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News Highlights
Bihar Assembly Elections to be held in three phases from October 28; counting of votes on November 10            PM Modi to hold virtual bilateral summit with Sri Lankan counterpart today            Income Tax Dept launches Faceless Income tax Appeals to streamline collection process & check corruption            COVID 19 recovery rate stands at 81.74 %            Funeral of legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam to take place with state honours near Chennai today           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
29.03.2020

THE HEADLINES:-

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to share his thoughts in Mann Ki Baat Programme of All India Radio at 11 AM today.
    People urged to donate generously in PM CARES fund; Prime Minister says every contribution matters in fight against COVID-19.

  • Government exempts farming and allied activities from lock down.
  • Home Ministry asks states to set up Relief Camps for migrant workers. 
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks public and private sector banks to ensure adequate liquidity at branch, ATM and banking correspondent level. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people in the country and abroad in his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme on All India Radio at 11 AM today. It will be the 63rd episode of the monthly radio programme. In a tweet, Prime Minister said the episode will focused on the situation prevailing due to COVID-19.

It will be broadcast on the entire network of AIR and Doordarshan and also on AIR News website <<<www.newsonair.com>>> and newsonair Mobile App. It will also be streamed live on the YouTube channels of AIR, DD News, PMO and Information and Broadcasting Ministry. AIR will broadcast the programme in regional languages immediately after the Hindi broadcast. The regional language versions will also be repeated at 8 in the evening.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the constitution of the PM's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund. This will be a dedicated national fund with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prime Minister is the Chairman of this trust and its Members include Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister. Citizens and organisations can go to the website pmindia.gov.in and donate to PM CARES Fund. This fund will enable micro-donations allowing a large number of people will be able to contribute with smallest of denominations. Donations to this fund will be exempted from income tax under section 80(G).

In a series of tweets, Prime Minister said, people from all walks of life has expressed their desire to donate to India’s war against COVID-19. He appealed to the people to contribute to the PM-CARES Fund. Prime Minister said, this will go a long way in creating a healthier India. He said, this fund will also cater to similar distressing situations, if they occur in the times ahead.

Prime Minister has said that every single contribution in the PM- CARES Fund matters and there is nothing big or little. Reacting to the enthusiastic response of the people, he said that it shows our collective resolve to defeat COVID-19. In response to a student's contribution, Prime Minister said, the future of the nation is ensuring the nation’s future.

The account number for the PM CARES fund is 2121PM20202 with IFSC code SBIN0000691. The SWIFT code is SBININBB104 and the UPI id is pmcares@sbi.

People can also donate to the fund on pmindia.gov.in using UPI, Net Banking, RTGS, NEFT and debit and credit cards.

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Supreme Court Judge Justice NV Ramana has contributed one lakh rupees to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund . He also donated one lakh rupees each to relief funds of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Justice Ramana has also requested the public to abide by the instructions of the Government and  take proper measures. He also requested people to follow social distancing method to effectively fight against COVID-19 unitedly.

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Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will contribute 51 crore rupees to PM-CARES Fund. In a release, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said, this will strengthen the nation's disaster management capacities and encourage research to combat COVID-19. He said, COVID-19 is first and foremost public health emergency and the BCCI has a firm resolve that the nation gets all possible help to cope with the testing times. BCCI's affiliated units have also contributed in this donation.

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Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has urged all the members of Parliament to  send  Consent forms for allocation of minimum one crore rupees from their MPLADS Fund to fight COVID 19 pandemic. Mr Birla has asked them to forward their Consent Letters to Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation for allocation of the amount for the availability of screening kits, masks, personal protection kits and other medical equipments needed to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.

He emphasized that the people's representatives should ensure that the lockdown does not impede the poor and the needy in meeting their basic needs.

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All BJP MPs will release one crore rupees each from their MPLADS  fund to the Central Relief Fund to support the fight against Covid-19. BJP National president JP Nadda announced the decision in a tweet. He said party MPs and MLAs will also donate their one month salary to the Central relief fund to support the fight.

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Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has pledged to donate 25 crore rupees to PM-CARES Fund . In a tweet the actor said he will contribute the donation amount to PM Narendra Modi's relief fund from his savings. He said this is the time when all that matters is the lives of our people.

