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GoodTime NationJanuary 1, 2018
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3min350

Today, AP Janmabhoomi announced it has established a reach of one lakh fifty thousand on the social media platform twitter as of December 2017, further cementing its position as one of the most innovative and efficacious social initiatives by the Andhra Pradesh Government. The AP Janmabhoomi twitter account has had a 750% rise in tweets, has seen a 250% increase in its impressions and surpassed a 1000% in terms of mentions in just 30 days.

Of the social initiative’s recent twitter success, the Special Representative of Government of Andhra Pradesh in North America, Jayaram Komati said,”Achieving a reach of one lakh fifty thousand this morning is a proud moment for us. The Government vision to involve NRIs in establishing a digitalised education system for schools and Anganwadi Centres in Andhra Pradesh has been successful so far in accomplishing a strong digital foothold with the intended audience.”

As part of their exemplary work, the tweets on the AP Janmabhoomi twitter account represent updates on achievements regarding the following results,

The AP Janmabhoomi Initiative has successfully utilised social media to connect and engage with NRIs who have been a potential donor base for the same and have supported its various efforts to digitalise the education system in schools and Anganwadi Centres in the state of Andhra Pradesh

The AP Janmabhoomi team has been using this platform to spread awareness regarding developments and progress in the State of Andhra Pradesh as a result of the efforts of the initiative.

The efforts through this initiative have resulted in digitalisation of more than 2500 schools and Anganwadi Centres and construction of more than 50 crematoriums in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The initiative is a leading example of the effective translation of the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu’s vision of enabling digital progress and development in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

About AP Janmabhoomi Initiative
The AP Janmabhoomi is the flagship social initiative of the Andhra Pradesh Government to connect and engage the NRI
in giving back to their native villages. This initiative intents on working for the advancement of the Sunrise state by
focusing on three major areas. Digital Classrooms establish a stage to match up global levels of education. Anganwadi
Centers promote preschool education, healthcare and hygiene for children and pregnant women. Crematoriums
ensures the last rites are paid right. The Andhra Pradesh government and the Special Representative for North America
not only facilitates the progress of the projects but also assures that each donation is executed.


Shahrukh AhmedJune 24, 2017
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3min90

GST is going to be implemented from July 1. Due to this, a lot will change economically in the country. Some things will be expensive, some cheaper. Meanwhile, speculation is being made that your banking, telecom service, hotel and insurance will be expensive due to GST. The companies are also giving information related to GST to its customers on a regular basis.

How will GST effect?

Since the last few days, the bank has been telling its customers that the tax on the credit card bill will increase from 15% to 18% from July. Likewise, telecom companies also said that the monthly bills would also increase, as the profit on input tax credit would be lower.

Telecom to be placed in placed in 5 or 12 percent slab instead of 18

However, seeing the lethal situation of the telecom sector, companies like Airtel and Idea have asked the ministry that the telecom sector to be treated as essential services and should place it under the slab of 5 or 12 percent instead of 18 percent in GST. When rates were fixed in the previous month, the government had said that the input credit available to the companies would not be an extra burden and would reduce the cost of about 3%.

It would be expensive to take an insurance plan

Insurance companies have also said that by imposing 15 to 18 percent, this tax will increase the premium and the worst effect will be on the pure term. If you take an annual premium of 25000 rupees for the plan of 1 crore, due to GST it will be 4500, which is currently Rs. 3750. The effect will be less for ULIP, where the premium is taken by management or on the death insurance,

Government is not agreeing to make changes

At the same time, the 5-star hotels have also emailed their customers with the details of increased taxes, but the government says that this tax has been kept for upcoming tax. The government has not given any kind of consent to the logic of service providers.

Companies will have to lower prices

An official told that the companies should pay the benefit to the customers as low prices, we have asked the ministry to resolve the matter with the service providers at the earliest so that there is no pressure on the customers.

 


Dipali ThakkarJune 18, 2017
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2min120

It is possible now that you do not have to travel far enough to make a passport because the government has come up with a plan to open a passport centre within a radius of 50 kms. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday announced the launch of 149 new Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK). This will be in addition to the 86 POPSK declared by the Ministry of External Affairs in the first phase.

This is an initiative launched by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Posts jointly. Sushma said that after coming to power, the NDA government has opened 16 passport services centres and given priority to the North-Eastern states. He said that since coming to power in May 2014, the NDA government had put together a total of 251 passport service centres and POPSKs. Earlier, there were 77 passport service centres in the country.

