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Last Updated : Mar 1 2021 6:34PM     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


Midday News

1400 HRS
21.01.2021

THE HEADLINEs:

  • Government approves over one crore one lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) till date.

  • More than eight lakh beneficiaries get COVID-19 vaccine across the country; Karnataka leads with over one lakh inoculations.

  • Nation's Covid-19 recovery rate reaches 96.75 per cent.

  • Full Election commission team reviews poll preparedness for upcoming assembly polls in West Bengal; Meets representatives of political parties.

  • Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura celebrate their statehood day today; President, Vice President and Prime Minister greet the people.

  • First Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports Festival begins in Ladakh.

  • And, Sensex breaches 50 thousand mark for the first time.

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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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And now, the news in detail:


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The Union Government has said that more than one crore one lakh houses have been approved under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) till date. The construction of more than 70 lakh houses is in various stages and more than 41 lakh houses have been completed. Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said, the construction of one lakh 68 thousand 606 new houses have been approved in the 52nd Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee under the scheme. The Ministry said, 14 States and Union Territories participated in this meeting.


Speaking on the occasion, Secretary in Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Durga Shanker Mishra urged the States and UTs to strategize the expeditious implementation of PMAY(U) projects. He said, progress under the Mission has been steady and there is a need to move towards completion of houses with all the basic physical and social infrastructure.


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Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said the COVID-19 vaccines are completely safe and effective and these vaccines will prove to be the last nail in the coffin of COVID-19 disease.


While releasing the communication creative prepared by Health and Family Welfare Ministry to address issues related to vaccine hesitancy, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, adverse events or side effects are common and they surface after any vaccination. He stressed that two indigenous vaccines have been authorized after sufficient scientific scruitiny, human trials and identifying the efficacy. He said, several countries are approaching India to export these vaccines to their country.


Urging on the need to counter the misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, the Minister said, vaccines have played a critical role in the past in controlling various diseases like chicken pox and polio. He said, it is unfortunate that some people are spreading misinformation about the vaccines which has developed vaccine hesitancy in a few people. He said, the power of truth is unbeatable and with the help of this power, India successfully fought against the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Head of Urology and Renal Transplant at Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi,  Dr. Anoop Kumar says the vaccine for Corona virus is safe and asked the people not to pay attention to rumours.


Talking to AIR News, Dr. Anoop Kumar said, he himself has taken the shot and he is feeling absolutely normal as there are no side effects of the vaccine.


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The Union Government has said that more than eight lakh six thousand beneficiaries have been vaccinated for COVID-19 till today across the country. The Health Ministry said, during the last 24 hours, one lakh 31 thousand 649 people were vaccinated across two thousand 398 sessions. The Ministry said, more than 14 thousand sessions have been conducted so far.


Karnataka stands at the top position with over one lakh 21 thousand inoculations followed by Andhra Pradesh with over 91 thousand and Telangana over 69 thousand. Additional Health Secretary Dr Manohar Agnani 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 the Co- WIN software has also been enhanced and a new feature has been added in the ongoing session.


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India has started the supply of Covid vaccines to its neighbouring and key partner countries. India yesterday dispatched the COVID Vaccines to Bhutan and the 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 the Maldives as the first responder in any crisis.


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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that the government has started supplying COVID vaccines to the neighbouring countries and the vaccines will be provided to other countries across the world, if the need arises. Addressing the NCC cadets at the NCC camp in New Delhi today, Mr Singh said, our scientists have developed two COVID-19 vaccines and following the concept of 'world is family', India is extending help to other countries. The Defence Minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to expand National Cadet Corps and the government has identified more than one thousand 100 schools wherein the NCC training will be begin.


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The country's COVID-19 recovery rate has reached 96.75 per cent. More than 19 thousand COVID patients recovered during the last 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, the total number of recoveries has gone up to over one crore two lakh 65 thousand. The actual caseload currently comprises only 1.81 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is one lakh 92 thousand.


During the past 24 hours, 15 thousand 223 new cases were reported taking the total number of positive cases to over one crore six lakh. The Ministry said, Currently, India's Case Fatality Rate is at 1.44 per cent which is one of the lowest globally. During the last 24 hours, 151 deaths were reported taking the toll to one lakh 52 thousand 869.


