- Centre asks States and Union Territories to take effective measures to contain Covid 19.
- India achieves a milestone of administering more than seven crore doses of corona vaccine.
- Campaigning gains momentum in poll bound States and Union Territory.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address rallies in Assam and West Bengal today.
- Railway logs highest ever route electrification in a single year.
- India’s biggest floating solar power plant to be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana.
- 2023 Men’s Boxing World Championships to be held in Uzbekistan’s Capital Tashkent.
- And in Tennis, Ashleigh Barty to clash with Bianca Andreescu in the Women’s singles final of Miami Open today.
As the number of Covid cases are on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower their guard, take all precautions and all those above 45 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation.
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 detail:
The Centre has asked the States reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases to take immediate and high effective measures to ensure containment of active cases and daily deaths through adherence of the standard Clinical Management Protocol. Eleven States and Union Territories including Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana and Chhattisgarh have been categorised as States of grave concern on account of rising daily cases and higher deaths.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba yesterday chaired a high-level review meeting with Chief Secretaries, DG Police and Health Secretaries of all States and Union Territories. During the meeting, it was pointed out that Tier II and Tier III cities along with peri-urban areas have recorded the recent rise in COVID cases. It was also highlighted that the spread of infection from these areas to the rural areas with weak health infrastructure would overwhelm the local administration.
The States have been asked to increase testing continuously to ensure that positivity rate comes down to five per cent or less. Focus on ensuring RT-PCR tests should comprise 70 per cent of total tests and setting up of Containment Zones and Micro Containment Zones to break the chain of transmission were also advised.
Taking note of the present situation due to the continuous deterioration of the COVID scenario over a fortnight, the Cabinet Secretary pointed out that the current COVID case growth rate of 6.8 per cent last month has surpassed the previous record of 5.5 per cent in June 2020. The country also reported 5.5 per cent growth rate in daily COVID deaths in this period.
India has recorded a milestone in COVID-19 vaccination with administration of over seven crore vaccine doses. The country has also administered the first dose to more than six crore beneficiaries. The Health Ministry said, so far a total of seven crore six lakh 18 thousand 26 vaccine doses have been given to the beneficiaries. Yesterday, over 12 lakh 76 thousand vaccine doses were given till 8 pm on the 77th day of the nationwide COVID19 vaccination.
In a significant step to exponentially expand the countrywide Vaccination drive, the Centre has decided to operationalise both public and private sector COVID Vaccination Centres on all days this month. The Centre has written to all the States and Union Territories and asked them to make necessary arrangements to provide COVID vaccination in these Centres on all days of the month including gazetted holidays.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 vaccination for persons above 45 years of age is gaining momentum. India’s immunisation drive which began on 16th of January this year is the World’s largest vaccination programme. Healthcare and frontline workers got inoculated first. Then it was extended to people over 60 years of age and people with co morbidities. And from yesterday onwards people above the age of 45 and without any co morbidities are being given the jabs.
Talking to AIR, Dr. Anup Marar of Orange City Hospital & Research Center in Nagpur has said that COVID-19 is preventable .
In the wake of growing cases of Covid 19 infection, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to close all the schools from class 1 to class eight in the State till 11th of April. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed officials to maintain an effective system of prevention and treatment for the Corona infection. He said, all types of resources are available in adequate quantity in the State to control and treat Covid-19. The Chief Minister has instructed to maintain special vigilance in the districts of Lucknow, Kanpur Nagar, Meerut, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Ghaziabad, Agra.
In the last 24 hours, 2967 new covid cases were reported in the state out of which more than 900 were found in state capital Lucknow alone. This is the highest increase of patients in one day in recent times.
In Bihar, active cases of Covid-19 are sharply rising with 662 new cases being reported during the past 24 hours. With this, active cases in the State have mounted to 2,363. Maximum 958 active cases are from Patna followed by Bhagalpur and Jehanabad. Health Minister Mangal Pandey said containment zone will be made in those areas from where more cases are being reported.
