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Last Updated : Feb 21 2020 2:46PM     Screen Reader Access
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Around 300 rural clusters developed under Shyama Prasad Mukherji National Rurban Mission            Prez Trump says he likes PM Modi & two leaders to hold talks on broad gamut of relations during his upcoming visit            Centre reiterates convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case cannot be released without its approval            FATF to take a final call on whether to keep Pakistan in its Grey list at its meeting in Paris            ICC T20 Women's World Cup: Match between India, Australia underway           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Supreme Court refuses to stay operation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), to set up a larger constitution bench to hear the matter; asks centre to file its reply within 4 weeks.

  • Fourteen Union ministers in Jammu & Kashmir today as a part of the wider public outreach programme.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind confers Rashtriya Bal Puraskar awards to children ahead of Republic Day.

  • China reports nine deaths due to the Noval Corona Virus infection;WHO meeting in Geneva to take a call on whether to declare it as a global public health emergency.

  • Cold Wave conditions prevail in North India; Delhi wakes up to a foggy morning. 


Supreme Court has refused to stay the operation of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde today said that it cannot grant any stay on CAA without hearing the Centre. The apex court has said that it will constitute a larger constitution bench to hear the matter. The apex court asked the Centre to file its reply within 4 weeks on petitions challenging the CAA.  Appearing for the Centre, Attorney General KK Venugopal said that the government has been given copies of around 60 petitions out of the 143 and it needs time to respond to pleas which have not been served on it. Some of the petitioners urged the apex court to put on hold operation of CAA and postpone exercise of National Population Register (NPR) for the time being.

The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.


On the political front, BJP has hit out at Congress party accusing it of doing politics of appeasement. Briefing media in Delhi this afternoon, party spokesperson Sambit Patra said, Congress leader Ashok Chavan had reportedly said that Congress joined hands with Shiv Sena at the appeal of Muslims in order to stop BJP from forming government in Maharashtra. Mr Patra alleged that Congress is misleading Muslims and creating a dangerous atmosphere against the democratic fabric in the country under the garb of CAA and NRC. He demanded that Congress President Sonia and other senior party leader should apologize to the nation on this serious issue.

Meanwhile, Congress has accused BJP of lying to the nation on CAA and NRC. Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, party leader Kapil Sibal said NDA government says that CAA is non discriminatory which is a lie.


Continuing with the Special Outreach Programme in Jammu and Kashmir, a delegation of 14 Union Ministers is visiting far off blocks in various districts of both the divisions of J&K today. These include G. Kishen Reddy, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Prahalad Singh Patel,Tawar Chand Gehlot, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, among others.They will hold public interactions to note public grievances for their timely redressal . More from our correspondent:

"On the fifth day today, the ministers set out early for their extensive tours to different locations across J&K, even as Union Minister Mukhtar Abbass Naqvi met locals in the heart of Srinagar city Lal chowk. Naqvi said there is a positive environment and government is spreading this positivity among other people too by communicating with them. He further said the Outreach mission is aimed to create a strong environment of change with the active participation of people on ground.

All ministers have busy schedules for today, mostly in different blocks of Jammu division where they are inaugurating several projects throughout the day, besides propagating welfare initiatives of the government in their public interactions. Naseer Rather , AIR News, Jammu. "


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the 32nd interaction through PRAGATI- the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation in New Delhi  today through video conferencing.

In the previous thirty one interactions of PRAGATI, projects worth over twelve lakh crores have been reviewed by the Prime Minister. In the last PRAGATI meeting, nine projects worth over 61 thousand crore rupees related to 16 states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir were taken up for discussion. There were  discussions on various topics like grievances of Indian citizens working abroad, National Agriculture Market, Aspirational District Programme and infrastructure development programmes and initiatives. Prime Minister had launched the multi-purpose and multi-modal governance platform PRAGATI on 25th March 2015. 


In Telangana, poling in over three thousand municipal wards in 120 municipalities and 9 Municipal Corporations in the state is underway peacefully and smoothly. State Election commission authorities informed that by 12 noon, about 45 per cent of over 53 lakh electors utilized their franchise. The Polling reported in Dabeerpura division of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, was at less than ten percent by 12 noon. About 12 thousand 8 hundred candidates are in the fray in about 3 thousand wards.


President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar, 2020 at Rashtrapati Bhavan today. The Bal Puraskar is given by government every year to recognize exceptional achievements of children in various fields. These fields are innovation, scholastic achievements, social service, arts and culture, sports and bravery.

Our correspondent reports that twenty two children who were selected for National Bravery Awards also received the awards from the President.

Talking to AIR News, Master Adithya K. from Kerala who saved more than forty lives, said, in times of danger people should always think about safety of others.

Another recipient Master Mudasir Ashraf said that people should remain courageous in the grim situation.

Bhameshwari Nirmalkar of Chattisgarh said that other children should also try to help others.

