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Last Updated : Apr 19 2021 2:29PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairs a meeting on COVID-19 situation in the country            Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harshvardhan says India has launched largest vaccination drive in the world            Cabinet Secretary to chair a meeting with Chief Secretaries of 10 states, UTs to discuss availability of Medical Oxygen            6 day lockdown in National Capital from tonight; Essential services to remain functional            Country registers over two lakh 73 thousand COVID-19 fresh cases           

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Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is a national spirit and not just an economic campaign.

  • In his monthly Radio programme, Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister urges people to start a 100 day campaign for cleaning up water sources and harvest rainwater.

  • Prime Minister requests exam warriors, parents and teachers to share their experiences and tips for this year's 'Pariksha Pe Charcha’ in March.

  • Prime Minister asks people to not lower guard against Corona.

  • Nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination phase to cover senior citizens and people above 45 years with co-morbidities begins tomorrow.

  • Today is National Science Day, celebrating the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’.

  • ISRO successfully launches Brazil's Amazonia 1 satellite, along with 18 other passenger satellites.

  • In the USA, Food and Drug Administration formally approves single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.


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 :


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized that Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is a national spirit that makes every citizen of the country take pride and not just an economic campaign. The Prime Minister shared his thoughts with the people of the country and the world, in his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio today. He expressed happiness that the mantra of self-reliant India is reaching the remote villages of the country.    

Answering a question raised by Ranjan from Kolkata on what it means to be self reliant, the Prime Minister said the first condition for self-reliance is to have pride in the things of one’s own country.

आत्मनिर्भरता की पहली शर्त होती है - अपने देश की चीजों पर गर्व होना, अपने देश के लोगों द्वारा बनाई वस्तुओं पर गर्व होना। जब प्रत्येक देशवासी गर्व करता है, प्रत्येक देशवासी जुड़ता है, तो आत्मनिर्भर भारत, सिर्फ एक आर्थिक अभियान रहकर एक नेशनल स्प्रिट बन जाता है। जब आसमान में हम अपने देश में बने फाइटर प्लेन तेजस को कलाबाजियाँ खाते देखते हैं, जब भारत में बने टैंक, भारत में बनी मिसाइलें, हमारा गौरव बढ़ाते हैं, जब समृद्ध देशों में हम मेट्रो ट्रेन के मेड इन इंडिया कोचेस देखते हैं, जब दर्जनों देशों तक मेड इन इंडिया कोरोना वैक्सीन को पहुँचते हुए देखते हैं, तो हमारा माथा और ऊंचा हो जाता है। हर क्षेत्र में, हमें, इस गौरव को बढ़ाना होगा। जब हम इसी सोच के साथ आगे बढ़ेंगे, तभी सही मायने में आत्मनिर्भर बन पाएंगे।

The Prime Minister said it is not just bigger things that will make India self-reliant, but also other fields like textiles, handicraft goods, electronic appliances and mobiles.

The Prime Minister cited the example of Santosh from Garhmukteshwar in Uttar Pradesh. When everything came to a halt at the time of Corona Lockdown, Santosh and his family began mat making which was passed down from their ancestors.

The Prime Minister expressed delight that people in India are taking up the challenge to be self-reliant in Chia seeds too.

आजकल चिया सीड्स का नाम आप लोग बहुत सुनते होंगे। हेल् एवेयरनेस से जुड़े लोग इसे काफी महत्व देते हैं और दुनिया में इसकी बड़ी मांग भी है। भारत में इसे ज्यादातर बाहर से मगाते हैं, लेकिन अब चिया सीड्स में आत्मनिर्भरता का बीड़ा भी लोग उठा रहे हैं। ऐसे ही यूपी के बाराबंकी में हरिश्चंद्र जी ने चिया सीड्स की खेती शुरू की है। चिया सीड्स की खेती उनकी आय भी बढ़ाएगी और आत्मनिर्भर भारत अभियान में मदद भी करेगी। साथियो, एग्रीकल्चर वेस् से वेल् क्रिएट करने के भी कई प्रयोग देशभर में सफलतापूर्वक चल रहे हैं।

Mr. Modi said that many experiments of creating wealth from agricultural waste too are being run successfully in the entire country. He highlighted that Murugesan from Madurai made a machine to make ropes from waste of banana. He further said this innovation of Murugesan will not only solve the issues of environment and filth but also pave the way for additional income for the farmers.