The minister said that when she took charge of the ministry, she realised that ‘proximity’ is the biggest obstacle in applying for a passport. She said, “We have set a goal that no one has to travel more than 50 kms to make a passport. She said that in the third phase more POPSK would be opened.


Anupreet KaurMarch 5, 2017
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6min90

With abundant perspectives on the Gurmehar Kaur’s gutsy step, it took a while to bifurcate the section of people criticising and appreciating her. Not easy in existing circumstances where on one side we are combating the slow yet steady rise of communalism and at the other end, there is invisible and visible segment of people hounding to judge your statements. Cricket icon Virender Sehwag and actor Randeep Hooda faced the ire of numerous personalities for being cynical on this issue.

Gurmehar is a common girl who voiced protest ‘Save DU Campaign’ against the ABVP for creating commotion at Ramjas College in Delhi on February 22 as JNU students Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid were supposed to attend a seminar. Kaur had uploaded an image on the Facebook page which stated: “I am a student from Delhi University. I am not afraid of ABVP. I am not alone. Every student of India is with me. #StudentsAgainstABVP”.

Her opinion was misguided by digging out a video which is a part of #ProfileForPeace campaign posted in 2016. As her father Captain Mandeep Singh was martyred during a war with Pakistan, in the video, one of the placards read: “Pakistan didn’t kill my father but the war did.” While she tried to advocate peaceful relations with the neighbouring country, the video was brought into the limelight in wrong time.

The statement was enough to ignite the issue politically. Apart from garnering enormous support from students and her college, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, for her right of free speech, Kaur was trolled on Twitter, received rape and life threats and was tagged as anti-national. The association of two things said at different times to highlight an issue was unfortunate. Later, Kaur was compelled by the circumstances and threats to withdraw from the campaign.

It isn’t wrong to express an opinion but being judgmental on an issue is incorrect. One video from her past made people overshadow her DU campaign. Where and how did the freedom of speech vanish in her case? Was it because she said Pakistan didn’t kill her father?

Whether right or wrong, an opinion must be given liberty. And if there is anything wrong, then it can be objected but not in the disguise of threats. With due respect to her outlook, I don’t agree with her above statement.

Pakistan has always fueled the situations of war. There have been cases of infringement by Pakistan near the LoC various times that has killed and injured our country’s soldiers. The terrorists from Pakistan have attacked the base camps of our army which martyred many soldiers. What about the Pathankot attack? How can we forget that? Now, please tell who is to be blamed: war or Pakistan? Still, our country endeavoured to pacify relations with Pakistan which has always tried to intrude in our country.

For those nationalists, who are threatening Kaur for expressing her opinion, where do they vanish when our leaders in the name of politics cross their limits to target each other? Why are questions not raised when they manipulate opposition to entice people for votes?

Where are the pinpointers who ignore the speeches of leaders trying to create communal division by raising slogans related to temples and mosques? Why such statements are overlooked and opinions are not uttered against the leaders polluting the mind of the public?

Pepsi and Coca Cola Faces Traders Bycott in TamilNadu

When movies are made to highlight issues (like Udta Punjab) or talk about gender equality (like Lipstick Under My Burkha), they are either scrapped, censored or denied certification. Most of the time, the functioning of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are hindered because of clashing viewpoint between our leaders. The bills fail to pass but the blame games persist. Why don’t the student bodies protest in that case?

They should be held responsible for raising such statement but that’s absolutely not happening as it is a case of free speech and our country is a democratic one. Leaders have the right to express their view, then why not public?

There are various concerns and the ones stated above are just a part of it. Kaur’s case has highlighted this alarming concern. We really need to think about it. Such partial reactions raise questions on the boundaries of free speech set for the common man of a democratic country set by the people of a democratic country.

PS: The perspective is a part of free speech right.


GoodTime NationFebruary 18, 2017
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3min100

Despite walking out by opposition party DMK and its allies, Edappadi Palaniswami won the Floor Test on Saturday and retained himself as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by getting 122 confidence votes. It is a huge setback for the former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam as he managed to garner 11 votes and lost the battle against the aides of V. K. Sasikala.

Out of the 234 members in the assembly, DMK leader M Karunanidhi and MLA Arun Kumar were absent during the proceedings, while 98 leaders were evicted during voting. The decision that was supposed to be finalised in the first half of the day got delayed because of the bedlam caused by the members of DMK.
The DMK members along with opposition members demanded secret voting claiming that the MLAs were hesitant to cast their votes. Besides, they wanted the MLAs to visit their constituencies and seek public opinion before voting. When Speaker P Dhanapal denied it and announced to continue with Floor Test, some of the opposition members protested by raising slogans and broke the speaker’s mike and table and even manhandled him.

