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News Highlights
PM hails passage of agriculture reform bills in Parliament; Describes it as watershed moment in history of Indian agriculture            Rajnath Singh condemns ruckus created by opposition members in RS; Accuses them of misleading farmers            Covid Recovery rate improves to 79.68 per cent            PM to lay foundation stone of 9 highway projects in Bihar tomorrow            Italian Open Tennis: Simona Halep reaches final of Women's Singles           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
16.09.2020

THE HEADLINES

  • Parliament passes Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020; Three Gujarat based Ayurveda institutes to be merged into one.

  • Infiltration attempts by Pakistani terrorists have reduced in Jammu and Kashmir in last two and a half years says  Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy.

  • COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 78.53 per cent; Over 39 lakh 42 thousand people recovered so far.

  • Yoshihide Suga elected as Japan's new Premier; Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulates the new leader.

  • Renowned scholar Dr.Kapila Vatsyayan passes away.

  • Today is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

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The Parliament has passed the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill, 2020 with Rajya Sabha approving it today. The Lok Sabha has already passed the bill. The bill seeks to establish an Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda and declare it an Institute of National importance. The bill also has the provision to merge three Ayurveda institutes situated in Jamnagar, Gujarat into one. The institutes are, the Institute of Post-Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Shree Gulabkunverba Ayurved Mahavidyalaya and the Indian Institute of Ayurvedic Pharmaceutical Sciences. The proposed Institute will be situated in the campus of Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar. Replying to discussion, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, the government is committed to promote the ancient medicine system including Ayurveda. He said, Ayush Ministry has initiated the process to give deemed university status to all its national institutes.

On members’ questions, why Jamnagar Institute has been selected for making an institute of national importance, the Minister said, it has been chosen in an objective manner as Jamnagar institutes are oldest Ayurveda institutes. Earlier, participating in the discussion, TMC MP Dr Santunu Sen questioned the bill saying it is in contradiction of the New Education Policy. Prof. Ramgopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party demanded the Centre to provide more assistance to states to ensure better availability of medicines in the hospitals. While supporting the bill, Prashant Nanda of BJD said, the world is looking towards India for quality education in the field of Ayurveda.

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Terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have reduced significantly after the revocation of Article 370 from the newly carved Union Territory. This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs in G. Kishan Reddy in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today. He said, no major terror attack took place in the hinterland of the country from 5th of August 2019 to 9th of September 2020.

The Minister informed that a total number of 455 terrorist related  incidents have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir within 402 days prior to revocation of Article 370. He said, a total number of 211 terrorist incidents have been reported between 5th August 2019 to 9th September 2020.

The minister  said that the government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. He added that various measures have been taken by the government for strengthening the security apparatus and strict enforcement of law to effectively deal with the challenges posed by the terrorist organizations.

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The infiltration attempts by the Pakistani terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir have come down in the last two and half years. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today, Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy informed that a total number of 143 infiltrations occurred in the year 2018 and 141 infiltrations in the year 2019. In this year till July, 48 infiltrations happened in Jammu and Kashmir. The Minister informed that a total number of 257 terrorists in the year 2018 and 157 terrorists in the year 2019 were killed in J&K. This year, 168 terrorists have been killed in the Union Territory till 9th of September.

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The Union Government is considering a revision in the limit of creamy layer for Other Backward Classes, OBCs.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar said the modalities of revised limit are under examination of the government. He was responding to a question wherein it was asked whether the government has prepared a proposal to increase the creamy layer limit of OBCs to 12 lakh rupees.

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Congress today questioned the government’s measures taken for containing the spread of Corona virus in the country and demanded that compensation must be given to migrant workers and poor who lost their lives during the lockdown. Participating in a discussion in Rajya Sabha on the statement given by Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on COVID-19 pandemic, Anand Sharma of Congress said, migrant workers and poor people have to face hardships due to unplanned lockdown. He said, government should inform the house about the rationale behind the sudden announcement of lockdown.

Derek O’Brien of TMC also questioned the government’s move related to the announcement of lockdown without consulting the states. He also criticized the government for suspension of MPLAD funds during this crisis situation. He urged the Centre to work with the State Governments to control the COVID-19 situation. Ravi Prakash Verma of Samajawadi Party also raised fingers on government’s steps related to lockdown. Tiruchi Siva of DMK said that 50 lakh people have been affected in India from Corona virus and post-lockdown, the situation has worsened in the country. K. Keshav Rao of TRS asked the Centre to take states into confidence to tackle the situation arising out after the lockdown. Elamaram Karim of CPI (M) also expressed his views while questioning the Central government. Manoj Jha of RJD also talked about lockdown and criticized the government’s policies.

