21st March, 2018
questions links between the Congress and consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica,
accused of illegally harvesting personal information from Facebook, to
influence polls in several countries; Congress denies the charge as fake
warns Facebook of legal action against misuse of Indian citizens' data.
approves launch of Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission to
benefit 10 crore poor families.
security force personnel killed in the ongoing gunfight with terrorists in Kupwara district of Jammu and
in Parliament continued to remain paralyzed today amidst Opposition uproar on
- Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani
launches free wi-fi service in Udwada village of Gujarat's Valsad district; six
thousand citizens to benefit.
High Court issues notices to former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi
and others on pleas by ED and CBI challenging their acquittal in 2G Spectrum
- In Afghanistan, at least 29 people killed in an
explosion by Islamic State in Kabul as people celebrated Navroz.
today questioned the alleged links between the Congress and Cambridge
Analytica, a data mining firm accused of harvesting personal information from
Facebook illegally to influence polls in several countries. Briefing reporters
in New Delhi, party leader and Union Information Technology and Law Minister
Ravi Shankar Prasad cited media reports about the Congress' plan to use the
firm's services for the next Lok Sabha elections and to boost its president
Rahul Gandhi's profile. He said, the firm has been accused of using sleaze and
fake news to influence elections and asked if the Congress too plans to walk
the same path.
तरह के रस्ते
को वो अपनाते
है सेक्स, स्लीज़ एंड फेक
न्यूज़ क्या कांग्रेस पार्टी हिंदुस्तान के वोटर्स
को प्रभावित करने के लिए
इनके माध्यम से वही
रस्ते अपनाने जा रही
Let Mr Rahul
Gandhi explain what is the role of Cambridge Ayalytica in the social media
profile of Rahul Gandhi."
Prasad warned Facebook of stringent legal action against any misuse of data of
Indians on its platform.
"We fully support
freedom of press, we support freedom of speak and expression, we fully support
free exchange of ideas on social media. But any attempt covert or overt by the
social media including Facebook of trying to influence India's electrol process
through undesirable means will neither be appreciated nor be permitted. Let
Facebook note it very very clearly."
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the government will conduct a probe into
allegations of data theft to bring out the truth. Talking to reporters in New
Delhi, he said the government will not take the matter lightly.
it is a breach of the faith of the comman man, the government of the day is not
going to take it lightly. The government is ofcourse going to investigate and
the truth would be brought to the fore."
Patra also rejected the allegation that BJP had taken service of this company
during 2014 Lok Sabha polls. He also accused Congress of compromising people's
personal data for political gains.
has denied its links with Cambridge Analytica. Talking to reporters in New
Delhi today, party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala accused the BJP of producing
and setting fake agendas.
Congress or the Congress President have never used and never hired the services
of the company called Cambridge Analytica mentioned by the Union Law Minister.
This is a fake agenda, a white lie being dished out on fake facts."
The Union Cabinet has approved the launch of Ayushman
Bharat -National Health Protection mission. The decision was taken at a cabinet
meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi today. The Scheme
has the benefit cover of 5 lakh rupees per family per year. The target
beneficiaries under the scheme will be over 10 crore poor and vulnerable
families. The benefits of the scheme are portable across the country. A
beneficiary will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public and
private empaneled hospitals across the country. The scheme will subsume the
ongoing centrally sponsored schemes- Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana and senior
citizen health insurance scheme.
In Jammu & Kashmir, two personnel of J&K
police and two Army jawans were killed
during the ongoing gunfight between terrorists and security forces in
Halmatpura area of Kupwara district. Three other security force personnel were
More from our correspondent: Four terrorists were
killed in the gunfight yesterday evening while another body of a terrorist was
retrieved from the encounter site, taking the death toll of terrorists to five.
Security sources told AIR that at least two more terrorists are present in the
area involved in the gunfight.
told AIR that a cordon and search operation was launched after a group of at
least seven militants had fired upon Army Area Domination Patrol at Check
Fatehkhan forest area of Halmatpura in frontier Kupwara district yesterday
afternoon. The anti militancy operation resumed on 2nd consecutive day today
morning after it was suspended late last evening due to darkness. Meanwhile,
additional contingents of special forces have been called in to neutralize the
remaining militants. Tariq Rather, AIR News, Srinagar."
the Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day today as well amidst
Opposition uproar. As soon as the Lok Sabha met at noon after its first
adjournment, members from TRS and AIADMK again trooped into the well raising
slogans in support of their demands. TRS members were demanding increase in the
reservation quota for jobs in Telangana, while AIADMK members wanted the
setting up of a Cauvery Management Board. Amid noisy scenes, Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan said, since the House is not in order, she is not in a position to take
up the No Confidence Motion moved by YSR Congress and TDP members.
scene was no different in the Rajya Sabha. As soon as the House met, the
members from AIADMK, TDP and Congress went into the well raising slogans on
various issues. As the stalemate continued, chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned
the House till tomorrow.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani and
Communication Minister Manoj Sinha today launched free Wi-Fi service for Sansad
Adarsh Gram, in Udwada village of Valsad district in Gujarat through video
conferencing in New Delhi. Ms Irani said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision
of Digital India is being fulfilled.
