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Last Updated : Jan 27 2021 10:38PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Cabinet approves MSP of copra at Rs 10,335 per quintal for 2021 season            PM Modi to virtually address WEF’s Davos Dialogue tomorrow; to also attend rally of NCC at Cariappa Ground in Delhi            India signs framework for Strategic Partnership with International Energy Agency members to enhance global energy security            Finance Ministry releases over Rs 12,000 crore to 18 States for providing grants to Rural Local Bodies            Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel visits Red Fort to assess damage caused in violence during Tractor rally           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address fourth edition of Smart India Hackathon this evening; Over ten Thousand students to compete in the grand finale.

  • COVID-19 recovery rate further improves to 64.52 percent.

  • Second Serological Survey for Corona Virus to start in Delhi from today.

  • One Nation One Ration Card scheme expanded to four more states including Jammu & Kashmir.

  • Eid-ul-Azha being celebrated across the country today; President, Vice President and Prime Minister greet people on the occasion.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Smart India Hackathon of All India Council for Technical Education at 4:30 PM today. He will also interact with students on the occasion. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said the Grand Finale of Smart India Hackathon-2020 (Software) will be held till the 3rd of August.

Our Correspondent reports that this is the fourth edition of the hackathon organised by the Education Ministry and it has proved to be extremely successful in promoting out-of-the-box thinking in young minds.

"Smart India Hackathon is a nationwide initiative to provide students with a platform to solve some of the pressing problems we face in our daily lives. The first edition of Smart India Hackathon 2017 saw participation of 42 thousand students which increased to one lakh in 2018 and to two lakh in 2019. The first round of Smart India Hackathon 2020 saw participation of more than four lakh 50 thousand students. The Grand Finale will be organized online by connecting all the participants throughout the nation together over a specially-built advanced platform. Over ten thousand students will compete to solve 243 problem statements from 37 Central Government departments, 17 State Governments and 20 industries. With Dipendra kumar, Anand Chaturvedi, AIR News Delhi."

On the occasion, the Prime Minister will also speak on the new National Education Policy 2020. Recently, Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Education Policy 2020 making way for large scale, transformational reforms in both school and higher education sectors. This new policy will replace the thirty four year old National Policy on Education 1986.


The Health and Family Welfare Ministry today said, a total of 10 lakh 94 thousand 374 people have recovered in the country so far from COVID-19 and 36 thousand 569 recoveries have been reported in the past 24 hours. With this, the recovery rate reached 64.52 per cent. The fatality rate due to coronavirus has further declined to 2.15 per cent in the country. The Health Ministry said, the highest number of 57 thousand 118 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the country in one day taking the total number of cases to 16 lakh 95 thousand 988. Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the country is five lakh 65 thousand 103. In a single day, 764 deaths have been reported taking the nationwide toll to 36 thousand 511.

The, Indian Council of Medical Research said a total of five lakh 25 thousand 689 tests of corona virus samples were tested for corona virus by  various laboratories within 24 hours.


The sero-prevalence study will begin today in Delhi. This second round survey is to be conducted in different areas of the city in the next five days.

The first phase of the study was conducted from 27th of June to 10th of July in all the 11 districts of Delhi. During the survey, a total of 21 thousand 387 blood samples were collected from selected individuals and were tested for IgG antibodies using the ELISA testing kits.  

The study showed that only 22.86 per cent of people are affected due to coronavirus and 77 per cent population is still vulnerable. The study also indicated that a large number of infected persons remain asymptomatic. The tests have been done to identify the presence of antibodies in the general population. It provided information about past Covid-19 infection in individuals who tested positive.

Our correspondent reports that antibody testing like Sero study provides important evidence for assessing the spread of the pandemic. Depending upon the level of sero-prevalence of infection, appropriate public health interventions can be planned and implemented for prevention and control of the disease. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, periodic sero-surveys are useful to guide the policy makers to conduct surveys in high risk areas or vulnerable population who have been infected in the past and have now recovered.


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar instructed to further increase the number of Covid 19 tests in all the districts and start rapid antigen tests of people taking shelter in flood relief camps. Mr.Kumar said those keen to get themselves tested for Covid 19 should not face hassles. He instructed to provide medicine kits to those in home isolation and taking feedback from all positive patients daily via phone call. The Chief Minister asked health department to equip ICUs of all hospitals with ventilators.

Meanwhile positive cases in Bihar have mounted to 50 thousand 987 with 2,986 fresh cases.This is the single day highest  spike in positive cases in the state. 33 thousand 650 patients were recovered and 17 thousand 38 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals. 298 people so far died due to Corona. The recovery rate is 66 percent. Testing capacity has been increased to over 20 thousand per day. Altogether five lakh 48 thousand tests have been conducted so far across the state.


