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Last Updated : Feb 28 2021 10:21PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Nationwide COVID19 Vaccination drive to cover senior citizens, those above 45 yrs with co-morbidities begins tomorrow            PM asks people not to lower guard against Corona            PM emphasizes need to take science forward with mantra of 'Lab to Land'            ISRO successfully launches Brazil's Amazonia 1 satellite, along with 18 other passenger satellites            Hockey: Indian beats Germany 6-1 in first match of European tour           

Text Bulletins Details


Midday News

1400 HRS
18.01.2021

THE HEADLINEs:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of environment friendly Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project via video-conferencing.  

  • The new Metro projects will further connectivity to Ahmedabad and Surat, asserts Prime Minister. 

  • National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 96.59 per cent even as daily infection dips below 15 thousand.

  • Over 2 lakh people vaccinated for Covid-19 across the country during past two days.

  • Britain invites Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend G7 Summit to be held in June this year.

  • And in Cricket, Brisbane Test between India and Australia is evenly poised, the hosts were bundled out for 294 on day 4, leaving the visitors to bat for the entire 5th day on a lively track.

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


·  Wear a face mask.

·  Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.

·  Focus on hand and face hygiene. 


And now the news in detail:


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project this morning through video conferencing.


Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi said two economic urban centers of the country, Surat and Ahmedabad have got the gift of more than 17000 crore rupees soon after the Uttarayan.


"देश के दो बड़े व्यापारिक केन्द्रों अहमदाबाद और सूरत में मेट्रो इन शहरों में connectivity को और मजबूत करने का काम करेगी। आज 17 हजार करोड़ रुपये से ज्यादा के infrastructure का काम शुरू हो रहा है। 17 हजार करोड़ रुपये, ये दिखाता है कि कोरोना के इस काल में भी नए infrastructure के निर्माण को लेकर देश के प्रयास लगातार बढ़ रहे हैं।"


The Prime Minister said, the biggest feature of these Metro rail projects is that it is being implemented with the future requirements of the people.


"अब आज से अहमदाबाद मेट्रो के दूसरे चरण पर काम शुरु हो रहा है। इसका लाभ शहर के लाखों लोगों को होगा। अहमदाबाद के बाद सूरत गुजरात का दूसरा बड़ा शहर है, जो मेट्रो जैसे आधुनिक पब्लिक ट्रांसपोर्ट सिस्टम से जुड़ेगा। सूरत में मेट्रो नेटवर्क तो एक प्रकार से पूरे शहर के महत्वपूर्ण व्यापारिक केंद्रों को आपस में कनेक्ट करेगा। मेट्रो के इन प्रोजेक्ट्स की सबसे बड़ी खासियत ये है कि ये आने वाले वर्षों की जरूरतों का आकलन करते हुए भी बनाए जा रहे हैं। यानि जो आज इन्वेस्टमेंट हो रहा है, उससे हमारे शहरों को आने वाले कई सालों तक बेहतर सुविधाएं मिलेंगी।"


Mr Modi said  his government is working with an integrated transport approach in implementing the Metro Rail projects. 


"एक समय था जब हमारे देश में मेट्रो के निर्माण को लेकर कोई आधुनिक सोच नहीं थी। देश की कोई मेट्रो पॉलिसी भी नहीं थी। नतीजा ये हुआ कि अलग-अलग शहरों में अलग-अलग तरह की मेट्रो, अलग-अलग तकनीक और व्यवस्था वाली मेट्रो बनने लगी। दूसरी दिक्कत ये थी कि शहर के बाकी ट्रांसपोर्ट सिस्टम का मेट्रो के साथ कोई तालमेल ही नहीं था। आज हम शहरों के transportation को एक integrated system के तौर पर विकसित कर रहे हैं। यानी, बस, मेट्रो, रेल सब अपने अपने हिसाब से नहीं दौड़े, बल्कि एक सामूहिक व्यवस्था के तौर पर काम करें, एक-दूसरे के पूरक बनें।"


The Prime Minister said, work on more than a 1000th kilometres of metro network is in progress in the country.


