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Plea to PM to declare Kalpana Chawla birthday as Daughters’ Day

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New Delhi, June 25 : Urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare July 1 as Daughters’ Day in memory of Indo-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla, the Public Relations Council of India (PRCI) has launched a campaign #shakti4beti.

Kalpana, who had an illustrious career as a US astronaut, died along with six crew members of the Space Shuttle Columbia which disintegrated over Texas during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, just 16 minutes before landing. July 1 is Kalpana’s official birthday. Even after her tragic death, Kalpana continues to be a shining example and icon for many girls around the world.

PRCI — the pan-India premier body of PR, Media, Advertising, HR professionals and mass communication academicians — embarked on a social media campaign to focus on communicating on the importance of girl security, culminating with Daughter’s Day events on Friday next (July 1).

PRCI has petitioned the Prime Minister and tweeted to the HRD, Defence and Railway ministers urging for their help and support for #shakti4beti and declaring July 1 as Daughters’ Day.

Explaining the significance of the theme, B.N. Kumar, national president of PRCI, said: “Beti Suraksha (girls’ security) falls in line with the Union government’s campaign Beti Bachao Beti Padhao. We as communication professionals firmly believe that it is absolutely important to communicate to the society at large on the issue that bothers all — the security of the girl child”.

“The memory of Kalpana Chawla, whose glory grew sky high, remains as an inspiration and we as communicators are keen to ensure that the GenX remembers with a sense of pride,” said M.B. Jayaram, Chairman Emeritus and Chief Mentor of PRCI. “We at PRCI observe July 1 as Daughters’ Day each year and now we have urged the Prime Minister to declare it as a National Daughters’ Day,” he added.

PRCI has also launched a Twitter and Facebook campaign to focus on communication about girl safety and security, and proposed to schools and colleges to initiate self defence programmes for girls.

“We are happy that KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research (SIMSR) at Somaiya Vidyavihar, Mumbai, has agreed to actively participate in the campaign. Students will be mobilised to communicate on the issue. A Navi Mumbai-based developer, Prajapati Constructions, has also given its consent to launch the drive at a school in Uran, near Mumbai,” said Kumar.

PRCI chapters across the country have also planned campaigns. The Bengaluru chapter planned a Beti Padhao programme.

Disaster

Cyclone Nivar crosses Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, felling trees, disrupting power supply

IMD said, “Under its influence rainfall at most/many places with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls are likely to occur over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh.

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Nivar Cyclone Chennai Rain

Chennai/Puducherry: The very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, crossed the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast late night and early Thursday morning with an estimated wind speed of 120-130 kmph, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

On its way the cyclone uprooted several trees and power lines in Tamil Nadu’s Cuddalore, Marakkanam and in Puducherry.

Power supply in several areas was disrupted. The concerned administration was removing the fallen trees.

In Puducherry also the power supply was disrupted.

Puducherry Chief Minister V.Narayanasamy told a news channel that power supply will be restored in a phased manner on Thursday itself.

He said, a lot of trees have fallen due to the cyclone and rain in continuing.

Narayanasamy said low lying areas were inundated and work was on to drain the water. Fallen trees were being removed. “Power supply was disrupted and it will be soon restored in a phased manner in 12 hours”, he said.

As regards the cyclone damage to lives and property, Narayanasamy said the assessment will be made and by this afternoon, an estimate of damage will be known.

He said 80 relief camps have been set up in Puducherry. Camps have also been set up in Karaikal.

Narayanasamy said, “By Gods grace people of Puducherry escaped the fury of Nivar.”

He also inspected the cyclone damaged areas and urged the people to stay indoors and fishermen not to venture into the seas.

In Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram district, police said the fallen trees have been removed to ease the flow of traffic.

Similarly, the officials of power utility were also on the job to restore power supply wherever it got disrupted due to the cyclone.

At Marakkanam near Puducherry, several power poles fell down and the fishermen community requested the Tamil Nadu government to restore the power lines at the earliest.

According to the weather department the cyclone lays centered over coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry about 25km north of Puducherry with wind blowing at a speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph.

In the suburbs of Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, water got logged due to rains affecting the residents as well as traffic flow.

Nivar will move northwest wards and weaken further into a cyclonic storm during the next three hours, the IMD said.

The cyclone began its landfall on Wednesday night about 10.30 p.m. after moving at a speed of 16 kmph for six hours.

In an early morning tweet, Puducherry’s Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi said: “Good #MorningNutrition. Puducherry has faced the Cyclone, collectively and resolutely. Making us a stronger and a more experienced team.”

Even after landfall, the cyclone was likely to maintain its intensity for about six hours and weaken gradually.

The sea along the coast was very rough with huge waves were hitting the shores.

IMD said, “Under its influence rainfall at most/many places with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls are likely to occur over Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Cuddappa districts of Andhra Pradesh.

Gale wind speed reaching 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph very likely to prevail over interior districts (Ranipet, Tiruvannamalai, Tirupattur, Vellore) of Tamil Nadu and Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in the early morning to forenoon, the weather department said.

The Puducherry government too has announced Thursday as a public holiday.

Twenty five teams from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed on the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.

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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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