Fuel price hike not an issue; previous govt responsible for hike: Union Minister

News Network
October 27, 2021

Bengaluru, Oct 27: Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers Bhagwanth Khuba on Tuesday claimed that the rising prices of essential commodities has not affected the common man.

"Where is the public outrage? There is no outrage," he said.

Khuba was responding to a question on rise in fuel prices at a news conference.

He maintained that the fuel hike was linked to oil bond loans imposed by the previous UPA government, a claim that has been countered by the Congress earlier. However, Khuba said the oil bonds, coupled with inflation, caused the price rise.

"There is no issue with the hike. It is only the Congress that is creating a ruckus over the issue. There is no public outcry against the hike," he asserted. "This is because the public is satisfied with the BJP government. The BJP government has controlled inflation in a much better manner compared to the previous UPA regime. People are aware of this," said Khuba, who represents Bidar in Lok Sabha.

Meanwhile, Khuba also sought to clarify that there was no shortage of fertilisers. This follows some protests by farmers in the state over the issue. "There is no shortage of fertilisers. The government has enough stock. Farmers have been misinformed about it," he said.

He further lashed out at Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah for spreading misinformation. "The Congress is desperate to win the bypolls in Hangal and Sindagi, when they know that they do not stand a chance against BJP. With ulterior motives, Siddaramaiah is spreading misinformation on fertiliser shortage," he charged.

Spreading rumours about shortage when there is none will only lead to artificial deficit as farmers will start hoarding up fertilisers and middlemen will begin fleecing farmers with exorbitant prices, he pointed out.

According to government data, there is a total demand of 2.8 lakh MT until the end of October 2021 for fertilisers. This includes Muriate of Potash (MOP), Di-ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Complex fertiliser and Urea. After fulfilling the demand, there is still 6.05 lakh MT of fertiliser available, according to Khuba.

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News Network
November 30,2021

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With his elevation as the CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, in whom co-founder of the microblogging giant Jack Dorsey has “bone-deep” trust, joins the growing power club of Indian-origin executives helming US-based global multinationals.

Twitter’s outgoing CEO Dorsey announced on Monday that 37-year old Agrawal, an IIT Mumbai and Stanford University alumnus, will be the company’s new chief executive as he stepped down after 16 years at the company that he co-founded and helmed.

A report in The New York Times said that Agrawal will receive an annual salary of $1 million, in addition to bonuses, restricted stock units and performance-based stock units.

“After almost 16 years of having a role at our company...from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO...I decided it's finally time for me to leave. Why?

“There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder-led.' Ultimately I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure. I've worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders. There are 3 reasons I believe now is the right time.

“The first is Parag becoming our CEO. The board ran a rigorous process considering all options and unanimously appointed Parag. He's been my choice for some time given how deeply he understands the company and its needs.

Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around. He's curious, probing, rational, creative, demanding, self-aware, and humble. He leads with heart and soul and is someone I learn from daily. My trust in him as our CEO is bone-deep,” Dorsey said.

Agrawal’s ascension as Twitter CEO puts him in the growing ranks of Indian-origin and Indian-born executives being named to the helm of global multinationals.

In January last year, Indian-born technology executive Arvind Krishna was named Chief Executive Officer of American IT giant IBM after a "world-class succession process", succeeding Virginia Rometty, who had described him as the “right CEO for the next era at IBM” and “well-positioned" to lead the company into the cloud and cognitive era.

Krishna, 59, had joined IBM in 1990 and has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In August 2015, Sundar Pichai was named CEO of the newly organised Google, becoming only the third chief executive of the company after former CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Larry Page. In December 2019, Pichai became the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Pichai wished Dorsey “the very best ahead” and congratulated Agrawal and Board Chair Bret Taylor, saying he is “excited for Twitter's future!”

In February 2014, Microsoft veteran Satya Nadella was named CEO of the technology giant. MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen are among the other Indian-origin executives who have climbed up the corporate ladder and helmed multinational giants.

Mumbai-born Agrawal tweeted Monday “Deep gratitude” for Dorsey and the entire team.

In a note posted on Twitter, he said he is “honoured and humbled” on his appointment and expressed gratitude to Dorsey’s “continued mentorship and your friendship.”

Agrawal had joined Twitter 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees.

"While it was a decade ago, those days feel like yesterday to me. I've walked in your shoes, I've seen the ups and downs, the challenges and obstacles, the wins and the mistakes. But then and now, above all else, I see Twitter's incredible impact, our continued progress, and the exciting opportunities ahead of us,” he said.

“Our purpose has never been more important. Our people and our culture are unlike anything in the world. There is no limit to what we can do together,” he said.

“The world is watching us right now, even more than they have before. Lots of people are going to have lots of different views and opinions about today's news. It is because they care about Twitter and our future, and it's a signal that the work we do here matters,” he said.

