Google, Facebook update website to comply with IT rules

Agencies
May 30, 2021

New Delhi, May 30: Large digital companies like Google and Facebook have begun updating their websites to reflect the appointment of the grievance officers under the new social media rules that came into effect recently.

According to government sources, large social media companies like Google, Facebook and WhatsApp have shared details with the IT Ministry as per the requirement of the new digital rules, but Twitter is still not following the norms.

The new rules require significant social media intermediaries – those with other 50 lakh users – to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel are required to be resident in India.

Industry sources said Facebook and WhatsApp have already shared their compliance report with the Ministry of Electronics and IT, and that the details of the new grievance officers appointed are being updated to replace the existing information on these platforms.

Google’s ‘Contact Us’ page shows details of Joe Grier as a contact person with an address from Mountain View, US. The page also contains details on the grievance redressal mechanism for YouTube.

As per the rules, all intermediaries have to prominently publish on their website, app or both, the name of the grievance officer and his/her contact details as well as the mechanism by which a user or a victim may make a complaint.

The grievance officer will have to acknowledge the complaint within 24 hours and dispose of such complaint within a period of 15 days from the date of its receipt; and receive and acknowledge any order, notice or direction issued by the authorities.

The government sources on Friday had said that Twitter is not following the norms.

Twitter has not sent details of the chief compliance officer to the IT Ministry, and shared details of a lawyer working in a law firm as a nodal contact person and grievance officer, they added.

This when the IT rules clearly require these designated officers of the significant social media platforms to be employees of the company and resident in India, they pointed out.

While Twitter did not respond to email queries on the issue, its website mentions Dharmendra Chatur as the ‘Resident Grievance Officer for India (Interim)’.

Google, Facebook and WhatsApp also did not respond to detailed email queries on the appointment of the personnel as required by the new IT rules.

The sources had earlier said that besides Google, Facebook and WhatsApp, other significant social media intermediaries like Koo, Sharechat, Telegram and LinkedIn too have shared details with the ministry as per the requirement of the IT norms.

Under the new rules, social media companies will have to take down flagged content within 36 hours, and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for nudity, pornography etc.

The Centre has said the new rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms, and offer users a robust forum for grievance redressal.

Non-compliance with the rules would result in these platforms losing the intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.

After the new norms came into effect on May 26, the IT Ministry had turned up the heat on significant social media companies, asking them to immediately report compliance and provide details of the three key officials appointed.

The new IT rules also require significant social media intermediaries – providing services primarily in the nature of messaging – to enable identification of the “first originator” of the information that undermines the sovereignty of India, the security of the state, or public order.

The large platforms have to also publish periodic compliance reports every month mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon, and the number of specific communication links or parts of information that the intermediary has removed or disabled access to in pursuance of any proactive monitoring conducted by using automated tools or other reasons. 
 

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News Network
January 27,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 27: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the state government-run residential schools, which have completed 10 years, will have colleges offering pre-university courses (PUC) on their premises from the next academic year.

These residential schools will also have to conduct competitive examinations amongst students so that they are prepared for such challenges once they complete their education and go out in search of jobs, Bommai said.

The Chief Minister also asked the social welfare department to give up its "tendency of spending money only constructing school buildings to gratify contractors".

Instead, the focus should be on improving the quality of education. "Start the Pre-University Colleges from next year in those schools which have completed 10 years and the students are in 10th standard,” Bommai said after inaugurating 'Science Expo-2023' of the Karnataka Residential Education Institution Society (KREIS) at the Palace Grounds here.

According to Bommai, the "quality education will not continue" if the students have to go to various other schools after completing 10th standard because the competitive examinations for them start after completing their Pre-University education. Hence, the students have to continue their PUC education from the same residential school, he said.

"Conduct competitive exams in these schools among the children. We have provided them a level playing field to find out the shortcomings among the children so that it can be set right and their capacity is increased," the Chief Minister said. Bommai pointed out that the children studying in the Morarji Desai Residential Schools and similar other residential schools run by the state government are quite sharp who got admission by scoring above 60 per cent to 70 per cent.

He said the target of the government is to ensure that these students score 90 per cent by the time they complete their education.

The Chief Minister took a swipe at the tendency of spending more money on constructing buildings, which benefits contractors. "We spend thousands of crores of rupees on these institutions. We are spending more on buildings and compound walls," Bommai said and insisted that the focus should be on the "requirements" of the students studying in these residential schools.

