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Last Updated : Jan 23 2021 7:58PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
PM Modi inaugurates Parakram Diwas celebrations in Kolkata to mark 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose            Over one lakh indigenous landless people of Assam receive land Pattas from Prime Minister at Sivasagar in Assam            Prime Minister says, fast-paced and all round development of Assam is very important to Government            69th Plenary Meeting of North Eastern Council inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah in Shillong            Over 13 lakh 90 thousand people administered COVID-19 vaccine: National COVID-19 recovery rate improves to 96.82 pct           

Text Bulletins Details

Midday News

1400 HRS


  • Nation gears up for the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination exercise on Saturday.

  • India reports less than 20,000 Daily New Corona Cases for the past 7 days.

  • The US House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting mob attack on the Congress.

  • ISRO leads India's stride for a better tomorrow, says Chairman Dr K Sivan.

  • Cold wave conditions intensify in northern parts of the country.

  • And harvest festivals Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Bihu being celebrated with traditional fervour.


As the nation fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin with a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps --

·    Wear a face mask.

·    Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing.

·    Focus on hand and face hygiene. 

And now, the news in details:


The Nation is gearing up for the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination exercise which will begin on Saturday. The massive immunisation drive will be rolled out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Preparations have gained momentum with planes carrying vaccines flying into airports across the country. From various airports, the vaccines are being dispatched to small cities and towns in readiness for the inoculation exercise beginning Saturday. From Assam to Goa and from Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala, the vaccines are carefully and swiftly being transported to the far corners of the country.

According to reports, 95 per cent of the 1.1 crore doses of Covishield vaccine purchased by the government have been delivered and shipped to nearly 60 consignee points across India in the past two days. Of the 55 lakh doses of indigenously developed Covaxin of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the first tranche of 2.4 lakh doses have been dispatched to 12 states. Health Ministry said, vaccines have been allocated to all states and UTs in proportion to their healthcare workers database.

In accordance with the national priority list, the vaccine will be first given to healthcare and frontline workers. Each vaccination session will cater to a maximum of 100 beneficiaries per day.

Due to COVID-19 vaccination drive, the Health Ministry has decided, in consultation with the Office of the President of India, to reschedule the Polio Vaccination Day, also known as the National Immunisation Day or Polio Ravivar to 31st of this month.

President Ram Nath Kovind will launch the Polio National Immunisation Day on 30th of January which is a Saturday by administering Polio drops to some children at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The decision is in keeping with the stated policy of the Health Ministry to ensure that COVID management and vaccination services as well as non-COVID essential health services proceed in tandem without adversely impacting each other.


The Union Territory of Puducherry received 17,500 doses of Covishield - vaccine. The vaccine is being transported to the distribution centres for the ambitious vaccination drive scheduled on Saturday. A report from our Puducherry correspondent --

Director of Medical Services (DMS) Dr. Mohan Kumar said that this vaccine includes for Karaikal also. The vaccine bottles were stored in cold chain, he said, adding that Mahe region is yet to get the vaccine and expressed hope that it will reach Mahe region today. Yanam region also received 320 doses of vaccine. The vaccination programme will start at 9 A .M. on Saturday in five to seven centers, he added. According to the statistics released by the Health Department 43 persons tested positive for the COVID-19 infection and 22 discharged from the hospitals. One person died. As on today, 298 persons are being treated for the infection. The recovery rate stands at 97.57 per cent and fatality rate stable at 1.66 per cent. Chandra Mohan/AIR NEWS/Puducherry.


Odisha is fully geared for the nation-wide launch of the covid-19 vaccination drive on the 16th of this month. According to sources, Covishield has already reached the cold chain points from the respective District Vaccine stores across the state.  A report from our Bhubaneshwar Correspondent:

While the Serum Institute of India's Covishield will be used across the districts, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin will be made available for vaccination of the identified health care workers in the first phase in capital Bhubaneswar. Out of around 2 lakh doses of Covishield supplied to the districts, Cuttack has received the highest number of  vaccines of about 19 thousand doses. Micro level planning  has  been put in place across all the hundred sixty odd session sites for the vaccination drive that kicks off an coming Saturday. The state has already received 4.08 lakh doses of indigenous Covishield and 20 thousand doses of Covaxin. Girish Chandra Dash AIR News Bhubaneswar.


Talking to AIR News, Dr. Rupali Malik of Safdarjung hospital, Delhi answered many important questions related to the Covid 19 vaccine. She explained about its doses and at what interval it should be taken and also explained how much time it will take to develop anti- bodies after vaccination.