A report in The New York Times said Agrawal, who was Twitter’s chief technology officer since 2017, “is little known to the public, with even some Twitter insiders saying they were surprised by his appointment."

But behind the scenes, the India-born engineer has been a Twitter veteran and confidant of Dorsey who has been involved in many of the company’s biggest strategic initiatives, it said.

The NYT report said that in 2005, Agrawal moved to the United States and pursued a doctorate in computer science while enrolled at Stanford University.

“Even among students at Stanford, Agrawal stood out for his strong grasp of the math and the theory that underpins computer science,” the NYT report quoted Jennifer Widom, who led the research lab and served as his thesis adviser, as saying.

As CTO, Agrawal was responsible for Twitter’s technical strategy, leading work to improve development velocity while advancing the state of Machine Learning across the company.

“Even as chief technology officer, Agrawal has kept a low profile. He worked behind the scenes to rebuild Twitter’s technical infrastructure, which had been cobbled together over the years. That led to engineering problems and prevented the company from introducing new products and services as quickly as it wanted. Agrawal helped Twitter shift to using cloud computing services from Google and Amazon, streamlining its operations,” the NYT report said.

Prior to being appointed CTO, he “had risen to be Twitter's first Distinguished Engineer due to his work across revenue and consumer engineering, including his impact on the re-acceleration of audience growth in 2016 and 2017,” company said.

Agrawal also managed Twitter’s effort to “incorporate cryptocurrencies into the platform, letting users send tips in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. And he has supported efforts to be transparent about Twitter’s algorithmic mistakes, urging the company to go public with its findings that a photo-cropping algorithm it used was biased,” the NYT report said.

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News Network
November 20,2021

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Nov 20: Battered by the heavy rains for over a week, Karnataka is likely to witness another three rainy days according to meteorologists from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

In its fresh forecast, the IMD has sounded yellow alert in 18 districts on Saturday. Further, officials explained that south interior and coastal Karnataka districts will witness fairly widespread rains for the next three days until Sunday.

"Revealing that the widespread rainfall along with thundershowers to continue in various parts of southern Karnataka. IMD Karnataka officials sounded ‘yellow alert’ in Bengaluru Urban, Rural districts, Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Ramanagar, Kodagu, Hassan, Davangere, Chitradurga, Chikkamagaluru, Ballari, Koppal, Haveri, Gadag, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts," it said.

Commenting on the prevailing weather pattern over the Bay of Bengal, a senior meteorologist said that the depression over the Bay of Bengal is moving towards the west and a trough has been identified over the coast of Odisha.

Under the influence, southern districts are likely to witness widespread rainfall until Sunday.

According to IMD data, Gubbi and Tumakuru have received the highest rainfall of 15 cm, followed by Chintamani - 12 cm, Mulbagal and Srinivasapura - 11 cm.

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News Network
November 22,2021

Kanpur, Nov 22: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has objected to the proposed Uniform Civil Code (UCC) saying it does not go along with the fundamental rights that allows citizens to practice religion as has been enshrined in the Constitution.

Board officials and members rejected the UCC saying the Muslim society will not accept the proposed civil code as it is neither suitable nor useful for a vast multi-religious country like India.

Qasim Rasool Ilyas, Media Coordinator of the Board, told the media after a two-day convention here on Sunday that every citizen has been given the right in the Constitution to have faith in his religion and tell others about it.

"Uniform Civil Code is not appropriate in a multi-religious society. This is contrary to the fundamental rights of the Constitution," he said.

The board has demanded from the government not to impose UCC on Muslims. He said that the board is against those who conduct forced conversions. An appeal has been made to the Muslim community to oppose it.

The board also sought a new legislation against blasphemy while expressing concern over “increasing instances of insult to holy figures”.

A total of 11 resolutions were passed on Sunday, the last day of the session of Madrasa Darul Talim and Sanat (DTS) in Kanpur's Jajmau. Among them, disputes regarding WAQF properties and conversion etc. were prominent. The board opposed forced conversions and non-religious marriages.

The meeting resolved that no person, organization or government using WAQF has the right to sell it or use it for any other purpose against the intention of WAQF. It is an interference with the religious rights of Muslims and Sharia law, they said.

At the convention, it was demanded from the government that they should bring effective laws for women's safety. Strict action was demanded against those who commented on the Prophet.Special initiative was sought from the government to stop the increasing atrocities against minorities, Dalits and other weaker sections.

An appeal was made to the Muslim society to follow the Shariat, to marry with simplicity and not to ask for dowry. Resolve mutual disputes through arbitration and even then if things do not work out, approach the Darul Qaza. Avoid inter-religious marriage, as it creates division in the society and affects communal harmony, the officials at the convention decided.

The convention suggested religious rules and books are related to faith, so only those who understood religion have the right to interpret it. Governments or other institutions should refrain from interpreting religious books or religious terminology, they said.

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