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Last Updated : Feb 21 2020 2:53PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
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


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro hold talks in New Delhi; Eleven agreements signed.

  • People in Jammu and Kashmir welcome resumption of 2G mobile internet service.

  • No Coronavirus case detected in India; over 20,000 passengers screened at airports.

  • National Voters’ Day being celebrated today; focus on Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy'.

  • Stage set for Republic Day celebrations tomorrow.


India and Brazil exchanged eleven agreements following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro in New Delhi today. The agreements relate to several key areas including health, bio-energy cooperation, cultural exchange, geology and mineral resources.

"मुझे खुशी है कि हमने आज कई महत्वपूर्ण समझौते भी किए हैं। विविध क्षेत्रों जैसे बायोएनर्जी, कैटल, जोनोमिक्, हेल् एंड ट्रेडिशनल मेडिसीन, साइबर सिक्यूरिटी, विज्ञान और प्रौद्योगिकी, गैस तथा संस्कृति में हमारे सहयोग और तेजी से आगे बढ़ेंगे।"

Delivering his statement after the talks, Mr. Modi said this visit signifies growing ties between the two countries. He said, it is a matter of pride that President Bolsonaro is the chief guest of Republic Day parade this year.

The Prime Minister added that India and Brazil's strategic partnership is based on shared ideals. He said, both nations work in tandem in several international fora and are partners in each other's developmental journey. He said, focus is being made to increase defence industrial cooperation. He said, that there is high potential for growth in bilateral trade, and as developing countries, India and Brazil share similar views on multi-lateral issues including terrorism.

"महत्वपूर्ण ग्लोबल और मल्टीलेटर मुद्दों पर भारत और ब्राजील के विचारों में गहरी समानता है। चाहे आतंकवाद की गंभीर समस्या हो या पर्यावरण का प्रश्न।"


Ahead of Republic Day tomorrow, government has restored 2G data services on all post and pre-paid mobile telephones in the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Internet access on fixed line telephones has also been resumed. However, only 301 white-listed sites identified by the Administration can be accessed on mobile internet, although no social media applications can be accessed. This is the first time in a little less than six months that Kashmir Valley will get 2G internet services on all post and pre-paid mobile telephones. This was stopped on 5th of August after the abrogation of Article 370.

In an order, the Home Department has fixed responsibility of Internet Service Providers to ensure that access is allowed to white-listed sites only through mobile data services.

"The Government order said pursuant to its orders of January 14 and 18 in which 2G data services were restored in five districts of Jammu region followed by Kupwara and Bandipora districts of the Valley and resumption of Voice Call and SMS facility in pre-paid mobile phones in the Valley, the Law Enforcement agencies have not reported any adverse impact so far. However, the order said, the agencies have expressed apprehensions of misuse of internet for propagation of terror activities and incitement of general public by circulation of inflammatory material, coordination of activities inimical to the security of the Union Territory or maintenance of public order. Naseer Rather, AIR News, JAMMU."

Meanwhile, our correspondent talked to some people in Jammu in this regard.


Union Minister for Human Resources Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has said that Central Government will bring about major reforms to revamp education sector of Jammu and Kashmir. He also termed J&K as the Crown of India in terms of potential and talent pool. He made these remarks while inaugurating National Initiative for School Heads & Teachers’ Holistic Advancement, NISHTHA yesterday. The e-inauguration of 45 projects under education sector at a cost of 180 crore rupees in Srinagar was also done. The projects include Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Srinagar and 25 Smart Model Schools, besides others. The Smart Model Schools project aims at transforming government schools on modern lines.

Speaking on the occassion, the Minister said, the objective of NISHTHA is to train over 600 Resource Persons and more than 80,000 Teachers at elementary level.


In Jammu and Kashmir, one Army Jawan has been injured in the ongoing encounter between terrorists and security forces in South Kashmir’s Tral area.

Police sources told AIR correspondent that during a search and cordon operation, terrorists fired indiscriminately. This resulted in injuries to a Rashtriya Rifles Jawan, who has been shifted to Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment.


Health Ministry has said that more than 20 thousand passengers from 96 flights have been screened so far for Novel Coronavirus symptoms. No case of the infection has been detected in the country. However, three persons have been put under observation. The Ministry said that travel advisory has been extended to 12 more airports in addition to the current seven. National Institute of Virology, Pune is fully geared up to test samples of Coronavirus. It said, ten other laboratories under Indian Council of Medical Research’s Viral Research and Diagnostics Laboratories network are also equipped to test such samples, if a need arises.

The Ministry has also issued an advisory to people travelling to China in view of the outbreak. It said, all travellers to China, in particular Wuhan city to closely monitor their health.

The advisory suggested travellers to observe good personal hygiene.


Chinese health authorities have announced 1,287 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus. The virus has claimed 41 lives in China, 39 in central Hubei Province alone. Several Chinese provinces and municipalities including Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan have launched the highest level of public health emergency response.

The deadly virus also continues to spread to other countries. Cases have been detected in Hong Kong, Nepal, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the United States.

Meanwhile, Chinese and American researchers are working together to develop a vaccine against the new strain.


