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Rajasthan High Court notice to Centre over curbs on condom ads on TV

The Rajasthan High Court in Jaipur has issued a show cause notice to the Center for issuing an advisory to broadcasters about not telecasting and airing condom advertisements between 6 am and 10 pm. A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajong and Justice DC Somani issued the notices.Counsel for litigant, Prateek Kasliwal, told DNA, “Notices have been issued to two ministries, namely the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Ministry of Health to respond within eight weeks. They have been asked as to why the advisory should not be annulled on account of being arbitrary.”The said advisory had been issued citing exposure of children to explicit material and advertisements.The notices have been issued on a petition filed by an NGO called Global Alliance for Human Health, alleging that the action of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is against the interest of public.It also alleges that it vindicates the hypocritical approach wherein the government, on one hand, promotes awareness about family planning, AIDS and STD; and on the other hand, it obstructs dissemination of condom advertisements which are crucial for family planning, decreasing abortion deaths, and spreading awareness about HIV-AIDS and STDs.A copy of the PIL available with DNA further reads that children and adolescents must know about safe sex and be given sex education.The petition questioned the rationale of the advisory, “There is no iota of reason as to how an advertisement for condom is an unhealthy practice,” reads the PIL. “The same has also been interpreted wrong by the respondent as it would be creating unhealthy/indecent/undignified impression over children which would promote unhealthy/indecent/undignified practices among them, whereas the respondent, with all due respect, has ignored the vulnerable and major group of adolescents who require knowledge of sex education.”

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Since assuming power, Centre spent Rs 3,755 crore on ads: RTI

The Narendra Modi government has spent nearly Rs 3,755 crore in its three and a half years in power only on publicity, an RTI revealed on Friday.According to news agency IANS, the expenditure from April 2014 to October 2017 through electronic, print media and outdoor publicity is Rs. 37,54,06,23,616, according to the RTI reply by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.According to the information, the central government spent over Rs. 1,656 crore on electronic media advertisements, including — community radio, digital cinema, Doordarshan, Internet, SMS and TV.For print media, the government spent more than Rs. 1,698 crore.On outdoor advertisements, which include hoardings, posters, booklets and calendars, the central government has spent over Rs. 399 crore, the RTI reveals.In the RTI, the the Ministry gave a breakup of the expenditure according to which Rs. 448 crore was spent from June 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015, and Rs. 542 crore and Rs. 120 crore spent from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 and April 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016 respectively.The expenditure was only for television, Internet and other electronic media and did not include expenditure on outdoor and print advertisements.In 2015, another RTI had revealed that the Centre had spent nearly Rs. 8.5 crore on newspaper advertisements for the Prime Minister’s monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat” till July 2015.

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The Homecoming: Sunil Arora checks in Jaipur to check poll preparations

It was a sort of homecoming for Sunil Arora – the Rajasthan cadre high profile IAS officer who scaled up the ladder to assume constitutional post of Election Commissioner (EC) – when he landed at the Sanganer airport for the first time in 4 months after taking over as the EC. He was flown in a craft of Air India – the company which he had helmed between August 2003- December 2003. Arora received a grand welcome at the Airport with senior officials including State Chief Electoral Officer Ashwini Bhagat, Jaipur Collector Siddharth Mahajan and DCP Kunwar Rashtradeep lined up to receive him. He is scheduled to hold a meeting of senior officials to review preparations for the 2018 assembly elections. He will also participate in the function being held in the memory of former chief secretary M L Mehta on Thursday.Arora, widely acclaimed as a no-nonsense officer, is visiting various states where elections are scheduled in 2018. Those who have worked with Arora are aware that the 1980 batch IAS officer doesn’t have any room for slackness. Officials of election commission and collectorate are said to have done their homework well to see Arora off in a good humour. Arora’s career blossomed under the BJP governments – be it Bhairon Singh Shekhawat or Raje government in state or Vajpayee and Narendra Modi regimes at centre, Arora enjoyed plum postings. In the current Modi government Arora was privileged to handle two ministries – Skill Development and later Information & Broadcasting. So when Arora was made Election Commissioner, experts viewed it as a master stroke of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he is likely to be the Chief Election Commissioner during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
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New SOP may make govt officers push positive stories & track negative trends

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apart from disseminating government-related information to the media, departmental publicity officers may now have some new roles to play.They may now be required to closely track important events and assist in countering negative news trends, push positive stories about the government for improved publicity, and also leverage social media for effectively communicating the government’s perception over issues of national relevance.These could be part of a new Standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Press Information Bureau (PIB), constituted recently by its director general Frank Noronha, for disseminating information and the government’s reactions.According to sources, the new SOP could entail publicity officers to track pre- and post-coverage of events and alert relevant authorities in instances of negative trends so that they could be countered immediately. They may also have to put up positive stories about the government appearing in media and put it up to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), which can further publicise them on relevant platforms.Sources say I&B Minister Smriti Irani had also proposed that the publicity officer of each ministry will prepare a list of 10 prominent writers or speakers who would be sector experts, and can be asked to put across the government’s perspective on different media platforms on important matters. This could also feature in the proposed SOP for PIB.They will also have to coordinate with public service broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio regarding important government events to ensure adequate coverage and would also have to meet their technical requirements, as well as tweet and share reactions of ministers of different ministries.DNA had first reported about a circular issued by the I&B Ministry warning officers to refrain from speaking to media without permission from competent authorities, citing the PIB’s information dissemination manual which lays down guidelines for officers’ interaction with the media on the government’s behalf.The new SOP could be part of the existing manual and is likely to be finalised soon, sources said.

Supreme Court: Run Blue Whale warning film

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Friday directed state-run television network Doordarshan to use it prime time slot to broadcast programming warning viewers of the dangers of the so-called Blue Whale Challenge that has claimed a number of lives across the country.A bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has given the national broadcaster a week’s time in which to prepare its material. The next hearing has been set for November 20.The Blue Whale Challenge essentially goads players into carrying out a series of tasks, the final one being suicide.”The idea behind the programme is to make parents and children aware of the dangers of online games like Blue Whale. The message of the programme should be that children should not be trapped by the game. There are children who are lonely and frustrated. Definitely, visuals will have more impact,” Chief Justice Misra noted.The court made its observations while hearing a petition filed by advocate Sneha Kalita who sought immediate measures to ban/block all sites linked to the Blue Whale online game and other similar games.The apex court has also asked DD to consult with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Human Resource Development, and the Information and Broadcasting Ministry while preparing its programming.In a bid to increase the reach of the programming, the bench, which included Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, directed the “competent authority” to explore the possibility of doing so on private channels, as well as on other platforms.While explaining the dangers of the game, Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria outlined the various steps – 50 in all – that culminate in the player’s suicide.

Mersal row: South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce seeks action against BJP’s H Raja for watching film online

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC) today said it has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, seeking action against BJP leader H Raja for reportedly watching Tamil film ‘Mersal’ online.Referring to Raja’s remarks reported in a section of media in this regard, SIFCI President L Suresh said that the BJP National Secretary had “confessed” this in a section of the media.SIFCI is the apex body of studio owners, producers, distributors and exhibitors from all the southern states.Raja “confessed before a press reporter that he saw the aforesaid Tamil film on the internet, which is obviously a pirated version,” Suresh said in a statement.The BJP leader was “liable to be prosecuted” for this under the Tamil Nadu Video Piracy Act, he said, adding SIFCI had already made a complaint to the grievances cell of the PMO.”We have also written an official letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, requesting them to take suitable action against Mr H Raja for seriously violating the Piracy Act,” he said.The complaint against Raja “may be treated in a steadfast manner” by the PMO, he added.He wondered what would happen to the cinema industry if leaders watched pirated versions of films.On BJP’s demand for deletion of mocking references to Goods and Services Tax (GST) in ‘Mersal,’ starring Vijay, he said as per “several” court decisions, once a movie had been certified by the Censor board, a producer need not make any changes thereafter “at the whims and fancies of any political party or community leaders.”Raja had courted controversy yesterday when he reportedly said he had watched ‘Mersal,’ online, drawing rebuke from actor Vishal, who heads the Tamil Film Producers Council.Vishal, also general secretary of South Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA), had demanded an apology from Raja.However, Raja had clarified that he had only watched clips of the movie on his mobile phone.Piracy is one of the major issues being faced by the multi-crore Tamil cinema industry, with films being uploaded on certain websites soon after their release.The availability of pirated CDs and DVDs of new films is also an issue.Actor Vijay’s fans have been reportedly circulating the contentious scenes, allegedly mocking the central government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST), through mobile phones.Diwali release “Mersal” has kicked up a row with the BJP taking exception to references on GST in the movie.BJP leaders, including Raja, a national secretary in the party,state president Tamilisai Soundarajan and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, have been demanding that the “incorrect” references be deleted from the big-budget flick.However, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, his senior colleague P Chidambaram, DMK working president M K Stalin, veteran star Kamal Haasan and a host of Tamil cinema industry representatives had supported the film crew on the issue.