Considering the surging violence in the assembly, police immediately interrupted to protect the speaker and ordered the watch and ward staff to remove the DMK members. The Speaker tried his best to calm the protesting leaders and asked them to cooperate. However, the violence in the assembly made the Speaker to adjourn it for the second time. After the ruckus, Dhanapal and DMK leader M. K. Stalin showed their torn shirts and highlighted the state of chaos inside the house.

Stalin stormed the house and went to meet the Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to discuss the incident. After his meeting with the Governor, he along with his party members held a protest at the Marina Beach. However, they were detained by the police later.  Besides, on winning the vote of confidence, Palaniswami along with AIADMK members paid tribute to J Jayalalithaa at her memorial.

OPS’s losing to Edappadi Palaniswami has left him with only a few members. Now, eyes will be on him as well on how he takes his political journey ahead. Will he form a new party or join an existing one DMK?


Rahul RathoreJanuary 4, 2017
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3min100

New Delhi: The Election Commission have announced the dates of the elections in 5 states. The Election Commission have also announced some new rules for the candidates. CEC Nasim Zaidi has announced the dates at a press conference.

What are new rules:

  • According to the new regulations, Candidate will have to stick their photo in the nomination form. Candidate will have to declare that they are Indian citizens. Previously this was not mandatory
  • Candidates will also have to provide testimony or NOC that the don’t have any due
  • Candidates will be required to file a no demand certificate
  • Now after 10 pm Election Commission has banned the loudspeaker from propagating or campaigning
  • Candidates will have to open a new bank account, details of which have to be given to the EC
  • The EC has said that donations of more than 20 thousand will have to be taken in the form of a check
  • EVM will have to photos of the candidates
  • EVM will be used in all the states. The height of EVM booth has been increased to 30 inches to maintain voters secrecy

Dates & Phases of Election in the Each States

Elections will take place in this five states Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur. Polling will be held in a single phase in the following states- Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand, while Manipur will have 2 phases of polling and Uttar Pradesh will have 7 phases of polling. Counting of votes for all the states will be on March 11.

Uttar Pradesh will have the polling on 403 seats on the following dates:

  • Phase 1 – February 11
  • Phase 2 – February 15
  • Phase 3 – February 19
  • Phase 4 – February 23
  • Phase 5 – February 27
  • Phase 6 – March 4
  • Phase 7 – March 8

Manipur will have the election in two phase on the following dates:

  • Phase 1 –  March 4
  • Phase 2 – March 8

Punjab & Goa will have the election in Single on 4th February. Uttarakhand will have the election in single on 15th February. With this EC said the model code of conduct comes into effect immediately.


Madhurashree MDecember 30, 2016
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2min100

Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul is arrested by CBI for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley chit fund. Earlier CBI Summoned Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Tapas Paul and another person for interrogation. Being told that the name of these two MPs came in Rose Valley chit fund probe.

TMC was aggressive on central government upon the name of the two members came for being alleged involvement in the scam. On the issue, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the central government actions as politics of revenge. She said the central government is troubling its MPs for opposing the demonisation.

ED seized 1,250 crore worth assets before Rose Valley chit fund scam while investigating allegations of money Laundering in which includes Eight hotels and a Rolls Royce car.

The firm was charged with defrauding depositors of Rs. 17,000 crore from across the country of which Rs. 450 crores was received by the ponzi company from Odisha alone. In its charge sheet, CBI had claimed that it was still probing the role of “influential people” in the scam.


GoodTime NationDecember 28, 2016
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5min260

NEW DELHI- UP Election: It was yet another unpleasant day for Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav who was yet again snubbed by his father, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

First, Mulayam contradicted Akhilesh and firmly ruled out an alliance with any party for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections. Then, to add insult to injury, Mulayam’s list of candidates left out several pro-Akhilesh ministers and included many that his son objected to.

“The Samajwadi Party is not forming an alliance with anyone,” Mulayam said firmly and categorically, two weeks after Akhilesh confirmed that SP members were in touch with Congress leaders for a possible alliance. In fact, Akhilesh had gone so far as to say that “if there is an alliance, we will get over 300 seats.” That, clearly, isn’t going to happen.

