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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
  • Cabinet approves Minimum Support Price of copra  at 10,335 rupees per quintal for 2021 season.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to virtually address World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue tomorrow; to also attend rally of National Cadet Corps at Cariappa Ground in Delhi.

  • India signs framework for Strategic Partnership with International Energy Agency members to enhance global energy security.

  • Finance Ministry releases over 12 thousand crore rupees to 18 States for providing grants to Rural Local Bodies.

  • Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel visits Red Fort to assess damage caused in violence during Tractor rally.

  • And, Home Ministry issues new COVID-19 guidelines to be effective from 1st of February.


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. 
Now, the news in detail :


Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Minimum Support Price (MSP) of copra at 10,335 rupees per quintal for 2021 season which is an increase of 375 rupees over 2020 rates. Briefing media in Delhi, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said this will benefit millions of farmers engaged in copra farming and impact the farmers of 12 coastal states. He said this is one of the many decisions taken by the Centre for the benefit of the farmers.


The Textiles Committee of Ministry of Textiles has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with  Nissenken Quality Evaluation Centre of Japan to boost export of Textile and Apparel to Japanese market.

The MoU signing ceremony was held through video conferencing which was presided over by Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry  of Japan  Yasumasa Nagasaka. The main objective of the MoU is to provide required support to textile’s trade and industry for ensuring quality as per the requirement of Japanese buyers.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Smriti Irani expressed confidence that the MoU will help in creating awareness on the various quality parameters being sought by the importers based in Japan.

The Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry highlighted that India is a huge market for Japanese industry and expressed confidence that going forward, there will be substantial development in the India- Japan trade relationship.


The Department of Expenditure of Ministry of Finance has released an amount of over 12 thousand 351 crore rupees to 18 States for providing grants to the Rural Local Bodies. This amount is the 2nd instalment of basic grants released in this financial year.

The grant has been released to 18 States which have provided the Utilisation Certificate for the first instalment and on the

recommendation of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The grants to Rural Local Bodies  are released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission to create community assets and improve financial viability of the Rural Local Bodies.

The States are required to transfer the grants to the Rural Local Bodies within 10 working days of receipt from the Central Government. So far a total grant of 45 thousand 738 crore rupees  has been released to Rural Local bodies in 2020-21.


India and International Energy Agency members have signed the framework for Strategic Partnership  today to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation and enhance global energy security, stability and sustainability. This partnership will lead to an extensive exchange of knowledge and would be a stepping stone towards India becoming a full member of the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Ministry of Power  in a statement said that contents of the Strategic partnership will be jointly decided by IEA members and India. International Energy Agency Secretariat will be responsible for implementation of the cooperative activities in India and for facilitating discussion between IEA Members and India to further develop the Strategic Partnership.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue tomorrow evening through video conferencing. More than 400 top industry leaders from across the globe will attend the session, wherein the Prime Minister will be speaking on the Fourth Industrial Revolution - using technology for the good of humanity.

Mr Modi will also interact with the CEOs during the event. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, he is looking forward to speaking on a wide range of subjects relating to India’s reform trajectory, increased usage of technology and other issues.

The Davos Dialogues agenda marks the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset Initiative in the post COVID world.


The Prime Minister will address the rally of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) at Cariappa Ground in Delhi tomorrow. Defence Minister, Chief of Defence Staff and the three armed services Chiefs will also be present on the occasion. Prime Minister Modi will inspect the Guard of Honour, review March Past by NCC contingents and witness cultural performance during the event.


Electronics, Information Technology and Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch a virtual intelligence tool Tejas tomorrow. This system will help in improving policy decisions and efficiency of government's services along with ensuring delivery of citizen centric services.


In view of Budget Session of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has called a meeting of leaders of all political parties in the Upper House on 31st of this month. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is also expected to hold an all party meeting on 29th of this month. The meetings will be held to ensure smooth functioning of both the Houses of Parliament during the session. The Government has also convened an all party meeting on 30th of this month to seek support of political parties to ensure smooth conduct of business in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

The Budget Session will begin on Friday with President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the Joint Sitting of both the Houses of Parliament.

The Union Budget will be presented on 1st of next month. In view of COVID-19 pandemic, the Rajya Sabha will function from 9 AM to 2 PM and Lok Sabha will function from 4 PM to 9 PM. The first part of the session will conclude on 15th February while the second part of the session will begin on 8th of March and will conclude on 8th April.


In West Bengal, a two day special session of the legislative assembly began today. After making obituary references of 14 dignitaries, the first day’s session was adjourned.


