HIGHLIGHTS AT 9.15 PM

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New Delhi, Mar 25 (PTI) These are the top stories at 9.15 pm: NATION DEL9 VIRUS-LD CASES Over 53,000 new COVID-19 cases recorded in single day, highest this year New Delhi: India added over one lakh coronavirus infections in just two days with 53,476 new cases in a span of 24 hours, the highest single day rise so far this year, pushing the nationwide COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,17,87,534, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

DEL69 PM-BANGLA-VISIT Happy my 1st foreign visit after COVID onset is to friendly neighbour Bangladesh: PM Modi New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said he will hold 'substantive discussions' with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during his two-day visit to Bangladesh, as he expressed happiness that his first foreign tour after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic would be to a friendly neighbouring country with which India shares deep ties.

PAR16 LS-2NDLD ADJOURN Budget session concludes, LS records 114 pc productivity New Delhi: Lok Sabha was on Thursday adjourned sine die, bringing an end to the nearly two-month-long Budget session which registered 114 per cent productivity.

PAR14 RS-LD ADJOURN-SINE DIE Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die New Delhi: Rajya Sabha was on Thursday adjourned sine die, 13 days ahead of its scheduled date of April 8, after the conclusion of the Budget session.

PAR13 RS-LD NABFID BILL Parliament passes bill to set up National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development New Delhi: Parliament on Thursday passed a bill to set up the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NABFID) to fund infrastructure projects in the country, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asserting that its audited accounts will be placed before both the Houses every year and they will have 'oversight' of the institution.

PAR11 LS-LD DATA-COMMITTEE Joint committee on data protection bill gets another extension to submit report New Delhi: The Joint Committee of Parliament examining the Personal Data Protection Bill was on Thursday given extension till the monsoon session to submit its report.

DEL76 DEF-NARAVANE-SINOINDIA After disengagement in Pangong, threat to India only 'abated' but not gone away altogether: Gen Naravane New Delhi: Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said on Thursday the threat to India has only 'abated' following the disengagement in Pangong lake areas in eastern Ladakh after the agreement with China but it has not gone away altogether.

DEL50 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-ECONOMY Lockdown anniversary: Worst behind, Indian economy poised for bounce back but rising virus cases a big risk New Delhi: Its recovery from the depths of the lockdown-induced recession was swifter than expected but a surge in coronavirus cases is threatening to hurt the Indian economy which is expected to grow at 11 per cent in 2021-22.

DEL25 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-POLITICS One year after lockdown: When political discourse became more acerbic, battleground shifted to virtual space New Delhi: The political battleground shifted to the virtual space for much of the 12 months since March 25 when the country went into lockdown, the distance lending itself not to detachment but to a more divisive and acerbic discourse as the country fought off a pandemic. By Asim Kamal DEL40 LOCKDOWN-ANNIVERSARY-LD DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Complaints of domestic violence against women spiked in year of lockdown: NCW data New Delhi: The number of complaints of domestic violence received by the National Commission for Women rose sharply from 2,960 in 2019 to 5,297 in 2020, the year of the lockdown when most people were confined to their homes due to COVID-19. The trend continues this year as well.

DEL65 JK-2NDLD ATTACK 2 CRPF personnel killed, as many injured in militant attack on outskirts of Srinagar Srinagar: Two CRPF personnel were killed and two jawans sustained injuries in a militant attack in Lawaypora on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday, police said. DEL56 HIMANTA-INTERVIEW Lobbying before Modi, Shah has no value; CM candidate will be their pick: Himanta Guwahati: BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday said any 'lobbying' before PM Narendra Modi or Home Minister Amit Shah has no value and that he will go by their decision on whether incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, he or any third person will head the ruling alliance if it retains power in Assam. By Kumar Rakesh DEL21 RAHUL-RSS Will no longer call RSS 'Sangh Parivar', it’s a misnomer: Rahul New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said it is not right to call the RSS and its associated groups 'Sangh Parivar' as a family has women, respect for elders, compassion and affection, and the organisation has none of these.

CAL8 WB-POLL-LD MAMATA New political party backed by BJP to eat into minority votes in Bengal polls: Mamata Patharpratima (WB): In an apparent reference to the Indian Secular Front, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday accused the BJP of backing a new political party to eat into minority votes during the upcoming assembly polls.

