THE HEADLINES :
- Seventy per cent voting recorded in single-phase assembly elections in Kerala, Over 63 per cent in Tamil Nadu and around 78 per cent in Puducherry.
- West Bengal registers 78 per cent in Third phase polling and Assam 79 per cent in Third and final phase.
- Government says, India is still among the lowest in terms of Covid cases or deaths per million population globally.
- Centre asks its employees aged 45 years and above to get vaccinated to contain the spread of COVID-19.
- Government urges TV channels to generate greater awareness on message of Dawai Bhi Kadai Bhi.
- Night curfew imposed in Delhi till 30th April in view of rising corona cases; Chandigarh administration also announces night curfew from tomorrow.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi urges BJP workers to counter false narratives on farm laws, CAA and labour laws.
- Prime Minister to interact with students, teachers and parents during Pariksha Pe Charcha tomorrow.
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar holds talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in New Delhi; Longstanding partnership in nuclear, space and defence sectors figures prominently.
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu says Amrit Mahotsav should herald reawakening of a resurgent and Atmanirbhar India.
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 –
- Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing &
- Focus on hand and face hygiene.
And now, the news in detail:
Around 78 per cent voter trunout was recorded in third phase of Assembly elections in West Bengal while Assam recorded 79 per cent in the third and final phase of elections today. Till 5 PM, Kerala recorded about 70 per cent, Tamil Nadu above 63 per cent and Puducherry registered around 78 per cent voting in the single phase Assembly polls today. Today was the last phase of Assam Assembly Elections while five phase of polling are still remained for West Bengal. The Election Commission has said, the polling in these five States and UT passed off peacefully. As a major push for conducting free and fair elections, live monitoring and webcasting of more than 50 per cent of Polling Stations including critical and vulnerable polling booths were put in place to ensure safe and secure atmosphere in polling areas.
All the Polling Stations followed COVID-19 Safety protocols and for the safety of the voters and the election officials it was ensured that the Polling Stations were sanitized one day prior to poll. Facility of thermal scanning, hand sanitisers, face masks were also made available at the Polling Stations and proper arrangements for social distancing were put in place.
In West Bengal, barring a few stray incidents, polling for the third phase was by and large peaceful in 31 assembly constituencies across three districts, Hooghly, Howrah and South 24 Parganas.
“The third phase of assembly elections witnessed quite a few incidents throughout the day. In Uluberia Uttar constituency, a sector officer, two assistant sector officers and a sector police officer have been suspended by the ECI. Three home guards were also removed from duty. The sector officer allegedly took 3 EVMs and 4 VVPATs to a Trinamool Congress leader’s house.
Three candidates of the ruling party were allegedly heckled at Khanakul, Arambagh and Uluberia and a total of 11 persons were arrested in the incidents. A person was detained at Bishnupur for intimidating a voter. BJP candidate at Uluberia Uttar was also allegedly heckled this afternoon.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made especially in South 24 Parganas, considered to be the stronghold of the ruling party.Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri for AIR News Kolkata.
In Assam, the final phase has covered 40 seats. No untoward incident has been reported . A few EVMs had to be replaced due to technical glitches.
In Tamilnadu, polling for the single phase assembly elections went off peacefully. Polling began at 7 in the morning and will end at seven in the evening. The voters strictly adhered to the Covid protocols while exercising their franchise. 62.41 percent votes were registered in Kanyakumari Parliamentary seat bye polls.
Our Chennai correspondent reports that considering the voting percentage registered in the last assembly elections in 2016 which was 74.8 percent, this election might be a little lower.