Bommai said, "Stop giving money to the contractors. Change that model itself." According to him, the spending on building schools had started from Rs five crore, which escalated to Rs 10 crore and Rs 14 crore and now it has reached a stage where the government spends Rs 30 crore on each school. "Spend Rs 30 crore on the arrangements (facilities) for children. On the one hand government money is draining and on the other, the arrangements required for the children are not happening," the Chief Minister said.

Bommai blamed the previous governments which he alleged had been splurging money on building schools, instead of improving quality of education. "This is a legacy that has come from the past from the previous governments to take up 'contractor-based civil works' due to which we have reached this stage," he said. Stating that children belonging to the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backwards castes study in these schools, Bommai said it was the duty of the government to make sure about the quality of education.

He instructed officials to give him a list of shortcomings in the schools and assured that the government will give grants. Bommai also directed officials to visit schools instead of "running administration" from Bengaluru. 

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News Network
February 1,2023

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Bengaluru, Feb 1: In a major announcement for poll-bound Karnataka, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that Rs 5,300 cr assistance would be provided to drought prone central region of Karnataka.

In the Budget 2023, FM Sitharaman said, “Govt to provide Rs 5,300 cr assistance to drought prone central region of Karnataka.”

The allocation was made to support the Upper Bhandra project in the region. The project aims to support the micro-irrigation and filling up of service tanks for drinking water. 

The Upper Bhadra Project is a lift irrigation scheme planned to provide sustainable irrigation facilities in drought prone 2,25,515 hectares of land located in districts including Chikkamagalur, Chitradurga, Tumkur and Davangere by drawing water from Tunga and Bhadra rivers. Through the project, the state also aims to recharge the groundwater table and provide drinking water facilities in the region. 

Budget 2023

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the fourth budget of NDA government on Tuesday. The budget 2023-2024 is also the last full-term budget for NDA 2.0 before the Indian Parliamentary Elections in 2024. 

The budget provided emphasis on inclusive development, last mile connectivity, infrastructure and investment, unleashing the potential, green growth, youth and the financial sector.

However, after the announcement, Y Sathish Reddy, Chairman, Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation said, "For poll-bound Karnataka, #ModiGovt announces assistance of ₹5300 crore for Upper Bhadra project. The allocation of budget is now directly proportional to the time left for elections in the state? #Telangana projects get “0” Assistance despite several requests!"

The Budget session of the Parliament that began on Tuesday will end on February 13. The next leg of the Parliament will convene on March 12 and go until April 6.

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News Network
January 25,2023

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India, as of the moment, does not have access to 26 out of 65 patrolling points in Eastern Ladakh. The situation is worthy of mention considering India-China stand-off along the 3500 km border.

“Presently there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) starting from Karakoram pass to Chumur which are to be patrolled regularly by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrolling by the ISFs,” wrote PD Nitya, the Superintendent of Police of Leh, Ladakh’s main city, in a research paper accessed by media. 

The report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

"Later on, China forces us to accept the fact that as such areas have not seen the presence of ISFs or civilians since long, the Chinese were present in these areas. This leads to a shift in the border under control of ISFs towards Indian side and a "buffer zone" is created in all such pockets which ultimately leads to loss of control over these areas by India. This tactic of PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) to grab land inch-by-inch is known as 'Salami slicing'," it said.

"PLA has taken advantage of the buffer areas in the de-escalation talks by placing their best of cameras on the highest peaks and monitoring the movement of our forces... they object our movement even in the buffer zone, claiming it to be 'their' area of operation and then further ask us to move back to create more 'buffer' areas," the officer wrote.

She said this Chinese strategy was seen in Galwan Valley, the site of a deadly clash in 2020 when 20 Indian troops and at least four Chinese soldiers died in hand-to-hand fighting.

Ms Nitya also said that marking areas as out of bounds and keeping them barren affects troop morale as well. "During an interaction with one senior officer whose unit is based right on forward area, he shared that, if by retreating 400 metres back, we can buy peace with PLA for 4 years, then it's worth it," the report said.

The report was released after a mere few weeks of India accusing China of “unilaterally changing the status-quo” on the Line of Actual Control (LOC).

The encounter in the Galwan Valley in 2020, which sparked a major uptick in tensions between the two nations, was considered to be the most serious confrontation since the December 9 incident in Arunachal Pradesh. Since then, there have been a number of military negotiations that have resulted in a cautious withdrawal of forces on both sides.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi accused PM Modi of being the weakest PM India has had for “ceding land to China”.

Delhi chief minister (CM) and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also accused the Centre of continuing and increasing trade with Beijing despite Chinese aggression.

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