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Digital payments company Paytm has said it aims to contribute 500 crore rupees to PM CARES fund. Paytm President Madhur Deora said for every contribution or any other payment made on Paytm using the wallet, UPI and Paytm Bank debit card, the company will contribute an extra up to 10 rupees. Mr. Deora said money would be directly sent to the PM-CARES fund. He said they are honoured to do their duty to aid the government in all the relief measures being taken to fight the Corona pandemic. 

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Union Home ministry has asked the states to help migrant workers by setting up shelters and provide food to them. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi yesterday, joint secretary in the Home Ministry, Punya Salila Srivastava urged each and every citizen to stay wherever they are. She said the migration defeats the purpose of lock-down as it can potentially spread the deadly novel Corona Virus from one place to another. She said Home Ministry is regularly monitoring  the movements of essential goods  and enforcement of lock-down with the States.

Briefing media, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, Lav Aggarwal said that the Centre is engaged with the State governments to implement  rigorous contact tracing, community surveillance and the containment strategy. He said, the Centre and States are making efforts to ensure that lockdown and social distancing are followed properly. He added that the Centre is working with the States on health infrastructure preparedness. He also said, the major focus is to set up dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and blocks.

Mr Aggarwal said the government has decided to allow CGHS patients who are cronic to avail medicines for three months.

The total number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus has risen to 918 in the country so far. Out of the total cases 79 patients have been cured and discharged and 19 died.

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Agriculture, farming and allied activities have been exempted from the lock-down. The decision has been taken with a view to address problems being faced by the farming community. This will also ensure uninterrupted harvesting of crops. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has been constantly monitoring issues related to the farmers ever since the lock-down was enforced. He was apprised of the difficulties the farmers could face in the harvesting of their crops and transporting food grains to the mandis. The decision will also allow unhindered harvesting of crops.

Under the 2nd Addendum issued by the Union Home Ministry, the categories that have been exempted from the lock-down include agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products such as MSP operations;  Mandis operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee or as notified by the State Government, Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field and custom hiring centers  related to farm machinery. Manufacturing and packaging units of fertilisers, pesticides and seed and Intra and Inter-State movement of harvesting and sowing related machines are exempted from the lock-down. Other agriculture and horticulture implements have also been exempted from the lockdown.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked the Chairman and Managing Directors (CMDs) of Banks to ensure adequate liquidity at the branch, ATM and banking correspondent level. Ms Sitharaman held a detailed conversation with Chiefs of Public and Private sector banks yesterday. In a series of tweets, she said that it is encouraging to know that they are doing their best, even during the lockdown. She said, they are certain that they will ensure customer service without disruption and social distancing is being adhered to as well.

The Finance Minister also acknowledged the role of public sector banks and encouraged them to keep up their efforts in providing uninterrupted banking services across the country. Ms Sitharaman also made one-to-one calls with CMDs of all public sector banks and requested them to ensure uninterrupted banking services.

The Finance Minister also called the representatives of private sector banks to ensure that uninterrupted banking services are provided across the country while maintaining social distancing norms.

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In the wake of growing novel corona virus cases in the country, the Health and Family Welfare Ministry has issued several advisories for the people to contain the spread of Covid-19. These advisories stress on several preventive measures like social distancing, personal hygine and restriction of mass gatherings.


"Government has advised people to follow basic protective measures to keep themselves safe from the corona virus amid the national lock down. People should strictly follow the social distancing norms and avoid gathering. They should stay at their homes and go out for buying essential items only when it is absolutely required. People are advised not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth. Frequent hand sanitation is a must. They should keep cleaning their hands with soap and alcohol based hand sanitizers. Both sides of hand has to be washed for at least 20 seconds. If a person is experiencing cough and fever or any other symptom, he or she should avoid close contact with others and doctor should be consulted immediately. The Health Ministry has issued a toll free number 1075 for the public for enquiry about corona virus. Together we can fight Covid-19. Take precautionary measures and stay at home. BHUPENDRA SINGH, AIR NEWS, DELHI."