“The prominent contestants include AIADMK Leaders Palanisamy O. Paneerselvam , DMK leaders M. K. Stalin, Durai Murugan, PMK leaders G.K. Mani, BJP leaders L. Murugan, H. Raja , Vanathi Srinivasan, and Khusboo MNM Founder Kamal Hassan AMMK Founder TTV Dhinakaran, DMDK leader Premalatha Vijaykant who voted in their respective constituencies in the State. The election Commission also ensured that no one is left out and focussed on maximum voting. Arrangements were done in all polling booths to handle Covid cases and gloves were distributed to voters by health workers and volunteers on duty. The last hour which was reserved for the Covid patients went on very smoothly. with Murthy, Joy, AIR News, Chennai”
In the Union Territory of Puducherry brisk polling started in all the 30 constituencies at 7 AM today. There was a gradual increase in the polling and at 12.30 pm polling picked up
“Puducherry Former chief minister Narayanasamy, NR Congress leader and Thattanchavadi candidate Rengasamy, BJP Lawspet candidate Saminathan, Emblem Congress candidate and former Minister Kandasamy , DMK former legislator and Villaiyanoor candidate Siva among others, exercised their franchise before 11 o clock. Covid 19 Pandemic protocol was strictly followed here. All the polling stations were well sanitized. Voters came with face mask only allowed inside the booths and social distancing was maintained in the polling station. thermal temperature check- up was also done. Hand sanitizers and gloves also given to the voters in the booths. As a special arrangement, the Covid patients were allowed to vote evening 6pm to 7 pm 1558 control units, 1677 ballot units and 1558 VVPATs used in this election. 6835 polling staffs, 4811 security personnel along with 40 companies of CRPF were deployed. So far it was a smooth election here.
Chandra Mohan, AIR NEWS, Puducherry.”
In Kerala, amid covid restrictions high polling is being reported in the assembly election to 140 constituencies and in the Loksabha bypoll in Malappuram.
“This time the northern districts of Kerala- Kannur, Kozhikode and Palakkad recorded the highest voter turnout. The Nemom, Vattiyoorkav, Kazhakkoottam, Konni, Palakkad and Manjeswaram constituencies, where strong triangular fight is on between the three major fronts LDF, UDF and NDA also , recorded high polling.Polling was peaceful across the state barring some minor clashes reported at different places. In a few polling stations, voting was briefly halted due to the malfunctioning of EVMs. Covid protocol has been strictly adhered across the state.Covid patients and quarantined voters cast their votes in the final hour of polling. Prominent leaders from major political parties expressed confidence of winning the elections.Mayusha for AIR News from Thiruvananthapuram.”
Government has said that India is still among the lowest in terms of Covid cases or deaths per million population globally. Briefing reporters in New Delhi today, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, the Covid Cases per million in the country are nine thousand 192 as compared to the world average of 16 thousand 783 cases per million. He said, Covid 19 cases had grown in mid-September, after which it had continuously declined and then started climbing up from the 1st week of April. Mr Bhushan said, currently the number of active cases in the country are over seven lakh 88 thousand. He said, there are ten districts in country which are the major contributor of active cases and out of which seven are from Maharashtra and one each from Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Delhi.
The Health Secretary said, Maharashtra alone accounts for nearly 58 per cent of the total active caseload of the country and it is still a matter of concern. He said, average daily new cases in Maharashtra rose to more than 44 thousand as compared to an average of three thousand daily cases in 2nd week of February. The average daily deaths has also gone up from 32 to 250 in Maharashtra.
Mr Bhushan said that the Centre has deployed 50 high-level multidisciplinary public health teams in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab. They will be going to 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 districts of Chhattisgarh and 9 districts of Punjab. They will assist the State health departments in surveillance, control and containment measures.
On vaccination front, the Union Health Secretary informed that following all scientific rigours, more than 8 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country in less than 80 days, which has been made possible by a close coordination between the Centre and State Governments.
NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul stressed on the need of following COVID -19 appropriate behaviour to check the spread of the virus. He said, wider people participation is vital to check the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic saying the next four weeks are very critical for the country.
The recovery rate is 92.48 per cent in the country.
Centre today issued order asking all its employees aged 45 years and above to get themselves vaccinated in order to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19. In its order, DoPT has advised the Central Government employees to continue to follow COVID-appropriate behaviour, even after vaccination, by frequent washing of hands, wearing a mask and observing social distancing. Government has been monitoring the situation very closely, and based on the strategy adopted for prioritizing the groups for vaccination to contain the spread of COVlD-19.
Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today reviewed the COVID19 situation and actions being taken to address rising cases in the country with Health Minister’s of 11 states through Video Conference. These states include Maharashtra, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab, chhattisgarh, Kanataka, Gujarat and Jharkhand, which are witnessing the highest spike in the Covid cases. During the meeting, Dr Harsh Vardhan attributed to the local body election, big agitations and events and marriage ceremonies for the rise in the Covid cases saying Covid containment measures were ignored on these occasion.
Information and Broadcasting Ministry has urged private TV channels to generate greater awareness on the message of Dawai Bhi Kadai Bhi by disseminating messages for COVID-appropriate behavior and vaccination of eligible persons. The Ministry today issued an advisory to all private television channels in view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the country. It has reiterated the leadership role played by the TV channels in spreading message in the public interest. The advisory also cited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting on Sunday to review the emerging situation, where it was decided to focus on a five-fold strategy of Testing, Tracing, Treatment, COVID appropriate behavior and Vaccination.
