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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


Morning News

0830 HRS
23.02.2021

THE HEADLINES,

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address 66th annual convocation of IIT Kharagpur via video conferencing today.

  • Prime Minister emphasises on bigger role for private sector in defence production.

  • Election Commission says, advance deployment of Central Police Forces in poll-bound areas during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections is a routine affair.

  • Bharatiya Janata Party wins both Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat unopposed.

  • Counting of votes for 575 seats in six municipal corporations of Gujarat being held today.

  • DRDO conducts two successful launches of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind on a two day visit to Gujarat begining today.

  • Uttar Pradesh Government to develop Jewar Airport as Asia's biggest airport with six runways.

  • Government sanctions over 56 thousand more houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).

  • Covid-19 recovery rate reaches 97.22 per cent in the country.

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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. 

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the 66th annual convocation of IIT Kharagpur via video conferencing today. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre will also attend the convocation, which is being organised in a virtual mode in view of the Pandemic.


75 students including nine Gold medal and 66 Silver medal winners have been invited to receive the award in person. More than 2,800 students will be awarded degrees through online mode.


The Institute will also confer DSc, IIT Kharagpur Life Fellow Award and distinguished Alumnus Award to 27 achievers for their contribution to academics and research, social service and public welfare.


Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed a public meeting at Sahagunj in Hooghly district. He said the people of West Bengal have made up their mind for change and not only change of government, but real change is required to take the state ahead in the path of development.


Mr Modi said that poor people and farmers of West Bengal are being denied the benefits of Central schemes like PM Kisan Nidhi and Ayushman Bharat. He said that 1,700 crore rupees has been allocated to the state for the Central scheme Jal Jeevan Mission but the state government has utilized only 609 crore rupees.


Mr Modi accused the TMC Government of pursuing appeasement politics instead of following development for all. He said, as long as Syndicate Raj and cut-money culture is there, development of Bengal will not be possible. The Prime Minister said, connectivity plays an important role for development. The Central Government has prioritized the investment in Railway infrastructure in the area.


The Prime Minister flagged off the extended service of Kolkata Metro Rail between Noapara and Dakshineshwar. The much-awaited extension linked the two world famous Kali temples at Kalighat and Dakshineswar. The Prime Minister also inaugurated and dedicated to the nation new lines of Eastern and South Eastern Railways. He said that connectivity plays an important role for development.


"हमारे देश में ट्रांसपोर्ट के माध्यम जितने बेहतर होंगे, आत्मनिर्भरता और आत्मविश्वास का हमारा संकल्प उतना ही सशक्त होगा। मुझे खुशी है कि कोलकाता के अलावा हुगली, हावड़ा और उत्तरी 24 परगना जिले के साथियों को भी अब मेट्रो सेवा की सुविधा का लाभ मिल रहा है। आज नाओपाड़ा से दक्षिणेश्वर तक जिस खंड का उद्घाटन किया गया है, इससे डेढ़ घंटे की दूरी सिर्फ 25-35 मिनट के बीच में सिमट जाएगी। दक्षिणेश्वर से कोलकाता के "कवि सुभाष" या "न्यू गड़िया" तक मेट्रो से अब सिर्फ एक घंटे में पहुंचना संभव हो पाएगा, जबकि सड़क से ये दूरी ढाई घंटे तक की है।"


Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal were also present in the programme.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed that the private sector can play an instrumental role in research, innovation, design, manufacturing of indigenous defence products to make the country self reliant in the defence sector. The Prime Minister was speaking at the webinar for effective implementation of Union Budget 2021 provisions for the Defence Sector yesterday.


"हमारे जवानों को बुलेट प्रूफ जैकेट्स तक के लिए भी लंबा इंतज़ार करना पड़ता है। आज हम ना सिर्फ भारत में ही अपने लिए बुलेट प्रूफ जैकेट्स नहीं बना रहे, बल्कि दूसरे देशों को भी सप्लाई करने के लिए अपनी कैपेसिटी को बढ़ा रहे हैं।साथियों,Chief of Defence Staff के पद का गठन होने से procurement processes, trial & testing, उपकरणों के इंडक्शन, services की प्रक्रियाओं में uniformity लाना बहुत सरल हो गया है और हमारे सभी डिफेंस फोर्स के सभी विंग के सहयोग से ये काम बहुत तेजी से आगे भी बढ़ रहा है। इस साल के बजट में सेना के आधुनिकीकरण की ये प्रतिबद्धता और मजबूत हुई है। करीब डेढ़ दशक बाद डिफेंस सेक्टर में capital outlay में 19 प्रतिशत की बढ़ोतरी की गई है।"


Highlighting the need for reducing import dependence of defence equipments, Mr. Modi said, country must move forward to become exportor of defence equipments from net importer.