Anupam Kher deeply humbled to become FTII chairman, Gajendra Chauhan wishes him well

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actor Anupam Kher was appointed chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India, Information and Broadcasting ministry officials said. Kher replaces Gajendra Chauhan, who had a controversial tenure as head of the Pune-based institute. Reacting to the change of guard, Gajendra Chauhan said: “Anupam Kher has been appointed now as FTII Chairman, I hope he works well. My good wishes are with him.Prior to joining the FTII as its chairman, Kher has also held the chairman’s post in the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and National School of Drama (NSD). He is also the chairman of the acclaimed acting school ‘Actor Prepares.’The Padma Shri (2004) and Padma Bhushan (2016) awardee actor has more than 500 movies and several plays in his repertoire. FTII is India’s premier film and television institute, under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India. His term had ended in March. A notification regarding Kher’s appointment has been issued, officials saidWith inputs from PTI

After Rahul’s Amethi visit, Amit Shah, Smriti Irani to unveil slew of projects in Congress bastion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani will unveil a slew of projects in the Congress bastion Amethi on Tuesday.Shah’s visit comes three days after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi visited his Amethi constituency.Schemes and projects will be announced during Shah and Irani’s visit and beneficiaries of various schemes will be handed over certificates.Information and Broadcasting Minister Irani has already reached Amethi to oversee the preparations for Shah’s meetings. She will also attend the launch of a FM station at Gauriganj and an initiative to save Gomti river near Pipri village.Amethi has traditionally been a Congress bastion but witnessed a high-pitched electoral battle between Rahul Gandhi and Irani in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Though she lost, Irani managed to reduce the Congress leader’s victory margin from around 3.70 lakh votes in 2009 to 1.07 lakh in 2014.During his visit, Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh of re-inaugurating the projects launched by the previous UPA regime in the district.

In Varanasi, PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Rs 305 crore Deendayal Hastkala Sankul

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Varanasi for his two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency on Friday afternoon.He was received by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport.According to a itinerary tweeted by the BJP, PM Modi began his trip with Tulsi Manas Temple darshan. He also launched a postal ticket based on Ramayana.Later, he inaugurated a handicraft trade centre in Bada lalpur. Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were also present at the event.Around 7 pm in the evening, PM Modi will launch several projects in his parliamentary constituency, including flagging off Mahamana Express between Varanasi and Vadodara, two bridges on holy river Ganga, two power sub-stations.

A failed dynast talked about his failed political journey: Smriti Irani attacks Rahul Gandhi’s speech in US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bhartiya Janata Party on Tuesday attacked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi over his comment on dynasty while addressing students at the University of California, and called him a failed leader.Hitting back at those who have accused him of reaping the benefits of ‘dynasty politics’, Rahul said that the entire nation is running on it and hence, one should not go only after him.”Most of the country runs like this. Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Stalin is a dynast. Dhumal’s son a dynast. Even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. Also Ambani. That’s how India runs. Don’t go after me,” he said responding to a question.However, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani slammed his defense citing background of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.Speaking about Rahul’s admission that arrogance was creeping in Congress in 2012, Irani said, “It must be the first incident in Indian politics where the Congress Vice President made a remark on Congress President at international level. Probably, he forgot that the Congress command was in the hands of her mother Sonia Gandhi.””Making remark that in Sonia Gandhi’s leadership congress became arrogance and hence lost the election is a big political confession,” Irani added.When Rahul said that – That’s how India runs – he forgot that in independent India there are many people who are giving contribution but have no political legacy. “Prime Minister comes from a small village, Vice President is from a family that comes from marginalised community. Vice President is a farmer’s son. The three people being at the top post is a signal that in a living democracy merit is important. A failed dynast talked about his failed political journeys in US,” Irani said in a scathing attack.Rahul Gandhi also criticised Narendra Modi’s economic policies, accusing him of causing ‘tremendous damage’ to India’s economy with ‘reckless and dangerous’ decisions like demonetisation and ‘hastily-applied’ GST.apparently referring to rights activist and journalist Gauri Lankesh’s killing, he said “The politics of polarisation has raised its ugly head in India,” he said, adding that liberal journalists are being shot.”People being lynched because they are Dalit. Muslims were killed on suspicion of eating beef. This is new in India and damages India very badly, he said”Gandhi also said the politics of hate divided and polarised India and was making millions of people feel that they have no future in their own country.

40-member panel to select films for IFFI, Agnihotri is

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Information and Broadcasting Ministry today constituted a 40-member ‘preview committee’ with filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri as its convenor to select movies for the international film festival at Goa. Other members of the new committee include Agnihotri’s wife and actress Pallavi Joshi, author and Padma Shri-awardee Narendra Kohli and actress Hrishitaa Bhatt, an official statement said. The move came after the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recently postponed a meeting of the previous preview committee comprising around 20 members who were nominated when M Venkaiah Naidu was the information and broadcasting minister. Film editor Aarti Bajaj, film critic and screenwriter Khalid Mohamed, and film director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury are among the other members of the newly-constituted committee. The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will be held in Goa from November 20 to 28. “The (dissolved) committee was cleared by M Venkaiah Naidu in second week of July. The process was already started and we have seen 150 films so far. We don’t know whether they will be seen again or not,” a member of the dissolved committee said. Film critic Saibal Chatterjee is the only member of the earlier committee who has been been retained in the new committee, the member, who wished not to be named, said. Vivek Agnihotri told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt sets up new steering and technical committees for IFFI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three months before India’s prestigious film festival –the International Film Festival of India in Goa –the government has decided to set up new steering and technical committees, by scrapping the earlier committees.The decision was Union Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani’s, sources said. IFFI is slated to be held from November 20 to 28 this year in Goa. The new list of members released by the government late Friday evening states the Convenor of the steering committee would be filmmaker Jahnu Barua and will include eminent personalities from the film industry such as Siddharth Roy Kapur, Shoojit Sircar, newly appointed CBFC chairperson Prasoon Joshi, Vani Tripathi, Piyush Pandey, among others.The technical committee for the festival will be chaired by filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor and will include a NFDC representative, Sameer Arya, Director DFF, Commissioner, Panaji Municipality, among others as members.The steering committee (Technical) is responsible for overseeing details of the actual screening and conduct of the films at the IFFI. It was earlier headed by well known cinematographer and director AK Bir.

Sony to shift controversial TV soap to 10 pm slot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sony Entertainment Television today said the daily soap ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ will be shifted to the 10 pm slot from August 22, as per the directive issued by BCCC, the self-regulatory body for TV. Yesterday, the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) had directed the channel to move its controversial show from 8.30 pm to the 10 pm slot so that minors do not watch it. The council had also asked the channel to run it with a scroll saying it does not promote child marriage. The serial, which began airing last month, focuses on a nine-year-old boy, Ratan (Afaan Khan), and his marriage to 18 -year-old Diya (Tejasswi Prakash). In a statement released today, the channel said it would comply with the order. “As per the decision of BCCC we are shifting the time slot of Pehredaar Piya Ki to 10 pm. The change will reflect from August 22 onwards,” said an official statement from the channel. The channel also said that the scroll would also be run during the course of the show. The show is also going to witness a time leap of 12 years in the coming months where it will depict the woman aged around 30 and the child as a grown-up aged around 21.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BCCC asks channel to shift controversial serial ‘Pehredaar.."

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The self regulatory body for TV, BCCC, has directed Sony channel to move its controversial daily soap “Pehredaar Piya Ki” to the 10 pm slot so that minors do not watch it, and run it with a scroll saying it does not promote child marriage, its chairman said today. The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by the new chief of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC), Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen, amid demands that the serial be banned for its alleged “regressive” content. The serial, which began airing last month, focuses on a nine-year-old boy, Ratan (Afaan Khan), and his marriage to 18 -year-old Diya (Tejasswi Prakash). In its meeting held today, the Council ordered the channel to shift the show to 10 pm, the restrictive hour on the small screen, from its current slot of 8.30 pm. A scroll has to run saying that the show does not promote child marriage and is a work of fiction, said an official from the body. Though elders are awake at 10 pm, BCCC wants to ensure that minors are not able to see the show, Sen told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BCCC directs Sony to move ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ to 10 pm slot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Broadcasting Content Complaints Council has directed Sony channel to shift the daily soap “Pehredaar Piya Ki” to the 10 pm slot and run it with a scroll saying it does not promote child marriage, an official said today. The serial, which began airing last month, focuses on a nine-year-old boy, Ratan (Afaan Khan), and his marriage to 18 -year-old Diya (Tejasswi Prakash). In its meeting held today, the Council ordered the channel to shift the show to the 10 pm slot, the restrictive hour on the small screen. A scroll has to run saying that the show does not promote child marriage and is a work of fiction, said an official from the body. Today’s meeting was the first chaired by BCCC’s new chief, Justice (retd) Vikramajit Sen. “Pehredaar Piya Ki” has been slammed on social media for its “regressive” content with many viewers accusing it of promoting child marriage. The show currently airs in the 9 pm time slot. The TV ombudsman was flooded with complaints from viewers demanding action against the show for promoting child marriage, an official said. A petition was also started online asking the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to ban the show. The ministry is learnt to have forwarded a complaint regarding the serial to BCCC. More than one lakh people had signed a petition on change.org urging Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani to ban the show. Creators of the soap, however, deny that it is regressive. “We have not received anything yet. As and when we receive it (instructions from the ministry), we will reply to it. We will explain our point of view,” the show’s producer, Sumeet Mittal, was quoted as saying earlier. BCCC was set up in 2011 by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation in consultation with the ministry. It has been tasked with implementing self regulatory guidelines for “non-news channels, including general entertainment channels, kids channels and special interest channels”, the website states.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls: BJP MLA Nalin Kotadiya admits he voted against BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nalin Kotadiya said that he has voted against BJP in the Rajya Sabha polls after seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation.He himself admitted in a Facebook post, and said, “Seeing the pain of 14 youths who died during Patidar agitation I voted against BJP.”His vote may have probably resulted in the victory of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel, who won the election by securing necessary 44 votes.Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani are other two candidates and are likely to win with ease.Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats was conducted on Tuesday. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid.The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress.The Congress had complained to the EC that the MLAs had shown their votes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel.Ahmed Patel’s win is being considered a major victory of Congress and a blow for the BJP.Congress had made candidature of Ahmed Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats.The saffron pitted Balwantsinh Rajput, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Ahmed Patel knowing that Patel’s defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary.

