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Last Updated : Apr 6 2020 2:34PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM addresses party workers on BJP Foundation Day; urges them to campaign for providing ration to poor, donate to PM CARES Fund            Prime Minister says, country is united in one mission to win war against COVID-19            Airlines transport around 161 tonnes of cargo comprising bulk of medical goods & other consumables items across country till today            British PM Boris Johnson admitted in London hospital for tests            J&K: Five soldiers martyred, 5 terrorists killed in gun battle in Kupwara district           

Text Bulletins Details


News at Nine

2100 HRS
18.02.2020
THE HEADLINES:

  • Government to announce soon measures to deal with Novel Coronavirus impact on Industry, says Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

  • Five hundred and fifty Wuhan evacuees discharged so far from ITBP and Manesar Army quarantine camps after testing negative for COVID-19.

  • Delhi Police files chargesheet in Jamia Milia Islamia violence case; Sharjeel Imam named as instigator, sent to judicial custody till 3rd March.

  • Ministry of External Affairs issues advisory for Indians travelling to five provinces of Iraq.

  • In Sports, Sunil Kumar wins gold in 87kg Greco-Roman Category in Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today held meeting with Industry and other bodies to assess the impact of novel coronavirus outbreak and any disruptions posed by it to India's trade. Talking to reporters after the meeting in New Delhi, the Minister said, representatives from pharma, textiles, chemicals, auto, paints  and telecom sectors shared their views with regard to impact of coronavirus. She said during the meeting, chemicals, pharma and solar equipment makers were very vocal about disruption in supply of raw materials from China.


Mrs Sitharaman said she will hold meeting with the secretaries of concerned ministries tomorrow and based on comprehensive consultation, some measures will be announced soon.


"We expect to hold a meeting at the Secretary-level from the various departments concerned, tomorrow in the afternoon. Post which hopefully, we will also have a discussion with the PMO and speedily some response will be announced at the earliest."


The Finance Minister also said that there is no concern about price rise so far  following the outbreak of coronavirus.


"There wasn't worry about price rise from anybody, as yet. At least what I heard today was concern about distortion in supply of materials. Today it is coming lean, sooner there could be a congestion. Those kind of worries were expressed but not price rise."


The Minister added that it is too early to talk about impact of Coronavirus outbreak on Make in India initiative. The meeting was attended by senior Officials from Central government Ministries and Departments including Customs and  representatives from various sectors. Leaders from FICCI, CII, ASSOCHAM also attended it.

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Five hundred and fifty Wuhan evacuees have been discharged so far from ITBP and Manesar Army quarantine camps after testing negative for novel Coronavirus, COVID-19. Three hundred and two people out of total 406 Wuhan evacuees have left from ITBP quarantine camp at Chhawla Centre in New Delhi. Remaining people are likely to be released by tomorrow. Seven Maldivians also left yesterday midnight from the Centre.


248 People, who were quarantined at Manesar Army Camp on their return from China, were discharged today. All the released people have been advised to remain self isolated for the next 14 days at their respective places. All 654 people who were brought back from Wuhan have tested negative for Covid-19.


Meanwhile, the Indian embassy in Japan today said, the six Indians infected with the novel coronavirus on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama off the Japanese coast were responding well to the treatment.


A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people on board the ship that arrived at the Japanese coast earlier this month.


Japanese health ministry today said, 88 more people aboard the cruise ship have tested positive for COVID-19 taking the confirmed cases on the ship to 542. The ministry said, 611 people have tested positive for the virus in Japan.


A health ministry official told, around 500 passengers who tested negative will be allowed to leave from tomorrow. Earlier, the United States, evacuated around 300 Americans yesterday including more than a dozen who had tested positive.

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Delhi Police today filed the charge sheet in the 15th December Jamia-New Friends Colony violence case. CCTV clips, call detail records and statements of over 100 witnesses are attached as evidence. The Delhi Police has named Sharjeel Imam as an instigator, but has not charge sheeted any students. Meanwhile, a Delhi court has sent Sharjeel Imam to judicial custody till the 3rd of March. The probe also revealed that bullet cartridges found during the violence belonged to a 3.2 m.m. pistol. Delhi Police will release more photographs for identification of people involved in the violence.


In all, 17 arrests have been made in the case so far including nine from New Friends Colony and eight from Jamia area. The police is also investigating the role of Popular Front of India in the outbreak of violence. Total 95 people were injured in the violence in Jamia on the 15th of December including 47 police officials.

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Election Commission today discussed the various issues of electoral reform with the Law and Justice Ministry. During the meeting, more than one qualification date in year for becoming elector, Aadhar linkage with electoral roll, paid news, false affidavit as electoral offence and corrupt practice were discussed. Issues related to covering print media and social media intermediaries under Representation of the People Act were also discussed. Legislative Department Secretary, Narayan Raju assured that proposals are under consideration.  On the occasion, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora thanked the Department for facilitating postal ballot facilities for Divyangjans and electors of above 80 years.

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First meeting of the Shree Ramjanmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust is scheduled to take place in New Delhi tomorrow. The trust is mandated by the Central Government to complete the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. In the meeting, the trust is likely to finalise the date for starting the construction of the temple. The 15-member trust has religious as well as civilian members among others.

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BJP has appointed party General Secretary Saroj Pandey as observer for selecting the leader of its Legistlative party in Delhi Assembly. The party has also appointed its  General Secretary P Muralidhar Rao as an observer for selecting the leader of its Legislative party in the Jharkhand Assembly.  The appointments were  approved by party President J P Nadda.