The Prime Minister stressed on water conservation. He urged people to start a 100 day campaign for cleaning up water sources and harvest rainwater. Mr. Modi pointed out that just as water is a collective gift of nature, there is a collective accountability too for conserving water.

पानी को लेकर हमें इसी तरह अपनी सामूहिक जिम्मेदारियों को समझना होगा। भारत के ज्यादातर हिस्सों में मई-जून में बारिश शुरू होती है। क्या हम अभी से अपने आसपास के जलस्त्रोतों की सफाई के लिये, वर्षा जल के संचयन के लिये, 100 दिन का कोई अभियान शुरू कर सकते हैं ? इसी सोच के साथ अब से कुछ दिन बाद जल शक्ति मंत्रालय द्वारा भी जल शक्ति अभियान - ‘कैच रेनभी शुरू किया जा रहा है। इस अभियान का मूल मन्त्र है - ‘कैच रेन, वेयर इट फाल्, वैन इज फाल् हम अभी से जुटेंगे, हम पहले से जो रेन वॉटर हारवेस्टिंग सिस्टम है उन्हें दुरुस्त करवा लेंगे, गांवो में, तालाबों में, पोखरों की, सफाई करवा लेंगे, जलस्त्रोतों तक जा रहे, पानी के रास्ते की रुकावटें, दूर, कर लेंगे तो ज्यादा से ज्यादा वर्षा जल का संचयन कर पायेंगे।

The World Water Day is being celebrated on the 22nd of March. The Prime Minister said rainfall begins in May-June in most parts of India and Jal Shakti Abhiyan, Catch The Rain is being initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry. He asked people to commit to the task and get existing rainwater harvesting systems repaired, clean up lakes and ponds in villages, and conserve rainwater to the maximum. 

On National Science Day, the Prime Minister urged the people and especially the youth to know, understand and read a lot about the history of science and scientists of India and imbibe the values.

मैं जरुर चाहूँगा कि हमारे युवा, भारत के वैज्ञानिक - इतिहास को, हमारे वैज्ञानिकों को जाने, समझें और खूब पढ़ें। जब हम साईंस की बात करते हैं तो कई बार इसे लोग फीजिक्-केमिस्ट्री या फिर लैब् तक ही सीमित कर देते हैं, लेकिन, साईंस का विस्तार तो इससे कहीं ज्यादा है औरआत्मनिर्भर भारत अभियानमें साईंस की शक्ति का बहुत योगदान भी है। हमें साईंस को लैब टू लैंड के मंत्र के साथ आगे बढ़ाना होगा।

Mr. Modi stated that there is a lot of contribution of the power of science in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Campaign’. He emphasized that nation has to move science forward with the mantra of ‘Lab to Land’. He cited the example of Chintala Venkat Reddy from Hyderabad who developed breeds of wheat and rice that specially contained vitamin D.

Mr Modi also mentioned Urugen Futsog of Ladakh who is growing about 20 crops organically there. He also lauded Kamraj Choudhary from Patan district in Gujarat who has developed good seeds of drumstick at home itself.

Mr Modi talked about a post by Mayur from Gurgaon on the NaMo App. Mayur had praised the people of Assam, and in particular, the people of Kaziranga, for the rise in the number of waterfowls. The Kaziranga National Park and ​​Tiger Reserve Authority has been carrying out its Annual Waterfowls Census for some time.

आपको भी ये जानकर खुशी होगी कि इस बार जल-पक्षियों की संख्या, पिछले वर्ष की तुलना में करीब एक-सौ पिचहत्तर प्रतिशत ज्यादा आई है। इस सेंसिस के दौरान काजीरंगा नेशनल पार्क में बर्ड्स की कुल 112 स्पेसिस को देखा गया है। इनमें से 58 स्पेसिस  यूरोप, सेंट्रल एशिया और ईस् एशिया सहित दुनिया के विभिन्न हिस्सों से आए विंटर माइग्रेंट्स हैं। इसका सबसे महत्वपूर्ण कारण यह है कि यहाँ बेहतर वाटर कंजर्वेशन होने के साथ ह्यूमेन इंटरफियरेंस बहुत कम है।

The Prime Minister talked about Jadav Payeng of Assam who received the Padma award for contributing in raising about 300 hectares of plantations in the Majuli Island. He has been constantly working for forest conservation and is also involved in motivating people for Plantation and conservation of biodiversity.