"पहले की सरकारों की जो अप्रोच थी, हमारी सरकार कैसे काम कर रही है, इसका बेहतरीन उदाहरण, क्या फर्क था ये भली भांति देश में मेट्रो नेटवर्क के विस्तार से पता चलता है।  2014 से पहले के 10-12 साल में सिर्फ सवा 2 सौ किलोमीटर मेट्रो लाइन ऑपरेशनल हुई थी। वहीं बीते 6 साल में साढ़े 4 सौ किलोमीटर से ज्यादा मेट्रो नेटवर्क चालू हो चुका है। इस समय देश के 27 शहरों में 1000 किलोमीटर से ज्यादा के नए मेट्रो नेटवर्क पर काम चल रहा है।"


Praising the fast economic development in Surat and Ahmedabad, Prime Minister Modi described these two cities as the powerhouse of Atmanirbhar Bharat.


"बीते कुछ दिनों में ही देश भर में हजारों करोड़ रुपये के infrastructure project का या तो लोकर्पण किया गया है या फिर नए projects पर काम शुरू हुआ है।  अहमदाबाद और सूरत, दोनों गुजरात की और भारत की आत्मनिर्भरता को सशक्त करने वाले शहर हैं। मैं ये भी देख रहा हूं कि अहमदाबाद के सपनों ने, यहाँ की पहचान ने कैसे खुद को मेट्रो से जोड़ लिया है।"


Prime Minister Modi said that Surat city is the world's 4th fastest growing city at present.


"आज सूरत आबादी के लिहाज़ से एक तरफ देश का 8वां बड़ा शहर है, लेकिन दुनिया का चौथा सबसे तेज़ी से विकसित होता शहर भी है। दुनिया के हर 10 हीरों में से 9 सूरत में तराशे जाते हैं। आज देश में कुल Man made Fabric का 40 प्रतिशत और Man- made Fiber का करीब 30 प्रतिशत Production हमारे सूरत में होता है। आज सूरत देश का दूसरा सबसे स्वच्छ शहर है। ये सब कुछ एक बेहतर प्लानिंग और संपूर्णता की सोच के साथ संभव हो पाया है।"


Describing Surat as the best model of Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat- Mr. Modi said that earlier 20 percent of the population was staying in slums in Surat, but after the availability of affordable housing it has now come down to only 6 percent.


"शहर को भीड़भाड़ से मुक्त करने के लिए बेहतर ट्रैफिक मैनेजमेंट से लेकर अनेक दूसरे कदम उठाए। आज सूरत में करीब एक दर्जन सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट्स हैं। सीवेज ट्रीटमेंट से ही सूरत को आज करीब 100 करोड़ रुपए की आय प्राप्त हो रही है। बीते सालों में सूरत में बेहतरीन आधुनिक अस्पतालों का निर्माण किया गया। इन सभी प्रयासों से सूरत में Ease of Living बेहतर हुई। आज हम देखते हैं कि सूरत एक भारत श्रेष्ठ भारत का कितना बेहतर उदाहरण है।"


Prime Minister Modi said that Ahmedabad- the country's first world heritage city has also got a series of development projects like Sabarmati River Front, Kankaria Lake Front, BRTS projects etc. He said urban economic centers like Ahmedabad and Surat will get a boost after they are connected with country's commercial capital Mumbai through the Bullet Train project. Mr. Modi said that Gandhinagar was once known as the city of government employees and senior citizens, but today with a host of premier educational and technology institutes, it is now building the new generation for the country.


Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani were also present on the occasion. More from our Ahmedabad correspondent:-


"Speaking on this occasion, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that today is the historic day for the people of Ahmedabad and Surat. He said that the Metro projects in Ahmedabad and Surat will improve the environment friendly, quality and cost effective public transport system. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is always thinking for the welfare of people of Gujarat. He said that a series of new projects have been inaugurated and started in recent times including AIIMS in Rajkot, various projects at Statue of Unity, Sea plane service and Railway connectivity with Kevadiya. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with the people in the country and abroad in the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme on All India Radio on the 31st of this month. It will be the 73rd episode of the monthly radio programme. In a tweet, Mr Modi urged people to share inspiring anecdotes for this. The Prime Minister said, he will be referring to some of them in the programme too.