Delhi government has imposed night curfew in the national capital from 10 PM to 5 AM with immediate effect till 30th April. The decision was taken in the wake of increase in COVID 19 cases.
There will be no restrictions on traffic movement during night curfew. People can get vaccinated but need to have an e-pass. Owners of ration, general, fruits, vegetables and medical stores will be allowed on e-pass. Print and electronic media personnel will also be allowed to move on e-pass. Private doctors, nurses and paramedical staff will remain exempted from night curfew. Passengers going to airports, railway stations and bus stations will be exempted if a valid ticket is produced. Pregnant women and patients going for treatment have also been exempted. There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement and transportation of essential and non-essential goods. No separate permission or e-pass will be required for such movements.
Delhi Police will strictly enforce the order issued on night curfew in the national capital , except for exempted category. Delhi Police PRO Chinmay Biswal said that city Police will issue fresh movement pass for essential services and commodities on demand and those qualifying for it can also visit Delhi Police website.
In view of the imposition of night curfew in Delhi, entry in Delhi Metro from 10 PM to 5 AM will be allowed only to those passengers who fall in essential category after verification of their valid IDs. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has also advised its users, who do not fall in essential category to complete journey and reach there destination by 10 PM.
The Chandigarh administration today announced to enforce night curfew from tomorrow onwards from 10 PM to 5AM. The decision was taken in the war room meeting chaired by Punjab Governor and Administrator of Union Territory Chandigarh V P Singh Badnore held at Chandigarh today keeping in view the rapid increase in the number of covid positive cases. The Administrator has directed the police authorities to ensure strict implementation of the night curfew. According to an official spokesman no gatherings, parties, social activities will be allowed and restaurants will also be required to close by 10 PM. He said that night curfew will be reviewed, if situation improves.
The News Services Division of All India Radio in its bilingual live phone-in programme today will bring you a Special discussion on Covid-19.
Dr. Hemant Deshmukh, Dean, KEM Hospital, Mumbai will participate in the discussion. This can be heard tonight on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 09:30 PM onwards. Listeners can ask questions to the experts on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767.
Prime minister Narendra Modi has said, false narratives are being built; be it about farm laws, CAA or labour laws. Addressing the BJP’s 41st foundation day today, Mr Modi said, it is a conspiracy to create political instability. The Prime minister highlighted that sometimes they say citizenship will be snatched, sometimes it’s farmers’ land, but they are all blatant lies.
“आज गलत नेरेटिव्स बनाए जाते हैं, कभी सीसीए को लेकर, कभी कृषि कानूनों को लेकर, कभी लेबर लॉ को लेकर, बीजेपी के प्रत्येक कार्यकर्ता को समझना हो होगा कि इसके पीछे सोची समझी राजनीति है, ये एक बहुत बड़ा षडयंत्र है। इसका मतलब है देश में राजनीति अस्थिरता पैदा करना। इसलिए देश में तरह–तरह की अफवाएं फैलाई जाती हैं, भ्रम फैलाएं जाते हैं, झूठ फैलाया जाता है। कभी कहा जाता है कि संविधान बदल दिया जाएगा, कभी कहा जाता है आरक्षण समाप्त कर दिया जाएगा, कभी कहा जाता है नागरिकता छीन ली जाएगी, कभी कहा जाता है कि किसानों की जमीन छीन ली जाएगी। ये सब कोरे झूठ होते है।“
Mr Modi called upon BJP workers to go to people and make them aware. He said, the BJP not only represents national interest but is also a party of regional aspirations. Saying the party’s mantra has been ‘Vyakti Se Bada Dal Aur Dal Se Bada Desh’, the Prime minister reiterated, this tradition continues to this day. Mr Modi said, the party fulfilled Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s vision of one India by scrapping Article 370 and gave Kashmir the constitutional right.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with the students, teachers and parents during Pariksha Pe Charcha at 7 PM tomorrow. This will be the first edition of this mega event which will be held in a virtual mode due to restrictions posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. During the Pariksha Pe Charcha programme, the Prime Minister will share ideas and suggestions to prepare and appear in exams without taking any stress.