Gujarat RS polls exposed BJP’s personal vendetta-Ahmed Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After retaining his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday alleged that the election exposed the “personal vendetta and political terror” of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). ?BJP stands exposed of personal vendetta and political terror. People of Gujarat will give them a befitting reply in this year’s election,? Patel tweeted. He also thanked the Congress leadership for giving him the opportunity to fight this election and also lauded the MLAs who voted in his favour. ?I thank my party leadership for giving me this opportunity & all my party workers & colleagues whose relentless handwork made this possible. I want to thank each & every MLA who voted for me despite unprecedented intimidation & pressure from BJP. They voted for an inclusive India,? Patel said in a series of tweets. Patel said that his victory in the Rajya Sabha polls was a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery. ?This is not just my victory. It is a defeat of the most blatant use of money power, muscle power and abuse of state machinery,? he said in a tweet. He said that the Congress party has emerged stronger after winning the Rajya Sabha polls . ?Under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership Congress will be strengthened and we will win elections. It was a tough election, everyone worked together, party emerged stronger out of it,? Patel told reporters after winning the polls. Voting for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat was conducted on Tuesday. BJP national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani were other two candidates. Ahmed Patel’s win is being considered a major victory for the Congress and a blow for the BJP. Congress had made candidature of Ahmed Patel as a matter of prestige. The BJP also left no stone unturned to win all the three seats. The saffron pitted Balwantsinh Rajput, a recent acquisition from the Congress, against Patel knowing that Patel’s defeat will bring huge embarrassment for Sonia Gandhi since he is her political secretary. After the intense political developments, the Election Commission (EC) declared results for the three seats of the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat. Total 176 MLAs voted in the crucial elections, but two votes were declared invalid. The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. Earlier in the evening, Congress had complained to the EC and said that the two MLAs showed their votes to unauthorized persons and demanded that their votes should not be counted. Congress said these MLAs showed their votes to the BJP national president and the Broadcasting Minister and Balwantsinh instead of representative of Patel. Congress suffered a major blow ahead of the RS polls when six of its Gujarat MLAs joined BJP. Panicked Congress sent its 44 MLAs to Bengaluru and termed the move as a bid to save its legislatures from the horse-trading by the BJP. The Congress also accused BJP of offering Rs 15 crore to its MLAs to join BJP. The political environment was also heated when the Income Tax Department on July 29 raided Karnataka Energy Minister DK Shivakumar’s Bengaluru residence and resort, where Congress’ 44 MLAs were staying. After the Congress branded the raids as a ‘political witch-hunt’ by the BJP, the IT department asserted that the raids at Karnataka Energy Minister’s residence and resort had nothing to do with the Gujarat’s Congress MLAs staying at the resort. The Congress also created ruckus in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha over the IT raids at the resort. Patel’s victory has acted as booster for the Congress ahead of the crucial assembly elections in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ahmed Patel appreciates EC order to declare two Cong MLAs’ votes invalid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Wednesday appreciated the order of the Election Commission to declare votes of two Congress MLAs in the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls invalid. Patel, who is seeking RS seat from Gujarat, said, ?I appreciate the order of the Election Commission. I salute my MLAs; rank and file of the Congress Party?. The EC on late Tuesday night declared votes of two Congress MLAs- Bhola Bhai Gohil and Raghav Bhai Patel- invalid. The decision was taken on a complaint of the Congress. The Congress had complained to the EC that the MLAs had shown their votes to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and independent candidate Balwantsinh Rajput instead of representative of Congress candidate Ahmed Patel. The voting for three RS seats from Gujarat was held on Tuesday. Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said that the Election Commission by declaring votes of two Congress MLAs invalid has taught the BJP lesson of its life. ?The BJP used all power it had; it deployed all its union ministers but the truth won. It is a victory of truth. We thank the EC, for upholding the law and holding the two unwarranted votes. There cannot be a better lesson for the BJP,? said Surjewala. Gujarat Congress President Bharatsinh Solanki said that the acts of defection, disorder and malpractices of the BJP have been exposed and assured that grand old party Rajya Sabha candidate Ahmed Patel will win with big margin in election. Meanwhile, he also targeted BJP Party national president Amit Shah and said, ?Everyone thought Amit Shah is always successful in unlawful, negative things but Gujarat proved this kind of authority won’t work.? Congress has fielded its senior leader Ahmed Patel, while the BJP has fielded Amit Shah, Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput for the three RS seats from Gujarat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prasar Bharati’s manpower audit likely to be over in 2017-18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An audit of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati’s manpower is expected to be completed in the current fiscal, the Lok Sabha was informed today. In a written reply, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Zubin Irani said there was an overall shortage of talent in the Prasar Bharati and many of the sanctioned posts were vacant. “Based on the recommendations of Sam Pitroda Committee report, Prasar Bharati is in the process of conducting manpower audit to look into the issue. This audit is expected to be completed during 2017-18,” she said. The Sam Pitroda Committee had given its report on Prasar Bharati in January 2014. It had recommended a comprehensive manpower audit to map Prasar Bharati’s staff requirement while noting that it has a workforce which is much bigger in size as compared to public broadcasters in other countries. Prasar Bharati runs Doordarshan and All India Radio.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre warns channels on ads with false claims about drugs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre has warned TV channels against carrying advertisements with exaggerated or improper claims of ayurvedic, siddha, unani and homeopathic products and drugs. An advisory, issued by Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry Director (Broadcasting) Amit Katoch said the channels should advertise only those products and drugs that have valid licences, failure of which will attract action. The move comes after the AYUSH Ministry approached the I&B Ministry, saying some channels were carrying advertisements with “exaggerated or improper claims” of such drugs. Such advertisements were misleading the consumers and pose potential health risk with self-medication, it noted, adding that miraculous solution of all health problems are offered by the “self-proclaimed doctors, gurus and vaidhs” in these advertisements or programmes. The advisory said the misleading advertisements of these products and drugs are in violation of the Drug and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954, and Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1940. “… In order to protect the citizens from misleading advertisement and health risk, all TV channels are hereby advised to ensure strict compliance of provisions of the Drug and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954 and Drug and Cosmetic Act 1940 as amended from time to time,” the advisory read. It said these rules should be adhered to “in letter and spirit” while telecasting advertisements on TV channels. “TV channels are advised to advertise only products that have valid licence issued by Ministry of AYUSH or state drug licensing authorities. Any failure will attract action…,” the advisory said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

FTII gets approval to conduct short-term skill courses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) has received approval to conduct skill-oriented short-term courses under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), an official release said today. The approval from the National Skill Development Council (NSDC), Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), will enable the FTII to conduct 11 film and television related skill development courses, it said. According to the release, the FTII, to begin with, will conduct these courses in Pune, Guwahati, Jaipur and Visakhapatnam. Gradually, the courses will be conducted at more locations. “This is a major boost to the FTII’s plans to take short courses to smaller towns and cities. The funding under PMKVY will further help lower course fees,” said FTII Pune’s Director Bhupendra Kainthola. PMKVY, the flagship scheme of MSDE, aims to enable a large number of youths to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood. The FTII functions as an autonomous institute under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress leader Ambika Soni resigns from party posts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Amid speculations of veteran leader Shankersinh Vaghela quitting the Congress, another senior leader Ambika Soni on Friday quit from all party posts. ?I’ve requested leadership to relieve me as in-charge of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh due to health reasons,? Soni told ANI. However, there has been no official word from the party yet. In her political career spanning over a time period of 50 years, Soni held various posts. From 2006 to 2009, Soni served as the Minister of Tourism and Minister of Culture. She held the portfolio of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry from 2009 to 2012. She was re-elected to Rajya Sabha in July 2010.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

All India Radio earns Rs 10 crore from PM Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in last 2 fiscals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has generated a revenue of about Rs 10 crore for the All India Radio (AIR) in the last two fiscals, the Lok Sabha was informed.In 2016-17, the renenue was to the tune of Rs 5.19 crore, while it was Rs 4.78 crore in 2015-16, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore said in a written reply.He said regional version of the address is also broadcast in 18 languages and 33 dialects on the same day after the completion of the original broadcast.Besides, the minister said the English and the Sanskrit versions are also broadcast by the AIR.Rathore said the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is disseminated on transmitters for domestic audience and through Internet and shortwave (SW) transmitters for global listeners.Launched on October 3, 2014, Modi addresses the nation every month in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme.

