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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


Morning News

0830 HRS
18.10.2020

THE HEADLINES,


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews Covid-19 situation and preparedness of vaccine delivery.

  • Government says Corona virus in India has shown no major mutation and its vaccine will not be affected.

  • No new COVID-19 case reported in Mizoram yesterday.

  • IRCTC restarts Tejas Express train after 6 months.

  • Uttar Pradesh government launches ‘Mission Shakti’ campaign to tackle crime against women.

  • India and Bangladesh to resume flights from 28th of this month under  ‘air-bubble’ arrangement.

  • Nine States and Union Territories selected for upgradation to Khelo India State Centre of Excellence.


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As the nation fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a note of precaution to stay safe and stay protected by following these three simple steps:

  • Wear face mask.

  • Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.

  • Focus on hand and face hygiene. 

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Now, the news in detail:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reviewed the situation of Covid-19 pandemic and the preparedness of vaccine delivery, distribution, and administration in the country. The Prime Minister noted the steady decline in the daily Covid cases. Three vaccines are in advanced stages of development in India, out of which 2 are in Phase II and one is in Phase-III.  Indian Scientists and Research Teams are collaborating and strengthening research capacities in neighbouring countries namely Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There are further requests from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan for clinical trials in their countries.

In an effort to help the global community, the Prime Minister further directed that the country should not limit its efforts only towards the immediate neighbourhood but should also reach out to the entire world in providing vaccines, medicines and IT platforms for vaccine delivery system.

National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 in consultation with State Governments and all relevant stakeholders presented a detailed blueprint of vaccine storage, distribution, and administration. The Expert Group in consultation with the States is working actively on vaccine prioritization and distribution of vaccine. 

The Prime Minister directed that the access to the vaccine should be ensured speedily keeping in view the geographical span and diversity of the country. 

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The Prime Minister's Office in a statement said, two Pan India studies on the Genome of SARSCoV-2 (Covid-19 virus) in India conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Bio-Technology suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus. The PMO said, Coronavirus vaccine will not be affected as no major mutation was in the virus. 

The meeting was attended by Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, NITI Aayog member, Principal Scientific Advisor, Senior scientists, officers of PMO, and other government departments.

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Ministry of Health has said that India has exponentially scaled up its testing capacity from one in January to more than 9.32 crore at present. In a tweet this morning, the Ministry said, the very high testing has resulted in the continuous falling positivity rate and it has now fallen below 8 per cent. It said, very comprehensive testing has thus worked as a highly effective tool to curb the spread of COVID19 infection. The Health Ministry said, it also leads to early identification, prompt isolation and effective treatment of COVID-19 cases, and eventual low Fatality Rate.

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India has achieved a significant milestone in its fight against COVID-19 as the active caseload of the country has fallen below 8 lakh after one and a half months. The total positive cases of the country stood at 7 lakh 95 thousand 87. They comprise merely 10.70 per cent of the total cases. The active caseload was below the 8 lakh mark last on 1st September. The National Recovery Rate has also risen to 87.78 per cent.

With high number of COVID patients recovering every day, India’s steady trend of registering dipping active cases continues. 

The total recovered cases stand at 65 lakh 24 thousand 5 hundred 95. 70 thousand 8 hundred 16 patients have recovered and been discharged in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases are 62 thousand 2 hundred 12.

India is the only country with the highest recoveries and continues to have one of the lowest fatality rates globally. The fatality rate stands at 1.52 per cent. 837 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. 

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Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct phase 2 and 3 clinical human trial of Sputnik 5 COVID vaccine in the country. Sputnik 5 Vaccine has been developed in Russia where it has also undergone phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The clinical trial in India will be a multi-center and randomised controlled study which will primarily focus on safety and immunogenicity study.

The vaccine is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials in Russia along with simultaneous trials in the UAE.

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A total of three thousand 259 new confirmed cases of Corona virus infection were reported in Delhi during the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases to over three lakh 27 thousand. Delhi Government said that over two lakh 98 thousand people affected with Corona virus have been cured so far. In the last 24 hours, three thousand 154 people recovered and 35 deaths were reported in the National Capital taking the toll to five thousand 981.

Presently, the total number of active cases in the national capital is 22 thousand 884.

