No proposal to open colleges for Muslim women in Karnataka: CM Bommai

News Network
December 1, 2022

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Bengaluru, Dec 1: Rejecting reports that the Karnataka government has given consent to the Wakf Board to open 10 colleges for Muslim women students in the state, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said no such discussions have taken place at any level of his administration. As the topic drew ire from some Right wing groups, the Chief Minister clarified that it might be the personal view of the Wakf board Chairman and not the stand of his government.

"...I don't know, it might be his (Wakf Chairman) personal view. It has not been discussed in any quarters of our government and it is not the stand of my government. If anything is there, let the Wakf Chairman come and speak to me," Bommai said in response to a question.

Karnataka Minister for Haj and Wakf Shashikala Jolle too has issued a statement clarifying that there was no proposal or file before the government regarding starting separate colleges for Muslim women. Terming reports that the government has already given its approval for stating such colleges as "far from the truth", she said, "the statement in this regard by the Wakf board Chairman is his personal one. I have already spoken to the Wakf board Chairman and have asked him to issue a clarification regarding the speculations which have arisen."

Karnataka Wakf Board Chairman Maulana Shafti Saadi had recently said that it has been decided to start 10 colleges for girls in various districts in the state at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore per college, and the Chief Minister and Minister Jolle had given in principle consent to this project.

The new colleges will be opened in Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga, Kodagu, Chikkodi, Nippani, Kalaburagi, Bijapur, Bagalkote among other places in the State, he had said, adding that after the Hijab controversy, there has been demand from the Muslim community for women colleges to be started by Wakf Board, and they had even met Union Minister for Women & Child Development Smriti Irani in this regard.

However, Saadi said on Thursday the discussions have taken place at the Wakf Board level and the matter has not reached the government yet. "The proposal is still getting ready and will be sent to the government in the days to come." 

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News Network
January 28,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 28: Karnataka Lokayukta has served a notice to city police commissioner N Shashi Kumar to examine the allegations of corruption at Ullal police station and submit a report.

The Lokayukta ordered that the investigation report and other documents should be produced by February 14. The notice is served based on the complaint lodged by social worker Mohammed Kabeer, a resident of Ullal.

The complaint alleged that the Ullal station inspector Sandeep and sub inspector (SI) Pradeep have nominated a broker to take bribe from ganja mafia, sand mafia and hotel owners. The two police officers demand money from every citizen and Ullal residents are fed up with their actions, he claimed.

Though a complaint through email was sent to heads of various departments, chief secretary, DGP, Anti-Corruption Bureau, ADGP and Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner, no action had been taken so far, the complaint to the Lokayukta said. 

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News Network
January 17,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 17: The ruling BJP in Karnataka is all set to take out a 'Rath Yatra' in the state after the budget session ahead of Assembly elections.

The Rath Yatra would be taken out from four directions in the state to reach out to the people.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has stated on Monday late night that the details regarding the same are yet to be finalised. CM Bommai is taking part in the two-day National Executive Committee meeting.

He also stated that many political decisions were being taken in the meeting. The information right from the booth level to the party organisation had been given.

The high command is likely to take a call regarding B.Y. Vijayendra, son of party veteran B.S. Yediyurappa. The party had snubbed him during the recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Hubballi to inaugurate the National Youth Festival.

BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal from Vijayapura has attacked the ruling BJP government in Karnataka over providing reservation to Panchamasali sub sect under OBC quota. He had attacked CM Bommai and cabinet ministers also. The religious seer had warned that if BJP expels MLA Yatnal, the Panchamasali community will stand with him.

Chief Minister Bommai is in a fix over the matter. He maintained that the matter had been brought to the notice of the high command and a decision would be taken in this regard after the national executive.

The saffron party is seriously putting all efforts to come back to power in the state on Hindutva agenda and in the name of PM Modi. 

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News Network
January 20,2023

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New Delhi, Jan 20: The government on Friday made it mandatory for social media influencers to disclose their "material" interest in endorsing products and services and violations can attract strict legal action, including ban on endorsements. The regulations are part of continuing efforts to curb misleading advertisements as well protect the interests of consumers amid the expanding social influencer market which is projected to be worth around Rs 2,800 crore by 2025.

The new guidelines named 'Endorsement Know Hows -- for celebrities, influencers and virtual media influencers (Avatar or computer generated character) on social media platforms' has been issued by the Department of Consumers Affairs.

In case of violation, the penalty prescribed for misleading advertisement under the Consumer Protection Act 2019 will be applicable.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can impose penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh on manufacturers, advertisers and endorsers. For subsequent offences, penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh can be imposed. The authority can prohibit endorser of a misleading ad from making any endorsement for up to 1 year and for subsequent contravention, prohibition can extend up to 3 years.

Launching these guidelines at a press conference, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said the guidelines have been issued under the ambit of the consumer law that provides framework for the protection of consumers against unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements.

He hoped that the guidelines would act as a deterrent for social media influencers.

"It's a very important subject. The size of social influencer market in India in 2022 was of the order of Rs 1,275 crore and by 2025, it is likely to rise to Rs 2,800 crore with a compound annual growth rate of about 19-20 per cent. The social media influencer of substance, those having good number of followers, are in excess of 1 lakh in the country," Singh said.

Stating that the social media influencing is here to stay and will only grow exponentially, he said social influencers need to behave responsibly.

"The today's guidelines are aimed at social media influencers which have material connection with the brand they want to promote on various social media platforms. This is an obligation for them to behave responsibly as far as the disclosure is concerned to the consumers.

"One of the biggest paradigm of the consumer law is the consumers right to know and this falls in that purview. Consumers should know if something is thrown at him from digital media, the person or the entity which is sponsoring it have they taken money or any form of connection they have with the brand," Singh said.

The secretary said if non-compliance takes place, there are provisions under the law for people to approach the authority to seek legal action against people who are defaulting.

"These guidelines broadly define that framework as to how social media influencers should indulge in disclosure of their relationship with the brand," the secretary said.

CCPA Chief Commissioner Nidhi Khare noted that misleading Advertisements in any form, format or medium is prohibited by law.

The new guidelines have specified who all need to disclose, when to disclose and how to disclose.

Individuals/groups who have access to an audience and the power to affect their audiences' purchasing decisions or opinions about a product, service, brand or experience, because of the influencer's/celebrity's authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience will have to disclose the material connection, as per the new norm.

The disclosure should happen "when there is a material connection between an advertiser and celebrity/influencer that may affect the weight or credibility of the representation made by the celebrity/influencer", Khare said.

She said the disclosure should be in such a manner that it is "hard to miss" and should be in simple language.

The disclosures should be placed in the endorsement message in such a manner that they are clear, prominent and extremely hard to miss. Disclosures should not be mixed with a group of hashtags or links.

In endorsement in a picture, disclosures should be superimposed over the image enough for viewers to notice. In video, disclosures should be placed in the video and not just in the description and they should be made in both audio and video format.

In the case of live stream, disclosures should be displayed continuously and prominently during the entire stream.

On limited space platforms like Twitter, terms such as 'XYZAmbassador' (where XYZ is a brand) are also acceptable, she said.

The secretary said that these guidelines are being issued under the overall ambit of Consumer Protection Act and one of the main underlining principle of the law is prevention of unfair trade practice.

"There are many ways in which unfair trading practices take place, one of the important unfair trading practice is the menace of misleading advertisements, by trying to sell something which is not exactly as it is being portrayed in the ad.

"While it has been ably handled in the conventional media -- which is TV, print and radio, the social and digital media platforms are turning out to be different ball game," Singh said. 

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