Dr. Rupali Malik, said  that we have a strong setup for effective transportation and storage of the vaccine.

Dr. Rupali Malik, made it clear that registration for vaccination is open only for front line workers right now and the general public will have to wait for their turn. She assured the people that the vaccine is safe and we must maintain a positive approach regarding the vaccination programme. 


India continues to leap ahead in its fight against COVID-19 with over one crore one lakh 46 thousand cumulative recoveries so far. With this, the national recovery rate has further improved to stand at 96.52 per cent. The rate of new daily infection also continues to remain even below 20 thousand with only 16 thousand 946 cases being reported in the past 24 hours. During the same interval, over 17 thousand 500 people have successfully recovered from the viral contagion. The gap between the recovered patients and active cases in the country has further widened and the number of recovered patients stands at nearly 48 times the number of current active cases.

The active caseload in the country comprises nearly two lakh 13 thousand people and stands at 2.03 per cent. Out of these nearly 60 per cent are under home isolation and have mild to very mild symptoms.

Over seven lakh 43 thousand samples were tested for VOCID in the country in last the 24 hours. With this, the cumulative testing figure has reached at around 18 crore 42 lakh.

The Health Ministry said this has also led to a commensurate dip in the fatality rate which stands at 1.44 per cent. The number of countrywide fatalities recorded in 24 hours has slipped below the 200 mark with 198 deaths being reported since yesterday.


The recovery rate of COVID patients in Delhi stands at 97.83 per cent. The city recorded recovery of 534 patients in the last 24 hours taking the total number of recovered patients till date to six lakh seventeen thousand 540. A total of 357 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus were reported in the National Capital during the last twenty four hours. With this the total number of COVID cases reported in the Capital city so far, has reached  six lakh 31 thousand 249.

The Delhi Government confirmed that 11 deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total to 10 thousand 718. The total number of active corona cases in the city now stands at 2 thousand 991.


Telangana reported 276 fresh COVID-19 cases during the past 24 hours. With this, the number of COVID cases reported in the state reached two lakh 90 thousand 916.  The state conducted over 34 thousand tests yesterday. The recovery rate improved to 97.91 per cent with 238 more people recovering yesterday. This took the number of recovered people so far in the state to two lakh 84 thousand 849. A total of 1,572 deaths have been reported so far, with one more patient succumbing to COVID and comorbidities during the past 24 hours.


In Madhya Pradesh, so far more than two lakh 38 thousand  patients have recovered from COVID infection. Around 24 thousand tests were carried out yesterday, out of which 456 new positive cases were reported. More from our Bhopal correspondent::-

In Madhya Pradesh, 655 patients recovered yesterday. With six patients succumbing to the infection, the death toll rose to three thousand 732.

The positivity rate remained below two per cent for second consecutive day on Wednesday. The positivity rate was 1. 8 per cent. The two major cities Bhopal and  Indore reported below 100 COVID cases on Wednesday. Indore reported 86 , while Bhopal reported 95 Corona-positive cases.Meanwhile, Over more than three lakh  vaccine doses arrived in Bhopal, Indore and Jabalpur yesterday and the process of transporting them to other districts has also been completed.Pooja Vardhan, AIR News, Bhopal.


Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation Dr. K. Sivan has said that the hallmark of the Indian space programme spearheaded by ISRO is its commitment to social welfare. Another unique feature of India's space programme is its ability to deliver with a shoe-string budget. When India became the first country to successfully reach the Red Planet on its first attempt, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had noted that even the Hollywood thriller "Gravity" had a larger budget at 100 million dollars.

Speaking exclusively to AIR News, the Chairman of ISRO Dr. K. Sivan said that country's space programme has helped its farmers and fishermen in a great way.

ISRO has created a place for itself in the global arena too. Apart from Indian satellites, ISRO offers launch services to  international customers through PSLV. So far the ISRO has launched 328 satellites of 33 foreign customers. USA, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, France among many other countries have used Indian satellite launch pads for launching their satellites. This has brought it  revenues of over 25 million US dollars and 189 million Euros. The ISRO Chairman also spoke about the long-term vision of ISRO and its ambition of making India proud in the area of space technology.


The Third Phase of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana will be launched tomorrow in 600 districts across the country. Spearheaded by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, this phase will focus on new-age and COVID-related skills.

