‘Is Modi fascist?’ Google AI tool Gemini's response irks Modi govt

News Network
February 23, 2024

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New Delhi: Google's AI tool Gemini's response to a question around Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in direct violation of IT rules as well as several provisions of the criminal code, minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Friday.

The minister took cognizance of the issue raised by verified account of a journalist alleging bias in Google Gemini in response to a question on Modi while it gave no clear answer when a similar question was tossed for Trump and Zelenskyy.

"These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code," Chandrasekhar said on social media platform X.

The minister marked the post to Google and the Ministry of Electronics and IT indicating further action in the matter.

According to a screenshot shared by a user on social media platform X, Gemini was asked whether PM Modi is a ‘fascist’, to which the platform responded that he has been “accused of implementing policies some experts have characterised as fascist,” which based on factors like the “BJP’s Hindu nationalist ideology, its crackdown on dissent, and its use of violence against religious minorities”.

However, as per the screenshot, when it was asked a similar question about former US President Donal Trump, Gemini responded with: “Elections are a complex topic with fast-changing information. To make sure you have the most accurate information, try Google Search.”

 Responding to the post, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “These are direct violations of Rule 3(1)(b) of Intermediary Rules (IT rules) of the IT Act and violations of several provisions of the Criminal code”. These rules pertain to basic due diligence that is required of intermediaries like Google to enjoy immunity from third-party content.

A senior IT Ministry official said that this was the second time that Google’s AI system presented “answers replete with biases”. “We are issuing a show cause notice to them, seeking information on why Gemini is generating such problematic views on certain individuals. If we do not find their answers satisfactory, they will stand to be prosecuted,” the official added, requesting anonymity.

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Mangaluru, Apr 3: Padmaraj R, the Congress candidate for Dakshina Kannada Lok Sabha constituency, today filed his nomination papers for the upcoming polls with the returning officer and deputy commissioner Mullai Muhilan at latter’s office in Mangaluru. 

He was flanked by DK district in-charge minister Dinesh Gundu Rao, MLC B K Hariprasad, district Congress president and MLC Harish Kumar and Puttur MLA Ashok Kumar Rai among others.

Prior to this, the young Billava leader led a procession from Kudroli Gokarnatheshwara temple to the DC office. The procession, which was flagged off by veteran Congress leader B Janardhana Poojary, passed through Car street, GHS road, Clock tower, and concluded at the A B Setty Circle.

Padmaraj is contesting against BJP’s Capt Brijesh Chowta in the Lok Sabha election scheduled for April 26 in Dakshina Kannada.

Addressing the people, Padmaraj vowed to end BJP’s communal and divisive politics in Dakshina Kannada. “I am committed to eradicate divisive politics from the district and fostering unity among people of all religious backgrounds,” he said. 

"Today I witness hope and expectations in the eyes of people gathered here. This proves that the message of the Congress party has reached the people,” he said adding that the advantages of having the Congress party in power are evident. 

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April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: A striking feature in the candidates list for the April 26 Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka is the presence of members of Janata Dal (Secular)'s first family.

Former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda's son H D Kumaraswamy, son-in-law C N Manjunath and grandson Prajwal Revanna are all in the fray.

While state JD(S) chief and former Chief Minister H D Kumararaswamy is contesting from Mandya, Prajwal Revanna is seeking reelection from Hassan.

However, Manjunath, an eminent cardiologist, is contesting from Bangalore Rural on a BJP ticket, as per the arrangement between the alliance partners.

With the entry of cardiologist Manjunath into the poll arena, at least nine members of Gowda's immediate family are or have been in electoral politics.

Gowda is a Member of Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, while Kumaraswamy is an MLA from Channapatna, which comes under the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency.

Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha had represented Ramanagara as MLA in the previous assembly, and Nikhil, who is the JD(S) youth wing leader, had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mandya and 2023 assembly polls from Ramanagara.

Gowda's elder son and former Minister H D Revanna -- father of Prajwal -- is MLA from Holenarsipura, his wife Bhavani Revanna was a member of the Hassan Zilla Panchayat. Their other son, Suraj, is an MLC.