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe of BJP listed out the several measures taken by the Central Government to provide relief to common people during lockdown and to protect their health. He questioned the preparedness of the Maharashtra Government alleging that the State Government has not been able to provide proper health facilities to people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Sahasrabuddhe talked about the several government measures like Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Atmanirbhar Bharat and other welfare initiatives which provided relief to people across the country. RCP Singh of JD (U) objected to the use of word migrant and demanded that it should be immediately stopped as everyone is Indian. Prasanna Acharya of BJD and Swapan Dasgupta also participated in the discussion which remained inconclusive. Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day.

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Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar today said a number of unprecedented steps have been taken by the Centre for labour welfare and employment including for migrant workers across India during COVID-19 pandemic. Labour is in the concurrent list and therefore, both State and Central Governments can legislate on the issues. Further, most of the Central Labour Acts including the Migrant Labour Act is being implemented exclusively by the State Government. As per the provisions of the Migrant Labour Act, the registration of the migrant workers is to be done by the respective State Governments and the data has to be maintained by the State Governments. However, in the unprecedented scenario of COVID-19, Labour Ministry took the initiatives to collect the data of migrant workers who are going to their home states during lockdown. On the basis of information collected from various State Governments, around one crore migrant workers have gone back to their source State during COVID-19. Labour Minister further added that various initiatives were taken for the welfare of migrant workers during lockdown. Immediately after the lockdown, directions were sent from the Ministry to all the State Governments and UTs instructing them to provide financial assistance to construction workers from Building and Other Construction Workers’ Cess Fund. It is estimated that the highest proportion of migrant workers are construction workers. Till date, about two crore migrant workers have been provided 5,000 crores directly in their bank accounts from Building and Other Construction Workers’ Cess Fund being maintained by various states.

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The recovery rate of COVID-19 has further improved to 78.53 per cent. In all, 82 thousand 961 COVID patients had recovered and were discharged during the last 24 hours. The Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached 39 lakh 42 thousand and 360. It said, the constant increase in recoveries ensured that the actual caseload of the country is reduced and currently comprises only 19.84 per cent of the total positive cases. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.63 per cent. The total number of positive cases has now reached 50 lakh 20 thousand 359. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is nine lakh 95 thousand and 933. In the last 24 hours, 1,290 deaths were reported taking the toll to 82 thousand 66. In all, 11 lakh 16 thousand 842 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. So far over five crore 94 lakh tests have been conducted across the country.

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In Bihar, COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 91 per cent which is 13  per cent more than national average. Active cases in the state is regularly decreasing. At present, 13 thousand 731 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals of the state. Positivity rate has also decreased to 1.46 per cent. Out of one lakh 61 thousand 101 positive cases, one lakh 46 thousand 533 patients have been recovered from the infection in the state so far. Casualities due to Corona have gone up to 836. No deaths were reported from the two dedicated hospitals NMCH and AIIMS, Patna in last 24 hours. The total number of testings has crossed 50 lakh 94 thousand in the state. The Centre has alloted 113 crore rupees to Bihar under for COVID management under National Health Mission.

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In Himachal Pradesh, the state cabinet has decided to allow people to enter or exit the state without E- COVID registration. However, in the wake of rising COVID 19 cases and related fatality, it has been decided not to resume the inter-state movement of public transport buses.

"The state government has decided that there would be no requirement for online registration before entering or exit the state from today onwards, anyone could enter the state without registration however the interstate movement of buses remain suspended till further orders. Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh recorded eight more deaths due to COVID19, pushing the death toll to 88. These fatalities were reported from Mandi, Una, Kangra, Shimla and solan districts. On the other hand, 419 fresh cases were reported during the last 24 hours, taking the state COVID tally to 10,335. The number of active cases in the state has gone up to 3,801. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla."

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In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called upon the Sarpanch of every village to take lead in effective implementation of 'My Family, My Responsibility' initiative so as to contain the second wave of infection well in time, if it hits the state. The Chief Minister along with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other senior Ministers held a meeting with as many as 28,000 Sarpanchs of the state via web.

 "Calling this campaign a people’s movement, chief minister Thackeray said the government has been fighting this virus for six months, but now time has come that every person in the state should do his bit to control the spread of disease. So, this management has to be done at micro level and so all sarpanchs should take responsibility of their villages. They should ensure all protocols are followed and those violating are fined. SONALI GHADYALPATIL, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI."