However, Covid-19 recovery rate is 98.52 per cent in Bihar with two lakh 62 thousand 733 patients recovering from the infection in the State so far.
Over one lakh 74 thousand people were vaccinated yesterday. Over 32 lakh 19 thousand people have so far been vaccinated in the State. The State government has instructed to intensify vaccination in those areas where more fresh cases are coming up.
Gujarat government has said that the State has sufficient stock of Remdesivir injections for the treatment of Covid19 patients. Food and Drug Commissioner Dr. H.G. Koshia said that sufficient stocks of Remdesivir have been made available to the Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot Municipal Corporations. He said that more than 38 thousand injections are in stock. More from our Ahmedabad correspondent:
“Gujarat has recorded 2640 new cases of Covid19 during the last 24 hours. 2066 patients have been recovered and discharged from the various hospitals. Maximum 621 new cases have been reported from Ahmedabad, while Surat recorded 506 new cases. Meanwhile, Surat Municipal Corporation has confirmed the detection of a highly infectious new strain of Coronavirus. According to sources, it penetrates into lungs faster due to increased multiplication and cause pneumonia speedily. At the other end, the vaccination drive is running in full swing. More than 4 lakh 40 thousand persons were vaccinated in the state yesterday. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad”.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that in order to contain rising covid cases, strict restrictions will be announced in a few days. Various festivals, celebrations will be prohibited in order to avoid crowding. He clarified that the lockdown is not the solution but necessary decisions will be taken to save the lives of citizens. Maharashtra’s coronavirus tally recorded a surge of 47,827 new cases yesterday. Our Mumbai correspondent has filed this report:
“In Many districts of Maharashtra a record number of cases are registered on a daily basis. Active cases have crossed the previous highs registered in the month of September-October 2020. But Kolhapur district can be said to be able to contain the spread of infection this time. Yesterday 164 patients registered in district out of which 54 are in city. It has less than a thousand active cases and new cases are also low as compared to other districts. Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Gadchiroli also have less than a thousand active cases. Last Month due to sudden rise in new cases Health Ministry has to send a special team for Akola and Amaravati district. Jeevan Bhawasar, AIR News, Mumbai”.
The government of Karnataka issued a new set of guidelines to contain the surge in Covid 19 cases in the State. According to the new set of restrictions imposed, gyms and swimming pools will be shut down and theaters will allot only 50 per cent seats. Gatherings and functions are prohibited at religious places also but individuals are allowed to offer prayers. No rallies, dharnas or fairs will be allowed till April 20th. The Order also suspends physical offline classes from the sixth to ninth standards. But classes will continue for those in 10th to 12th standard, however physical attendance is not mandatory. Boarding schools and residential hostels will remain closed, except for those in 10th to 12th standard. The positivity rate for the day shot up to 4.19 percent from 3.65 percent on Thursday.
Campaigning for the next phase of Assembly election in West Bengal reached its feverish peak as senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trinamool Congress leader and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will address rallies in the same districts today. More from our Kolkata correspondent:
“Bharatiya Janata Party is leaving no stone unturned to oust the decade old Trinamool Congress government from power in West Bengal and it is evident from the back to back campaigning schedules of the topmost leaders of the party. After Home Minister Amit Shah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the state again within a short span. He will be addressing two rallies in Hooghly and South 24 parganas this afternoon.
Ruling Trinamool Congress is mostly banking on the charisma and popularity of party Supremo Mamata Banerjee, usually addressed as DIDI, to remain in power. She will be addressing three rallies in South 24 Parganas and another one in Hooghly along with a road show in Howrah. On the other hand, leaders of Sanjukta Morcha, the alliance of left parties, congress and ISF will be attending road shows at Chanditala and Singur of Hooghly in support of CPIM candidates while congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury will be addressing a rally at Basirhat and a road show at Panihati in North 24 Parganas. Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri, for AIR News, Kolkata“.
