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Last Updated : Oct 25 2020 10:30PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Narendra Modi says, country has given a befitting reply to forces trying to divide the nation            In his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, PM urges people to go for local products during festive shopping            COVID-19 recovery rate touches 90 per cent            Paddy procurement gains momentum during ongoing Kharif Marketing Season; Over 144 lakh tonnes paddy procured so far            India celebrates the festival of Dussehra           

Text Bulletins Details

Evening News

2030 HRS


  • Prime Minister  Narendra Modi hails historic reforms in agriculture; Says government is committed to MSP support for farmers.

  • Kosi Rail mega bridge and 12 railway projects unveiled by Prime Minister to improve connectivity in Bihar .

  • COVID Recovery Rate improves to 78.86 per cent.

  • External Affairs Minister Dr.S Jaishankar says, India -Japan economic cooperation is on an upswing.

  • Stage all set for 13th edition of IPL Cricket from tomorrow in Abu Dhabi.


Prime Minister  Narendra Modi has said  Agriculture reforms Bill will provide new opportunities to farmers to sell their produce, which will increase their profits. He was speaking after dedicating the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu (mega bridge) to the nation through video-conferencethis afternoon. Prime Minister asserted that these legislations will empower farmers in the country and will ensure that they get the benefit of modern technology.He assured that the new bill will truly free the farmers from middlemen and all obstacles. Prime Minister  assured farmers that the system of MSP and government procurement will continue as before.

"हमारी सरकार किसानों को एमएसपी के माध्यम से उचित मूल् दिलाने के लिए प्रतिबद्ध है। पहले भी थे, आज भी हैं, आगे भी रहेंगे। सरकारी खरीद भी पहले की तरह जारी रहेगी। कोई भी व्यक्ति अपना उत्पादन, जो भी वो पैदा करता है, दुनिया में कहीं भी बेच सकता है, जहां चाहे वहां बेच सकता है।"

Prime Minister alleged that the Opposition parties are misguiding people by protesting against Agriculture reforms Bill. He said that various powers are engaged in confusing the farmers regarding the provisions of the new legislation.

"जिस एपीएमसी एक् को लेकर अब ये लोग राजनीति कर रहे हैं। एग्रीकल्चर मार्केट के प्रावधानों में बदलाव का विरोध कर रहे हैं। उसी बदलाव के बाद इन लोगों ने अपने घोषणा पत्र में भी खिली थी, लेकिन अब जब एनडीए सरकार ने ये बदलाव कर दिया है, तो ये लोग इसका विरोध करने पर, झूठ फैलाने पर, भ्रम फैलाने पर उतर आए हैं।"

He exhorted that these bills will additionally fortify the farmers by giving them many more options.


Home Minister Amit Shah has expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the passage of two crucial Bills on agricultural reforms in the Lok Sabha. In a series of tweets, Home Minister said, India is proud of its hardworking farmers who shoulder the creation of the nation’s wealth and prosperity. He said, it is for the first time that there is a government at the Centre which is working day and night towards the empowerment of farmers. He added that the passage of landmark agriculture reform Bills in the Lok Sabha yesterday is an unprecedented step in this direction.


In Haryana, progressive farmers today came forward in support of the three farmer's related bills/ordinances and said that the bills passed in Lok Sabha are in the interest of farmers. In Bhiwani, District President of Pragatisheel Kisan Sangh, Kuldip Singh and another farmer Rajesh Kumar said that few farmers are opposing these bills without knowing the facts. They said, these bills will facilitate the farmers to adopt the  group agriculture and sell their produce in the open market. In Ambala, Kisan Utpadak Sangh, Pragatisheel Kisan Sangathan and Sehkari Kisan Sangathan fully supported all the three bills and handed over a memorandum to Tehsildar for Union Agriculture Minister Narender Singh Tomar. In memorandum, they said, these bills provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country. In Panchkula, the farmers belonging to Kisan Utpadak Sangh, Pragatisheel Kisan Sangathan and Sehkari Kisan Sangathan carried out a tractor rally in support of the farm bills. They said, if these are implemented in letter and spirit, will benefit the farmers in a big way.


In our series on Seva Saptah, today we bring you a special story on Agricultural reforms . In the last six years, Narendra Modi government has laid a lot of emphasis on empowering the farmers. 2000 rupees being provided to farmers is proving to be very helpful and Ujjwala Yojana has proven to be a boon for women .Let's listen to the beneficiaries.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi  dedicated the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu (mega bridge) to the nation through video-conference  this afternoon. He also inaugurated 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities to benefit the people of Bihar.

