WhatsApp chats between Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO leaked
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; Transcripts of WhatsApp conversations between Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which were part of a supplementary indictment submitted by Mumbai Police in the TRP settlement case, have been disclosed today and were all the rage on social media.
- Transcripts of WhatsApp messages intercepted via Dasgupta’s phone, which span over 1,000 pages, show numerous instances where he asks Goswami to contact the government on his behalf.
- In one such case, on April 4, 2019, just days before the general election, Dasgupta asked Goswami to block the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s (TRAI) proposal to make the display data of the BARC instead of just supplying them to channels.
- Dasgupta tells Goswami that if the data is made public, multiple system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators (LCOs) could block many channels.
- Given this, Goswami assures him that when the BJP government returns to power after the 2019 election, the TRAI will have no teeth.
- He also asks Dasgupta to send him points on how these reforms could politically harm the government.
- The transcript also makes repeated reference to a seemingly powerful individual, “AS”, with Goswami claiming to have a close relationship with him.
- The initials were not written anywhere in the transcript. There are also numerous cases in the transcripts showing Goswami bragging about his proximity to the “PMO” and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, detailing his visits to Delhi to meet with various ministers.
- There is another case where it says “all the ministers are with us”. Goswami also complains that other news channels are getting better marks than his, and Dasgupta assures him that steps will be taken to clean the data.
- Posting a screenshot of the discussions, Senior Supreme Court lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan tweeted: “Here are some snapshots of the WhatsApp chat that leaked between the CEO of BARC and #ArnabGoswami. numerous conspiracies and unprecedented access to power in this government; serious abuse of its media and its position as an agent of power. In any country with the rule of law, I would be in prison for a long time. “
- Three days before the Indian Air Force attack on Balakot, Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami told his friend and former executive director of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Partho Dasgupta, that “something big was going to happen” on confidential military action, transcription of WhatsApp messages between the two disclosures.
- The transcript is part of the additional indictment submitted by Mumbai Police investigating the PRT manipulation case.
- On February 26, 2019, the IAF attacked a Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp in the Pakistani city of Balakot.
- The government claimed it was in response to the February 14 terrorist attack on Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, where 40 CRPF members were killed after an explosives-laden car driven by a suicide bomber entered and collided with their bus.
Indian Scientists Divided Over Covaxin Approval
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; With 3,000 sites across India set to vaccinate 300 million high-risk people, starting with healthcare workers as of January 16, scientists and doctors are divided on whether to allow the restricted use given to Covaxin from Bharat. Biotech, a Hyderabad-based Covid-19 vaccine.
- In a tweet on Jan. 14, the Health Department said that Covishield and Covaxin, approved for restricted use by the Indian regulator, are safe.
- Health Department issued a statement made by four dozen scientists and doctors in India that they “collectively guarantee” the safety of the two vaccines.
- After Gagandeep Kang, a professor of microbiology at CMC Vellore, said that she would not take Covaxin in the absence of efficacy data, 12 other scientists, including Partha P. Majumder from the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, Kalyani, released a statement requesting data from effectiveness before vaccination.
- While acknowledging the safety and promising immunogenicity data of Covaxin, they said, “It is imperative that the relevant data from the larger phase 3 trial be available prior to administering the vaccination to a great name of people. Providing a vaccine without adequate efficacy data can create a false sense of security among those vaccinated. “
- They also added: “A greater degree of transparency before the start of the vaccination program is essential. This is especially true for Covaxin, for which phase 3 safety and efficacy data are not yet available. “
- India began its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Saturday with two approved vaccines, the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
- People who received Covaxin from Bharat Biotech were asked to sign a consent form before being vaccinated because the vaccine “has been approved by the government in clinical trial mode.”
- The screening and consent form adds that the company will pay compensation for serious adverse events if it is shown to be causally related to the vaccine.
- However, it specifies that in phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, Covaxin has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19.
- Beneficiaries will receive an information sheet and an adverse reaction report form, in which they must note symptoms such as fever and pain within seven days.
- Currently, beneficiaries cannot choose the vaccine and several central government hospitals in Delhi (AIIMS, Safdarjung, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Kalawati Saran Children Hospital) administered Covaxin to their staff as part of the first round of vaccination.
- Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launching the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccination campaign, said that vaccines made in India were safe and asked people not to believe the rumors.
- Pregnant and lactating women have not participated in any clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine so far and are not expected to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, the Ministry of Health warned in its memorandum on precautions and contraindications for the vaccines.
