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Last Updated : Mar 3 2021 8:33PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi lauds Union budget for linking education with employability & entrepreneurial capability            PM urges people to ensure protection of country's forests & safe habitats for animals            EAM S. Jaishankar to arrive in Bangladesh on Thursday            UK to receive 10 Million AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine doses from India            India to commemorate Chabahar Day tomorrow           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • President Ram Nath Kovind asks countrymen to always respect  valuable right to vote.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciates Election Commission for strengthening democratic fabric and ensuring smooth conduct of elections.

  • Prime Minister lauds extraordinary talent displayed by Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind to address the nation today on the eve of 72nd Republic Day.

  • Centre releases 13th instalment of 6,000 crore rupees to States to meet GST compensation shortfall.

  • Over 16 lakh people administered Covid-19 vaccines in the country; COVID-19 recovery rate reaches 96.83 per cent.


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 in detail:


The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is being celebrated across the country today to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters. The Day is celebrated on the 25th of January every year since 2011, to mark the foundation day of Election Commission of India (ECI). The day aims to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.

On the occasion, President Ram Nath Kovind addressed a function in New Delhi through video conferencing today.

Speaking at the event, President Kovind asked the countrymen to always respect the valuable right to vote saying that it is not a simple right.  He said people across the world have struggled a lot to get the right to vote. Mr. Kovind said often, people do not realise the value of achievements which they get easily.

The President said  people have been given the right to vote without any discrimination on the basis of merit, religion,gender, race, caste and rich or poor in India. He added that for this, we all are indebted to the Constitution makers of the country. He also said  the completion of successful and safe elections in  Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh last year during the COVID-19 epidemic is an extraordinary achievement of the Indian democracy.

Mr. Kovind said, in the last 75 years,  India has emerged as a world-wide ideal of democracy and in this achievement, there is an invaluable contribution of the Election Commission as well as the citizens of the country.

"कोविड महामारी के दौरान बिहार विधानसभा, जम्मू-कश्मीर लद्दाख में सफल एवं सुरक्षित चुनाव का सम्पन् होना हमारे लोकतंत्र की असाधारण उपलब्धि है। मुझे यह जानकर प्रसन्नता हो रही है कि चुनाव आयोग ने सुगम, समावेशी और सुरक्षित चुनाव आयोजित करने के लिए अनेक नवाचारी और समय अनुकूल उपाय किए।"

On the occasion, President Kovind conferred the National Awards on State and District level officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres. Delhi Chief Electoral Officer, Dr. Ranbir Singh, was awarded for conducting accessible elections under the Best State Category whereas Bihar Chief Electoral Officer H. R. Srinivasa was also awarded under the same category for election management. The President also launched Election Commission's Web Radio:‘Hello Voters’ to create awareness among the voters. 

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched the e-EPIC (Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card) programme. He distributed e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters. e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Law Minister lauded the digital initiatives like e-EPIC of the Election Commission.

Talking about the Electronic Voting Machine, the Minister said there may be a difference of opinion about EVMs but it is a fact that the instrument has given the power to almost all the political parties in varying degrees.  The Booth capturing is a matter of the past now. He added that any instrument designed to empower people should be welcomed. Highlighting the initiatives of the poll body,  Chief Election Commissioner, Sunil Arora said the e-EPIC programme is anew beginning.

The theme for this year’s National Voters’ Day is Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed. It also focuses on the commission's commitment towards conducting elections safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indian Constitution was promulgated on the 26th of January 1950.  But Article 324 of the Constitution, which created the Election Commission of India as a constitutional body, was among the very few provisions that was given effect a full two months earlier on the 26th of November 1949.  The Election Commission of India was set up on the 25thJanuary of 1950 a day before India became a republic.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that National Voters Day is an occasion to appreciate the remarkable contribution of the Election Commission of India to strengthen the democratic fabric and ensure smooth conduct of elections. In his message, the Prime Minister said, this is also a day to spread awareness on the need to ensure voter registration, particularly among the youth.


On the National Voters Day, Puducherry government encouraged the young and first time voters to take part in the democratic process. A report from our correspondent:-

"As a part of the celebrations held in Kamban Kalaiarangam, Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar distributed EPIC cards to the young and first time voters and encourage them to vote in the forth coming Assembly Election with out fail. chief Secretary administered National Voters Day Pledge also. An awareness video on EVM- VVPAT also screened. A software developed by the Election Commission of India was launched today through which the voters themselves generate their e-EPIC voter id. While addressing the gatherings the Chief Electoral Officer Shurbir Singh said that Voters can downloaded the e-EPIC on a mobile or a computer and can store it digitally. This is in addition to physical IDs being issued for fresh registration. He further informed that the e-EPIC could be downloaded by the new electors from today to 31 January and other voters from 1 st february onwards.  Chandra Mohan, AIR NEWS,  Puducherry."