The Karnataka Legislature session will begin tomorrow with the address of Governor Vajubhai Vala. Briefing the media today, the Speaker of legislative Assembly Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri, informed that the session will be held till 5th of next month. More from our Bengaluru Correspondent:


"The Governor will jointly address the members of both legislative Assembly and Council tomorrow. Thereafter a discussion will be taken up on the Governor’s address. The Bills to be taken up are anti Cow slaughter bill, a bill on epidemic control and amendments to Motor Vehicle, Lokayuktha and Horticulture Acts. Public will not be allowed to witness the session due to the pandemic. The Speaker informed that the state budget session will be held in March. Sudhindra AIR News Bengaluru"


The expelled AIADMK leader of Tamil Nadu V K Sasikala was released from Parappana Agrahara Central prison in Bengaluru today after completing a four-year sentence in a disproportionate assets case. A team of prison officials visited Sasikala in Victoria hospital to complete formalities related to her release and hand over her belongings. She was admitted to the hospital on 21st of January when she was tested positive for Covid 19. Sasikala will continue to be in hospital for another few days till her mandatory quarantine period ends.


Tamilnadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy will throw open to public, Vedha Nilayam, the residence of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa tomorrow morning. Mr. Palanisami inaugurated Jayalalithaa's memorial built at a cost of 79 crores at Marina Beach today.More from our Chennai Correspondent:

"The abode of Jayalalithaa has been a mystical place as far as scores of AIADMK cadres are concerned. The doors of the famous Veda Nilayam entrance will open to everyone tomorrow. Recounting the days before the charismatic leader Amma  passed away,  it was here at  Poes Garden residence alliances were finalised to contest the elections and announced. The residence has been taken over by the State Government and it would be reopened for the general public. For AIADMK cadres it would be the temple where their favourite Amma abode. Joy, AIR News, Chennai"


Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that the state government has provided houses to over 40 lakh people in the state under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Rural and Urban till now. He said that the state is performing well in achieving the milestone of providing houses to all by 2022.

The Chief Minister was virtually addressing the beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana - Urban, at an event held in Gorakhpur. On the occasion, the Chief Ministet transfered 2409 crore rupees to 3 lakh 42 thousand and 322 beneficiaries of the scheme across the state.


Ministry of Home Affairs today issued new Guidelines for Surveillance, Containment and Caution of COvid-19. The guidelines will be effective from 1st of February and will remain in force upto 28th of February.

The main focus of the Guidelines is to consolidate the substantial gains that have been achieved against COVID-19 over the last four months.

The Home Ministry said, Containment Zones, if required, shall be carefully demarcated by the district authorities at the micro level, taking into consideration guidelines prescribed by the Health Ministry  in this regard. 

State and Union Territory Governments will take all necessary measures to ensure wearing of face masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

As per the order, all activities have been permitted outside Containment Zones, except those which will be subject to strict adherence of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It said, social, religious, sports, entertainment, educational, cultural and religious gatherings have already been permitted upto a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces  and keeping of the size of the ground  in open spaces. It said, now such gatherings will be allowed subject to SOP of the State and Union Territories concerned. Besides, Cinema halls and theatres have already been permitted upto 50 per cent  of seating capacity and now they will be permitted to operate at higher seating capacity, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Information and  Broadcasting in consultation with Home Ministry.

The Home Ministry said, Swimming pools now will be permitted for use of all, for which a revised SOP will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs and  Sports in consultation with the Home Ministry.

The Home Ministry said, for further opening up of international air travel of passengers, Ministry of Civil Aviation may take a decision with its  consultation based on the assessment of the situation.

The Ministry said, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.


Union Health Ministry today said that around 2 lakh 99 thousand 299 beneficiaries were vaccinated today in 28 States and Union Territories. Addressing media in New Delhi, Additional Health Secretary Dr Manohar Agnani said, with this, a total of 23 lakh 28 thousand and 779  beneficiaries have been vaccinated so far through 41 thousand 599 vaccine sessions. He said, there have been no case of serious or severe Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) attributable to vaccination till date.


 Meanwhile, the country's COVID-19 recovery rate reached 96.91 per cent with the total recovery of more than 13 thousand patients in the last 24 hours. The Ministry said that more than one crore three lakh 59 thousand patients have already recovered from this disease. Covid-19 active cases are on a continuously declining trajectory in the country. The Health Ministry said, 137 deaths have been reported during the last 24 hour taking the toll to one lakh 53 thousand 724 across the country.