- He added that specific vaccine contraindications may apply as new information becomes available. Meanwhile, the total number of people who tested positive for the UK strain of Covid-19 was 114 as of Friday, the Health Department said.
WhatsApp delays policy launch until May 15
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; WhatsApp has decided to delay the release of its new policy update until May 15 after massive criticism from users around the world, including India, over concerns that the data could be shared with its parent company Facebook, PTI reported.
- This decision is becoming important for users in India as the country is one of the largest markets for WhatsApp with over 400 million users.
- Concerned about the privacy of their data, many users have flocked to competing messaging platforms such as Signal and Telegram which have seen millions of downloads in recent days.
- WhatsApp rival Telegram has added 25 million new users in recent days and although it did not specify a specific number of users from India, it said 38% of new users are from Asia. , followed by Europe (27%), Latin America (21%) and MENA (Middle East and North Africa at 8%).
- In a very firm letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said India is home to the largest WhatsApp user base in the world and is one of the larger markets for its services.
- The ministry has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security.
- Stating that Indians should be properly respected, he said: “Any unilateral change to WhatsApp’s terms of service and privacy would be neither fair nor acceptable.”
Agriculture Minister urges farmers to give up “stubborn position”
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; Ahead of the 10th round of talks scheduled for Jan. 19, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar again urged protesting farm leaders on Sunday to abandon their “stubborn” stance on new farm laws and propose a clause-by-clause discussion.
- Farmer leaders will attend a clause-by-clause discussion at the next meeting on January 19. With the exception of calling for the repeal of the laws, the government is ready to “seriously and openly” consider other alternatives, he said.
- On January 11, the Supreme Court suspended the application of the three laws until further notice and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse.
- Tomar said the government has offered some concessions, but peasant leaders have not shown flexibility and have consistently called for the laws to be repealed.
- He reiterated that the government makes laws for the whole country. Many farmers, experts and other stakeholders supported the laws.
- So far, the nine rounds of formal talks between the Center and 41 farmers’ unions have failed to deliver concrete results in ending the protracted protest at the Delhi borders, with the latter sticking to their main demand for complete repeal of the three laws.
- A day before the Supreme Court hearing on a request by the Union government to exempt protesters from organizing tractor marches to “disrupt” Republic Day celebrations, Samyukt Kisan Morcha, a front Common of Farmers Unions announced on Sunday that it would hold a Parallel Tractor Parade on Delhi’s Outer Ring Road on January 26.
- At a press conference ahead of the 10th round of talks between protesting farmers and the Union government, former Congress Speaker Rahul Gandhi said today that the new farm laws were “designed to destroy” agriculture and create monopolies for three or four capitalists.
- Publishing a pamphlet on farm laws titled “Kheti ka Khoon” (Murder of Agriculture) to highlight the plight of farmers, he said that repealing the laws was the only way out of the stalemate.
- Farm laws would destroy the Mandi system; farmers will not get the price they deserve and the middle class would pay a price for food they never imagined, he said.
- The Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three new farm laws will hold its first meeting on January 19 at the Pusa campus, one of its members, Anil Ghanwat, told the Press Trust of India on Sunday.
- On January 11, the Supreme Court suspended the application of the three laws, against which farmers have been protesting on the Delhi borders for more than 50 days, until new orders are issued and a four-member panel is appointed to solve the dead end.
- However, the president of the Bhartiya Kisan Union, Bhupinder Singh Mann, withdrew from the committee last week. Besides Mr. Ghanwat, the other two members of the panel are agro economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi.
- If the Supreme Court does not appoint a new member, the existing members will continue, Ghanwat added.
- When asked if the government held side talks with protesting farmers’ unions after the establishment of the SC panel, he said: “We have no problem if a solution is found and the protests end either because of (the efforts of) our panel or by separate government talks with protesting farmers’ unions.
- “Let them (the government) continue the discussion, we have a duty and we will focus on that,” he added.
- Chief Justice of India (CJI) Chief Justice Sharad A. Bobde told the government on Wednesday that it was “inappropriate and irregular” for the Supreme Court to ban all gatherings while protesting farmers on Earth Day. Republic.
- Meanwhile, at the end of the 10th round of talks, early reports indicate that the Center has offered to submit an affidavit to the Supreme Court stating that it will suspend the laws for a mutually agreed period of time up to ‘a year and a half, and in the meantime, ask a committee to review the farmers’ demands.
- The unions have said they want a total repeal, but will discuss the government’s proposal among themselves tomorrow before responding.