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today lauded the extraordinary talent displayed by Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awardees as they have achieved the feat during the tough times of COVID. The Prime Minister was interacting with the young awardees through video conferencing.

Mr Modi said, the award is an example of how big and effective results can come from small ideas when they are associated with a right actions. The Prime Minister asserted that the success of the young awardees inspired many people. He said, other children in the country, who are watching and listening to the Bal Puraskar awardees today will also get inspired by their success stories. The Prime Minister said that when you work for the country, its magnitude increases in size. Mr. Modi said that the achievements should come with enhanced modesty and winners should never get complacent about their achievements.

The Prime Minister asked the children to read one biography or autobiography of a well known personality and get inspiration from their life.

The young awardees shared their experiences with the Prime Minister.

More from our correspondent:-

"The Government has been conferring the Bal Shakti Puraskar under Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar to the children with exceptional abilities and outstanding achievement in the fields of innovation, sports, arts and culture, social service and bravery. The awardees are from 32 districts of 21 States and Union territories. Seven awards have been given in the field of Art and Culture, nine awards have been given for Innovation and five for scholastic achievements. Seven children have won in Sports category, three children have been felicitated for Bravery and one child has been honoured for her efforts in the field of Social Service. With Dipendra Kumar, Anupam Mishra, AIR News Delhi."


The Prime Minister interacted at his residence with National Cadet Corps and National Service Scheme cadets and Tableaux artists who will participate at the Republic Day Parade.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said, the Republic Day parade is a tribute to India’s great socio-cultural heritage as well as strategic strength. He said, the parade bows to the Constitution that gives life to the world’s biggest democracy. Mr Modi said, when they take part in the parade on the Rajpath with zeal, every countryman is filled with enthusiasm and energy.

Mr Modi said, vocal for local initiative aims to respect and encourage the things built around the locality of the common people. The Prime Minister said, success of ‘vocal for local’ and Aatamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan depends on the youth of the country.

"वोकल फॉर लोकल। जो अपने घर के आसपास चीजें बन रही हैं, स्थानीय स्तर पर बन रही हैं, उस पर मान करना, उसका गर्व करना, उसे प्रोत्साहित करना, यही है वोकल फॉर लोकल। लेकिन ये वोकल फॉर लोकल की भावना, तब और मजबूत होगी जब इसे एक भारत-श्रेष्ठ भारत की भावना से शक्ति मिलेगी। हरियाणा की किसी चीज के संबंध में, मैं तमिलनाडु में रहता हूं, मुझे गर्व होना चाहिए। केरल की किसी चीज का, मैं हिमाचल मैं रहता हूं, मुझे गर्व होना चाहिए।  एक क्षेत्र के लोकल प्रॉडक्ट पर दूसरा क्षेत्र भी गर्व करेगा, उसे प्रोत्साहित करेगा, तभी लोकल प्रॉडक्ट की पहुंच देशभर में होगी, उसमें एक ग्लोबल प्रॉडक्ट बनने की ताकत पैदा होगी। ये वोकल फॉर लोकल, ये आत्मनिर्भर भारत अभियान, इनकी सफलता आप जैसे नौजवानों पर टिकी हुई हैं।"


President Ram Nath Kovind will address the nation today on the eve of 72nd Republic Day. The address will be broadcast from 7 this evening on the entire national network of All India Radio and telecast over all channels of Doordarshan in Hindi, followed by the English version.

The telecast of the address in Hindi and English on Doordarshan will be followed by regional language telecast by regional channels of Doordarshan.

All India Radio will broadcast regional language versions from 9.30 PM onwards on its respective regional networks.


President’s medal for Gallantry and distinguished services as well as gallantry medal and meritorious services medals are awarded to the personnel of Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards on Republic Day and Independence Day each year. On the occasion of Republic Day, 2021, 73 personnel have been awarded Fire Service Medals.

Out of these, President’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry have beeen awarded to eight personnel and Fire Service Medal for Gallantry two personnel for their respective acts of valour and gallantry.

