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NCP leader Udayanraje Bhonsale resigns, joins BJP

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New Delhi, Sep 14 Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Udayanraje Bhosale on Saturday resigned as a Lok Sabha MP and joined the BJP saying he was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.

Earlier on Saturday, Bhosale first met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and submitted his resignation from the Lower House.

He then arrived at the residence of Bharatiya Janata Party and Union Home Minister President Amit Shah, where he formally joined the BJP in the presence of Working President J.P. Nadda, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and several other senior leaders.

After joining the BJP, Bhosale said: “I am inspired by the works and leadership of Modi, Shah and the BJP.”

“I am happy to see that the BJP was following the paths of Shivaji Maharaj to strengthen the country.”

Bhosale also hailed the Modi government for revoking Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir and said: “What nobody thought, they made it real by handling the sensitive matter in a very mature way to strengthen the country.”

Bhosale also said that the people of the country were joining the BJP because of the leadership in the party and its ideologies.

Shah, while welcoming Bhosale, said: “The BJP and the Jana Sangh has always followed the ideologies of Shivaji Maharaj. And it was great that one of his family members has joined the party.”

Praising Bhosale for resigning as an NCP MP just four months after the Lok Sabha elections, Shah said: “He resigned as an MP within four months on moral grounds to join the BJP, which is a matter of pride.”

The Union Home Minister also stressed that the BJP, under the leadership of Modi in the Centre and Fadnavis in the state, will improve its tally in the Maharashtra Assembly elections scheduled later this year.

“I have toured the state recently and I am assured that the BJP will improve its tally in the assembly elections and will win three fourth majority,” he said.

Bhosale won in the Lok Sabha elections by a margin of around 1,30,000 votes from the Satara parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra.

India

Like Scindia, Aditi Singh removes INC from Twitter profile

Aditi Singh has been regularly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from time to time.

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Lucknow, May 27 : Aditi Singh, the rebel Congress MLA from Rae Bareli, seems to be going the Jyotiraditya Scindia way.

Aditi Singh, on Wednesday, changed her Twitter profile, removing Indian National Congress from it.

It may be recalled that just before switching over to the BJP, Scindia had also dropped INC from his profile on social media.

Aditi Singh’s profile now reads – “MLA Rae Bareli Sadar, Uttar Pradesh. Masters in Management Studies, Duke University. Forever trying to be a practitioner of Ayurveda, Yoga and Plant Based Living.”

The MLA, since September last year, has been charting her own course-one that defies the Congress line.

She welcomed the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir at a time when the Congress was opposing the move. She then defied the party line to attend a special assembly session in UP in October.

Aditi Singh has been regularly praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath from time to time.

The Congress has already filed a petition seeking her disqualification from the membership of the state assembly for alleged anti-party activities. However, no action has yet been taken on the petition.

More recently, Aditi Singh slammed the Congress for sending buses for migrant workers and appreciated the work being done by the Yogi government for migrants.

Speculations are rife that Aditi Singh may soon join the BJP and is likely to be named as the party candidate from Rae Bareli in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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India

Indian Truecaller users’ data on sale, company denies breach

“Looking at the information itself, it has over 47.5 million records, and it includes interesting information such as phone number, carrier, name, gender, city, email, Facebook ID and others,” said the blog post.

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New Delhi, May 27 : After an online intelligence firm flagged that a cybercriminal was selling Truecaller records of 4.75 crore Indians on dark web for just about Rs 75,000, the Swedish caller identification app on Wednesday denied any breach of its database. After an online intelligence firm flagged that a cybercriminal was selling Truecaller records of 4.75 crore Indians on dark web for just about Rs 75,000, the Swedish caller identification app on Wednesday denied any breach of its database.

“There has been no breach of our database and all our user information is secure. We take the privacy of our users and the integrity of our services extremely seriously and we are continuously monitoring for suspicious activities,” a Truecaller spokesperson said in a statement.

“We were informed about a similar sale of data in May 2019. What they have here is likely the same dataset as before. It’s easy for bad actors to compile multiple phone number databases and put a Truecaller stamp on it.

“By doing that, it lends some credibility to the data and makes it easier for them to sell. We urge the public and users not to fall prey to such bad actors whose primary motive is to swindle the people of their money,” the spokesperson said.

Online intelligence firm Cyble in a blog on Tuesday said that its researchers have “identified a reputable seller, who is selling 47.5 Million Indians Truecaller records for $1000. The data is from 2019.”

“Looking at the information itself, it has over 47.5 million records, and it includes interesting information such as phone number, carrier, name, gender, city, email, Facebook ID and others,” said the blog post.

On Wednesday, Cyble updated the blog to say that the same hacker has dropped another 600 million records for sale.

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Disaster

Donations by companies to PM-CARES Fund notified as CSR

Companies have off late announced donations to the PM-CARES Fund along with several other initiatives to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

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New Delhi, May 27 : Two months after it made the announcement, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has finally notified that donations made by companies to the Prime Ministers Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM-CARES Fund) will be considered as expenditure on corporate social responsibility.

The ministry late on May 26 notified that it has amended Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 by including contributions to PM-CARES Fund as valid CSR activity along with the earlier insertion of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

However, to the relief of corporate contributors, the notification had clarified that changes will be deemed to have come into force on March 28, 2020 to allow for all the corporate contributions to PM-CARES Fund made in last two months to qualify as CSR spend.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had tweeted on March 29 that CSR Funds can now donate to PM CARES Fund. A ministry of corporate affairs circular issued then had also said the same suggesting that the Fund has been set up to provide relief to those affected by any kind of emergency or distress situation. But, a formal notification of the proposal never came in March.

Sources said delay in notifying the circular was primarily over the issue of whether such changes would require an amendment to Companies Act or can be done through amending the rules. Legal opinion gave a nod to the notification.

Corporate spending for various activities related to COVID-19 including promotion of healthcare, preventive healthcare, sanitation, disaster management would qualify for treatment as CSR, as per a previous circular by the ministry.

The corporate social responsibility rules make it mandatory for large Indian firms to set aside at least 2 per cent of their average net profit for socially responsible expenditures. The norms are applicable to firms with at least Rs 5 crore net profit or Rs 1,000 crore turnover or Rs 500 crore net worth. The list of activities included under CSR is decided by the government.

Companies have off late announced donations to the PM-CARES Fund along with several other initiatives to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The total corporate social responsibility (CSR) spending by the top 500 companies in the country since the applicability of mandatory CSR in 2014 is likely to cross Rs 60,000 crore by the end of the month as per industry reports.

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