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Last Updated : Mar 3 2021 7:18PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
New National Education Policy focuses on providing self-confidence to youth through education & skill, to build Aatmanirbhar Bharat: PM            PM urges People should do everything possible to ensure protection of country's forests, safe habitats for animals            Over one crore 56 lakh people vaccinated so far; Centre allows more private hospitals to administer COVID-19 vaccine            Indian Air Force to participate for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag beginning in UAE today            Swiss open badminton: Many Indians to play their opening round singles matches today           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
22.02.2021

THE HEADLINEs:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizes on the instrumental role of private sector to make the country self reliant in the defence sector.

  • Prime Minister asserts, Centre and Assam government working together to develop state infrastructure.

  • Several railway projects to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister in Hooghly district of West Bengal this afternoon.

  • Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy tenders resignation to Lieutenant Governor after losing majority in Assembly.

  • Uttar Pradesh government presents biggest ever budget for 2021-22 of over 5 lakh 50 thousand crore rupees.

  • Banihal-Baramulla train service in Jammu and Kashmir resumes after eleven months.

  • An IED successfully diffused by security forces near Nowgam Railway station in Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Political, social and religious gatherings prohibited in Maharashtra from today amid rise in COVID-19 cases.

  • Three-day plenary meeting of Financial Action Task Force commencing today to decide the fate of Pakistan. 

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As the nation fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps --


·    Wear a face mask.

·    Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.

·    Focus on hand and face hygiene. 


And now, the news in detail :


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that the private sector can play an instrumental role in research, innovation, design, manufacturing of indigenous defence products to make the country self reliant in the defence sector. The Prime Minister was speaking at the webinar for effective implementation of Union Budget 2021 provisions for the Defence Sector today.


Mr Modi appealed to the private sector to work with the government in a coordinated manner to prepare the road maps and action plans to create defence technology as per the needs of the 21st century.


The Prime Minister said, capital outlay has been increased 19 per cent in the Union Budget which shows the commitment of the government for modernization of the defence sector. He said, reservation has been made in the capital budget for the domestic procurement of defence items.


Highlighting the need for reducing import dependence for defence equipment, Mr. Modi said, the country must move forward to become an exporter of defence equipment from net importer. He said, the government is promoting the indigenous manufacturing of defence technologies and equipment which will boost the MSME sector and startups.


The Prime Minister said, the defence corridors will also help local entrepreneurs and local manufacturing units. Mr Modi said, India has prepared a list of 100 important defence items which is termed negative list, but this list can be converted to positive list by achieving self-reliance in the defence sector. He added that this positive list will facilitate indigenous manufacturing capacity and create more job opportunities in the country. Mr. Modi said, the country is moving forward in the Defence sector with an endeavour to have transparency, predictability and ease of doing business since 2014. He added that the government has taken many steps in the form of de-licensing, de-regulation, export promotion, the foreign investment liberalization to promote the defence sector.


The Prime Minister said, India had hundreds of ordinance factories before independence but for many reasons, the system was not strengthened as much as should have been done after independence. Referring to success of Tejas aircraft, he said, our government relied on the capabilities of scientists and engineers and now Tejas is flying in the sky. He added that an order of 48 thousand crore rupees has been placed for Tejas.


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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that separate capital expenditure provisions in the Budget for domestic and foreign defence procurements will give huge thrust to the domestic industries. Sharing his thoughts on the budgetary provisions of 2021-22 and its impact on Defence sector, Mr. Singh today asserted that the approach towards the defence sector has been driven by the sentiment of Atmanirbhatra.


Hailing the provisions of the Union Budget, Defence Minister said that it brings a healthy mix of promise, potential and progress. He said under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, centre extended all means of support to the affected sectors reeling under the effect of the pandemic. Mr. Singh said the Defence Budget has seen an unprecedented increase of 18.75 per cent in capital outlay, over the last year, and 30 per cent over the year before, which is the highest in the last 15 years.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said Centre and Assam government are working together to develop infrastructure in the state. The Prime Minister was speaking after dedicating to the Nation key projects of the Oil and Gas sector at Silapathar in Dhemaji district of Assam.