In West Bengal, all eyes are on the Baruipur Paschim (बड़ाईपुर पश्चिम) Assembly segment of South 24 Pargana district in the Assembly elections. Polling on this seat will be held in the third phase on 6th of April. Senior Trinmool Congress leader and speaker of West Bengal assembly Biman Banerjee is toiling hard for his third consecutive victory. More from our correspondent:
“In this year’s assembly elections BJP and CPM have pitted new candidates against the Trinmool nominee. Debopam Chattopadhyaya is the fresh face from BJP whereas CPM has exuded it’s confidence in 39 years old Md. Lahek Ali. A high polling turnout constituency Baruipur Paschim has a previous trend of direct contest of winner and first runner up. On the other hand side-lining the rest of the contestants. In 2016 assembly elections over 90 percent of total polled votes went to the kitty of winner and first runner up. Biman Chatterjee had defeated CPM candidate Saifuddin Khan by a comfortable margin of more than 36 thousand votes. Apart from other issues, rising unemployment is a major concern for the voters of this constituency. Dharmendra Kumar Rai, AIR News BaruiPur, South 24 Pargana”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address an election rally at Tamulpur in Assam today.
Congress leader and Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will attend the couple of meetings today at Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts.
In Assam, East Kokrajhar has become one of the most attractive constituency with the arrival of several star campaigners. This seat is likely to see a straight fight between the NDA and Mahajath. Prime Minister and senior BJP leader Narendra Modi has recently addressed an election rally at Kokrajhar. After the creation of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts and now Bodoland Territorial Region, Kokrajhar has become one of the most important place of political importance. Polling will be held on 6th of this month. A report:
“Senior BPF leader and minister in the Sonowal government, Pramila Rani Brahma is representing the East Kokrajhar seat for the last 30 years. In 2016, she defeated her nearest rival with a margin of 40 thousand votes. This time, BPF is in coalition with the Congress . The NDA has fielded former student leader Lawrance Islary in UPPL ticket. The close associate of UPPL Chief Promod Bodo, Mr. Islary left the All Bodo Students Union and has joined active politics after the signing of the BTR accord. Pramila Rani Brahma is facing a tough challenge from Lawrance Islary backed by star studded campaigners of the BJP. However, BPF President Hagrama Mahilary along with senior Congress leaders are also making all out efforts to retain the seat. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR News, Guwahati”.
The Election Commission has barred senior BJP leader and Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from holding any poll campaign and media interaction for 48 hours over the violation of Model Code of Conduct. He has been barred with immediate effect. The Commission has condemned his remarks in which the leader had threatened Bodoland Peoples’ Party Chief Hagrama Mohilary. The Congress had approached the Commission over his remarks following which the Poll body had issued a notice to him. In its order, the Poll panel found Mr. Sarma’s reply unsatisfactory.
The Election Commission has suspended two security officials in Assam EVM controversy. The action has been taken against them for leaving behind the stranded polling party and not ensuring their safe arrival at the destination. The Poll panel took the action on the basis of report of the Special Observer over the incident. The Commission has already suspended four Poll officials including the Presiding Officer responsible for the lapses. In the report, the Special Observer said, there was no deliberate or malafide intention in the incident aimed to disrupt the polling process. The Poll body has also ordered for a re-poll at polling station number 149 in Assam’s Ratabari Assembly Constituency in Karimganj District.
In Kerala, with just two days left to end the public campaign for the Assembly elections, all major fronts are intensively campaigning with full vigour and enthusiasm. All the necessary election preparations are also underway, for the Assembly polls on 6th of April. More from our Thiruvananthapuram correspondent:
As the State is in the final phase of campaigning, all the three major fronts are ensuring the presence of their national leaders. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani and Prahlad Joshi will arrive in Kerala today for NDA campaign. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will participate in various election campaigns of UDF today. Senior national CPM Leaders are also actively campaigning in various constituencies for LDF. All the major fronts are making every effort to popularise their election manifestos. Meanwhile, on account of Covid pandemic, the Election Commission banned the “kalashakottu” this time, which is the mass campaigning of party workers in the last hours of public campaign in the center of town or city. The commision instead permitted campaigning till 7pm on Sunday. Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram.
