Raksha Mantri Inaugurates Webinar on Atal Tunnel

Border Roads Organisation organized a Webinar on Atal Tunnel on 11 January, to disseminate the experiences gained on this tunnel, for the benefit of IITs, NITs and other technical institutions.

Inaugurating the day long Webinar, Raksha Mantri  Shri Rajnath Singh  appreciated BRO engineers for building this engineering marvel despite many technical challenges amid COVID-19 restrictions. He cited the example of Seri Nalla, a fault Zone, which posed a serious challenge to even engineers from foreign countries.  “But our engineers succeeded in overcoming the Seri Nalla challenge,” Raksha Mantri said, adding that for building such a great structure like Atal Tunnel not just bricks and mortar but the spirit of the national pride is of paramount importance.  Raksha Mantri recalled various past achievements of Indian scientists and engineers and said they have always shown their prowess in various streams.

Referring to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Shri Rajnath Singh said, to overcome the COVID-19 challenges, “we were able to quickly mobilize our resources to produce PPE kits, masks, sanitizers etc. not only for our domestic requirements but also for supplying to other countries”.  He said government has given high priority to the development of border areas and BRO deployed 67% of its workforce in Northern borders. Lauding the BRO’s efforts and achievements during 2020, amidst COVID-19 restrictions, Raksha Mantri said there had been no cut in BRO budget.

Raksha Mantri also released a Compendium documents listing the experiences and challenges encountered during the construction of the largest tunnel (9.020 km) in the World above 3000 mt elevation.

Inaugurating the Atal Tunnel, Rohtang  on 3 Oct 2020, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had suggested that such a compendium be brought out for the benefit of students and professionals of Engineering institutes.

This Webinar will enhance knowledge of all the faculty members and aspiring students, especially of final term students in tackling future challenges in tunnel construction. More than 1,000 people have  participated in the Webinar.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Army Chief General MM Naravane, Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar and DG BRO Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry also attended the inaugural session .

Nitin Gadkari to launch innovative, eco-friendly, non-toxic wall paint on 12 January

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways & MSME Sh. Nitin Gadkari will be launching an innovative new paint developed by Khadi and Village Industries Commission on Tuesday, 12th January at his residence. The eco-friendly, non-toxic paint, called “Khadi Prakritik Paint is a first-of-its-kind product, with anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties. Based on cow dung as its main ingredient, the paint is cost-effective and odorless, and has been certified by Bureau of Indian Standards

Khadi Prakritik Paint is available in two forms – distemper paint and plastic emulsion paintProduction of Khadi Prakritik Paint is aligned with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of increasing farmers’ income.The project was conceptualized by Chairman KVIC in March 2020, and later developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (a KVIC unit).

The paint is free from heavy metals like lead, mercury, chromium, arsenic, cadmium and others. It will be a boost to local manufacturing and will create sustainable local employment through technology transferThis technology will  increase consumption of cow dung as a raw material for eco-friendly products and will generate additional revenue to farmers and gaushalasThis is estimated to generate additional income of Rs 30,000 (approx) per annum per animal to farmers/ gaushalas. Utilization of cow dung will also clean the environment and prevent clogging of drains.

Khadi Prakritik Distemper & Emulsion Paints have been tested at 3 reputed National Laboratories

  • National Test House, Mumbai
  • Shri Ram Institute for Industrial Research, New Delhi
  • National Test House, Ghaziabad

Khadi Prakritik Emulsion paint meets BIS 15489:2013 standardswhereas Khadi Prakritik Distemper paint meets BIS 428:2013 standards.

India continues to report Sustained Decline in daily New cases; 16,311 new cases in the last 24 hours

India has been registering declining daily new cases since  many days continuously. 16,311 New Cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

India’s daily new fatalities have also declined substantially.

Less than 170 daily deaths were recorded after 229 days. Declining new cases and high rate of recovery  have in tandem resulted in continuous fall in the country’s active caseload on a sustained basis.

India’s total Active Caseload has fallen to 2.25 lakh (2,22,526) today. The present active caseload consists of just 2.13%of India’s Total Positive Cases.

16,959 cases have recovered and discharged in the last 24hours. This has led to a net decline of 809 from the total active caseload.

The total recovered cases stand at 10,092,909. The gap between Recovered Cases and Active Cases, that is steadily increasing, is nearing 99 lakhs and presently stands at 98,70,383.

The Recovery Rate is also improved to 96.43% today. This is amongst the highest the world over.

78.56% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs.

Kerala has reported the maximum number of single day recoveries with 4,659 newly recovered cases. 2,302 people recovered in Maharashtra followed by 962 in Chhattisgarh.

80.25% of the new cases are concentrated in 9 States and UTs.

Kerala has also reported the highest daily new cases at 4,545. It is followed by Maharashtra with 3,558new cases.

