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BJP MPs to Chidu: Stop discussions on Aadhaar in panel

In a controversial move, on Wednesday, several BJP members in the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs asked its chairman P Chidambaram to stop discussions on the subject of privacy and national security of Aadhaar.A united opposition strongly objected to the BJP’s move in the committee meeting on Wednesday, highly-placed sources said.”The Committee was strongly divided on the issue with BJP members on one side and all the opposition parties’ members on the other side. The opposition was unequivocal in its stand that the subject matter on Aadhaar cannot be set aside or withdrawn. The meeting ended without any headway,” the source said.A BJP member was of the opinion that the subject can also be taken up by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, but the opposition members refused the proposition.Before taking up the issue in the meeting, about five to six BJP MPs — all members of the standing committee — had written a letter to Chidambaram, asking him to recuse himself from the matter, since he represented Jairam Ramesh as a counsel, who has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court on Aadhaar, sources added.A committee member said, the committee already has had four meetings on the same subject matter of privacy and security of Aadhaar, but did not face any issues by the BJP.

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Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel International airport to be abuzz with VVIPs today

Over 50 flights including 10 charter planes carrying VVIPs are scheduled to arrive at the Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel International (SVPI) airport here on Tuesday morning.Chief ministers of different states as well as cabinet ministers will arrive on Tuesday to attend the swearing-in ceremony where Vijay Rupani will take oath as Chief Minister and Nitin Patel as Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat respectively for the second consecutive term.Highly placed sources at the airport said, “We have got information for about 50 flights having CMs as well as Union ministers and have made arrangements accordingly. PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah will also be arriving for the ceremony.”All ministers will be arriving in the morning, which is a peak time at airport and may clash with the regular flight schedule. However, airport officials claim that operations will run smoothly and there will not be any issues faced by passengers.A source said, “Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP National General Secretary Dr Anil Jain, Union Minister of road, transport and highways Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for consumer affairs Ramvilas Paswan, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Anupriya Patel would participate.”

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Haryana CM ML Khattar launches six more e-services on Vajpayee’s birthday

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar today launched six more e-services, thus bringing as many as 100 citizen-centric services pertaining to 12 departments of the state on a single platform.The e-services were launched on the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which was celebrated by the Haryana government as ‘Good Governance Day’.”The state government has initiated e-Initiative to end corruption. This will not only save time and money, but will also provide instant services,” Khattar said during the launch of e-services here.The web-based platform will play host to 380 services pertaining to 30 departments of the state government by April 14 next year.Besides, 2,500 tablets have been provided to Patwaris (land revenue officials) across the state to enable them to digitally verify certificates, and launch Swachhata Map Application for 35 cities. It would be initiated in 80 cities of the state by January 26, 2018.The Chief Minister dedicated SARAL Portal under e- governance to the people of the state.SARAL (Simple, All inclusive, Real Time, Action Oriented, Long lasting) is a service delivery platform where citizens can track and avail themselves of more than 100 services on a single platform.Earlier, Khattar had launched the ‘CM e-Dashboard’ to monitor key parameters of various departments and ensure effective delivery of services.”With 2,500 Patwaris getting tablets, this is for the first time in the state that ground level work would be done electronically,” Khattar said.The chief minister said Swachhata Map App would be linked with Swachhata App of the Central government with additional services.Khattar directed the officers to initiate the process of linking villages with the app to facilitate them to provide information about cleanliness in their area.He also launched Deputy Commissioners (DCs) e-Dashboard (Darpan), which, he said, would not only offer analytical view of the ongoing schemes throughout the country but also provide unique survey of the national level schemes.For hotel industry, a digital register has been launched for the first time for visitors in the state. Under this, real-time data of visitors would be shared with the police and manual verification would no longer be required, an official release said.The Chief Minister also launched NOC application of the forest department which has been developed with the help of ISRO and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).The app has been integrated with Geographic Information System (GIS) which would grant automatic approval for Forest NOC and clarification to business entities or companies based on forest boundaries.”We are launching a pilot in Hisar and Bhiwani to give auto approval to any area which is more than 1.5 km away from forest area,” Khattar said.A Mobile Video Conference Platform was also launched which would enable the chief minister or any other official to get connected with 30 officers through video-conference, anywhere, anytime.Urban Local Bodies Minister Kavita Jain was also present at the launch ceremony.

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UNICEF calls for action to end digital divide across the world

Only 15% people have access to the Internet in the least-developed countries, a UNICEF report has revealed.In developed countries, an estimated 81 per cent people use Internet, the report covering 24 countries, including India, in 2017 said.Digital divide do not merely separate the connected from the unconnected, they go deeper concerning how people, including youth and children, use Information and Communication Technology (ICT), a UNICEF spokesperson said after launching the report here last week.The report quoted data from world’s wealthiest countries to show that ICT experience has a huge impact on the wages of labourers in countries like Australia and US. Adults without ICT experience were likely to earn less.”Other studies of adult population in countries such as India and Tunisia reflect similar findings,” the report said.Also readHere’s how researchers are looking to provide high-speed internet at low costThe report said while about 29% of youth, in the age group of 15-24 years, (346 million individuals), don’t have access to the Internet, the situation is almost opposite in the case of children.Just about 30 per cent of children, below 15 years, have access to the digital media across the globe, the report said.Also readGoogle for India: Tech giant unveils ‘Oreo Go’ to drive Internet adoption”Children who are unconnected are missing out on rich educational resources, access to global information and online opportunities of learning. They are also forgoing ways to explore new friendships and self-expression,” it said.Calling it a digital divide, the report explained that the gap will amplify the advantage of children from wealthier backgrounds even as the poor and disadvantages ones remain deprived of opportunities.Referring to a digital gender gap, the report said, globally 12 per cent more men used the internet than women did in 2017.The report calls for faster action, focused investment and greater cooperation to protect children from the harms of a more connected world, the UNICEF spokesman said.West Bengal Women and Child Development minister Sashi Panja, who had attended the launch event last week, assured to take note of the findings and its implications on the kids here.”We will go through the contents of the report and take necessary actions based on the findings in our state,” West Bengal Women and Child Development minister Sashi Panja told PTI.

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Cops register FIRs against fringe group protesting inter-faith marriage

The Ghaziabad police have registered two First Information Reports (FIRs) against right-wing leaders, including Bharatiya Janata Party city president Ajay Sharma, for creating a ruckus at an inter-religious wedding reception venue in Kavi Nagar on Saturday.Accrording to police, the first FIR has been registered against 60 unknown people after the bride’s father gave a written complaint alleging that a mob tried to enter his house forcibly and interrupt the function going on at his home on Friday evening.”In the complaint, the father of the bride stated that his family now fears for their safety in the wake of the incident. The second complaint has been lodged by the police on their own in which 13 named and 100 unknown people have been made accused. We are investigating the matter,”said HN Singh, Senior Superintendent Of Police, Ghaziabad.Singh assured the protesters that he would write to the district magistrate for a magisterial inquiry. “The bride and the groom are adults and have a right to marry whoever they want. If needed, an FIR or other legal action will only be taken after the inquiry is completed,” he said.According to the bride’s father, he had called the groom’s family and relatives for a small reception after the marriage. But there have been protests outside his house since Friday morning.”Due to the entire scene, my guests were fearful, and we asked them to leave because of safety issues. I had been getting calls from several people who wanted us to call the marriage off for past two days,”said the bride’s father.The father added that the marriage was performed under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act on Friday and the bride and the groom signed the documents at the court. “There is no pressure whatsoever on my daughter to convert,”he saidOn Friday afternoon, hundreds of protesters, including those from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and right-wing organisations, protested outside the home calling the marriage an “anti-national act and a case of love jihad.”Protesters, led by BJP’s city unit, raised slogans and tried to barge inside the house but were stopped by the police who had to lathi-charge them to maintain order.WEDDING PROTESTEDAccording to the bride’s father, he had called the groom’s family and relatives for a small reception after the marriage. But there have been protests outside his house since Friday.

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Over Rs 18 lakh looted from NRI couple at Vadodara railway station

Cash and jewellery worth Rs 18.25 lakh was looted from a Non-Resident Indian couple at Vadodara railway station late last night, police said.The couple, 74-year-old Raghuvir Agrawal and his wife, were waiting on platform number one to board the Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express.Agrawal, who is wheelchair-bound, told police that someone snatched his purse while he was awaiting the train’s arrival.The purse contained US dollars, two passports and gold and diamond jewellery, police said.A porter chased the thief but the latter managed to get away, police said.NI Pandya, Sub-Inspector of the railway police said that a First Information Report had been registered and police teams were scouring CCTV footage from the station to nab the thief.Police said that the couple, who have settled in the United States of America, had come to the city some time ago and were staying in the Gotri locality of Vadodara.

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Shekhawati heritage needs to be promoted: CM Vasundhara Raje

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje, on Tuesday, underlined the importance of promoting the heritage of Shekhawati region. During the ‘Mukhyamantri Jan Samvad’ organised at Jhunjhunu-based JJT University, Raje said that several towns of the area, including Nawalgarh, Ramgarh, Fatehpur, and Alsisar have valuable heritage which is yet not fully explored. Information about these heritage sites should be uploaded online in order to get a global recognition.While talking about the achievements of the state government in the region, Raje said that a water pipeline has been established under Kumbharam Lift Canal from Taranagar to Malsisar. This was a Rs 172 crore project which took four years to complete. She instructed the officials of Public Health Department to find a solution to the irregular availability of water in Malsisar. She asked them to consult the residents of the area for the same.Furthermore, the chief minister instructed the officials of Public Works Department to identify the broken small roads and outline a project of development of the same in Jhunjhunu, in next 10 days. During the public meeting, she said that the state government, in addition to building large roads, is also focused on connecting the towns through small roads. The roads which need re-work, expansion or renewal will be identified. In addition to this, she instructed the Chief Medical Health Officer of Jhunjhunu to keep a proper check on the Public Health Centres of the area. This came after a complaint was filed regarding two out of five positions being vacant in the PHC. The complaint also elaborated that the doctors in PHCs were not available during their duty hours.

