News On AIR - News Services Division, All India Radio News -

News On AIR – News Services Division, All India Radio News






Morning News

0830 HRS


02.04.2021

THE HEADLINES,

  • Campaigning for next phase of Assembly elections of four poll bound states and Union Territory gains momentum; Leaders of various parties hold rallies.

  • Election Commission seeks report from its observers on allegation of irregularities in polling process in Nandigram assembly constituency of West Bengal.

  • Child Welfare Committee advises political parties not to utilize  service of Children for election campaign in Puducherry.

  • All Public and Private sector Covid-19 vaccination Centres to open throughout the month.

  • RT-PCR negative report mandatory for all passengers travelling to Gujarat from other states.

  • Gujarat Assembly passes Freedom of Religion Act 2003 Bill that penalizes forcible or fraudulent religious conversion by marriage.

  • GST revenue collection hits new record of over 1 lakh 23 thousand crore rupees in March 2021.

  • India constructs highways more than any other country in the last financial year says, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

  • India vows to make regional cooperation stronger and vibrant under BIMSTEC framework says External Affairs Minister.

  • Good Friday being observed across the country.

  • In Tennis, Defending champion Ash Barty storms into final of Miami open.

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As the number of Covid cases are on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower the guard, follow all the precautions and all those above 45 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation.


Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps –

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Campaigning for the next phase of Assembly elections of four poll bound states and Union Territory gains momentum and the leaders of various parties hold rallies to woo the voters.


In West Bengal  senior leaders of the BJP and the Trinamool Congress will be locking horns in the same districts of North Bengal today.


Senior BJP leader Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit the state today. He will address two rallies at Sitalkuchi in Coochbehar and Kalchini in Alipurduar. Mr. Shah will also hold two road shows at Baruipur West of South 24Parganas and Arambag of Hoogly in the afternoon.


On the other hand, after the high voltage election at Nandigram got over yesterday, Trinamool Congress leader, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to visit Coochbehar and Alipurduar where she will be addressing three rallies, at Dinhata and Natabari in Coochbehar and Falakata in Alipurduar.


Polling will be held in all the seats of the two districts Alipurduar and Coochbehar in the fourth phase on 10th April while the two seats of Hoogly and South 24 parganas will be going for polls in the third phase, on 6th of this month.


Leaders of the Sanyukt Morcha are also scheduled to address rallies and participate in road shows across the districts.


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In the on-going West Bengal assembly elections several cine stars are trying their political fortune on the ticket of ruling Trinmool Congress (TMC) and opposition BJP. This time the list of contestants from Bangla Cinema and television industry is longer than 2016 assembly elections.


In an attempt to capitalize the stardom of cinema BJP has put stake behind famous actors like Yash Dasgupta, Anjana Basu, Payal Sarkar, Tanushree Chakravarthy and Papiya Adhikari. Besides, union minister Babul Supriyo is also in the fray from Tollygunj assembly constituency. BJP candidate and cine star Srabanti Chaterjee is taking on state education minister Partha Chaterjee in Behala West assembly seat. Trinmool Congress has also shown faith again on popular faces of the silver screen. The Mamata Banarjee led party has pitted film stars Soham Chakravarthy, Sayantika Banerjee, Aditi Munshi, Kanchan Malick and Raj Chakravarthy against candidates of rival parties. Famous actress June Maliah is Trinmool candidate from Medinipore assembly seat. Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News, Kolkata.”


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In Assam, after the end of first and second phase of polls, the focus has been now shifted for the third and final phase of polls. The third phase of polls will cover 40 seats in Lower Assam. Polling will be held on 6th of this month. 


BJP’s National President J P Nadda will campaign for party’s state President Ranjeet Kumar Dass at Patacharkuchi today. Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and NEDA Convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma will also address rallies for BJP candidates. 


Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will campaign at Goalpara, Golakganj and Sarukhetri today. State Congress President Ripun Bora, MP Gaurav Gogoi and Pradyut Bordoloi as well as AIUDF President Badruddin Ajmal will also campaign today.


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Over 80 percent voter turnout has been reported in the second phase of West Bengal assembly election, in which 30 seats went to polls yesterday. In Assam, over 77.21 percent voting has been registered in 39 assembly constituencies so far which went to polls in the second phase. The final figure will be released today.


The Election Commission said the polling in the two states was conducted peacefully. Elaborate arrangements were made for COVID safe, intimidation free and inducement free elections. The Commission expressed gratitude to all stakeholders specially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the election process.


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Election Commission has sought a report from its observers on the allegation of irregularities in the polling process in Nandigram assembly area in West Bengal.  The Commission has asked its Special General Observer Ajay Nayak and Special Police Observer Vivek Dube to submit their report by today evening.  Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister had made allegations of irregularities including barring TMC supporters to vote in the area. The Commission said the media has covered the incident of alleged gherao of the Chief Minister and crowding at a polling station in Nandigram yesterday that  resulted in disruption of the poll process.