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Gujarat recorded 1185 new Corona cases during the past 24 hours. The recovery rate has reached up to 88.52 per cent. More from our correspondent:

"Number of new cases is constantly decreasing on a daily basis in Gujarat. On the other end, the number of recoveries are increasing. The total 1 lakh 40 thousand 419 patients recovered from Covid-19 till now. 1270 patients recovered during the last 24 hours. More than 53 lakh 22 thousand tests have been carried out in the state till date. At present total active cases in the state are 14587, out of which 79 patients are on ventilator. Nine patients died yesterday taking the total deaths due to Covid-19 up to 3629. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad".

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In Bihar, COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 94.31 per cent. Active cases in the state is continuously decreasing. At present, 10 thousand 554 patients are undergoing treatment in various hospitals. 1 lakh 91 thousand 515 patients have recovered from the infection in the state so far. Casualties due to Corona has gone upto 990. Pratya Amrit, Principal Secretary, Health department said recovery rate has improved in state following large number of Corona testing. He said 90 lakh 15 thousand corona tests have so far been undertaken.

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Odisha's Covid-19 sample tests have crossed 4 million mark. With 40 to 50 thousand samples being tested per day, the cumulative tests so far have reached 40 lakh 1 thousand 65.

The covid-19 effective caseload of the state has further climbed down to 23786. With incremental recovery, the de-growth in the active cases has been sustaining the momentum right through the past couple of weeks.

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In Karnataka 7,184 new Covid-19 positive cases were reported yesterday taking the tally to 7,58,574. Among the new cases Bengaluru reported the highest number of 3,371 cases and Bidar district reported the lowest number of 10 cases. At the same time 8,893 people recovered from covid and were discharged from various hospitals in the State. A report:

"In Karnataka a dash board is developed by National Disaster Management Authority for capturing the details of oxygen consumption at all government and private medical establishments in the State on daily basis. In order to monitor the process a five member committee is constituted under the Chairmanship of Deputy Commissioners in the districts. All the government and private hospitals are instructed to feed details of their oxygen consumption. Based on the data on daily basis, the Committee is slated to ensure that there is sufficient supply of oxygen needed especially by critical patients. R.MURTHY, AIR NEWS, BENGALURU".

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In Tamil Nadu, the active caseload of Covid-19 has dropped further to a little more than 40 thousand yesterday. While the new cases in the last 24-hours were nearly 4300, the recoveries were recorded at 5005. Meanwhile, authorities are bracing for festive season with various strategies on crowd control in commercial hubs. More from our correspondent: 

"In Tamil Nadu, the sustained efforts against the elusive Covid-19 pandemic has begun reversing the upward trend in the everyday cases and the active caseload. However, a formidable test lies in the festive season, especially so in big cities like Chennai. Normally, during November to mid-January, it is the peak festival season in the state. Crowding used to be a major issue in commercial hubs like Thiyagaraya Nagar and Purasawakkam in Chennai during such times as people go on a shopping spree. The Chennai Corporation has said various strategies are being evolved during the season, including formation of special panels to control the crowd. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai".

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In a ray of hope, no new COVID-19 case was reported in Mizoram yesterday. As per the State's Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), the total cases in the state stand at 2,245, out of which 108 are active cases, while 2,137 people have been discharged so far. The State has not reported any death due to the disease.

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Participating in our live phone in Programme on COVID-19, Medical Expert Dr. Rajinder Dhamija stressed the importance of safety measures to deal with Coronaviruses infection during the festive season. He also urged people to maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places to stay safe. 

"त्योहार तो हर साल आएंगे और आगे भी आएंगे, लेकिन कोरोना से लड़ने की जो हमारी इस जंग जारी है। वह इस समय बहुत जरूरी है और जितना हो सके हम कम से कम बाहर भीड़-भाड़ वाली जगह पर जाएं और जाएं तो अपना काम फटाफट करें और फिर वापिस लौटकर आएं और कोशिश करें कि लोगों के घर में ना जाएं या लोगों को घर में बुलाएं। अगर आपके घर में कोई आता है तो चाहे वह आपके मित्र हैं, रिश्तेदार हैं चाहे आपके वर्कर्स हैं  पूरे हाईजन हैं डिस्टैंसिंग मास्किंग का ध्यान पूरा रखें और सिम्पटम्स फ्री हों अगर उनको कोई भी लक्षण हैं कोरोना के तो उनको घर में मत आने दें और ज्यादा जरूरी है तो एक दूसरे का बचाव करें।"

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Indian Railway Catering And Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has restarted  Tejas Express trains for catering to the growing passenger demand due to the festive season. The Lucknow-New Delhi and Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express trains were suspended from March 19 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. IRCTC conducted an extensive training programme for Tejas staff to manage the operations amidst Covid-19 pandemic. A Standard Operation Procedure observing Covid-19 protocol has been issued to ensure safety of the passengers. Every alternate seat will be kept vacant following the Social distancing norms for the initial period. Passengers will not be allowed to exchange their seats once seated. Use of face covers and masks will be mandatory for passengers and staff.  