President’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service is awarded to 13 personnel and Fire Service Medal for Meritorious Service is awarded to 50 personnel for their respective distinguished and meritorious records of services.

In addition, 54 personnel have also been awarded Home Guard and Civil Defence Medals on the occasion of the Republic Day, 2021. Of these, President’s Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry has been awarded to three personnel.


In Jammu and Kashmir, to ensure peaceful Republic Day celebrations, a multi-layered security apparatus has been put in place. Jammu has been divided into different sectors and zones for security purposes and adequate deployment has been made across the Union territory. In Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir, additional security forces personnel have been deployed. Lt Governor Manoj Sinha will take the salute at the Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu, the main venue of the Republic Day function on tomorrow in the Union Territory. At Srinagar, Advisor to Lt Governor Baseer Ahmad Khan is scheduled to take the salute at Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium.


The Centre today released the 13th weekly instalment of six thousand crore rupees to the States to meet the GST compensation shortfall. Out of this, over 5,516 crore rupees have been released to 23 States and over 483 crore rupees to the  Union Territories of Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry who are members of the GST Council. The remaining  States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim do not have a gap in revenue on account of GST implementation.

Till now, 70 percent of the total estimated GST compensation shortfall has been released to the States and UTs. Out of this, over 71,099 crore rupees have been released to the States and an amount of over 6,900 crore rupees  to the three UTs with Legislative Assembly.

The Central government had set up a special borrowing window in October last year to meet the estimated shortfall of 1.10 lakh crore rupees in revenue arising on account of implementation of GST. The borrowings are being done through this window by the Central Government on behalf of the States and Union Territories.


The army today said that there was a minor face off between Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China in Nakula area of North Sikkim sector on 20th January. The army further said that it was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols.


The 9th round of talks between Army core commanders of India and China concluded late last night. Talks between Indian Army and PLA  of China at Moldo border outpost began yesterday morning and concluded almost after 17 hours. General Officer Commanding of Fire and Fury corps, Lieutenant General PGK Menon led Indian delegation insisted that onus is on China, of peaceful disengagement from the friction points and maintenance of status quo ante of early April on Line of Actual control in eastern Ladakh region, as per the agreement reached between the foreign ministers of India and China at the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Russia last September. The sources said that during the talks India has proposed verification measures at certain flashpoints along the LAC. In the 9th Round talks foreign ministry representatives were also present.

After briefing the political heads , higher officials of defence and external affairs , an official statement would be released on the outcome and further course of the talks.


A total of over 16 lakh 15 thousand people have been administered Covid-19 vaccines in the country so far. The Health and Family Welfare Ministry said that more than 33 thousand people have been inoculated in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the country's COVID-19 recovery rate reached 96.83 per cent with the total recovery of more than 13 thousand patients in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said that more than one crore three lakh patients have recovered from this disease. Covid-19 active cases is on a continuosly declining trajectory in the country. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is one lakh 84 thousand 182 which comprises only 1.73 per cent of the total positive cases.


In Rajasthan, the COVID-19 vaccination centres have been increased to 408. 93 thousand 525 health workers have been administered vaccine  in the state so far. Our Jaipur correspondent reports that 26 thousand 255 healthcare workers received the vaccine yesterday.

"Total of One thousand 415 vaccination sessions have been organized so far in the state. The Health department is continuously increasing the session sites to complete the vaccination of all 4.5 lakh registered health workers by January 3 . Vaccination is being carried out in all 33 districts of the state. Vaccination being held at 44 sites in Jaipur.  Meanwhile, just  167 new case have been reported yesterday, while active cases have reduced to 3 thousand 147 in the state.- JitendraDwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."


In Madhya Pradesh, more than two lakh 45 thousand people  have recovered from covid-19 infection so far with 388 people having recovered during the past 24 hours. More from our Bhopal correspondent:

"In MadhyaPradesh 252 new positive cases were reported on Sunday. Covid positivity rate is consistently declining in the state and now stands at 1.0 percent.Nine districts recorded no positive cases yesterday. With 3 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll rose to 3 thousand 789. Meanwhile State Director General of Police Vivek Johri informed that all preparations with regard to Republic Day celebrations following Covid protocol on January 26 have been completed in the state." Pooja P. Vardhan AIR News Bhopal."


