Morning briefing: WhatsApp, social media out of encryption policy

GN Staff | September 22, 2015


#WhatsApp   #social media   #encryption   #dal   #onion   #america   #narendra modi   #sushma swaraj   #visa   #quota   #bjp   #rss  

A day after witnessing huge protest against its Encryption Policy, the government has decided to exempt WhatsApp and social media sites from it. The proposed policy, issued by the department of electronics and information technology, would apply to everyone including government departments, academic institutions and citizens.

The draft proposes to introduce the New Encryption Policy under section 84 A of Information Technology Act 2000. This section was introduced through amendment in 2008. The sub-section 84 C that was also introduced through the amendment has provision of imprisonment for violation of the act.
Users in India are allowed to use only the products registered in India. Government reserves the right to take appropriate action as per Law of the country for any violation of this Policy," the draft says. The last date for public to comment on the draft is October 16, 2015.

Imported pulses to reach India this week; onions next month

Imported pulses will start arriving in India from Wednesday, while onions from the first week of October, which will help boost domestic supplies of the two commodities and check their rising retail prices.However, the first consignment of imported urad dal will reach by October 20. Prices of both pulses and onions have risen unabated in the last few weeks due to fall in domestic production. Barring chana dal, prices of all other pulses have gone up to Rs 150 per kg in most retail markets. Similarly, retail prices of onion are continuing to rule high at Rs 70/kg in Delhi and the same trend prevails in other parts of the country. MMTC had floated the tender to import 5,000 tonnes of Tur dal. The first tranche of over 1,800 tonnes will arrive at the ports on September 23 and 24.

America wants to be 'India's best freind', says US vice president

Ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi's visit, US vice president Joe Biden today said that one of the goals of the Obama administration "is to become India's best friend".

"America can be India's best friend... It's not anymore about what can we do for India but what we can do with India," Mr Biden said at the first India-US Strategic Dialogue, attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Washington DC. The dialogue, announced during US President Barack Obama's visit to India in January this year, is being hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry along with US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

No need to reconsider reservation, says BJP as RSS clarifies comment
The ruling BJP has clarified its position on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat's suggestion that the country's reservation policy should be reviewed, and said it does not favour "any reconsideration of the existing constitutional provision of reservation."  "The BJP very firmly supports the constitutional reservation for the SC, ST, OBC, Backwards and Extremely Backwards classes," the party said adding it "believes that reservation is important for the social, education and economic development of these groups."

Meanwhile, the RSS has said that Bhagwat had not called for an end to quotas in education and jobs. Yhe Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh sought to suggest that Bhagwat's remarks in an interview were misunderstood. "Bhagwat ji has not commented on the reservation, which different weaker sections of the society are enjoying," RSS chief spokesman Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement. "Instead, he had said that everybody should discuss (the issue so) that benefits of reservation should reach all weaker sections of the society as envisaged by the constitution makers. "The subject of the interview was integral humanism, not reservation," the statement added.

Over Rs. 1 cr, liquor, foreign currency, arms and marijauna seized in poll bound Bihar
Over Rs. one crore of unaccounted money and foreign currency was seized by the administration in Bihar as the campaign to enforce the Model Code of Conduct for elections intensified in various parts of the election bound state. The police seized Rs. 1.1 crore from a Scorpio vehicle at Damodarpur village under Mehsi police station in East Champaran district, after it was stopped for checking between Motihari and Muzaffarpur districts on National Highway-28.

Additional Chief Election Officer R Lakshmanan, over Rs. 11.46 lakh unaccounted Indian currency was seized from three places of the state today. While Rs. 8,25,555 were seized in Vikramganj in Rohtas district, Rs. 1,70,650 was recovered at Sitamarhi district and another Rs. 1,50,000 from the Aurangabad district.

Officials also said that a man was arrested in Madhubani district with 67,00 Nepali currency, 196 Qatar, 10,000 Indonesian currency along with currencies of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Malaysia. 24,856 litres of illicit liquor and 85 kg of marijauna have been seized. 11 weapons and 70 cartridges have been seized and total 868 non-bailable warrants have been executed.

India to reduce electronic tourist visa fee

India has decided to reduce visa fees for tourists arriving under the highly successful Electronic Tourist Visa (ETV) scheme, which has facilitated almost a 900 per cent jump in tourist arrivals. India's fee for ETV is $ 60 and the facility extends to 113 countries. However, there are many countries which offer ETV or Visa on Arrival to Indians at a lesser fee - some offer it at $ 20, $ 35 or $ 40 and a few charge no visa fee. Many of these countries are asking India to reciprocate the gesture.