The Prime Minister said, India has prepared a list of 100 important defence items which is termed negative list, but this list can be converted to postive list by achieving self-reliance in defece sector. 


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Election Commission has clarified that advance deployment of Central Police Forces in poll-bound areas during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections is a routine affair. Taking note of media reports that Central Police Forces are being sent specifically to West Bengal, the Commission said, this practice has been going on since late 1980s. It said, Central Police Forces are routinely sent to all the poll bound States and UTs for advance area domination, especially in critical and vulnerable sectors.


The Commission stated that the orders for deployment of Central Police Forces were issued to the Chief Secretaries, the DGPs and the Chief Electoral Officers of these five States and UT on the same day, i.e. 16th of this month.


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Bharatiya Janata Party has won unopposed both Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat which had fallen vacant following the demise of the sitting MPs. The seats were wrested by BJP's Dineshchamdra Jemalbhai Ananvadiya and Rambhai Harjibhai Mokariya. The elections to the two seats were necessitated following the demise of Congress leader Ahmed Patel and BJP's Abhay Ganpatray Bhardwaj. The election of the two BJP candidates was confirmed yesterday after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations expired. The election of the BJP candidates unopposed was confirmed after two dummy candidates withdrew their nominations. Returning Officer CB Pandya said, two dummy candidates from the BJP -- Rajnikant Patel and Kirit Solanki -- have withdrawn their nominations. The opposition Congress party had not fielded any candidate for the by-elections, for which voting was scheduled for March 1. The Congress has 65 MLAs in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly and it was learned that the party was not sure about its victory in the bypolls. This is the reason why it decided not to contest the elections. The BJP has 111 MLAs in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly.


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In Gujarat, the counting of votes for 575 seats in six municipal corporations is being held today. In Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, counting of votes will be held for 192 seats across 48 wards, in Surat for 120 seats across 30 wards, in Vadodara 76 seats across 19 wards, in Rajkot for 72 seats across 18 wards, in Bhavnagara 52 seats across 13 wards and in Jamnagar Municipal Corporation 64 seats across 16 wards.


An average of 46.1 percent turn out was recorded in the elections to six municipal corporations on Sunday. AIR Ahmedabad correspondent reports that the BJP was in power in all six Municipal Corporations in the state where elections were held.


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In Bihar, lone LJP Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Nutan Singh has joined the BJP. Following this, LJP has been left with no member in the 75-member Legislative Council.


The JD (U) has 23 members in the Legislative Council, followed by the BJP with 21 MLCs. Two other NDA partners, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Vikassheel Insaan Party have one member each. The opposition RJD has 6 members, Congress 4 and the CPI 2. There is one Independent MLC while 16 seats are lying vacant.


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President Ram Nath Kovind will be the chief guest at the third convocation of the Central University of Gujarat (CUG) at Gandhinagar today. The CUG was established by Parliament through the Central Universities Act 2009. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank will also attend the convocation ceremony.


"President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the degrees to 73 PhD and 26 MPhil scholars, 121 post-graduate and 24 undergraduate students during the convocation ceremony. Twenty-one meritorious students will also be awarded medals during the function. On the second day of his visit, the President Kovind will inaugurate the world’s largest Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium at Motera in Ahmedabad tomorrow. The India-England pink ball day-night test match will kickstart at the reconstructed Motera stadium soon after the inauguration. The President Kovind is also expected to watch the third cricket test match between India and England with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on this occasion. The Motera stadium has the capacity of 1 lakh 10 thousand spectators, but only fifty percent spectators will be allowed in side the stadium during the match due to Covid19 pandemic. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

The President will be on a two day visit to the State from today.


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President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Jasmeet Singh and Amit Bansal as Judges of the Delhi High Court. Mr Kovind has also appointed four Additional Judges in the Kerala High Court.


Four Additional Judges of the Karnataka High Court have been elevated as Judges of the Court.


The Law Ministry has issued notifications in this regard.


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Delhi Police has arrested a person who allegedly climbed one of the domes of the Red Fort during the violence in the farmers' tractor rally on 26th of January. The arrested person is a resident of  northwest Delhi. Earlier, another person was also arrested who was seen waving swords on the rampart. Several protesters had clashed with the police during the protest against the farm laws.


