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Last Updated : Apr 9 2020 9:08AM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi interacts with political party leaders; says govt's priority is to save each and every life            Prez Trump thanks India on decision to allow Hydroxychloroquine export to US            First installment of relief package to 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders released            SC directs COVID-19 tests in approved labs to be conducted free of cost            20 COVID-19 hotspots sealed in Delhi to tackle spread of virus; UP govt seals hotspots in 15 districts           

Text Bulletins Details


Morning News

0815 HRS
19.02.2020

THE HEADLINES:


  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to hold a high level meeting today to discuss measures to counter disruption in supply of raw material from China after outbreak of COVID-19.

  • Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat by-Polls deferred due to security reasons.

  • Soil Health Card Day being observed today.

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar holds talks with the European Union leaders on combating terrorism and climate change.

  • In Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani secures second term as President.

  • In Sports; FIFA Under- 17 Women's Football World Cup to be hosted in 5 cities in the country in November.

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is to hold a meeting of Secretaries today, to discuss disruption in supply of raw materials from China after the outbreak of Novel Corona virus COVID-19. Last evening, the Finance Minister held a meeting with Industry and other bodies to assess the impact of the outbreak of the epidemic and any disruptions posed by it to India's trade. Talking to reporters after the meeting in New Delhi, she said, representatives from Pharma, textiles, chemicals, auto, paints and telecom sectors shared their views with regard to the impact of the virus. She said during the meeting, chemicals, pharma and solar equipment makers were very vocal about disruption in supply of raw materials from China.

The Finance Minister said, after the Secretary level meeting a discussion will be held with PMO and some response will be announced at the earliest. Ms Sitharaman also said that there is no concern about price rise so far following the outbreak of Corona virus.

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

She added that it is too early to talk about the impact of the virus outbreak on Make in India initiative. 

The meeting was attended by senior Officials from Union Ministries and Departments including Customs and representatives from various sectors. Business leaders from FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM also attended the meeting.

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In Maharashtra, the State Health Department has informed that five people are currently under observation over suspicion of being infected by the Novel Corona virus - Covid-19. A press release issued in Mumbai yesterday, informed that three of these are admitted at Naidu Hospital in Pune while the other two are at the Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai.

The Health Department also informed that over thirty nine thousand air passengers have been screened at Mumbai international airport since mid-January for the Corona virus. Nearly 70 people returning from virus-infected areas and showing symptoms of Covid-19 were kept in isolation. Out of these, 66 samples have been found negative as per the reports of the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

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The death toll from COVID-19 has jumped to 2,000 after 132 more people died in Hubei province in China, the hard-hit epicenter of the outbreak yesterday. The province's health commission reported 1,693 new cases of people infected with the virus. This brings the total number of cases in mainland China past 74,000.

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In Japan, several hundred passengers who have tested negative for COVID-2019 are expected to disembark the cruise ship Diamond Princess from today. Japanese officials told passengers in a letter that if they and their roommates have been tested negative and have no fever or respiratory symptoms, they will be able to prepare for disembarkation. Japanese officials added that it would take at least three days to process the disembarkation of everyone.

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In Jammu and Kashmir, Panchayat By-Polls have been deferred owing to security reasons and unwillingness of regional  political parties. The by-polls were earlier scheduled to be held in eight phases from 5th to the 20th of March. However, the new schedule has not yet been declared.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shailendra Kumar held a meeting with political parties in Jammu to hear their concerns yesterday. CEO Shailendra Kumar- the Election Authority for conduct of Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir announced postponement of by-polls for 12,650 seats of Sarpanchs and Panchs. By- Polls have been postponed by two to three weeks in view of security and law and order issues.

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The first meeting of the Shree Ramjanmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust is scheduled to take place in New Delhi today. The trust is mandated by the Central Government to complete the construction of the 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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Now moving on to 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.

Soil Health Card Day is being observed today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Soil Health Card Scheme on the 19th of February, 2015 at Suratgarh in Rajasthan. The scheme aims at issuing soil health cards to farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in soil. The scheme ensures additional income to farmers by increase in yields and it also promotes sustainable farming.

Launching the scheme, the Prime Minister said, farmers should know the health status of soil. He said, if soil is not healthy, the farm production will not increase.

"मुझे ये देखकर काफी खुशी है कि मेरे किसान भाई सोइल हैल् कार्ड मृदा स्वास्थ् कार्ड में दी गई सलाह पर अमल करने के लिए आगे आए हैं और जैसे-जैसे परिणाम मिल रहे हैं उनका उत्साह भी बढ़ता जा रहा है और अब किसान को भी लग रहा है कि अगर फसल की चिंता करनी है तो पहले धरती मां का ख्याल रखना होगा और अगर हम धरती मां का ख्याल रखेंगे तो धरमी मां हम सबका ख्याल रखेगी।"

Talking to AIR News, Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal  termed it a very important scheme and said that in the last five years crop production is continuously increasing due to this initiative.