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The number of COVID - 19 tests conducted in the national capital has crossed the one crore-mark today. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has termed it as a new record. He said, with a focus on increased testing and treatment, Delhi has successfully contained the scale and spread of corona infection.The  positivity rate in the national capital stood at 0.36 per cent.


A total of 228 new confirmed cases of Corona virus infection were reported in Delhi during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to over six lakh 33 thousand.


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In Madhya Pradesh, more than 28 thousand people have been given COVID vaccine at 150 centres across the state. More from our correspondent:


"Covid vaccination is being done in the state on 04 days a week on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. On the first two days 16 and 18 January, around 18 thousand people were vaccinated and till 20 January around 9 thousand, 600 people were vaccinated. Chief Minister Mr Chouhan while reviewing the condition of covid 19 and  vaccination said that  the covid vaccination work in the state is smooth. All who were vaccinated are perfectly healthy. Meanwhile, 280 new positive cases were reported on Wednesday, while 997 recovered from covid infection.  Pooja Vardhan, Air News, Bhopal."


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In Bihar, nearly 55 per cent of the registered health care workers took COVID-19 vaccine in three days. In all, 47 thousand 402 people have been vaccinated so far.


Health Minister Mangal Pandey said, health care workers are being given the vaccine in the First Phase, frontline workers will be the next followed by those above 50 years or those below 50 but with comorbidity. After these preferred groups, common people will be given vaccines.


Mr.Pandey said, registration of people of above 50 years will begin from next month and vaccination of this group will start from March this year. Two crore people of this group will be registered.


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In Gujarat, the number of fresh cases of COVID-19 is constantly reducing. According to the State Health Department, the recovery rate has further improved to 96.07 per cent. More from our correspondent --


"Gujarat has recorded 490 new cases of COVID-19 during past 24 hours. The total number of COVID-19 cases detected so far in the state has reached two lakh 57 thousand 42. Out of these, two lakh 47 thousand 223 patients recovered. In all, 707 patients discharged from the hospitals after recovery during the past 24 hours. Maximum 105 new cases were reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 98 new cases. At present, total active cases in the state are 5,748, out of which 51 patients are on ventilator. Two patients died yesterday taking the total deaths due to COVID-19 up to 4,371.Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


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Telangana reported 226 fresh COVID cases during the past 24 hours. With this, the total number of COVID cases reported in the state has gone up to two lakh 92 thousand 621.


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In Mizoram, 12 new positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded with the recovery of 10 patients during the past 24 hours. With this declining trend, the recovery rate of COVID-19 has improved to 98.71 per cent in the state. 


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In Jharkhand, the second consignment of one lakh 72 thousand doses of COVID vaccine Covishield was received at Birsa Munda airport in Ranchi. With this, the supply of COVID vaccine doses for health workers registered for the First Phase has been completed. More from our correspondent --


"With the arrival of the second consignment of CoviShield vaccine in Jharkhand, the second set of doses to be given to the registered 1.5 lakh health workers in the first phase of the COVID Vaccination Drive is complete. National Rural Health Mission Director Ravishankar Shukla confirmed to AIR News that the vaccine doses have been provided to all districts in the state. After the fourth day of the COVID vaccination drive a total of Eleven thousand 641 people have been vaccinated. 49 percent of the registered beneficiaries in Jharkhand have been vaccinated and there are no reports of any side effects reported till today. The State Health Department has informed that preparations for vaccinating more than two lakh frontline workers targeted to be vaccinated in the second phase is on. The fifth day of the vaccination drive will begin on Friday. Shilpi, AIR News, Ranchi."


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Joe Biden on his assumption of office as President of the United States. In a series of tweets, Mr Modi said, he looks forward to working with him to strengthen India-US strategic partnership. He also extended best wishes to the new President for a successful term in leading US as we stand united and resilient in addressing common challenges and advancing global peace and security.


Prime Minister also congratulated new US Vice President  Kamala Harris. He said, it is a historic occasion.


Joe Biden took oath as the 46th President of the United States of America at a scaled-back ceremony in the US Capitol building in Washington last night that was largely stripped of its usual pomp due to the Coronavirus and security concerns. In his first speech as US president, Mr Biden vowed to defeat political extremism and white supremacy.


His deputy Kamala Harris was also sworn in as the 49th Vice-President of the country.