In Tamil Nadu, electioneering in all the 234 constituencies comes to a close tomorrow at seven in the evening. The State goes to a single phase poll on the 6th of this month. Bye poll for the lone Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat will also be held on the same day. The constituency fell vacant after the demise of Congress MP Vasanthakumar. More from our Chennai correspondent:
“Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah will have road shows in chennai and Thirunelveli to garner votes for his alliance partners. Senior Aiadmk leader and chief minister Palanisami is campaigning at Salem.. DMK leader Stalin is visiting constituencies at Chennai and surrounding areas. Candidates are involved in door to door canvassing to meet the voters. Election officials are involved in checking out the areas in which voters list have to be distributed. Flying squads and monitoring officials are also vigilant to check violators of the model code of conduct. WITH MURTHY, JOY, CHENNAI”.
The External Affairs Ministry has said there is a consensus between India and China that two sides should quickly resolve remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. The Ministry’s Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi was responding to a media query on the border standoff with China.
Mr Bagchi said, the two sides continued to remain in touch through military and diplomatic channels.
The spokesperson also informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Climate Summit to be held virtually on the 22nd and 23rd of April. US President Joe Biden had invited Mr. Modi for this Summit and the Prime Minister has accepted the invitation.
Indian Railways has logged highest ever electrification of sections covering over six thousand route kilometer in a single year during 2020-21. Despite COVID-19 pandemic, it has surpassed the previous highest of over five thousand route kilometer achieved in 2018-19. Indian Railways has given a lot of emphasis on electrification in the recent years to reduce the country’s dependence on imported petroleum-based energy. More than five times electrification was achieved in the last seven years as compared to 2007-14. It has also commissioned a record 56 Traction Sub Stations during 2020-21, as against previous best of 42, which shows an improvement of 33 per cent. Some of the Major sections electrified by the Indian Railways over the years include Mumbai-Howrah via Jabalpur, Delhi-Darbhanga-Jaynagar and Chennai-Trichy. The Ministry of Railways said that Railways has planned to fully electrify its tracks by December 2023. Total Rail electrification would contribute to the goal of “net zero” emissions by 2030 by drawing its entire electrical load from renewable energy sources.
Indian Railways will start the services of 71 unreserved mail and express trains from Monday. In a tweet, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said these trains will ensure safe and comfortable journey for the passengers. A weekly, Rajdhani Superfast Special train will also be run between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Secunderabad from tomorrow.
India’s biggest floating Solar power plant with a capacity of 100 Mega Watt will be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana. The project expected to be opened in May, is being set up at Ramagundam thermal power plant reservoir. The Solar project is commissioned by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The project, which is estimated to cost around 423 crore rupees, will have 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels. The Solar panels will cover 450-acre area of the reservoir and can be expanded in the future. NTPC’s efforts to set up floating Solar power projects are aimed at reducing its carbon footprints and accelerate its green energy production to 30 per cent of its capacity.
The world’s largest solar power plant with 600 MW capacity is being set up on Omkareshwar Dam on Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh. The project costing 3,000 crore rupees is expected to start power generation only by 2022-23.
The Central Board of Secondary Education ( CBSE) has decided not to reduce the syllabus for the students of classes ninth to 12th for academic year 2021-22. The Board has released the new syllabus in which the chapters and topics that were removed in the last academic year have been restored for the upcoming academic session 2021-22. Official sources said the reduction in the syllabus was a one time measure only for the 2021 board exams.
Last year, CBSE had rationalised the syllabus by up to 30 per cent for classes ninth to 12th for the year 2020-21 to reduce the course load of students in view of COVID-19 pandemic. The students who studied the reduced syllabus will appear in exams in May-June this year.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Amarnathji Yatra scheduled to commence on 28th of June this year, is likely to receive a footfall of about six lakh pilgrims who would pay their obeisances at the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.