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Man hacks film producer’s comp, arrested

The DN Nagar police arrested a 29-year-old youth for allegedly hacking the website of Bollywood film producer Gaurang Doshi, and stealing data from the server to damage the reputation of the company. The police tracked the accused by tracing the Internet Protocol address.According to police, a website belonging to Gaurang Doshi Productions Private Limited, was allegedly hacked on December 15 after which Anand Bansal, 31, administrator of the company approached the DN Nagar police to file a complaint. Doshi has produced ‘Aankhen’, ‘Deewar ‘ Let’s Bring Our Heroes Home’ and ‘Sandstrom’ among others in the past. In a statement to the police, it has been alleged that an unidentified person hacked the website server and managed to get access to the e-mails and the bank account details of the film producer.The police on Monday at 10 pm arrested Bhavik Shah, a website designer under sections 420(cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and under section 66 (Hacking with the computer system) of the Information Technology Act.“The server had various details of the actor and its transactions with the different companies. We are probing if the accused used the information to share it with the rival companies for personal benefits. The accused was traced through the IP address used to hack into the servers of the website used by the film producer.”, said a DN Nagar police officer.“The accused has been remanded into police custody for one day and we have sent the seized electronic equipments to the Kalina Forensic and Science Laboratory for analysis,” said Parmeshwar Ganame, Senior Police Inspector, DN Nagar police station.MODUS OPERANDIA website belonging to Gaurang Doshi Productions Private Limited, was allegedly hacked on December 15. An unidentified person hacked the website server and got access to emails

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EC pulls back Rahul Gandhi’s notice, to set up panel

Following a massive controversy over the Election Commission’s (EC) action against Congress president Rahul Gandhi over a TV interview, the poll body on Sunday sought to set up a committee to recommend modifications in Section 126 of the Representation of People Act (RPA), 1951. The section prohibits public meetings and campaigning 48 hours prior to the commencement of voting.In separate orders, the Commission withdrew its showcause notice against Rahul but rejected the Congress complaint against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.A controversy had broken out last week, when the EC issued a showcause notice to Rahul, after TV channels in Gujarat aired his interview a day ahead of polling. The EC called it violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). An angry Congress then charged the Commission for not acting against PM Modi, who had allegedly conducted a roadshow with BJP flags in Ahmedabad on the polling day.The Congress lambasted the EC as a “kathputli (puppet)” and “bandhak (hostage)” of the ruling BJP and the PM’s office.In two subsequent orders, the Commission, while informing the Congress that it was withdrawing the showcase notice against Rahul and advised the BJP not to make any election matter pertaining toarea going to polls during the prohibited period of 48 hours, henceforth. The EC further stated that due to the expansion of digital and electronic media, the particular act and other provisions required revisiting the Act to cater to present challenges.On the Congress complaint against the BJP releasing its manifesto, the Commission said there was no time limit prescribed in the Act for releasing poll document and no instruction of the poll panel were required in this regard. But it advised both parties to not violate the MCC by engaging in any poll-related activity during the 48-hour period before polling.To address such controversies in the future, the EC directed the government to constitute a committee, with representation from the EC, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Law and Justice, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and representatives of National Broadcasters Associations (NBA) and Press Council of India (PCI), to examine Section 126 in the prevailing context of communication technologies.The EC order further said the committee will also suggest required changes so that the matter can be taken up with all stakeholders, including political parties and media houses, for their views and to recommend appropriate modification in law.The section says no person shall convene, hold, attend, join, or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election; or display to the public any election matter by means of cinematography, television, or other similar apparatus; or propagate any election matter to the public by holding, or by arranging the holding of, any musical concert or any theatrical performance or any other entertainment or amusement with a view to attract the members of the public.The provision says any such act will invite imprisonment for a term that may extend to two years or with fine, or with both.The Commission further said that “the increasing changes in the technology of communication makes it necessary that the administration and preferably the Law Commission should have another look at the Section and clarify its limits”.The EC order also mentioned past elections, such as in Bihar, where it received a flood of similar complaints. It opined that Section 126, at present, does not take into account such a communication revolution, whereas it appears imperative to revisit the provisions to appropriately address these challenges.

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Andhra Pradesh: 18-year-old cinema theater’s watchman commits suicide

An 18-year-old watchman allegedly committed suicide by hanging on the premises of a cinema theatre where he was working at Rangampeta village, police said on Sunday. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readBihar: Minor boy commits suicide after being forcibly married to elder brother’s widowPolice received the information about the incident last evening, a police official said.On reaching the spot, police found A. Chanti hanging in the booking room of the now-defunct theatre, he said.Also readOver 1200 farmers committed suicide in 5 months: Maharashtra govtChanti was living alone on the premises of the theatre, the official said, adding that further investigation is on.

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No term like ‘martyr’ or ‘shaheed’ in our lexicon, say Defence and Home Ministry

There is no term as “martyr” or “shaheed” in the Army or the police and instead a soldier or a policeman killed in action is called a “battle casualty” or “operations casualty” respectively, the ministries of defence and home have submitted before the Central Information Commission.The issue surfaced after an RTI applicant approached the Union home ministry seeking to know the meaning and detailed definition of word “shaheed” (martyr) according to the law and the Constitution. He also asked about the legal provisions to ensure restriction on its misuse and punishment for violation. The application was transferred to different officials of the home and defence ministries but when the applicant could not get a satisfactory response, he approached the CIC, the highest appellate body in matters relating to the Right to Information Act.The respondents from the ministries of defence and the home affairs were present and heard, Information Commissioner Yashovardhan Azad said. “The respondent from the Ministry of Defence stated that word ‘shaheed’ or ‘martyr’ is not used by the MoD. Instead the one used is ‘battle casualty’. The respondent from the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that in the MHA the word used is ‘operations casualty’,” Azad said.Also readFacing heat for limiting education aid to martyrs’ kids, MoD doubles gallantry award moneyQuoting the submissions, he noted that the decision to declare cases of ‘battle casualty’ and ‘ops’ were taken after a report of a court of inquiry in both the matters.”After hearing the respondents and the perusal of the record, the commission finds that the averments made by both the respondents have duly explained the correct usage of the terms and directs the respondents to send a revised reply to the appellant accordingly,” he said.

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Nagpada social worker abused on Facebook

The Nagpada police are on the lookout for an unknown person who harassed a Nagpada-based female social worker on a social media site by sending her obscene videos and photos. According to the police, the stalker whose profile name was ‘Shoaib’ befriended a woman on Facebook and started chatting with her. The police said, the accused also managed to get her mobile number and send her lewd messages, and forced her to talk with him. Initially, the victim warned the accused, however, the accused continued harassing. He also sent obscene video clips and pictures. The police claimed that this continued for a week following which the woman approached the police and lodged a complaint. “We have registered a case and are probing the matter further. The accused seems to be knowing her as he had managed to get her mobile number and had also called her once,” said a police officer from Nagpada police station. The police have registered a case under section 354 (molestation) of Indian Penal Code and 67 D(sexual harassment) of Information Technology Act.

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Banning condom ads is not a solution, say AIDS activists

The Information and Broadcasting ministry in an advisory issued to all television channels on Monday said advertising for condoms will not be allowed between 6 am and 10 pm. The announcement has raised a concern in several health circles particularly organisations working on HIV-AIDS control programme.Speaking about the issue, Dr V Sam Prasad, country program director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, “The ban will create a negative impact on society. After banning the ads, teenagers will actively use social media to look for information. If the right message is not conveyed to children, it will be a big problem for them. It should actually be a dinner-table topic to discuss with the family members.”The data revealed by Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) states that HIV infection among youth aged 15 to 29 years is about 31 per cent of the total infections.Dr Shrikala Acharya, spokesperson and additional project director of MDACS, said, “It won’t have any negative impact since people are aware of the fact that condoms are used to have protected sex. The younger generation is active on social media sites like YouTube, WhatsApp where they can easily access data and videos. Banning it on TV will not have any negative impact on the AIDS control programme organised by the government.”Ashok Row Kavi, Chairperson, The Humsafar Trust, said, “This is a regressive decision.”

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Give details on action taken against those violating Government Resolution: SIC to cops

The State information commission (SIC) has directed the Mumbai police to give details on action taken against officers who have violated a 2015 Government Resolution (GR). The GR asked for action against erring officers due to whom cases were lost in court and accused acquitted.The state government had issued the GR in order to implement a Supreme Court (SC) order. To improve prosecution and investigation, the SC in 2014 had directed state governments that a mechanism be put in place to take action against officers because of whom the prosecution fails to prove its case in the court, resulting in the acquittal of an accused. The order aimed to infuse seriousness in the performance of probes and prosecution and crystallise mistakes so that they form part of a refresher training program for senior officers and prosecutors. The SIC gave its order following a series of RTI applications filed by DNA.The order was passed by Ajit Kumar Jain, state Chief Information Commissioner (additional charge) on November 27. DNA had filed RTI applications to know the supervision by senior officers of the police force and the action taken in cases where the GR had been violated as the government’s response was tardy in implementing SC order.DNA had got to know about the SC order when the state was already in contempt of it. An NGO looking to check on its implementation wanted the details of compliance of the SC order from the state government.Only after the SIC order, did the government come out with a GR on the subject. “They did not even know of the order and asked for it,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, whose appeal with the information commissioner resulted in the government issuing the GR on October 17, 2015.WHAT THE GR SAYSAs per the GR, the Mumbai police formed 18 committees, each of which was to be headed by the zonal Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCPs). The GR stated that each zone or unit head was to take the meetings once every three months and implement the SC order rigorously. In its November 13, 2016 edition, DNA had reported that despite being in contempt, the response from the authorities continued to be tardy to the SC order.

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Discom staff get salary twice due to bank error

This could have been a SMS joke for the Jaipur discom employees when they received text message of getting salary twice this month. The employees got the salary for the previous months on December 2. However on Friday morning they once again received the message . The information of this was circulated amongst the employees and soon it became the talk of the office.As soon as Jaipur discom administration came to know about it , it got in touch with the bank .They got to know that it was due to the bank’s mistake that the salary was credited once again into the accounts of the employees.“We have contacted the bank, there was some error in the way bank processed the salary. They have been asked to correct this,” said M S Palawat, director finance of Jaipur Discom.The electricity company had made annual payment of about Rs 6,12,83,66,398 to its employees in the year ended March 31, 2016 . The amount credited twice not of this magnitude as the officials claimed it was related to salaries of a particular branch of Jaipur Discom.

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Yogi Adityanth to set up social media hub

Yogi Adityanth-led BJP government in Uttar Pradesh has signed an agreement with the BECIL (Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited) to set up a social media hub at the CM Secretariat.The main aim of the social media hub is to increase interaction with the people of the state and take government’s policies and programs with the public. “The social media hub will act two ways. People can also lodge their complaints through the platform for quick redressal,” said AK Jha, Director Information.Reaching out people in the largest-populated state of country is a major problem and the hub will establish contact with anyone having a mobile. “We have developed the software keeping in mind the state’s huge population and mobile users. We will also enter into agreements with all telecom service providers to reach to maximum people of the state,” said a BECIL official.BECIL is a Government of India enterprise under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to promote Digital India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream dream project. The BECIL Deputy Managing Directir Ramit Lala said that they have already appointed a senior officer to man the Social Media hub at the CM Secretariat.
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Cyber crime conviction rate in Maharashtra touches alarming level

