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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


Evening News

2030 HRS
18.01.2021
THE HEADLINES:
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, work underway on over 1000- kilo metre Metro Network in 27 cities, lays foundation stone of Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-II and Surat Metro Rail Project.

  • Union Government releases twelfth weekly installment of 6,000 crore rupees to the States and Union Territories to meet the GST compensation shortfall.

  • India and Japan sign a Memorandum of Cooperation, to promote the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan.

  • Stranded ship M.V. Jag Anand with 23 Indian crew members from China reaches Japan; First batch of crew to fly back tonight.

  • And in Cricket, India needs 324 more runs on concluding day to win Brisbane test and series.

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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 details:

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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 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 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. 

The Prime Minister said, work on more than 1000 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.
Prime Minister Modi said that Surat is the world's 4th fastest growing city at present.

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.

Prime Minister Modi said that Ahmedabad-the country's first world heritage city has also got a series of development projects such as Sabarmati River Front, Kankaria Lake Front, BRTS projects and so on. 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.

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The 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.

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The Department of Expenditure has released the twelfth weekly installment of  6,000 crore rupees to the states and Union Territories  today to meet the GST compensation shortfall. Out of this, an amount of  5,516.60 crore rupees has been released to 23 States and an amount of 483.40 crore has been released to the three Union Territories (UT) with Legislative Assembly (Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Puducherry) who are members of the GST Council. The remaining five states, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim do not have a gap in revenue on account of GST implementation.

Till now, 65 per cent of the total estimated GST compensation shortfall has been released to the States and UTs with Legislative Assembly. Out of this, an amount of 65,582.96 crore rupees has been released to the States and an amount of 6,417.04 crore rupees has been released to the three UTs with Legislative Assembly.

The Government of India had set up a special borrowing window in October, 2020 to meet the estimated shortfall of 1.10 lakh crore rupees in revenue arising on account of implementation of GST. Twelve rounds of borrowings have been completed so far starting from 23rd of October.

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India and Japan today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, MoC a Basic Framework for Partnership for Proper Operation of the System Pertaining to Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) today. The MoC was signed by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Ambassador of Japan to India Suzuki Satoshi.

The MoC will help to promote the movement of skilled workers from India to Japan. The MoC covers 14 categories of specified skills under which skilled workers from India who meet the skills requirement and Japanese language tests would be eligible for employment in Japan on a contractual basis.  Japan would grant these workers the status of Specified Skilled Worker. It is also expected that Indian skilled workers who go to Japan under this MoC will acquire new skills while working in Japan. A Joint Working Group comprising officials from both the countries will be constituted in near future to work out operational details and smooth implementation of this programme.  

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M.V. Jag Anand, the Indian ship which was stranded at Chinese port of Jingtang reached Japan today for crew change. Sufferings of 23 Indian crew members stuck on the ship since June last year have finally come to an end as all of them will fly back to India in the next 36 hours. Owner of the vessel, The Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd. told Prasar Bharati News that the first batch of roughly a dozen sailors will leave for India tonight. Second batch is expected to leave for India tomorrow. More from our Beijing correspondent:

   

"After prolonged talks between Indian and Chinese sides, the ship Jag Anand was allowed to sail to Japan on 10th January 2021. Finally the moment came when the sailors disembarked the ship hoping to reunite with their families after more than a year. The shipping company said that within a couple of days, Jag Anand laden with Australian coal should head back to Jingtang port in China where it will settle at the end of the queue to unload the cargo even as China has not shown any signs of easing the import ban on Australian coal. As per reports, more than 50 vessels carrying around 8 million tonnes of Australian coal, have been unable to discharge their cargo in China since October 2020, coinciding with a souring of diplomatic and trade tensions between Canberra and Beijing. This has led to a realignment of trade flows in international coal trade, with Australian coal producers finding other international markets like India, Turkey, Spain etc. China has also looked up to alternate producers like Indonesia, Russia and South Africa amid an extremely cold winter. Anshuman Mishra, AIR News, Beijing"

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The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) and the Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative Ltd (IFFDC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to work together for tribal livelihood generation. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs in a statement said that the two organizations have agreed to partner with each other to organise training programmes for tribal artisans in the area of entrepreneurship skill and business development.

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Defence Research and Development Organisation today handed over Motor Bike Ambulance Rakshita to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), Delhi-based DRDO laboratory, handed over Rakshita, a bike-based casualty transport emergency vehicle to CRPF today in a ceremony held at CRPF Head Office in New Delhi. Director General of CRPF  Dr A. P. Maheshwari flagged off the contingent of 21 bikes on the occasion. The bike ambulances will provide life-saving aid for evacuation of injured patients from low intensity conflict areas.

Our correspondent reports, Rakshita is fitted with a customized reclining Casualty Evacuation Seat (CES), which can be fitted in and taken out as per requirement.

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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. The country has fifty times more recovered cases than current active cases.