161case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours.

Six States/UTs account for 69.57% of the daily deaths.

Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (34). Kerala and West Bengal follow with 23 and 19 daily deaths, respectively.

PM to address valedictory function of 2nd National Youth Parliament Festival on 12 January

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will address the valedictory function of the second National Youth Parliament Festival on 12th January 2021 at 10:30 AM via video conferencing. Three national winners of the Festival will also express their views during the event. Lok Sabha Speaker, Union Education Minister and Union MoS (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports will also be present on the occasion.


National Youth Parliament Festival

The objective of the National Youth Parliament Festival (NYPF) is to hear the voice of youth between 18 and 25 years of age, who are allowed to vote and will join various careers in coming years, including public services. NYPF is based on the idea given by the Prime Minister in his Mann Ki Baat Address on 31st December 2017. Taking inspiration from the idea, the first NYPF was organised from 12 January to 27 February 2019 with the theme “Be the Voice of New India and Find solutions and Contribute to Policy”. A total of 88,000 youth participated in the program.

The second NYPF was launched on 23rd December 2020 through virtual mode.  2.34 lakh youth from across the country participated in the first stage. It was followed by State Youth Parliaments through virtual mode from 1 to 5 January 2021. The finals of the second NYPF will be held in the Central Hall of the Parliament on 11th January, 2021. 29 National winners will get an opportunity to speak before the National Jury comprising of Ms. Roopa Ganguly, MP, Rajya Sabha, Shri Parvesh Sahib Singh, MP, Lok Sabha and Shri Prafulla Ketkar, eminent journalist. The top three winners will get an opportunity to speak before the Prime Minister in the valedictory function on 12th January.


National Youth Festival

National Youth Festival is celebrated every year from 12th to 16th January. 12th January being the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, is observed as National Youth Day. This year, NYPF is also being organized along with the National Youth Festival.

The objective of the National Youth Festival is to bring youth of the country together to showcase their talents; provide them an arena, by creating a mini-India, where youth interact in formal and informal settings and exchange their social and cultural uniqueness. It is also to promote national integration, spirit of communal harmony, brotherhood, courage and adventure. The basic aim is to propagate the spirit, essence and concept of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.

Due to COVID-19, the 24th National Youth Festival is being held in virtual mode. ‘YUVAAH – Utsah Naye Bharat Ka’ is the theme of this year’s festival, which suggests, the youth bring alive the celebration of New India. The opening ceremony of the 24th National Youth Festival and the closing ceremony of 2nd National Youth Parliament Festival will both take place on 12th January, 2021 in the Central Hall of Parliament. Closing ceremony of the 24th National Youth Festival will take place in Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi on 16th January, 2021.

Ministry of Education issues guidelines for identification, admission and continued education of migrant children

In order to mitigate the impact of challenges thrown by the COVID-19 pandemic for out of school children, it was felt necessary for every State/UT to devise a proper strategy for preventing increased drop outs, lower enrolments, loss of learning and deterioration in the gains made in providing universal access, quality and equity in the recent years.

Thus the Ministry of Education had issued guidelines for identification, admission and continued education of migrant children.

In order to ensure that school going children have access to education with quality and equity and to minimize the impact of the pandemic on school education across the country, the Ministry of Education has prepared and issued detailed guidelines on steps to be taken by the States and UTs during school closure and when the school re-open.

The main features of the Guidelines are :

A.        Continued Education for Out of School Children (OoSC) and Children with Special Needs (CWSN)

  • Continuation of non-residential training for identified Out of School children through volunteers, local teachers and community participation.
  • Continuation of home based education for CWSN children through Volunteers/ Special Educators.

B.        Identifying Out of School Children

  • States and UTs to carry out proper identification of OoSC for 6 to 18 years age group through a comprehensive door to door survey and prepare action plan for their enrolment

C.        Enrolment Drives and Awareness Generation

  • Enrolment drives may be undertaken at the beginning of academic year such as Praveshotsav, School Chalo Abhiyan etc.
  • Undertake awareness generation among parents and community for enrolling and attendance of children
  • Create awareness on practicing 3 Corona appropriate behaviors – wear mask, six-feet distance and washing hands with soap for which IEC material shared on 06.11.2020 with the States & UTs.

D.        Student Support while Schools are closed

  • Students to be provided support including counseling, large scale awareness & targeted home visits
  • Using Manodarpan web portal and tele-counseling number for counseling services and psycho-social support.
  • Distribution of educational material and resources, supplementary graded material, workshops, worksheets etc to support home-based education
  • Exploring option of classroom on wheels and classes in small groups at village level
  • Increasing the access of children to online/digital resources, TV Radio etc. to reduce learning loss
  • Ensuring easy and timely access to the provisions of uniforms, textbooks and MDM
  • Timely disbursement  of stipend to enrolled CWSN girls through DBT
  • Strengthening of Child protection mechanism at local level

E.        Student Support on School Reopening

  • Preparation and running of School readiness modules/Bridge course for initial period when the schools re-open so that they can adjust to the school environment and do not feel stressed or left-out.
  • Identification of students across different grades based on their learning levels
  • Relaxing detention norms to prevent drop out this year.
  • Ensuring reading with comprehension and numeracy skills by encouraging children to  read books beyond syllabus and creative writing & problem solving.
  • Large-scale remedial programmes/Learning Enhancement programmes to mitigate learning loss and inequality.