"बिहार में रेल कनेक्टिविटी के क्षेत्र में नया इतिहास रचा गया है। कोसी महासेतु और किउल ब्रिज के साथ ही बिहार में रेल यातायात, रेलवे के बिजलीकरण और रेलवे में मेक इन इंडिया को बढ़ावा देने, नये रोजगार पैदा करने वाले एक दर्जन प्रोजेक्ट्स का आज लोकार्पण और शुभारंभ हुआ है।"

The 1.9-kilometre long Kosi mega bridge has been completed at a total cost of 516 crore rupees. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, history has been created in connectivity and prosperity of Bihar after construction of the historic Kosi Rail Mahasetu. He said, the bridge has connected Mithila and Kosi region. With the construction of the bridge the rail distance between Nirmali and Saraigarh would come down from the present 298 kilometres to 22 kilometres. This bridge is of strategic importance along the Indo-Nepal border. It would also make it easy for long distance travel to Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai for the people of the region.

" कोसी और मिथिला क्षेत्र के लिए ये महासेतु सुविधा का साधन तो है ही, ये इस पूरे क्षेत्र में व्यापार, कारोबार, उद्योग, रोजगार को भी बढावा देने वाला है। बिहार के लोग तो इसे भलीभांति जानते हैं कि वर्तमान में निर्मली से सरायगढ का रेल का सफर करीब-करीब तीन सौ किलोमीटर का होता है। अब वो दिन ज्यादा दूर नहीं, जब बिहार के लोगों को तीन सौ किलोमीटर की ये यात्रा नहीं करनी पड़ेगी।

The Prime Minister said, 90 per cent rail line in Bihar has been electrified. He blamed the previous UPA government for the slow progress in the development of railways in the state during its rule.  Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, dream of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been fulfilled with the dedication of Kosi Rail Mahasetu. Mr Kumar thanked Prime Minister Modi for speedy construction of setu. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, a new chapter has been added in golden history of Bihar after construction of the Kosi Rail Mahasetu. 


Government has amended the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) Order, 2017 on 16th of this month. The amendment enables nodal Ministries and Departments to notify higher minimum local content requirement for Class-I and Class-II local suppliers.

As per the Order, entities of countries which do not allow Indian companies to participate in their Government procurement for any item, shall not be allowed to participate in Government procurement in India for all items related to that nodal Ministry or Department, except for the list of items published by the Ministry or  Department permitting their participation. Specifying foreign certifications, unreasonable technical specifications, brands, models in the bid document is restrictive and discriminatory practice against local suppliers.


The country today registered the highest single day recoveries of 87 thousand 472 COVID patients. Health Ministry said, the recovery rate of COVID-19 has further improved to 78.86 per cent. The Health Ministry said, the total number of recoveries has reached over 41 lakh 12 thousand. The constantly increasing recoveries have ensured that the actual caseload of the country is reduced and currently comprises only 19.52 per cent of the total positive cases. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is 10 lakh 17 thousand. Currently, India’s Case Fatality Rate is at 1.62 per cent, which is one of the lowest globally.


Kerala continued to report surge in Covid cases as it confirmed 4167 positive cases today.  More from our correspondent:

"The situation in Thiruvananthapuram district is getting very serious as it is  confirms 926 cases today taking the  total active cases in the district to 6464. Meanwhile 12 deaths were also confirmed today due to Covid ,  taking the death toll in state to 501 . 2744 recoveries were also reported in the state today.The active covid cases in Kerala rose to 35724 . Meanwhile the State Election Commission had convened an  all party meeting today, to decide on the local Self Govt elections in the State. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram. "


The Centre has decided to depute a high level Central team to Jammu. The district has reported a rise in the number of new COVID cases in the recent days. Health Ministry said, the team will interact with the District Collectors and Health Officers of Jammu. It will also visit hospitals in Bakshinagar and Gandhinagar. The team will support the efforts of the state  towards strengthening containment, surveillance, testing and efficient clinical management of the positive cases. The Central team will also guide in effectively managing the challenges related to timely diagnosis and follow up. The total number of confirmed COVID cases in Jammu is nine thousand 428. Of these, three thousand 196 have recovered. There are six thousand 115 Active Cases in the district. Jammu has been reporting doubling time of 15.4 days and the recovery rate is 33.9 per cent.