The 10th National Voters’ Day is being celebrated today. It is celebrated at over ten lakh locations across the country including Polling Stations, District and State headquarters. The theme this year is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy'. It sets the tone for year-long activities focusing on voter education and renewal of citizens’ faith in the electoral process. The Day is celebrated since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on 25th January 1950. 


President Ram Nath Kovind has said that the election practices in India have earned an immense pride in the global community. He said, democratic fabric ensures and strengthens everyone's participation in the democracy. He was addressing a function in New Delhi on the 10th National Voter's Day today, the President applauded Election Commission's efforts in bringing electoral literacy among public aiming at strengthening democracy.

On the occasion, Mr Kovind conferred 20 National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices on District and State-level Officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections.


The stage is set for the 71st Republic Day celebrations with all necessary arrangements in place for the grand ceremony. The main function will be organized tomorrow at Rajpath in the national capital. President Ram Nath Kovind will take the salute of the parade. This year, visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will be chief guest. Sixteen States and Union Territories and six Central Ministries will participate in the Republic Day Parade.

The major attraction of this year Republic Day parade will be fly-past by the newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters along with Sukhoi and advanced light helicopters. A motorcycle display by an all women team of Central Reserve Police Force and sixteen marching contingents from various security Forces will also be popular attractions.

Meanwhile, security personnel from Delhi Police and other central security forces have been deployed in Delhi.


The Finance Ministry has begun the exercise for Union Budget for 2020-21 to be presented in Parliament on 1st of February. Last year, the government had announced a number of incentives for the economy, giving top priority to housing sector. Here is a report on Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in urban areas:  

"This mission is aimed at providing housing for all in urban areas by the year 2022. More than 103 lakh houses were sanctioned as against 81 lakh announced in the last budget. So far, the construction of 32 lakh houses was completed and of them over 28 lakh houses delivered to beneficiaries. The mission provides for Central assistance to urban local bodies and other implementing agencies. The Ministry has identified 24 new technologies to fast track the construction of houses. With V Mohan Rao, Bhupendra, AIR News, Delhi."


Himachal Pradesh is celebrating its 50th Statehood Day with fanfare and enthusiasm throughout the state today. It was on this day in 1971 when Himachal Pradesh was carved out as the 18th State of the country. A report:-

This time State-level function was held at Jhanduta in Bilaspur disrtict, where Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur unfurled the National Flag and took salute of an impressive march past presented by Police, Home Guards, Police Cadets and NCC Naval Wing contingents. On this occasion, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur reiterated its commitment to ensure speedy development of the state with special focus on tourism, medical facilities, infrastructure, education and creating employment opportunities for youths of the state. He also announced five per cent DA for State Government employees and pensioners. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Shimla"


Assam Government has clarified that a Union Territory would not be formed by curving out areas of the state. It added that new villages would also not be included in the Bodoland Territorial Council area. Talking to news persons in Guwahati, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma ruled out media reports that new districts would be set up as part of the Bodo peace process. The Minister said that Centre has already clarified that territorial integrity of Assam would be preserved.

"कोई यूनियन टेरीटेरी बनाने का प्रस्ताव नहीं है। कोई नया गांव या शहर इस एकॉर्ड में लेने की कोई व्यवस्था इसमें नहीं है। सो असम के लोगों में कोई कन्फयूजन नहीं होना चाहिए। इसलिए मैंने ये बात स्पष् करने का निर्णय लिया है।"  


The three-day International Symposium on Human Spaceflight and Exploration-Present Challenges and Future Trends concluded in Bengaluru yesterday. It was jointly arranged by the Indian Space Research Organization and International Academy of Astronautics and Astronautical Society of India. The symposium derives significance in the background of India embarking upon human space flight mission named Gaganyaan by 2022.


United States Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells said that failing to meet obligations of the Financial Action Task Force, FATF will have a devastating impact on Pakistan's economic reforms programme. Ms Wells was responding to a media question in Washington yesterday. She was asked whether the funding by the International Monetary Fund could get affected if Pakistan does not meet the FATF regulations or the rules.


In the United States, Democrat house impeachment managers concluded their argument before the Senate last night to remove President Donald Trump from office. They said, Mr Trump misused his position and indulged in obstruction of the Congress. The house managers closed their marathon 24-hour argument spread over three days with a plea that the trial be fair.

The ruling Republican Party enjoys majority in the 100-member Senate. The Democrats have alleged that Republican leadership in the Senate will be partisan.

Trump is only the third President in American history to face impeachment trial.


The 13th edition of the International Children’s Film Festival of Bangladesh was inaugurated yesterday in Dhaka. The festival is one of the biggest film events in Bangladesh. It is the only international film festival for children and young adults of the country.


In Hockey, the Indian women's team started its first tour of the Olympic year with a 4-0 victory over New Zealand Development squad in Auckland today. Skipper Rani Rampal struck twice, while  Sharmila and Namita Toppo also sounded the board. The tour will see India face the hosts in four matches and Great Britain in one match.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share his thoughts with people in the country and abroad in his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme on All India Radio tomorrow. It will be the 61st episode of the monthly radio programme. This time the programme will be broadcast at six in the evening. Usually, the monthly programme is broadcast at 11 AM.

Earlier, in a tweet, Mr Modi said, this year’s first Mann Ki Baat will be held on a very special day, the 26th of January.


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