President accepts Naidu’s resignation from Cabinet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of M. Venkaiah Naidu, from the Council of Ministers, with immediate effect, under Clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution. Further, as advised by the Prime Minister, the President has directed that Narendra Singh Tomar, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in addition to his existing portfolios and Smriti Zubin Irani, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, in addition to her existing portfolio. Naidu has been nominated to contest this year’s vice presidential elections on behalf of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). He will be contesting the elections against UPA nominee Gopal Krishna Gandhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Venkaiah Naidu files his nomination for vice president

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Flanked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and veteran BJP leader L K Advani, former minister M Venkaiah Naidu today filed his nomination papers for the vice presidential election. BJP president Amit Shah, senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi as well as leaders from BJP allies and those from other regional parties, including the AIADMK and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, accompanied Naidu as he filed his papers in the parliament complex. The Shiv Sena was also present. Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and several top leaders of the NDA were among those who proposed and seconded Naidu’s candidature in the several sets of nomination papers filed in his favour. The BJP’s Parliamentary Board had yesterday picked Naidu as the NDA’s vice presidential nominee. The senior BJP leader resigned as Urban Development and Information and Broadcasting minister hours before he filed his nomination papers. The vice presidential is scheduled to be held on August 5. Naidu will contest against the opposition’s vice presidential nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Someone make an Indian version of VEEP: Twitter reacts to Venkaiah Naidu as NDA’s VP candidate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, a veteran BJP leader from Andhra Pradesh, will be NDA’s vice presidential candidate, party president Amit Shah said today. Naidu was chosen at the BJP Parliamentary board meeting here attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders. The 68-year old Naidu currently holds the portfolios of Information and Broadcasting and Housing and Urban Affairs.The former BJP president is pitted against Gopalkrishna Gandhi, who was chosen by an alliance of 18 opposition parties, including the Congress.
ALSO READ NDA’s vice presidential pick: Here are 10 things you must know about Venkaiah NaiduThe electoral college for the August 5 election consists of 790 MPs of the two chambers of Parliament. Naidu will file his nomination tomorrow at 11 AM, Shah said.Tomorrow is the last day for the filing of nominations.Here’s how Twitter reacted:

SC to hear Maken’s PIL on advertisements by Delhi Government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Monday will hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by senor Congress leader Ajay Maken, who has accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of violating the advertisement guidelines and sought action against the party. Earlier on May 8, the Delhi High Court issued notices to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Centre on AAP?s plea against an order that directed recovery of Rs. 97 crore from the Delhi Government for spending on advertisements. The AAP, in its plea, asked the court to quash the March 30 order issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity on the direction of the Lieutenant Governor. The order came after a Centre-appointed three-member committee indicted the Kejriwal Government for “misusing” exchequer money on advertisements. The three-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon, had been constituted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the apex court’s directions to address the issues relating to Content Regulation in Government Advertising. Maken in his complaint to the Committee had accused AAP government in Delhi of splurging public money on advertisements. The Committee on Content Regulation of Government Advertising (CCRGA) had forwarded its report to the Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi, for further necessary action. The Committee had directed the Delhi Government to assess the expenditure incurred by it on certain categories of advertisements and get it reimbursed from the AAP. Earlier, the CAG presented its report on social sector for the financial year 2015-16 in the Delhi Assembly, where it was highlighted that over Rs. 28 crore was spent on advertisements in areas outside of Delhi, which do not fall under the government’s jurisdiction.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Anantnag terror attack: Follow safety protocol, govt’s advisory to pilgrims

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Tuesday appealed to all pilgrims undertaking the pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine to follow existing safety protocols and to cooperate with the administration.Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu said he was confident that the state government and central security forces are making all arrangements for the safety and security of the pilgrims.”The information that is available is that that the bus was not registered with the shrine board, nor was there any security with the bus. However, the administration is probing the matter and something can be said once the final report comes,” Naidu said.”I hope the pilgrims will cooperate by giving advance intimation, information and also follow the protocol of security so that they are all secured,” he added.Naidu condemned Monday night’s dastardly strike on pilgrims in the strongest words and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.”I feel sad about the dastardly act of terrorists killing the Amarnath Yatra pilgrims. It is an act against humanity. It brings a bad name to the state of Kashmir and nobody can approve such heinous crimes against pilgrims. No religion accepts this. Terrorists, as we say, have no religion. I condemn the incident and condole the death of the pilgrims and convey my heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families.”Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will chair a high-level security review meeting at his residence in Delhi in the regard.Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra has also called a meeting over the same.Yesterday, the Union Home Minister had spoken to Governor Vohra and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured full assistance to the injured.The Home Minister also spoke to the Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police.Yesterday, a group of terrorists opened fire at a bus carrying pilgrims in the Anantnag district.The incident occurred at 8.20 p.m., when the bus, carrying 17 pilgrims from Baltal to Mir Bazar, became victim of the terror attack.Reportedly, the bus was neither a part of a convoy nor registered with the shrine board.The death toll in the terror attack has risen to seven and as many as 15 have been injured.President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condemned the attack in the strongest terms.

Avoid people who speak against national ethos: Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said people who speak against the “national ethos, values and culture” and impose their views on others must be avoided. Naidu, whose statement comes two days after a Jammu and Kashmir minister told a National Conference leader in the assembly that he could lynch him, also spoke of the late Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the precursor to the BJP. He fought for the unity of country and sacrificed his life for the integration of Jammu and Kashmir with India, Naidu said. “We should take inspiration from him about the need for national integration. We must avoid, ignore people who make noises, speak against the national ethos, values and culture, and then try to dictate their views on us. No, this is not acceptable.” He was addressing a conference of Prasar Bharati’s Regional News Unit. “India is a free country, and everybody has got freedom, but this is constitutional limit and others have no right to take their freedom also…including their language, culture, food habits. No other person has the right to dictate to them. “This is very clear and that is the government’s policy and no human being can call himself great by hurting or hitting the other human being,” the Information and Broadcasting minister added. Naidu also asserted that what is happening in certain parts of the country should be “isolated” and “condemned”. They should not be “highlighted” to defame the country and the society. The BJP is an alliance partner in the PDP-led government in Jammu and Kashmir. “I can lynch you here,” state minister Imran Ansari had told National Conference leader Devender Rana in the legislative assembly during a discussion on implementation of GST. Naidu also told the conference that more emphasis should be given to regional languages and dialects in the process of disseminating news.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian Information Service officer Shujath Ali retires

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shujath Ali, an Indian Information Service officer, who served as Head of Regional News Unit, Doordarshan Chennai, and held a number of other posts during his decades-long career, retired on June 30. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Podhigai News Unit, an official release said. During his 34-year-long career, Ali, who hails from Hyderabad, held various positions in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He had also served as the Chief Public Relations Officer of the undivided Andhra Pradesh Police, the release said. Ali had a long stint as a Correspondent of All India Radio and Doordarshan, Hyderabad, and also as News Editor at News Services Division, AIR, New Delhi, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Naidu’s mantra for babus: ‘Think fresh, act differently’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bureaucracy should “think fresh and act differently” for higher productivity, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said while addressing about 100 senior officers from his three ministries. Naidu holds the portfolios of Urban Development (UD), Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and Information and Broadcasting. He was speaking at a function at his residence organised on the occasion of the retirement of HUPA Secretary Nandita Chatterjee and the transfer of UD Secretary Rajiv Gauba to Home Affairs, and I&B Secretary Ajay Mittal to Personnel. Naidu suggested that officials should “not be guided by the past” but should be “inspired by the future” of the country. “The past shall only be a reference for drawing right lessons so as to meet the challenges of the future as the country is keen to discover and herald a new future,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prasar Bharati Board meets to discuss AIR, DD functioning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prasar Bharati Board today discussed issues related to the functioning of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan at a meeting here. It was the Board’s first meeting after Shashi S Vempati assumed charge as the chief executive officer of the public service broadcaster. 43-year-old Vempati is the first non-Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to head the organization. Under the chairmanship of A Surya Prakash, the meeting was also attended by Board Member (Finance) Rajeev Singh, Additional Secretary in Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Jayashree Mukherjee, and part-time member Ashok Tandon, among others. However, part-time member and actress Kajol did not attend the meeting, amid reports that she may lose her membership on the account of repeated absence from the meetings.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Venkaiah Naidu seeks inclusion of ‘Emergency’ chapter in school books

