Paytm accuses Google of trying to dominate India's digital ecosystem

News Network
September 21, 2020

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Noida, Sept 21: Financial services app Paytm has accused Google of making policies that are over and above the laws of India after it was briefly delisted from the Playstore last week.

"As a startup, we are running law-abiding businesses and building for India. Google and its employees are making policies which are over and above the laws of our country, and are arbitrarily implementing them," it said in a blogpost.

Paytm said Google owns Android which is the operating system on which over 95 per cent of smartphones in India run. Google, as a result, has enormous control over which apps you download through its Playstore policies.

"It also makes billions of dollars in advertising revenues from the Indian startups that make these apps. In many cases like maps, email, payments, shopping and cloud storage, Google also has apps that compete with other apps, including, of course, the apps that are made by Indian startups."

Paytm said it had launched a campaign where users could collect cricket stickers and scratch cards to earn UPI cashback. The offer was applicable on recharges, utility payments, UPI money transfers and adding money to Paytm wallet.

On September 18, it got an email from Google Play Support informing that the Paytm Android app had been delisted.

This was the first time that Google was sending it a notification regarding its UPI cashback and scratch cards campaign.

"Contrary to accepted practise, we were not given any opportunity to respond to their concerns or put forth our views. We maintain that our cashback campaign was within guidelines, as well as all laws of the land. We did not break any rules and there was no violation. It is not related to gambling in any manner whatsoever," said Paytm.

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News Network
October 8,2020

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Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 8: In a first in the country, the Kerala government has decided to form a Welfare Fund Board for the uplift of farmers in the state.

The state cabineton Wednesday decided to set up the board to be known as 'Kerala Karshaka Kshemanidhi Board'.

The cabinet also decided that Dr P Rajendran would be appointed as the chairman of the Kerala Farmers Welfare Fund Board. "This is the first time in the country that such a board has been set up for the welfare and uplift of farmers," an official press release said.

As per the Kerala Karshaka Kshemanidhi Act, agriculture includes horticulture, medicinal plant cultivation, nursery management, fish, ornamental fish, mussels, bees, silkworms, poultry, ducks, goats, rabbits, livestock, and the maintenance and use of land for such agricultural purposes.

For the farmers to become a member of the Board, they need to pay Rs 100 as registration fee and a monthly fee of Rs 100.

"Farmers can pay the monthlyfee together for six months or one year. The government will provide an equivalent share of upto Rs 250 to the members of the Welfare Fund," the release said.

The Board members are entitled to personal pension, family pension, sickness benefit, disability benefit, medical assistance, marriage and maternity allowance, education assistance and posthumous benefits.

The benefit would be given for the marriage of women members and daughters of members of the Welfare Fund.

As per the Act, a farmer is an owner, licencee, sole proprietor, oral tenant, government land leaseholder who owns not less than 5 cents and not more than 15 acres, with an annual income of less than Rs five lakh.

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News Network
October 20,2020

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New Delhi, Oct 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged people to not let their guard down against coronavirus, saying that the situation that the country has reached in its fight against the disease should not be allowed to be adversely impacted and that "lockdown may have gone but the virus has not gone away".

In a televised address to the nation, the Prime Minister said the people of the country have covered a long journey from Janta Curfew in March in the fight against COVID-19.

"Most of us are committed to our responsibilities and moving out of our homes to do our duties. In the times of festivals, streets are seeing increased activity. But we have to remember that lockdown may have gone but the virus has not gone away. The situation that we have reached in seven-eight months should not be allowed to impacted adversely," he said.

He cautioned that carelessness can impact the country's fight against the pandemic.

"We are moving ahead after coming out of a difficult time, a little carelessness can stop our speed, impact our joys. Fulfilling responsibilities and following caution, if these go together, only then will the joys of life be protected," he said.

He referred to India having the highest number of recovered COVID-19 patients.

"The recovery rate is good, the fatality rate is low. Our country is well placed today compared to resource-rich nations in the fight against COVID-19. The increased testing is our strength in this fight. A total of 5,500 people out of every 10 lakh population in India are infected, whereas in countries like the US and Brazil this figure is around 25,000," he said.

He lauded the healthcare professionals and said that they are steadfast in their duty to serve the people.

"Our healthcare professionals are working on the motto of `Seva Paramo Dharma' (Service is the highest virtue). We should not let our guard drop in these crucial times. This is the time not to believe that coronavirus has gone away or think that there is no danger from it," he said.

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News Network
October 16,2020

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Bengaluru, Oct 16: The City Crime Branch (CCB), Bengaluru has served notice to actor Vivek Oberoi's wife Priyanka Alva Oberoi over links with brother Adithya Alva in connection with the Sandalwood drug case, the concerned officials said on Friday.

The CCB had raided actor Vivek Oberoi's Mumbai residence in search of his relative Aditya Alva in connection with the case on Thursday.

Aditya Alva, son of former Karnataka Minister Jeevaraj Alva, is one of the accused in the Sandalwood drugs racket.

Earlier, Kannada actress Ragini Dwivedi was arrested and taken into custody for her alleged involvement in a drug case.

Notably, Kannada filmmaker Indrajit Lankesh, had appeared before the CCB and revealed information about the consumption of drugs in the Kannada film industry.

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