In a bid to increase detection and conviction rate of cyber crimes in the state and the city, the Mumbai police have organised five days cyber crime training workshop for policemen and have setup a specialsed cyber crime investigation units at each police station in Mumbai. According to the statistics provided by Maharashtra Police, the state Police has an extremely poor conviction as well as detection rate in Cyber-Crime cases. Statistics shows that since 2012, on an average, almost 80 % of the cases results in acquittal of accused. The poor conviction rate only raises questions over the investigation techniques adopted and evidences gathered by the police department in probing Cyber-Crime cases.From 2012 till June 2017, trial in 184 cyber-crime cases got completed, of which there were convictions in 34 cases and acquittals in 150 cases, statistics revealed.Also readBaba Ramdev’s Patanjali to step into solar power business, will invest Rs 100 croreAccording to the statistics, the detection rate of Cyber Crime cases is only 31% in last five-and-a-half years. Out of 10,419 cases registered under Information Technology Act along with Indian Penal Code and Special law cases, since year 2012 till June 2017, only 3167 cases have been detected.While registration of Cyber-Crime cases have increased from 900 cases in 2012 to 2417 in year 2016, the detection rate has fallen from 33.3 percent in 2012 to 23.07 in the year 2016.Also readAirAsia tickets in Rs 999: deal details you need to knowAlso the pendency of Cyber-Crime cases in court is on the higher side. As per the statistics, 10,235 Cyber-Crime cases are still pending in the court. Cyber experts and cyber criminal lawyers said that lack of proper training and poor investigation skills leads to poor conviction rate and detection rate. “Electronic evidence requires to be collected and processed expeditiously and in a manner which stands the test of trial. Inordinate delay in either collection or forensic analyses will adversely affect the legality and proving of such evidence. The forensic cyber lab in Mumbai is grossly over worked and hence forensic analysis and reports are much delayed in many cases. In addition, delays in registration of cases and in investigations by the police irreparably harm effective decisions in cases,” said N. S. Nappinai, advocate and author specialising in cyber laws.Also readPaytm ka ATM is here! Firm plans to invest Rs 3000 crore over next 3 years to expand offline distribution network”Sometimes complainants also delay filing of complaints – this may be due to either confusion with respect to rights available with them or lack of confidence in the system. That the number of cases filed does not reflect the actual cyber-crimes committed is probably a reflection of this! Each of the above may be contributory factors resulting in the abysmally low convictions,” Nappinai added. “Since police is unable to gather sufficient evidences in such cases, it results in poor conviction. There is a need for special cyber-crime courts to fast track the cases. Also the quality of training should be upgraded. There is load on forensic lab too and report is delayed there. Even citizens should be aware and beware from being a cyber crime victim,” said Ritesh Bhatia, cyber security expert.”We conduct regular training sessions for police on cyber-crimes. The reason behind the less detection is that most of the crimes occur overseas or from the other cities and states due to which it becomes difficult to trace the culprits. Other technical factors too results in delayed probe,” said a senior IPS officer.Following the low rates the city police has setup the cyber crime investigation unit has been established at each police station in #Mumbai. Will consist of a seven member team. Five day training session started from Monday.”One inspector, two assistant inspectors.or sub inspectors and three to four constables selected for forming cyber crime units at each police station.we are also appealing citizens to come to police stations and register their complaints if they have become a victim of cyber crime,” said Deepak Devraj, Mumbai police spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner of Police.
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Social media is making it tough to reach out to people

Looking at the grassroots level work in the field of HIV AIDS across the city, the civic health officers on the occasion of World AIDS Day stated that social media is making it difficult to reach out to people mainly between the age group of 18 to 30 years.The number of HIV cases diagnosed among general clients has decreased by 56 per cent in last six years as per the civic-run Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS). Speaking about the status of difficulties faced by them to tackle the awareness level in general public, Dr Padmaja Keskar, BMC’s Executive Health Officer, said, “There has been decreasing in the number of HIV positive cases in a high-risk group. 36,000 patients are on life-long Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART). The use of social media by a large number of citizens is making it difficult for us to increase the awareness level and give out factual information to the masses.”Adding more information, Dr Shrikala Acharya, additional project director of MDACS, said, “When we look 10 years back and now, we can see that there has been a lot of gap between the use of social media. These days, WhatsApp groups and forward messages can create negative impact too. Through our centers, we try to reach out to people directly at specific locations, but we can’t reach out to people through virtual media.”Speaking about the contribution of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to decrease the number of HIV cases in the country, USAID Administrator Mark Green, said, “The organisation is contributing by giving out technical expertise regarding Information Education and Communication (IEC) to Mumbai Districts AIDS Control Society (MDACS) with an aim to spread awareness on HIV AIDS in the society. Across the country, we are helping India by giving financial support, technical expertise from our experience. Making of young leaders and working together will help to spread the word in vulnerable communities.”NEW DATAMDACS also reveals that the number of newly infected pregnant women declined from 466 in 2010-11 to 162 in 2016-17. Among the newly infected with HIV, 93 per cent have been infected due to unsafe sex, 3.7 per cent due to transmission from infected mother to baby, 0.3 per cent due to infected blood and 0.5 percent due to infected needles.
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Watch: Meet Mitra – the robot who helped PM Modi and Ivanka Trump kickoff GES 2017

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump and PM Modi inaugurated the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 in Hyderabad by pressing two buttons on Mitra – a humanoid robot made in India. Mitra was designed by Invento Robotics, CEO of Invento Tech – Balaji Viswanathan – and his 14-member team deployed two bots at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. During the event, Mitra went all the way to where PM Modi and Ivanka Trump were sitting and greeted them.There was a small faux paus though with Mitra, when both Modi and Ivanka pressed the button together.
ALSO READ Hyderabad’s tech centers may soon outshine its biryani: Full text of Ivanka Trump’s GES 2017 speechDescribing his work, Vishwanathan had told TOI: “The GES is an ideal forum for us to display our ‘Made in India’ robot. Given the high profile dignitaries and the tight security, Mitra will have limited interaction on the dais. When the PM and Ivanka Trump come on to the stage, Mitra will move towards them and have a conversation. They can then press a button which will prompt Mitra to sing that the summit has been declared open.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to US President Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit .The Press Information Bureau (PIB) released a picture of the two warmly shaking hands but did not immediately give details of what transpired at the meeting.Trump landed today and is scheduled to make the opening address at the GES.”Thank you for the warm welcome,” she tweeted. “I’m excited to be in Hyderabad, India for #GES2017.” Trump, who is also a fashion designer and a businesswoman, was invited by Modi during his visit to the White House in June to speak at the Summit.She is leading the US contingent at the Summit, which has ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ as its theme.Modi will host dinner for her at the famous Falaknuma Palace Hotel this evening. With inputs from PTI

Delhi High Court dismisses AAP plea on Lieutenant Governor order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has dismissed an application filed by the Aam Aadmi Party for early hearing in a petition filed against an order by the Lieutenant Governor (LG) to recover Rs 97 crore from the party for money allegedly spent by the Delhi government on advertisements.The party, in its plea, had sought quashing of the demand notice issued on March 30 by the Delhi government’s Department of Information and Publicity (DIP) on LG Anil Baijal’s direction to recover the amount. Justice Vibhu Bhakru rejected the plea stating that it is “not feasible”.”This is an application for early hearing. The same is not feasible. The application is dismissed,” the court said in its order thereby listing the matter for March 20, 2018 as earlier.The application filed on Monday stated that the court has given the next date of hearing for March 20, 2018 as it could not hear the matter due to other cases. It said that in the meanwhile, one of the advertisers namely Sandesh Limited has filed a recovery suit against the party in order to recover Rs 41,52, 507.The plea also stated that since other advertisers are also filing recovery suits, it is necessary for the court to hear the matter at the earliest.AAP CLAIMS BIASIn its plea, the party also submitted that the three member committee which was appointed by the Centre was biased when it held that the Delhi government had splurged exchequer’s money on advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party in violation of Supreme Court guidelines.
The committee’s order of September 16 last year had come on a complaint from Congress leader Ajay Maken accusing the AAP government in Delhi of splurging public money on advertisements.
The panel had also said that the AAP should be made to reimburse the expenditure for the violation of the apex court’s May 13, 2015 order.

October 10 fare hike costs Delhi Metro 3 lakh commuters a day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Metro’s ridership saw a slump in October after a steep fare hike came into effect, according to the records of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).The Delhi Metro lost three lakh commuters a day after the fare hike that came into effect on October 10, the DMRC said in response to a Right To Information (RTI) query filed by news agency PTI. The daily average ridership on 218-km network came down to 24.2 lakh in October from 27.4 lakh in September, translating to a fall of around 11 per cent, PTI reported. The Blue Line, considered the metro’s busiest, lost over 30 lakh riders in a month, according to data shared by the DMRC. The 50-km corridor connects Dwarka in South West Delhi to Noida.DMRC said that Yellow Line, another busy corridor which connects Gurgaon to north Delhi’s Samaypur Badli, lost over over 19 lakh commuuters in terms of absolute numbers.Ridership on the Violet Line, which connects ITO in Central Delhi to Faridabad, plunged by 11.9 lakh in October. The Red Line connecting Dilshad Garden to Rithala also lost 7.5 lakh riders.Ridership has come down several notches below the numbers observed in recent years, bucking a trend of rise on the back of the launch of newer sections.In October 2016, the metro’s daily average ridership was also 27.2 lakh, despite a comparatively shorter operational route.Earlier, the fare hike in May had also also caused a loss of nearly 1.5 lakh passengers per day in June. However, the DMRC had attributed the reduction in ridership, by up to 5 per cent, as “natural”.The hike on October 10, which came barely five months after the last one, affects every commuter of the Metro who travels beyond 5 km, while journeys falling in the 2-5 km distance slab cost Rs 5 more.The revised fare structure after the fare hike is: up to 2 km — Rs 10, 2 to 5 km — Rs 20, 5 to 12 km — Rs 30, 12 to 21 km — Rs 40, 21 to 32 km — Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.The implementation of the fare hike had caused a tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government which opposed the move. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government has mounted a stiff opposition to the hike, leading to a confrontation with the Centre.DMRC and Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri had supported the move, rejecting strong opposition by the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government. Commenting on the RTI revelation, Kejriwal tweeted, “That many passengers have taken to other means of tpt, thus increasing pollution n congestion on roads. Metro fare hike has not benefitted anyone.”

Right to Net is not negotiable: Ravi Shankar Prasad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian government will ensure that every citizen has a right to access the Internet but is also determined to keep radical elements and terrorists from abusing social media platforms to perpetuate hate and terror, Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.”Without going into the larger nuisance of net neutrality, in India, we have taken a new position that the right of access is important and is not negotiable,” he said at the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) here attended by delegates from 131 countries.Prasad said that the government has turned down social networking giant Facebook’s Free Basics programme because it offered access to select Internet services.”When I was handling the communications department, my friend Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met me a number of times with the idea of Free Basics… Free Basics is that everything will be free if you enter through my (Facebook’s) gate… India is a democracy, we don’t believe in one gate,” he said.The minister said that the government will not allow any company to restrict citizens’ entry to the worldwide web. “We believe in multiple gates. Therefore, this gate locking for India will not be accepted and I did not allow it. This stems from our commitment that the Internet must be accessible to all.””Being a democratic country, India upholds privacy and is governed by the rule of law and constitution. But privacy cannot prohibit innovation,” he said.Prasad’s comments come amidst a debate over net neutrality in India. Telecom regulator TRAI is yet to announce its recommendations on this issue and a consultation process is still on. It has, however, banned Bharti Airtel’s Airtel Zero and Facebook’s Free Basics that would have offered free access to some sites available on their platforms.The minister said, “Most importantly, privacy cannot be the shield of the corrupt, terrorist and the extremists. Radical elements and terrorists are abusing social media platforms to perpetuate hate and terror but India is determined to address the misuse of cyber space and thwart them.”However, there is a need to strike a balance in data availability, data utility, data innovation, data anonymity and data privacy, he said.”Our view is — any digital initiative should bring digital inclusion, bridging the digital divide, and most importantly, it should be powered by tech which should be affordable, developmental and inclusive. That is where our (the government’s) responsibility also becomes very important. Abusing this platform for child pornography is again a serious issue,” he said.”What is the digital profile of India? 1.30 billion people, 1.21 billion mobile phones, 1.18 billion Aadhaar numbers — a digitally verifiable identity, completely safe and secure law.”He also talked about broadband project BharatNet and said, “We are laying down optical fibre in 2.5 lakh panchayats. One lakh has been covered. A big model of inclusion is common services centres.”India has been advocating for a multi-stake holder approach for Internet governance so that not only the governments but also other stake holders become an active participant in managing one of the greatest innovations of mankind, the minister said.

