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Last Updated : Sep 21 2020 8:42AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi to lay foundation stone for nine highway projects worth over Rs 14,000 Cr in Bihar through video conference today            Govt says Minimum Support Price for farmers will continue            Railways starts running 40 clone trains with higher speed and fewer stops            Many states to partially reopen schools for students of classes 9-12 from today as per Unlock 4 guidelines            Sikkim govt imposes complete lockdown in Gangtok municipal area till Sept 27           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS


  • Over ninety two thousand crore rupees disbursed under 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme by Public and private sector banks.

  • Railways further revises Freight policy during Unlock 3.0 to promote economic activities.

  • COVID-19 Recovery rate improves to 66.30 percent.

  • Ayodhya fully geared up for Ram Janmbhoomi Poojan tomorrow; Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take part .

  • Relief and rescue operation intensified in flood affected areas of Bihar.


Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said, over ninety two thousand crore rupees have already been disbursed under 100 per cent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee(ECLG) Scheme by Public and private sector banks as of yesterday. The Government has sanctioned a total of one lakh thirty seven thousand five hundred eighty six crore rupees. Our correspondent reports, the Scheme would be applicable to all loans sanctioned under ECLG during the period from May 23rd ,this year till 31st October, this year, or till an amount of 3 lakh crore rupees is sanctioned.

The scheme was announced with an aim to mitigate the economic distress caused by COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown. It also aims to provide additional credit to the MSMEs and  Business Enterprises to meet their operational liabilities and revive their businesses.


Indian Railways has further revised its Freight Policy during Unlock 3.0 to promote economic activities. The Railways Ministry said, more relaxations have been provided to the customers  through a slew of incentives. These incentives are expected to boost the economy.  The Ministry said, Railways is on a mission mode to boost freight traffic. Inspite of Covid  challenges, the Railways has already overtaken freight loading figures of the same period last year.

Stabling Charge will not be levied on container traffic till the 31st of October. Terminal Charge will not be levied on traffic booked from alternate goods sheds, instead of identified busy goods shed. A concession of 40 per cent is given for loading in open wagons covered with Tarpaulin.


The Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment, WEE cohort initiative helps women, ranging from college going students to middle-aged housewives to take up entrepreneurship as a viable, fulfilling career option. It is India’s first of its kind initiative to strengthen women's ecosystem at IIT Delhi, supported and sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology.

Meghna Gandhi is one of the winners at the WEE cohort initiative. She is the Founder and Creative Director at Ribbon Candy which is a homegrown label that makes handmade apparel and accessories for girls. She has worked with underprivileged women in Vadodara during the COVID 19 lockdown and had created natural textiles and COVID 19 related accessories. Talking to AIR News, Ms Gandhi said, Ribbon Candy works closely with underprivileged women. More than 30 such women have benefitted from the initiative.


The COVID-19 recovered cases are now double of active cases in the country. Currently, the recovered cases are over 12.30 lakh. With this, the recovery rate has gone up  to an impressive 66.30 per cent. The fatality rate is also the lowest at 2.10 percent since the first lockdown. Briefing media in New Delhi today, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, the fatality rate has seen a progressive decline and it is continuing. 

The Secretary also  said  around 50 percent  of deaths due to COVID-19 in India  have taken place in the age group of 60 years and above.  About 37 percent deaths have taken place in the age group of 45 to 60 years.  Mr. Bhushan informed that about 68 per cent of COVID-19 deaths have been reported among male patients and 32 per cent among female patients in India.

The Secretary said, 28 states and Union Territory have a COVID-19 positivity rate of less than 10 per cent, while India's positivity rate as on date is 8.89 per cent. Replying to a question, he said, the coronavirus infection has spread to new areas in the country, but 82 per cent of the total cases are still limited to ten states and Union Territories. He added that  50 districts today account for 66 per cent of the COVID-19 caseload in the country. Director General, ICMR , Dr Balram Bhargava informed about the development of vaccines in the country.


Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been admitted to a hospital.  In a tweet, Mr Pradhan said, after seeing symptoms of COVID-19, he got himself tested and the report has come positive. He said, on the advice of doctors, he has been admitted to hospital. The Minister said, he is healthy.

Mr Pradhan is the second Union Minister in the Cabinet to test positive for Covid-19.  Earlier, Home Minister Amit Shah had tested positive and was admitted to hospital.


