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CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana moves Supreme Court against leave order

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Bharat Bandh: Transport, banking services likely to be affected

As several transport, bank unions are part of the strike, banking services are likely to be hit across the country.

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Farmers Protest

Over 25 crore workers are expected to participate in a nationwide strike on Thursday jointly called by 10 central unions protesting against various policies of the government. As several transport, bank unions are part of the strike, banking services are likely to be hit across the country.

Fewer autos and taxis might be on road today. The Uttar Pradesh government, meanwhile, has extended the Essential Services Maintenance Act, banning strikes in all departments and corporations under it for a period of another six months.

Here’s all you need to know:

Who are participating in the strike?

The ten central unions include Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) will not participate in the strike.

What are the demands?

Cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month to all non-income tax paying families and 10 kilograms free ration per person per month to all needy people.

Expansion of MGNREGA, the rural employment guarantee scheme, to provide 200 days’ work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages and also extension of the employment guarantee to urban areas.

Withdrawal of all “anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes. The demands also include stopping privatisation of public sector.

Pension to all, scrapping National Pension System and the restoration of the earlier pension system are also some of the demands.

Which services will be affected?

A number of services, including industries, banking, transport, are likely to be affected as the trade unions taking part in one-day strike encompasses a large number of sectors. Farmers, Scheme workers, domestic workers, construction workers, beedi workers, hawkers, vendors, agricultural workers, self-employed in rural and urban areas, auto and taxi drivers, railway, defence employees are also supposed to participate.

Will bank services be hit?

Yes as All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) are participating in the strike. Many lenders, including IDBI Bank and Bank of Maharashtra, in regulatory filings on Wednesday said their normal working could be affected at the branches and offices.

The “Lok Sabha in its recently held session has passed three new labour enactments by dismantling existing 27 enactments in the name of ‘Ease of Business’, which are purely in the interest of corporates.” In the process, 75 per cent of workers are being pushed out of the orbits of labour laws since they will have no legal protection under the new enactment,” the AIBEA said in a release. The association represents the majority of the banks, except State Bank of India (SBI) and Indian Overseas Bank. It has four lakh bank employees from various public and old private sectors and a few foreign banks as its members.

“If strike materialises, the normal functioning of the bank branches and offices is likely to be affected. The bank is taking all necessary steps to minimise the impact of strike so as to provide the normal banking services to its customers,” the Bank of Maharashtra said in a filing.

(With agency inputs)

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India’s ban on 43 Chinese apps draws mixed reactions

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

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New Delhi: While Indian startups have largely welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, taking it to a total of 267 in a span of about five months, experts have also cautioned that users deserve more information and transparency about the reasons behind the actions.

Extending its support to the latest “digital strike” on Tuesday that banned 43 more Chinese apps, homegrown short video-sharing platform Chingari said that some of the apps in the new list “were banned earlier as well but they just cloaked themselves under a new identity to enter the Indian market.”

“The ban is a very smart move and sends out a clear message that Chinese apps cannot use such tactics to engage in activities that are ‘prejudicial to India’s sovereignty’. At the same time, we would like to assure our Chingari family that the safety of their data is our highest priority,” Sumit Ghosh, CEO, Co-founder Chingari, said in a statement.

One of the banned apps include Snack Video which offered homegrown short video apps, that gained traction following ban on TikTok, very tough competitions.

“This is yet another welcome move from the government to stand against Chinese apps that always have had serious privacy issues. We happily extend our support to all the language users and creators of Snack Video especially who are residing in tier 3/4 cities to come and join Bolo Indya,” said Varun Saxena, Founder and CEO, Bolo Indya.

However, Mishi Choudhary, Founder of SFLC.in, a legal services organisation working on law, technology and policy, said that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology “has made it a practice of issuing orders banning websites citing vague reasons without offering details that users deserve when being deprived of access to information.”

Earlier on June, 29, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, 118 more apps were banned under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

In addition, the government in late July, cracked down on 47 more mobile apps, most of which were reportedly clones or lite variants of the Chinese apps banned in June.

Launching the fresh assault on 43 Chinese apps on Tuesday, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said the “action was taken based on the inputs regarding these apps for engaging in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.”

While announcing the ban on 59 apps in June, the ministry also said that it received “many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.”

“What started with the ironical assertion that the government was worried about personal data — considering we are still dithering on a personal data protection law and stories about data theft are so rampant that they don’t even make it to front page news anymore — has now turned into an unfortunate trend,” Choudhary said.

“If these Chinese apps are indulging in notorious practices which they might be, more information and transparency would help users see these orders as necessary instead of what they look like now –a sign of controlling choice,” she added.

SafeHouse Technologies, a cyber security tech enterprise that provides solutions to secure mobile phones, has welcomed the government’s move to ban 43 more Chinese apps, saying that “the government has yet again proved that the security and hygiene in the Indian smartphone and app ecosystem needs to be maintained.”

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Landline users need to prefix ‘0’ to call mobile phones starting Jan

Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

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Kolkata: Come January 1, landline users across India will need to prefix all calls to any mobile phone with a `0′ , with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calling on telcos to modify the dialing pattern for such calls in line with the sector regulator’s recommendations.

The move is likely to create fresh numbering resources for mobile services amid the continuing rise in India’s mobile user base and the decline in wireline connections.

The DoT, in a circular, dated November 20, has backed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s recommendations and mandated telcos to ensure all landline subscribers are “given a `0 dialing’ or STD facility” to be able to connect with mobile phones under the new calling system from next year.


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