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New Delhi, Apr 15 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 9.40 pm: NATION DEL11 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: Over 2 lakh fresh cases in India, record increase in daily infections New Delhi: India added a record over 2 lakh new COVID-19 infections in a day pushing the total tally of cases to 1,40,74,564, while the active cases surpassed the 14-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

DEL82 EC-WB-POLLS Ending speculation, EC says no plan to club last 3 phases of Bengal polls New Delhi: The Election Commission on Thursday dismissed speculation that the last three phases of assembly polls in West Bengal could be clubbed in view of the surge in coronavirus cases in the country.

DEL89 EC-2NDLD-DILIP-CAMPAIGN-BAN 24-hour campaign ban on BJP's Dilip Ghosh over his Sitalkuchi remarks New Delhi: The Election Commission Thursday evening imposed a 24-hour campaign ban on the BJP's West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh for his 'there will be Sitalkuchi in several places' remarks.

DEL64 DL-VIRUS-2NDLD CURFEW-KEJRIWAL CM announces curfew on coming weekend in Delhi; malls, gyms, spas to be closed till Apr 30 New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a curfew this coming weekend and the closure of malls, gymnasiums and auditoriums till April 30 as part of sweeping restrictions to break the chain of the COVID-19 infection in the city. DEL44 VACCINE-EMERGENCY LD APPROVALS Foreign produced COVID-19 vaccines: Decision on emergency use applications to be taken in 3 days New Delhi: India's drug regulator will take a decision on applications seeking approval for restricted emergency use of foreign produced COVID-19 vaccines within three working days from the date of submission, the government said on Thursday.

DEL76 SPACE-INDOFRANCE-LD GAGANYAAN India, France sign agreement for cooperation on Gaganyaan mission New Delhi: Space agencies of India and France on Thursday signed an agreement for cooperation for the former's first human space mission, Gaganyaan, a move that will enable Indian flight physicians to train at French facilities.

DEL58 DIALOGUE-SINOINDIA-RAWAT India will not get pushed under any pressure: CDS Gen Rawat on Ladakh standoff with China New Delhi: India stood firm in preventing a change of status quo on the northern borders and the country proved it will not get pushed under any pressure, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said on Thursday, referring to the border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.

DEL67 NEET-POSTPONED NEET-PG postponed in view of rising number of COVID-19 cases: Vardhan New Delhi: In view of a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (postgraduate), which was scheduled to be held on April 18, has been postponed, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday. DEL78 MHA-OCI OCI cardholders now required to get document re-issued only once at age of 20 New Delhi: Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders will now be required to get their document re-issued only once at the age of 20 instead of multiple times needed to be done currently.

DEL12 RAHUL-VIRUS Government only indulging in sham of COVID 'vaccine festival', Rahul Gandhi alleges New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday attacked the government over the handling of the COVID-19 situation and alleged that it is only indulging in a 'sham' of a 'vaccine festival'.

DEL36 DEF-LD PAKISTAN-BOAT Coast guard, ATS apprehend boat carrying 8 Pakistanis, 30 kg heroin near Gujarat New Delhi: The Indian Coast Guard along with the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad apprehended a fishing boat, carrying eight Pakistani nationals and 30 kg of heroin, near Kutch district's Jakhau coast on Thursday, an official statement said.

DEL39 UKD-VIRUS-LD KUMBH Over 1,700 test positive for COVID-19 in Kumbh Mela over 5-day period Dehradun/Rishikesh: Over 1,700 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela area from April 10 to 14 confirming fears that one of the world's largest religious gatherings may contribute further to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

LEGAL LGD26 SC-LD ISRO SPY-REPORT SC asks CBI to conduct further probe into role of erring cops in ISRO espionage case New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday ordered that the report of a high-level committee on the role of erring police officials in 1994 espionage case relating to ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan be given to the CBI and directed the agency to conduct further investigation on the issue.

LGD28 DL-COURT-LD RIOTS 2020 Delhi riots: Court grants bail to Umar Khalid New Delhi: A Delhi court on Thursday granted bail to former JNU student Umar Khalid in a case related to the communal violence in northeast Delhi in February last year, saying that he cannot be made to incarcerate in jail for infinity.

LGD17 DL-HC-3RDLD MARKAZ HC allows 50 people to offer namaz 5 times a day at Nizamuddin Markaz during Ramzan New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday allowed 50 people to offer namaz five times a day at Nizamuddin Markaz during Ramzan, saying there is no direction in the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) notification to close down places of worship.

BUSINESS DEL35 BIZ-LD INFLATION WPI inflation spikes to over 8-year high of 7.39% in March New Delhi: The wholesale price-based inflation shot up to over 8-year high of 7.39 per cent in March on rising crude oil and metal prices. DEL77 BIZ-LD CITIBANK Citi to exit consumer banking biz in India; to focus on institutional segment Mumbai: American banking major Citibank on Thursday announced exiting the high visibility consumer banking business in India as part of a global strategy.

DEL84 BIZ-VIRUS-SUPPLIES Centre asks states to ensure availability of essential supplies, stop panic buying by consumers New Delhi: Amid concerns over availability of essential items in view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Centre on Thursday directed state governments to take steps to stop panic buying by people and ensure there is no hike in prices of key supplies.

FOREIGN FGN58 US-RUSSIA-LDALL SANCTIONS US expels 10 Russian diplomats, imposes new sanctions in response to election interference and cyber hacks Washington: The US on Thursday announced the expulsion 10 Russian diplomats and slapped sanctions on over 30 individuals and key financial institutions as it held Moscow accountable for interference in last year's presidential election and the hacking of American federal agencies. By Lalit K Jha FGN46 UAE-INDOPAK UAE played role in bringing down tension between India and Pakistan: senior Emirati diplomat Dubai: The United Arab Emirates played a role in bringing down the tension between India and Pakistan and getting their bilateral ties back to a 'healthy functional relationship', Emirati ambassador to the US Yousef al-Otaiba has said. PTI HDA