The Ministry said, recently a special team had visited the Srinagar valley. The team had reviewed the status of preparedness for COVID management with the District Collectors of the valley.  


In Himachal, the state government has decided to open schools from 9th to 12 standard from Monday with some conditions. This decision was taken by the state cabinet in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jairam Thakur this evening. More from our correspondent:

"The Cabinet gave its decision to open the schools from 9th to 12 standard outside the containment zone in the State from Monday as per the standard operating procedure . The  written consent of the parents or guardians of the student is mandatory. These schools will be opened with fifty per cent teaching and non-teaching staff . Meanwhile  10 corona patients died in various parts of the state today with this the number of COVID deaths in the state has risen to 106. Three deaths are reported from kangara and solan each, two from shimla and one each from Mandi and sirmour district.The total number of active cases in the state has gone up to 4228,so far. Sanjeev Sundriyal,AIR News Shimla"


External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar today said India and Japan have seen a very visible increase in economic cooperation. At the launch of India-Japan report by FICCI, Dr Jaishankar said, FDI inflows from Japan have gone up and the number of Japanese companies in India has also gone up. The Minister said Japan is the only country with which India has an annual summit as well as 22 dialogue. He stated that this show how much in sync the two countries are in terms of how they look at the world and define interests. External Affairs Minister said, India has a vision for Indo-Pacific region, as indeed does Japan. He said, both nations have in many ways tried to shape the Indo-Pacific narrative. He stressed that the seamlessness of what happens in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions today underlines the importance and relevance of Indo-Pacific.



Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said the government is committed to provide high quality medical facilities to all citizens including the poorest of the poor. He said the most modern and useful systems of medicines will be adopted for ensuring the best health care system for the people. The Minister was replying to a discussion in the Rajya Sabha today on two health related bills - the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 and the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020.  He said that the National Commission for modern medicine will be functional soon. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, whenever history will be written about health reforms in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be remembered. Later, the two bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha by voice vote.

Earlier, cutting across party lines members underlined the need for strengthening the Homoeopathy, Ayurveda and other Indian system of medicines and asked the government to extend adequate financial support. Later the two bills were adopted by voice vote in the House. Initiating the discussion on the Bill, Ripun Bora of the Congress expressed apprehension that the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020 is an attempt to take away the autonomy of the Homeopathy Council. Responding to this, Dr. Sudhanshu Trivedi of BJP said the Bill would give a push to scientific research in Homeopathy. Santanu Sen of All India Trinamool Congress stressed the need to make the Homeopathy system more robust. However, he opposed the promulgation of an Ordinance. Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav of Samajwadi Party said that the current amendments have limited scope, and are just to extend the tenure of the Board of Governors of the Homeopathy Council. Among others  K Somaprasad of CPI-M, Binoy Viswam of CPI, Ashok Siddharth of BSP, Sanjay Singh of Aam Adami Party and Dr Vikas Mahatme of BJP participated in the discussion.

Earlier, the House was adjourned for 30 minutes in the morning as a mark of respect to a sitting member and a former member who passed away recently. The House later took up Zero Hour mentions on matters of public importance. Muzibullah Khan of the BJD raised the issue of inaccuracies in census figures on minorities in Odisha. He called for revisiting census figures in Odisha. T G Venkatesh of the BJP raised the issue of exorbitant power wheeling charges. M Thambidurai of AIADMK requested the Centre to release the pending Custom Milled Rice subsidy amount of over 5,445 crore rupees to Tamil Nadu. Shamsher Singh Dullo of Congress complained on the sale of illicit liquor in Punjab and asked the Centre to investigate it. Tiruchi Siva of DMK raised the issue of unequal representation of States in Central government jobs. Dr. Fauzia Khan of NCP, Elamaram Kareem of CPI-M, K T S Tulsi of Congress and Sujit Kumar of BJD also raised issues like digitisation of land rights, concern on privatisation of ordinance factories, rights of pensioners and the uneven implementation of Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan. Thereafter the House took up Special Mentions. Tiruchi Siva of DMK said, the Bill is another attempt by the government to dilute the principle of federalism. Manoj Kumar Jha of the RJD, Sanjay Singh of Aam Admi Party and L Hanumanthaiah of the Congress also participated in the discussion.

