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Last Updated : Feb 21 2020 2:46PM     Screen Reader Access
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Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Nation celebrates 71st Republic Day; President Ramnath Kovind takes salute of  parade at Rajpath in National Capital.

  • Unfurling of National Flag and impressive march-past mark the celebrations in the States; Reports of celebrations also coming in from abroad.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to share his thoughts in the Mann Ki Baat Programme on All India Radio at 6 PM today.

  • Bharat Parv Programme to celebrate spirit of India begins at Red Fort in New Delhi this evening.

  • Government sets up 24 X 7 Helpline to answer public queries on Corona Virus;Death toll in deadly virus rises to 56 in China.

  • And in Cricket; New Zealand set a target of 133 runs for India in Second T-20 at Auckland.


The nation is celebrating 71st Republic Day today. The main function was organized at Rajpath in the National Capital. President Ram Nath Kovind unfurled the tricolour and took the salute of the parade. President of Brazil Jair Messias Bolsonaro was the Chief Guest at the Parade this year.

The Republic Day ceremony commenced with Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage to the martyrs at the National War Memorial instead of Amar Jawan Jyoti. The National Flag was unfurled followed by the National Anthem with a booming 21-gun salute.

The parade started from Vijay Chowk and proceeded towards the Red Fort grounds. It was commanded by Parade Commander, Lieutenant General Asit Mistry, General Officer Commanding, Headquarters Delhi Area. The winners of the highest gallantry awards followed him. They include the winners of the Param Vir Chakra and the Ashok Chakra. Our correspondent gives us the details:

"The country's military might, cultural diversity, social and economic progress was on display at the Republic Day Parade at Rajpath. For the first time, a contingent of women bikers of CRPF performed daredevil stunts. The contingent was led by Inspector Seema Nag who was seen saluting while standing atop a moving motorcycle. Sixteen States and Union Territories and six Central Ministries participated in the Parade. Jammu and Kashmir participated in the parade for the first time as a Union Territory. Start up India, Jal Jeevan Mission and financial inclusion were some of the themes of the tableaux of Ministries and Departments. The Tableau of Gujarat was on the theme Rani ki Vav - Jal Mandir which is a unique piece of ancient Indian architectural style, construction work and craftsmanship. Punjab's Tableau was dedicated to the ideology based on the human principles preached by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the theme was 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Odisha showcased the famous Rukuna Rath Yatra of Lord Lingaraja, worshiped as both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Meghalaya's Tableau depicted the Double Decker Living Root Bridge which is a main tourist attraction of the state. Bamboo and cane craft of Assam and Bhortal Nritya was in full display in Assam's tableau. Chattisgarh 's tableau displayed the artistic beauty of the state whereas Jammu and Kashmir's highlighted the Union Territories's Back to Village programme which was launched last year with the aim to empower villages and Panchayats. Telangana's tableau brought to life its floral festival called Bathukamma and Tamil Nadu showcased folk dances of the state and Iyyanar statue, the guardian deity of villages. The Naval Tableau titled ‘Indian Navy - Silent, Strong, and Swift showcased the might and fire power of the Navy. The Air Force tableau displayed models of the Rafale aircraft, Tejas aircraft, Light Combat Helicopter, Akash Missiles System and Astra Missiles. The major attraction was fly-past by the newly inducted Chinook and Apache helicopters along with Sukhoi and advanced light helicopters. Anti-satellite weapon - Mission Shakti, Army’s battle tank Bhishma were also showcased during the 90-minute long parade. Sixteen marching contingents from the Armed Forces, Para-Military Forces, Delhi police and NCC along with 13 Military bands were also the centre of attraction. Forty Nine children who have been awarded  Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar this year also participated. Over 600 school children took part in the parade and showcased cultural programmes, yoga and folk dances from various states. The ceremony culminated with the national anthem and release of colourful balloons. With Dipendra Kumar, Suparna Saikia, AIR News Delhi."

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Ministers including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Prakash Javadekar, BJP President J P Nadda, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani were among those present at the occasion.


Unfurling of National flag and impressive parades mark the Republic day celebrations in the States.

In his speech Assam, Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi said that the Justice (retired) Biplab Kumar Sarma committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord would soon submit its recommendations to preserve the culture, language and identity of the indigenous people of Assam.  Suspected militants triggered blasts at Upper Assam today. However no injury or casualty has been reported. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the explosions. He asked Director General of Police to deal with the situation and nab the forces believed to have perpetrated the explosions.

In Arunachal Pradesh the main function was held at IG Park in Itanagar. Speaking on the occasion Governor Dr. BD Mishra said that Arunachal Government is working hard to achieve excellence in governance, quality education, economic & social upliftment and other infrastructural work.

In Tripura, contingents of para-military forces, police, women police, home guards, NCC, Scouts-Guides and NSS among others participated in the Republic Day parades held at all district headquarters including the state capital Agartala.

Addressing the gathering the Meghalaya, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that entrepreneurship will be the key driver of growth and employment in the coming years for the State.