General Observer Hemen Das and Police Observer Ashutosh Roy were asked to go to the spot and they had reported to the poll panel at 4 PM that polling at the booth  was going on smoothly and polling was not disrupted at any moment. They said around three thousand people were there when they  reached the polling station.


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Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address an election rally in Madurai today. This is the second time that he is visiting the State to  garner votes for the NDA alliance.


Senior AIADMK leaders the Chief Minister Palanisamy and, Deputy chief minister O.Paneerselvam and several other leaders of the NDA will also be in attendance at the meeting.


Mr.Modi arrived at Madurai the city of temples last evening and paid obeisance at  the Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple.


The opposition parties including DMK chief MK Stalin who campaigned at  Madurai a few days ago criticised the BJP-AIADMK alliance for not even taking the first step to construct the much hyped AIIMS project in the district.


Madurai which falls in the south central Tamil Nadu is one of the oldest city . The  district has ten constituencies.


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In Kerala, as the public campaign ends on coming Sunday, all the three major fronts are  campaigning intensively with active participation of National leaders and star campaigners.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Kerala today, as part of NDA’s election campaign. Mr Modi will attend the  Public meetings in Konni in Pathanamthitta and in Thiruvananthapuram. Both the districts are expected to have a tough traingular contest as LDF, UDF and NDA is fielding their strong candidates. Union Minister Amit Shah will join the last leg of NDA campaign tomorrow. Meanwhile Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi will also reach the State tomorrow to boost the final campaign of UDF.The senior CPM leaders  Prakash karat, Brinda Karat is already camping garnering votes for LDF. As just 4 days are left for polling, heated political debates are ongoing on issues such as development, employment, Sabarimala, corruption etc. The postal voting for officials having polling  duty is continuing. Mayusha for AIR News Thiruvananthapuram.”


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In the Union Territory of Puducherry The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) here advised political parties not to utilize the service of Children in Electioneering.


Child Welfare Committee chairperson Ashokan in a release said  that the commission received complaints that children are being used by political parties for their election campaign and as per the directions of the National Child Welfare Commission, the election department was directed to monitor the campaigning of political parties and to initiate action if children are used for campaign. He said a 5 year old boy was badly injured in his hand when he took a cracker which was not busted when the political parties lit it and it busted in his hands. A report on the incident was sought from the Karaikal Collector for further action, he said. Chandra Mohan, AIR News, Puducherry.”


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The Election Commission yesterday debarred senior DMK leader A. Raja from campaigning for 48 hours in the ongoing elections over the violation of model code of conduct. Reprimanding him for his derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his mother, the Commission also delisted Mr Raja from the list of star campaigners of the DMK.


The Election Commission also issued notice to senior BJP leader and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly threatening a Bodoland People’s Front, BPF leader. The Poll Body has asked Mr Sarma to reply by today evening. The Congress on Tuesday had written to the Commission in this regard.


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Over six crore 75 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered to the beneficiaries in the country so far.


The Health and Family Welfare Ministry has informed that more than 17 lakh 47 thousand vaccine doses were given to the beneficiaries on the seventy sixth day of nationwide COVID-19 vaccination. The Ministry said, over four crore beneficiaries aged above 45 years have received the first dose so far. Over 88 lakh healthcare workers have been inoculated with first dose while more than 52 lakh took the second dose.


Meanwhile, the total number of 72 thousand 330 new cases have been reported in the country in the past 24 hours taking the cumulative positive cases to over one crore 22 lakh. The country’s COVID-19 recovery rate reached at 93.89 per cent with the total recovery of more than 40 thousand patients in the last 24 hours.


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In a significant step to exponentially expand the countrywide Vaccination drive, the Centre has decided to operationalize both public and private sector COVID Vaccination Centres on all days of this month. The Centre has written to all the States and UTs and asked them to make necessary arrangements to provide COVID vaccination in these Centres on all days of the month including gazetted holidays.


This step has been taken after detailed deliberations with the States and UTs to optimally utilize all COVID Vaccination Centres across the public and private sectors to ensure rapid increase in the pace and coverage of COVID vaccination. This decision is in line with the graded and pro-active approach employed by the Government of India along with the States and UTs for COVID-19 vaccination.


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The Gujarat government has made RT-PCR negative report mandatory for all passengers travelling to the state from other states. This announcement was made by the government in view of rising cases of Covid19 in the state. As per the latest travel guidelines, passengers flying to Gujarat must present a negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours upon arrival. AIR correspondent reports that Gujarat registered a record number of single day vaccinations yesterday.