Tellingly, Akhilesh wasn’t present at the media briefing with Mulayam, but Shivpal Yadav, the SP chief’s brother, was. Not long ago, Mulayam sided with his brother against his son on the issue of who should hold key positions in the UP arm of the party and the government. Now, Akhilesh and his uncle Shivpal are at loggerheads over the distribution of election tickets, after the latter unilaterally announced a list of candidates for 175 seats. An annoyed Akhilesh then prepared his list of preferred candidates for all the seats and sent it to Mulayam

And now it appears Mulayam has again come out on the side of his brother and against his son, going by the list of candidates he announced today for the elections he said will be held on February 28.

Mulayam announced candidates for 325 of the 403 UP assembly seats. Akhilesh wasn’t among them. That’s because Akhilesh being chief minister means he can choose where he wants to contest from. Shivpal Yadav, the SP chief said, will contest from the Jaswant Nagar assembly seat.

Mulayam said tickets had been given to 176 sitting lawmakers and that candidate for the remaining 78 seats will be announced later. “For every seat, there were hundreds of ticket seekers. We respect those also whom we couldn’t give tickets,” Mulayam said.

As many as 53 sitting legislators have been denied tickets, and they include senior minister and close Akhilesh aide Arvind Singh ‘Gop’, whose ticket has been given to Rakesh Verma, son of senior party leader Beni Prasad Verma, IANS reported. Another close aide of Akhilesh, Pawan Pandey, has also been denied a ticket, IANS said. Conversely, the list has the names of Sigbatullah Ansari, who is the brother of jailed gangster Mukhtar Ansari, and Atiq Ahmed who faces over 40 criminal cases including of murder and attempt to murder, PTI reported. Akhilesh is believed to be opposed to their nomination.

In fact, at today’s press briefing Mulayam was asked how many candidates he selected from the list submitted by Akhilesh. The SP chief prevaricated and said other leaders had also given their own lists and all had to be accommodated.

As per the list announced by Mulayam today, Azam Khan will contest from Rampur, Gayatri Prasad Prajapati from Amethi, Ram Shankar Katheria from Kaimganj, Pinki Yadav from Asmoli, Harish Lodhi from Dibai, Tejvir Singh from Chhara, Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh from Bah, Mohd Rehan from Lucknow West, Ravidas Mehrotra from Lucknow central, Mahendra Singh Patel from Rohanya and Durga Prasad Yadav from Azamgarh, ANI reported. With demonetisation figuring high on everybody’s minds, Mulayam said there will soon be a verdict on it.


GoodTime NationDecember 15, 2016
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7min130

On the evening of 5 December 2016, there was a sense of palpitation in Chennai, and across Tamil Nadu, as residents awaited news of their chief minister’s health, following a debilitating cardiac arrest. Initial rumours indicated she had passed away, and this immediately brought concerns of a riotous situation developing in the area, which could have spread rapidly elsewhere. While her demise was eventual in the following hours, the initial response of the administration in controlling the rumours, and handling the situation prevent large violence and associated disruption. India is unfortunately used to accepting disruptive protests and social unrest as a means of expressing grievances and condemnation. Cult leadership, poor police-public ratio, and a vitiated atmosphere of grievances from a burgeoning young population are an incendiary mixture.

India is growing on the back of this young population, but the risk of Brand India hurting from the periodic outbreaks of unrest is big. This is the reason the episode on social unrest as released in the India Risk Report series is an important feature. Let us get a cursory glance of some of the incidents of unrest which have occurred in recent memory:

–          The Patel agitation (Gujarat, July 2015)

–          All India workers strike (September 2015)

–          The Jat agitation (Haryana, February 2016)

–          Mahadayi agitation (Karnataka, July 2016),

–          All India workers strike (September 2016)

–          The Cauvery water unrest (September 2016)

While a significant lot of the mentioned cases involved caste or political tensions and carried massive media coverage, the important mention here is the under-reported worker’s strike. There have been annual strikes led by several labour unions, some of them nationwide. Just as the political and caste issues which have been brewing for significant periods of time, here too is a ticking time bomb. It is relevant for corporate bodies which decried the losses arising from the political and social unrest, to also turn an eye to their constituencies- the worker class.

This is where the real cause of concern lies, as the blame eventually lies at the hand of the corporate entity. Unlike worker protests such as those in Cambodia and Bangladesh, we have fortunately not had a series of worker strikes which cripple the entire industrial unit area, and are usually limited to the concerned premises. A possible reason for this has been the growing contextualization of the Indian worker. A point highlighted in the show by a spokesperson of the Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), a worthy addition, considering that the BMS is considered close to the ruling dispensation. If the BMS is raising an obvious red flag over the figures of the unorganised sector and the lack of worker rights, it means that it is sharing a deeper malaise which the government and the corporates should look at addressing in the right earnest.

