HIGHLIGHTS

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New Delhi, Mar 16 (PTI) These are the top stories at 1700 hours: NATION DEL10 VIRUS-LD CASES India records 24,492 new COVID-19 cases, 131 deaths; infection tally crosses 1.14 crore New Delhi: India recorded 24,492 new COVID-19 cases, registering more than 20,000 cases for the sixth day in a row, taking the infection tally past 1.14 crore, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday.

DEL11 BIZ-BANK-STRIKE Nationwide bank strike continues to impact PSB services on Day 2 New Delhi: Bank strike continued for day-two on Tuesday, led by nine unions of public sector banks (PSBs) in the country, opposing government's policy to privatise the lenders.

CAL7 WB-POLL-MAMATA Frustrated over 'poor' turnout in poll rallies, Amit Shah hatching conspiracy to harass us: Mamata Mejia (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused Union Home Minister Amit Shah of hatching a conspiracy to harass TMC leaders ahead of the assembly elections in the state and wondered whether the Election Commission is working as per his instructions. DEL38 CONG-BANK STRIKE Bank strike: Cong asks govt to accept demands of unions, stop privatisation New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday asked the government to accept the demands of the nine unions of public sector banks (PSBs) that are on a two-day strike to protest privatisation of two PSBs, and accused the Centre of working for the benefit of a few 'crony capitalists'.

DEL35 CAB-DFI Cabinet approves Bill to set up DFI New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill to set up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) to generate funds for investment in the infrastructure sector.

DEL43 ENV-AIR POLLUTION-REPORT 22 of world's 30 most polluted cities are in India: Report New Delhi: Twenty-two of the world's 30 most polluted cities are in India, with Delhi being ranked as the most polluted capital city globally, a new report said on Tuesday. DEL20 LD DASGUPTA Swapan Dasgupta tenders resignation as Rajya Sabha member New Delhi: Nominated Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta on Tuesday tendered his resignation from the upper house of Parliament after being named as a BJP candidate in the West Bengal assembly elections.

DEL14 HEALTH-LD VACCINATIONS Over 30 lakh vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday, highest so far New Delhi: More than 30 lakh people were inoculated against COVID-19 on March 15, the highest in a day so far, taking the total number of vaccine doses administered in the country to 3,29,47,432, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

DEL13 HEALTH-AYUSHMAN BHARAT Record beneficiaries verified in single day under Ayushman campaign New Delhi: As many as 8,35,089 beneficiaries were verified on March 14 under the 'Aapke Dwar Ayushman' campaign, the highest in a single day since the launch of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana scheme, the National Health Authority said on Tuesday PAR11 LS-LD RAIL-GOYAL Indian Railways will never be privatised: Goyal New Delhi: Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday asserted that Indian Railways will never be privatised but said private investment should be encouraged for more efficient functioning. DEL15 SPEAKER-EXPANSIONISM India has clearly stated policy against expansionism, terrorism: Speaker New Delhi: India has a clearly stated policy against expansionism and terrorism, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Tuesday at an event to welcome the president of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU).

BOM4 MH-BORDER ROW-SENA Border row: Sena wants Belgaum to be declared Union Territory Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said Belgaum should be declared as a Union Territory, alleging that atrocities on Marathi-speaking people by pro-Kannada outfits were continuing there.

CAL1 BH-BJP-QURAN BJP condemns Rizvi's SC petition over Quran verses: Shahnawaz Patna: Senior BJP leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain on Tuesday slammed former chairman of UP Shia Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi for approaching the Supreme Court seeking removal of some verses of Quran, and said that his party is firmly against those who insult any religious texts.

LEGAL LGD1 SC-ZAKIA Gujarat riots: SC to hear plea of Zakia Jafri against SIT's clean chit to Modi on April 13 New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday fixed for hearing on April 13 the plea of Zakia Jafri, wife of slain MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the SIT's clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots, saying it would not entertain any request of adjournment on the next date.

FOREIGN FGN11 BANGLA-INDIA India, Bangladesh likely to sign three MoUs during PM Modi's visit Dhaka: India and Bangladesh are likely to sign three MoUs during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka next week to attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country's independence and the birth centenary of its founder ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

FGN5 UK-JOHNSON-INDIA Boris Johnson to visit India in April-end to ‘unlock’ Indo-Pacific opportunities London: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India at the end of April on his first major international tour following the UK’s exit from the European Union, Downing Street has announced, as Britain seeks to 'unlock' the opportunities in the strategic Indo-Pacific region. By Aditi Khanna. PTI HDA