A total of 674 new confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus have been reported in Delhi during the last twenty four hours taking the total number of cases to one lakh 39 thousand 156. Delhi Government has confirmed that over one lakh 25 thousand people affected by Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, 972 people have recovered and 12 deaths were reported in the National Capital taking the toll to four thousand 33.  Presently, the total number of active corona cases in the national capital is nine thousand 897.


Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla, today chaired a high level meeting to review the management of COVID-19  in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The Union Home Secretary while reviewing the COVID death audit report observed that most of the critical patients die within 72 hours of hospitalization. He emphasized on the need to tackle the issue. Regarding the testing capacities, Chief Secretary said  the related infrastructure has been ramped up and against the WHO recommendation of 140 tests per million population per day, J&K is now conducting 900 tests per million per day. For this, 5 additional testing laboratories, 4 CBNAAT facilities and 15 TRUENAT laboratories were established in government medical institutions, besides, augmenting the RTPCR tests with Rapid Antigen Tests. Further, the Government is also in the process to enhance per day testing capacity. Chief Secretary further informed the Government has recently revised home quarantine guidelines to permit such isolation in favour of asymptomatic patients with no co-morbidity. Arogya Setu app should be downloaded for better monitoring. These patients are being provided with Government sponsored oxymeters with the instruction of reporting to hospitals if their oxygen saturation level dips below 90 per cent.


Karnataka has received 681 ventilators from the Central Government under PM-Cares funds. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa informed this during a review meeting over phone with officials regarding increase in ventilator beds in the state. He said that another 1279 ventilators allotted by the Central Government will be received during this month.  The Chief Minister pointed out that 335 ventilator beds were added last week, including 166 in Bengaluru. The remaining 346 ventilators will be installed by the end of this week. To cater to the patients in ICU and on ventilators, the Chief Minister asked officials to appoint anaesthetics, paramedics and nurses. He also directed them to provide ventilators temporarily to private hospitals treating Covid patients.  A Report:-

"Due to increase in Covid related deaths, Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan has told Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Commissioner to appoint a high level Committee to find out the reasons for increase in number of deaths especially in Bengaluru. During a meeting with the Palike officials today, the Deputy Chief Minister asked whether the deaths are due to delay in treatment or due to procedural delays. He asked the city Corporation officials to promptly act on the Committee report to reduce the rate of mortality in the city. He has also asked the officials to ensure real time data about Covid hospital bed availability, on patients needing ventilators and how many have been discharged. He also asked them to increase RT PCR and rapid antigen tests in the city. The new Covid cases confirmed today are 6259 and 110 deaths. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru."


With 1083 new cases Kerala continues to report a spike in covid cases . More from our correspondent:-

"The State health department informed in the official release  that among the new cases  902 persons  contracted the virus through contact. Thiruvananthapuram continue to report highest number of cases as  242 new covid cases were confirmed today .  The death toll in State due to Covid touched 87 as three more deaths were confirmed. Bringing great relief  1021 persons  recovered from the infection .The total active Covid cases in Kerala rose to 11540. Meanwhile Met dept predicts heavy rain in northern and central Kerala in Coming days. Fishermen are warned from venturing into the sea in Kerala and Lakshadweep coast. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram."


In an important decision to bring back normalcy in Mumbai, the city’s civic body has eased lockdown norms from tomorrow Various trade activities have been allowed. Permission has been granted  to all shops to open irrespective of the odd-even rule. Malls and market places have also been allowed to function from tomorrow. More from our correspondent.

"Under the program Mission Begin Again BMC has allowed resuming of Mumbai’s economic activity to a large extent. Malls, market places will open tomorrow for the first time since March lockdown. Besides, the shops have been allowed to function all days doing away with the odd even formula. However, theatres, food courts/restaurants will continue to remain shut. Kitchen of restaurants and food courts will be allowed to operate in malls wherein only home delivery through aggregators will be allowed. Apart from allowing sale of liquor at shop counters, the BMC has allowed its home delivery as well but with strict compliance with norms. Referring to the national directive for COVID-19 management, the BMC said consumption of liquor, paan and tobacco in public places is prohibited. Devapriyo Bhattacharjee, AIR News, Mumbai."