Later, the House also passed two bills --- Salaries, Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill 2020 and The Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2020 for the purpose of Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the Members agreed to contribute their salaries and allowances but opposed to divert the funds earmarked under their MPLAD (Members of Parliament Local Area Development) accounts. As many as 16 members including Rajiv Satav of Congress, Swait Mallick of BJP, Dinesh Trivedi of Trinamool Congress, A Vijay Kumar of AIADMK, Prasanna Acharya of BJD, Vishambar Prasad Nishad of Samajwadi Party, P Wilson of DMK, V. Vijayasai Reddy of YSRCP, Ramchandra Prasad Singh of JD-U, Professor Manoj Kumar Jha of RJD, K Ravindra Kumar of TDP, Dr. Fauzia Khan of NCP, Veer Singh of BSP, Nazir Ahmed Laway of J&K PDP, Dr K Keshav Rao of TRS and Nominated Member Rakesh Sinha.

Responding to this, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad objected to the proposal saying that the MPLAD fund belonged to people. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier. Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy said that his party had made arrangement for providing food to the people in difficult times of Covid. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the World Health Organization and several agencies have appreciated the efforts of the Centre in managing the Covid situation.



Lok Sabha today witnessed noisy scenes when Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman sought to introduce a bill to give effect to various compliance relief measures for taxpayers, including extending time limits for filing returns and linking PAN with Aadhaar, leading to repeated adjournments of the House. The bill seeks to replace the Taxation and other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance, 2020, promulgated in March.

The House was adjourned a number of times as opposition protested against some remarks made by BJP leaders.

This is the first time in the ongoing Monsoon Session that the House witnessed repeated adjournments due to ruckus.

While tabling The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation and Amendment of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020, Mrs. Sitharaman said, she had a feeling that those who spoke against the introduction of the legislation definitely misunderstood its contents. She said, the bill is related to tax returns filing and tax payments and that is only the intention of the government as tax filing is the Centre's domain. It is only about tax payment, tax return and filing, she said.

Referring to the GST shares of the states, the Minister said, the Centre would definitely pay the share to the state governments. She made it clear that the Centre is not taking away the powers of the states and not running away from its responsibilities. She was referring to allegations made by some opposition members. The Centre has never said that it will not pay the states' share. It will definitely pay the states' share of the GST, she said.

The Finance Minister said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a successful Chief Minister of Gujarat and he is aware of the problems of states and their requirements. Ms Sitharaman said that the opposition was trying to distort the facts on the intentions of the government. She dismissed the opposition's claim that the Centre was violating the GST Council or by-passing it. She asserted that the Centre is not violating the GST Council or CGST Act.

The Finance Minister also said the Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme 2020 is not an amnesty scheme as it does not give benefits to the tax evaders. It is only related to dispute resolution and it is not proper to term it as amnesty scheme, she said. The Finance Minister then asked her junior colleague Anurag Thakur to speak about the PM Cares Fund, set up recently by the central government keeping in mind the need for having 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, and to provide relief to the affected. She said the public charitable trust's name is -- Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund).

Mr. Thakur accused the opposition of finding faults in every issue. He said, the opposition felt that EVM was bad, Triple Talaq was bad and GST was bad and always saw bad in good initiatives of the government. He wanted to know what is wrong with the PM Cares Fund. The Junior Minister said several times, the opposition members approached the law courts against the PM Cares Fund but they did not support their stand.

Mr Thakur said when the prime minister was fighting the coronavirus pandemic, some people went to court against the fund. Even the poorest of the poor have contributed to the PM Cares Fund. But the opposition kept on asking questions. Even children, old, retired teachers have contributed to the PM Cares Fund, he said.

Referring to the PM National Relief Fund, Mr. Thakur said the Trust was set up during the tenure of the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and was not even registered as a public Trust. But it got all relevant clearances, including FCRA, he said.

Mr. Thakur said the PM Cares Fund is a constitutionally set up public charitable trust. But, the PM National Relief Fund was set up only for the benefits of one family -- Nehru-Gandhi family, he alleged.  Reacting to this, Congress members strongly protested against the Minister’s remarks, forcing the Speaker Om Birla to adjourn the House for 30 minutes. Congress leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Shashi Tharoor, Manish Tewari, Prof. Sougata Roy of Trinamool Congress and A M Ariff of the CPI-M opposed the introduction of the bill. Mr. Tharoor wanted to know why the PM Cares Fund has been exempted from the audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). He said the contributions to the fund from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was wrong. Mr Sougat Roy said it was a new concept for gathering funds by the PM's office and demanded that the PM Cares Fund should be abolished and money received by it should be transferred to the PM National Relief Fund. The House assembled again only to be adjourned till 5 pm and again till 5.30 pm and then again till 6 pm.