- Rakesh Tikait, who heads a faction of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), said today that the agricultural unions have decided to reject the government’s proposal. “We don’t want the three laws to be suspended for just a year and a half. We want a complete repeal.
- Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad (CJI) A. Bobde said it had become “almost a cultural thing” to rate people while he criticized articles that suggested “prejudice”.
- From members of a committee of experts created by the Supreme Court to intercede between protesting farmers and the government.
- The court said the reputation of the members had been shattered. The committee did not have the power to make agricultural laws. They were formed just to listen to the farmers. Newspaper articles do not resolve disputes in court, he said.
Aero India 2021 will showcase a range of locally developed helicopters
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; With a focus on promoting defense exports, Aero India 2021‘s Indian pavilion will showcase a range of locally developed helicopters next month, while Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to hold a conclave of ministers of defense.
- Defense of Indian Ocean Coastal States (IOR), according to a senior defense official.
- We have matured in helicopters and we have several in various categories.
- Now we are able to [design and manufacture] any type of helicopter, the official said.
- A Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Armed Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) will be on display inside the pavilion, the official said.
- A civilian version of the ALH will be on display outside.
- All of these helicopters were designed and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
- In addition to the Conclave of Defense Ministers, there are also plans to hold a Conclave of Air Chiefs.
- In addition, there are expected to be between six and seven official delegations at Aero India, in addition to various companies.
- With less than a month to go before the biennial airshow, construction of the corridors and facilities is at an advanced stage of completion.
Restricted access to Fort Rouge after the bird flu crisis
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; After a sample taken from a dead crow found in the Red Fort tested positive for bird flu, orders were issued to restrict public entry to the monument, authorities said on Tuesday.
- About fifteen crows were found dead in the Fort Rouge facilities a few days ago.
- Public entry to the monument was restricted until January 26 as a precaution.
- Samples from a dead owl at Delhi Zoo on Saturday tested positive for bird flu.
- The Delhi government last week banned the sale of processed and packaged chicken imported from out of town and ordered the closure of the Ghazipur poultry market in east Delhi for 10 days after ravens and ducks were sampled in parks and lakes in the nation’s capital. tested positive for bird flu.
The JEE and NEET program will not be reduced
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; The program of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Cumulative Income Eligibility Examination (NEET) will not be reduced in 2021, the Education Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
- However, since several Class 12 boards have shortened their curricula this year, the Engineering and Medicine Entrance Tests will offer more choice in their question models.
- The Central Council for Secondary Education (CBSE) has cut its class 12 exam schedule by 30% in light of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The JEE and NEET program will remain unchanged for the year 2021. However, unlike previous years, this year applicants will have the opportunity to answer questions for the JEE and NEET exams, the ministry statement said.
- It was released for clarification after it was reported that Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank’s comments during a webinar on Monday suggested that entrance tests would also be based on a reduced curriculum.
Supreme Court rejects Aadhaar’s petitions for review
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021: The Supreme Court, in a majority opinion, rejected a series of petitions seeking a revision of its 2018 ruling confirming the Lok Sabha president’s certification of the Aadhaar Act as a finance bill and its subsequent approval in the parliament.
- However, Judge D.Y. Chandrachud disagreed with the majority, saying Aadhaar’s review motions should be kept on hold. The bank sat under examination on January 11 in its rooms. However, the decision was published on Wednesday.
- Two questions had been considered regarding the ruling of the five Aadhaar Bench judges in 2018. The first, whether the president’s decision to declare a bill as Money Bill was “final” and could not be challenged in court.
- The second, if the Aadhaar Law (Targeted Delivery of Subsidies, Benefits and Financial and Other Services), 2016, has been duly certified as a “Money Law” under Article 110 (1) of the Constitution.
- Regarding the first question, the 2018 majority ruling said that the president’s decision could only be challenged in court in “certain circumstances.”
- In the second, he concluded that the Aadhaar law was rightly called the Money Bill. Judge Chandrachud, who sat on the bench, expressed his disagreement with the second finding in 2018.
- Two years later, again marking his dissent on January 11, Judge Chandrachud disagreed with the other four judges on the court led by Judge A.M. Khanwilkar.
- This time, he said that another five-judge panel in a separate case, Rojer Mathew v. South Indian Bank Ltd., in November 2019, questioned the findings of Aadhaar’s panel and referred the questions to a seven-judge formation for a decision.
- He said the review court must therefore wait for the seven-judge court, which has yet to be constituted, to file an appeal. Requests for review should be kept on hold for the time being.