Gujarat recorded 2410 new cases of Covid19 during the last 24 hours.  2015 patients have been recovered and discharged from various hospitals. 9 patients died yesterday taking the total death toll to 4528. Gujarat has 12996 active cases at present, out of which 155 patients are on ventilator. Meanwhile the vaccination drive is running in full swing. More than 4 lakh 54 thousand persons have been vaccinated during the last 24 hours. With this more than 60 lakh 65 thousand persons have been vaccinated in the state. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad.”


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Maharashtra is registering a record number of Covid-19 cases everyday and it is on the top in the list of Covid-19 patients in the country. The state is also leading in the Covid-19 preventive vaccination drive.


Maharashtra has remained on the top in the list of Covid-19 vaccination in the country and has administered more than 65 lakh doses so far. During the new phase which covers more number of benificiaries 3 thousand 2 hundred 95 centres were established in the state to administer the doses of the vaccine. Pune district remained on the top where 57 thousand benificiaries received the doses and Mumbai remained on the second spot with 50 thousand doses. Maharashtra Health Department has set a target of  3 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine per day and it was achieved for the first time yesterday as it could administer more than 3 lakh doses on the very first day of the new phase of vaccination drive. Shailesh Patil, Air News, Mumbai.”


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In Odisha, a record number of beneficiaries totalling to more than two lakh, were vaccinated against Covid-19 yesterday. One thousand three hundred forty two session sites had been arranged across the state to carry out the vaccination drive.


On the very first day of the Centre allowing people above 45 years of age to avail the benefit of covid-19 vaccination yesterday, a huge number of such beneficiaries to the tune of about one lakh twenty two thousand lined up before the vaccination centres across the state to receive their vaccination shots. A total of more than 77 thousand senior citizens were also vaccinated yesterday. Meanwhile, the state recorded a spurt in covid-19 infection yesterday with about 400 persons diagnosed positive for the virus, adding further to the active case load of the state, that now stands at 2246. Girish Chandra Dash, AIR News, Bhubaneswar.”


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The Gujarat Assembly has passed the Freedom of Religion Act 2003 Bill that penalizes forcible or fraudulent religious conversion by marriage. The new law has provision for three to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to five lakh rupees if the accused is found guilty. The Bill amends a 2003 Act and seeks to curb the emerging trend in which women are lured to marriage for the purpose of religious conversion. 


Minister of State for Home Pradipsinh Jadeja has said, this law will stop people from luring Hindu girls into marriage with the intention of religious conversion. Opposition Congress party opposed the bill in the house. The Bill was passed in the house by majority.


Similar ‘love jihad’ laws have already been enacted in other BJP-ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


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The Western railway informed that, services of Mumbai-Ahmedabad Tejas Express will be suspended from today. Services of the train will be suspended for one month. The decision was taken keeping in view of rising covid cases and in larger public interest. The Statement said, IRCTC is committed in its endeavour to ensure the highest standard of safe and comfortable journey of rail passengers.

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The Central Board of Direct Taxes has notified Income Tax Return Forms for the Assessment Year 2021-22. In view of the ongoing crisis due to COVID pandemic and to facilitate the taxpayers, no significant change have been made to the ITR Forms in comparison to the last year’s Forms. The Finance Ministry said, Only the bare minimum changes  have been made due to amendments in the Income-tax Act, 1961. It said, there is no change in the manner of filing of ITR Forms as compared to last year.


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GST Revenue collection for March 2021 has set a new record with highest ever collection of 1 lakh 23 thousand 902 crore rupees. The GST revenue collected in the last month is 27 per cent higher than that collected in March last year. The Finance Ministry has informed that GST revenues of March are the highest since the introduction of Goods & Services Tax in the country.


During the month, revenues from import of goods was 70 per cent higher and the revenues from domestic transaction are 17 per cent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.


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The Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that India has achieved a landmark milestone in road construction by building more highways than any other countries in the last financial year. He said, 37 kilometres of roads have been constructed every day in the year 2020-21.


Briefing reporters in New Delhi, the Minister said, over thirteen thousand kilometres roads have been constructed in the last financial year. He said the achievement was made despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Meanwhile, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that the length of National Highways has gone up by 50 percent from more than 91 thousand kilometres to more than one lakh 37 thousand kilometres in the last seven years.


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The Union Government has approved a 780 Crore rupees project for upgradation of Kargil Zanskar road. The 2 lane Kargil Zanskar NH 301 road is sanctioned under EPC mode.


Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari approved the upgradation of the 780 Crore project for  Zanskar- Kargil road which was declared National Highway in 2017 by the Centre. This road from Zanskar valley, also connects Suru valley, Sankoo valley of Kargil Ladakh with the Highway. The road will be a key for economic development of the remote region of Ladakh. MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyail said, Modi government is fulfilling the major assurances given to Ladakh. After becoming Union Teritory the pace of progress has been multiplied by initiation of various projects like Zojjila Tunnel Construction, Improved Air Connectivity and increase in the total road length by sanctioning various projects under CRF, PMGSY and other schemes. Anayat Ali AIR News, Kargil, Union Territory of Ladakh.”


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The External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has said that India remains committed to further building the momentum of regional cooperation under the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, BIMSTEC framework and make the organization stronger, vibrant, more effective and result-oriented. Delivering a statement at the 17th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting being held virtually yesterday, Dr Jaishankar expressed confidence that BIMSTEC would scale new heights in the times to come with the collective efforts and spirit of cooperation.


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The Indian Army will participate in Multinational Military Exercise namely SHANTIR OGROSHENA -2021 in Bangladesh. The nine days exercise will start on the 4th of this month to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and mark the glorious 50 years of liberation.


The Indian Army contingent comprising 30 personnel from the Dogra Regiment will participate in the exercise along with contingents of Bhutan, Sri Lankan and Bangladesh Armies. The theme of the exercise is Robust Peace Keeping Operations. Military observers from the USA, UK, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Singapore will also be in attendance throughout the exercise.


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Good Friday is being observed today. It commemorates the day of crucifixion of Jesus Christ. On this day Jesus Christ sacrificed his life out of love for everyone and while suffering for the sins of humanity.


On the occasion of Good Friday, people wish one another strength and happiness. Easter will be celebrated on Sunday the 4th of April.


Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Good Friday reminds us about the struggles and sacrifices of Jesus Christ. In a tweet today, Mr. Modi said, Jesus Christ is a perfect embodiment of compassion who was devoted to serving the needy and healing the sick.


“Good Friday is considered holy because on this day Jesus Christ sacrificed his life out of love for everyone and while suffering for the sins of humanity.  The essence of Good Friday is the victory of good over evil. Christians in Nagaland are also observing Good Friday solemnly by holding fast and special services in Churches and homes in restricted manner due to COVID-19 pandemic. People also wish one another strength and happiness. Asonuo, AIR News, Kohima.”


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In Tennis, Defending champion Ash Barty comfortably beat Elina Svitolina in the Miami Open semis to seal her return to the final. Miami Open Tennis tournament.


Australian world No.1 had been 1-5 previously against Svitolina but took charge  with two early breaks and used her strong serve and deep slices to keep the Ukrainian on the defensive. She went on to beat the No.5 seed 6-3, 6-3.


On Saturday, Barty will play the winner of the second semi between No.8 Bianca Andreescu and No.23 Maria Sakkari.


On the men’s side, Hubert Hurkacz of Poland earned his first semi-final berth in a top-level ATP event by rallying past No. 2-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.


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Take a look at the weather forecast for today.



Srinagar will observe mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The maximum temperature is expected to be around 22 degree Celsius while the minimum was four degrees.


Jammu with a mainly clear sky will see the temperature rising up to nearly 32 degree Celsius from a minimum of 14 degree.


Leh may have a partly cloudy sky with maximum temperature rising upto 11 degree Celsius. The minimum was minus four degrees.


Gilgit is expected to have 25 degree Celsius as an upper limit of temperature amid mainly clear sky. It recorded a minimum of 11 degrees.


Muzaffarabad will have a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will rise from a minimum of 11 degree Celsius to an upper of 29 degrees.


In Dehradun, the maximum temperature will be around 32 degrees moving from a minimum of 12 degrees. 


Chandigarh will have a mainly clear sky as the temperature goes up to 31 degree Celsius. It recorded 14 degrees as a minimum. 


The National Capital Delhi is likely to have a maximum temperature of 34 degree Celsius. It recorded a minimum of 16 degrees.


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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINE:

  • With the surge in covid-19 cases, “Big spike in Delhi, grim milestone for Mumbai”, writes Hindustan Times. With over 8000 cases, Maharashtra capital sets new one-day case record for any Indian city, Delhi logs biggest jump since December 8.”

  • A shot for Posterity : Vaccine selfies go Viral, The Economic Times writes how “Images are powerful weapon to influence masses, and the era of social media has given them a new dimension.”

  • Reporting on the fastest rollback so far, “Overnight rollback: FM restores savings rates.” writes the Business Standard.

  • On the Assembly elections in West Bengal, The Statesman writes, “Bengal Phase 2: Temperatures run high”. Overall voter turnout at 80.43 percent till 5 pm; sporadic incidents of violence as TMC accuses BJP, Central forces of voter intimidation.”

  • In a bid to reducing travel time between Delhi and Meerut from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes ” Meerut just 45 minutes away from Delhi as e-way opens” writes The Pioneer.

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