The nation celebrated joyous festival of Makar Sankranti with zeal on January 14. On this auspicious occasion, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Gujarat's Rajkot was decked up with colourful kites. The idol of god was beautifully decorated with different varieties of kites and 'charkhi'. Devotees enjoyed the mesmerising scenario of the temple.
With celebration of 'Uttarayan' festival around the corner, the markets in Gujarat's Rajkot city are fully decked up with varieties of kites. A 'Patang Mela' was organised in Rajkot at a large scale. Around 1400 varieties of kites were displayed in the kite fair. The kites included COVID-19 pandemic themed kites. Kites also carried images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma. Different varieties of kites attracted the buyers in large numbers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Light House Projects (LHPs) under Global Housing Technology Challenge-India on January 01 via video conferencing. LHPs will be constructed in Indore, Rajkot, Chennai, Ranchi, Agartala and Lucknow, comprising about 1,000 houses at each location along with allied infrastructure facilities. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C), Hardeep Singh Puri, and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, CM of Gujarat, and Vijay Rupani along with other CMs were present at the event.
Following the recent delivery of million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from India on grant, Nepal is expected to begin an inoculation drive against the infection from next week.With the announcement of this valuable vaccination drive starting in next ten days, Nepal's Minister of Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi requested India for continued support to deliver adequate numbers of vaccines to the Himalayan Nation to inoculate 72 percent of nearly 3 million population. COVISHIELD produced by Serum Institute of India reached the Himalyan nation on Thursday afternoon. The vaccine that arrived Nepal in grant assistance would be first administered to frontline workers. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra also assured that India would continue to work on the spirit of People first and Neighborhood first Policy.
Hard of hearing people use visual cues, like the movement of another person’s lips, to understand and interact with others. But since the pandemic struck, the use of face masks has interfered with people's ability to communicate clearly.
Sunday's presidential election in Portugal comes at a very difficult moment in the fight against COVID-19. The country is under lockdown and the traditional last round of political campaigning has been scrapped. Now candidates and observers fear a record-low voter turnout, casting doubt on polls.
After witnessing the shortest-ever Diwali break of 5 days, Surat's diamond industry experienced an increase in export of diamonds. In comparison to 2019, export of diamonds increased by 92% in November, this year. This is because of the halt the industry suffered for 4-5 months. Diamond units got a chance to recover from the losses they suffered during lockdown.
On eve of Christmas, Jammu and Kashmir Government organised special event in Srinagar. To bring cheer among people, Department of Tourism along with Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) organised the event. Director of Kashmir Tourism, Nissar Ahmad Wani said, "Today, we are celebrating Christmas Eve because on the day of Christmas, the fathers of church are not able to come out. We wanted to celebrate it on a good level so we have organised cultural programs, carols etc. Our aim was to celebrate Christmas and to pray god to bless us with a great year." A number of people irrespective of the religion attended the event. A cake-making competition was also organised there. A cake-maker named Arwah Siraj said, "This is a very good thing that Dept of Tourism and SKICC organised this event where people from different religion are celebrating Christmas together. This is a very big thing that such big event is organised post COVID-induced lockdown. This is the speciality of Kashmiris that we celebrate the festivals together no matter it is Eid, Diwali or Christmas." Cake was distributed among the attendees to celebrate Christmas. The cultural program was also held to mark the celebration. The special event also gave the message of brotherhood and communal harmony.
As Gujarat saw rise in COVID-19 cases post Diwali, it has become necessary for the citizens to wear masks and follow basic guidelines to again defeat the virus. With this aim, a tea seller in Vadodara city is distributing free masks with a cup of tea to his customers. Sapan Machi, who runs his tea stall named 'Shree Sainath Tea Center' in Bajwada area, is doing his part to ensure Gujarat gets past what can be called a second wave of coronavirus in the western state. Sapan has so far distributed around 650 masks to his customers, and has pledged to continue this good deed till the virus is eliminated.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on January 19 said that the government has decided to rename the dragon fruit as 'Kamalam' since it resembles to lotus. According to the CM, the word dragon fruit sounded inappropriate and so the Gujarat government has decided the fruit be called Kamalam. "Farmers say it looks like lotus and that is the reason we have renamed it 'Kamalam. So, the Gujarat government has decided to call the fruit Kamalam," said Chief Minister Rupani. Appreciating the government's decision, a shopkeeper in Ahmedabad said, "It's good that the government has decided to rename the fruit as Kamalam. India and China keep fighting. So, it's better to name it as Indian fruit." Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio program Mann Ki Baat in July 2019 had praised the farmers of Kutch for the cultivation of dragon fruit so that India can be self-reliant.
The famous bhajan singer Narendra Chanchal passed away at age of 80 in Delhi on January 22. He was known for his religious songs and bhajans. Singer Daler Mehndi shared the news of his death on Twitter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted to express grief over death of the iconic singer.
Congress lashed out at the Modi government and sought a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into the leaked WhatsApp chats of journalist Arnab Goswami. Congress leader KC Venugopal said that it is evident that some from the highest echelons of the government were involved in leaking sensitive military information to a journalist. The Congress leader added that the breach of secrecy concerning vital military operations was shameful and questioned the Modi government’s silence over the issue. He said that the Congress would hold the Modi government accountable and demanded punishment for the guilty. Watch the full video for all the details.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with beneficiaries and vaccinators of COVID-19 vaccination drive in Varanasi, via video conferencing. PM Modi said, "The biggest vaccination program in the world is going on in our country. Today, the nation has willpower to manufacture its own vaccine- not one but two Made in India vaccines. Vaccines are reaching every corner of the country. India is absolutely self-reliant in this regard."
CDS Gen Bipin Rawat lauded Indian pilots at Desert Knight exercise. General Rawat said that Indian pilots are able to adapt quickly. "Air forces of India and France have been doing exercises since 2002. Rafale, Mirage, Sukhoi aircraft were used in the training. This shows how quickly Indian pilots have adapted to Rafale," he said. Rawat added, "Our pilots are able to operate different aircraft. We saw France’s MRTT aircraft in the training. We saw how our jets were refueling from this aircraft." France's Rafale jets were seen landing at Jodhpur air force base on January 20. The jets took part in joint training 'Exercise Desert Knight'. Airbus 330 multirole tanker transport was also seen landing in Jodhpur.
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Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat attended 'Indo-French joint exercise Desert Knight-21' in Jodhpur on January 21. "The Indian and French air forces have been holding bilateral exercises since 2002. Today we have witnessed 'Exercise Desert Knight 2021'. The significance of this exercise is that Rafale fighters which have been inducted recently in our Air Force and French Rafale aircrafts along with our (Indian) Su-30s, Mirages have trained together and we have shown that how quickly we have adapted to Rafale fighters," said General Bipin Rawat. He also added, "We also flew in a French multirole transport aircraft (Airbus-330) in which they can ferry passengers, do mid-air refuelling and can also convert it into a medical facility too for medical emergencies. We also saw how our Rafales, Su-30s and Mirages were refuelling from it."