The Prime Minister said despite the state having great potential, former governments overlooked development in various sectors. This is the PM's his third visit in Assam this year. The Prime Minister digitally dedicated to the nation the INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery, Oil India Limited's Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban in Dibrugarh and a Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda Village, Makum, Tinsukia. He also inaugurated the Dhemaji Engineering College and laid the foundation stone for Sualkuchi Engineering College.


The Prime minister in his address said that these projects will generate employment opportunities for the youth of assam. He said with the ujjala scheme in Assam being successful, the tea, tourism, handloom, handicraft sector of  Assam will make  Atma  Nirbhar Assam a success. 

The Governor of Assam, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas  Dharmendra Pradhan along with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Dibrugarh MP Rameswar Teli and other MLAs were also present on the occasion.


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Later in the day, the Prime Minister will inaugurate several railway projects in Hooghly district of West Bengal this afternoon. He will also address a public meeting at Sahagunje in Hooghly. In a series of tweet ahead of his visit, Mr Modi said, the great soil of West Bengal has nurtured extraordinary individuals who have contributed towards national progress. He said, it is our vision and effort to ensure West Bengal gets top quality development. More from our Kolkata correspondent:


"On his third visit to the state of West Bengal within a month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the extension of Metro Railway from Noapara to Dakshineswar, and flag off the first service on this stretch. This 4.1 km extension has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 464 crore, fully funded by the Central Government. It will decongest road traffic and improve urban mobility. This extension will ease out access to the two world famous Kali Temples at Kalighat and Dakshineswar, for lakhs of tourists and devotees. Prime Minister will also inaugurate the third line between Kalaikunda and Jhargram over a stretch of 30 km of the 132 km long Kharagpur-Adityapur Third Line Project of South Eastern Railway, which was sanctioned with an estimated cost of 1312 crores. It will help ensure seamless movement of passenger and freight trains on Howrah-Mumbai Trunk route. On the other hand, Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the doubling of Azimganj to Khargraghat Road section, which is a part of Howrah - Bandel - Azimganj section of Eastern Railway, which has been laid at a project cost of about 240 crore rupees. Prime Minister will also dedicate to the nation the fourth line between Dankuni and Baruipara (11.28 kms) of Howrah - Bardhaman Chord Line, laid at the cost of 195 crore rupees and the third line between Rasulpur and Magra (42.42 kms) of Howrah - Bardhaman Main Line laid at the cost of 759 crore rupees, which serves as principal gateway of Kolkata.These projects will ensure better operational fluidity, less journey time and enhanced safety of train operations, as well as boost the overall economic growth of the region. Dr Priyanka, AIR News, Kolkata."


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Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy today tendered his resignation to Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan after his government lost majority in the Union Territory.


Minutes after the Assembly met for a special one-day session this morning, Mr Narayanasamy moved the motion seeking the confidence vote. However, Speaker V.P. Sivakolunthu declared that V. Narayanasamy government has failed to win the trust motion.Speaking in the assembly, Mr. Narayanasamy blamed the Central government for not cooperating with him to run the government. 


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Uttar Pradesh government today presented the biggest ever budget of the state for 2021-22, which is to the tune of around 5 lakh 50 thousand 270 crore rupees.


State Finance Minister Suresh Khanna presented the first paperless budget of the state in the assembly. Our Lucknow correspondent reports that while presenting the budget, the State Finance Minister said, this budget is for the holistic and inclusive development of all sections of society with the motto of Aatmanirbhar Uttar Pradesh.


Mr Khanna said the budget of the government is focused on four sectors infrastructure development, public health, human resource development and agriculture primarily. Fiscal deficit of the state budget is 90721 crores rupees. Around 27598 crores rupees have been allocated for the new schemes and projects launched by the  state government in this budget. Atmnirbhar Krishak Samanvit Vikas Yojna has been launched for the welfare of the farmers of state.


Yogi Adityanath government has also announced to provide financial help to destitute women under Mahila Samarthya Yojna till they get alimony from Court. Mentioning the achievements of the state Government finance minister Suresh Khana said that in last year state government provided financial help to around 20 lakh workers during the corona period and transported more than 40 lakh labourers to their destinations. He said that state government has helped farmers in all possible ways and paid one lakh 23 crores to the sugar cane farmers. Online payment of more than 11,145 crores has been made to farmers under MSP for Paddy this season and more than 27,110 crores were transferred under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi yojna.