Skill India Mission-PMKVY 3.0 envisages training of eight lakh candidates over a scheme period of 2020-2021 with an outlay of 948.90 crore rupees. The 729 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras, empaneled non-PMKK training centres and more than 200 ITIs under Skill India will roll out PMKVY training to build a robust pool of skilled professionals. On the basis of the learning gained from PMKVY 1.0 and 2.0, the Ministry has improved the newer version of the scheme to match the current policy doctrine and energize the skilling ecosystem affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  


The Government has said that over 545 lakh tonnes of Paddy have been procured during the ongoing Kharif Marketing Season. This is an increase of 26.48 per cent against the last year corresponding purchase of around 431 lakh tonnes. The Agriculture Ministry said, the government continues to procure Kharif crops at its Minimum Support Price from farmers as per its existing MSP Schemes. The Ministry said, more than 73 lakh paddy farmers have been benefited from current Kharif Marketing Season Procurement Operations with MSP value of over one lakh three thousand crore rupees. The Paddy procurement is continuing smoothly in the procuring States and Union Territories of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Karnataka and West Bengal.

Government through its nodal agencies has also procured over two lakh 89 thousand tonnes of Moong, Urad, Groundnut Pods and Soyabean benefitting more than one lakh 54 thousand farmers.


The State Bank of India has provided a major relief to farmers under its loan settlement schemes. Many farmers in the state are benefiting from this Rin Samadhan Yojna. The bank has appealed to the borrower farmers to immediately contact their respective SBI branch to avail the benefit of this loan waiver scheme. More from our correspondent --

Under the Rin Samadhan Yojna, if the farmer who has borrowed loan, pays 20 per cent of the principal amount of the total dues, pending since two years, then the entire loan will be waived. At the same time, new agricultural loans are also being given to these farmers. This is providing a great relief to the farmers. Mr. Shankar Yerawar, Chief Manager, State Bank of India's Nanded Regional Office, has appealed to the farmers to immediately avail this loan waiver scheme by contacting their respective bank branch. The farmer can avail benefits of this scheme till 31st January 2021.Madhuri Pange, AIR News, Mumbai.


Indian Armed Forces Veterans Day is being observed today. This day is celebrated on 14th of January every year to honour services rendered by veterans of the Army. This year is being celebrated as Swarnim Vijay Varsh. It marks the 50th Anniversary of the  1971 Indo-Pak War.  

Speaking on the occasion, Army Chief General Manoj Naravane said, last year had been very challenging for the nation and the Armed Forces. He said, the Armed Forces bravely stayed at the northern borders while also battling the pandemic efficiently. He exuded pride that the Army had the support of veterans in carrying this out. 


In Maharashtra, election to the fourteen thousand two hundred and thirty four Gram Panchayats will be held tomorrow in 34 districts. In order to ensure that the eligible voters are not deprived of their rights, State Election Commissioner U.P.S. Madan said that those individuals who are infected with COVID-19 will be allowed to cast their vote half an hour before the polling ends. More in this report --     

Covid positive patients  and people who are in quarantine will be allowed to exercise their right to franchise in the election that will be held in Fourteen thousand, Two hundred and thirty four Gram Panchayats in 34 districts of the state tomorrow. All the Covid-19 protocols will be followed in the election process.  Polling for Gram Panchayats will be held between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm except in four tehsils in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts. In these four tehsils, polling will end at 3 pm. Thermal scanners will be provided at all polling centres. In addition to this, the body temperature of voters who are not suffering from COVID-19, but who are living in containment zones will be checked twice. If it is normal, they can vote like others. If the body temperature is higher than the prescribed limit, the voter will be given a token, and he or she can cast vote half an hour before polling ends. All polling centres and material/equipment will be sanitized before the election. Kunal Shinde, AIR News, Mumbai.


Donald Trump has become the first US president to be impeached twice. The House of Representatives voted last night to charge him with inciting last week's mob attack on the US Congress. Trump was impeached by 232 - 197 votes by the US House on a single charge of incitement of insurrection that left five dead and the Capitol ransacked. It was supported by all Democrats and 10 Republicans, including Liz Cheney. The Senate will not hold a trial before the 20th of January when Democrat Joe Biden assumes the presidency, meaning Mr Trump will escape the risk of being forced to leave early.


M.V. Jag Anand, the Indian ship which was stranded at Chinese port of Jingtang is likely to reach Japan on the 18th of January for crew change. The ship started from Jingtang on 10th of January and was likely to reach Japan on 14th January. The shipping company told Prasar Bharati Correspondent that the arrival of Jag Anand is delayed and it will now reach Japan on 18th Morning. Then, the crew can fly back to India after following necessary COVID protocols. The ship with 23 Indian crew members onboard was stuck at the Chinese port of Jingtang since June last year.