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The full bench of the Election Commission of India (ECI) is on a three-day visit to West Bengal to review preparedness for the ensuing assembly polls. The team comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra and Rajiv Kumar is holding a series of review meetings today. They met with the Nodal Officers of Police, the ADG law and order. The representatives of the recognized political parties have also met the team and placed their demands before the Commission.


After meeting the ECI, the President of the State Unit of BJP Dilip Ghosh told reporters that they have asked the commission to send Central forces well in advance so that the voters feel safe and confident and can cast their vote fearlessly. More from our  correspondent --


Amid pandemic situation, conducting free, fair and peaceful polling remains the focus of the Election Commission of India. The full bench of the ECI is stressing to keep the entire process of the ensuing assembly election in West Bengal free of violence. The Chief Election Commissioner is said to have set the expectation clearly before the state nodal officer of police this morning. In the last General Election in 2019 and the State Assembly Election in 2016, series of poll related violence had irked the Commission. Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain, on his back to back visits in this state, had asked the poll officials and the district administration to keep strict vigil and send reports to the ECI on a regular basis. Political leaders of the opposition parties have also requested the commission to give instruction to related officials and agencies to ensure free, fair and peaceful polling. Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri, AIR News, Kolkata. 


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In Karnataka, portfolios were allocated to the newly inducted members of the State Cabinet today days after the recent expansion.


Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa has also made changes in the portfolios of some Ministers. Legislative Affairs Minister J. C. Madhuswamy has now been given Medical Education and Kannada and Culture. Dr. K. Sudhakar held both Health and Medical Education Departments earlier. The Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has been given additional charge of Legislative Affairs. Senior BJP leader Umesh Katti has been given Food and Civil Supplies while S. Angara has been given Fisheries, Ports and Inland Transport and Arvind Limbavali the Forest Department.


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The full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day Parade will be held at Rajpath on Saturday. Delhi Police has made elaborate traffic arrangements for smooth conduct of the Parade along the route. The Parade rehearsal will start at 9.50 A.M. from Vijay Chowk and will proceed to National Stadium. The parade will pass through Rajpath, Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate, C-Hexagon to National Stadium.


Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Manish Kumar Agarwal said, no traffic will be allowed on Vijay Chowk from 6 P.M. tomorrow till the end of the parade on 23rd January. Delhi Metro rail services will remain available for the commuters at all metro stations during the full dress rehearsal. However, boarding and de-boarding at Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan will not be allowed till 12 noon.


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President, Vice President and Prime Minister have greeted the people of Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura on the occasion of their Statehood Day today. In his message, President Ram Nath Kovind said, blessed with immense natural beauty, rich history and vibrant culture, these states are fascinating.


Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said, these North-Eastern states have retained their special place in India and have shown the way to the rest of the country through their natural diet and healthy lifestyle.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the culture and warm-hearted nature of the people of Tripura is admired across India. The state has achieved outstanding progress in various fields. He said, India is proud of Manipurs contribution to national development. Manipur is a powerhouse of innovation and sporting talent. Mr Modi said, Meghalaya is known for its remarkable kindness and spirit of brotherhood. Youngsters from Meghalaya are creative and enterprising.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Assam and West Bengal on Saturday. He will address the Parakram Diwas celebrations to commemorate the 125th Birth Anniversary Year of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He will preside over the inaugural function of the Parakram Diwas celebrations at Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.


Prime Minister will also visit Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar, Assam to distribute one lakh six thousand land Pattas and allotment certificates. The issuance of Patta and allotment certificates for indigenous people of Assam has been given highest priority to instil a sense of security amongst them.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 18th Convocation of Tezpur University, Assam at 10:30 AM tomorrow through video conferencing. The event will witness the conferring of degrees and diplomas upon one thousand 218 students who passed out in 2020. Among the degree recipients, 48 toppers of various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes will be awarded Gold Medals.


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The 10th round of talks between the Central Government and 41 farmers' Unions was held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi yesterday. 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 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 after the meeting, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that during discussion, the Government has proposed to the farmer Unions that the implementation of Farm laws should be kept on hold for a period of one to one and half years.  


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The Union Government has rejected a news wherein it is claimed that Kisan Credit Card loan will be available at 12 per cent interest rate instead of seven per cent.


Press Information Bureau of Government of India has termed this claim as fake saying that the government has not made any such announcement regarding increasing the interest rate of Kisan Credit Card loan.