As soon as the House re-assembled, Mr Thakur expressed his pain if his remarks had hurt any member. Responding to this, Speaker Om Birla made an emotional plea to members to let the House run smoothly, noting that they had set an example by working during the coronavirus times.

The Speaker even expressed his regret if his remarks had hurt any member as he appealed to all parties to work together to set an example. He said that he never held any biases and considered himself a protector of all members irrespective of parties they belong to.

Deputy Leader of the House and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also intervened and lauded Thakur for his experience before adding that he had conveyed his pain for remarks that may have hurt some members.

Mr. Singh also praised the Speaker for the way he has run the House. Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also praised the Speaker. The House then took up discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants for 2020-21 and Demands for Excess Grants for 2016-17.

Participating in the debate, Jayant Sinha of BJP hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, saying he had converted the crisis brought in by the pandemic into an opportunity by launching a number of initiatives, including Aatmanirbhar Bharat project. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress criticised the government's handling of the pandemic and economy saying it had no answers to crisis facing the nation. 


The Maharashtra Arthik Vikas Mahamandal--the government's agency dedicated to women's development has gone a step forward to empower the women self help groups by launching a e-business platform. Details from our correspondent...

"There are over one lakh thirty thousand self help groups of Maharashtra Arthik Vikas Mahamandal in the state. Out of which 97 thousand 499 are in rural areas and over 39 thousand in urban areas. A whopping 16 lakh women are associated with these SHGs in rural and urban areas. With e-business on their phones, these women can now publicise their products.  They will also get information regarding interested buyers and can accordingly sell their produce to the agency that offers them good price. Women and child development minister Yashomati Thakur said this online platform will financially empower women by giving them access to a wider marketplace. WITH NISHA RANEY, KUNAL SHINDE, AIR NEWS, MUMBAI"


On the occasion of the World Bamboo Day, Development of North Eastern Region Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the NDA government is planning to promote domestic Bamboo Industry. Addressing seminars, Dr Singh said, the bamboo industry is going to play a critical role in shaping the post-COVID economy of India.

He said the North-Eastern Region will be one of the favourite business destination of India post COVID-19 and Bamboo is going to be the key pillar of the economic activities. He said that many Business Houses are looking at the North Eastern Region to exploit its vast agro-farming resources and this opportunity should not be missed. Describing Bamboo as a silver lining in the dark clouds of pandemic, Dr Jitendra Singh said, it will help in shaping the economy of North East and entire country in Post COVID era. He said, it will also herald a new momentum for Atmanirbhar Bharat by focussing on “Vocal for Local”. The Minister said the sensitivity with which the Modi government views the importance for the promotion of Bamboo is evident from the fact that it has amended the centuries old Indian Forest Act by taking home grown bamboo out of the purview of the Forest Act. He also welcomed the decision of the Central Government to raise the import duty by 25 percent on raw bamboo items.


BRICS countries have agreed to continue supporting the World Health Organization in playing a leading role, and to strengthen BRICS countries' cooperation in bio-safety governance and vaccine research and development.


After a long wait, cricket stars will be in action at the 13th edilion of Indian Premier League at Abu Dhabi in United Aarab Emirates tomorrow. The fans will have a lot to cheer as Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians will take on Mahendra Singh Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings. The tournament, which has been shifted to the UAE due to COVID-19 pandemic is a TV only event. In all, 60 matches will be held in three venues- Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. All  the participating teams have arrived in UAE to fight it out in a neutral venue away from their home conditions. The organizers have ensured adequate safety arrangements creating bio bubbles to prevent Corona virus cases. Over the next 53 days, the participating teams will be facing a tough task to win the title.


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

The National Capital Delhi will have generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. It will have a minimum temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and maximum of 36 degrees. Mumbai, will have a generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. The minimum temperature will be 25 and the maximum will be around 30. Chennai will have a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The temperature will hover between 27 and 33. Kolkata will see a generally cloudy sky with light rain or drizzle. The minimum temperature in the metropolis will be around 27 while the maximum will be 33. In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature will be 25 degrees Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 36. The city will see a mainly clear sky. In Srinagar, the minimum temperature will be around 12 while the maximum will be 30. The city will see a mainly clear sky. Ladakh will have a mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between 10 and 27. In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between 15 and 31 degrees Celsius. City will see a mainly clear sky. In Muzzafarabad, there will be a mainly clear sky. The temperature will hover between 18 and 36 degrees Celsius.


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