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming ‘Emergency’ as the “darkest chapter” in India’s democratic history, Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today stressed the need for dedicating a chapter on it in the school curriculum.”The Emergency, a historical scar in the minds of one generation, is treated as a curiosity today. It is hardly remembered by younger generations and a few of them can recite the trauma and torture stories of that era. Though four decades have passed, Emergency should not be forgotten and forgiven,” said the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister.”I feel there should be a chapter on Emergency in our school curriculum to make the younger generation know about the murder of democracy and how it was restored. This is quite essential I feel,” he said, adding the Indian Council of Historical Research should bring a volume on the same and it should be made part of the curriculum.Naidu was speaking at an event to mark the 42nd anniversary of imposing of Emergency organised by BJP’s Telangana unit here.He said the younger generation must know what was Emergency, why it was imposed, its effect and how it was lifted.”This function is organised to recall those memories.What happened in 1975…what is Emergency…the younger generation should know why Emergency was imposed, how it was misused and who is responsible for it. Emergency was one of the darkest periods in India and could not be forgotten…every youngster should be made aware of the importance of ‘eternal vigilance’ to safeguard and preserve democracy in the country,” added Venkaiah.He also said during Emergency, the role of media was less than inspiring.”Except for Ramnath Goenka’s Indian Express, C R Irani’s Statesman and Nikhil Chakrabarty’s Mainstream, hardly any newspaper stood up against the Emergency. Similarly, the judiciary also failed to come to the aid of common man. Unfortunately, the role played by intellectuals was also very shameful and many of them could not condemn Emergency”. He further said it was time for the media and social scientists to re-tell the Emergency story. Venkaiah said every step taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to strengthen democracy and India.Meanwhile, on NDA picking Ram Nath Kovind as its presidential nominee, the BJP leader said, “It was due to his calibre, contribution and conduct that he was made the candidate. We do not attack other candidates. We do not play caste politics…they (opposition) play…we do not play communal politics…they do…we do not play family politics.” He reiterated that there was absolute freedom of press in the country and the government is committed to the same, but in the name of freedom of press, one cannot escape from other crimes and faults. “Freedom of press is to express and write and not to suppress the truth. We have to understand that.. One of the channels was given notice by the Congress government because of some financial irregularities and now they are portraying as if there is an assault on media and there is nation-wide campaign,” Naidu said.”Time has come to stop pseudo secularism. Hindu bashing has become a fashion…Hindu bashing cannot be called as secular. Secularism is respecting everyone. The country has to be alert about these people and forces,” he added. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar claimed that in 1975, then prime minister Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency for “her selfishness and only to retain power”.”It was second round of fight for independence between 1975 and 1977. Till Congress is there in this country and even today they have Emergency mindset…we need to remember Emergency till the country becomes ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’,” Javadekar said. Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya was also present at the function.

School students should be taught about Emergency: Prasar Bharati chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> School students should be taught about the Emergency in India to make them aware about the consequences of democracy being derailed, Prasar Bharati chairperson A Surya Prakash says.In a book to be released next week, Prakash has said basic freedoms were curtailed during the Emergency in 1975-77 but its history is largely “hidden” from the younger generation. “The story of emergency should be told to every generation. For the protection of democratic values, it is very important that they know what happens when democracy is derailed,” Prakash, who heads Prasar Bharati which oversees the functioning of Doordarshan and All India Radio, told PTI. The book looks at the arrests of political activists, media censorship, forced sterilisations, police atrocities and other such developments that took place during the 21 months when Emergency was in force.It is based on testimonies recorded in the Shah Commission, set up after the Emergency to look into the excesses that took place then, official records and his own experiences as a journalist. Prakash said those born after the Emergency “nightmare” ended may experience “total disbelief” when they learn what transpired during that period. “Having grown up in the age of the ‘Argumentative Indian’ the Internet, the no-holds-barred social media and cacophonous TV debates, they may find it difficult to comprehend that the Congress party – India’s oldest political party and the party that was at the vanguard of the freedom movement – could have foisted dictatorship on the country and inflicted such cruelty and hardship on the citizens,” Prakash said.He said the younger generation’s ignorance or lack of understanding of what happened during the period was also because “this very importance chapter in the country’s post- independence history is hidden from the post-Emergency generation”. This needs to be corrected if “we cherish the core values of our Constitution and our democratic way of life”, Prakash said, adding that students in high schools across the country must be told about the Emergency and the findings of the Shah Commission.He said students must know that about “heroes” such as Jayaprakash Narayan, who mobilised the youth in the country in a widespread movement. “It is because of them that we still breathe free air,” he said. The Prasar Bharati chairman’s book will be released in Ahmedabad on June 24.Information and Broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and other senior leaders are expected to attend the event. Internal emergency was imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975, and lifted on March 21, 1977.

Allow screening of 3 films at Kerala film festival: Filmmakers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 150 filmmakers and artists have written a letter to Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu urging him to allow screening of three films at Kerala film festival which they claimed were denied permission by the government. The films were about suicide of a Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula, student protests at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and the unrest in Kashmir through the eyes of young artists. The recent letter to Naidu, who holds the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, said the three films were “dealing with prominent political issues” that have led to “much discussion” within the country. It alleged the the government was “resorting to draconian action to stifle all such political debate” and the article which guarantees the right to freedom of expression to every citizen. Claiming that the ministry has not given any reason for “withholding of screening permission”, the letter said, “We want to question the basis for denying screening permission to these films.” The 160 artists said they unequivocally condemned the action and lent unqualified support to the festival and the filmmakers who are being prevented from screening their films. “We urge the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to immediately issue an exemption letter to the three films and ensure that films at festivals do not face arbitrary censorship in future,” the artists said. The film which were denied screening permission were ‘In the Shade of Fallen Chinar’, ‘The Unbearable Being of Lightness’ and ‘March, March, March’–related to Kashmir, Vemula and JNU respectively. At least 262 short films and documentaries are expected to be screened in the five day ‘International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) 2017’ that kicks off today. The film festival is organised by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy, a body under the state government’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Films screened at the festival do not require a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) but need a censor exemption certificate from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to be screened at the festival.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shiv Sena to recommend Swaminathan’s name if BJP not ready for Bhagwat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Friday said that party chief Uddhav Thackeray is likely to to suggest the name of the chairman of National Commission on Farmers (NCF) M.S. Swaminathan’ for the post of president to Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, if the latter is not ready for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat’s nomination. Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu reached Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s house to discuss matters related to next month’s presidential election. Both ministers will also hold separate consultations with Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in the afternoon, today. Both of them have already spoken to Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Praful Patel and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Satish Mishra. Naidu yesterday spoke to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu over the same. The TDP chief said that his party will stand by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision in this regard. The last date of nomination is June 28.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajnath, Naidu meet Sonia to discuss Presidential candidate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday reached Congress president Sonia Gandhi?s house to discuss matters related to next month’s presidential election. Both ministers will also hold separate consultations with Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury in the afternoon, today. Both of them have already spoken to Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Praful Patel and Bahujan Samaj Party’s (BSP) Satish Mishra. Naidu yesterday spoke to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu over the same. The TDP chief said that his party will stand by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision in this regard. The last date of nomination is June 28.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kochi Metro inauguration: PMO’s list on dais does not include Metro Man E Sreedharan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday travel on a Kochi Metro train when he inaugurates Kerala’s first metro, it was announced on Wednesday. But “Metro man” E. Sreedharan has not been given a seat on the dais.In the first 25-km phase, trains will run for 13 km between Palarivattom and Aluva. Work is on the remaining section.As per reports in Zee News, those on the dais will be Modi, Governor P. Sathasivam, Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.Elias George, the Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Corp, told the media that the list of invitees to the dais was prepared and sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. “The final list is made by the PMO. We have no role in this.”Among others who have been excluded from the dais are Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, local MP K.V. Thomas and local legislator P.T. Thomas.Reacting to the exclusion of Sreedharan from the dais, P.T. Thomas said: “This shows the arrogance of the BJP.”When the foundation stone for Kochi Metro was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, none was left out from the dais. This is Kerala’s dream project and key people behind this are now asked to sit in the audience. This is totally unfair.”Work on Kochi Metro began in 2012 after the Chandy government entrusted the project to Delhi Metro Rail Corp, with its principal advisor Sreedharan overseeing it.

Plea in HC against hearing Pachauri’s Rs 1 cr suit in vacation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Women’s rights lawyer Vrinda Grover today moved the Delhi High Court against a trial court order to hear during the summer vacation a Rs 1 crore defamation case against her and another woman by former TERI chief R K Pachauri. The petition came up for hearing before Justice C Hari Shankar, who recused from hearing the matter citing personal reasons and said that it would be heard by some other bench. The matter has now been listed for hearing tomorrow. The woman advocate in her plea has sought quashing of two orders of the trial court, including a direction to file a list of witnesses and evidence within one week in the defamation case filed by former TERI chief. In her plea filed through advocate Anupam Srivastava, she has said that the trial court has listed the matter for recording of evidence between June 19 to June 30 despite her unavailability and her counsel. In April 2016, few months after the charge sheet against him was filed in the alleged sexual harassment case lodged by his ex-colleague, Pachauri slapped a civil suit against Grover and the other woman for allegedly making defamatory statements against him outside the court room to the media in connection with the case. He has sought damages of Rs one crore for “false and frivolous allegations” which, he argues, could prejudice his case. Pachauri has also made three media houses, as well as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, parties to this suit filed before a Patiala House court here and has sought a permanent injunction against any reporting on statements of the two women who came forward subsequent to the original complaint against him. Pachauri on February 26 had secured an order from Saket court here making it mandatory that the media houses have to publish or telecast the coverage of the case with a title that “In any court the allegations have not been proved and they may not be correct.” The interim order had further said that, “When such information is published in any page of a magazine or report then it should be in middle of the page in bold letters and it should be five times larger than the font in which the article is being published.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