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Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today clarified that his government has no issues in implementing National Population Register, NPR, as it is a part of census.  Addressing a press conference in Sindhudurg district, Mr. Thackeray clarified that Citizenship Amendment Act - CAA, National Registrar of Citizens - NRC and NPR are three totally different issues. He said no one should fear about the implementation of CAA as it does not take away anyone’s citizenship.

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External Affairs Ministry has said that Indian nationals may now consider travelling to Iraq except to the five provinces of Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala, Anbar and Kirkuk. In a travel advisory, the Ministry said, these five provinces remain unsafe due to the prevailing security situation in the country.


Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for employment and already having work permits and appropriate visas may return to their jobs in the safe areas in Iraq. They may inform the Embassy of India in Baghdad or Consulate General of India in Erbil prior to travelling to Iraq. Those Indian nationals wishing to travel for religious purposes and having appropriate visa and return air-ticket, may also travel for pilgrimage to the holy places of Najaf and Karbala. However, they have been advised to not extend their religious pilgrimage to the neighbouring Syria.

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In Sri Lanka, the main political grouping of Tamil minorities, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has called upon the international community to hold the Sri Lankan government accountable for promises made both locally and internationally regarding power sharing. TNA leader R. A. Sampanthan in his meeting with a British MP said Tamil community can achieve a reasonable solution if they have the support of international community.

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Our series "Har Kaam, Desh Ke Naam". In this series, we take a look at the programmes and policies of the government aimed at reaching out to the last mile of development and welfare of all.


Today, we take a look at the Soil Health Card Scheme launched by the government on the 19th of February 2015.


The Soil Health Card Day will be observed tomorrow. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Soil Health Card Scheme on 19th February, 2015 at Suratgarh, Rajasthan. The scheme aimed at  issuing  soil health cards to farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in soil. It is developed to promote soil test based on nutrient management. Soil testing reduces cultivation cost by application of right quantity of fertilizers. The scheme ensures additional income to farmers by increase in yields and it also promotes sustainable farming. Talking to AIR News, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agrawal said, it is a very important initiative and  in the first round from 2015 to 2017, over 10 crore Soil Health Cards  were issued to farmers.


"It is a very important initiative of Honourable Prime Minister that Soil Health Cards should be distributed among the farmers. In the first round from 2015-2017 over 10.7 crore farmers got the Soil Health Card. In the second round also, from 2017-2019 over 11.7 crore farmers got this thing. Using a balanced fertilizer based on soil fertility and soil health, ultimately leads to production increase and if you see the figures of last five years, every year production has been increasing continuously."


The scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards  to all farmers in the country.

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At the stock markets, key indices posted losses for the fourth straight day today; and the rupee ended sharply lower against the dollar.


"The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange lost 161 points, or 0.4 percent, to end at 40,894. Nifty fell 53 points, to 11,993. At the forex market, the rupee slid 24 paise, to 71.56 against the dollar. Gold rose 239 rupees, to 41,865 rupees per ten grams in Delhi. And... Brent crude oil futures slipped one dollar and 24 cents, at 56.43 dollars a barrel. . Arjun Chowdhury for AIR News."

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Private Equity and Venture Capital investments in the country touched an all-time high of 48 billion dollars in 2019, according to an Earnst & Young report. The report titled 'PE/VC Agenda: India Trend Book 2020' said that this is the third consecutive year that the private equity and venture capital sector has outperformed.


In terms of value, Private Equity and Venture Capital investments jumped 28 percent as compared to 2018, while the deal volume surged 35 percent.


The Report said, the growth was primarily driven by a significant increase in investments in infrastructure sector, which grew over three times compared to 2018.

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our special series on Nation-wide campaign on Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat.


The central government’s Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat programme aims to establish cultural exchanges between people of different regions to further human bonding and a common approach to nation building. States and union territories have been paired to carry out a structured engagement between them in the spheres of language, literature, cuisine, festivals, cultural events and tourism in a focused campaign. Mizoram is paired with the State of Bihar for the year 2019-2020.


"Miroram officials said, about 30 people including students in two batches from Mizoram will travel to Bihar in the last week of this month under cultural exchange and students exchange categories in line of Ek Bharat -Shrestha Bharat ideal. Mizoram is well known for its beautiful natural landscape, climate and hospitality.  Ms Sanobar Arzoo who is a resident of Patna in Bihar is presently living in Aizawl as a student of Mass Communication at IIMC, Aizawl. She said:-


"She also said the practice of no honking and patience of drivers and motor bikers are real lessons of learning, that the people of Bihar can learn these from Mizoram. Irene, AIR News, Aizawl"

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Greeco Roman wrestler Sunil Kumar opened India's medal account in the Asian Wrestling Championships at New Delhi today by winning a gold. The seasoned grappler beat Azat Salidinov from Kyrgyzstan in the final of the 87 kg category. Sunil Kumar had reached the final by a victory over Kazakh opponent Azamat Kustubayev to finish the semi-final bout 12-8. Last year also, Kumar had made it to the final and ended with a silver medal. Earlier in the day, Arjun Halakurki lost his semi-final bout 7-8 against Iran's Pouya Mohammad Naserpour in 55 kg category. He will  now be up against Korea's Donghyeok Won in the bronze medal playoff.

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