- Rejecting Aadhaar’s review even before the seven-judge line-up has had a chance to reflect and reach a verdict would amount to “judicial indiscipline” and would have “adverse consequences,” Judge Chandrachud noted in his dissent.
- However, the majority of the Review Chamber refused to concede and dismissed the review appeals, arguing that “a change in the law or a subsequent decision / ruling by a coordinated or larger Chamber cannot in itself be considered a reason for review “.
- In addition to Justices Kahnwilkar and Chandrachud, the other justices on the court were Justices Ashok Bhushan, S. Abdul Nazeer and B.R. Gavai.
- Requests for review, mainly from Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh, had highlighted how the Aadhaar law was passed as a money bill replacing Rajya Sabha. He called it a “fraud of the Constitution.”
FIR filed against Amazon Prime web series “Mirzapur”
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; An FIR has been filed in Uttar Pradesh against the creators of the web series “Mirzapur” accused of offending religious sentiments and portraying a particular community as linked to crime.
- The FIR was taken to the Kotwali Dehat Police Station in Mirzapur following a complaint from Arvind Chaturvedi, a local journalist who also wrote a book on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- In his police report, Chaturvedi said that the web series’ plot and dialogues damaged his “religious, social and regional sentiments” and provided a bad image for the city of Mirzapur.
- The FIR names the executive producers of the series Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar and Bhaumik Gondaliya and the Amazon Prime Video platform, where the series aired.
- On FIR, Chaturvedi alleges that the web series portrays a specific community linked to crime, portrays illicit relationships and incest, jargon and abuse, and inter-caste discord. The series also portrays the judicial system as “false and corrupt,” he says.
- Ajay Kumar Singh, SP Mirzapur, said the FIR has been filed and legal action has been taken.
- Chaturvedi has said that he wants Mirzapur’s name removed from the series. “This fight will continue until the Mirzapur web series is renamed,” he told the media.
HC issues advance transit voucher to “Tandav” director, Amazon content manager and others
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; Mumbai High Court granted bail on Wednesday before traffic arrest Ali Abbas Zafar, director of Tandav web series, Aparna Purohit, content director of Amazon Prime India, producer Himanshu Mehra and author of the show Gaurav Solanki, reported PTI.
- All four have a complaint filed against them in Lucknow for allegedly hurting religious feelings through the web series.
- Judge P D Naik granted the four men reparation for a period of three weeks so that they could apply to the competent court in Lucknow, where the FIR against them is registered.
- earlier, a team of four policemen from Uttar Pradesh arrived in Mumbai to investigate the Lucknow case, an official said. The UP Police team may be recording statements from the show’s creators, cast and crew.
Biden plans to issue 15 executive orders on day 1
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; As Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States of America and Kamala Harris as the country’s first vice president, he plans to immediately begin fascinating President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, climate change and other issues on Wednesday with at least 15 executive actions, including measures to reverse US withdrawals from the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, and halt construction of a border wall.
- Biden will also sign orders revoking a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, imposing a mask order on federal properties to combat the coronavirus pandemic, and ending Trump’s travel ban against certain predominantly Muslim and African countries.
- Biden’s advisers have said that he will sign more executive actions from day one than any of his predecessors, followed by more policy and regulatory changes in the coming weeks.
China defends new village in Arunachal Pradesh amid border construction
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; China said on Thursday that the construction of a village across the Royal Line of Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh was “beyond reproach” because it “never acknowledged” the ‘Arunachal.
- India’s foreign ministry said earlier this week that it was aware of construction “throughout LAC”. This follows a report showing satellite images of the village, built between November 2019 and November 2020 and located a few miles across the LAC, beyond what India considers the border between Arunachal Pradesh. and Tibet, on the banks of the Tsari Chu River in the upper Subansiri district of Arunachal.
- Indian officials have said the area has been under Chinese control since 1959. There are about two dozen points along the length of the LAC in all areas where India and China disagree on their alignment. Indian officials said China has already built a permanent construction of military barracks in the region.
- Analysts saw the construction of the village as a measure to bolster China’s claim to the region and as part of a recent larger push by China to build civilian settlements in disputed border areas, which it said also did with Bhutan.
- China’s Foreign Ministry said at a press conference on Thursday, when asked about the construction, that China’s “position in the Zangnan region [or Southern Tibet, as China refers to Arunachal] is consistent and clear “. “
- We never recognized the so-called Arunachal Pradesh,” spokesman Hua Chunying said. “China’s development and construction activities in our own territory are normal. It is irreproachable on our territory. “
- The site of the village is close to where China attacked an Assam rifle outpost in 1959, in what is known as the Longju incident, said Claude Arpi, a Tibetan scholar based in India from the South.