Linking of Aadhaar with personal details dangerous for individuals and society: Mamata Banerjee

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that linking of personal details with Aadhaar number was “dangerous” for individuals and society.Banerjee, in a post on her Twitter handle, said, “Linking of #Aadhaar is very problematic. In the name of #AadhaarCard, details have been put on 210 government websites. This is dangerous for individual liberty, the society, and the country.””All the skeletons are being exposed. Some people feel happy even after doing wrong things,” the chief minister said continuing her tirade against the BJP government at the Centre on the Aadhaar issue.Banerjee had yesterday told reporters at the state secretariat, “We already have the PAN card, voter ID card. But I believe what is taking place in the name of Aadhaar card — that will be dangerous for any individual and society.” Criticising the Centre, the Trinamool Congress chief had stated, “Some people act like Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and take sudden decisions like dividing the state or the move of demonetization. This information about Aadhaar card details leakage also shows such mindset.””Details from head to toe of every individual, talks between mother and daughter… husband and wife would be known. I have been a warning (people) about this time and again,” she had said.More than 200 central and state government websites publicly displayed details such as names and addresses of some Aadhaar beneficiaries and Banerjee had denounced the central government over the leak, the Unique Identification Authority of India said recently.The Aadhaar issuing body in response to a Right to Information query said it took note of the breach and got the data removed from those websites.

Five months on, 1,200 BMC students still wait for their tabs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over five months after the new academic year has started, students of 1,200 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) schools are still awaiting tabs as the corporation is yet to complete the seeing process with a new seller. Despite a budgetary allocation of over Rs 7 crore, the civic body’s biggest e-learning initiative is in a shambles.As per an Right to Information (RTI) application response furnished to activist Prithviraj Mhaske, in 2015, the BMC bought 22,799 tablets for students of Class 8 and spent an amount of Rs 1.42 crore for the same. In 2016-17, the corporation spent Rs 12.99 crore to purchase a fresh bunch of tablets. In 2017, with a budgetary provision of 7.83 crore, the corporation decided to bring in a new service provider scrapping the earlier agency — Techno Electronics. However, till date the corporation is not able to find a new agency as a result of which fresh purchase has been hauled.”The corporation is not serious about its e-learning initiative. What is the point of giving away the tablets after half the year has gone by?” asked Mhaske. With the change in the Class 9 syllabus, earlier tablets became redundant as they did not have the revised syllabusMahesh Palkar, Education Officer, BMC said that the tendering process for the new set of tablets is still on. “Some of the applicants have quoted a very high price and negotiations with respect to prices are on. We want to ensure that students get tabs that are of good quality and at the same time worth their cost. The process will be completed soon and students will get their tablets after that,” added Palkar.Shubhada Gudekar, Chairperson of the BMC Education Committee, said that the process of acquiring and distributing tabs will happen in phases. “There are 1,200 schools of the corporation. We are working our best to procure new tabs as early as possible and as soon as the process is over, students will get them phasewise,” said Gudekar.Principals, meanwhile, said that with most students not havimg tabs, the initiative seems to have fizzled out. “Most students in our school do not have tablets. Some were sent for repairs and never came back and others are waiting as the corporation is yet to give a fresh batch with the new portion of the syllabus,” said the principal of a civic school.BackgroundIn August 2015, students of BMC schools had to wait until January to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get all the approvals.After tabs were distributed for the first time in 2015, schools started complaining about not having enough plug points to charge them in classrooms. The civic body then floated tenders for additional plug points in 2016.In 2016, with the government’s mandate of getting a battery certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the company Techno Electronics have the tabs after a delay of over two months.THE LONG WAITIn the 2015 academic year, BMC school students had to wait until Jan to get their tabs as the civic body took time to get approvals. Also, schools didn’t have enough power outlets

Gujarat Elections 2017: Video with alleged communal overtone goes viral, EC orders probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat chief electoral officer has ordered a probe by the police into the emergence of a video clip whose content is alleged to be aimed at spreading hatred against Muslims “to polarise votes” in the poll-bound state.”We have taken cognisance of the matter after learning about it from the media. The matter has been taken very seriously at all levels. The police have been asked to investigate. The cyber crime department will investigate the matter,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) B B Swain said today.He said the district election officers (DEOs) have been asked to be careful about the poll code violation on social media platforms and address the matter immediately.”We have asked all DEOs to be very careful. Apart from looking into the expenditure part, the teams have also been asked to look into MCC (Model Code of Conduct) violation and initiate due action,” the CEO told PTI.The 1.15 minute-long clip, which begins in Gujarati, shows a girl hurrying back to home through a deserted locality with ‘azaan’ (a Muslim call to prayer) playing in the background. The clip ends with a line that reads, “Our vote, our safety.”Nobody has claimed responsibility for making and circulating the video clip, which has been doing rounds on social media.An advocate had written to the CEO, the cyber crime cell of the Ahmedabad Police and the Election Commission with a request to ban the video clip and take action against those responsible for its creation and circulation.In his letter, advocate Govind Parmar of Human Rights Law Network had written that the video attempts to spread hatred by whipping up fear towards the Muslim community with an attempt to polarise votes.He also sought action against the persons behind the video clip under section 153(A) – promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion – of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act.

‘Killfies’: Indian state campaigns against deadly selfies

India records more so-called “killfie” incidents than any other country, researchers say.

Kids visit NSE, share ideas on how biz can help protect child rights

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>​A group of children shared their ideas on how businesses can ensure protection and promotion of children’s rights at ​the ​National Stock Exchange on ​Children’s Day.​ Children from NGOs such as Nine is Mine and Ashramshalas raised their voice for protecting the rights of the world’s most vulnerable children​, and later also rang the bell at NSE​.The children also presented interpretations of Child Rights and Sustainable Development Goals and what they mean for children. According to the kids, ‘all rights are children rights’. While Right To Education is an important right, they feel Right To Information and Freedom of Expression too are important for them.Henriette Ahrens, Deputy Representative – Programmes, UNICEF India said, “One very important right for children is their right to participate. They are the most influential change agents. We believe that children are not only the future but also a big part of the change we need to bring. We try to learn from them too.”The private sector can play a significant role in ensuring every child has a fair start in life. “There are NGOs coming forward to help us while we are in school but they need to make our future bright by helping us get higher education,” said class 10 student Gulam Shah.“Many students in tribal areas have potential to perform but are not explored properly. The private sector should involve social causes more in tribal areas so that the children from the tribal regions like adivasi community gets a platform to show their talent,” said student Prakash Mali.“I never saw Sustainable Development Goals with a perspective of child rights. There are lack of facilities. Giving a facility is not important but looking at what is necessary for the child is. People look at girl child education has a single topic but there are many issues which needs to be explored. The private sector also has limited resources,” said Anurag Pratap, CSR Leader, Capgemini Technology Services Limited.

Govt fails to explain deletion of CBFC certified film S Durga for IFFI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A political controversy erupted over the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry’s decision of dropping two of the 20 films recommended by a jury to be screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) at Goa scheduled later this month.The I&B ministry had overruled the recommendation of the 13-member jury and omitted Malayalam movie ‘S Durga’ and Marathi film ‘Nude’ from the 48th edition of the film festival to be held from November 20 to 28, prompting filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh to resign as the head of the jury of IFFI’s Indian Panorama section.Defending the ministry’s stand, government sources said that the ministry had received several complaints against the Sexy Durga title and held that it may affect the law and order situation with Durga being a principal Hindu Goddess, when it was to be screened at the MAMI. About the film ‘Nude’, sources said it was technically not complete when it was submitted.”In fact, the ministry had also suggested that the film ‘S Durga’ should seek certification from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in due course. The examining committee found the film to be violative of guideline 6, ie provocative and disrespectful to certain faith/religion. Therefore it recommended for grant of U/A certificate with excisions and modification to the film that included changing the title of the film and deleting vulgar words,” a ministry source said.Even though the title of the film was changed S Durga as per the recommendations of the CBFC, the government failed to clarify why was the film was taken off the IFFI’s list.The jury submitted its list to the ministry around September 21, but the line-up was made public recently, deleting the two films.While ‘S Durga’, earlier titled Sexy Durga, is a thriller, ‘Nude’ depicts the struggle of a woman working as a nude model in Mumbai. Former I&B minister Manish Tewari hit out at the government for interfering in the decisions of the IFFI jury.Tewari tweeted, “PREPOSTEROUS -that I&B Ministry got two Films dropped from #IFFI2017. Interference with Jury decisions a new LOW. When Ministry tasked with defending Freedom of Speech & Expression becomes it’s SLAYER it is time for the creative community to revolt against this CRUDE censorship.”

Sam Pitroda starts work on Cong’s poll manifesto

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Technocrat Sam Pitroda, who has been closely associated with the Gandhi Family for many years, began his five-day tour of Gujarat on Thursday to seek people’s views for the Congress’ manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections.Pitroda, who played a key role in the telecom revolution in the country in the 1980s, said that he will be meeting people from cross sections of the society over five days to understand what they want. Meetings with women, youths, and industry have been arranged for seeking their views.The technocrat said he will be travelling to Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, and Jamnagar for the purpose.”The views of people, and what they want, will be included in the Congress manifesto,” Pitroda told mediapersons at the Gujarat Congress headquarters.Pitroda identified education, health, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), employment and environment as some of the areas that the manifesto will broadly focus on. Inclusiveness is another area that will be a part of the manifesto, he said.”We are taking a bottom-to-up approach for preparing the manifesto,” he said.Asked if his role will be limited to preparing the manifesto, Pitroda said that he has been playing an active role directly and indirectly. He clarified that he does not want any political position, but is available for anything he can contribute to.Expresses concern at state of educationHe expressed concern at the state of education in Gujarat, saying privatisation has increased cost of education, but quality has gone down. He also said that the state has been left behind in Information Technology because Gujaratis don’t learn English.In response to a question about his opinion on farm loan waivers, which the Gujarat Congress has promised if voted to power, Pitroda declined to comment saying “I am not qualified to answer that.”Reservation important for under-privilegedWhen a question about the Patidar community’s demand for reservation in government jobs and higher education was put to him, Pitroda said, “Reservation is important for the under privileged, for people who have been wronged in the past. However, this doesn’t mean that one cannot come up without reservation.” He, however, added that its an issue that the party and government will decide.Says democracy hijackedRaising a red flag at what he described as hijacking of democracy, Pitroda said, “Democracy has been hijaced the world over. A handful of people cannot decide for everyone. This is not the democracy that our founding fathers had wanted. We need to get democracy back.”He also said that consultation process in India has stopped because collective leadership is missing, and personality cult has taken centre-stage.

Dare and Brave challenge: Gujarat boy held for blackmailing minor girls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Andheri police probing the case of a minor girl being allegedly blackmailed and sexually exploited while playing a dare and brave game on the darknet had led to the arrest of a 23-year-old boy from Gujarat. During the probe police have learnt that the accused was involved in similar such instances with other minor girls too.A dark net is a closed group in which the administrator assigns different challenges and if the participant fails to accomplish the task, the administrator pronounces the punishment which also includes sending nude pictures and videos. A 15-year-old girl while playing the game fell into the trap and soon the accused from Gujarat allegedly threatened to leak the pictures and videos on the internet leading to the girl approaching her father and filing a police complaint with the Andheri police.”The accused was traced via the mobile number which was used to contact the minor girl. We have also found the pictures of other minor girls in the cellphone which has been sent for forensic analysis”, said a senior police officer from Zone 10 of the Mumbai police department.”The accused has been booked under the Information Technology Act and under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. The minor accused has exploited minor girls in the state of Gujarat and in Mumbai and if other victims come forward we will file furthermore cases against him.”, said the officer.Akbar Pathan, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, said, “The students should be aware of the risk involved in playing such games and should approach the parents to discuss such issues. The parents should also keep a watch on the activities of their children on the internet and must report the matter to the police if they find any activity suspicious.”

