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Last Updated : Feb 22 2020 11:12PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi inaugurates first-ever Khelo India University Games at Cuttack            Indian flight carrying medical supplies to Wuhan awaits clearance from China for past two days            Delhi court dismisses Nirbhaya gang rape, murder case convict Vinay Sharma's plea            US Prez Trump's visit accompanied by high-level delegation expected to further boost Indo-American ties            Asian Wrestling C'ship 2020: Satywart Kadian, Gaurav Baliyan bag silver           

Text Bulletins Details

News at Nine

2100 HRS
  • India gets first Rafale Combat Jet acquired by the Indian Air Force; Defence Minister Rajnath Singh takes a sortie in the aircraft after official hand over at Mérignac in France.

  • Indian Air Force celebrates its 87th anniversary with a grand function at Hindon Air Force Station; Air Chief assures the nation of IAF's resolve to safeguard country's interests at all costs. 

  • Vijayadashmi and Dussehra being celebrated across the country; Participating in a program in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls upon people to further empowerment and dignity of women.

  • Three scientists, James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz win Nobel Prize 2019 for Physics. 

  • Boxing: M.C. Mary Kom advances to quarterfinals of World Women's Championships in Russia.


India has got the first Rafale Combat Jet acquired by the Indian Air Force. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh received the first Rafale combat jet aircraft at Production Unit of Dassault Aviation at Mérignac in France this evening. The ceremony coincided with the foundation day of the Indian Air Force as well as Vijaya Dashami. The Defence Minister performed Shastra Puja on the Rafale Jet and also took a sortie in it.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Singh said, the ceremony indeed marks a historic and landmark day for the Indian Armed Forces.

हमारी वायु सेना विश् की चौथी सबसे बड़ी वायु सेना है। मैं आश्वस् हूं कि रफाल, मीडियम मल्टी रोल कॉम्बैटक्राफ्ट हमको और मजबूत प्रदान करेगा तथा हमारी हवाई क्षमता को बढ़ाते हुए क्षेत्र में शान और सुरक्षा सुनिश्चित करेगा।

Mr Singh said, flying in the Rafale aircraft is a great honour and experience for him.

Prior to his visit to Mérignac, Mr Singh called on French President Emmanuel Macron at Elysee Palace in Paris. The Defence Minister discussed stronger India-France defence and strategic ties. He welcomed France as an important strategic partner of India.


The Indian Air Force, IAF, is celebrating its 87th anniversary today. The IAF was founded on this day in 1932. A grand function was held at the Air Force Station Hindan in Ghaziabad to celebrate the day. A scintillating air display by various aircraft was the hallmark of the Air Force Day Parade-cum-Investiture Ceremony. The display commenced with flag bearing sky divers of the famous AKASH GANGA Team dropping out of an AN-32 aircraft in their colourful canopies.

The fly past included vintage aircraft, modern transport aircraft and front line fighter aircraft. Indian Air Force officers who participated in the Balakot airstrike, flew three Mirage 2000 aircraft and two Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft in Avenger formation during the event.

The highlight of the event was Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman leading a MiG formation and flying a MiG Bison Aircraft. The ceremony concluded with a spell-binding aerobatic display.

Speaking on the occasion, Air Force Chief, Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria assured the nation of the IAF's sacred resolve, in defending the sovereignty of the Indian skies and safeguarding the national interest at all costs. 

"Indian Air Force is on the path of rapid modernisation. Through the acquisition of crucial technologies and critical capabilities such as Rafale fighter aircraft, air missile system, precision weapons advanced electronics and early warning system to name a few. However, to achieve the true strategic autonomy, we need to focus on indigenous design and manufacturing. The IAF is fully committed towards the indigenous development of high technology hardware in consonance with Make in India."

President Ramnath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted air warriors on the occasion.


In Jammu & Kashmir, two terrorists were killed in an operation in South Kashmir’s Awantipora area of Pulwama district today. Talking to AIR Srinagar, state police Chief Dilbagh Singh said the slain terrorists killed in a prolonged encounter in orchard tract of Kawani Brabindina Awantipora area belonged to Jaish e Muhammad outfit. He said, one terrorist is a native of Kawani and another of Awantipora area of Pulwama district. Arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India is a land of festivals and every festival brings the society together. Addressing Dussehra Celebrations at DDA Ground in Dwarka in the National Capital this evening, Mr Modi said, festivals connect and mould people. He said, if people want to understand the power of collective spirit, they must seek inspiration from Lord Krishna and Lord Ram.

The Prime Minister said, India is a land of Shakti Sadhna and in the last nine days people worshipped Mother Goddess. He said, it's our responsibility to respect every daughter in India. Taking the spirit ahead, he called upon people to always work towards furthering empowerment as well as dignity of women.

माँ की उपासना करने वाला ये देश शक्ति साधना करने वाला ये देश धरती पर हर माँ बेटी का सम्मान, हर माँ बेटी का गौरव, हर माँ बेटी की गरिमा, इसका संकल्प शक्ति साधना के साथ हम लोगो की ज़िम्मेदारी बनता है।

The Prime Minister urged the people to celebrate the accomplishments of Nari Shakti this Diwali.

At a time when India celebrates 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Modi urged to take up a mission of not wasting food, conserving energy and saving water.