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Gujarat has recorded 518 new cases of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours. According to the State Health Department, the recovery rate has further improved to 95.79 per cent. More from our correspondent --

   

"The total number of Covid19 cases detected so far in Gujarat has reached up to 2 lakh 55 thousand 872. Out of these, 2 lakh 45 thousand 107 patients recovered. 704 patients discharged from the hospitals after the recovery during the last 24 hours.  Maximum 99 new cases reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 86 new cases. At present total active cases in the state are 6400, out of which 56 patients are on ventilator. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad"

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In Rajasthan, the State Government has lifted the night curfew from 13 district headquarters. The night curfew had been imposed  in eight cities worst affected by COVID-19 on 21st of November, which was later extended to 13 cities. More from our Jaipur correspondent --


"The decision was taken in a high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. There were orders for curfew at these district headquarters from 8 PM to 6 am, while markets were to be closed at 7 PM. Permission will not have to be required for social, religious and political programs from the District Collector now, just giving information will be sufficient. Rate of COVID RT-PCR test has also been reduced from 800 to 500 in the state. The government has also decided to withdraw its orders to reserve 40 percent beds for corona patients in private hospitals having capacity of more than 100 beds. Now only 10 beds will be reserved for COVID patients in these hospitals. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has appealed to the people to follow the Covid Protocol. He said that there should not be such a situation that the government would be forced to take strict decision again - Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur"

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In Maharashtra, the State Government today gave its nod to convene the Gram Sabhas in all the Gram Panchayats by strictly adhering to the social distancing and COVID-19 protocol. Informing about the decision, Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif said, as per the Maharashtra Gram Panchayat Act it is mandatory to convene a minimum of four Gram Sabhas in a financial year. If the Gram Sabha as mandated by the Act is not convened, the Sarpanch, Deputy Sarpanch and Gram Sevak are held accountable and subsequently action can be initiated against them.

However, to stop the spread of COVID-19 Gram Sabhas were also suspended on a temporary basis in the state.

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The Union Health Ministry today said that a total of seven thousand 704  sessions of COVID-19 vaccination were conducted in 25 States and Union Territories in which one lakh 48  thousand and 266 beneficiaries were vaccinated on the third day of the launch in the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive on the 16th of this month. Addressing media in New Delhi, Additional Health Secretary Dr Manohar Agnani said, with this, taking all the three days into account, a total of three lakh 81 thousand and 305 beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far. 

Dr. Agnani also informed that in these three days, a total of 580 Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) have been reported out of which seven required hospitalization. He said, three hospitalizations reported in Delhi out of which two persons were discharged while the other one is under observation at a private hospital. In Uttarakhand, one person was hospitalized who is stable and under observation at AIIMS, Rishikesh. In Karnataka, two cases of hospitalizations have been reported and are under observations and in Chhatisgarh one case is under observation. He said, two deaths also reported, one each from Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

But, as per the post mortem report, the death of the resident of Uttar Pradesh is not related to vaccination.

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In Uttar Pradesh, the State Government has fixed two days of the week for COVID-19 vaccination drive. From next week, the vaccination in state will be conducted on Thursday and Friday every week.

Our correspondent reports that the COVID-19 vaccination drive is going on smoothly in the state and the remaining health workers will be vaccinated on 22nd. On 28th and 29th of this month. 

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Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today inaugurated the newly constructed Burns and Plastic Surgery Block of AIIMS, New Delhi and dedicated it to Sushruta, the Father of Plastic Surgery. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that this Block is equipped to deal with approximately 15 thousand burn emergencies and five thousand burn admissions a year. He said, it can deal with mass casualties efficiently by converting the patient receiving area itself into an emergency ward as per need. He said, integration of this  block with the Trauma Centre of AIIMS will provide easy assistance to trauma team in no time. He said, these steps will help reduce deaths of burn patients and also reduce the deformities in survivors.


"एक और सुनहरा अध्याय एम् के डेवलेपमेंट के चैप्टर्स में एड हो गया है। बर्न् एण् प्लास्टिक सर्जरी का एक एक्सक्लुसिव स्टेट ऑफ आर्ट डिपार्टमेंट एक एक्सक्लुसि आठ मंजिला ब्लॉक् जहां सभ् प्रकार की बर्न् और प्लास्टिक सर्जरी से जुड़ी हुई सुविधाएं उपलब् हैं।"


Dr. Harsh Vardhan also digitally chaired the 148th session of Executive Board of World Health Organization through video conference today. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that COVId-19 vaccines are being successfully produced across many countries and digital technologies are being adopted. He said, all this is combining to raise hopes of a new era of progress.

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The South Central Railway has begun vaccination drive against COVID -19 for the frontline health workers, medical and nursing staff working in Hyderabad. South Central Railway General Manager Gajanana Malya has formally launched the drive at the Lalaguda Railway Hospital in Hyderabad today. Doctors, Nurses and Housekeeping staff have been given the first shot of vaccination.

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Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today said that the new National Education Policy will provide a unique platform to fulfil the aspirations of students. He said, this policy will benefit the students by inculcating scientific temperament in them and promoting extracurricular and vocational activities.

Interacting with the students of Kendriya Vidayala in New Delhi, Mr. Nishank said, National Education Policy will create a holistic evaluation process and the policy will prepare the students to become self-reliant in every field. He said, COVID-19 posed a new challenge before the country, but India is fully equipped to deal with these challenges.