The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has equivalent immunogenicity against the UK-variant and circulating strains of SARS-Cov2 in India. Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR. UK-variant of SARS-Cov-2 with its all signature mutations were isolated and cultured in the world successfully for the first time at ICMR-NIV which was used for testing.


In Maharashtra, Padmashri Dr. Abhay Bang expressed his happiness about the Covid vaccine, which he took last week. His wife Dr. Rani Bang also took the vaccine. He has been motivating others to get vaccinated. Dr. Abhay and Dr. Rani Bang are renowned social workers from Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district and are working in rural areas of the state.


Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million today, as countries around the world struggle with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls. Almost 1.3 percent of the world’s population has now been infected with COVID-19, and more than 2.1 million people have died.

One person gets infected every 7.7 seconds, on average, since the start of the year. Around 668,250 cases have been reported each day over the same period, and the global fatality rate stands at 2.15 percent.

It took the world 11 months to record the first 50 million cases of the pandemic, compared to just three months for cases to double to 100 million.
Around 56 countries have begun vaccination against the coronavirus, administering at least 64 million doses. Israel leads the world on per capita vaccinations, inoculating 29 percent of its population with at least one dose.

With over 25 million cases, the United States has 25 percent of all reported COVID cases although it accounts for just 4 percent of the world’s population. 


The COVID 19 vaccination drive was launched at Dhaka in Bangladesh today. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the programme through video conferencing from her official residence. Our Dhaka Correspondent has filed the story:


"The COVID 19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh was inaugurated today by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. The first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca developed vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) was administered to Nurse Runu Veronica Costa of the Kurmitola General Hospital in Dhaka. Four more people including two doctors, a traffic police and an Army Brigadier received the vaccine at the hospital. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked India for providing the consignment of vaccines including the first consignment of 20 lakh doses as gift. Sheikh Hasina expressed the hope that the vaccination programme will mark the victory over the pandemic in Bangladesh.Rajesh Jha, AIR News,Dhaka"


India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations will witness a momentous occasion tomorrow when a consignment containing five lakh doses of Covishield vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India will reach Colombo. Sources said, this gift of Covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka is a part of India’s “Vaccine Maitri” initiative under which India has gifted vaccines to seven other countries in the region.

This humanitarian gesture amid the pandemic showcases India’s commitment to its “Neighbourhood First” Policy and SAGAR doctrine in which Sri Lanka has a prominent position.The delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka is a fulfillment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment made to his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa during the virtual bilateral summit held in September last year. 


China announced stringent measures for entry and return to capital Beijing during the 40 days long Spring Festival travel rush period also known as Chunyun, starting from tomorrow until 8th March in view of COVID-19. Beijing local government said that during the Chunyun period, personnel from high-risk areas in the country are not allowed to enter the city.

As per reports, China has also decided to strictly control the transit of international passengers from third countries to enter Beijing on direct international commercial passenger flights.


Union Minister of Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel today visited the Red Fort in the national capital and took stock of the situation and assessed the damage caused in the violence during  Tractor rally yesterday.

Mr Patel was accompanied by top officers from his Ministry and Archaeological Survey of India. Later, talking to reporters, the Minister said, he has asked the officials to prepare a report in this regard so that it can be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs. Mr Patel also asked them to logde an FIR in connection with the matter.


Delhi Police has said that violence erupted during the Tractor Rally yesterday as the protesting farmers did not follow the laid down terms and conditions accepted earlier by them during the meetings. Addressing the media this evening, Commissioner of Police S N Srivastava said, the Police  excercised  maximum restraint during the tractor rally despite the violent behavior by the protestors.

He said, more than 25 criminal cases have been registered in connection with yesterday's Violence. He said, 394 Delhi police personnel were injured and some of them are in ICUs at hospitals.

Mr Srivastava said that 30 police vehicles were also damaged by the protestors along with other public properties. He also informed that 19 accused persons have been arrested while 50 others have been detained in connection with the incident. He said, those responsible for yesterday's Violence  will not be spared.


Haryana Police today registered a case under various sections of  Indian Penal Code against around 2200 demonstrators for indulging in violence during farmer's protest near Softa village in Palwal district on National Highway 19. The police spokesman said, the demonstrators tried to break the barricades on the National Highway during farmers protest and  indulged in violence. The police has initiated action against them after registering a case against them.


In view of the violent incidents during the Tractor Rally yesterday, some of the farmers' organisations have announced withdrawal of  their support to the ongoing farmers' protest.