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In Karnataka, State Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai has tested positive for COVID-19. Informing this in a tweet, the Minister has said that he is asymptomatic and will be under home quarantine. He has asked those who were in contact with him to take the COVID test. Meanwhile Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa has informed that the state has benefitted from Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat package.

Speaking at a meeting organized by the Cooperative sector, the Chief Minister said that the state has received 4,525 crore rupees from Centre to strengthen farmers producers organizations and agri-based Cooperative institutions. This will benefit 1,549 Cooperative Societies.

The COVID surge in the state remains at the peak. Yesterday,  68,365 Covid tests were conducted, out of which, the new Covid cases detected were 7,481 and those recovered were 7,406 people. There were 97 deaths due to COVID during the last 24 hours. Currently, there are 4,88,013 persons in home quarantine.

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Telangana reported 2273 fresh COVID -19 cases during the last 24 hours taking the number of cases reported so far in the state to one lakh 62 thousand 844.  The state has conducted over 55 thousand tests yesterday. The recovery rate has also  improved slightly to 80.71 per cent with 2260 more people recovering yesterday. This took the number of recovered people so far in the state to 1 lakh 31 thousand 447.

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Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said India's willingness to play a "big role" in manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine and allow it to supply to the  other developing countries will be a critical part in containing the pandemic globally. He said the world is looking to India for large scale production of COVID-19 vaccine once it is rolled out. In an exclusive interview to a news agency, Gates, whose foundation is focusing on fighting the pandemic, called it the next biggest thing the world has been confronted with after the World War. Scientists and pharmaceutical companies globally are racing against time to find a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic which has killed about 9,32,000 people and infected around 24 million. Some of the vaccine candidates have entered the third and final phase of testing. Gates said India will be helping to make sure there is equity. In a telephonic interview, the Microsoft co-founder talked extensively about India's strength in production of vaccines and referred to companies like Serum Institute, Bio E and Bharat Biotech.

Gates also said that his foundation is having great discussions with India's NITI-Aayog, adding the ICMR is looking at the regulatory aspects of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das today assured the industry that the Central Bank will take all necessary measures to ensure liquidity in the system and promote economic growth. Delivering a key-note address to the members of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( FICCI ) at a webinar, he said, the economic recovery has not fully entrenched. He said, the recovery is likely to be gradual as efforts towards reopening of the economy are confronted with increasing infections. Mr. Das said, financial market conditions in India have significantly eased across segments in response to front-loaded cut in policy repo rate by the RBI. He underlined that the bank investments in commercial papers, bonds, debentures and shares of corporate bodies from April to August 2020 has increased by 5,615 crore rupees. In his address, Mr Das spoke about the initiatives taken by the Central Bank to ease the liquidity situation and make available funds to the businesses impacted by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Sngh has said the State Congress will challenge the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 in the court, which was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday. He alleged, the government has imposed a Central law on a state subject, thus eroding the federal structure of the country. Asserting that he will not allow the interests of the farmers to be compromised, Captain Amarinder said, the enactment of the legislation is clearly a step towards abolition of the MSP regime.He said, the legislation talks of encouraging competition among farmers. The Punjab Chief Minister asked how could the poor farmers, who are only competing with themselves for survival, be able to compete with rival big corporates for protecting their interests.

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The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade  issued a notification today, extending the date of implementation of Toys (Quality Control) Order, 2020 as 1st January 2021 in place of 1st September 2020. This decision allows domestic manufacturers four months of extra time to make necessary arrangements for compliance of standards in view of difficulties arising out of COVID-19 pandemic.

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Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today held discussions with Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on e-vehicles. In a tweet, Mr Javadekar said, he has been using an e-car for a year now. He said, under FAME India Scheme Phase-II, the government has sanctioned 2,636 e-vehicles charging stations amounting to 500 crore rupees in 62 cities across 24 States and UTs.

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Today is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. In a tweet, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said, World Ozone Day is observed to create awareness related to climate change and ozone depletion. He asked people to look for ozone-friendly, HCFC free, energy-efficient appliances to minimize the Ozone layer impact.

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Education Minister Ramesh Pokriyal Nishank today said the National Education Policy will aid young students in reaching new milestones. Addressing a webinar on creating awareness about National EducationPolicy-2020, he said, the Ministry under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make India a super house of knowledge and research, helping re-establish India as the Vishwa Guru. He said, more higher education institutions will use the mother tongue or local language as a medium of instruction. He further said, private higher education institutions too will be encouraged and incentivised to use Indian languages as medium of instruction and offer bilingual programmes.