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In West Bengal, Chief Minister and President of the ruling Trinamool Congress Mamata Bannerjee has announced that she will contest in the upcoming State Assembly Election from Nandigram seat in Purba Medinipur. Nandigram is the constituency of Shubhendu Adhikari, who has left the ruling party and the ministerial berth and joined the BJP recently. It may be recalled that Nandigram was the epicentre of a farmers agitation and Ms Bannerjee’s fight against a proposed SEZ propelled the TMC into power a decade ago. On 14th of March 2007, 14 persons lost their lives in clashes between agitators and police.

Meanwhile an incident of stone pelting was reported from Kolkata today attacking the BJP rally. The rally, led by Mr Shubhendu Adhikari was attended by the party's State Unit President Dilip Ghosh and Union Minister of State Debasree Chaudhary from Tollygunje to Rashbehari area. Police said, as the rally was underway, few miscreants threw stones.

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The full Election Commission of India team under Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora arrived Guwahati today on a three-day visit to review poll preparedness. The ECI team held a meeting with Chief Electoral Officer of Assam and his team in Guwahati. Tomorrow, they will hold meetings with representatives of various political parties. After that, the team will hold important meeting with all District Election Officers and SPs of all districts.

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The ongoing International film festival of India, IFFI in Goa  offers a novel opportunity for the local delegates to acquaint themselves more with the finer nuances of the films. The opportunity of interaction with the artists and directors provide them better clarity about the film process. More from our correspondent --


"In conversation session addressed by renowned film maker Rahul Rawail drew the attention of virtual delegates towards the evolution of Hindi films. Rawail said that the 1970s saw influx of new ideas, new experiments and a new genre of action films in Hindi cinema. He also recalled how the music directors, great singers and lyricists would sit together with directors and get to know the story for adding perfection to the film. In the meanwhile, Goan youth grab the opportunity to hone their skills of film making as the film culture is expanding in the state ever since IFFI started in the state in 2004. With Tushar Jadhav, Mukesh Thali, for Air News from Panaji."

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Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has said that outbreaks of the Avian Influenza have been confirmed in five states for poultry birds and in nine states for Crows, Migratory and Wild birds. It said, Avian Influenza has also been confirmed in samples of dead heron from Tis Hazari and in crows from Red Fort in Delhi. The Ministry said that an advisory in this regard has been issued to Delhi for taking necessary action.

In Maharashtra, Rapid Response Teams have been deployed and culling of poultry birds is underway in all the affected epicentres. Further, in Districts of Harda and Mandsaur of Madhya Padesh and  and District Balod of Chhattisgarh, teams have been deployed for culling of poultry birds around one-kilometre radius of epicentres of the outbreak in poultry. The Ministry said, the Central team formed for monitoring the situation in the affected areas of the country  is visiting the affected sites.

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In Cricket, India will resume their second innings tomorrow with all their wickets intact on the concluding day of the fourth and final Test against Australia at The Gabba in Brisbane.

India scored four for no loss in their chase of 328 runs in the extended final session today. Only 1.5 overs could be bowled in India's second innings on Day Four as Rohit Sharma on four and Shubman Gill on one remained unbeaten at stumps.

Earlier, India bowled out Australia for 294 in their second innings, after resuming the day on 21 for no loss. Steve Smith was the top scorer for Australia in their second innings as he scored 55 runs.

For India, right-arm fast bowler Mohammed Siraj picked up his maiden five-wicket haul. Shardul Thakur also picked four wickets while debutant off-spinner Washington Sundar scalped the remaining one.

India had posted 336 in reply to Australia's first inning score of 369, conceding a 33-run lead.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is not great. A  draw in the game would be sufficient for India to retain the coveted Border-Gavaskar trophy.

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

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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. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 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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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held the pre-budget consultations with the Finance Ministers of States and Union Territories today. The meeting was held through video conference and was attended by Chief Ministers, Deputy Chief Ministers, State Finance Ministers and Senior Officers from the States and Union Territories.

The Finance Minister highlighted the importance of this meeting as a sign of co-operative federalism and indicated the manner in which the Union Government was strongly supportive of States and Union Territories' fight against the pandemic.

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Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.
The National Capital is likely to have moderate fog. The city temperature will hover between eight and 21 degree Celsius.

Mumbai will have clear sky. The minimum temperature will be around 20 degrees Celsius while maximum is expected to be around 30 degrees.

Chennai will witness partly cloudy sky. The temperature will vary between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius.

In Kolkata, there will be fog in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The city will observe minimum temperature of around 17 degrees Celsius and a maximum of around 26 degrees.

Srinagar will have Fog in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. Temperature will hover between minus seven and nine degrees Celsius.

Jammu will have fog in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature will be around eight degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 17 degrees.

Leh will have cloudy sky. The minimum temperature will be around minus 12 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around one degree.

Gilgit will have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between minus six and 11 degrees Celsius.
In Muzaffarabad, sky will be mainly clear. The temperature will hover between four and 21 degrees Celsius.

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