In Mizoram Governor Sreedharan Pillai unfurled the national flag at Assam Rifles Ground in Aizwal and took salute of the parade by 36 contingents of Armed forces, Para-military, police and Home Guards.

In Jammu, the Republic Day was celebrated across the Jammu division amid tight security arrangements. In his address, the LG Girish Chandra Murmu said 2019 was the year of a major change for the people of J&K. He said the abrogation of temporary provisions of Article 370 has driven away the financial and legal obstacles between J&K and other parts of the country and has united J&K to the country in its true sense. He said Terrorism is the biggest challenge in the Union Territory and the Govt is committed to eradicate it from the roots. Mr Murmu said that the government is committed to make model villages, Panchayats and blocks throughout the UT and IT cells will be setup in each and every panchayat soon and every Gram Panchayat will have Digital Villages. Establishment of Cyber Police Stations across the UT is also on the priority of the Govt. He said the Govt is on the path of creating more jobs for the youth of the UT and will also provide gas pipelines to Jammu and Srinagar cities soon. He further said electricity production will be increased and Dairy Mission will be given a boost.

In Ladakh, thousands thronged to Khree Sultan Choo Sports Stadium to celebrate the Republic Day in Kargil after Ladakh becoming a Union Territory despite of minimum temperature dipping below -20 degree.

In Himachal Pradesh despite severe cold Republic Day was celebrated across the state with gaiety.

"Governor Bandaru Dattatreya hoisted the national flag and took salute of an impressive parade by contingents of police, ITBP, home guard, NCC, Scout and guide and school children. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur was also present on the occasion. Tableau depicting various developmental actives of state government were also showcased. The republic day was also celebrated in each of the 12 districts of the state. SANJEEV SUNDRIYAL, AIR NEWS, SHIMLA"

In her address Telangana, Governor Dr Tamilisai Sounderarajan said all 12 thousand 751 Gram Panchayats and 141 Urban Local Bodies have been declared Open Defecation Free under Swachha Bharat Mission. A Report:

"Governor Dr Tamilisai Sounderarajan explained to the people how Telangana state has overcome several challenges in various sectors within short time and became a role model for the rest of the country. The governor said the maternal mortality rate has come down from 90 to 76 in a short time and farmers are getting round the clock electricity supply and irrigation projects are under fast completion. She appealed to people that they should actively take part in the ‘Each one-teach one’ programme to make the state completely literate. LAKSHMI, AIR NEWS, HYDERABAD"

In Maharashtra, Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari said that agriculture is the cornerstone of Maharashtra's economy and it will grow only if the foundation is strong.He said, the state Government trying to provide relief to the farmers suffering from debt. He said that the government has implemented 'Mahatma Jotirao Phule Shetkari Karj Mukti Yojana' for restructuring of short-term crop loans.

Reports of the celebrations have come in from several parts of the country including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.


Our Dubai Correspondent reports that Republic Day was celebrated with enthusiasm across West Asia. A Report:

"Amidst patriotic fervor and in Abu Dhabi chanting of Vande Mataram and Bharat Mata ki Jai, Indian Ambassador Pavan Kapoor and the Consul General Vipul in Dubai led the India expats in celebrating the 71st  Republic day in UAE. In Dubai, the proud children of the Indian High school presented a colourful cultural programme highlighting the principles of Vasudhaiv Kutumbkkum. It was Ambassador Dr Ausaf Sayeed in Riyadh and Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh in Jeddah who unfurled the tri colour. KANCHAN PRASAD MANDLAUS, AIR NEWS, DUBAI"


The Indian community in Sri Lanka celebrated the 71st  Republic Day with enthusiasm and patriotic fervor. They gathered in large numbers at India House in Colombo where main function was held. High Commissioner Taranjeet Singh Sandhu unfurled the tricolor followed by the singing of national anthem.


Bharat Parv 2020, the programme to celebrate the spirit of India, will begin today at Red Fort ground in New Delhi and will be on till 31st January. The objective of Bharat Parv is to encourage people to visit different tourism places of the country and to inculcate the spirit of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’. Tourism Ministry has said that the theme of this year’s Bharat Parv is Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat and Celebrating 150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi.


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


The Centre has launched a 24x7 helpline number to provide support regarding queries on novel coronavirus. The NCDC call centre, 011-23978046, has been made operational under directions of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a tweet that Indian Embassy in Beijing is constantly checking on the health and well-being of the Indians in China.

Seven central teams are visiting states and designated airports today to review the end-to-end preparedness for management and control of Novel Coronavirus in India. These airports are New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi. Yesterday, the Prime Minister's Office reviewed India's preparedness to deal with the deadly coronavirus amid mounting global concern over increasing number of cases in China and several other countries. Meanwhile ,the death toll in the deadly new coronavirus in China has risen to 56. Wuhan and 17 others cities in Hubei province remained the epicenter of the viral disease outbreak with most of the deaths having taken place there.


In Cricket, New Zealand has set a target of 133 runs before India in the second T-20 at Auckland. In reply India were 8 for 1 in first over when reports last came in.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to bat. India is leading the five match series by 1-0.


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