I&B ministry official’s car with home ministry sticker stolen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A car belonging to an official of the information and broadcasting ministry, bearing a home ministry sticker was allegedly stolen from west Delhi’s Hari Nagar, police said today. The car belonging to Harcharan Kaur was stolen when she had come to visit her relatives in Hari Nagar along with her husband last night, they said. While leaving their relative’s residence, she found the vehicle to be missing and informed the police about it. It was Kaur’s personal car and the sticker was pasted as she was working in the Information and Broadcasting ministry. The police said they are scanning CCTV footages from the area to identify the accused and other security agencies have been informed about the theft.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Roll out of biometric entry passes at airports delayed again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Biometric entry passes at airports will take more time before becoming a reality, with “technical issues” forcing authorities to delay its roll out for the third time in less than six months. The government has decided to provide biometric entry passes for employees of airlines, airports, ground handling agencies and other individuals working inside the aerodromes. There is continuing delay in implementing the biometric entry pass system even as the Civil Aviation Ministry is working on an ambitious ‘Digiyatra’ initiative for seamless and paperless travel for the passengers. Sources said the plan was to put in place biometric access control system across 43 airports from December 2016. Then it was extended to March this year and now the date of its implementation is yet to be finalised. A source at the Airport Authority of India (AAI) said the delay is “due to technical issues” being faced by the National Informatics Centre (NIC)–the implementing authority for the government’s IT-based initiatives. The proposal was to link an individual’s Aadhaar information with the biometric access control system, the source added. However, it could not be immediately ascertained if the delay was on account of uncertainties as the Supreme Court is yet to decide on the privacy issues raised with respect to linking Aadhaar for certain purposes. “We are expecting that the biometric system will be ready in another 2-3 months,” said an official at the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). The AAI has sought 18 months time to be able to execute the biometric access control system across the 43 airports, the official added. With the delay, the validity of airport entry passes currently used by ground staff has been renewed till December 2018. Airport entry passes–issued by the BCAS–allow airport access to airline crew, ground staff, engineers, security personnel and other individuals. The AAI had last year awarded Indian public sector firm Broadcasting Engineering Consultants India Ltd (BECIL) more than Rs 110 crore worth contract for providing biometric access control system at airports.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DAVP clears fresh rates for private TV channels

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) has cleared fresh rates for government advertisements for private television channels.According to senior officials from DAVP — the nodal body under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry responsible for releasing government advertisements — the revised rates will be effective from next month for private TV channels empanelled with it on an interim basis.According to sources, the rates would differ for TV channels and would take into account their TRPs.There will be five-time bands for news channels, which would have varying rates with a premium factor. For general entertainment channels, there will be six-time bands. Last revised in 2012, the new rates will be applicable till December 2018.Senior officials said the government has also finalised policy guidelines for DAVP empanelment of private cable and satellite television channels with the DAVP, under which a channel has to have a telecast period of minimum six months with 17 hours a day a criteria for empanelment.DNA has recently reported that the DAVP has decided to prioritise regional media (both print and TV) and give out the major share of government advertisements to them, in an effort to tap the rural population.DAVP sources also informed that more government advertisements will also go to online media, given that they are cheaper, compared to mainstream TV and print media.

Three short films denied permission for participation in fest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three short films,including a 45 minute documentary on Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula, who ended his life, have been denied permission by the Central Government to participate in the International Documentary and Short Film festival, starting here from June 16. ‘The unbearable being of Lightness’ the documentary about JNU Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula,who allegedly committed suicide, ‘In the shade of fallen Chinar’ about the lives of a group of young Kashmiri artists who are also students, ‘March March March’ on the JNU protests were not granted permission by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to be screened at the festival, the organisers said. Expressing anguish over denial of permission, Kerala Chalachitra Academy chairman and Festival Director Kamal said there is a ‘cultural emergency’ prevailing in the country. “We are going through an undeclared emergency in the country. What we should eat, what we should wear, what we should talk all this is being decided by the ruling dispensation”, he told reporters here. At least 262 short films and documentaries are expected to be screened in the five day festival, Vice chairman and Artistic director Bina Paul said. The festival is being organised by the Kerala state chalachitra Academy as part of its endeavour to catalyse a vibrant documentary and short film movement. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the festival at the Tagore Theatre on June 16.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Film industry urges Naidu to reduce proposed GST to 18 pc

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Representatives of the film industry today urged Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu to reduce the proposed GST in film sector from 28 per cent to 18 per cent. They also asked Naidu, who holds the portfolio of information and broadcasting, to support the industry in increasing the number of screens in the country to boost revenue. The request was made during the consultation meet with stakeholders on the Cinematography Act here. Naidu said the decisions regarding GST rates are decided by the GST Council and assured that the demands of the film sector would be presented before the council. He said the government would provide all necessary support to the growth of the film industry in “all scope and ambit” to ensure its robust growth. He said that Indian films have international potential and are the most potent medium of spreading India’s culture globally. Naidu said the government is geared up to address all the challenges faced by the sector. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Ajay Mittal, eminent figures of the film industry, representatives of film producers guild, among others, were present on the occasion.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Centre denies raid on NDTV, says inquiries on ‘mother company’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Monday spurned NDTV channel?s ‘witch-hunt’ charges after a case was registered against the channel’s co-founder Prannoy Roy and others for causing an alleged loss to a private bank, and said that the inquiries are only happening on the mother company that owns the news channel. ?Different agencies are trying to create a sort of the confusion, there was no raid on NDTV, there are inquiries happening on the mother company who owns NDTV,? Rathore told ANI. Making the clarification, he added that the government is truly committed to the freedom of expression but it will also ensure that the law of the land is not broken and fair inquiries are done on the issue. ?The government is completely committed to freedom of expression be that of the press or of an ordinary citizen. Whatsoever the concerned person must provide the necessary documentation to the inquiring agency,? he said. NDTV, earlier in the day, vowed to fight tirelessly against the ‘witch-hunt by multiple agencies’. The news channel’s statement came hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika Roy, a private company and others for causing an alleged loss to a bank. “This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations. NDTV and its promoters will fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies. We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India,” the NDTV said in a statement. It further said that it has one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: “We will fight for our country and overcome these forces.” The CBI said that searches are being conducted today at four places including Delhi and Dehradun. Meanwhile, the caretakers at Roy’s house in Dehradun said that around six to seven people from the CBI came in the morning and searched the house. CBI sources said that the case has been registered for causing an alleged loss of Rs. 48 crore to ICICI bank.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI raids NDTV founder Prannoy Roy: Congress calls it a witch-hunt, BJP denies political interference

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI carried out searches at the residence of NDTV founder Prannoy Roy for allegedly concealing a share transaction from the SEBI and causing a loss to a private bank, a move termed by the channel as a “witch-hunt” based on “same old” false accusations. The CBI has registered a case against RRPR Holding pvt limited, Pranoy Roy, his wife Radhika and unidentified officials of ICICI Bank of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption.RRPR Holdings had allegedly taken a loan of Rs 500 crore from India Bulls Private Limited to purchase 20 per cent shares of NDTV from the public.The CBI has alleged that RRPR Holdings took a loan of Rs 375 crore at the rate of 19 per cent per annum from ICICI Bank to repay the borrowing from India Bulls.
ALSO READ CBI raids residence of Prannoy Roy; NDTV says will fight tirelessly against ‘witch-hunt’The promoters of NDTV pledged their entire shareholding in NDTV as a collateral to ICICI for this loan, it alleged.This pledging of shares was not reported to the SEBI, stock exchanges and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, according to the CBI.
ALSO READ Nobody above the law: Subramanian Swamy defends CBI raiding NDTV founder’s homeThe NDTV said a statement, “This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations.”The CBI spokesperson strongly denied the witch-hunt allegations levelled by NDTV and said the agency was following procedures laid in the law.Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said there was no political interference in the CBI raids on Roy’s properties and the law was taking its course.”If somebody does something wrong simply because they belong to media, you cannot expect the government to keep quiet,” Naidu told reporters.The officials were doing their duty and there is no political interference in this, he said, adding that media was free and independent in the country.”The CBI might have received some information. That is why they have taken action,” Naidu said. The Congress today condemned the CBI raids on NDTV founder Prannoy Roy and termed it as an attack on the freedom of the press.Meanwhile, Union minister Piyush Goyal said NDTV founder Pranoy Roy and his company should face investigation in connection with the alleged loss caused to a private bank, stressing that nobody enjoyed immunity from being probed. “I don’t think anybody should shy away from investigation … just because you run a media house or you are a top politician or whatever, this does not give immunity to anyone in this country from investigation,” the Energy Minister told reporters.”If they are clear everything is alright then obviously the investigation will show everything as alright. There should not be any concerns about that,” he said. Meanwhile, the Congress criticised the move. Senior Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said the Congress strongly condemns the action and warns the Central government that it should not try to hound the media.”It is a strong attack on the freedom of the press and the Congress party strongly condemns it. We warn the central government that it should not try to hound and threaten the media,” he said. “We are standing with the media. If the need arises, we will use democratic means to oppose this action,” he said, adding that the prime minister has used derogatory words like “bazaaru” and a Union minister had branded the media as “presstitutes”.Maken also questioned the timing of the raids as it happened two days after a NDTV journalist’s spat with a BJP leader on a TV debate on the beef ban notification.Another senior Congress leader Anand Sharma criticised the Centre over the CBI raids, saying it was “blatant abuse of power taking place in the country”. “Centralisation of decision-making is happening at the Centre. The media and the other voices of dissent are being muzzled. A warning is being sent to the media outlets to fall in line or face a similar fate,” Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha told reporters in Mumbai.”The government machinery is being misused and an environment of fear is being created through the (investigation) agencies,” Sharma alleged. Maken said till the time NDTV was playing into the hands of the government everything was fine and cited several incidents in this regard, including the channel not airing the interview of former finance minister P Chidambaram.The Delhi Congress chief and former Union minister said NDTV has done several reports against the UPA government but it never used such a policy to hound it.Both Maken and Sharma said many BJP chief ministers and other ministers have serious allegations against them but asked why was no inquiry or action initiated against them.”When somebody questions them, they become anti- nationals. We never did this when we were in power. Those who had no contribution towards India’s freedom have no right to preach nationalism,” Sharma said.