FIR must in cognisable offence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an affidavit filed on Tuesday before the Bombay High Court by the Maharashtra State Home Department, it stated that it cannot frame guidelines for policemen to follow before taking complaints of rape victims and that policemen were duty-bound to register First Information Report.The affidavit filed by Deputy Secretary, Venkatesh Bhat, states that FIR will have to be registered if a case of cognisable offence is made out. However, if at a later date it is disclosed that no offence has been committed, the police officer is under obligation to report the same to the court under provisions of Criminal Procedure Code.The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest litigation, filed by one Firoze Khan, seeking guidelines for police in handling complaints of rape in love affairs turned sour.The affidavit also says that as per amended rape laws of 2013, it is clear that if an adult woman engages voluntarily in a physical relationship even where she has been promised marriage, the same will not constitute an offence of rape.However, when such allegations are made and a complaint or FIR registered, it remains for the police to inquire into whether such consent was voluntary, or if it had been obtained by “falsely inducing the woman to believe that the accused would marry her”.The affidavit said, “A fine balance needs to be found between the rights of the complainant and the need to protect a manifestly innocent person from the travails of an investigation and trial.”As per the PIL guidelines will help prevent abuse of the law and saving lives of innocent people from being ruined with a stigma of a rape case, just because a love relationship has gone sour. The court has posted the case for further hearing after two weeks.THE PLEAThe affidavit was filed before the Bombay High Court by the Maharashtra State Home Department. The affidavit was in response to a public interest litigation, filed by one Firoze Khan, seeking guidelines for police in handling complaints of rape in love affairs turned sour.

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.

Citizen journalist to keep an eye on candidates, help voters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A host of activities are on track to keep an eye on activities in the upcoming elections and to help voters with their queries, under the Gujarat Election Watch programmes of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR). Apart from ADR, the Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pehel (MAGP) that works to propagate the Right to Information Act is also involved in the election watch.The organisation has come out with a helpline number 08320609853 where voters can get their doubts about the whole process cleared. Pankti Jog of MAGP said the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) is a matter of concern for many voters.”A lot of the calls we received are about VVPAT machines. Our efforts to improve voting among the remotests of voters found that people have various misconceptions about VVPAT,” said Jog.She said they will also create a cadre of citizen journalists who will encourage voters in their respective constituencies to vote, provide genuine information and counter the misinformation campaign about voting that is spread through WhatsApp and other social media.”So far, we have registered 50 volunteers who have agreed to act as citizen journalists. We are looking at at least one volunteer for each constituency,” said Jog. She said the journalist will also help address queries on how to get voters name registered in the voter list, how to get it changed, how to report instances of malpractice etc.”They will also help spread awareness about the criminal background of a candidate if any, the educational qualification and the assets of the candidate,” said Jog.

Gang supplying drugs online in exchange of bitcoin busted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police have stumbled upon an internet network supplying contraband drugs to youths and parties in the Capital and NCR. Senior officer said the entire syndicate works online and the payments are done in the form of Bitcoins. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been asked by the police to ensure such transactions are stopped.Police have arrested two men with drugs purchased online. They were circulating drugs including LSD, MDMA, MDA, Ketamine, Methamphetamine, and amphetamine, largely to rave parties.The syndicate came under the police radar after information was received by the Crime Branch’s Narcotics cell that such a gang was involved in supply of party drugs. On October 29, following a tip-off about a person named Kamal Kalra, a resident of Rohini, a raid was conducted and he was arrested with 100 pills of Ecstasy (MDMA), a psychotropic substance. The entire operation was conducted under the supervision of Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime, Alok Kumar.During interrogation, Kalra disclosed that he had procured the contraband from a person he contacted through phone. “Kalra said the man used to call him using different identity each time. The suspect’s mobile phone call details were then analysed and the police team zeroed in on one Mahesh Goyal, a resident of Dwarka. He was identified as the supplier of drugs and on Kalra’s instance, Goyal was arrested with 20 gm of raw MDMA,” said Rajesh Deo, DCP, Crime, adding that the commercial quantity of Ecstasy/MDMA is 10 g, as per the NDPS Act.Goyal disclosed that it was during a party in Chennai that he found out that such drugs could be obtained online. “Interrogation revealed there are sites on Deep Net where these drugs are available. Further, the payments are being received in the form of ‘Bitcoins’ – a worldwide currency system. One Bitcoin equals more than Rs 4.7 lakh. On payment of Indian rupees, the equivalent amount of ‘Bitcoin’ is provided to the Deep Net market places. The matter has been taken up with the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to ensure that such transactions are stopped,” Deo said.HOW THE SYNDICATE WORKS:On ‘Deep Net’ or hidden web, there are sites where drugs are available.
In order to access these websites, one needs a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
VPN can be used through software on a computer or mobile phone to encrypt all of the internet traffic.
It will also hide the information if one is using a ‘Tor browser’ to access the dark web.
To access the Deep Web, an encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients, one needs a Tor browser.
A Tor or The Onion Router is a software that enables one to browse the internet anonymously.
Most VPNs are simple to install and use, and can be downloaded in just 2 or 3 clicks. They can then be connected to a server using ‘OpenVPN’ protocol.

Roll out GIS-based planning tools to track govt schemes: Niti Aayog to states

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government’s premier thinktank Niti Aayog has urged state governments to roll out Geographical Information System (GIS)-based planning tools from the next financial year for effective tracking of ongoing government programmes and service delivery.A GIS-based planning is largely aimed at improving planning, monitoring implementation of government schemes, and tracking of progress on crucial socio-economic indicators in the states for regional growth, the Aayog states.To this effect, Niti Aayog, in association with the National Centre of Geo-Informatics and the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics, Gujarat, will be helping states develop customised GIS-based planning tools.GIS involves a consolidated spatial information infrastructure using maps, earthbound surveys and other data sources and can have varied applications in different sectors like such infrastructure, health, education, among others. A GIS-based tool also plays an important role in city planning, carried out by urban local bodies.An official from Niti Aayog said a GIS-based planning tool managed by the states’ planning departments will help in faster decision making and real time policy interventions, as outcomes of important government schemes could be tracked, while their delivery and reach could be monitored on a real-time basis. This will assist in inclusive development, the official said.Emphasising how GIS-based planning tools can help in measuring outcomes of government schemes, a concept note on the subject prepared by Niti Aayog and sent to all states, says GIS is “spatially-oriented” to identify where the outcomes are taking place, unlike just planning and monitoring, which is focused on measuring changes and outcomes occurring over time.The note stated that development of a GIS-based planning tool will essentially involve merging of a cartography with database technology, along with statistical analysis.As a way ahead, it states that GIS-based planning and monitoring will help in a free flow of information among all government departments and an outcome-driven governance, equitable allocation of resources for citizens and deeper engagement with the public.

26-yr-old criminal involved in gambling, land grabbing held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 26-year-old man, who took to crimes to earn a quick buck in order to challenge his wife who had dumped him, has been arrested by the police. A stolen Audi car and a loaded revolver was also recovered from his possession.According to senior police officers, the man came under the police radar while they were working on other local criminals. Further intelligence about him was then gathered and his suspected hideouts were raided.DCP (southwest) Shibesh Singh said that on Saturday, information was received that criminal Amit Kumar, involved in gambling activities and previously arrested in under the Arms Act, was using a stolen Audi car. “It was intimated that the criminal roams with a sophisticated weapon and will come near the DPS School at Matiala Road in Dwarka around 6 pm. The team swiftly acted on the information and a trap was laid, following which he was arrested,” the DCP said.Kumar was driving a black Audi car with registration number HR 26 BE 4852 at the time of his arrest. A sophisticated revolver, loaded with two live rounds, was also seized from his possession.Kumar had purchased an Audi in 2013 as a status symbol.

State refuses CIC application details

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government on Sunday declined to provide details of the officers who have applied for the post of state chief information commissioner stating that the file was with the chief minister’s office. The reply was given by the general administration department (GAD) which looks after the Right to Information Act.The application was filed by applicant, Anil Galgali, who had sought to know since when the post was vacant, people who have applied, the work done towards filling the post and at what stage is the file pending.The reply stated that the post is pending since May when former state chief information commissioner, Ratnakar Gaikwad, retired. For the remaining, the response said that the list of names can be provided once the decision is taken from the chief minister’s office.The vacancy of the state chief commissioner’s post along with that of other commissioners was recently raised by RTI activist. On September 19, DNA had reported how the state information commission was reeling under the highest pending appeals ever.”I wanted to know why they have not made an appointment. Even if a person is to double up, it does not reduce the pending appeals because the work suffers. They should have ideally taken a decision of filling up the post earlier. It seems that they want to appoint a retired bureaucrat who favours them,” said Galgali.

Cartoonist Bala arrested for ‘distasteful’ caricature of Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami: Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A freelance cartoonist was arrested today for a cartoon depicting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami allegedly in a distasteful manner over a recent family suicide related to usury.Cartoonist G Bala alias Balakrishnan was arrested in Chennai by a special Tirunelveli District Crime Branch Police team led by an inspector, a police release said. Bala, 36, was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Tiruneveli District Collector Sandeep Nanduri, who was also caricatured in the cartoon along with the city police chief. Earlier, police sources had said the chief minister was also depicted allegedly in a distasteful manner in the cartoon whih was uploaded on a website on October 26.Protesting the arrest, Chennai Press Club announced a demonstration in the state capital tomorrow. “G Bala of Chennai has drawn distasteful cartoons about Tirunelveli District top officials and posted them on social media and in this regard the District Collector had given a complaint,” the release said. Based on the complaint, a case had been registered on November 1 under Indian Penal Code Section 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) and under the Information Technology Act, it said, adding following investigation Bala was arrested.The cartoon was uploaded on a website on October 26, days after a man and his wife set themselves and their two kids afire at the Tirunelveli Collectorate complex allegedly due to harassment by a money-lender. While the woman and her two children died on the day of the incident on October 23, the man succumbed to injuries later. The incident drew widespread condemnation from political parties and civil society groups over usury. Family head Muthu resorted to the extreme step as the money-lender was harassing him demanding more money despite him having returned Rs 2.34 lakh, including interest, for a loan of Rs 1.40 lakh, his brother had alleged.The police had later arrested three persons, including the financier and his wife, in connection with the incident. After the incident, Palaniswami said the state had in 2003 enacted a legislation against charging of exorbitant interest rates by money-lenders. He had directed the district collectors and police officials to act swiftly on any complaint related to usury.

