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Pandemic has contributed lot more towards Esports industry: Atin Suri

“PUBG has already become extremely popular in today’s times. Not only brands but individuals are also seeking the famous ‘chicken dinner’,” Suri said.



Video games

New Delhi, May 22 : The real world is currently suffering from the might of an invisible enemy, so much so, that it has forced people to remain confined within the safety of their four walls. Gaming industry is thriving under such unprecedented times as virtual world is helping people escape from the harsh realities they are facing in daily life.

“When Esports events came to India, the industry had already recognised immense potential in the gaming enthusiasts of the country. The popularity of the industry rose over night and now there are millions of fans in the country,” Atin Suri, founder, Esports Experiential, told IANS.

“The pandemic has no doubt contributed a lot more towards the Esports industry. Earlier, Esports was conceived as a youth oriented means to entertainment.

“With the rise in the number of gamers, we are looking at a noticeable change in the age bracket. Enthusiasts are as young as 8 years old and there is no upper limit on the age,” he added.

Digitisation of the country has also helped in increasing the number of gamers. The number of smartphones in India has gone up exponentially and that has aided in bringing more eyeballs in the last few years.

Also, the gaming industry was once considered to be rather niche considering the prices of the consoles. This isn’t the case these days as according to Suri, internet phones have changed the game altogether.

“In the last couple of years, the country has seen a wave of digitisation. With internet being more accessible and affordable to all citizens, a large population of the country owns smartphones and use the internet for multiple purposes,” Suri said.

“The smart phones have become the most popular console for the gaming enthusiasts. Earlier, gaming boxes were very expensive and only for the privileged ones. But now, online gaming is available on multiple devices and in many forms.

“Unlike on-ground sports, gamers have the privilege of gaming from any location and at any time. Gaming is also a great stress buster for the urban youth and hence is known to be more popular in the young working class and college going students,” he added.

The one online game that has really caught the imagination of everyone in India is PUBG Mobile. Gamers from around the world are logging in through mobile for that elusive ‘chicken dinner’. The multiplayer battle royal game, according to Suri, is changing the Indian gaming market for the good because of its sheer popularity among the masses.

“PUBG has already become extremely popular in today’s times. Not only brands but individuals are also seeking the famous ‘chicken dinner’,” Suri said.

“Infact, our H’ble Prime Minister has also mentioned it as part of one of his conversations to a mother that went viral over the internet. Social media has chicken dinner as one of the most popular hashtags.

“The Indian market is already influenced by the sport and a lot of brands are now repositioning their products, from selfie phones to gaming phones. Brands have started actively adding features that contribute to the ease of gaming and to create a better and smoother user experience,” he added.

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Cancel final-year exams of central varsities, Kejriwal urges PM




Arvind Kejriwal Delhi

New Delhi, July 11 : Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to cancel the final-year examinations of Delhi University and other central universities across the country.

“I request the central government and the University Grants Commission to change their guidelines in the larger interest of the students and cancel their final-semester examinations,” Kejriwal wrote in a letter to Modi.

This came after the Delhi government announced cancellation of all examinations, including final-semester examination, in the state universities due to the coronavirus crisis.

“For the sake of our youths, I urge the PM to personally intervene and cancel final- year exams of DU and other central government universities and save the future,” Kejriwal added.

The national capital has state universities such as Delhi Technological University, National Law University, Ambedkar University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, among others. Delhi University is a central varsity.

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PUCL moves SC for SIT probe into Vikas Dubey encounter




Vikas Dubey.

New Delhi, July 11 : A plea has been moved by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in the Supreme Court seeking direction to set up special investigation team, having officers who have not served in Uttar Pradesh, to probe into the encounter deaths of gangster Vikas Dubey and his aides.

The petitioners have also urged the apex court to constitute a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to enquire into the encounters that have been taking place in Uttar Pradesh and also the prevalent criminal-politician nexus in the state.

The petitioner cited the petition filed in May 2018, which took into account the over 1,000 encounters that had taken place, during January 2017 to March 2018, resulting in death of 49 persons and injuries to 370. “During pendency of the petition before this court, the number of encounters increased to 2,000 and deaths to 66 as mentioned in the rejoinder affidavit on October 8, 2018. The number has increased to 5,178 encounters in which 103 persons have been killed and 1,859 have been injured in 2019,” said the plea.