Mr Modi said the temples in Assam are also playing a unique role in the protection of nature. He said every temple has a pond in the vicinity. The Hayagriva Madhav Temple at Hajo, the Nagashankar Temple at Sonitpur and the Ugratara Temple at Guwahati have many such ponds nearby. They are being used to save near extinct species of turtles. Assam is home to the highest number of species of turtles.

The Prime Minister also touched upon the subject of examinations. He said like every year, this year too there will be a 'Pariksha Pe Charcha’ in March. He requested all exam warriors, parents and teachers to share their experiences and tips on MyGov platform and Narendra Modi app.

आने वाले कुछ महीने आप सब के जीवन में विशेष महत्व रखते हैं। अधिकतर युवा साथियों के एग्जाम्, परिक्षाए होंगी। आप सब को याद है ना - वॉरियर बनना है वरियर नहीं, हँसते हुए एग्जाम देने जाना है और मुस्कुराते हुए लौटना है। किसी और से नहीं, अपने आप से ही स्पर्धा करनी है। पर्याप्त नींद भी लेनी है, और टाइम मैनेजमेंट भी करना है। खेलना भी नहीं छोड़ना है, क्योंकि जो खेले वो खिले।  रिवीजन और याद करने के स्मार्ट तरीक़े अपनाने हैं, यानी, कुल मिलाकर इन एग्जाम् में, अपने बेस् को बाहर लाना है।

Mr Modi also asked people to not lower guard against Corona. He said there should not be any laxity in the rules regarding Corona.

The Prime Minister was happy to note that Silu Nayak from Arakhuda in Odisha imparts free training to the youth who want to join the army. The name of the organization of Silu Nayak is Mahaguru Battalion.

On a personal note, replying to a query of Aparna Reddy from Hyderabad, Mr Modi said he feels it is shortcoming that he could not make much effort to learn Tamil, the oldest language in the world. He shared a clip of a guide at the Statue of Unity, informing people in Sanskrit about the statue of Sardar Patel. He also played a clip of a cricket commentary being done in Sanskrit. The Prime Minister told that it would be a good idea to have commentaries of different sports in more languages.  

हमने देखा है कि जिन खेलों में कमेंट्री समृद्ध है, उनका प्रचार-प्रसार बहुत तेजी से होता है। हमारे यहां भी बहुत से भारतीय खेल हैं लेकिन उनमें कमेंट्री कल्चर नहीं आया है और इस वजह से वो लुप्त होने की स्थिति में हैं। मेरे मन में एक विचार है - क्यों , अलग-अलग स्पोर्ट्स और विशेषकर भारतीय खेलों की अच्छी कमेंट्री अधिक से अधिक भाषाओं में हो, हमें इसे प्रोत्साहित करने के बारे में जरूर सोचना चाहिए। मैं खेल मंत्रालय और प्राइवेट संस्थान के सहयोगियों से इस बारे में सोचने का आग्रह करूंगा।

Prime Minister also touched upon the month of Magh and its spiritual-social significance. He said Sant Ravidas ji’s birth anniversary falls on the very day of Magh Poornima. Mr Modi said country's youth must learn from Sant Ravidas to not bind themselves to old methods and practices but devise their own methods and practices.


In Mann Ki Baat today, the Prime Minister mentioned about water warrior Babita Rajput from bundelkhand region in Madhya Pradesh. Babita has thanked the Prime Minister for recognising her efforts towards water conservation. More in this report from Bhopal: 

"In Agrotha village of Chattarpur district Babita Rajput,  is taking forward the efforts of reviving water bodies. Babita has  formed a group "JalSaheli" and led rural women of bundelkhand region in diverting rainwater through channels in the hill to the pond. Babita while speaking to AIR News said that her happiness was doubled when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed her story in Mann Ki baat.

Babita and her Jalsaheli group have also undertaken plantation work on a large-scale in the region."Pooja P. Vardhan, AIR News Bhopal.


The Prime Minister also appreciated the work of Kamraj Chaudhary, a progressive farmer from Patan district of Gujarat. Kamraj has developed good quality seeds of drumsticks which is locally known as Sargava.

