the first responder in any crisis.

Prime minister Naendra Modi said, India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. 


Under Vaccine Maitri initiative, India is gifting two million doses of COvid vaccine to Bangladesh.

"2 million doses of Corona vaccine will be arriving in Dhaka tomorrow as gift from India. Health Minister of Bangladesh Zahid Maleque and High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami will receive the COVID 19 vaccine gift in Dhaka tomorrow. Apart from the 2 million doses being sent by India as gift, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited (BPL) of Bangladesh has signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India (SII) to purchase 30 million doses of the COVID 19 vaccine over the next 6 months. The vaccine gift is part of India’s commitment to use its vaccine production capacity to help humanity fight COVID 19. The vaccination programme in Bangladesh is scheduled to start from the first week of February. Rajesh Jha, AIR News, Dhaka."


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme tonight will bring you a Special discussion on Covid-19. Director at All India Institute of Ayurveda, Dr. Tanuja Manoj Nesari will participate in the discussion. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.10 PM onwards.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held a bilateral meeting with Singapore Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen through video conferencing today. 

Mr. Singh termed the meeting as productive saying, India is fortunate to a have defence partner like Singapore. He said, today’s interaction will benefit both countries on many bilateral issues that are being pursued to further strengthen special relationship.


A bilateral Air exercise between Indian Air Force and French Air and Space Force--Desert Knight-21 commenced at Air Force Station in Jodhpur from today. The Air exercise will continue till 24th  January.On the first day, air commodores of both the forces had courtesy meeting and communicated about the daily schedule to each other.


Lieutenant General Chandi Prasad Mohanty, recently appointed as the next Vice Chief of Indian Army has said that in view of the changing nature of modern warfare, the Indian army has focused on modernization and technological advancement. Interacting with the media during his visit to the Sainik School at Bhubaneswar in Odisha today, the Lieutenant-General said that the Indian army has been receiving constant support from the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister for capacity development and infrastructure improvement.

"Lt. General Mr. Mohanty said the Indian Army is constantly upscaling it's prowess through better weapon systems, better communication systems and infrastructural upgradation. Being an Odia himself, the vice chief designate called upon the youths of the state to join the defence forces. He said, at least one youth from every village of Odisha should join the forces to act as role models for others. For this to happen, he elaborated, the youths need to be encouraged. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar."


A delegation of 31 Members of Parliament reached Srinagar in today for a three-day visit to take stock of various developmental projects, tourism revival activities and road connectivity in Jammu and Kashmir.

The members are part of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture. Led by BJP's Rajya Sabha member T G Venkatesh, the delegation comprises members from both houses of the Parliament.

From tomorrow, the delegation will visit several places and hold meetings with several delegations to take stock of the developments taking place in various sectors.


The Government today said that Avian Influenza has been confirmed in six States for poultry birds. These states are Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. The Ministry said, the disease has also been confirmed in ten States for Crow, Migratory and Wild birds. These states and Union territories are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan and Punjab. It said, control and containment operations are going on in the affected epicentres of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Haryana.


Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has stressed upon the need to make public transport more people friendly, safe and pollution free. Addressing the 40th Meeting of Transport Development Council, Mr Gadkari said that States must increasingly adopt the alternative fuels in the operation of buses and stressed the use of CNG, LNG, Electric vehicles and ethanol blended fuels.


Road Transport and Highways Ministry and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen collaboration in the field of technical exchange and co-operation on sustainable geo-hazard management. The MoU was signed by Secretary in the Road and Transport Ministry Giridhar Aramane and  DRDO Secretary Dr. Satieesh Reddy.


The delegates at the International Film Festival of India IFFI at Goa have expressed satisfaction at the way the festival is being conducted despite trying times of pandemic. Let us know more about the happenings today from our Panaji correspondent.

"Film Producer and Distributor of Malayalam film industry G P Vijayakumar said that there was a big opposition when OTT made its appearance citing that it will end theatrical releases. However, the traditional film industry, theatres and blockbuster movies will continue to stay despite OTT and TV channels being around. They only complement the entertainment business of cinema financially, making it more lucrative Mr Vijayakumar added. He expressed his views during a virtual ‘In Conversation’ session on ‘Changing Scenarios in Indian Film Production’ today. He said that, The tastes and choices of movie goers have changed considerably, they are becoming more selective. In the meanwhile, films division paid tributes to well known documentary and animation film maker Pramod Pati today. Pramod Pati is known as the father of Indian New wave cinema. With Mukesh Thali, Tushar Jadhav, For Air News from Panaji, Goa."


Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti is being observed across the country with great fervour and enthusiasm today. This year marks the 354th birth anniversary of tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

Guru Gobind Singh was born at Patna Sahib in 1666. He became the tenth guru of Sikhism  at only nine years of age after the death of his father, Guru Teg Bahadur ji. The day, which is also known as Prakash Parv or Guru Gobind Singh Parkash Utsav. On the auspicious occasion, the Sikh community remembered Guru Gobind Singh's contribution by offering prayers.

Special Langars were also organised. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festivities around Guru Gobind Singh's birth anniversary are muted.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have paid tributes to Guru Gobind Singhji on the auspicious occasion.


Joe Biden will take oath as the 46th President of the United States of America at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington tonight that has been largely stripped of its usual pomp due both to the Coronavirus as well as security concerns. After taking oath, 78 year old Biden will become the oldest US President in history.

His deputy Kamala Harris will be sworn in as 49th Vice-President of the country. The daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, she will make history as America's first woman and first person with south Asian roots to take the office of the Vice President.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the oath on the West front of the US Capitol building at 10 PM (Indian Standard Time) tonight.

Meanwhile, in his farewell address former President Donald Trump extended his wishes to the Biden Administration. Mr Trump along with Melaina Trump left White House for Florida ahead of the oath taking ceremony, handing over the charge to Joe Biden administration.


Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today declared open Premier League, an ambitious sporting event for the youth in Jammu. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sinha said, Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a revolution in Sports Sector and it is heading towards becoming a sporting power house.

The Lieutenant Governor said that Jammu and Kashmir is perhaps the first to organize 1250 matches across all the districts in four different disciplines, such as Football, Hockey, Volleyball and Kabaddi. Around 8500 players are taking part in the games. This Premier League is an ambitious sporting event for the youth that will enhance the quality of competition and performance of the players ensuring their participation in National and International levels.


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

The National Capital is likely to have Strong surface wind during day time. The temperature will hover between eight  and 20 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will have a clear sky. The minimum temperature will be around 18 degrees Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 32 degrees.

Chennai will witness mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. The temperature will vary between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius.

In Kolkata, there will be fog in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. The city will observe minimum 16 degrees Celsius  and a maximum of around 27 degrees temperature.

Srinagar will have fog in the morning and mainly clear sky later. Temperature will hover between minus six and 10 degrees Celsius.

Jammu will have mainly clear sky . The minimum temperature will be around seven degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 22 degrees.

Leh will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature will be around minus 13 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around six degree.

Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between minus six and 11 degrees Celsius.

In Muzaffarabad, sky will be mainly clear. The temperature will hover between three and 19 degrees Celsius.


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