Islamic charity PFI under scanner over hawala transactions and ISIS link, likely to be banned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a sting showed PFI members admitting that they received hawala funding from Gulf countries and ran elaborate conversion operations,it faces the possibility of a ban. Six PFI members were also nabbed by by the Kerala police on Wednesday, for allegedly joining ISIS. Police said that all six were active PFI activists who managed to move out of India, possibly with fake passports. High-level sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs have told a news channel that a ban against Islamic charity Popular Front of India (PFI) is imminent and that the decision to formally ban the organisation will be announced soon. The expose showed members of the PFI admit that they receive hawala funding from Gulf countries and ran elaborate conversion factories.Home Minister Rajnath Singh told India Today, “We have taken cognisance of your expose and initiated action. No one will be allowed to break the law in this country. After due process of law, action will be taken against those who have been found doing wrong things.” MHA told the channel that intelligent sources have been monitoring activities of the PFI over a year and a half. The Kerala police on Thursday confirmed that six more youngsters from Kannur district have joined the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.The news about the death of one of them, Muhammed Shajil (25) was conveyed by his wife in a foreign country, to his uncle. The wife of another Rishad disclosed information about his death to her mother. Police said that these people were active workers of PFI in Kerala. The development comes amid police trying to confirm news about the death of five Islamic State sympathisers from the district in Syria.Three youths – Mithilaj, Abdul Razzak and Rashid – with suspected links to the IS were arrested by the Valapattinam police in the district on October 25 followed by the arrest of two others the next. According to some estimates around 100 Indian have left to fight for the Islamic State mainly in Syria and Iraq. Most of these cases have been reported to police by the families of these youths. In July 2016, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the Assembly that 21 Muslim youths from the state had gone missing over a month, and it was suspected that they had joined the extremist group. Earlier, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted the media sting on Popular Front of India (PFI), a Kerala-based Islamic party, and also refereed to ‘love jihad’ as he demanded a probe against its leaders.He said they should be dealt more severely than Hurriyat leaders, who are being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for terror funding. Hurriyat is an umbrella organisation of many separatist parties in Kashmir.The sting, Prasad said, has caught PFI founding members saying that they received funding from abroad and had converted over 5,000 persons to Islam, and an Islamic state was their final goal. “You in India are running a terrorist group with an aim of making an Islamic state by taking funds from abroad. Young sons and daughters are being radicalised for this. It is a very serious threat to the national security,” he said.The Information and Technology minister said the NIA was looking into cases of ‘love jihad’, adding that the agency should also investigate what the media report has highlighted. Prasad also made a reference to an alleged case of ‘love jihad’ being heard by the Supreme Court, which has ordered an NIA probe into the matter, and attacked the Left-led Kerala government’s contention in the court that there should be no probe in the matter. The BJP, he maintained, was of the opinion that people can voluntarily convert but there should be no use of inducement, allurement or fear.Due to the PFI’s activities, life of common citizens of Kerala is under threat, the Union minister claimed, urging the state government to take pro-active measures in this regard. “If the Kerala government maintains silence on the issue, we will have to say that it is sacrificing national interest at the altar of vote bank politics,” he said.With inputs from PTI

Anger among people about GST and demonetization, Gujarat polls big challenge for BJP: Shatrughan Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is anger among people over GST and demonetization and the writing on the wall is clear that the Gujarat assembly election is not just a ‘chunav’ (poll) for the BJP but a ‘chunauti’ (challenge), outspoken party MP Shatrughan Sinha said today.Sharing dais with Congress leader Manish Tewari at a panel discussion on the latter’s book, Sinha also defended his comments on economic issues, saying “if a lawyer can talk about finances, if a TV actress can be the HRD minister and if a ‘chaiwala’ can be… then why I cannot talk about economy?” His remarks were an obvious reference to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, who was earlier HRD minister, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, he did not name any of them. He maintained that he was not challenging his party but “showing mirror to it” in the BJP’s and national interest.”From the writing on the wall and anger among people over GST, demonetisation, unemployment… seeing it, I don’t want to say how many seats the BJP will get but certainly this election is going to be a special challenge,” he said. However, the MP from Patna Sahib said the BJP can increase its seats with unity and should not take the elections lightly. “I will only say the matter is serious and this is not chunav (election), but chunauti (challenge),” he said.Asked if he could join any other political party, the former cinestar replied with his signature dialogue, “khamosh (keep quiet)”. Sinha has been a vocal critic of the Modi government’s policies and decisions over a number of issues, including GST and demonetization.

UGC backtracks on giving AMU audit to RTI activist

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The University Grants Commission (UGC) has backtracked on providing the audit report of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) to an RTI applicant, Paras Nath, after agreeing to the same and asking the applicant to deposit additional money required for the documents.A panel constituted by UGC has conducted audits of 10 central universities, including AMU, to assess the functioning of these universities. According to sources, the panel had found inbreeding in AMU, which was affecting the diversity of the university, suggesting that Vice-Chancellor’s quota in admissions be done away with. Some other recommendations were also made by the committee.It is the same report that was sought through an RTI application from UGC. The Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the commission on October 16 had replied, “The requisite information which contains 43 pages, therefore you are requested to send Rs 86 as RTI fee for providing the required information. After the receipt of the RTI fee, the required information will be provided.”However, on Tuesday, CPIO Sushma Rathore replied in a letter, “I am directed to inform you that the RTI questions are related to Ministry of HRD. The application is therefore being transferred to you under section 6(3) of the RTI Act with a request to provide requisite information.”The RTI applicant is now alleging that the Commission is consciously denying information. “This is shocking and smack of malafide on the part of the CPIO. This is a clear case of succumbing to extraneous pressure,” said Nath, the applicant.The CPIO was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

‘T’ for transgender in railway tickets soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With growing awareness and sensitisation, The Indian Railways, too, plans to introduce reforms to recognise ‘transgenders’ in their forms. This will reflect in ticket booking and cancellation forms, which will be modified to include a ‘T’ beside ‘M’ and ‘F’.So far, only male and female categories were mentioned in the forms.According to a recent Railway Board letter to all zonal railways, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is at present dealing with various issues of transgenders and a proposed legislation — The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, is being reviewed by a parliamentary standing committee.”The matter has been reviewed and it has been decided that till such time the detailed modalities on this account are finalised by the Ministry of Social Justice, a provision may be made in the system to capture the gender of transgenders as ‘T’ instead of ‘T(M/F)’ as advised earlier,” says the letter.In a landmark judgement in 2014, the Supreme Court created the ‘third gender’ status for hijras or transgenders.Following the order, many government documents such as passports, ration cards, bank forms, and voter identity cards have started providing ‘TG’ (third gender), ‘Other’ or ‘T’ (transgender) as options. However, despite introducing the option ‘T(M/F)’ through an order in 2016, the railway forms kept giving binary option of M/F only.The Railway Board said in its review it had also taken into consideration the directions of the Kolkata High Court which had asked State Bank of India to include the third gender category in its application forms for recruitments.The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Railways, will make necessary changes in the software to include the transgender category in the passenger railway system under intimation to all zonal railways, the letter said.

Uttar Pradesh: 2 arrested for sharing modified image of Taj Mahal with saffron flags

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena leader Amit Jani and his associate were arrested by the Special Task Force here today for allegedly outraging religious feelings by posting on WhatsApp a modified picture of the Taj Mahal with saffron flags atop its pinnacle and minarets.”Amit Jani and his associate Updesh Rana were arrested here by the STF, Agra, for posting a computer-generated picture of the Taj Mahal with seven saffron flags atop its pinnacle and minarets on a WhatsApp group,” an STF official said here.Jani was earlier booked under IPC sections 153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 295 (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), and relevant sections of the Information Technology Act in Agra.In the WhatsApp post, Jani appealed to all men associated with various Hindu organisations to gather at the seventeenth century Mughal monument on November 3, triggering panic and rumours in Agra. Following this, an FIR was registered against him.Jani was in jail for three months in 2012 for allegedly vandalising former chief minister Mayawati’s statue in Lucknow’s Gomati Nagar area after the Samajwadi Party came to power that year.Jani’s actual name is Amit Agarwal and he is a native of Janikhurd village of Janikhurd block of Meerut district.

FIR registered against Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel, Vinod Verma in Chhattisgarh Sex CD case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> An FIR was lodged against the President of state Congress Committee Bhupesh Baghel and journalist Vinod Verma in state minister sex CD case by the Chattisgarh Police on SaturdayThe FIR was registered under relevant sections of IT act.Journalist Vinod Verma was arrested by the Chhattisgarh Police from his Ghaziabad on Friday for suspected blackmail and extortion related to a ‘sex CD’ allegedly involving a state minister, who called it ‘fake’ and an attempt at character assassination.Verma, who earlier worked with BBC Hindi service and Amar Ujala, was denied bail and Chhattisgarh police was given his transit remand till October 30 after he was produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Archna in Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Verma is also a member of Editors Guild of India.Raipur Superintendent of Police Sanjeev Shukla claimed that about 500 ‘porn’ CDs, Rs 2 lakh in cash, a pen drive, a laptop and a diary were seized from the journalist’s residence, who was picked up at 3.30 am from Mahagun Mansion Apartments in Indirapuram by a team of the Chhattisgarh Police with the help of the Ghaziabad Police.The SP said that Verma has been booked under Section 67 (A) Information Technology (IT) Act for possessing pornographic material.As Verma was being escorted by police, he claimed that the Chhattisgarh government was not happy with him as it suspected that he had a ‘sex CD of Chhattisgarh PWD minister Rajesh Munot’ and suggested he was being framed.Chhattisgarh BJP spokesperson Shivratan Sharma had alleged that state Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel was part of the ‘conspiracy’ involving the ‘fake CD’.(With agency inputs)

JJ Hosp yet to get renewed licence for blood bank

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JJ Hospital’s blood bank in Byculla is yet to get a renew​ed licence for its ​blood bank from the Food and Drug Administration, as per data from the ​State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC).According to data on the SBTC website, the licence of JJ Hospital blood bank had an expiry date of December 2016. After a second appeal ​was ​filed by RTI activist Chetan Kothari, the State Information Commission (SIC) had ordered the SBTC to upload relevant data of ​all blood banks​ on their website by August 2017.The head of the JJ Hospital blood bank Dr RV Taksande said​ that the renewal process ​is underway and will be given a new license soon.“The license renewal process takes time. We had already applied for renewal. The documents have been sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which had visited the blood bank for inspection more than two times. They had pointed out a few deficiencies and wanted us to make changes. We had already implemented the changes and are expecting a renewal soon,” he said.Unless the license has been cancelled, blood banks can continue functioning. According to the statistical data on the SBTC website, JJ Hospital’s blood bank had a total blood storage capacity of around 1,000 to 1,200 units from January to June 2017.The total amount of blood collected voluntarily is 2,972 units​, while the total amount utilised ​is ​3,030 units and 267 units ​were discarded. Licenses​ of few other civic-run hospital’s blood bank​s​ located in south Mumbai are about to expire by the end of this year.BLOOD UNIT STATS AT ITS BLOOD BANK1,000 to 1,200 units
(Jan-June 2017)
Total blood storage capacity
2,972 units​
Of blood collected voluntarily
3,030 units
Utilised
267 units
Were discarded Source: SBTC websiteNEARING EXPIRYBlood Banks in south Mumbai whose license are set to expire by this include:St. George HospitalNair HospitalCama Hospital

Centre to crack down on officers for speaking to media sans nod

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central government has decided to crack down on officers for interacting with the media without permission from relevant authorities, a move that is aimed at regulating information flow to the public.”It has come to the notice of this ministry that some officers of this ministry/media units interact with media without authorisation from the competent authority,” a recent circular released by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting says.Sources said that other central ministries are also likely to be issued similar directives soon.The circular warns officials to restrain from communicating with mediapersons without being authorised by the competent authority and also inform other officers in respective departments of the directive.The circular has been sent to top officials of the I&B Ministry and other departments, highlighting the procedures and guidelines to follow, if they speak to the media. It refers to the Press Information Bureau’s Information Dissemination Manual 2017, which lays down guidelines for officers’ interaction with the media on the government’s behalf.Highlighting chapter 3 of the manual dealing with communication with the media, the circular says that official information to the “Press, Electronic and Digital media will normally be communicated through the Press Information Bureau.”It says that only ministers, secretaries and other officers authorised to speak to the media may give information or be accessible to the media.”Any other official, if approached by a representative of media, will direct him/her to the Press Information Bureau or will seek permission of the Minister or the Secretary of the ministry/department before meeting the media person,” it says.It says that the Information, Education and Communication (ICE) strategies for various programmes and policies of the ministries should be prepared in consultation with relevant PIB officers.Earlier, the cabinet secretariat had also asked ministries to prepare detailed communication plans when they send Cabinet notes.