World Bank managing director in India
World Bank assistance to India between July 2014 and June 2015 amounts to $3.8 billion and its managing director and chief operating officer Sri Mulyani Indrawati is on a three-day visit to India to explore opportunities for collaboration. During her visit, she will meet finance minister Arun Jaitley, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. She will also meet Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur.   

Sheena Bora case: 2012 bone samples do not match those exhumed
In another twist in the Sheena Bora murder case, bone samples of her charred body collected in 2012 were found by forensic experts to be not matching those obtained from the remains which were exhumed recently. Forensic experts at BYL Nair Hospital here who submitted a 26-page report to Khar police station last week have expressed doubts that the bone samples received might have got mixed up and may not belong to Sheena Bora.  JJ Hospital had handed over the samples to Khar police last month, after which the evidence was forwarded to Nair Hospital. But the forensic team of the hospital, in its report pointed out that the bone samples do not match with those that had been collected by the Pen police in May 2012.
The report says the remains collected in 2012 and the ones handed over to them by JJ Hospital "may not be the same".

Meanwhile, the CBI has accepted the Maharashtra government's request to take over the probe in the sensational case even as a local court extended for another fortnight the judicial custody of accused Indrani Mukerjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyavar Rai.

Uber launches carpool service in Bengaluru, in other cities soon
US-based taxi hailing app Uber has launched a carpool service. UberPOOL will be initially available in Bengaluru and it joins millions of commuters in San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Austin and Paris using UberPOOL to get around their cities more efficiently and reliably. The service will launch soon in beta in select cities in India. With UberPOOL, commuters can share a ride and split the cost with another person who happens to be requesting a ride along a similar route.

"Riders can save up to 50 per cent, while adding only a few minutes of time per trip. With the lower prices, people can move past car ownership, as taking Uber becomes less expensive than using and maintaining a personal vehicle. And that impact on congestion can be powerful," Uber said.

AAP govt spent Rs 23 lakh on advertisements to slam centre, TV channel
Delhi's AAP government got full page advertisements published on Monday in leading newspapers, slamming the Centre and a television channel for targeting the AAP government on alleged scam in onion procurement. The Delhi government spent Rs 23 lakh and 65 thousand on the advertisement. The Aam Aadmi Party has defended the advertisement, saying the government has the right to reach to the public. “The Central government procured onion at Rs 18 per kg and sold that onion for Rs 33 to Delhi government. They sold onion to public through government outlets at Rs35-40. Decide who betrayed masses?” the advertisement said.

Lower doses of heart medicines save lives
People who suffered a heart attack lived longer when their dose of a medication known as a beta-blocker was a quarter of the amount commonly prescribed, researchers said Monday. The study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology journal involved more than 6,000 patients whose survival post-heart attack was compared according to the amount of beta-blockers they were prescribed afterward. Beta-blockers help ward off heart failure by stopping the effect of adrenaline on the heart and preventing arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. They are prescribed to nearly everyone who has had a heart attack. The study found that patients taking one-fourth the dose tested in large clinical trials had a 20 to 25 percent increase in survival, compared to those on the standard dose.

Haj begins today, Saudi Arabia deploys over 100,000 troops
Saudi Arabia has deployed 100,000 security personnel to oversee the annual Islamic hajj pilgrimage that began today, the Interior Ministry spokesman said, underscoring both the massive arrangements needed to secure one of the largest pilgrimages in the world and the multitude of threats the haj faces. "We always concentrate on hajj considering that a threat might exist," Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said. "We've been targeted by terrorism for years now and we know that we are a target for terrorist groups."

HC notices to govt, TERI, RK Pachauri in sexual harassment case

The Delhi High Court issued notices to the Indian government on a petition accusing The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) of "brazenly supporting" director general RK Pachauri despite his being found guilty of sexual harassment, stalking and criminal intimidation by the organisation's internal complaints committee (ICC). Notices were also issued on Monday to TERI and Pachauri on the petition demanding immediate suspension/removal of Pachauri from the organisation. The petitioner, a 29-year-old research analyst, has alleged that TERI "failed to treat sexual harassment as an act of misconduct as required by law".

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