In our series 'Expert Speak' on All India Radio, we bring you views of leading medical experts on COVID-19. Talking to AIR News, Dr. Uma Kumar, Head of  Rheumatology Department, AIIMS suggested to people to follow social distancing, hand hygiene and cough etiquettes.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go to Ayodhya city of Uttar Pradesh tomorrow to take part in the Bhumi Poojan Function for the construction of Ram Temple. The Bhumi Poojan ceremony will start at  12.30 in the afternoon and culminate at 12.45 pm. 175 guests including 135 Saints belonging to 135 spiritual traditions have been invited for the ceremony. The Prime Minister will first have Darshan at Shri Hanumangarhi Mandir, after which he will perform puja of Bhagwan Shri Ramlalla at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi. It will be  followed by  Bhumi Pujan and the stage event. Heavy security arrangements are in place in view of the PM Visit and borders of Ayodhya city will be sealed from Midnight tonight.  Shri Ram Janm Bhumi Teerth Shetra Trust and Chief Minister of the  State Yogi Adityanath have appealed to all Rambhakts across the world to organise Bhajan, Kirtan and Prasad distribution in all villages and cities while taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. 

Speaking to AIR News Mahant of the temple said the entire city is submerged in joy.

Our Correspondent has more details in this  Report…

The Lanes of Ayodhya and Ghats of holy Saryu River are illuminated with thousands of earthen lamps. Beautiful Rangolis along with special gates and colorful streets depicting the saga of Ramayana are ready to welcome the Prime Minister. Saffron flags can be seen on almost every house in Ayodhya city. People of the city of Lord Rama are in a festive mood.

Bhajan kirtan and recitation of Ramcharitmanas has started in different temples and houses of Ayodhya and other famous temples of the state including Gorakhnath temple of Gorakhpur. People are earthen lamps at their houses and even the Chief Minister House in Lucknow is illuminated with Diyaas. On the second day of the 3 day long rituals preceding Bhumi Poojan for construction of Ram Temple, a special 6 hour long Ramarcha anushthan was performed today. Special Pooja was also offered at the sign of Garhi at historic hanumangarhi temple. The three-day rituals will culminate with the 'bhoomi pujan' tomorrow. FOR AIR NEWS THIS IS SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI.


Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has asked all the temples in the state to organise special puja and darshan tomorrow to coincide with Shri Ram Janmaboomi temple Bhoomi pooja in Ayodhya. The Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments department has issued an order asking the temple priests to organise the puja for the success of bhoomi puja, unhindered completion of Ram Temple and for the wellbeing of all citizens in the state. The temples have been asked to ensure social distancing and other norms while performing special puja .


In Himachal Pradesh, Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Union Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre and Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Singh Thakur laid the foundation stone of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Dhaula Kuan in Sirmour district through video conferencing today. The first phase of this Institute would be completed by spending an amount of 392.51 crore rupees. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Nishank said, the Union Government would provide all possible help to ensure that the institute emerges as the best institute of the region. He added that Tourism, Power, Industries and eco-tourism are the natural potential of the State which need effective management and this institute would prove a boon in this direction. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur appreciated the efforts of the Management for designing the whole complex in traditional Himachali architecture. He said that on completion, this Institute would not only emerge as a premier educational institute, but also an added attraction for the tourists.


The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced the results of Civil Services Examination - 2019.  A total of 829 candidates have been selected to various Civil Services through this examination.  Pradeep Singh has topped the exam while  Pratibha Verma is the topper among  the women candidates. The final result is available on the official website of UPSC.

Talking to AIR News, Pradeep Singh  said he will work for  the poor and deprived sections of  society.

Pratibha Verma, the topper among  the women candidates and  third  in the overall list also spoke to AIR News.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated all the bright youngsters who have successfully cleared the Civil Services Examination, 2019.  Extending his best wishes, the Prime Minister said, an exciting and satisfying career of public service awaits them. For those youngsters who did not get the desired result in the Civil Services Examination, the Prime Minister said, he would like to tell them that life is full of several opportunities.  He said, each and everyone of them is hardworking and diligent and wished them the best for their future endeavours.


The Indian Army has kickstarted the process to grant Permanent Commission to eligible women officers, nearly two weeks after the defence ministry approved the proposal.  It has asked women officers to apply for permanent commission by the 31st August this year. Detailed administrative instructions have been issued to all affected women officers giving out guidelines for submission of applications for consideration by the Board. Women Officers who have joined the Indian Army through the Women Special Entry Scheme and Short Service Commission Women are being considered and all of them have been instructed to submit their application forms, option certificate and other related documents to the Army.