The Gowda family currently has its representation in all the four major houses of public representatives- Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

This will be for the second consecutive time in the Lok Sabha elections, when three members from Gowda's family are in the fray from constituencies of the old-Mysore region (south Karnataka), which is considered to be the party's stronghold, because of the dominance of the Vokkaliga community here, to which they belong to.

Gowda (Tumkur), Prajwal Revanna (Hassan), and Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil (Mandya) had contested the Lok Sabha poll in 2019, but only Revanna emerged victorious. In fact, he was among the only two candidates from the then ruling Congress-JD(S) alliance, who won; the other being D K Suresh of Congress from Bangalore Rural.

As part of the seat-sharing deal in this Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka, the BJP would contest in 25 constituencies and the JD(S) in the remaining three -- Mandya, Hassan and Kolar. JD(S) has fielded M Mallesh Babu from Kolar.

In the 2023 assembly polls, three members of the Gowda family had contested - Kumaraswamy (Channapatna), H D Revanna (Holenarasipur), and Nikhil Kumaraswamy (Ramanagara). In the 2018 assembly polls, both Kumaraswamy and Revanna had won.

Kumaraswamy, who had then won from two seats - Ramanagara and Channapatna - vacated Ramanagara, which his wife Anita Kumaraswamy subsequently won in the bypolls.

According to some political observers, the perception in some quarters about JD(S) being too family-centric is one of its major drawbacks.

James Manor, University of London professor, who has been a keen observer of Karnataka's politics, during a webinar ahead of assembly polls last year had said, family-centred politics is causing discontent and leading to desertion. 'JD(S) suffers from over-centralisation and dictatorial leadership.'

However, Kumaraswamy has time and again defended family members contesting polls stating that , '....our family members will contest where we don't have a capable candidate, to protect the interest of our party and its workers.'

However, the JD(S)'s dynastic party image has always been used by its political opponents to target it.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister and state Congress president D K Shivakumar, had a dig at Gowda for fielding his son, grandson, and son-in-law, and asked 'Were there no other candidates (in JD(S))?'

'None of them is going to win...JD(S) is a party that has lost strength. If it is really strong, why did they make their son-in-law contest on a BJP ticket?' he said.

Some political analysts held the view that JD(S)' inability to grow beyond the Vokkaliga dominated old-Mysore region -- other than certain select pockets of north Karnataka -- is seen as among its other key drawbacks.

Speculations are already rife in JD(S) circles that Nikhil is most likely to be the party candidate from Channaptna assembly segment, in case Kumaraswamy wins in Mandya.

Ahead of assembly polls last year, differences in the Gowda family had come out in the open with H D Revanna's wife Bhavani wanting to contest from Hassan, but Kumaraswamy had opposed it and finally gave the ticket. 

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News Network
April 11,2024

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Udupi: A middle aged couple lost their lives while their teenage son survived with critical wounds after a speeding car, which was travelling from Maharashtra to Kerala, fell off a flyover in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. 

The deceased have been identified as Munnavar (49), who was driving the car, and his wife Sameera (41), a native of Kannur in Kerala. Their son Suhail (18), who was in the car, suffered severe injured and is recovering at Manipal Hospital. He is said to be out of danger.

The family was traveling from Kollapur to Kannur as Sameera was a native of Kannur. Their plan was to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in Sameera’s parental home.  

However, on Tuesday (April 9) morning, when the car reached near Bobbaryanakatte, it reportedly went out of control of the driver and fell off the flyover on to the service road.

All three were immediately rushed to the hospital in Kundapur. Sameera died immediately upon admission to the hospital, while Munnavar succumbed to injuries at Manipal Hospital on April 10. The mortal remains of both were handed over to relatives after the post-mortem.

Kundapur DySp Belliyappa, Circle Inspector Nada Kunar, Traffic SIs Naveen Naik, and Savitri Nayak visited the accident spot for the inspection.

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