- He said it is at least 2 km south of the McMahon Line, which China does not recognize. After the 1962 war, India stopped patrolling the region.
- Arpi said the construction appeared to be part of a Chinese program to build what he calls “poverty reduction” villages. He estimates that under the initiative, launched after an economic work conference in Tibet in 2015, some 600 villages have been built, including around 100 in border areas.
Sri Lankan Tamil parties seek international mechanism to investigate “war crimes”
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political parties have called for an international investigation, including at the International Criminal Court (ICC), into allegations of human rights abuses during the civil war, saying there is “no possibility” of a national prosecution that can “really” deal with accountability.
- In a joint letter dated January 15, 2021 and addressed to members of the United Nations Human Rights Council, they observed: Sri Lankan armed forces against prosecution. The time has come for Member States to recognize that there is no room for a national process that can truly address accountability in Sri Lanka. “
- Significantly, the different Tamil political parties that have so far been fiercely critical of each other’s strategies – political or accountability – seem to have reached a consensus before the 46th session of the Council (February 22-March 19). .
Study predicts sharp increase in infant mortality and stunting after Covid-19
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; An additional 93 lakhs of children under the age of five are likely to be wasted and a further 26 lakhs are stunted, while around 1.68 lakhs of children (under the age of five) could die within the first three years of the world after Covid-19, says a new study.
- The document is an assessment of the combined effects of shocks to the economic, food and health systems on multiple forms of maternal and child malnutrition between 2020 and 2022.
- The study was written by Saskia Osendarp of the Micronutrient Forum, Jonathan Akuoku of the World Bank, Robert Black, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Lawrence Haddad of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, among others.
- Provides projections for three scenarios: optimistic, moderate, and pessimistic. The study suggests that under a moderate scenario, a large portion of the additional 1.68 lakh deaths will likely occur in South Asia (38,900) and sub-Saharan Africa (57,200).
- The moderate scenario further estimates that another 2.1 million pregnant women will develop anemia in 118 countries in 2020-2022, compared to 2019.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has created a nutritional crisis in LMICs [lower-middle-income countries]. Without swift and strategic responses from sub-national, national, regional, and international actors, Covid-19 will reverse years of progress and exacerbate disparities in disease, malnutrition, and mortality, and jeopardize human capital development and economic growth for the next. generation ”, the study observed, urging countries to maintain their commitment to invest in nutrition.
India beats Australia by 3 wickets to retain Border-Gavaskar trophy
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; An Indian cricket team laden with broken bones and bruised bodies showed unprecedented zeal to retain the coveted Border-Gavaskar trophy with a historic three-wicket victory over Australia in the fourth and final round here, successfully chasing a run of 328 goals. to seal the four-game 2-1 streak. This is only India’s second victory in a series of tests in Australia.
- Rishabh Pant (89 without 138 balls) was instrumental in chasing the wicket goal on Day 5 and ending the home side’s 32-year unbeaten streak at “Fortress Gabba” in Brisbane.
- BCCI announced a bonus of 5 million rupees for the triumphant Indian team.
Weekly NEWS Summary | 15-21 Jan 2021; In a heart-wrenching road accident, 15 migrant workers from Rajasthan sleeping on a sidewalk were killed after a truck struck them in Surat, Gujarat on Monday evening.
- The accident happened near the village of Kosamba, about 60 km from Surat, police said. While 14 people died at the scene, one person died in the hospital. Several other injured were hospitalized.
- At a press conference, NITI member Aayog (Health) V.K. Paul said today that concerns about side effects and serious post-vaccination issues now seemed negligible, stressing that both vaccines are safe.
- Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said: “According to the data available so far, only 0.18% is the adverse event after vaccination (AEFI) and 0.002 is the percentage of people who have been hospitalized after vaccination.
- These are quite low, in fact the lowest in the world during the first three days. He added that India has recorded the highest number of vaccinations on the first day for the Covid-19 vaccination.
Legendary Indian classical musician and Padma Vibhushan recipient Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away on Sunday afternoon at his Mumbai residence.
- He was 89 years old. Khan’s daughter-in-law, Namrata Gupta Khan, said the veteran breathed his last at 12:37 p.m. In their Bandra home, the family were in shock at Khan’s sudden disappearance as he was supporting himself well.
- The musician would turn 90 on March 3. He had suffered a stroke in 2019 that paralyzed the left side of his body.