National Convener of Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, V M Singh has said that he can not carry on the protest anymore with certain elements whose direction is different and hence the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan is withdrawing itself from the protest.

President of Bharatiya Kisan Union, Thakur Bhanu Pratap Singh has said that he is deeply pained by whatever happened in Delhi yesterday and has also decided to withdraw from the protest.


In an effort to guard against fake news being circulated on various platforms, we bring you our segment on Fact Check and Mythbusters. The Government has termed FAKE an e-mail allegedly from RBI claiming that the recipient has won 1.6 crore rupees from UN as COVID19 compensation and asking for personal and bank details to claim the prize. The Press Information Bureau said, RBI never contacts the public asking for any type of personal information. The Government also rejected a message which claims that the Centre is giving an unemployment allowance of 3800 rupees to the unemployed. The Press Information Bureau said, the claim is fake and the Centre has not made any such announcement.


In Jammu and Kashmir, one of the four army soldiers, who were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device blast in Shamsipora area of Kulgam district this morning, has succumbed to his injuries at Army’s 92 Base hospitals in Srinagar.

As per police reports, preliminary investigation revealed that the IED was planted by terrorists during the night hours inside an abandoned building within a school premises where the jawans used to visit on a routine basis.


Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and  Dairying has said that so far  outbreaks of Avian Influenza or Bird flu has been confirmed in 9 States for poultry birds. The States are  Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

The Ministry, however, said that it has been confirmed in 12 States for Crow, Migratory and Wild birds.

The Ministry said, Control and Containment Operations  are going on in the affected epicentres of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Surveillance work is also continuing in the places where positive results have been reported in other species of birds excluding Poultry.

The Ministry added that compensation is paid to farmers whose poultry birds, eggs and poultry feed are culled or disposed off by the State as per the Action Plan.  The Government of Maharashtra has sanctioned a compensation package of one crore 30 lakh rupees for culling of poultry and other birds and operational cost of disease control , under the Bird Flu Disease Control Program.


BCCI President Sourav Ganguly will again undergo coronary angioplasty tomorrow in presence of renowned cardiologist Dr. Devi Shetty. He was hospitalized following chest pain this afternoon.

After conducting angiogram and related tests in Kolkata today, the hospital administration issued a medical bulletin this evening in this regard. Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed concern regarding the Ganguly's health.


The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the introduction of the Player of the Month awards. The award will recognise and celebrate the best performances of both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket throughout the year.

In a statement issued in Dubai, the Council said, an independent ICC Voting Academy comprising former players, broadcasters, and journalists from around the world, will team up with fans to vote for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month and ICC Women’s Player of the Month.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday invited US President Joe Biden to visit Germany as soon as the pandemic situation allows.
Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said, in their first phone call since the Democrat took office, the German Chancellor and the American President spoke about the importance of working together in the fight against Covid-19.
The spokesman in a statement said, the two leaders also agreed that stronger international efforts were needed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
Ms Merkel also welcomed Mr Biden's decision to reverse former President Donald Trump's decision last July to pull the United States out of the World Health Organization. Also lauding Joe Biden's decision to return to the Paris agreement, Ms Merkel pledged  Germany's readiness to assume responsibility as it works with European and transatlantic partners in dealing with international tasks.


Benchmark domestic stocks today declined around two percent amid mixed global cues. The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange plunged 938 points to 47,410. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange also tumbled 271 points to settle at 13,968. 


Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.
The National Capital is likely to have haze. The temperature will hover between Five and 21 degrees Celsius.
Mumbai will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature will be around 24 degrees Celsius while the maximum is expected to be around 29 degrees.
Chennai will witness fog or mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. The temperature will vary between 21 and 31 degrees Celsius.
In Kolkata, there will be fog or mist in the morning and clear sky later. The city will observe a minimum of around 12 degrees Celsius and a maximum of around 23 degrees.
In Srinagar, there will be mist in the morning and partly cloudy sky later. The temperature will hover between minus two and six degrees Celsius. In Jammu,  the minimum temperature will be around six degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around 19 degrees.
Leh will have a minimum temperature of minus 15 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be six degree.
In Gilgit, the temperature will hover between minus six and 12 degrees Celsius.
In Muzaffarabad the temperature will hover between three and 18 degrees Celsius.
Dehradun will observe a minimum temperature of around eight degrees Celsius and a maximum of around 22 degrees. The city will have moderate fog.
Chandigarh will have fog or mist in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The temperature is likely to hover between five and 22 degrees Celsius.


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