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Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has  conducted two successful launches of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM). The launches were carried out from a static vertical launcher from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur off the coast of Odisha. Indigenously designed and developed by the DRDO for Indian Navy, VL-SRSAM is meant for neutralizing various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets. The missiles were tested for minimum and maximum range. VL-SRSAM with Weapon Control System were deployed during the trials. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO on the successful trials.


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Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government plans to develop Jewar Airport as Asia's biggest airport with six runways. The state government has to set aside 2,000 crore rupees for Jewar Airport in its budget for 2021-22 presented in the Assembly yesterday.


"The state government has also increased the number of runways of the Jewar Aiport to six, from two proposed earlier. The under construction airport in Ayodhya will be named as Maryada Purushottam Sriram Airport. A provision of 101 crore rupees has been made for it in the budget. Ayodhya airport will also be subsequently made an international airport. After the presentation of the budget, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told reporters that cities like Aligarh, Moradabad, Meerut will also be linked through air service soon. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."


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Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad presented an annual budget of 2 lakh 18 thousand 303 crore rupees for the state yesterday. He asserted that the government will now push the women workforce to the grassroots to ensure gender parity. State government has laid out provisions to award 25,000 rupees to girls who pass intermediate exams. The Government will also award 50,000 rupees to those who complete their bachelor's degree. Talking to media after the budget was tabled, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that more than 20 lakh jobs will be cretaed in the state for youths. He also said that an all-new sports university will be established in Bihar.


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The Government has sanctioned over 56 thousand more houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee has approved them. In a series of tweets, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, out of the total validated demand of one crore 12 lakh houses by 2022, nearly one crore 11 lakh homes are now sanctioned. He informed that over 73 lakh houses have now been grounded. The Minister said, 42 lakh 70 thousand houses have been handed over to the beneficiaries.


The government has set a target to provide pucca houses to all eligible beneficiaries of Urban India by 2022 with the vision of Housing for All.


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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Nitin Gadkari  has inaugurated 50 artisan-based SFURTI clusters spread over 18 States. In these clusters, over 42 thousand artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, wood craft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro processing, tea and others. These clusters have been inaugurated in 18 states. The MSME Ministry has funded 85 crore rupees for development of these SFURTI clusters.


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A total of one crore 14 lakh 24 thousand and 94, COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered till 6 p.m. yesterday. Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry, Manohar Agnani said this in a media briefing in New Delhi last evening.


Meanwhile, the COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 97.22 per cent with total recovery of more than nine thousand patients in the 24 hour period. More than one crore six lakh patients have already been recovered from the infection. Presently, the total number of active cases in the country is one lakh 50 thousand 55 which comprises only 1.36 per cent of the total positive cases.


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Home Minister Amit Shah held a high level review meeting on the progress of COVID-19 vaccination drive yesterday. The meeting was held following sudden spike in number of COVID-19 cases in a few states. Mr Shah expressed satisfaction at the ongoing vaccination drive and hoped it will continue smoothly.


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In Odisha, more than 5 lakh 40 thousand beneficiaries have been vaccinated against Covid-19. They include 4 lakh 39 thousand  health care workers and over one lakh frontline workers.


"In terms of the first dose vaccine coverage, Odisha overshoots the 82% mark, positioning itself as number 3 among the states. It has also vaccinated more than 66% of the registered frontline workers. Meanwhile the state conducted 307 session sites yesterday to innoculate a little more than 33 thousand beneficiaries with a majority of about 28 thousand healthcare workers taking their second vaccine shots. Out of the total session sites, 43 sessions were devoted to vaccinate 4860 frontline workers as well. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar."


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Expressing concern that people attending large gatherings are not following the Covid guidelines, Karnataka Health and Medical Education minister Dr. K Sudhakar has said that Marshalls will be deployed in marriage halls to ensure that the Covid guidelines are followed. Speaking to media persons in Bengaluru, he said, not more than 500 people are allowed in a gathering and face mask is compulsory for all. Catering service providers will also be instructed to get tested before they render service.


The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike commissioner N Manjunath Prasad has expressed concern at the cluster outbreak of Covid cases in Bengaluru. The third incident of cluster outbreak is reported in an apartment where 10 positive cases were detected. Out of nine blocks, six blocks have reported cases. He informed that nine mobile teams are deployed in these areas to conduct RT PCR tests and the results will be available today. The six blocks are declared as containment zone and a health team with four doctors are deployed. Karnataka reported 317 new Covid cases and 287 recoveries and five deaths yesterday. The state has a positivity rate of 0.69 percent and case fatality rate of 1.57 percent.