Thanking PM Modi for recognising his work, Kamraj Chaudhary said drumstick farming is affordable as well as profitable since it needs less water to grow and also there is a huge demand for drumstick in Ayurveda medicines.


The Prime Minister referred to another success story of a Ladakhi farmer Mr Urgain Phuntsog. Urgain Phuntsog with his dedication and passion for agriculture overcame all odds to grow over 20 varieties of crops, at an altitude of 14000 feet, in Gya village of Leh district. More from our Leh Corresspondent::

Adoption to the circumstances, and innovation to the routine agriculture work has made Urgain Phuntsog a successful agricultural innovator. With the help of Krishi Vigyan Kendra and his own traditional knowledge Urgain is successfully farming twenty varieties of crops, fruits and vegetables in Gya village, situated 70 KM away from Leh town on Leh - Manali national highway. He is utilising PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to good use to make his farms purely organic and encouraging the villagers to follow traditional organic farming techniques. Urgain Phuntsog appealed to the Government to help villagers to have good numbers of livestock, which would facilitate villages in becoming organic .

With the Mission Organic Development Initiative (MODI) implementation the Administration is planning to make Ladakh agriculturally an Organic state by 2025. Ramesh Chandra, Air News,  Leh.”


The nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination drive is all set to be expanded from tomorrow to cover vulnerable age-groups which will include people above 60 years of age and those over 45 years with comorbidities. The vaccination program was launched on 16th of January covering over one crore health care and front line workers. The Union Health Ministry has said, the facility of on-site registrations will be available so that eligible beneficiaries can walk into identified COVID vaccination centres, get themselves registered and get inoculated. The vaccine will be administered free of cost at ten thousand government hospitals to these groups while the cost of the vaccine at around 20 thousand private Vaccination Centres will be borne by the people. Private Hospitals can charge up to 250 rupees per dose for COVID-19 vaccine during the Vaccination drive. The Health Ministry has said, the States have been given freedom to use all private hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Schemes as COVID Vaccination Centres. The states can also use health facilities of all PSUs and all government health facilities as COVID Vaccination Centres. 

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan interacted with Health Secretaries and Mission Directors of National Health Mission of States and Union Territories on the vaccination of age-appropriate groups. During the meeting, states were explained about the three methods of registration which are Advance Self-Registration, Onsite Registration. More from our correspondent:

"To ramp up the COVID vaccination capacity significantly, large number of private facilities is being involved. Around ten thousand private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY,  over 600 hospitals empanelled under CGHS and other private hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Schemes can participate as COVID Vaccination Centers. Health Departments of State Governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in this drive. Besides, there would be government health facilities like Medical College Hospitals, District Hospitals, Sub-Divisional Hospitals, Health Sub-Centres and Health and Wellness Centres will be used as COVID Vaccination Centers. Health Ministry has asked all the private health facilities which will serve as Government COVID Vaccination Centres to follow strict norms of due process, quality and safety including integration with the National Co-Win technology platform. All private health facilities must also have adequate space, cold chain arrangements, number of vaccinators and support staff as well as adequate arrangements for addressing Adverse Event Following Immunization. WTITH DIWAKER, ANAND KUMAR, AIR NEWS, DELHI".


A day before the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination for senior citizens and people above 45 years with co-morbidities begins, India has achieved the milestone of administering over 1 crore 43 lakh doses of vaccines till this morning. The recovery rate stands at 97 point one per cent in the country. In the last 24 hour period, 11 thousand 718 people were discharged after recovery; 16 thousand 752 new cases were reported and 113 people lost their life.

ICMR has informed that over 7 lakh 95 thousand samples were tested for COVID-19 in the country yesterday.

Meanwhile, amid surge in COVID-19 cases in some parts of the country, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked all States and Union Territories not to lower their guard, enforce COVID Appropriate Behaviour and deal firmly with violations. He reiterated that states need to maintain a continued rigorous vigil in terms of containing the spread and not squander away the gains of the collective hard work of the last year.