Mrs Irani said, with the launch of Wi-Fi service, six
thousand citizens in the village as well
as surrounding areas will be benefited. She said, they will be able to use
unlimited internet data and with this, Udwada has become a digital village.
Speaking on the
occasion, Manoj Sinha said, one lakh gram panchayats have been linked digitally
so far. He said, Optical Fibre Cable has been increased to 14 lakh kilometers.
The Delhi High Court today issued a notice to former
Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others on the Enforcement
Directorate's plea challenging their acquittal in a money laundering case
arising out of the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Justice SP Garg issued another
notice to them on a CBI plea challenging the special court order acquitting
them in the case. The
High Court also said, status quo would be maintained with regard to properties
attached by the ED in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act case.
The special court had, in December last year,
acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi and others in the cases registered by the CBI and the
Centre today sought the Supreme Court's permission to allow the CEO of the
Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for a PowerPoint presentation
on Aadhaar scheme in the court to allay concerns. Hearing a number of pleas
challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling Act, Chief
Justice Dipak Misra said, he will fix the time for the presentation after
discussing the matter with other judges of the five-judge constitution bench he
President Ram Nath Kovind has stressed on the need to
translate innovative ideas into accessible and affordable products and services
for the people. Addressing the concluding session of the festival of
Innovations and Entrepreneurship at Rashtrapati Bhavan today, Mr Kovind said,
showcasing innovations is not the sole purpose of this Festival. He said, it is
important to connect the bottom of the innovation pyramid with the other layers
and to clear the path for grassroots innovations to be scaled up for mass
festival reflects the desire of all of us in India and particularly of
Rashtrapati Bhawan to create a supportive eco-system for innovation to address
unmet social needs as well as expand the frontier of technology and curosity."
In Afghanistan, at least 29 people have been killed
and 52 others injured in an explosion in the capital, Kabul today. Tolo News
reported that the terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the
attack, which happened close to Kabul University and Ali Abad hospital. News
reports quoted the interior ministry as saying that a suicide bomber had
detonated his explosives while walking among a group of people. The attack
happened as many Afghans are marking the Nowruz holiday, a celebration of the
start of spring.
In Sri Lanka, the Joint opposition today handed over
a motion of no-confidence against Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to the Parliament Speaker. It has been signed by
a total of 55 MPs, including 51 from the Joint Opposition and 4 MPs from the
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
"The no confidence
motion may not threaten Prime minister immediately as he seems to have the
numbers. But it will give the opposition to expose him on several issues
including the differences within the unity government. SLFP MPs led by
President Maithripala Sirisena has earlier asked for Mr. Ranil’s resignation
which he refused. Prime minister is also facing demand from within the party
for change in leadership but the party may come together to defeat the motion.
Interestingly, the motion was not signed by former President Mahinda Rajapakse
though he was present on the occasion. Santosh Kumar, AIR News, Colombo."
Domestic stocks today rose for the second day in a
row. The Sensex settled above the 33,000-mark.
"The Sensex at
Bombay Stock Exchange surged 139 points or 0.42 percent to 33,136. The Nifty at
National Stock Exchange also added 31 points or 0.31 percent to 10,155. All
other major Asian and European markets stocks were down today. The rupee at
forex market ended at 65.21 against the US dollar ahead of the Federal
Reserve's policy meet outcome. Gold prices fell by 40 rupees to 31,350 rupees
per 10 grams at the bullion market in New Delhi. Silver also lost 150 rupees to
39,000 rupees per kg. And, oil today rose for a second day
to hit the highest prices in six weeks. Brent crude futures rose 95 cents or 1.42 percent to
68.08 US dollar a barrel. With Sanjio Kumar Singh this is V. Ravi Kumar for AIR
Centre has asked the States to submit their Annual Action Plan for 2018-19 by
15th of next month so that the funds related to Central schemes on Agriculture
and allied sectors are disbursed immediately. Addressing the Chief Secretaries
of States and senior officials of State Agriculture Departments via video
conferencing in New Delhi today, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh asked
them to send inter-state criteria information on Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation
introduced billing through Point of Sale (POS) hand held machines in trains to
check overcharging by vendors. An official release said, the POS billing
machines will be introduced in trains in a phased manner. IRCTC has already
introduced POS machines in New Delhi -Karnataka Express on a pilot basis.