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Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad who holds the finance portfolio, will present the annual budget for 2021-22 in the State Assembly today. Talking to reporters before presenting the budget, the Deputy Chief Minister said the impact of Covid- induced lockdown and subsequent fall in revenue collection compelled the state budget to restrain the budget outlay. He said the state government was wishing to enhance the total outlay, but overall situation did not support us.


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The budget session of Chhattisgarh Assembly began today with the customary address of Governor Anusuiya Uikey.


In her address, the Governor said Chhattisgarh has made achievements even during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said Chhattisgarh has become the first state in the country to procure paddy from over 95 per cent of the farmers under Minimum Support Price (MSP) scheme. She said the state has also taken pro-active and innovative steps to ensure uninterrupted education to school children during the Corona crisis by launching Mohalla classes and loudspeaker schools, benefiting more than 25 lakh children.


The Governor called upon the elected representatives to actively participate and to help people in their respective constituencies to avail benefits of the government’s welfare policies and programmes.


The budget session will continue till the 26th of March and will have 24 sittings. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will present the budget for the next fiscal on March the 1st. 


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In Jammu and Kashmir, Banihal-Baramulla train service resumed today after remaining suspended for eleven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only two trains, one from Baramulla to Banihal and another from Banihal to Baramulla, have been allowed to run for the time being.  The passengers have been asked to strictly adhere to the Covid-19 preventive protocols and no one is allowed to board the train without a facemask.


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Local train services in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have resumed from today. The local train services were stopped about 11 months ago in the light of the COVID pandemic and nationwide lockdown. Along with Delhi local trains, other unreserved mail & express special trains to and from neighbouring states have also resumed which include trains from Delhi to Ghaziabad, Delhi to Palwal, Delhi to Panipat, among others. The local trains which will run in Delhi-NCR include 14 passenger trains, five electrical multiple units (EMUs), 10 mainline electrical multiple units (MEMUs) and six diesel multiple units (DMUs).


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In Jammu and Kashmir, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted in a tin box was diffused successfully by the bomb disposal squad near Nowgam Railway station in Srinagar. Police sources said the Road Opening Party (RoP) and police team spotted a suspected object early this morning on Pantha-Chowk-Nowgam road stretch in Srinagar, a few hundred meters away from the Nowgam Railway station near a bridge. The Bomb Disposal Squad was called to check the object that turned out to be an IED fitted in a tin box.


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A total of over one crore 11 lakh people have been administered Covid-19 vaccines in the country so far. Union Health Ministry said, 31 thousand 681 people have been inoculated with Covid-19 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours.


Meanwhile, the country's COVID-19 recovery rate reached 97.22 per cent with the total recovery of more than nine thousand patients in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said that more than one crore six lakh patients have already recovered from this disease. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is one lakh 50 thousand 55 which comprises only 1.36 per cent of the total positive cases.


A total number of 14 thousand 199 new cases have been reported in the country in the past 24 hours taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore ten lakh. The Health Ministry said, 83 deaths have been reported during the last 24 hour taking the toll to over one lakh 56 thousand across the country.


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In Maharashtra, political, social and religious gatherings have been prohibited from today till further orders amid rise in Covid cases in the state. Meanwhile, the municipal corporation of greater Mumbai raided restaurants, clubs, gymkhanas and cinema halls recently to take action against those who do not wear masks and violate Covid guidelines. In this raid, action was taken against more than 16 thousand violators in a single day.  More in this report from our Mumbai correspondent.


"The MCGM authorities collected a whopping 32 lakh 30 thousand fine from the 16 thousand 154 violators who were found without facemasks. Out of the 24 wards of the MCGM, a maximum of 2 thousand 3 hundred violators were found in the K-west ward which comprise area of Andheri (west). It is to be mentioned that Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray was apparently exasperated at people refusing to wear mask in public places. Sending out a stern message, Thackeray in his virtual address also said that those who wear mask would not want imposition of lockdown. Appealing people to follow three simple rules like wearing a facemask, maintain physical distance and use sanitisers, he said that mask acts like a shield in the war against virus. He said, a person should wear mask even after inoculation. Meanwhile, in the wake of rising number of fresh cases in Nagpur the markets in the city will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. KUNAL SHINDE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."