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As part of the Indo-US Bilateral Defence Cooperation, the 10th Defence Technology and Trade Initiative, DTTI Group Meeting was held virtually yesterday. The meeting was co-chaired by Raj Kumar, Secretary, Defence Production, Defence Ministry and Ellen M. Lord, Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, from the US Department of Defence. DTTI Group Meetings are normally held twice a year, alternating between India and the United States. This time, meeting was held virtually on account of COVID pandemic. The aim of the DTTI Group is to bring sustained leadership focus to the bilateral defense trade relationship and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of defence equipment. Four Joint Working Groups focused on land, naval, air, and aircraft carrier technologies have been established under DTTI to promote mutually agreed projects within their domains. The groups reported to the co-chairs on the ongoing activities and collaborative opportunities including a number of near-term projects targeted for completion on priority.

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Indian Army has geared up for any challenge in the Eastern Ladakh region with state of art technologies and equipment. Indian Army in the last twenty years has mastered the art of warfare in the highest battlefields with suitable gear, food, arms and ammunition.

"Indian army soldiers are feeling pride to serve in Ladakh to defend its territories. The Army has taken enough care to choose the soldiers who have served in the region earlier and withstood the tough and hostile weather conditions. With this Indian Army is able to plug and play with normal acclimatization on arrival. Indian Army has equipped with all necessaries for any eventuality and for long haul. Each unit has served at least one time in Ladakh region and some have served even four times in the region. Apart from that, the Army has improved tremendously various facilities that are required by the soldiers in temperatures varying plus 20 to minus 50 in high altitude battle fields.  Fire and Fury Corps Major General Arvind Kapoor said,

In the last twenty years, after the Kargil war and experiences from the victorious war, the Indian Army has mastered the art of war in high altitude fields to turn the disadvantages to an advantage. Ramesh Chandra, AIR News, Leh"

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Leading scholar of Indian classical dance, art, architecture and art history, Dr Kapila Vatsyayan passed away this morning. She was 91. Dr. Vatsyayan was a former Member of Parliament and also served as Secretary to the Government in the Ministry of Education, where she was responsible for the establishment of a large number of national institutions of higher education.

Dr Vatsyayan served as the founding Director of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. She was the former President of India International Centre (IIC) and an IIC Life Trustee and the Chairperson of the IIC International Research Division.

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In Rajasthan, nine people died while some people went missing after a boat drowned in Chambal river in Kauthali area of Kota district. Police Superintendent of Kota Rural Sharad Chaudhary told AIR that the mishap took place under Khatauli Police Station when about 40 people were crossing the river in a boat to visit Kamleshwar Mahadev temple in adjoining Bundi district. The boat overturned after running some distance. He told that relief and rescue operations are going on. Top officials of Police and administration have reached the spot.

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Yoshihide Suga was formally elected today as Japan's new Prime Minister in a Parliamentary vote. Mr Suga replaced former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned earlier in the day because of ill health. Mr Suga had been chosen as leader of the ruling party on Monday, virtually assuring his succession. He was the Chief Cabinet Secretary and long seen as Abe's right-hand man. Mr Suga is to launch his own Cabinet later in the day today. Mr Suga has stressed his background as a farmer's son and a self-made politician in promising to serve the interests of the ordinary people and rural communities. He said, he will pursue Abe's unfinished policies and that his top priorities will be fighting the Corona virus and turning around an economy battered by the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his heartiest congratulations to Yoshihide Suga on the appointment as the Prime Minister of Japan. In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, he is looking forward to jointly taking India and Japan's Special Strategic and Global Partnership to new heights.

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Take a look at the weather s for the day.


The National Capital Delhi will have a partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature recorded in the city was 28 degrees Celsius and the maximum around 37 degrees. In Mumbai, there will be generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The temperature is likely to hover between 26 and 32 degrees Celsius. Chennai is likely to see a generally cloudy sky with light rain. The minimum temperature was 26 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 32 degrees Celsius. Kolkata may have a partly cloudy sky with possibility of moderate rain or thunderstorm. The minimum temperature was 28 degrees Celsius while the maximum is likely to be around 33 degrees. In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was recorded at 25 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 36 degrees. The city will see a mainly clear sky. In Srinagar, the temperature will hover between 12 and 31 degrees celsius. The city is likely to see a mainly clear sky. Ladakh will also have mainly clear sky. The temperature may hover between 9 and 26 degrees Celsius.In Gilgit, the minimum temperature was 13 degrees and the maximum will be 28 degrees Celsius. The city will have a mainly clear sky. Muzzafarabad is also likely to have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 19 degrees Celsius and the maximum is expected to be around 36 degrees Celsius.


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