In Maharashtra's Ratnagiri, the district administration has ordered to conduct 10 thousand Covid tests from March 1 to 10. The state Minister Uday Samant said, the number of vaccinations in the health department is less as compared to other departments and hence suggested to increase it to 100 percent. More from our Mumbai Correspondent :

The famous pilgrimage to Ganpatipule in Ratnagiri district has been cancelled due to Covid 19. On the occasion of Angarki Sankashti which is on march 2nd large number of devotees visit Ganpatipule, a famous religious tourism place. However, considering the rise in cases of Corona, the yatra has been cancelled.‌ Along with the Yatra, entry of devotees into the temple too has been restricted. Meanwhile in Nanded, the police and municipal corporation officers have fined people for not wearing masks. On eighth day since lockdown a fine of Rs 57,700 has been collected. Penalties are being levied if more than 100 invitees are spotted at wedding halls, tution classes and hotels.  POOJA PAL , AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has formally approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. This is the third vaccine to be authorised in the country. The vaccine is set to be a cost-effective alternative to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and can be stored in a refrigerator instead of a freezer. The first doses could be available to the US public as early as next week.


India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C51 (PSLV-C51) rocket loaded with 19 satellites from Brazil, USA and India lifted off from the rocket port at Sriharikota successfully at the precise timing at 10.24 this morning.

After four stages of seperation, the rocket launched  Brazil's 637 kilogram Amazonia 1 satellite, its primary passenger.

Later after a gap of more than an hour it launched the remaining 18 passenger satellites. This is the first commercial mission of New space India limited.

India's first space mission for 2021 is one of the longest for a PSLV rocket and is expected to conclude after 1 hour, 55 minutes and 7 seconds into its flight.

Amazonia-1 is the optical earth observation satellite of National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

Speaking after witnessing the launch, former astronaut and Minister for Science and technology of Brazil Marcos Caeser Portes

expressed happiness at the launch, he said that Brazil looked forward to working with India in the space field.

The CMD of New Space India G.Narayanan said that when the rest of the world was reeling under the cloud of Corona, Indian space sector awoke to the new launch of the year 2021.

Lead scientist of Space Kidz India Rifath Shaarookh told AIR that three scientific payloads in the Satish Dhawan satellite will monitor the ionising radiation in the orbit to identify how radiation affects the onboard systems of the satellite during solar emission among other things.

ISRO chairman Dr. Sivan said that Amazonia was launched at the precise orbit.


Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have congratulated NSIL and ISRO on the success of Amazonia-1 Mission.


In Assam, political activities are gradually gaining momentum in view of the upcoming Assembly Elections. BJP's National General Secretary and Lok Sabha MP Dilip Saikia said that the party would seek vote on the basis of the development works. Meanwhile, the members of opposition Grand Alliance or Maha Joth are holding a meeting in Guwahati. Issues of seat sharing, common minimum programs are being discussed in the meeting in presence of Congress, AIUDF leaders among others.


National Science Day is being observed today. The day celebrates the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’ as on this day, Physicist CV Raman announced its discovery. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930 for this discovery. The day is aimed at spreading  the message of importance of science and its application in human life. The theme for National Science Day 2021 is  ‘Future of Science and Technology and Innovation: Impact on Education Skills and Work'.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has greeted the scientific community and science enthusiasts on the occasion of National Science Day.


The Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid tributes to former Prime Minister Morarjibhai Desai on his birth anniversary. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, in his long years of public service, Morarjibhai Desai worked tirelessly for India’s development. The Prime Minister said, he was known for his impeccable integrity and unwavering commitment to democracy.


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

National Capital Delhi will have clear sky this afternoon. The minimum temperature was around 16 degree Celsius while maximum will be 32 degrees.

Mumbai will have mainly clear sky with temperature varying between 21 and 37 degree Celsius.

Chennai will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will fluctuate between 23 and 34 degree Celsius.

Kolkata will also have mainly clear sky. Minimum temperature was around 22 degree Celsius while maximum may go up to 36 degrees.

Jammu will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was around 13 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 25 degrees.  

In Srinagar, there will be partly cloudy sky. Minimum temperature was around two degree Celsius while the maximum is expected to rise up to ten degrees.

Leh will have partly cloudy sky. Minimum temperature was minus seven degree Celsius while the maximum will be seven degrees.

Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky. Temperature will hover between six and 18 degree Celsius.

Muzaffarabad will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will vary from seven to 23 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, there will be Mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The city will experience temperature between 15 to 30 degree Celsius.

Chandigarh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature is likely to hover between 11 and 31 degree Celsius.

In Hyderabad, the temperature will hover between 19 and 36 degree Celsius.



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