Harvest Festival Makar Sankranti is being celebrated today. The festival is seen as a celebration of the end of the winter solstice month and also marks the end of the winter harvest. The festival is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Bihu in Assam and Poush Sankranti in West Bengal.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have extended their greetings and wishes to the citizens on the occasion.


Makar Sankranti- is being celebrated as a festival of kites in Gujarat today. The festival is also popularly known as Uttarayan throughout the state.  People in cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot are enjoying kite flying with COVID-19 restrictions. Our correspondent has filed:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah is on a day visit to his parliamentary constituency in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. Mr. Shah performed Arti and Puja at the historic Jagannath temple in Ahmedabad with his family members this morning. He also fed cows and made donations in the temple. Later Mr. Shah enjoyed the kite flying in Thaltej and Ghatlodia areas with his family members. At the other end, the state government has started distributing 1 kolo chana to more than 69 lakh families free of cost under the National Food Security Act. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had made this announcement yesterday on the eve of Makar Sankranti. According to official sources, 3 crore 37 lakh people will get the benefit of this free distribution of 1 kilo chana. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad.


In Tamil Nadu, though many of the Southern districts are experiencing intermittent rains Pongal celebrations have taken centre stage today. As the entry to tourist places are banned, the option is to see the new block busters for the day.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagawat celebrated Pongal at Chennai. Speaking at the function, he said that India was celebrating this day in various names.   

BJP President J.P.Nadda will be arriving in Chennai to celebrate the festival. The State Government has allowed Jallikattu with COVID regulations.


In Assam, the Magh or Bhogali Bihu is being celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety. People from all sections of life have participated in the joyous celebration of the post-harvest festival. Traditional Meji and Bhelaghar made of thatch and woods have been set on fire amidst chanting of prayers to the God Agni. A host of cultural programmes and traditional sports are being organized to mark the festival.


In West Bengal, pilgrims across states have assembled for Sankranti Snan in Gangasagar. More than 10 lakh people have already taken dip but the crowd is remarkably lesser than past years. More from our Kolkata correspondent --

On Makar Sankranti, thousands of devotees are taking holy dip at Gangasagar since this morning. In view of the pandemic, the State Administration has taken all precautionary measures at five ghats. Awareness campaign for maintaining social distancing is also going on. This year, the government has stressed on E-snan, the process by which the holy Ganga water is delivered at the doorstep of people. E-darshaan and live streaming of the mela have also been arranged. The Calcutta High Court has asked the state to encourage people to opt for E-snan and to make available the holy water free of cost in the mela premises.With Suman Dey from Gangasagar, this is Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri for AIR News, Kolkata.


The 51st International Film Festival of India will pay rich tributes to the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. This was announced during the Golden Jubilee edition of IFFI in 2019, by Secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Amit Khare, as part of the Centenary celebrations of Satyajit Ray. IFFI will showcase Ray's selected films, Charulata, Ghare Baire, Pather Panchali, Shatranj Ke Khilari and Sonar Kella as part of this tribute. Here is a song from the movice Shatranj Ke Khilari.


Ray's first film, Pather Panchali (1955) won eleven international prizes, including the inaugural Best Human Document award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. This film, along with Aparajito and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), formed The Apu Trilogy.

Twenty-four days before his death, Ray was presented with an Honorary Academy Award by Audrey Hepburn via video-link. In his acceptance speech, he called it the best achievement of his movie-making career.


North India including the National Capital continued to experience freezing cold winds with intense fog. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the minimum temperature recorded in New Delhi at Safdarjung today morning was as low as two degrees Celsius. IMD has said that the intense cold condition is likely to continue for around a week with intermittent hazy and bright sunshine days.


Now, let us take a look at the weather for today.

The National Capital experienced shallow fog in the morning. The minimum temperature was two degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 19 degrees. 

Mumbai will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 34 degrees.

Chennai will have partly cloudy sky. The minimum temperature was 24 degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 30 degrees.

Kolkata experienced mist in the morning and mainly clear sky later. The minimum temperature was 15 degrees Celsius and  maximum will be around 24 degrees.

Srinagar will experience mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon. The minimum temperature was minus eight degrees Celsius and the maximum will be six degrees.

In Jammu, the minimum temperature was six degrees Celsius while maximum will be around 15 degrees.

Leh will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus 14 degrees Celsius while the maximum will be around zero degree.

Gilgit will have mainly clear sky. The minimum temperature was minus five degrees Celsius and the maximum will be around 11 degrees.

Muzaffarabad will have mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon. The minimum temperature was four degrees Celsius and maximum will be around 19 degrees.



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