CBI raids on Prannoy Roy’s residences: Govt denies ‘witch-hunt’ of NDTV, says law is taking its course

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government on Monday refuted NDTV’s ‘witch-hunt’ charge after a case was registered against the channel’s co-founder Prannoy Roy and others for causing an alleged loss to a private bank.The CBI carried out searches at the residences of Prannoy Roy in Delhi and Dehradun. According to reports, the agency has registered a case against Roy, his wife Radhika and RRPR Holdings for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 48 crore to ICICI Bank.After the channel issued a statement saying they would fight against the ‘witch-hunt’, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu denied any interference. “Law is taking its own course, there is no witch-hunting at all. This government don’t believe in interfering,” Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said. He also said that the CBI must have some information to have taken these steps.In its statement, NDTV said, “This morning, the CBI stepped up the concerted harassment of NDTV and its promoters based on the same old endless false accusations.” It said NDTV and its promoters would fight tirelessly against this witch-hunt by multiple agencies.”We will not succumb to these attempts to blatantly undermine democracy and free speech in India. We have one message to those who are trying to destroy the institutions of India and everything it stands for: we will fight for our country and overcome these forces,” it said.

‘Making of Developed India’ fest at 15 places in Rajasthan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The key initiatives and programmes of the central government will be highlighted during exhibitions which will be held in 15 places of Rajasthan as part of the “Making of Developed India” fest to mark the completion of three years of the BJP-led NDA dispensation. Exhibitions will be held from June 2 to 4 in Jaipur city, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Jhalawar, Ajmer, from June 9 to 11 in Jaipur rural, Nagaur, Churu, Kota and Pali and from June 16 to 18 in Bhartpur, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Chittorgarh and Udaipur under the fest, officials said. Key initiatives and programmes, undertaken by the NDA government during the three years will be highlighted in the exhibitions organised by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, they said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tharoor files defamation suit against Goswami, Republic in HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today filed a civil defamation suit against Arnab Goswami and newly- launched news channel Republic TV in the Delhi High Court claiming damages and compensation of Rs two crore for allegedly making defamatory remarks towards him while airing news relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar. The Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram has also sought a direction from the High Court to restrain the TV channel from broadcasting any show relating to the death of his wife till the investigation is completed by the Delhi police. The Congress leader, in his lawsuit, has made Goswami and Arg Outlier Media Asianet News Private Limited, the company which owns Republic TV, as parties. He has referred to the broadcasting of news items from May 8 to 13 when the TV channel claimed to air an expose connected to the death of his wife. The lawsuit filed through advocates Muhammad Ali Khan and Gaurav Gupta denounced the news, claiming that the recordings were released in a sensational manner so as to appease the viewers and created a non-existing controversy by maligning his public life and public image. “It is not out of place to say that defendants (Goswami and TV channel) broadcasted news reports and alleged expose’ which were intended to lead the viewers to believe that the deceased was murdered either by plaintiff (Tharoor) or at the instance of the plaintiff. “Such a broadcast clearly has the potential of adversely impacting the ongoing investigation into the death of the deceased,” the plea said, while seeking to restrain from “maligning and defaming him in any manner” by reporting or broadcasting the news relating to the death of Pushkar. Tharoor also said earlier Goswami as the editor-in-chief with another TV news channel had aired such news, which was restrained by the National Broadcasting Standards Authority. In the lawsuit, he was entitled to Rs two crore damage and compensation “for having suffered humiliation and having suffered severe loss of reputation in the eyes of the public and he has baselessly been declared by the defendants as the alleged murderer of his late wife”. He stated that the police is probing into the matter and has also lodged an FIR. “It is pertinent to mention that the Delhi Police took statements from a number of people, including him,” the suit said, adding that during the probe not a single allegation has been made by the investigating authorities against the MP. Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a suite of a five star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Govt plans ‘Modi Fest’ for 3rd anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fresh after victories in successive state polls, the BJP government at the Centre has planned a series of programmes for its third anniversary celebrations. As part of the programmes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be writing 26,000 letters to the beneficiaries of government schemes. The government is planning a month-long celebration across the country, which is likely to be called ‘Modi Fest’ from May 26, when the government marks its third year in power.According to sources, 300 exhibitions will be organised across the country as part of the celebration. As many as 74 cabinet ministers will fan out across the country to mark their participation in the events. Two-hundred MPs from BJP and 140 state ministers from BJP-ruled states will participate in programmes across the country.Different media units under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry will come together to showcase the campaigns and variety of outreach programmes planned and will also disseminate information about different flagship government schemes. BJP MPs and legislators are likely to spend 72 hours in a village in their constituencies in the run-up to May 26.

Govt asks netizens not to forward malicious content on social

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore today exhorted netizens to be “soldiers” by not forwarding “malicious” content circulated by “enemies” on social media. “You need not wear the uniform to be a soldier of this country, you need not go to the borders now, because the enemy can actually strike in your home (through social media). “All you have to do is be aware and not forward any malicious content or anything that you are not aware of and actually be a soldier by preventing forwarding of such information,” he said. The Information and Broadcasting minister made the remark at the inaugural session of ‘Women Economic Forum’ here in response to a question on cyber stalking of women. He asked the people to self-regulate, contending that governments across the world are yet to find solutions to deal with the issue of circulation of malicious content on the internet. Rathore stated that although the issue was being handled by the information and technology ministry, people should try to solve it at an individual level and spread the word on social network. The Olympic medallist also called for self-regulation of media, adding the government has not taken any restrictive action against it. Slovenia’s Development Minister Alenka Smerkolj also attended the event.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

FreeDish subscribers to get 250 channels for free by next yr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government will increase the number of free channels in Doordarshan’s direct-to-home (DTH) platform — FreeDish — from nearly 90 to 250 by next year, Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said today. The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting said the government will also introduce some new channels, including one for children. “We are increasing the number of channels from present 89 to 250 by 2018 in the ‘FreeDish’. We are also introducing some new channels like ‘DD Kids’,” Rathore said while addressing the closing ceremony of the two-day seminar on ‘Digital Broadcasting in India Way Forward’ here. FreeDish subscribers do not have to pay a monthly or a periodic fee for watching the channels but they need to purchase the set-top-box. The service was launched in December, 2004 with 33 channels. At present, the platform has 89 free-to-air channels and 32 radio channels.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian cinema conveys underlying spirit of brotherhood: Prez

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Pranab Mukherjee today hailed the National Film Awards for celebrating the diversity of the country and lauded Indian cinema for highlighting the spirit of unity. Mukherjee, who felicitated the winners of the 64th National Film Awards, honouring the talent from across the country, said he was elated to see a mini-India under one roof. “It is indeed a very pleasant occasion for me to see the presence of mini-India in the hall expressing India’s diversity in language, culture and religion. “I am happy that the 64th National Awards represent a microcosm of India which celebrates the diversity of languages, customs, religions and culture,” he said. The president said Indian cinema and its diversity convey the underlying spirit of brotherhood, tolerance, acceptance and co-existence. Mukherjee congratulated the award winners in different sections and thanked Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner, veteran filmmaker K Vishvanath, for his contribution to the film industry. The president said he was happy to see a large number of young winners and motivated them to work hard to take the Indian culture forward through cinema. “It is heartening to see so many young faces being recognised in various fields. If the young generation is taking it forward like this, then we can relax and be happy that our national interest will be protected,” Mukherjee said. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu said Indian cinema has showcased the vast richness of the country’s cultural diversity. “Cinema has been a great unifying force in promoting national integration. The film industry should join hands to facilitate mission MODI (Making Of Developed India),” he said. He mentioned that the movies that had won the awards focus on a variety of issues and themes ranging from discrimination, love, historical relationships and relevant social challenges.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Present evidence or apologise: Naidu on Digvijaya’s IS claim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today asked Congress leader Digvijaya Singh to provide evidence over his allegation that the Telangana Police was encouraging Muslim youths to join the terror outfit of Islamic State. He said the Telangana Police “pro-actively share” information on anti-terror operations with other states and such “baseless charges demoralise” the forces. “Shocked by allegations of Sh Digvijay Singh on #Telangana police encouraging Muslims to join ISIS. He should present evidence or apologise,” Naidu said in a tweet. The Information and Broadcasting Minister was responding to Singh’s accusation that Telangana Police was radicalising Muslim youths and encouraging them to join the Islamic State (IS) by setting up a “bogus” website of the terror group. Singh earlier claimed that the state police had set up the website to trap Muslims youths and that it was “radicalising and encouraging them to become ISIS modules”. The senior Congress leader had also asked Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao whether he had authorised the state police “to trap Muslim youths and encourage them to join the IS”. “If he has then shouldn’t he own the responsibility and resign? If he hasn’t then shouldn’t he enquire and punish those who are responsible for committing such a heinous crime (sic),” Singh said in a tweet.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