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Kerala also continues to report surge in Covid cases. We have more from our correspondent:


"4070 new covid cases were confirmed last day. 4345 recoveries were also reported. 15 deaths were confirmed, taking the death toll due to Covid to 4089 in Kerala. Presently 58,313 patients are undergoing covid treatment in the state. The Covid recovery rate in the State had dropped to 7.11%. Meanwhile the centre has directed to tighten preventive measures in those districts where there is a spike in covid cases. It has been directed to increase the proportion of RTPCR tests. Even those who are negative during rapid antigen tests are directed to undergo, RTPCR tests subsequently. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."


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Madhya Pradesh has been witnessing a rise in the Covid-19 caseload over the past few days. The state yesterday reported 299 fresh cases of Coronavirus. More from our Bhopal Correspondent:


"Covid positivity rate in the state has increased to 2.0 percent. With four patients succumbing to the infection the death toll increased to 3,854. Bhopal has 500 active cases while Indore has 612. A total of 238 patients were discharged from hospitals yesterday taking the state's overall recovery count to more than 2 lakh 53 thousand. No fresh Covid-19 case was reported from 18 out of the 52 districts. 5 districts Niwari, Mandla, Bhind, Chhattarpur, and Morena do not have any active covid case. Meanwhile, the authorities at the health department have enhanced the surveillance and monitoring on covid cases. Pooja P. Vardhan, AIR News Bhopal."


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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. Dr Mona Desai, Chairperson at Women's Doctors Wing of Indian Medical Association in Ahmedabad will participate in the discussion. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM onwards.


Listeners can ask questions to the expert on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767.


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External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar arrived in Mauritius on the second and last leg of his two-nation tour. He was receieved by Finance Minister Alan Ganoo in Port Louis after his arrival. The External Affairs Minister conveyed his thanks to Mr Ganoo for the warm welcome. Dr. Jaishankar said, he is looking forward to a fruitful visit.


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With the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) commencing its three-day plenary meeting today, there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Pakistan. Hanging in the grey list of the global anti-terror watchdog, Pakistan has been trying to garner support from the member nations to escape the list. According to various reports, some European countries have taken a stand against Pakistan saying that Islamabad has not fully implemented all the points of a plan of action set by it to come out of the grey list. Therefore, Pakistan may find it difficult to get out of the grey list before June this year.


In its last plenary held in October last year, the FATF had kept Pakistan on the grey list citing its failure to fulfill six out of 27 obligations of the global money laundering and terror financing watchdog. The obligations include failure to take action against two of India's most wanted terrorists - Jaish-e Muhammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Jamaat-ud-Dawah head Hafiz Saeed.


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Assam's artisans are all set to take part in the first-ever National Toy Fair from 27th February to 2nd March through a virtual medium.  Artists from Dhubri, Nalbari , Guwahati among others have prepared their special products for the fair. The group of artists from Assam would mostly exhibit infant and traditional toys , musical instruments, special toys for specially challenged children. North Guwahati's Pallavi Creation would display toys in back to school category while Nalbari's P D enterprise would highlight sustainable toys. Our Correspondent reports that toys made in Assam were able to catch the attention of the tourists visiting the state. Toys and other products made of bamboo and terracotta depicting places and icons of Assam are very popular among all people.


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


National Capital Delhi will have Mainly Clear sky. The minimum temperature was around 11 degree Celsius while maximum will be 30 degrees.


Mumbai will have mainly clear sky with temperature varying between 22 and 37 degree Celsius.


Chennai will have generally cloudy sky with light rain. The temperature will fluctuate between 23 and 30 degree Celsius.


Kolkata will have mainly clear sky during the day. Minimum temperature was around 17 degree Celsius while maximum may go up to 30 degrees.


Jammu will have Partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.


In Srinagar, generally cloudy sky with possibility of rain or Thunderstorm or Duststorm. Minimum temperature was around six degree Celsius while it is expected to rise up to 12 degrees.


Leh will see generally cloudy sky. Minimum temperature was minus three degree Celsius while the maximum will be around ten degrees.

Gilgit will also have Generally cloudy sky with Light rain.


Generally cloudy sky with moderate rain in Muzaffarabad.


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