Civil society collective releases report; highlights lapses in police’s investigation in Pehlu Khan’s murder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Months after Rajasthan dairy farmer Pehlu Khan was lynched in Alwar by cow vigilantes, a civil society collective on Thursday released a report highlighting several loopholes in the Behror police’s investigation in the case. The lapses –the report states –allegedly weakened the case against the accused and also let them go scot-free after the alleged murder.In April this year, Khan was attacked by a mob of 200 people while he was on his way home. Before dying two days later at a private hospital, he named six of his attackers in a statement given to the police.However, none of them were arrested. As per the report, in September, the police instead concluded that none of those named was involved in the attack. Those arrested were not named either in Khan’s statement or in the First Information Report (FIR). They got bail despite being charged with murder.The independent report states the police did not book the accused under the stringent, relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, despite clinching evidence of their involvement in the case and also delayed the filing of the FIR. It states the sabotage began with the FIR. For instance, while the lynching took place between 7pm and 10pm on April 1, the FIR was unnecessary delayed and filed at 4.24am, even though the attack site was only two km away from the police station, the report states. Moreover, despite Khan’s statement, he was not named as the complainant in the FIR. Even the names of the policemen present at the attack site were not named in the FIR. The report states that even though Khan’s severe beating led to his death, the FIR does not invoke Sec 307 of the IPC for the offence of “attempt to murder” which provides for imprisonment of 10 years to life. “Instead, the FIR invokes Sec 308, which only takes cognisance of “attempt to culpable homicide not amounting to murder”, prescribing imprisonment of three to seven years, the report states. It added that despite section 308 non bailable and section 302 added in the charge sheet being non bailable as well, the arrested accused secured bail as the prosecution failed to defend the charges and the arrests at the Rajasthan High Court. The report states that several sections like 120B dealing with criminal conspiracy, 204 on destruction of evidence and 153A dealing with promoting enmity on grounds of religion and section 148 dealing with rioting with weapon, among other important sections were ignored in the FIR and charge sheet filed by the police. This is despite availability of relevant evidences for the sections to be invoked including finding of lathis and destruction of receipts available with Khan for the cattle he bought.The report states that despite four of the six people named by Khan in his dying declaration, the police could not trace the named accused for five months after the incident. “First, they failed to arrest the men even though a police officer had recorded Mr. Khan’s statement at 11.50 p.m. on April 1, less than two hours after the attack. Second, apart from announcing a reward of Rs. 5,000 for information on their whereabouts, the police made no efforts to trace the six and arrest them,” the report states, adding that it is not known if the police conducted any raids, not only at the residences of these accused but also at those of their relatives and friends, as well as at their other likely hideouts.It further mentions that more than five months after the attack, the police not only exonerated every one of the six accused that Khan had named in a sudden move, but also questions why the appropriate legal provisions were not invoked, including attaching their properties and freezing their bank accounts, to force the surrender of the accused. “The police did not even move court for the issuance of warrants of arrest against the men, nor ask the court to order them to surrender before it, remedies available under Sections 82 and 83 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC),” it states.It also states that the police the police and the prosecution tried to negate the Khan’s post mortem report with statements from doctors at the private Kailash Hospital in Behror where he had passed away, who said his death could have been because of a weak heart and also pointed to an X-ray and a USG ultra-sonography revealed that the chest, lungs and abdomen of Khan were normal with no injuries.”The records establish that the police and the prosecution have, through acts of commission and omission, worked from the day of the attack to diminish the enormity of the crime, weakening the case against the accused,” the report alleged.

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.

A war over bots & Rahul Gandhi tweets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rahul Gandhi has apparently found a new ally — bots. According to some BJP leaders who cited a recent news agency report, the Congress’ scion’s “newfound popularity” on social media has been “manufactured” through bots who have tweeting about him and his activities round the clock. Speaking to DNA, Amit Malviya, head of the BJP’s Information and Technology department said that the “manufactured support” showcased the “desperation” of the Congress party.”This support has been manufactured on social media to create an illusion of a resurgence because the Congress party is desperate. Incidentally, all these handles either tweet similar random stuff from across the world or tweet only about Rahul Gandhi,” Malviya said.Responding to Malviya’s charges, actor-turned-politician Divya Spandana, better known as Ramya, who took over the reigns of the Grand Old Party’s social media cell from Deepender Singh Hooda, trashed the news report.”The Story is factually wrong. Can understand your eagerness to please the I&B ministry and the Bots Janata Party,” Ramya tweeted.To prove her point she also retweeted a tweet: “10 bots on which ANI story is based, activated 4 days ago.RG’s tweet was 6 days ago. Out of 54K reaction how ANI journo identified only them?”BJP leaders charged that the Twitter handles supporting Rahul, and retweeting his tweets, were computer-generated and were dubiously coming from countries such as Kazakstan, Russia and Indonesia.The hashtag #RahulWaveInKazakh was trending on Twitter, where various people took potshots at Rahul.Union I&B Minister Smriti Irani tweeted: “Perhaps @OfficeOfRG planning to sweep polls in Russia, Indonesia & Kazakhstan ?? #RahulWaveInKazakh”.Bots have been very much in the news since the US presidential election last year. Charges that chatbots and fake Twitter accounts, supposedly created by Russians to help President Trump win the election have not gone away and now it seems that “chatbots” may become an issue in Indian politics as well.‘How bots work’ The BJP’s IT department has claimed that most of these fake accounts had less than 10 followers and only a few tweets. “This is a typical characteristic of bots. Whenever for a campaign (political or not), a spurt in apparent engagement is required, we see such bots being deployed to please the masters. So what was found behind Rahul’s spike in retweets is straight from the textbook of paid social media promotion.

RTI applicant asked to pay GST for info

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Don’t be surprised if the next time you file an application under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, GST is levied on the fees to be paid for receiving the information. A Pune-resident, who filed an RTI application with the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) recently, was told this by the Public Information Officer (PIO).Sanjay Shirodkar was asked to pay Rs 14 to receive six pages of information. As per the rules of the Right To Information (RTI) Act, an authority can charge Rs 2 per A4 sheet. For six pages, Shirodkar paid Rs 12, plus Rs 1 at 9% of SGST and Rs 1 at 9% for CGST.However, State Information Commissioner (Konkan bench) Thanksy Thekkekara says GST does not apply to RTI. “As far as I am aware, there is no GST on RTI,” he said.On September 26, Shirodkar had sought true copies of publications printed and published by the MSRTC, list of sundry debtors and creditors for last 10 years, a list of bad debts along with name of the party/ entity and reason for bad debts, copy of the list of write-offs for last 10 years, along with name of party, and CAG audit report.”I have been seeking information through RTI for 12 years and have used the Act more than 5,000 times in my career,” said Shirodkar. “This is the first time I have received such a unique and hilarious reply. Where is the copy of notification stating this provision? Where is the copy of amendment in RTI? Where is the copy mentioning RTI information in the GST list? And what is the logic of 18%? Why not 28% or 12% or 6%?.” Bhaskar Pabhu, who runs Mahiti Adhikar Manch that propagates RTI, said, “Information sought under RTI is neither goods nor service; it is entitlement. It is totally wrong to charge GST when there is no clarification from government. The government has not harmonised any rate of interest for RTI. Even food grains do not have GST. It is laughable.”Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, said, “I feel GST should not be levied to RTI, but I concede to have not studied the GST law. To make a fare comment, one must understand GST. When you make laws, words do not necessarily convey what you had in mind. Prima facie, GST should be charged over a turnover of a certain amount.”Pay for infoAs per RTI rules, Rs 2 is to be charged per A4 sheet needed to give info. For 6 pages, Sanjay Shirodkar was charged Rs 12, plus Rs 1 at 9% SGST & Rs 1 at 9% CGST

Kerala govt bans the words Dalit, Harijan from official communications

Updated: Oct 17, 2017, 07:28 PM IST, ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala Information and Public Relations Department’s internal circular has directed to avoid usage of words ‘Dalit’ and ‘Harijan’ in its official communications.The order was issued based on the directive from Kerala State Commission for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) Chairman Justice P.N. Vijayakumar.The department informed that the government has also banned the usage of word ‘Keezhalar’ which was used to refer to scheduled communities.It says that usage of these words would only help sustain social boycott of communities.However, the move was not welcomed by few Dalit activists.They claimed that the ‘Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes’ were just administrative words.