In West Bengal, the number of active Covid cases has declined further. According to the data released by the State Health Department, total active Covid-19 cases stand at over 6 thousand 3 hundred. Over 5 lakh 68 thousand 1 hundred are infected with the virus while over 5 lakh 51 thousand 6 hundred have been discharged so far.  Meanwhile, vaccination drive is going on in the state at 426 centres today. So far, 84 thousand 707 persons have been vaccinated in six days which is 71 percent of the target.


Bihar continues to report more recoveries than fresh Corona cases. 267 patients recovered during the past 24 hours, while 131 new cases were reported. So far, over two lakh 56 thousand  patients have recovered from the Covid-19 infection in the state. No fresh case has been reported from 13 districts out of 38 districts of the state.


In Tripura, one new case was recorded and three patients recovered from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours. The recovery rate stands at 98.72 percent. 


The first installment of 50 lakh doses of the COVID 19 vaccine from Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived in Dhaka this morning. This is part of the agreement for the purchase of 30 million doses of the vaccine for which Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited (BPL) had signed a tripartite agreement with the SII on December 13 last year.

The remaining doses of the vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh over the next few months, as per the agreement.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the vaccination programme in Dhaka from Wednesday. The first consignment of 2 million doses of COVID 19 vaccine as gift from India was received by Bangladesh lat week.


The Centre has issued guidelines for Kumbh Mela to be held at Haridwar in Uttarakhand amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. All devotees willing to attend the fair have to register with the Uttarakhand government. They are also required to obtain a compulsory medical certificate from the Community Health Centre or district hospital or medical college in their state.

This year's Kumbh Mela will be a 48-day-long event and the Uttarakhand government will issue the notification for the same by the end of this month. Duration of the Mela this year has been reduced to one and a half months instead of the usual three and a half months, due to the pandemic.

Haridwar railway station is being readied for devotees coming to attend the event. Several special trains will ply on various routes.


Himachal Pradesh is celebrating the golden jubilee of Statehood Day today with full zeal and enthusiasm. It was on this day in 1971 that Himachal Pradesh became the 18th state of India. The golden jubilee function was held at the historic Ridge ground in Shimla today. Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur took part in the event.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister recalled contribution of all former Chief Ministers for the development of the state.

Mr Thakur also praised the Narendra Modi led Union Government and Jai Ram Thakur led Himachal Pradesh government for efficiently tackling the covid crisis.


Nepalese Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party over his decision to dissolve the Parliament. The decision to expel Oli from the party was taken by the Central Committee at a meeting held yesterday. The move comes amid repeated threats by the rival faction leaders who had said that they would revoke Oli's membership over his decision to dissolve the Nepal Parliament. 


SpaceX aerospace company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk created a new world record by launching 143 satellites on a single rocket last night. SpaceX has beaten the Indian Space Research Organisation record of deploying 104 satellites in a single launch in February 2017. The launch vehicle for the SpaceX record-breaking flight was the Falcon 9 rocket.

The 143 satellites launched last night include commercial and government CubeSats, microsats and 10 Starlink satellites


In Cricket, Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy 2020-21 will be played from 26-31st January, at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad. All India Radio will Broadcast ball-by-ball bilingual commentary of the tournament. As per scehdule, four quarter finals will be played from 26-27 January, two semi finals on January 29, with the final scheduled on January 31. 


Benchmark domestic stocks today fell marginally in intra-day trade. The Sensex and Nifty logged losses amid mixed global cues. The BSE Sensex was trading 48 points down at 48,830. The NSE Nifty also slipped five points to trade at 14,367.  At the forex market, the rupee appreciated five paise to 72 rupees and 93 paise against the US dollar in afternoon deals.


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

National Capital is experiencing a cold day. The  minimum temperature was seven degree Celsius, while maximum will be around 16 degrees.

Mumbai has clear sky. The city recorded a minimum temperature of 15 degrees and the maximum will be around 30 degrees Celsius.

Chennai is likely to witness partly cloudy sky. The temperatures will vary between 22 and 30 degree Celsius.

Kolkata observed a minimum temperature of 14 degree Celsius and the maximum will  be around 27 degrees.

In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was minus five degree Celsius, while the maximum temperaure will be around eight degrees.

Jammu is expected to have mainly clear sky with temperature hovering between six and 22 degrees Celsius.

Leh has partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was minus 13 degree Celsius while the maximum will be around zero point six (0.6) degree.

Gilgit is expected to have partly clear sky. The temperature will vary between minus six and 11 degree Celsius.

In Muzaffarabad, the minimum temperature was two degree Celsius while the maximum will be 17 degree Celsius. 



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