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Union Minister for Fisheries Dr. Giriraj Singh has said  the Centre has invested 27 thousand crore rupees for schemes relating to blue economy. Laying the foundation stone for the Aquatic Quarantine facility at Aquatic Animal Quarantine Centre at Padappai, the Minister said the ornamental fish export amounts to one lakh crore rupees. He said that the government will soon be launching a pilot project of cage culture fishing facility at Rameswaram.


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Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurated the first small-scale LNG supply infrastructure of Shell Energy India at its LNG terminal at Hazira in Gujarat yesterday. This will now augment Shells natural gas supply offerings in India to include supply of LNG via trucks.


After virtual inauguration, Mr. Pradhan complimented Shell for their efforts in expanding the LNG infrastructure in the country. He said that clean, affordable and reliable energy is the need of the growing population and a key priority of the Modi Government.


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A large scale Joint Military exercise - Exercise Kavach involving assets of Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Indian Coast Guard will be conducted in the coming week under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command. Defence Ministry said, the exercise involves synergised application of maritime surveillance assets, coordinated air and maritime strikes, air defence, submarine and landing operations. The joint force will execute multi-domain, high-intensity offensive and defensive manoeuvres in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.


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The producers and directors participating in the ongoing International Film Festival of India at Panaji are feeling grateful that despite the pandemic effect, organizers conducted the event successfully. The festival that commenced on 16th January will conclude on the 24th of January. More from our correspondent --


"Shoorveer Tyagi, director of the Indian Panorama Non- Feature Film, Jaadoo, said that society plays a much larger role than that of parents and teachers, in shaping a child. The responsibility of grooming a child is not limited to parents or teachers but the whole society, he added. He portrays this message aptly in a story woven on the friendship of two children. Mr Tyagi said, besides education and learning, there are many things which are needed to be imbibed in a child, which forms the undercurrent of the film. Besides regular activities at IFFI, utmost care is taken to ensure cleanliness and sanitization at the venues in wake of the health protocol and safety norms. With Mukesh Thali, Tushar Jadhav for Air News from Panaji, Goa."


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In Ladakh, Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju launched the first ever Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sports Festival at Padum in Zanskar of Kargil district. The festival is being organised by the Ladakh UT Administration to promote Zanskar as winter tourists' destination. The main features of the 13-day festival are Ice Climbing, trekking on frozen Zanskar River, Ice Hockey, snow sculpture and ethnic food festival. Our correspondent has filed this report --


"Addressing the inaugural function of the Khelo India Zanskar Winter Sport and Youth Festival , Union Minister Kirren Rijiju said that the ministry will provide sports facilities in all regions of Ladakh. He said the ministry will promote Ladakh as a centre for Ice Hockey and soon open an centre for archery and polo in two areas in the region. Zanskar Winter Sports and Youth festival is being introduced as an annual event in Zanskar to showcase its potential in adventure tourism and sports. It is one of the major events planned to promote winter tourism in Ladakh. Lieutanant Governor Ladakh R K Mathur and the Ladakh Member Parliament Jamyang Tsering Namgyal , Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh Tashi Galsion also attended the inaugural function of the festival. The festival will end on 31st of this month. Ramesh Chandra, this is Yangchan Dolma for AIR news from Leh, Ladakh.


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At the stock markets, the Sensex jumped 334 points, or 0.7 per cent, to hit 50,000-mark for the first time in history and was trading at 50,126, in afternoon trade, a short while ago. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange climbed 96 points, or 0.7 per cent, to trade at a record high of 14,740.


Talking to All India Radio market expert Puneet Jain explains the factors behind surge in the market.


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


Srinagar also witnessed clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The minimum temperature was minus seven degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around nine degrees.


In Jammu, the minimum temperature was six degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 19 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening.


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


Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was minus six degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 11 degrees.


Muzaffarabad will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The minimum temperature was three degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 18 degrees.


Dehradun experienced fog in the morning and will have mainly  clear sky later. The minimum temperature was five degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 21 degrees.


Chandigarh also witnessed fog in the morning and will have clear sky later. The minimum temperature was nine degrees Celsius and the maximum will be 19 degrees.


National Capital Delhi experienced a shallow fog in the morning. The minimum temperature was seven degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 19 degrees. 


Mumbai will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 19 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 32 degrees. 


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