Telangana continues to report a spike in new Coronavirus Positive cases and 2083 people tested positive during the last 24 hours. This took the total number of COVID cases reported in the state to 64 thousand 786. As the state Medical and Health bulletin says this morning, recovery rate has been reported at 71.7 per cent with over 11 hundred 14 people recovered from COVID and were discharged from various hospitals in the state yesterday. The number of districts reporting high prevalence of Coronavirus is also increasing with about half a dozen out of 33 districts in the state reported over 100 COVID cases on single day yesterday.


Minister of State for Home Kishan Reddy today stressed on the need for enhancing COVID testing so that medical facilities can be provided to more number of people thus taking care of more COVID affected people. He visited Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences, an exclusive COVID hospital at Gachibowli in Hyderabad this morning. Stating that the number of COVID cases in Delhi have come down due to high testing, he asked other states to follow the method to prevent spread of Coronavirus. He also asked the Telangana state government to increase testing especially in the slums in Hyderabad so that people who have contracted the virus will get early respite. He suggested that testing should be done on-demand, instead of issuing tokens. The minister also visited the Ayurveda Hospital at Sanathnagar in the city.


With 55,544 positive Covid cases and 1030 deaths due to the virus, Bengaluru has been impacted the most in Karnataka due to the pandemic. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar palike has stepped up containment measures with active participation of legislators, resident welfare associations and NGOs. More from our Correspondent:

"BBMP has conducted 3,17,417 Covid tests in Containment zones. There are 20,679 containment zones in the city out of which 13,238 are with very high caseload. The city Corporation is trying to reduce the positivity rate in the city which stands at 17.5 percent. The mortality rate which was at 3.11 percent in May was brought down to 1.69 percent in June. At present it has gone up to 1.85 percent. It has issued a public bulletin comprising of standard operating procedure to be followed upon suspicion of contracting the virus. The test charges for private labs have been fixed at 3000 rupees. It has also fixed a rate of 10,000 rupees for general ward, 15000 for ICU and 25000 rupees for ICU with ventilators for the private hospitals to treat the Covid patients. The Covid positive person can call 108 helpline for any assistance.  Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."


The Covid 19 management model of Ahmedabad city was appreciated by the World Health organization. Additional chief secretary Rajiv Kumar Gupta who is appointed to handle Covid 19 management of Ahmedabad said that WTO scientist called the model worth emulating for other cities in the world.

The official release said as part of the exercise to share best practices of Covid 19 management across the world, Mr Gupta along with AMC commissioner Mukesh Kumar gave a detailed presentation before senior scientist of WHO, Dr Saumya Swaminathan.

Mr Gupta said Dr Swaminathan praised various initiatives taken by Ahmedabad such as dhanvantari rath, 104 helpline, corona ghar seva and said they can be adopted by other cities in the world. Similarly, the public private partnership in providing Covid treatment was also called worth emulating.


The government has extended the ban on international flights till the 31st of August amid the  pandemic. However, this restriction will not be applicable for international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.

India had first suspended international flights on March the 22nd, just before the national lockdown was announced.

As part of allowing gradual movement of passenger traffic amidst the pandemic, Transport Bubble agreements have been signed with the US, France, and Germany.

Such bilateral agreements allow operation of flights between the two countries subject to a set of regulations.


The new guidelines for opening up of more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones comes into effect from today. The process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further in Unlock 3. The new guidelines issued by the Home Ministry on Wednesday are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments. Restrictions on movement of individuals during night have been removed. Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to open from 5th of August. Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols. Schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31st August.

International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner. All activities except Metro Rail, Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars shall be permitted outside containment zones. Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations will not be permitted. Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by State and UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measure in these zones shall be strictly implemented. Health Ministry will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and implementation of the containment measures. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.


There is almost no respite in Covid-19 infections in Nagaland as it added 130 new cases today, taking the state’s tally to 1,823. This is also another highest single day spike in the number of COVID cases in the state. Yesterday, the state recorded 127 new cases. Kohima and Dimapur continue to be the worst affected districts, while aspirational district Kiphire is the only district which has not reported  any infection so far.

Health & Family Welfare Minister S Pangnyu Phom tweeted this afternoon that out of 552 samples tested, 109 cases are reported from Dimapur and 21 in Kohima. He said all contact tracing is fully activated.


The first day of weekly lockdown by the Andaman and Nicobar administration begins today. Till afternoon the roads looked completely empty and the local market turned barren in Port Blair. The citizens also restricted themselves to their homes.