The National Bravery Awards scheme was initiated to give recognition to the children who performed outstanding deeds of bravery.


Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that National Cadet Corps (NCC) is able to boost the sense of national pride among the youth. Addressing the NCC cadets in New Delhi today, Mr Singh said, every school and college should have NCC. He also complimented the NCC fraternity for contributing towards National Integration and Nation Building.

"ऑपरेशन में भी NCC Cadets ने assist किया है और वैसे भी बहुत सारे लोग सोशल awarness पैदा करने में और community development कार्यक्रम इनमें भी एनसीसी के कैडेट्स बहुत ही Actively participate करते हैं।"

On his opinion on kids in Jammu and Kashmir that are being motivated to join NCC, the Minister said children of Jammu and Kashmir are nationalists. He said they should not be seen in any other way and children should be motivated in the right direction.  On the occasion, the Defence Minister conferred Raksha Mantri Padak and Commendation cards to NCC cadets for their exemplary performance and devotion to duty.


Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming 71st Republic Day celebrations this year. It is observed to mark the day when Constitution of India officially came into force on 26th January 1950. Our correspondent takes a look at the evolution of Republic Day parade over the years.

"The parade at Rajpath on 26th January is the main attraction of the Republic Day celebrations. The first Republic Day was celebrated in 1950 at  Irwin Amphitheatre in Delhi which is currently known as Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. In the following years, the parade was held at Kingsway, Red Fort and Ramleela Maidan. It was only in 1955 that Rajpath became the permanent venue for the parade . Rajpath was known by the name ‘Kingsway’ at that time. In 1955, when the parade was held at Rajpath, the Governor-General of Pakistan Malik Ghulam Mohammad was invited as chief guest. 'Beating Retreat', the ceremony at Vijay Chowk on January 29 every year, marks the culmination of the Republic Day celebrations. It traces its origin to the early 1950s when Major Roberts of the Indian Army indigenously developed the unique ceremony of display by the massed bands. With Bhupendra Singh, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."


Haryana has taken comprehensive measures for saving girl child and for education of girls in the state  thereby making 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' programme a success. Giving this information, a government spokesman said that as a result, the ratio of girls has gone up in the state. He said the number of degree colleges in Sirsa, Palwal, Hisar, and Nuh for the higher education of girls have been opened to ensure their higher education . More from our correspondent:

"Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, which was launched from Panipat by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this day in 2015 was not only effectively implemented by Haryana Government but public participation make it a success. As a result, the male and female ratio in the state has changed drastically and reached at the honorable position. As a result of this programme in 2019 in Rewari district, the number of females has reached 919 as compared to 1000 males, which was only 802 in 2014 as compared to 1000 males. Ashwani Kumar Sharma, AIR News, Chandigarh."

The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on this day in 2015 at Panipat, Haryana.


Cold Wave conditions prevail in several parts of North India. The National Capital woke up to a foggy morning today. The minimum temperature is expected to settle at 9 degrees celcius.  The intense  cold wave swept most parts of Punjab and Haryana today.  Minimum temperatures dropped again. Several parts of Haryana, including Rohtak, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ambala, Hisar, Karnal and Narnaul, were also enveloped by a thick blanket of fog in the morning. Hisar reeled at a low of 4.4 degrees Celsius, while Sirsa experienced a cold night at 5 degrees. Chandigarh recorded a low of 6.8 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab, biting cold gripped Amritsar, Adampur, Halwara, Bathinda, Ludhiana and Patiala. 

Few areas in Kashmir including Srinagar received fresh snowfall overnight. Most of the higher reaches and few areas in the plains of Kashmir received fresh snowfall including Gulmarg and Pahalgam. Met office has forecast mainly dry and cold weather in the valley over the next two days.


In China, the death toll in novel coronavirus virus has gone up to nine with the confirmed infection cases sharply rising to 440. Chinese health authorities today announced that 440 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus had been reported in 13 provincial-level regions in the country till yesterday.

The health authorities also warned that the disease could spread further in the ongoing Chinese holiday season during which millions travel at home and abroad.

Deputy director of the National Health Commission Li Bin told media today that all nine deaths were reported from central China's Hubei Province.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is holding an emergency meeting today in Geneva, will consider declaring an international public health emergency over the virus - as it did with swine flu and Ebola.


Now, Moving onto Sports

The preparations have been made for the grand closing ceremony of the third Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati this evening. Chief Executive Officer of the games Avinash Joshi said that apart from cultural events, a team of Chinese martial arts will also display their skills. Mr. Joshi said that Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal along with Union Ministers Kiren Rijiju and Rameshwar Teli will attend the closing ceremony. 

"Closing ceremony of Khelo India Youth Games 2020 is going to be held today at 6 PM. There will be three or four main components of closing ceremony will be having Bollywood celebrities who will be singing the songs of patriotism, sports and for youngsters basically. Then we will be having display of Assamese Culture, tradition, Music, Dance which will be displayed by artists alongwith their groups and all."


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