The Centre has laid a lot of emphasis on the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Reforms have been brought in the Union Territory to deliver good governance. A report:-

"With the aim to reach the last in the queue, there has been 100 per cent saturation of individual beneficiary schemes in Jammu and Kashmir. Individual Beneficiary Schemes have been targeted for 100 per cent Coverage. Schemes like Saubhagya, Ujala, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Mission Indradhanush in Jammu and Kashmir have achieved 100 per cent Coverage. Under Swachh Bharat Mission, Jammu and Kashmir has been declared Open Defecation Free. J&K is among the leading States and UTs in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana AYUSHMAN BHARAT. It is also leading in implementation of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.  100 per cent coverage also achieved in Merit cum Means Minority Scholarship and also in Minority pre-matric scholarship. Special focus is being laid on border areas for 100 per cent coverage of welfare schemes, exclusive police recruitment, construction of bunkers along International Border or Line of Control and through special infrastructure development. During Covid-19 crisis, Union Territory administration took a series of decisions to provide support to the poor and the destitute in addition to the support provided by Government of India under the Atmanirbhar package. Anupam Mishra, AIR News, Delhi."


Security responsibilities of Kushak Bakula Rinpoche Airport in Leh will be handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) from tomorrow. Keeping Covid-19  in view, after flight operations are completed tomorrow, the induction of CISF will take place at Leh airport. Due to the pandemic at present daily 3 -4 flights, with 400-500 passengers, are operating on the Leh-Delhi sector, in comparison to 13 flights during the non Pandemic times. Ever since civil operations with scheduled flights from 1978, the security responsibilities are with J&K police and  Ladakh police after bifurcation of the police. Early last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for new Passenger terminal. Along with the Ladakh police, CRPF was performing Security of the airport as the runway is under the control of the Indian Airforce in Leh.

In a ceremony tomorrow Ladakh police Inspector General  SS Khandare will handover the key of Leh airport symbolically to handover the security to DG CISF Rajesh Ranjan. 130 CISF personnel specially trained in Aviation security will guard the Leh airport.


President, Vice President and Prime Minister have expressed grief on the demise of theater maestro Ebrahim Alkazi. In a tweet,  President Ram Nath Kovind said, Ebrahim Alkazi, doyen of Indian theatre, mentored and inspired generations of artists.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said,  Ebrahim Alkazi is credited with reinventing and revolutionising Indian theatre. He said, as director of National School of Drama, he helped set a new course for theatre in India. Mr Naidu said, his passing is a great loss to the art and theatre fraternity of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Ebrahim Alkazi will be remembered for his efforts to make theatre more popular and accessible across India. 


Sri Lanka will vote tomorrow to elect 225 members for its 16th parliament with strict health guidelines amidst the pandemic. The voting will begin at 7  in the morning and continue till 5 in the evening. The counting of votes will be held on Friday and results are expected by late evening on that day. Over 7450 candidates are in fray for parliament seats while around 1.62 crore voters are eligible to exercise their franchise at around 13 thousand polling booths. 


The Flood situation in Bangladesh has improved with major rivers in the country showing a declining trend over the last 24 hours. According to the latest flood bulletin issued by the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of Bangladesh out of 101 observation points across the four major river basins, water level receded at 69 points while it increased at 27 points.


Back home in Bihar, there is no let up in flood situation in affected areas. Over 64  lakh people of 14 districts spread over 1,152 Panchayats are reeling under the impact of flood. The worst affected districts are Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur and Sitamarhi. The swirling water of Gandak, Bagmati and Burhi gandak has engulfed  low lying areas. Affected people who are living in low lying areas have been advised to move to higher places. 36 people have lost their lives in flood related accidents during the last 24 hours. Maximum casualties were reported from Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has instructed to conduct corona test for those who are staying in relief camps. Over 20 thousand people are living in relief camps. Relief and rescue operations have been intensified. Thirty three teams of NDRF and SDRF have been pressed into service. Over four lakh fifty thousand people have been evacuated so far. In all, 1,365 community kitchens have been set up to provide food to affected people.


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

The National Capital Delhi will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain. It will have a minimum temperature of around 28 degrees Celsius and maximum of 37 degrees.  Mumbai will see a generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature will be 24 and the maximum will be around 28 degrees. Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky and the temperature will hover between 27 and 31 degrees Celsius. Kolkata will see a generally cloudy sky with heavy rain. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 27 while the maximum will be 34 degrees.

On to the North, in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 26 in Jammu while the maximum will be around 34 degrees . The city will see a partly cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be around 19  while the maximum will be 33 degrees. The city will have a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night. Ladakh will have a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius.

In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 17 and 37 degrees. Gilgit along with Muzzafarabad,  will see a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards evening or night. In Muzzafarabad the minimum temperature will be 23 while the maximum temperature will be 37 .


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