The police department has made arrangements to implement the lockdown through proper barricading. Same response has been observed in Diglipur and Mayabunder in North and Middle Andaman.


The Ambitious One Nation One Ration card scheme has been expanded  to four more states from today. They are  Manipur, Nagaland, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. With this, 24 states have now the facility of ration card portability covering more than 65 crore beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act. Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said these beneficiaries can now lift their entitlement of ration from any Fair Price Shop across these states.

By the 31st March next year, all the states will be covered under One Nation One Ration card so that all 81 crore beneficiaries can avail benefit under this scheme.


The Government has asked the concerned authorities to continue with the Food Security Allowance comprising food grains, pulses, oil and others to ensure nutrition and health among school-going children even when schools are closed. The allowance will be equivalent to the cooking cost. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said it will be given to all eligible children in lieu of hot cooked meal under the Mid Day Meal Scheme. He said the regular Mid Day Meal will resume when the schools re-open.


Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, agriculture and rural sectors have the inherent capabilities of lifting the country out of any crisis.

Addressing a workshop, Mr. Tomar said, rural India and the farming community will play a leading role in achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Expressing satisfaction at the kharif crop sowing operations despite the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, history is witness to the fact that the country’s farmers and rural economy have never succumbed to any adversity.

Stressing the importance of organic and natural farming, Mr. Tomar said that these are essential not just for the health of humans and animals but also for a healthy soil and clean environment.


Dairy farmers from various districts of Maharashtra have intensified their agitation for the demand of hike in milk prices. More from our Mumbai correspondent...

"BJP led agitations are going on in many parts of Maharashtra for a hike in milk procurement prices. Dairy farmers from Sangli, Ahmednagar, Beed, Nanded, Osmanabad, Latur, Dhule, Nagpur, Pune and other districts have demanded to increase the price of cow milk, subsidy of Rs 10 per liter and subsidy of Rs 50 per kg for milk powder. An agitation was held in front of the District Collector's Office in Osmanabad this morning under the leadership of BJP MLA Rana Jagjit Singh Patil demanding increase in milk price. A large number of office bearers and activists of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, Shiv Sangram and Republican Party of India were present on the occasion. Milk producers also agitated in Ahmednagar, Beed and Latur. Madhuri Pange, AIR News, Mumbai."


India is poised to become a global electronic manufacturing hub. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Union Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed that government has received a warm response to the production linked incentive scheme it had rolled out to boost electronic manufacturing in the country. He also invited global mobile manufacturing stalwarts including Apple and Samsung to intensify manufacturing in India.

The minister highlighted the key points, including ease of doing business in the country, strong and popularly elected democratic government, availability of skilled and semi-skilled human resource and a huge domestic market potential.


The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has invited suggestions from the public on the draft notification for bringing protective helmets for two wheeler riders under compulsory Bureau of Indian Standard, BIS, certification. The move will enable the manufacturing of BIS certified helmets only in the country. It will also improve the quality of helmets and ensure the safety of the rider.

The suggestions or comments can be sent to the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways within thirty days from the date of notification.


In the run up to Independence Day, we bring you stories on  sectors which have made a major impact on the lives of citizens. In this series, today we bring you a report on the health sector.

The government has stepped up its efforts to createa robust health infrastructure in the country. In the last six years, the government has taken several major steps to provide affordable and quality healthcare to the people. More from our correspondent:

"Building a New Indiawhere every people get the affordable healthcare services is the primary goalof the central government. To achieve this target, the government has taken severalhistoric decisions in the last few years which proved instrumental in creatingthe modern health care system. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced to provide 15 thousand crore rupees for building thehealth infrastructure in the country. Over 30 thousand crore rupees were spenton setting up new AIIMS in the country. Besides, 75 new government medical colleges have also beenapproved by the government. Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana has also proved to be a new lifeline in the lives of poor people. Underthis scheme, over one crore hospital treatments have been provided to the poorpeople so far. Women and Child health care is one of the keyfocus area of the government. To provide healthy nutrition and treatment towomen and children, several schemes like Poshan Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri MatruVandana Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritav Abhiyan were initiated which resulted in low maternal and child mortality rate. Bhupendra Singh, AIR News, Delhi."


In Mizoram, the health care delivery system has been spearheaded with thousands of poor people getting almost free treatment facilities under the Ayusman Bharat - PM Jan Arogya Yojana. A report from our correspondent:

"So far, three lakh 93 thousand Gold cards have been distributed to the targeted families. Around 47 thousand patients availed treatment in hospitals and claimed about 26 crore rupees. Under PM Jan Arogya Yojana, each family get the health insurance benefit of upto Rs. 5 lakh. Officials said, this is first time that thousands of people are getting free treatment in hospitals because of health insurance under PMJAY scheme.  A beneficiary Lallawmsangi said that her sister who is admitted at Aizawl Civil Hospital, is undergoing treatment of gastroenteritis and other complications. As the family is having Gold Card under Ayushman Bharat her mother is getting free treatment and medicines.