If Shariat is influencing BJP leaders, they should consider joining it: Azam Khan on triple talaq debate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) opinion on abolishing the triple talaq norm among the Muslims, the Samajwadi Party asserted that the former should consider joining the Shariat, since it has been ‘influential’ to them. Speaking to ANI here on Sunday, SP leader Azam Khan said that rather than focusing on this matter, the BJP should consider addressing other issues. ‘The BJP leaders are expressing their hidden desires. If Shariat is influencing them so much, they should consider joining it,’ he said, adding the BJP was the only party that was politicising the matter.Drawing attention to the recent survey on divorce rates in the Muslims conducted under the Right to Information (RTI) in six states, Khan claimed that results showed divorce rates in the community to be almost negligible.’Divorce rates in other religious communities are much more than among Muslims. We don’t want to embarrass the BJP by disclosing these figures. They must first look to rectify these before indulging in Shariat and the Quran,’ he added.Earlier today, Naidu while re-iterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to not politicise the issue of triple talaq asserted that the controversial practice had no sanction in Shariat.’Triple talaq is a matter of right of equality and right of women to live with dignity. It should not be politicised. I appeal to all political parties to take a resolve to put an end to negative politics,” he said, while addressing a press conference in Hyderabad.On Saturday, Prime Minister Modi appealed to the Muslim community to find for proper solution to end the practice of triple talaq. Addressing the Basva festival, he told the media, “I believe people from Muslim community would come up to solve the issue of triple talaq and act as savior to the Muslim women in this crucial period.” He further went on to say that there should be no discrimination in the country, adding that ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ was the motto of his government and it would fulfill the promises made to the people without any discrimination.

Talk of mid-term polls ‘baseless’: M Venkaiah Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today rubbished the rumours of mid-term elections as “baseless” and said the government will complete its full-term before going to polls in 2019.” Mid-term poll talk either in the state or in the Centre according to me is baseless. It has no foundation. From where this rumour has come, I don’t know. Our party president (Amit Shah) and even the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) have been asking our cadre and our government to work hard and prepare for 2019 elections. And that’s our goal, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting, told reporters in Hyderabad.We have been given a mandate of five years and we will complete (the tenure) and go to polls in 2019. The mid-term poll talk has no basis according to me, he said.Reacting to a query on categorisation of Scheduled Castes, the Union Minister said, “The party is in favour of this. There is a need for discussion on the issue between states and the Centre before bringing an Act. The Union government is yet to finalise on to bring an Act for entire country or if the decision is to be left to the states as each states are having different issues with regard to categorisation.”On another query with regard to problems of chilli farmers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Venkaiah said, “I have spoken to Union Agriculture Minister in this regard. The Centre is ready to help to some extent…but the state governments should also take necessary measures to come to the rescue of farmers.”

Govt plans Mehbooba’s ‘mann ki baat’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to counter Pakistani propaganda and help provide a “healing touch” to the Valley, the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry is preparing a multimedia communication strategy, which will involve radio, TV and social media sites.Sources say that a monthly talk show with J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, special bulletins to motivate Kashmiri youths to join the armed forces, discussions talking about peace and the futility of violence, as cited in various Quranic texts and in the Hadeeth, are some of the programmes that will be aired in the Valley.The government also plans to set up a social media cell in Jammu with an office in Delhi to monitor all posts related to Kashmir on social media, a crucial move given the recent violence, particularly the incidents of stone-pelting, that has rocked the state.They stated that the government is planning youth-oriented programmes on TV for Kashmiris.Top officials in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as well as the I&B ministry have recently held a series of meetings recently with media heads on countering Pakistani propaganda.The government’s bid comes not a minute too soon. Officials from All India Radio’s (AIR) Radio Kashmir say Pakistan’s channels have been busy fuelling anti-India rumours in the state. They add that the most susceptible areas are the ones along the Line of Control (LoC) where Pakistan’s channels are said to have a bigger influence than their AIR counterparts.“Due to worn-out transmitters in these radio stations, our signals are often not very clear. On the other hand, radio signals of Pakistani radio channels penetrating Kashmir are of better quality,” a source said.All of this is likely to change now with this new government initiative. Already, a series of initiatives are taking place on radio. AIR’s Radio Kashmir also plans other programmes on Kashmiri youths who have been successful in other spheres of life. Information on the government’s welfare programmes, among others are also on the anvil.It is not as if the government radio body has not been countering Pakistan’s propaganda threat before. In fact, the external services division of AIR’s Radio Kashmir has broadcast several programmes to counter the influence of propaganda carried out by Pakistan media in different parts of Kashmir.For instance, programmes like Waadi Ki Awaaz in Srinagar highlights difficulties faced by minority communities in Pakistan and provides a counter-version of programmes broadcast by Pakistani media. The channel also broadcasts positive stories on Armed Forces.Similarly, programmes aimed at neutralising “anti-India propaganda” messages by Pakistani channels, countering rumour-mongering within the state and highlighting welfare activities done by the Armed Forces are broadcast by the AIR, Poonch and AIR, Kargil, in Pahari, Urdu and Purgi languages.But while the programmes are there, there is no information on what the actual audience and listenership data in the state. Sources say an unavailability of audience data of Kashmir makes it difficult to assess the impact of such programmes.

Naidu to review working of his depts in Chandigarh tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu will review the working of various departments under his ministries here tomorrow. He will interact with officers from the ministries of Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) and Information and Broadcasting. The focus will be on the implementation of welfare schemes in Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, an official release said here today. Naidu will also interact with field-level officers and get inputs and suggestions from them in order to accelerate the pace of work and delivery under several schemes, it added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Yashwant Sinha for standard operating procedure to curb Naxal attacks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Hours after the government dubbed the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh?s Sukma district as a ?cold-blooded murder?, former union minister and BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha while expressing grave concern called for improvement in the standard operating procedure and wondered whether this was a result of intelligence failure. Sinha called for improvement in intelligence inputs to ensure that such unfortunate incidents do not occur ever again. ?It is an extremely painful incident. I feel that there should be a standard operating procedure under which investigations are done on such issues. Proper investigation should be made whether we had the intelligence inputs or not and whether he had a proper back-up,? Sinha told ANI. ?So, all this should be investigated and action should be taken thereafter because around 75 people jawans were killed in Dantewada earlier in 2010,? he added. Meanwhile, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said the Centre and state governments will work in coordination to fight this menace and uproot it from the society. ?It is a very serious problem, which has been going on for very long. The states and the central government have been working on this. In the coming days, we will work in more coordination. We will not leave them, they (Naxals) have no direction, they are against humanity. The Centre will work more seriously to give them a befitting reply,? he said. He said Naxalism is anti-development and does not have any place in a democratic society. ?Some of the people who writes articles, who always comes to the forth to condemn the government, police whenever they take actions against Naxals, Maoist why are they silent now? Naxals are becoming violent day by day and these people are silent. That really exposes them because they are the agents of the Maoist,? he added. Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government has taken as a challenge the killing of CRPF personnel and vowed that no one will be spared. He said that the Centre and state government would work together to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. Singh, who paid homage to the jawans during a wreath laying ceremony here along with his deputy Hansraj Ahir and Chief Minister Raman Singh, said this cowardly and unfortunate act exposes desperation and frustration. “It is a cold blooded murder by the extremists. The Centre and state governments will work together and take action in this regard,” Rajnath told a joint press briefing with the Chief Minister here. The Chhattisgarh Chief Minister has called for concrete strategy to counter such attacks, while expressing grief over the death of jawans. “It’s high time when we need to adopt some strategies to counter such attacks in future. I offer my condolence to the families of deceased jawans,” Raman said. The Home Minister also briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the attack last night. As many as 25 CRPF personnel were killed and six others injured in the encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma yesterday. The attack took place on personnel of the CRPF’s 74th Battalion as they were assisting the local population in road building activity in the district.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP slams DMK for calling AIADMK govt as benami of Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu today hit out at the DMK for calling the AIADMK regime a benami government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking if it was right to call the DMK the benami of the Congress when it was holding office under the UPA regime. “Some say it (the AIADMK government) is a benami of the Centre. Was the earlier DMK government a benami of the Congress (during UPA regime),” the Information and Broadcasting Minister asked. DMK working president M K Stalin had yesterday dubbed the K Palaniswami government as Modi’s “proxy regime,” and claimed that it was not fighting to secure Tamil Nadu’s rights. Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, Naidu said the BJP did not have anything to gain by controlling a state government from New Delhi. The Centre wanted a stable government in Tamil Nadu after resolving the differences in the AIADMK, he said. On the meeting conducted by the DMK recently to discuss the problems of the farmers affected by the drought, he said one cannot call it an all-party meeting as the ruling AIADMK and the BJP were not invited. He said the Centre or the BJP had no role in the internal problems of the ruling AIADMK. The Centre wanted a stable government in Tamil Nadu, he said. The AIADMK government should carry forward the development works initiated by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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