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Morning Brief: Modi to address nation on COVID-19, Gogoi to take oath

Here are the key news stories to watch out for Thursday, March 19
Morning Brief: Modi to address nation on COVID-19, Gogoi to take oath
Morning Brief: Modi to address nation on COVID-19

ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Modi to address nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address the nation at 8pm on Thursday to talk about the situation arising out of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the efforts to combat it.

The PMO said on Wednesday that Modi had chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The prime minister has emphasised on need for actively engaging with individuals, local communities and organisations in chalking out mechanisms to fight the coronavirus menace. Modi has been regularly taking to social media, urging people to prepare themselves but not panic. He has supported the idea of avoiding non-essential travel and limiting gatherings to check the spread of the virus.

Ranjan Gogoi to take oath in Rajya Sabha

Former chief justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is expected to take oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha at 11am on Thursday. Gogoi was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by President Ram Nath Kovind earlier this week, triggering criticism from opposition parties that the Narendra Modi government had been influencing the judiciary. Gogoi had said he would respond to the criticisms after taking oath as a Rajya Sabha member.

Delhi L-G, Kejriwal to meet to discuss COVID-19 measures

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are scheduled to hold a high-level meeting on Thursday to take further measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Reports on Wednesday said the Delhi government was mulling shutting down its offices in view of the coronavirus situation; only essential services like health and public transport will be exempt.

"Health department, public transport and food and civil supplies department are among government departments that will continue to function. Registration of properties, issuance of driving licence may be stopped," a source told PTI.

A Delhi government employees' association met the chief minister on Wednesday and demanded closure of all government offices for a week in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Umesh Batra, general secretary of the Delhi Government Employees Welfare Association, said around 2.5 lakh people are employed with the Delhi government and most of them are engaged in public dealings.

Yes Bank removal from Nifty

Embattled private sector lender Yes Bank will be excluded from the NIFTY 50 and other Nifty indices from Thursday. The move comes following the troubles at the bank, which is in the middle of a reconstruction scheme, led by State Bank of India. Shree Cement will replace Yes Bank in Nifty 50 and Bandhan Bank will take its place in Nifty bank index. Yes Bank resumed operations on Wednesday evening two weeks after the RBI imposed a moratorium on it.

Ambani at ED office

Industrialist Anil Ambani has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday for questioning in connection with the probe into the money-laundering allegations against Yes Bank. Ambani has been summoned to the Enforcement Directorate office at Ballard Estate in Mumbai.

Nine companies in the Anil Ambani group are stated to have taken loans of about Rs 12,800 crore from Yes Bank.

The Reliance Group had last week said in a statement that its entire debt from the bank was fully secured and was availed in the ordinary course of business. "Reliance Group is committed to honouring repayments of all its borrowings from Yes Bank Ltd through its various asset monetisation programmes which are all at advanced stages," the statement had said.

Nokia 5G phone

Nokia is set to launch its first 5G phone, the Nokia 8.5 5G, in an online event on Thursday. The event will be livestreamed on Nokia's official Facebook channel from 10pm.

According to reports, the Nokia 5G phone may have a circular camera module with four cameras.

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