"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."

We have a report from our correspondent

"The scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards (HSCs) to all farmers in the country. It provides information to farmers on nutrient status of their soil along with recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility. During (2015 to 2017), 10.74 crore  and during 2017 to 19, 11.74 crore Soil Health Cards were distributed to farmers. The Government has spent more than 700 crore rupees on the SHC scheme. SANJAY MUTTOO, NEWS DESK."

Nagaland is observing Soil Health Card Day today in all the 11 districts of the state in coordination with Krishi Vigyan Kendras. Joint Director and State Nodal Officer of Soil Health Card and Management, Directorate of Soil and Water Conservation K. Khekiho Shohe said, the department has adopted one village each from 74 blocks of the 11 districts as a Pilot Village Project. In the village where soil of each farm land will be analyzed and Soil Health Card will be provided to every farmer of the pilot villages.

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Now we move onto our special segment Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat

"Gujarat is partnered with Chhattisgarh state under the Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat campaign. Along with the state, the educational institutions in Gujarat also partnered with educational institutions in Chhattisgarh. Government Polytechnic College of Ahmedabad is partnered with Government Polytechnic College of Kakatiya in Jagdalpur district. Recently, Ahmedabad polytechnic College had organized series of activities like study of culture and costumes of Chhattisgarh. Now, Ahmedabad polytechnic College has planned a Chhattisgarh Food Festival in Ahmedabad. Principal P.M.Patel told AIR that Gujarati students will prepare the vegetarian dishes of Chhattisgarh and serve it to the people of Ahmedabad.

बीस फरवरी को हम एक प्रोग्रमा  arrange कर रहे हैं जिसमें बच्चे वहां के शाहकारी व्यंजन बनाकर जो भी आएंगे उसको खिलाएंगे भी और उसमें से से पैसा पैदा करने की कोशिश करेंगे। Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad."

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US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be on a two day visit to India on the 24th and 25th of this month.

"Mr. Modi also spoke to the US President over one in which the Prime Minister said that millions of people are ready to welcome both Donald Trump and the first lady of USA Melania Trump on 24th of this month. Trump in his recent tweet praised Modi making a reference to their strong friendship bond. Ms Melania Trump as well, in her tweet said that she is excited about the India trip which will celebrate close ties between the USA and India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Texas, USA in September last year where he was welcomed in a grand Howdy Modi event. During the visit, President Trump and the First Lady of the United States will attend official engagements in New Delhi and Ahmedabad and interact with a wide cross-section of Indian society. With Anand Chaturvedi, Anupam Mishra, AIR News, Delhi."

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Ahead of his visit to India next week, US President Donald Trump has reiterated that he sees a chance of a peace deal with the Taliban to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Talking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews yesterday, the President said that American authorities have been negotiating with the Taliban for a while and that there is a chance of making a deal. 

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External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar met top leaders of the European Union in Brussels yesterday . Mr. Jaishankar held wide-ranging talks on key issues such as combating terrorism, climate change and enhancing economic cooperation, that would benefit both India and the EU.

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said that the Minister shared India's foreign policy priorities , regional and global perspective with the Foreign Affairs Council of the EU. 

The statement added that both the sides expect to deepen their engagement - particularly on common priorities. The common priorities such as addressing the menace of terrorism, addressing climate change, safeguarding multilateralism, cooperation in defence, security, connectivity, digital economy, trade and investment.

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In Afghanistan, the independent Election Commission has announced that Ashraf Ghani has won a second term as President of the country. However, his closest opponent Abdullah Abdullah has refused to recognize the results and declared himself winner potentially endangering peace negotiations with the Taliban. Abdullah said, he is going to establish an inclusive government.

The Election Commission yesterday said, Ghani garnered 50.64 per cent of votes that took place on the 28th of September last year. The country's Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah received 39.52 per cent of votes.

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Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju launched an event in New Delhi yesterday to unveil the five host cities for the FIFA Under-17 Women's Football World Cup. The world cup kicks off on 2nd of November this year. The matches of the world cup will be held in five cities including Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Kolkata and Navi Mumbai. The finals of the tournament will be played on 21st of November at Navi Mumbai.

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Newspapers Headlines


Newspapers this morning take a look at the broader impact of the Corona virus spreading in China.

  • "India counts economic cost of corona outbreak", headlines the Hindustan Times. "Government moves to counter 30 billion dollar fiscal disruption; The Times of India states "Centre plans duty cuts, other steps to soften virus impact".

  • "Pakistan to remain in terror financing watchdog's 'Grey list' " is the lead in The Hindu.

  • "Government to give Election Commission legal power to link Aadhaar and Voter ID" notes The Times of India.

  • "PM Modi to be Chief Guest at Global Business Summit 2020", reports the Economic Times , with his address scheduled on March the 6th.

  • "Record rice, wheat output likely despite flood, Pakistan locust attack" The Pioneer cites Agriculture Ministry estimates.

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