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Delhi government has started 800 Centres to provide cooked meals to four lakh poor people of the city from today in view of the lockdown. Addressing media, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, food is being distributed free of cost to these people through 568 schools and 238 night shelters. He said, flying squads are patrolling in each district of city and distributing food packets to the needy. A report:


"Delhi government  has  appealed to  the migrant workers not to leave Delhi due to lockdown as it is making arrangements of food and shelter for them. Food and water facility, have been also been set up at Delhi  border areas to accommodate the migrant workers who are leaving. As many as 1,000 fair price shops in the city have also started distributing 7.5 kilogram  free ration per person. Wheat and rice are being provided under it and  71 lakh people will be  benefitted from the initiative. Anand Kumar, AIR News Delhi."

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In order to provide personal protection gears to the health workers and other related officials, the Himachal Pradesh Government has created the ‘HP COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’. The state government has also set up Government Organisation and Non-Government Organization Coordination Platform, GO- NGO for disaster response and Disaster Preparedness. Our correspondent reports that the Tele Medicine hub is also being created in the state to provide consultancy remotely.


‘HP COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund’ will also ensure a smooth supply of essential commodities like food items and medicines beside health equipment for health workers.  Donation for this cause could also be made through the online link www.himachal.nic.in. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur urged the people to come forward generously to donate. On the other hand, Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority has formed GO-NGO coordination platform for better facilitation of the emergency supplies and services in the districts. Considering the current public health crisis have arisen, state government has decided to involve voluntary organizations and encouraging citizen to volunteer to register online through www.hpsdma.nic.in. The state government is also creating Tele medicine hub which would be connected with the health wellness center across the state. The center will give its service from 8 am to 8 pm in the field of medicine, pediatric and psychiatry. Meanwhile, all the 29 suspected cases of  COVID-19  who came in contact with three positive patients in the state found negative. Out of three positive patients, two have been recovered while one detected positive after death. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla.


In Uttar Pradesh, all efforts are being made to contain the spread of Corona Virus. The government is trying to implement lock-down  strictly. The government is providing food  and other  grocery items to people at door steps.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that no one should remain hungry. He is keeping a  vigil on the situation. 


"Chief Minister inspected community kitchen at Mahanagar area of the capital city Lucknow yesterday , set to provide food to  stranded and poor  people during the lockdown . Total 12 kitchen have been established here. He also inspected quarantine beds  in SGPGI Lucknow, prepared according to International standards. Government has nominated nodal officers for 12 States in country to solve out the problems of labours of state residing  there. The government intends that no  body should remain hungry  and compliance 'Stay Home'  during  lock down. More than 1 lakh 37thousand food packets were distributed yesterday in Lucknow. The government is ensuring supply of milk. The government is also taking strict  action against those who knowingly breaching the lockdown rules. FIR against 4642 people was lodged and  more than 115000 vehicles were issued notices and 9293 vehicles were seized. The people who came  from outside in state during last two weeks  have been asked for 14 days quarantine. In this connection 58,752 village heads were contacted. MS Yadav AIR News Lucknow."

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In Uttar Pradesh, authorities in Noida and Lucknow have passed an order asking landlords to collect rent from their worker-tenants only after a month in wake of Covid 19. The orders were issued by district magistrates of Gautam Buddh Nagar and Lucknow using their powers of rent control. The orders comes into effect immediately.

District Magistrates of Noida BN Singh said there are migrants living in Noida and Greater Noida, who are involved in production and distribution of essential services, but they too are being forced to leave for their homes. Invoking the special powers vested in the district magistrate, he ordered that no landlord will demand rent till next month for accommodation from their tenants, who are labourers or workers working in any of the companies, industries, factories and offices in the district.

Lucknow district magistrate Abhishek Prakash said that some  land lords were seen to compel labours, students and other workers from their houses and demanding advance rent. He said the order has been issued and landlord will not demand house rent till one month. He said that strict action will be taken against the landlord who transgress the instructions.

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Bihar government has set up shelter homes with free food and lodging facilities at border areas for migrant labourers entering the state from UP, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has appealed migrants to stay whereever they are in the wake of the  lock-down. He said the buses may come as a relief for these people who have been facing difficulties for the last few days but if any person amongst these  passengers are found infected then it will create a big difficulty.

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Madhya Pradesh government has asked jail superintendents to  seek interim bail from courts for under trial prisoners arrested in cases where the punishment is five years' imprisonment or less.