People can share their views on the NaMo app or MyGov Open Forum. They can also dial the toll-free number 1800-11-7800 and record their message for the Prime Minister in either Hindi or English. People can also give a missed call on 1922 and follow the link received in SMS to directly give their suggestions to the Prime Minister.


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The national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 96.59 per cent with over 1 crore two lakh 11 thousand cumulative recoveries so far. The rate of new daily infection has further slipped even below 15 thousand with only 13 thousand 788 cases being reported in the past 24 hours. During the same period  over 14 thousand 400 people have recovered from the viral contagion.


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Over 5 lakh 48 thousand samples were tested for COVID-19 in the country in the last 24 hours. With this, the cumulative testing figure has reached around 18 crore 70 lakh. The Central Government and ICMR have scaled up the TESTING infrastructure in a calibrated manner. India's testing capacity has also touched 15 lakh per day ensuring easily accessible COVID-19 tests to all the citizens.


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The Health Ministry has said, a total of 553 sessions of Covid-19 vaccination were conducted in six States in which 17 thousand and 72 beneficiaries were vaccinated on the second day of the launch of the world's largest Covid-19 vaccination drive. These States are Andhra Pradesh in which 308 sessions were conducted yesterday, 165 sessions in Tamil Nadu, 64 in Karnataka, 14 in Arunachal Pradesh, and one each in Kerala and Manipur.


Addressing media in New Delhi, Additional Health Secretary, Dr Manohar Agnani said, with this taking both days, a total of 2 lakh 24 thousand 301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far.


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In West Bengal, Covid-19 vaccination drive is being carried out four days a week from today. The state has faced technical glitches regarding CoWin app. Quoting official sources in the state health department, our Kolkata Correspondent reports that all relevant data are kept ready manually so far to be uploaded later on. 


"After achieving more than 75 percent of the target on the inaugural day of immunization in the state, the vaccination drive is scheduled to be held at 207 centres from 9am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays. Hundred percent vaccination was achieved in four districts including Kolkata. All the enlisted persons have been asked to get the jab as per schedule. Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri for AIR News, Kolkata."


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In Assam, Covid -19 vaccination is being administered at 29 districts in the state today. Sources in the Health department said that a total of 3 thousand 528 health workers got Covid 19 vaccine on the first day. In 31 districts Covishield was administered while in 2 districts Covaxin was used for health workers. There was no report of adverse effects after vaccination. Today on the second day of vaccination, nearly 4500 health workers are likely to be covered.


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In Tripura, Covid-19 cases are gradually declining. The total caseload of active patients has now dropped to 38 and in the past 24 hours, only two new positive cases were recorded. The recovery rate has also improved to 98.71%.  With this the total cases have reached 33,331, out of which 32,879 patients have recovered so far.


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In Jharkhand, the second day of Covid Vaccination Drive is underway at all 49 centres spread across 24 districts of the state. Vaccination will be conducted on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday - four days of the week as demarcated  and around 72000 health workers will be vaccinated in the first phase, while 3200 people received vaccination on January 16. State immunization officer, Dr. Ajit Prasad informed AIR that all the health workers who have taken the vaccine are healthy and their health is being monitored continuously.


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In Madhya Pradesh over Two lakh 41 thousand  patients have  recovered from covid infection so far while 355 new positive cases were reported Yesterday. The Covid Positivity rate of ther state is 1.4 percent. More from our Bhopal correspondent: -


"In MadhyaPradesh 478 patients recovered yesterday. With 2 patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll rose to 3 thousand 753 Nine districts  recorded no positive cases. The two major cities Bhopal and  Indore consistently reporting below 100 covid cases. Indore reported 43 corona-positive cases, while Bhopal reported 83 corona-positive cases. Pooja P. Vardhan, AIR News Bhopal."