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External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar yesterday handed over one lakh additional doses of commercially procured Made in India COVID vaccines to Mauritius. India had earlier sent one lakh vaccine doses to the island nation. Dr Jaishankar began his Mauritius visit with a meeting with his counterpart Alan Ganoo yesterday. In a series of tweets, the minister said, they reviewed the bilateral relations and successful development partnership between the two countries. He reiterated that India will be a ready partner in Mauritius’ economic recovery and revival efforts.


Dr Jaishankar met Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth and conveyed  greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dr Jaishankar and Mr Jugnauth held comprehensive discussions on the status of implementation of various infrastructure projects. The Minister appreciated the efficiency of the Mauritius side in taking them forward.


A special 100 million-US Dollar Defence Line of Credit was also signed which will enable the procurement of defence assets from India as per the needs of Mauritius.


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India has called for leaders of Somalia to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve the issues that are delaying the holding of elections. Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting on Somalia, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said India expects an early decision of the leaders towards holding of elections soon. He said India also urges all Somalis not to resort to violence during this important transition and to encourage dialogue and reconciliation instead. The Ambassador said the delay will only embolden Al-shabaab and other armed groups to gain more ground.


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In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Central Government will be organising National Toy Fair 2021 from February 27 to March 2, which will be held on a virtual platform. It aims to promote dialogue for the holistic development of the industry and present to the globe the richness and vastness of India's toy manufacturing capabilities. The website for the ‘India Toy Fair 2021’ will enable children, parents, teachers, exhibitors, etc to register themselves to participate in the virtual fair and showcase various facets of the Indian Toy ecosphere.


Exhibitors from Mumbai who are participating in the Toy Fair have welcomed this initiative. One of the exhibitors, Prafulla Pangaonkar, Co-founder of Lovely toys, has appreciated this initiative of the central government:


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In Varanasi, two-day festival of flowers, vegetables and horticulture was organised in which many organisations, nurseries and government departments participated. Our correspondent reports that locals enjoyed the beautiful creation of cut flowers, ornamental and medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables and flower decoration for two days.


Deputy Director of Horticulture Munna Yadav told AIR news that the aim of the festival was to promote awareness for environment and motivate the farmers of the region.


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Take a look at the weather for today.


National Capital Delhi experienced shallow fog in the morning. Minimum temperature was 13 degrees Celsius, while the maximum is expected to be 32 degrees Celsius.


Mumbai will have a sunny day and the temperature will vary from 26 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees.


Chennai is expected to have generally cloudy sky with light rain. Minimum temperature was 23 degrees Celsius while upper limit will be around 30 degrees.


In Kolkata, minimum temperature was 19 degrees Celsius, while maximum would be around 33 degrees. The city sky will be mainly clear. 


Srinagar may witness thunderstorm with rain today. The temperature will hover between four and 10 degrees Celsius.


Jammu may have a partly cloudy sky. Minimum temperature was 12 degree Celsius while maximum will be around 21 degrees.


Leh will have generally cloudy sky. Minimum temperature was minus two degrees Celsius while maximum will be around eight degrees.


Gilgit will have generally cloudy sky with light rain. Temperature will hover between three and 19 degrees Celsius.


Muzaffarabad may witness thunderstorm with rain. The temperature will fluctuate between eight to 18 degrees Celsius.


In Dehradun, maximum temperature will be nearly 27 degrees Celsius. Though the city will observe mainly clear sky, it may become partly cloudy later.


Chandigarh will have mainly clear sky. Temperature is likely to hover between 14 and 28 degrees Celsius.


In Hyderabad, the temperature rising from 19 degrees Celsius will go up to 31 degrees. The city may observe partly cloudy sky.


Ahmedabad will have clear sky. Minimum temperature was 17 degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 34 degrees.


Patna with mainly clear sky, will witness maximum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.


And clear sky will occur in Guwahati with temperature rising up to 32 degrees Celsius.


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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINE:

  • Puducherry government falls on brink of elections, writes Hindustan Times.

  • The Indian Express headline reads, "Congress Puducherry government falls, BJP, ADMK weigh options".

  • Covid upsurge after November hints at second wave, reports The Pioneer

  • Active cases surge to 1,50,055, writes The Statesman.

  • Punjab among 5 states logging 86% cases; jab for 50 from March reports The Tribune.

  • Shah, Vardhan review Covid surge, focus still on 5 states, headlines The Asian Age.

  • Government looks to involve private sector once vax drive expands to 50 reports The Times of India.

  • And finally quoting a media report, Hindustan Times reports that Trump likely to announce 2024 presidential bid, at the Conservative Political Action Conference on 28th February.

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