The step is being taken to de-congest over-crowded jails in view of the pandemic.

So far, 39 COVID-19 patients have been detected in Madhya Pradesh. Two of them have died.

DGP Vivek Johri has suspended 3 DSPs for not attending the duty at Covid-19 related Smart City Control Room Bhopal. A report:


Earlier this week, the Supreme Court had directed all the state and Union Territories to constitute committees to consider releasing jail inmates on parole or interim bail. In case where maximum punishment is seven years as per the order. Jail officials have been asked to complete the process within four days. The interim bail plea should not be for more than 45 days. There are 125 jails in the state, holding over 42 thousand prisoners against the sanctioned capacity of around 28 thousand. Meanwhile, BJP workers will deliver food and other essential goods to the 45 lakh poor and helpless people of the state. The central leadership of the party has asked the state unit to make a list of 9 lakh workers so that these workers can provide food and other assistance to the families of the affected in order to fight the corona. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal.

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Amidst the Corona virus crisis, Chhattisgarh Government has invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) for all health services of the state. Now all government and private hospitals have been brought under essential services in the state.

Food Corporation of India will now sell wheat in Chhattisgarh. Traders and flour mills of the state will be able to lift wheat stock at a prescribed rate. With this initiative, wheat will be easily available to the common citizens at a fixed rate during the lock-down.


"Raipur Railway division has decided to convert ten train coaches into the Isolation Wards to save lives of corona virus infected patients. These coaches will be completely sanitized before installing medical equipments. Apart from this, the families of the employees of Raipur Rail Division are contributing to the prevention of corona virus infection by making masks. About two thousand masks have been prepared. All these masks have been given to the railway employees who are involved in the maintenance and operation of goods trains.Meanwhile, the Special Food Cell has been set up by the Raipur District Administration to provide food to beggars, destitute people, needy and labors during the lockdown. At the same time, for the strict implementation of lockdown, every vehicle is being monitored in Raipur city round the clock with the help of drones and street cameras. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

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Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that COVID-19 patients in the state will be treated free of cost under the state government's Mahatma Jyotiba Phule scheme. He said the novel Corona Virus infection is included in the list of ailments covered under the scheme.Tope said that a total of 1,000 hospitals will be included in the scheme from April 1 where patients can avail free treatment.He informed that empaneled hospitals will get 2,000 ventilators. As of now 492 private hospitals in the state are part of the scheme. The minister has asked people to cooperate with the government during the 21-day lock-down imposed to fight the outbreak.

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Gujarat government has announced to set up 100 bedded hospital in each district to combat Covid 19. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani made three major announcements as part of the state’s fight against Covid 19.


The hospitals will be equipped with ICU and ventilator facility. He also announced to give Rs 25 lakhs to the family of the policeman who dies on duty during the lockdown period.  Apart from this, CM said all the MLAs in the state will donate Rs 25 lakh to Gujarat Health Society to purchase medical equipments to combat Covid 19.  BJP MLAs in the state decided to donate their one month salary to CM relief fund to fight against Coronavirus pandemic. AHMEDABAD APARNA KHUNT//AIR NEWS//


In Karnataka, 76 COVID 19 Positive cases were confirmed till yesterday afternoon, which includes three deaths and five people being discharged. In the designated hospitals, 68 positive cases who are in isolation are stable. In the wake of nationwide lock-down till April 14th, the Bengaluru municipal Corporation is distributing around a lakh food packets through Indira canteens. Helpline number 155214 has been established for the migrant labourers for food assistance. Railway Protection Force staff in Bengaluru is providing food to about 250 daily wage labourers. Several labourers coming from Goa and Maharashtra are being accommodated in Belagavi. They are provided medical check-up before sending them to their villages in Raichur, Vijayapura and Bagalkote.


The Bengaluru Railway Division hospital has earmarked three wards with 50 beds with isolation facilities for the corona patients. About 200 rooms in the training centre and the institute of Disaster Management are kept as stand-by for quarantine facilities. Seventeen hotels in Bengaluru will be rented out to isolate primary and secondary contacts of the COVID 19 positive persons till their samples are tested. The war room in Bengaluru has trained doctors manning Urban Primary Health Centres on how to handle patients walking in with COVID 19 symptoms. Overall 187 frontline warriors were trained in the war room on standard operating procedures to deal with Corona Virus suspected patients. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru.