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The Chairman of Narayana Health City and well known Cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty has said that half the battle against Covid pandemic will be won if half of the population in India is vaccinated. He was speaking after receiving the vaccine in Bengaluru today. He asked all those receiving the vaccine to show a V sign to denote victory over the virus. He pointed out that we do not have enough doctors, nurses, hospitals but still have managed to contain the spread of the virus in comparison to other countries where the second wave is detected. He said if nurses involved in the vaccination drive work four hours extra every day then the drive can be completed in two months. Advising caution, Dr. Devi Shetty said that only after the second dosage of the vaccine, a person is protected from Covid infection.


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In Andhra Pradesh, 332 locations have been identified for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination and these numbers will be increased gradually to cover all the health facilities in the state. 


The state has received 4.7 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine developed by the Serum institute of India and 20,000 doses of Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech.


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Telangana state has reported 206 fresh COVID cases during the past 24 hours. With this, the number of COVID cases in the state reached over 2 lakh 91 thousand. The recovery rate has improved to 98.07 per cent with 346 more people recovering yesterday. This took the number of recovered people so far in the state to over 2 lakh 86 thousand. A  total of 1579 deaths have been reported so far, following two more succumbing during the past 24 hours.


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Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadakari has said that the target of constructing 40 kilometre roads per day will be achieved by the end March of this year. He informed that the government has already achieved the target of constructing 30 kilometres road per day.


Addressing the media in New Delhi on the inauguration of National Road Safety Month, Mr. Gadkari said, everyday 415 people die in the country due to road accidents. He said, the government is committed to reduce road accidents in the country by improving the road engineering and compliance measures. He added that 14 thousand crore rupees will be spent on identifying and repairing black spots on the roads. He urged the stakeholders to cooperate in improving the road safety mechanism saying that compromise cannot be made with the life of people.


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Schools in Delhi reopened from today only for students of Class 10th and 12th. All schools in the national capital were physically shut since March last year in order to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is first time after 10 months that students have returned to their campuses.


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In Rajasthan, Schools, colleges and Coaching institutions have opened today after a gap of 10 months. Classes have begun for 9th  to 12th standard in schools, while classes have started for final year students in colleges. More from our Jaipur correspondent: - 


"About 30 thousand Private and government schools from Class 9 to 12 have opened their doors for students today. About 2 thousand colleges have also educational started today in the state.  Home department has issued detailed guidelines for educational institutions. As per the guidelines, 50 percent students of the total strength of the class would be called one day, while the rest of the students will attend the class  next day.  Classes for 1st to 8th standard have still not started and online classes will continue for the students. Administrative officials will keep an eye for effective implementation of COVID guidelines in educational institutions. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."


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In Tamilnadu, schools will reopen for the 10th and 12th standard students from tomorrow. Students will be allowed to attend classes after obtaining approval from parents. The State Government has also reduced the syllabus accordingly. More From Our Chennai Correspondent:-


 "The School Education Department has taken utmost precautions in reopening schools. Classrooms and campuses have been sanitised accordingly. Hand sanitizers and monitoring of body temperature through thermal scanners have been made mandatory for students and teachers. Health department will also have a student screening every week in the school campuses. Since Board exams are just a few months away 40 percent of school syllabus have been reduced. Joy, AIR News, Chennai."


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The full Election Commission headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will arrive in Guwahati today on a 3-day visit to Assam to review poll preparations in the state. Chief Electoral Officer of Assam said that the team will hold meetings with officials and representatives of various political parties to decide dates for assembly polls. They will also meet Chief Secretary and Director General of Police. Assembly polls in Assam will be held this year.


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United Kingdom has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the G7 Summit as a guest. The G7 Summit is to be held in June this year. A statement by the British High Commission said, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also likely to visit India ahead of the G7 Summit. Mr Johnson's earlier visit to India was called off by him due to the Cornavirus situation in UK.


The G7, made up of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and the EU, is the only forum where the world's most influential and open societies and advanced economies are brought together for close-knit discussions.


Prime Minister Johnson will use the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years to ask leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous.