In a tweet, Mr Modi said, a memorable discussion will be held with the exam warriors, parents and teachers in a new format having several interesting questions on a wide range of subjects.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has said that the Pariksha Pe Charcha programme will help students to overcome exam stress and boost up their morale. He said, this is the first time when students from 81 foreign countries have also participated in the creative writing contest.
“लगभग 14 लाख छात्रों ने हिस्सा लिया, जिसमें कुछ अभिभावक भी है और कुछ अध्यापकगण भी है। ये हमारे लिए बहुत खुशी का विषय है कि दुनिया की लगभग 81 देशों के बच्चे प्रधानमंत्री जी के इस कार्यक्रम से सीधे जुड़े है और तनाव रहित परीक्षा कैसे दी जा सकती है, प्रधानमंत्री जी का अदभुत जो मार्गदर्शन मिलता है, जो परीक्षाओं में हमारे लिए संजीवनी का काम करता है। मैं समझता हूं कि परीक्षा पे चर्चा का जो चौथा संस्करण है, जो दुनिया में अदभुत है, अभिनव है।”
Pariksha Pe Charcha is a part of a larger initiative – Exam Warrior – led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create a stress-free atmosphere for youngsters. AIR Correspondent reports that this is a much-awaited annual event where the Prime Minister will hold a brainstorming session with the school students, teachers and parents. During the event, the Prime Minister will respond to questions related to exam’s stress.
President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed Justice N V Ramana as the 48th Chief Justice of India, accepting the recommendation made by the outgoing CJI SA Bobde. Justice Ramana will have a term till August 26th next year. Before his elevation to the Supreme Court on February 17th, 2014, Justice Ramana was the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. He was born in an agricultural family in Andhra Pradesh.
External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held delegation-level talks in Delhi today. In a joint press briefing after the talks, Dr Jaishankar said, much of the discussions today covered the preparations for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit for the annual summit later this year. He said, bilateral cooperation remains energetic and forward-looking. He said, they talked about longstanding partnership in nuclear, space and defence sectors.
Dr Jaishankar appreciated Russian support for India’s Gaganyaan programme. The Russian Foreign Minister said they discussed prospective and additional manufacturing of Russian military equipment in India within the concept ‘Made in India’. Replying to a query, Mr Lavrov said Russia is not planning to sign a military alliance with China.
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has emphasized the need to maintain civility of words and decency of language in public discourse and said that it is necessary for a healthy and strong democracy. He was addressing the concluding ceremony of the 25-day long ceremonial ‘Dandi March’ organized as part of ‘Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ in the historic coastal village Dandi in South Gujarat. He asked the people to take inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi who always used polite and respectful language even for his opponents.
Mr. Naidu said, Amrit Mahotsav should herald reawakening of a resurgent and Atmanirbhar India. Emphasising upon the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, he highlighted that India, while conducting the largest vaccination drive in the world, is also supplying vaccines to a number of countries across the world.
Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav-a 75 week long celebration to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence, was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Sabarmati Ashram on 12th March. The Vice President said that it is a festival that encourages us to rediscover our hidden strengths and prompts us to take sincere, synergistic action to regain our rightful place.
“After reaching historic coastal town Dandi this morning, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu first visited the Prarthna Mandir and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi. He also interacted with the foot-marchers who participated in the ceremonial march from Sabarmati Ashram to Dandi. The Vice President also visited Saifee Villa where Gandhiji had spent a night on 4th April 1930. He also visited the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial–at Dandi. He emphasised the need to create such memorials for all freedom fighters to inspire the younger generation to follow their ideals. Yogesh Pandya, AIR News, Ahmedabad”
Now, let us take a look at the weather forecast for tomorrow.
National Capital Delhi is likely to have partly cloudy sky. The temperature will hover between 20 and 37 degree Celsius.
Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata will have mainly clear sky.
Srinagar will have generally cloudy sky with moderate rain. Temperature will hover between Seven and 17 degree Celsius.
Jammu will have partly cloudy sky becoming generally cloudy towards afternoon or evening or night.
Leh will witness generally cloudy sky.
Gilgit will have generally cloudy sky with Light rain.
Muzaffarabad will have thunderstorm with rain.
The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League IPL 2021 is all set to begin on 9th April. The opening match will be played between the defending champion Mumbai Indians against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai. The Final Match will be Played on 30th May in Ahmedabad.
Earlier, the BCCI announced the schedule for this edition on 7th March. The matches will be played at six venues across the country in Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bengaluru.