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The Uttar Pradesh government has launched 6-month long women empowerment campaign ‘Mission Shakti’ to raise awareness and tackle crime against women in the state. The campaign was kicked off  by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from Devi Paatan Shakti Peeth  (देवीपाटन शक्ति पीठ) in Balrampur yesterday. Speaking on this occasion, Mr Yogi  said that the government is committed to the security of women. The campaign was initiated by various ministers, public representatives and senior officials in all 75 districts across the state. More from our correspondent:

"Governor Anandiben Patel launched the campaign at Raj Bhawan  Lucknow by flagging off 100 Pink Scooty and 10 four wheeler women police vehicles under Safe City Project. The campaign started on first day of Shardeya Navratri yesterday will be continued till Basantik Navratri next year. Under Mission Shakti, different awareness  and training programs will be conducted regarding various schemes for the protection, respect and self-reliance of women and girls. Women nodal officers have been appointed by government in all the districts for the execution and monitoring of the campaign. Various competitive and cultural  programmes on women empowerment awareness will also be connected during the campaign. MS Yadav, AIR News, Lucknow".

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that Nitish Kumar will be the next Chief Minister of Bihar even if the BJP gets more seats in the assembly elections. Talking to a TV channel, Mr Shah claimed  that the NDA will get a two-third majority in the polls. He said that the BJP has made a public announcement about Nitish as Bihar CM face. There is no if or but. Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister of Bihar, he said.

Talking about the Lok Janshakti Party breaking away from the ruling alliance in Bihar, Mr Shah said the party was offered adequate seats but still walked away from the alliance. Mr Shah also made it clear that any possibility of LJP's return to NDA can be looked into only after Bihar election.

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In Chhattisgarh, scrutiny of nominations for by-election to Marwahi assembly constituency took place yesterday. After the scrutiny, 6 nomination papers were rejected and now 13 candidates have been left in the fray. Total 19 candidates had filed their nominations. Tomorrow is the last day for withdrawal of nominations. More from our correspondent:

"Regional Party Janata Congress Chhattisgarh- J President Amit Jogi’s nomination papers to contest by-election from reserved Marwahi constituency of Chhattisgarh has been rejected after State high level caste scrutiny committee cancelled his tribal caste certificate. Earlier, nomination papers of Amit Jogi’s wife Richa Jogi have also been rejected during scrutiny as tribal caste certificate was suspended by the Mungeli District Caste Scrutiny Committee. With the rejection for the first time in 20 years a contest for tribal Marwahi seat will be without a member from the Jogi family. By-election for the Marwahi seat was necessitated following the death of Chhattisgarh’s first Chief Minister Ajit Jogi in May this year. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur".

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In Madhya Pradesh, in the first of its kind initiative in the country, police in Bhind district have started imposing QR codes on every cartridge. The purpose of this initiative is to stop violence during elections and to easily trace the people involved in the criminal incident. The by-election for 28 assembly seats to be held on November 3 in the state includes two constituencies of Bhind district.

"According to the information, a QR code is costing just one penny. Full details of the gun licensees are being entered in the QR code, so that the police can immediately locate the person. Bhind SP Manoj Kumar Singh said that before the by-elections, the police have asked the arms holders in the district to change their cartridge with new QR code cartridges.

More than 22 thousand arms licenses and 1 million cartridges have been issued in Bhind district. During the last assembly elections, there were unsuccessful attempts of violence and rigging in the district. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal".

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Paddy procurement for the current Kharif Marketing Season is in full swing. Over 76 lakh tonnes of paddy has been procured from Six lakh 69 thousand farmers. The Agriculture Ministry said, government continues to procure Kharif crops at its Minimum Support Price from farmers as per its existing MSP Scheme. The total MSP value till date has been to the tune of over 14 thousand 495 crore rupees.

The Ministry said, the approval was accorded for procurement of over 41 lakh tonnes of Pulse and Oilseeds for the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh under Price Support Scheme. The Government through its Nodal Agencies has procured over 723 tonnes of Moong and Urad having MSP value of five crore 21 lakh rupees benefitting 681 farmers in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Haryana.