Terming India as 'pharmacy of the world', the UK lauded the efforts regarding the production of coronavirus vaccine.


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In Cricket, India were 4 for no loss at stumps on day four against Australia in their second innings in the fourth and final Test at Brisbane.


Earlier, Australia were all out for 294 setting a target for 328 to India town.  Steven Smith top-scored for Australia with 55 runs while Mohammad Siraj took 5 wickets for India. 


The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first match in Adelaide while India registered a win in the second in Melbourne. The third Test in Sydney had ended in a draw.


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Renowned Bangladeshi film maker Tanvir Mokammel has said that it was a befitting tribute to have Bangladesh as the country of focus in Goa, International Film Festival of India IFFI on its 50th anniversary of liberation.


Four films from Bangladesh including Jibandhuli directed by Tanvir Mokammel are being shown at the IFFI this year under the country of focus section.


The Country of Focus is a special segment that recognizes the cinematic excellence and contributions of the country. As a part of the opening ceremony of the section, Rupsa Nodir Banke was screened yesterday.


Speaking about his film Rupsa Nodir Banke, Director Tanvir Mokammel said that the protaganist of the film was like a Greek tragic hero who ran against time. Talking about the historical background, Tanvir Mokammel said East Bengal was never a poor country but the British and later Pakistan made it poor. He recounted that Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak were two of the great inspirations for his film-making.


Meanwhile our Panaji Correspondent reports that the screenings of IFFI are receiving overwhelming response:


"The Indian Premier of the movie ‘Window Boy would also like to have a submarine’ was held yesterday. It was received with warm welcome by the film lovers. Director producer and screenplay writer of the movie Alex Piperno hailing from Uruguay while addressing the Press in Panaji explained the genesis and the idea behind his movie. The plot is based on a cruise ship off the Patagonian coasts and two stories are woven in it with artistry of fantasy and imagination, he added. Answering a question he said that the movies of Uruguay have its own identity of culture . Besides that Masterclass on Acting for writers and directors by filmmaker Perry Lang and In conversation with Rahul Rawail were conducted. With Mukesh Thali, Tushar Jadhav, for Air News from Panaji, Goa."


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The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme tonight will bring you a Special discussion Programme on Covid-19 .


Dr. Piyush Ranjan, Assistant Professor in the Medicine


Department of AIIMS will participate in the discussion.


Listeners can ask questions to the experts on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767 (Repeat 1800-115767). You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 (Repeat 011: 2331-4444) and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews s by #tag Askair.


This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM onwards. 


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


In the National capital shallow fog is forecast. The minimum temperature was nine degree Celsius and maximum will be around 17 degrees. 


Mumbai will have mainly clear sky.  minimum temperature was 20 degree Celsius and maximum will be 30


Chennai will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was  21 degrees Celsius and maximum will be 30 degrees .


Kolkata witnessed fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was 13 degree Celsius and  maximum will be around 23 degrees.


Srinagar also witnessed fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was minus six degree celsius and  the maximum will be 8 degrees.


In Jammu, the minimum  temperature was  8 degree Celsius while maximum will be 17 degrees. The city witnessed fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later.


Leh will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was minus 12 degree Celsius while the maximum will be zero point six degree.


Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky.The minimum temperature was minus six degree  celsius and the maximum will be 11 degrees.


Muzaffarabad will also have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was four degree Celsius and maximum will be around 20 degrees.


Dehradun witnessed fog in the morning and will have mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was seven degree  Celsius and  maximum will be 21 degrees.


Chandigarh will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was eight degree Celsius and the maximum will be 19 degrees.


In Hyderabad, the minimum temperature was 19 degree Celsius while the maximum will be 30 degrees. Sky will be partly cloudy.


Ahmedabad will witness clear sky. The minimum temperature was 17 degrees Celsius while maximum will be 31 degrees.


In Patna, dense fog with cold day conditions are expected. The minimum temperature was seven degree celsius while the maximum will be 18 degrees.


And, in Guwahati the minimum temperature was 13 degree Celsius while maximum will be 22 degrees.


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