The episode comes close on the heels of the demonetization move by the government, and its inferences for this segment come across strongly, in the recommendations shared by both the BMS and the corporate experts. It would have been useful to have a better understanding of how this would help contain worker unrest, and particularly how many grievances of the workers relates to wage dispersal. A better understanding of the working conditions including long hours, unhygienic working conditions among others are those who would concern them, should have formed the core of the questions to the corporates and the BMS.

On the protection of corporate entities, the speakers provided insights on the need to maintain an active intelligence post which can identify trouble spots, and effectively respond in shielding employees from harm. More specifically, however, the corporate sector needs to build on its internal security mechanisms, and improve its image in the eyes of its workers through active social responsibility measures among others. But herein, it would have been nice to hear anecdotes of how some of the major companies responded to these related challenges. Some examples to liven up the discussion.

With the social unrest relating to caste, religion and other political disputes, there is very little which the corporate can do. As the Chennai example shows, an effective police response, and an in-control law enforcement mechanism can help significantly mitigate losses. This was clearly lacking in Haryana, where the government allegedly bungled into delaying any obstruction to rampaging protesters and then made the situation worse when they reportedly shot dead agitating members. The segment which featured former supercop Dr Vikram Singh was an illuminating insight into how senior figures in the police department are seized of the matter and underscore a widely-held belief that there is a need for a political spine in cracking down on unrest.

Overall, the episode does provide inputs to several complex issues which surround the corporate response to the problem of social unrest, but it could have had a lot more substance to it. It is important that a better discussion over these topics is developed since it carries a lot of baggage. A topic like this has ramifications for the supply-chain sector, the corporate security manager, and therefore would of concern for the senior management of several companies. Do have a watch at the link below and let us know your thoughts too.”


GoodTime NationDecember 10, 2016
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5min60

The CBI on Friday arrested former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, his cousin and a lawyer Sanjeev in AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam case. Air Force chief SP Tyagi is accused of taking bribes.

All those arrested will be introduced in a special CBI court near Patiala House Court today. The agency says that they have concrete evidence against SP Tyagi and the other two.

CBI sources said Tyagi the 71-year-old retired in 2007, Sanjeev and Gautam Khaitan lawyer living in Chandigarh were called in for questioning at the CBI headquarters. They were arrested after about four hours of interrogation by CBI. On the part of the CBI, it is the first arrest in the case that appeared about three years ago.

What is the AgustaWestland helicopter scam

During the previous UPA government, the accused were alleged in taking the bribe of Rs 450 crore in the purchase of 12 VVIP helicopters from UK-based AgustaWestland. CBI is probing the case from past three years. CBI to probe allegations of bribery in 2013 had filed a FIR.

The CBI had registered the FIR in this case during the trial against the head of AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica were allegations of corruption in the deal.

Why former IAF chief arrested

In a statement issued on Friday, Devpreet Singh, CBI spokesman said. It was alleged that Chief of Air Staff (CAS) entered into criminal conspiracy with other accused persons and in 2005, conceded to change IAF’s consistent stand — that service ceiling of VVIP helicopters 6,000 metres was an inescapable operational necessity — and reduced the same to 4,500 metres.”

Such changes in operational requirements, Singh said, made the private company (AgustaWestland) eligible to participate in the request for proposal for VVIP helicopters.

“It was revealed during investigation that such undue favours were allegedly shown to said UK-based private company by accepting illegal gratification from the accused vendors through middlemen/relatives including his cousin and an advocate etc. who accepted the illegal gratification for exercising influence through illegal means, or using personal influence over the concerned public servants,” the CBI spokesperson said.

For the first time, an Air Force chief arrested for bribery,  Tyagi denies the charges.

For the first time in Indian history when an army major was arrested on charges of bribery. In several interviews given to the media in the last three years, Tyagi and his cousins denied the allegation of taking the bribe to affect the agreement.

Dismissing allegations former Air Chief Marshal Tyagi said the change in the conditions was a collective decision in which the Indian Air Force, Special Protection Group (SPG) and other officials of the departments were present.

Who is SP Tyagi?

During the UPA regime, arrested in AgustaWestland case by the CBI, former Air Force chief SP Tyagi was born on 14 March 1945, in Indore. His schooling was at St. Xavier’s School in Jaipur. In 1963 he joined the Air Force. Former air force chief Tyagi, had close relationship Indore and Jaipur.

 



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