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Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will interact with people through facebook live at 5 PM today on Air Pollution. In a tweet, Mr Javadekar said, he will interact with the people and share the steps taken by the Narendra Modi government to combat Air Pollution. Mr Javadekar said, people can also share their question in advance and their suggestions on Air Pollution.

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After a gap of almost 8 months, flights between Bangladesh and India are set to resume from October the 28th. The announcement was made by the Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh yesterday. A report from our Correspondent:

"Announcing this through a Facebook post on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh said that three Bangladeshi airlines- Biman Bangladesh, US-Bangla Airlines and Novo Air will initially operate 28 flights a week to India. Five Indian carriers including Air India, Vistara, Indigo, Spicejet and GoAir will also run 28 flights a week between the two countries. The Bangladeshi airlines will be operating flights from Dhaka to Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai while the Indian carriers will have flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai to Dhaka. The flights between two countries will resume  after nearly eight months. The travel between India and Bangladesh was disrupted due to the outbreak of Corona pandemic. Rajesh Jha for AIR News, Dhaka."

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The first-ever SCO Startup Forum will be launched on the 27th of this month, ahead of the SCO trade ministers meeting on the next day. The forum will lay the foundation for multilateral cooperation and engagement among the SCO Member States to develop and hone their startup ecosystems, collectively. Innovation and Startups will be the key focus area of SCO Heads of Government meeting on the 30th November 2020 to be hosted by India. India is currently the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world with over 35,000 startups.

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Nine States and Union Territories have been selected for upgradation to Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (KISCE). The States and UTs include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir. Sports Ministry said, the centres have been selected based on their past performances, quality of infrastructure, management and sports culture in the States.

Earlier this year, the Ministry had identified a total of 14 centres to be upgraded to Khelo India State Centre of Excellence. The overall number now stands at 24 KISCEs from 23 States and UTs.

Speaking about the decision, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, the government is taking the two-pronged approach of developing grassroot level infrastructure and creating facilities for sporting excellence.

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In IPL Cricket, Shikhar Dhawan smashed his maiden IPL century and Axar Patel whacked three sixes in the final over to help Delhi Capitals defeat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by five wickets in Sharjah last night.

Dhawan smashed 101 runs off 58 balls and recorded his first-ever century in the IPL to guide Delhi Capitals to the top spot.

Earlier after opting to bat first, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja's knocks powered Chennai Super Kings to 179 for 4 in their 20 overs.  For Delhi Capitals, Nortje claimed two wickets while Rabada and Deshpande bagged one wicket each.

Today, Sunrisers Hyderabad will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi, while Mumbai Indians will face Kings XI Punjab in Dubai.

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Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has accused the country’s army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa of toppling his government, pressuring the judiciary, and installing the current government of Imran Khan in the 2018 elections. He also accused the chief of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency of being involved in conspiring against his government.

Sharif was speaking to a gathering of thousands of protestors via video link from London, initiating a countrywide protest campaign aimed at ousting the incumbent government. 

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

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature was 16 degree Celsius in Jammu while the maximum will be around 34 degrees. The city will have mainly clear sky.

Srinagar and Ladakh will have mainly clear sky. The temperature in Srinagar will hover between five and 26 degree Celsius. In Ladakh, the minimum temperature was minus four degree Celsius and the maximum will be around 20 degrees.

Gilgit will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will hover between five and 28 degree Celsius.

In Muzafarrabad, there will be mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 12 and the maximum 29 degree Celsius.

In Dehradun, the temperature will hover between 17 and 32 degree Celsius. The city will have mainly clear sky.

In Chandigarh, there will be mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was 19 degree Celsius and the maximum will be 34 degrees.

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Newspapers Headlines


  • The Pioneer leads with the news of a sharp drop in daily count of Covid Cases.  "India drops to no. 2 in daily cases as US surges again" headlines The Times of India.

  • The Tribune reports that Dr. Reddy's Laboratories has received approval from Drug Controller General of India to conduct Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trial for Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

  • Under the headline, "PM pushes poll-like vaccine distribution" Hindustan Times reports that the PM has proposed that Government machinery, peripheral staff, general polpulation may be involved in Covid vaccination effort.

  • Reporting a sharper fall in girls' NEET attendance than boys, The Indian Express wonders if this is due to Covid.

  • The Statesman writes, "190 first generation learners ace NEET exam from Telangana".

  • Share of farm fires in city's PM 2.5 particles at 19% is the highest this season, reports The Times of India.

  • A recent survey reveals that the tectonic fault line that runs through Laadakh is not inactive as was thought, and is moving north, reports The Indian Express.

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