The petitioner said it has taken up the issue pertaining to police encounters, among several other human rights issues, as it defies the rule of law and administration of law enforcing machinery in accordance with the Constitution.

“It is further submitted that police encounter/administrative liquidation is a serious crime – murder/culpable homicide and is an offence against the entire society. If such a crime is committed with the support of the state or where the state condones such an offence, it takes a very serious dimension, questioning the entire rule of law and governance in accordance with the Constitution”, said the plea.

The petitioner contended that the UP government is flouting an earlier judgement of the Supreme Court, and indulging in massive encounters with impunity.

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Monsoon Session may be very short; eye on passing ordinances

Given the huge challenge both LS and RS Secretariats are facing right now to make seating arrangements in Parliament, maintaining social distancing, the monsoon session is likely to be “very short”




Parliament of India

With the resumption of Parliamentary standing committees, efforts are on to convene the monsoon session of Parliament, with a focus to clear ordinances brought by the Centre. Given the huge challenge both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Secretariats are facing right now to make seating arrangements in the Parliament, maintaining social distancing, the monsoon session is likely to be “very short”, suggest informed sources.

On June 5, the government brought ordinances that it claimed would be game changers. It amended the six-a-and-a-half decade old Essential Commodities Act, for ease of doing business with an objective to deregulate food items, including cereals, pulses and onions, in bid to raise farmers’ income.

The Centre also brought the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 for “better management & sound regulation of Cooperative banks”, as well as the APMC tweaking with a goal of ‘One India, One Agriculture Market’. But the ordinances, that are crucial for Centre’s effort to boost the economy intake of the lockdown slump, need to be passed by Parliament. Monsoon session’s primary goal will be to get these ordinances okayed by the Parliament, at the earliest.

The treasury bench will also be ready to make a statement on the India-China border stand-off, that killed 20 Indian brave hearts, presuming that the opposition will press for it. The Centre may use the Parliament to send a “strong message of unity”, as far as LAC aggression was concerned.

However, given the monumental challenge the Parliament is facing to reconvene, it is unlikely that a detailed session with a full business transaction can take place.

Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats have explored all possibilities including using a substitute venue like Vigyan Bhawan, to ensure seating with “do gaaz ki doori”, but none were big enough to accommodate the entire Indian Parliament, all together.

The capacity constraints have shot down any idea of a larger virtual session. In spite of Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu saying to “scale up capacities for larger virtual Parliament in due course”, Government sources suggest that is not going to happen immediately. Hence, sources say, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat is exploring seating members of the upper house in the house’s chamber as well as the galleries in conformity with the norm of physical distancing and to enable virtual participation of other members from either the Central Hall or Balayogi Auditorium in the Parliament premises. The chamber and the galleries of the Rajya Sabha can accommodate 127 members while adhering to the physical distancing norms.

Meanwhile, “For enabling the viewing of participation of the members from outside the chamber of the House through virtual participation, it has been felt that screens need to be arranged both within the chamber of the House and outside as required,” sources said.

As for the Lok Sabha, the challenge is bigger, given the number of members is much higher than the upper house — 543 to be precise. Given that, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla has held multiple meetings to brainstorm a solution that government’s need and opposition’s demand alike to bring a monsoon session without subjecting any member to health risks. The budget session this year was cut short abruptly on March 23, after one member Dushyant Singh came in contact with a COVID-19 positive singer. Singh later met other members, causing a sense of panic, with members like Trinamool leader Derek O’ Brien going into self quarantine.

But the treasury bench seems convinced it will find a solution and suggests it does not want to rush without adequate arrangements to keep the health consideration of all members in mind, amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic. The sense of government’s comfort also stems from the fact that the ordinances remain in force for six weeks after the Parliament is reconvened. Once it gathers, it must be approved by both Houses of Parliament for the ordinance to become a law.

So, the government does not find an immediate countdown to start for okaying the ordinances. However, sources in the government say, regardless of that, almost regular meetings are afoot to reconvene the Parliament, this monsoon.

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