DD scores self-goal with Free Dish

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The commercialisation of Doordarshan (DD) Direct service, run by Prasar Bharati, which entails lending transponders of its high power satellite to private players, has come a cropper. Touted as a profitable venture that would attract revenues, the scheme has in fact cost the central and state exchequer a hefty amount of Rs 4,785.6 crore in just two years. It has also indirectly helped private channels to avoid taxes.The DD Direct (now also called DD Free Dish) was primarily started as a free platform in the year 2002 to deliver Doordarshan channels to viewers spread across vast hinterlands of India where the reach of terrestrial transmitters was limited.What began as a noble initiative was soon lost in sight as DD Direct began commercialisation of its services by auctioning the slots to private channels. The capacity of the platform was increased to 80 channels by adding more transponders. The commercialisation was projected by Doordarshan as a profitable venture, as the auction prices increased to about Rs 4.3 crore per channel by the beginning of year 2017 and later were fixed at Rs 8 crore after there was a hue and cry about cartelisation.However, an analysis of the real facts reveals that in reality Doordarshan had caused itself a great harm by promoting private channels which moved the entire viewership base to these channels, in effect causing loss of hundreds of crores to Doordarshan by virtue of fall in its ratings and consequently advertising revenues. These facts came to light only after the BARC started rural ratings in 2016-17.Documents available with the DNA suggest that while private channels after paying a paltry amount of Rs 4 to Rs 6 crore per annum to get hooked to the transponder garnered advertisement revenue to the tune of Rs 2,500 crores per annum, the advertisement revenue of DD nose-dived from Rs 1,301 crore in 2014-15 to a paltry Rs 475.7 crore in 2016-17. The model dictates that private channels do not have to share advertising revenue with the operating platform. But what is more intriguing is that after offering them the platform, viewership of DD has also shifted to these private channels, leaving the public broadcaster in out the lurch.To decipher the DD revenue model further, out of Rs 475.7 crore, government ads contributed Rs 318.06. Thus the actual revenue garnered comes to just Rs 157.59 crore, taking the loss in advertising revenue to a whopping Rs 826 crore. In 2015-16, Prasar Bharati also received grants worth Rs 2,734 crore from the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry, which was raised to Rs 3,108 crore in 2016-17. TV Audience Measurement BARC data also reveals that the top rated 15 channels on DD Free Dish platform had gross rating point (GRP) of 50 to 80 while DD Channels rated between 0 and 3.Audited figures also show equally quantifiable losses arising due to license fees for DTH and taxes. The free channels available on DD Free Dish platform have led to migration of customers from Licensed DTH platforms to DD Direct. As per data available and also quantified by TRAI, a total minimum of 30 million customers had become inactive on Pay DTH platforms as on December 2016 and moved to free DTH. While the Pay DTH platforms are subject to license fees at 10% (now reduced to 8%) and other taxes ranging between 20-40%, the private players hooked to DD Direct are spared from paying despite netting huge revenues. As per estimates, losses amounted to Rs 1,941.5 crores in 2015-16 and Rs 2,844.1 crores in 2016-17. Therefore, DD Direct has also indirectly helped private channels avoid taxes which they would have paid, if they were hooked to normal DTH platforms.Industry watchers say, while those deciding to commercialise DD Direct might had good motives, but they soon lost sight by auctioning the slots to private channels and keeping the platform Free-To-Air (FTA). “The commercialisation by auctions has garnered DD Direct meagre revenues (as compared to loss in advertising), but it has had the effect of pushing private TV channels upfront to tens of millions of viewers relegating the interest of Prasar Bharti and Doordarshan to the background and losses which are now running at Rs 3,000 crores per annum and viewership of DD reduced to near zero,” a DD official told DNA on the condition of anonymity.All DTH platforms in India operate under a DTH License as per the DTH Licensing Policy which was enacted in 2001 after the prohibition on the reception and distribution of television signal in Ku Band was withdrawn by the government. Being a government-owned platform, the DD Direct operates without any license, which was appropriate so far as it was carrying Doordarshan channels (a public service platform). Industry players say that after full commercialisation of DD-Direct, there is no justification for the platform to operate without any license. “When it no longer behaved as public service provider, the policy amounted to disturbing the level playing field hitting the revenues of those paying taxes and operating fairly,” said a private TV operator. Interestingly, DD Direct carries just 24 DD channels as against 56 private channels, who are essentially being funded by pubic money – enabling them to avoid license fees and the GST.Doordarshan holds an e-auction once every couple of months to award vacant channel slots on DD Free Dish to private broadcasters. At present, the platform carries 80 channels, including private entertainment channels like Star Utsav, Sony Pal, Zee Anmol, Rishtey and news channels like Aaj Tak, ABP News and News 24. Recently the I&B Ministry decided to review the channel slot auction process of state broadcaster Doordarshan’s free-to-air direct-to-home (DTH) platform DD Free Dish. The last e-auction took place in July, in which Doordarshan had earned Rs 85.10 crore and awarded 11 channel slots to private broadcasters.”Doordarshan had caused itself a great harm by promoting private channels which moved the entire viewership base to these channels, in effect causing loss of hundreds of crores to Doordarshan by virtue of fall in its ratings and consequently advertising revenues,” a source in DD said.

IT details of Dera Sacha Sauda-linked bodies ‘private’, reveals RTI query

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The details of income tax exemption claimed by social and religious organisations controlled by the Dera Sacha Sauda, which were in public domain four years ago, have now been classified as “private”, an RTI query has revealed.Replying to an RTI query filed by social worker Ramesh Verma, the Income Tax department’s Deputy Commissioner Office in Chandigarh said on September 29 that the information sought fell under the “third party” category, as mentioned in section 11 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The information sought under sections 11 and 8(1)(j) of the Act fell under the private category and had no relation to public interest, the office said.The Income Tax Office in Sirsa, however, had provided the tax details of the institutions linked with the Dera on July 11, 2013.According to that information, the tax-free income of Dera Sacha Sauda, Begu Road, Shah Satnamji Marg, Sirsa, was Rs 29.18 crore during financial year 2010-11.Shah Satnam Ji Research & Development Foundation’s tax- free income was Rs 16.52 crore. Parampita Shah Satnamiji Education and Welfare Society’s tax-free income was Rs 1.80 crore and Shah Satnamji Green and Welfare Force Society’s tax-free income was Rs 3 crore. All these organisations are based in Sirsa.Asked about the Income Tax department’s classification of the organisations linked to the Dera as “private”, former chief information commissioner A N Tiwari said the tax exemption had been given by the government. “This is a loss to the consolidated fund of India. People have the right to know about it,” Tiwari said. When asked if there had been any amendment to the RTI Act between 2013 and 2017 with regard to providing such information, Tiwari said there have been no changes.

‘Commie senior citizens beware’: Twitter reacts to Anupam Kher’s appointment as FTII chairman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anupam Kher has been appointed as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), replacing Gajendra Chauhan. 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. Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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

Fire safety in schools: High Court seeks government reply

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court (HC) on Monday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a plea that sought information about how many schools in the city, both private and government, are complying with the fire safety and building stability norms.A Bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar directed the government, along with the municipal bodies, to furnish a response, fixing the next date of hearing on January 29. The directions came while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which sought the compliance of the Supreme Court (SC) directions on fire safety and building stability norms by private and government schools in the city.The petitioner, advocate Kush Kalra, had alleged that the Delhi government and its various authorities have not responded to his queries following which he knocked the doors of the court. It further alleged that the Directorate of Education, the Fire Services, and the Public Works Department have behaved negligently, while performing their duty to take steps to ensure that schools were complying with safety norms.The PIL, filed through counsel Rajesh Gogna, said the petitioner came to know about the lack of data with the authorities on this issue after he raised a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. It sought directions to the local authorities to ensure compliance with the Apex Court’s order as well as the National Building Code of India, claiming that the “safety of school-going students in Delhi isat risk”.“School-going children are an easy target of any mishap and it must be the duty of the respondents (authorities) to check and identify which schools in Delhi have no fire safety and building stability certificate. “And the respondents must derecognise those institutions till the time the safety norms are implemented,” the petition stated.

Done deal for Swedish firm Saab? IAF planes flying Gripen formation sparks speculation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There were a few red faces in the Indian Air Force today as the Surya Kiran aerobatics team which performed several heart-stopping mid-air manoeuvres during the Air Force Day celebrations at the Hindon Air Base also, among other air formations, flew what was called the “Gripen formation”.The Swedish aerospace firm Saab, which manufactures the Gripen fighter planes, is in the running to bag a major contract to provide 100 single-engine fighters to the Indian Air Force and is locked in a direct contest with US defence firm Lockheed Martin, which is currently offering its latest F16 figher jet to IAF. So, the “Gripen formation” performance by the Surya Kiran could not go unnoticed and sparked some speculations.Responding to the act, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa, who was at the function to mark the 85th Anniversary of the Indian Air Force said “it has nothing to with Gripen”.“No, it has got nothing to do with that. It is just an aircraft shape with an canard in the front. It can be Rafale, it can be Gripen, anybody with a canard in front…(even a) Sukhoi-30. They just called it Gripen. It means nothing. Nothing to do with Gripen,” the Air Chief said after consulting one of his fellow officers before replying.The Indian Air Force is aiming to significantly upgrade its combat capabilities by inducting 100 single-engine fighters in its squadrons. A Request for Information (RFI) document—which essentially collects written information on the capabilities of various bidders—is likely to be issued soon.Both Lockheed Martin and Saab are offering the latest variants of their respective fighter planes—the F-16 Block 70 and Gripen E, respectively.Since these fighter planes have to be built by an Indian firm in collaboration with a foreign defence firm, Lockheed Martin has paired up with Tata Group and Saab has tied up with Adani Group to manufacture these planes.

Centre tells states to facilitate easy filmmaking in country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an effort to ensure easy filmmaking in India and promote the country as a filming destination for foreign filmmakers, Centre wants every state to appoint a nodal agency to facilitate hassle-free clearances required for shooting films.To this effect, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has recently written to all states, seeking a synergy between the states and the ministry in terms of providing foreign filmmakers with shooting permissions and required clearances in respective states.”It is also suggested that a department of the state government, such as Department of Tourism/ Bureau of Industrial Promotion etc, could be designated as nodal department/agency to coordinate all the necessary work for facilitating filmmaking including clearances, law and order in case of outdoor shootings and other related matters,” the letter sent across by joint secretary Ashok Parmar read.Ministry sources said while some states have already set up nodal agencies, others are yet to put it together.The I&B Ministry had set up a Film Facilitation Office (FFO) for foreign filmmakers and assist them in obtaining requisite permissions and disseminating information on shooting locations. It will also help coordinate with states for films being shot in their jurisdiction.Ministry sources informed that this financial year, FFO has facilitated 18 film shootings.With the same aim, the government has also been awarding states based on how film-friendly they are. While Gujarat won the award for being the most film-friendly state in 2015, Uttar Pradesh bagged the award this year at the 64th National Awards, for its film-friendly policies as well as incentives on tax and subsidies offered for films shot in the state.

RPSC spends crores on recruitment battles

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than Rs 2.5 crore has been spent in the last five years over lawyers by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC), to fight a legal battle for the recruitments announced by it to fill up the vacancies at various levels in the government.Almost all the recruitment drives and vacancies announced by the RPSC in the recent times have been challenged in courts.The loopholes and RPSC’s callous approach to the procedure has led to a long legal battle and a stay over the recruitments.RPSC’s failure to follow a water-tight recruitment procedure, which cannot be challenged, is not only harming the prospects of candidates but also adding to the financial burden of the commission.According to the information received through Right to Information (RTI), which was sought by activist Gopal Maheshwari, RPSC in the past 14 years had to shell out Rs 3,27,23,735 crores as fees for the lawyers it appointed for representation in the courts.Of this, Rs 2.5 has been spent in the past five years alone. Maheshwari, through RTI, had sought details on the expenses incurred by RPSC in the past 18 years. The commission failed to provide the details for financial years 2000-01 to 2003-2004 and instead, shared information from 2004-05 to the current financial year.The information reveals that Rs 2.5 crore has been spent on lawyers between 2014-15 and 2017-18.Details reveal that while RPSC has been charged Rs 1,100 by the lawyers of Rajasthan High Court, the fee rise is upto Rs 60,000 for lawyers who represent it at the Supreme Court. “The state government is well aware of the situation and yet it has failed to initiate any corrective measures.As a result, all the youth in general and all probable candidates of the state are suffering,” said Maheshwari.Activist, Vipin Prakash Sharma said that an additional financial burden is not just restricted to the RPSC but also the candidates.“As there are several loopholes, the recruitments get challenged by the candidates and in the past few years, the candidates have spent over Rs 200 crores on petitions challenging the procedure. There is an immediate need for rectifying the process.”

Now, look for flight information from your vehicle

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another attempt of becoming a passenger friendly airport, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport has installed a Flight Information Display System (FIDS) which can be viewed from a greater distance.The airport authorities have installed two video walls, one in the arrival bay and one in the departure bay, which will give flight related information in three languages.Confirming the same, Manoj Gangal, Airport Director said, “People coming to drop their folks or coming in a cab will now be able to view their flight status from their vehicle itself. Often passengers had to come near the terminal too see the flight status on the screen as it was not visible.Interestingly, we have also added Gujarati as a language in which the flight information will be displayed. This will ensure that no one misses their flight in dire consequences. This is in a way inching towards making the airport a silent airport.”The authorities also have plans to install a similar system in the BRTS buses that is used to ferry passengers.WHAT IS NEWThe airport authorities have installed two video walls, one in the arrival bay and one in the departure bay, which will give flight related information in three languages. Gujarati also happens to be one of the languages in the list

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