The 2023 men’s boxing World Championships will be held in Uzbekistan’s Capital Tashkent, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced yesterday. AIBA President Umar Kremlev confirmed Tashkent as the host city during a visit to Uzbekistan. The city of Tashkent is awarded the 2023 AIBA Men’s Boxing World Championships after the successful bid presentation by the Boxing Federation of Uzbekistan.
Former world champion Mirabai Chanu will lead the Indian challenge in women’s 49kg category at the upcoming Asian Weightlifting Championships to be held at Tashkent in Uzbekistan from April 16th to 25th. While 26-year-old Mirabai is the star attraction in the women’s category, the 18-year-old Jeremy Lalrinnuga is the best bet in men’s section. He will compete in the 67kg. The competition was postponed in 2020 due to the global pandemic and was rescheduled for 2021.
In Miami Open Tennis tournament, Ashleigh Barty to clash with Bianca Andreescu in the Women’s singles final today. Defending champion and world No.1 Ashleigh Barty comfortably defeated Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-3 in the semis to seal her berth in the finals.
In a men’s singles semifinal, Italian teenager Jannik Sinner defeated Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first career ATP Masters 1000 final. In another men’s singles semi-final, Hubert Hurkacz pulls off an emphatic straight set upset of Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final. Hurkacz will now face Jannik Sinner in the final tomorrow.
Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for today.
The National Capital Delhi is likely to have a maximum temperature of 35 degree Celsius. It recorded a minimum of 15 degrees.
Mumbai with a mainly clear sky is expected to witness a maximum temperature of 35 degree Celsius, while it registered a minimum of 24 degrees.
Chennai will have heat wave conditions with maximum temperature of 42 degree celsius from the minimum of 29 degree celsius.
Kolkata will have partly cloudy sky. The maximum temperature is expected to be 36 degree Celsius with minimum temperature recorded 27 degree celsius.
Srinagar will have mainly clear sky. The maximum temperature is expected to be around 23 degree Celsius while the minimum will be four degrees.
Jammu with a mainly clear sky will see the temperature rising up to nearly 32 degree Celsius from a minimum of 13 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 26 degree Celsius as an upper limit of temperature amid mainly clear sky. It recorded a minimum of 12 degrees.
Muzaffarabad will have a mainly clear sky becoming partly cloudy towards afternoon or evening. The temperature will rise from a minimum of 19 degree Celsius to an upper of 32 degrees.
Dehradun will have clear sky with the maximum temperature around 31 degrees moving from a minimum of 14 degrees.
Chandigarh will have cloudy sky as the temperature goes up to 34 degree Celsius. It recorded 13 degrees as a minimum.
Hyderabad is likely to witness a partly cloudy sky with a minimum temperature of 24 degree Celsius and maximum temperature moving around 39 degrees.
Ahmedabad will have sunny day with a maximum temperature of nearly 40 degree Celsius. The minimum around 22 degrees.
Patna will see the temperature moving up to 36 degress Celsius from a minimum of 18 degrees. It will have a mainly clear sky.
And Guwahati is likely to have a generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers. The maximum temperature is expected to be 32 degree Celsius while minimum temperature around 20 degree Celsius.
AND NOW, AN OVERVIEW OF TODAY’S NEWSPAPERS.
The Indian Express in its front page headline reports” States start moving to contain surge, Centre says 11 states/UTs are of ‘grave concern’.”
“To increase the pace of vaccination Government plans to set up jab points in schools, offices” writes Hindustan Times. While The Times of India says” Walk-ins for shots four times the number of online registrations.”
Business Standard quoting the government writes” No export ban on Covid-19 vaccines.”
“More women go Big on Gig during pandemic” observes The Economic Times as number of women taking up gig jobs in sales, customer services has nearly doubled since Covid outbreak.
Another headline in The Times of India writes “IIT-Delhi keeps promise, reduces its carbon footprint by over 50 percent.”
The Statesman reports” Modi accepts Biden’s invite for climate summit on 22nd April.”
And Finally, “First state-of-the-art jail to open in Solan district of Himachal” with an industrial kitchen and semi automatic cooking system making reformal steps towards prison reforms reports The Tribune.