(My sister is admitted at Civil Hospital for treatment of gastroenteritis, she is getting free treatment and medicines under Ayushman Bharat. We have PMJAY gold card. Many thanks to the Central govt for giving this benefit.)


Over 120 countries around the world are celebrating the week-long World Breastfeeding Week, which commenced from today.

In India, the Women and Child Development Ministry has planned to organise online activities to sensitise citizens about the importance of breastfeeding.


In the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir,  Pakistani troops yet again violated ceasefire in the border district of Poonch in which  one Army Jawan attained martyrdom. Defence spokesperson told AIR News that late last night Pakistani troops started firing with small arms followed by shelling with mortars in Balakote sector in Poonch district.

Alert Indian troops retaliated and gave a befitting reply to silence the Pak guns. However, in the exchange of fire one Indian Army Jawan identified as Sepoy Rohan Kumar was seriously injured and later attained martyrdom.


Now moving on to our special series on development and empowerment of people in Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh:

In Kargil Ladakh, despite the spread of Corona Virus and the imposition of Lockdown at various times, Panchayats have benefitted as the normal work was carried out smoothly. A Report

"All the Panchayats has been benefited by the increase in funds whether it be direct benefit to the beneficiaries by MG NREGA or by holistic schemes like funding under 14 FC scheme, the flow of funds has been improved in the new setup of Union Territory.   Referring to the direct funds received at his disposal, Issa Ali Sarpanch Pashkum and President Sarpanch Association Kargil Ladakh, said that the system has been improved under the new Setup which he thinks will improve more in the future.

For AIR News this is Anayat Ali from Kargil UT Ladakh."


The festival of sacrifice, Eid-ul-Azha or Baqraeed is being celebrated with religious fervour and due reverence across the country today. Most of the worshippers offered Eid Namaz or prayers in local mosques, adhering to physical distance.In some states, where lockdown is imposed, people offered prayers at their homes amid the pandemic. The Imams, who led the prayers, appealed to the people to celebrate the festival in the spirit of brotherhood while maintaining health protocols. Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son in obedience of God's command. In Kerala, Eid- ul- Azha was celebrated yesterday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Azha. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar conveyed his greetings to all the countrymen on the occasion. In his message, Prime Minister hoped this day will inspire people to create a just, harmonious and inclusive society. He also hoped that the spirit of brotherhood and compassion will be furthered. Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offered prayers at his residence on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. In a tweet, he said, keeping in mind the social distancing norms due to the pandemic, he offered prayers from his home asking the Almighty for peace, prosperity and harmony in the country.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today remembered Lokmanya Tilak on his 100th death anniversary. In a tweet, Prime Minister said Lokmanya Tilak's intellect, courage, sense of justice and idea of Swaraj continue to inspire everyone.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar paid tributes to freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He remembered the social reformer as the one who pioneered and fought for the idea of self-rule a birthright for every Indian.


Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the New Education Policy as path breaking and said the inclusion of Sanskrit and other regional languages in the education system will further strengthen the connect of Indian students with National Culture and teachings.

Mr. Shah was speaking at the International webinar on Lokmanya Tilak, Swaraj to Atmanirbhar Bharat, on the occasion of Tilak Centenary today, held in New Delhi. He said, the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi resonates with the ideas and teachings of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak of endeavouring towards swadeshi or local produce. Speaking about the contributions of freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak, Mr. Shah said, he is credited to be the pioneer of turning the freedom struggle into an Indian movement in its true spirit.


Now, let us take a look at today's weather . The National Capital Delhi may see a generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature was recorded at 28 degree Celsius and maximum is expected to be around 34 degrees. Mumbai will see a  generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The city had a minimum temperature of 24 and will have a maximum of around 29 .In Chennai, the temperature will hover between 26 and 35 degrees. The city will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain. Kolkata will have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm. The city recorded a minimum temperature of 28 while the maximum temperature will be nearly 36 .In Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was 25 in Jammu while maximum will be around 33 degrees. The city is likely to see partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 18 and 32 degree Celsius. The city is expected to have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. In Ladakh, Leh will also have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between 14 and 27 degree Celsius. In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was recorded at 19 while the maximum will be around 39. It is expected to have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. Muzzafarabad will see a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The place had a minimum temperature of 23 degree Celsius while maximum temperature will be around 35 degrees.



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