F.         Teacher Capacity Building

  • Effective utilization of the online NISHTHA training modules and online training module for Corona responsive behavior to be launched on DIKSHA portal soon.
  • Use of alternative Academic Calendar prepared by NCERT for joyful engagement of children in learning.

PM condoles loss of lives in plane crash in Indonesia

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed deep grief over the loss of lives in plane crash in Indonesia.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate plane crash in Indonesia. India stands with Indonesia in this hour of grief.”

Sustained Decline in number of Daily Fatalities; daily deaths below 300 since the last 16 days

The focused efforts of Centre and State/UT governments on effective clinical management of the hospitalized cases have ensured sustained decline in India’s Fatality Rate which is 1.44% today. With effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardized clinical management protocols based on holistic Standard of Care Protocol across government and private hospitals, the number of new deaths have dipped.

Less than 300 new deaths are being recorded in the country since the last 16 days.

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-10 at 10.30.26 AM (1).jpeg

As part of the COVID management and response policy, there has been a sharp focus of the Central Government on not only containing the COVID, but to reduce deaths and to save lives by providing quality clinical care to the critical and severe patients of COVID. Collaborative efforts of the Union and State/UT governments have resulted in strengthening of the health facilities across the country.

India has one of the lowest Deaths per Million population (109). Countries like Russia, Germany, Brazil, France, USA, UK and Italy have much higher deaths per million population.

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-10 at 10.16.32 AM.jpeg

India’s present active caseload of 2,23,335 consists of just 2.14% of India’s Total Positive Cases. A recovery of 19,299 cases in the last 24 hours has ensured a decline of 855 cases from the Total Active Caseload.

The figure shows the change in the Active Cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra recorded maximum positive change with an addition of 1,123 cases whereas Rajasthan shows maximum negative change with a drop of 672 cases.

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-10 at 9.56.57 AM.jpeg

Active Cases per million population in India are amongst the lowest in the world. The number for India is 162 whereas countries like Brazil, Russia, Germany, Italy, UK and USA have much higher active caseload per million population.

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-10 at 10.14.33 AM.jpeg

The total recovered cases are at 10,075,950 todayThe Recovery Rate has improved to 96.42%.

Prime Minister reviews status of COVID-19 and preparedness for COVID19 vaccination

The Prime Minister chaired a high-level meeting to review the status of COVID-19 in the country along with the preparedness of the State/UTs for COVID vaccination, today. Meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Health Secretary, and other senior officials concerned.

The Prime Minister took a detailed and comprehensive review of status of COVID management covering various issues. Emergency Use Authorisation or Accelerated Approval has been granted by the National Regulator for two vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) which have established safety & immunogenicity.

The Hon’ble PM was also briefed about the preparedness status of the Centre in close collaboration with the State and UT governments for roll out of the vaccine in the near future. The vaccination exercise in underpinned by the principles of people’s participation (Jan Bhagidari); utilizing experience of elections (booth strategy) and Universal Immunization Program (UIP); no compromise of existing healthcare services, especially national programs and primary health care; no compromise on scientific and regulatory norms, other SOPs; and an orderly and smooth implementation driven by technology.

The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine will provide priority to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers who are estimated to be around 3 cr, followed by those above 50 years of age and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities numbering around 27 cr.

The Prime Minister was also apprised about the Co-WIN Vaccine Delivery Management System. The unique digital platform will provide real time information of vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccine. This platform will assist the program managers across all levels through automated session allocation for pre-registered beneficiaries, their verification and for generating a digital certificate upon successful completion of the vaccine schedule. More than 79 lakh beneficiaries have been already registered on the platform.

As the vaccinators and vaccine administrators comprise a crucial pillar of the vaccination exercise, their training process was detailed out. 2,360 participants were trained during national level Training of Trainers which comprised state immunization officers, cold chain officers, IEC officials, development partners etc. More than 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members have been trained so far as part of trainings at States, Districts and Block levels.

The Prime Minister was also apprised on the three phases of dry runs having been conducted across the country. The third dry run was conducted yesterday across 615 districts covering 4895 session sites in 33 States/UTs.

After the detailed review, it was decided that in view of the forthcoming festivals including Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu etc., the COVID19 vaccination will start from 16th January 2021.