He participated in the special puja at the venue and burnt the effigy of Ravana, signifying the victory of good over evil.


President Ram Nath Kovind participated in Dussehra celebrations at Indraprastha Extension in New Delhi and burnt the effigy of Ravana. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Kovind said, Dussehra is a celebration of the triumph of truth over untruth. He said, the life of Lord Rama is in essence a reflection of these values which remain as relevant today as ever.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh attended Dussehra at Lal Quila parade ground in Old Delhi. In his address, Mr Naidu said, Dussehra is a celebration of the universal law that truth alone triumphs in the end.


Vijayadashmi also known as Dussehra is being celebrated across the country today. The festival is celebrated to remember Lord Ram's victory over Ravana, marking the triumph of good over evil. The day also marks the culmination of Navratri and Durga Puja.

 In Karnataka, thousands of people witnessed the grand Jambo savari procession in Mysuru today that drew the curtains on the ten days of Dasara festival.

"Balakote airstrike, Chandrayaan 2 and Fit India were some of the themes on which tableaux were created. The grand Dussehra procession on the Vijayadashmi day ended with a torchlight parade and a firework spectacle. Governor Wajubhai Wala along with Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues graced the occasion. In old Mysuru area, Shammi or Khejri tree and its leaf  worshipped on the Vijaydashmi day. A practice prevails of giving Shammi leaves and say Banni Bangaaravaagona, which means Shammi leaf is worth the gold. SUDHINDRA, AIR NEWS, BENGALURU."

In West Bengal, Bijoya Dasami, the last day of Durga Puja, is being celebrated with immersion of the Durga idols today.

"People are exchanging greetings and sweets to each other on the occasion of Vijaya Dasami. Special security measures have been taken at various river banks for immersion of Durga idols. Large crowd have been gathered at Babughat in Kolkata to witness immersion. State Pollution Control Board is very much vigilent this time against the pollution of rivers caused by immersion of idols. ARIJIT CHAKRABORTY, AIR NEWS, KOLKATA."

In Uttar Pradesh, Dussehra is being celebrated with traditional fervour today.

"With the culmination of Ramlila at most  places, Effigies of Ravana, Kumbh karna and Meghanad were burnt in a traditional way to mark the triumph of good over evil. In city of lord Rama Ayodhya, around hundred ramlilas are being played and they also observed the dussehra with Ravana Dahan. In Varanasi an unique silent ramlila based on Ramcharitmanas was played at DLW ground by Diwyang children before Ravana Dahan today. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath performed Vijay Dashmi rituals at Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur and also did Raj tilak of Lord Rama in a traditional way at ramlila ground. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW."


Bijoya Dashmi was celebrated in Bangladesh today at the end of the 5-day long Sharodiya Durga Utsav. The day was marked by much enthusiasm and religious fervour. People thronged the mandaps in the capital city Dhaka and there was a festive atmosphere all around with people distributing prasad and kirtons being organised at many mandaps. The devotees applied vermilion on the face of goddess Durga and people participated in sindoor khela applying vermilion on each other's face.


In Himachal Pradesh, week long historical International Kullu Dussehra festival began this afternoon with Lord Raghunath Rath Yatra in Kullu district. Large number of traditionally attired people thronged from across the state to wittiness the mega event. In the Rath Yatra of Lord Raghunath more than 100 deities from remote areas of the state are brought and enrich the beauty of the occasion.


Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javdekar has urged people to plant saplings in educational institutions, factories and business complexes, saying it is a great service in saving the environment. Speaking to media after planting a sapling at Malaviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur this morning, he said planting more saplings is like developing oxygen bank for ourselves.

जहां संभव है वहां ठीक तरीके से पेड़ लगाना यह पर्यावरण के लिए बहुत महत्वपूर्ण सेवा है।  एक तरह से खुद का ऑक्सीजन बैंक तैयार करने का ये संकल् है और इसलिए आज भारत का वनक्षेत्र  15 हजार स्कवायर किलोमीटर से बढ़ा है और 25 पर्सेंट लगभग अब हुआ है। ये और हमें 33 पर्सेंट तक जाना है।


New Delhi will hold a three-day India International Cooperative Trade Fair (IICTF), 2019 beginning this Friday. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar made the announcement at a media briefing in the Capital today. He said representatives from over 200 cooperative societies and buyers from 35 countries are expected to participate in the event.


Nobel Prize 2019 for Physics has been announced. Three scientists, James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz have won the Prize for their contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe and earth's place in the cosmos.

One half of the award was given to James Peebles for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.

 They will share a 9-million kronor cash award, a gold medal and a diploma. The laureates will receive them at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10.


In Boxing, six-time Champion M.C. Mary Kom today advanced to the quarterfinals in 51 kilogram category of the World Women's Championships at Ulan-Ude, Russia. The 36-year-old defeated Thailand's Jutamas Jitpong 5-0 in the last-16 stage encounter.

However, in the 75-kilogram category, there was disappointment for India when former silver-medallist Saweety Boora lost her pre-quarterfinal bout in a split decision despite a valiant fight. Boora was up against second-seeded Welshwoman Lauren Price.


In Women's Cricket, the first ODI of the three-match series between India and South Africa will be played in Vadodara tomorrow. The match is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

Meanwhile, the Indian women's team today dealt with a major blow as opener Smriti Mandhana is ruled out due to an injury.


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