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Total number of COVID-19 cases in Kerala has gone upto 165 with confirmation of six more cases . First death due to Covid in Kerala occurred yesterday at Kochi.


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that all necessary action will be taken to find out the possibility of  community spread of Covid 19 in the State.Rapid test will be started soon which will ensure more faster result.The State Entrance Exam is postponed. Government started " Break Corona"  project, inviting innovative ideas to contain the infection and generate income during this difficult hour. The Start Up mission will coordinate the project, through which ideas can be submitted online. Meanwhile surveillance is strengthened. Drones are used to trace individuals breaking the guidelines and quarantine instructions. Large scale production and procurement of medical equipments, masks, gloves, oxygen cylinders, isolation facility etc is going on. Meanwhile State health Minister K.K.Shailaja said that the  condition of all the Covid 19 patients  are stable. More than 1,10,000 people are under observation in the State. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram.

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Tamil Nadu government has been decided to execute a massive containment action plan against the novel coronavirus. State Health Secretary Beela Rajesh told reporters last evening that the area under five kilometre radius from the residences of Covid-19 positive patients will be targeted. They will be notified as containment zones. The field level health workers will visit every household in the zone from morning till evening today. They have been directed to screen all the public in the zone for symptoms like fever, cough or short breath. The Covid-19 positive cases in Tamil Nadu have gone up to 42 with four new cases reported yesterday. They include two with travel history abroad. More from our correspondent:


"In Tamil Nadu, the number of beds in isolation wards in Government Hospitals is seeing considerable expansion. Two major hospitals, one each in Chennai and Coimbatore have been designated as exclusive Covid-19 treatment centres. In addition, the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai has made a facility with 200-beds to take in more patient load if necessary. The nearby Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital is also in the process of setting up an exclusive Covid-19 treatment facility. The government has identified more people who returned from abroad who disembarked in other cities than those within the state and later came by bus or train. Therefore the number of people kept under quarantine in the state has gone up to over 43-thousand and five hundred. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."

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Three new confirmed cases of COVID -19 appeared in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Following this the total number of infected people has reached 9.

The persons who tested positive are also a part of the same group which came from the Vistara and Indigo flights from Delhi on 24th March. The infected persons have already been admitted to GB Pant Hospital at Port Blair . For listing the contact details of the infected persons teams have already been mobilised by Deputy Commissioner, South Andaman. At present there are 280 rooms for suspected cases across the islands. One hotel with 42 rooms is especially designated as COVID -19 hospital in Port Blair.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, 13 new positive cases of Corona virus have come up, taking the total to 33.  These include 30 active cases, two recovered cases and one death. Following the spike in cases in last three days, around 6,000 people have been put under surveillance.


13 new cases were reported in Srinagar, Bandipora and Jammu. In the last 72 hours, J&K has reported 25  cases.  Lt. Governor G.C Murmu has ordered doubling up of the isolation and quarantine facilities and  directed officers to trace the contacts of suspected cases so that random sampling and testing could be done as a precautionary measure. Home delivery of essentials in many areas has been started and Mobile ambulances have been allocated for random health check-ups of the students living in hostels. The J&K Resident Commission in New Delhi has established helpline for stranded residents from J&K. Hundreds of students have been facilitated by the Commission to return to their home districts and dedicated hostels in New Delhi. In a novel initiative to encourage social distancing, the spokesperson of JK Govt Rohit Kansal held a press conference with media persons using Social Media Networking Platform and shared the details with regard to government efforts in controlling Coronavirus.  Further, to ensure lockdown, J&K police has registered 337 FIRs and arrested 627 people for non-compliance of lockdown orders. NASEER RATHER, AIR NEWS, JAMMU.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES

  • The PM setting up a new  fund (PM- CARES Fund) to fight the Corona virus" is one of the stories that finds prominent mention in the papers this morning.  "PM announces assistance fund for nation's war against Coronavirus" says Mail Today.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks public and private sector banks to ensure adequate liquidity at branch, ATM and banking correspondent level. 

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