A High Level Committee headed by the Prime Minister constituted to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

A High Level Committee, headed by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has been constituted to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a befitting manner. A gazette notification to this effect was issued today.

The High Level Committee will decide on the activities for a one year long commemoration, beginning 23rdJanuary 2021. The Members of the Committee include distinguished citizens, historians, authors, experts, family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, as well as eminent persons associated with Azad Hind Fauj (INA). The Committee will lend guidance to the commemoration activities in Delhi, Kolkata and other places associated with Netaji and Azad Hind Fauj, both in India as well as overseas.

Click here for gazette notification of High Level Committee


Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Corona took India back to its original ethos

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Corona has enabled us to go back to our original Indian ethos and practices like hand wash and Namaste have come into vogue with greater vigour. He said, Covid has awakened us all on the importance of healthcare as a national priority and also made the world aware of the virtues of social distancing hygiene, cleanliness, yoga, Ayurveda and traditional medicine, etc. Now they have come to trust this much more than earlier on and there is a renewed interest in yoga, Ayurveda etc. which have always been thrust areas for PM Narendra Modi. He was addressing a session with Sadhguru on “Inner Engineering-Technologies for Well Being” at the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA).

During the lockdown period particularly, Dr Jitendra Singh observed, many people resorted to Yoga not only to seek a betterment in their immunity status, but also to get over the pangs of loneliness and anxiety. He said, one of the fall-outs of the post-COVID era would be that even after the Corona virus is gone, those who have become habitual of Yoga during the lockdown period, will most likely continue to practise it for the rest of their lives, thus turning it into a lifetime blessing.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the ultimate aim of Good Governance is to bring ease of living for the common citizen and strongly supported Sadhguru for saying that happy and joyful administrators will spread happiness in every sphere of life.

Sadhguru in his address said that India had always been a land of seekers with no rigid belief system. It never had a culture of conquest, but it was always a land of enquiry and added that we must maintain this ethos for our Republic to thrive on.

Sadhgurusaid that Corona virus demands a conscious responsible behaviour and this teaching is all the more relevant for leaders and administrators for delivering greater good to common man.

India registers an unprecedented hike in Testing with more than 18 cr tests

India has demonstrated an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cumulative tests. It has crossed the landmark of 18 crore (18,02,53,315) total tests today.

9,16,951 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.


Progressive countrywide expansion in testing infrastructure has played a crucial role in the steep rise of testing numbers. With 2316 testing labs in the country including 1201 Government laboratories and 1115 Private laboratories, the daily testing capacity has got a substantial boost.

High level of comprehensive testing on a sustained basis has also resulted in bringing down the national positivity rate.


The cumulative rate continues to decline as total tests cross 18 crore.  The national cumulative positivity rate is 5.79% today. It has reduced from 8.93% to 5.79% in a span of five months.



15 States/UTs have positivity Rate less than the National Average. Bihar has the lowest Positivity Rate with 1.44%.


India’s Tests per Million (TPM) stand at 130618.3 today. With the increase in testing infrastructure, the TPM has also increased exponentially.


22 States/UTs have better Tests per Million population than the national average.


13 States and UTs have lower tests per million population compared to the national figure, indicting the need for higher testing in these regions.



India also registered 19,253 new recoveries in the same duration which has led to a further contraction of the Active Caseload. India’s present active caseload of 2,24,190 consists of just 2.15% of India’s Total Positive Cases.

The total recovered cases are at 10,056,651 todayThe Recovery Rate has improved to 96.41%. The gap between Recovered cases and Active cases is steadily increasing and presently stands at 9,832,461.

78.89% of the new recovered cases is contributed by ten States/UTs.

Kerala saw 5,324 persons recovering from COVID. Maharashtra and West Bengal reported 2,890 and 1,136 new recoveries, respectively.


18,222 cases were registered in the last 24 hours.

Ten States/UTs have contributed 79.83% of the new cases.

Kerala reported 5,142 cases in the last 24 hours. Maharashtra recorded 3,693 new cases while Karnataka reported 970 daily cases yesterday.


76.32% of the 228 case fatalities that have been reported in the past 24 hours are from Seven States/UTs.

Maharashtra reported 73 deaths. Kerala also saw a figure fatality count of 23 followed by 21 in West Bengal.


The third massive countrywide mock drill conducted yesterday for ensuring the readiness of all preparations and simulate a seamless and glitch free vaccine administration, covered 4895 session sites across 615 districts in 33 States/UTs.

PM condoles demise of Professor Chitra Ghosh

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed grief over the demise of Professor Chitra Ghosh.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Professor Chitra Ghosh made pioneering contributions to academics and community service. I recall my interaction with her, when we discussed many subjects including declassification of files relating to Netaji Bose. Saddened by her demise. Condolences to her family. Om Shanti.”