DEL63 FARMERS-BHARAT BANDH 'Bharat Bandh': Rail, road transport likely to be affected in parts of country New Delhi: Rail and road transportation services are likely to be affected and markets may remain closed in parts of the country on Friday as farmer unions protesting against the three agri laws have called a complete 'Bharat Bandh', even as it will not be observed in four poll-bound states and Puducherry.

MDS19 TN-TAX-2ND LD SEARCHES Taxmen search premises linked to DMK leader E V Velu in TN Chennai: Sleuths of the Income Tax investigation department on Thursday conducted searches in multiple premises linked to senior DMK leader and former Minister, E V Velu in poll bound Tamil Nadu.

BOM1 MH-SINGH-DESHMUKH Will welcome probe against me if Maha CM orders it: Deshmukh Mumbai: Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday said he would welcome a probe if Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray orders any into former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh's allegation of corruption against him.

LEGAL LGD17 SC-2NDLD PERMANENT COMMISSION Army's evaluation criteria for PC to women SSC officers shows systemic discrimination: SC New Delhi: The evaluation criteria set by the Army for granting permanent commission (PC) to women SSC officers constituted “systemic discrimination” which has caused an economic and psychological harm and an “affront to their dignity”, the Supreme Court said on Thursday.

LGD18 SC-2NDLD JOURNALIST SC quashes FIR against Mukhim, says free speech can't be stifled by criminal cases New Delhi: 'Free speech of the citizens of this country cannot be stifled by implicating them in criminal cases', the Supreme Court said on Thursday and quashed the FIR lodged against veteran journalist Patricia Mukhim for allegedly creating communal disharmony through her Facebook post.

LGD5 DL-HC-AKBAR Delhi HC to hear Akbar's plea against Ramani's acquittal in defamation case on May 5 New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday said it will hear on May 5 a plea by former Union minister M J Akbar challenging a trial court order acquitting journalist Priya Ramani in the criminal defamation case filed against her over allegations of sexual harassment.

BUSINES DEL33 BIZ-CONCLAVE-LD-DAS Economic revival to continue 'unabated'; rising Covid cases a concern, but lockdowns unlikely: RBI Guv Mumbai: The rising COVID-19 infections across the country are a matter of concern, but it may not impact the ongoing economic revival as one does not foresee lockdowns, Reserve Bank Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Thursday.

DEL28 BIZ-PETROL-PRICE-CUT Petrol price cut by 21 paise, diesel by 20 paise New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices were on Thursday cut for the second straight day as international oil prices cooled fell on prospects of speedy recovery in consumption getting clouded by second wave of COVID-19 cases.

DEL52 BIZ-LD STOCKS Market rout deepens on virus woes; Sensex tanks 740 pts amid F&O expiry Mumbai: Equity benchmarks crashed for the second straight session on Thursday as a spurt in COVID-19 cases in the country and fears of localised lockdowns triggered an across-the-board selloff. FOREIGN FGN40 CHINA-INDIA-BORDER Chinese military says situation in eastern Ladakh 'eased distinctly' but silent on further pullout of troops Beijing: The Chinese military on Thursday said the situation at eastern Ladakh has 'eased distinctly' thanks to the joint efforts with India on the disengagement of troops from the Pangong Lake area but gave no indication about when the pull out will take place from the remaining areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). By K J M Varma FGN44 CHINA-QUAD China says it firmly opposes Quad alliance Beijing: China said on Thursday that it was firmly opposed to the Quad alliance consisting of the US, India, Australia and Japan as it asked Washington to refrain from making 'troubles out of nothing' and do more to contribute to regional peace and stability. By K J M Varma FGN35 US-ADMIRAL-INDIA-LD RUSSIA India has longstanding relationship with Russia: American admiral Washington: India has had a longstanding relationship with Russia for security cooperation and for armaments and the Biden administration should encourage New Delhi to move away from Moscow rather than take the route of sanctions for the purchase of major defence equipment like the S-400 missile system, a top US admiral has told lawmakers. By Lalit K Jha FGN30 LANKA-INDIAN-LD FISHERMEN Sri Lanka Navy arrests 54 Indian fishermen, seizes 5 trawlers Colombo: The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested at least 54 Indian fishermen and seized five trawlers for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters, an official statement said here on Thursday. PTI HDA