‘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 11,2024

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The head of the political bureau of Hamas says Israel’s assassination of his children will not make the Palestinian resistance group back down on its goals and demands in the latest round of talks aimed at reaching a truce in the Gaza war.

Ismail Haniyeh made the remarks in a phone interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV network on Wednesday night, after an Israeli airstrike killed three of his sons — Hazem, Amir and Mohammad — and four grandchildren in the al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip. 

“Our demands are clear and specific and we will not make concessions on them. The enemy will be delusional if it thinks that targeting my sons, at the climax of the negotiations and before the movement sends its response, will push Hamas to change its position,” he said.

The Israeli military and the regime’s so-called internal security service, Shin Bet, confirmed killing Haniyeh’s sons, who were visiting relatives on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr before their vehicle was struck.

The assassination came at a time when Hamas was preparing a response to Israel’s proposal for a Gaza ceasefire delivered through mediators during the negotiations in Cairo.

Also in his remarks, Haniyeh said killing his sons would only make Hamas “more steadfast in our principles and adherence to our land.”

The resistance group, he added, would “not surrender, and […] not compromise […] no matter how great our sacrifices are.”

The Hamas leader also noted that around 60 members of his family, including nieces and nephews, have been martyred during the Gaza onslaught. 

“All our people and all the families of Gaza have paid a heavy price in blood, and I am one of them,” he said.

Haniyeh further decried Israel’s brutality in Gaza, saying the regime is conducting a war of ethnic cleansing and genocide on the besieged territory.

“There is no doubt that this criminal enemy is driven by the spirit of revenge and the spirit of murder and bloodshed, and it does not observe any standards or laws,” he stressed.

Erdogan extends condolences to Haniyeh

Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has extended his condolences to Haniyeh over the deaths of several of his family members, the Turkish Communications Directorate said.

During the phone call on Wednesday, Erdogan said that Israel will be held accountable before the law for its crimes against humanity.

In addition, Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz condemned the attack and conveyed his condolences to Haniyeh.

”The Israeli administration will eventually be held accountable for these inhumane attacks under international law,” Yilmaz said on X.

Israel waged its bloody US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out its historic operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime's intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the occupying regime has killed at least 33,482 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 76,049 others.

Ansarullah’s reaction

Meanwhile, the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance group extended its condolences to Haniyeh.

“These great sacrifices … indeed strengthen the steadfastness of Palestinian people in the face of Israeli arrogance,” Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam stated.
On the threatened invasion of the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, Haniyeh said, “We will not submit to the occupying regime’s intimidation, as those who surrender will not be spared.”

Shati is the third-largest refugee camp among the eight in the Gaza Strip, and also one of its most crowded, with thousands of people living in an area of less than half a square kilometer.

Ismail Haniyeh, who now lives in Qatar, is originally from Shati camp.

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News Network
April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: Actor-turned-politician and independent MP from Mandya in Karnataka Sumalatha Ambareesh on Friday joined the BJP.

Veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa, state President B Y Vijayendra, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly R Ashoka, national General Secretary in-charge of elections in Karnataka Radha Mohan Das Agarwal and former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda were among those who welcomed the 60-year-old into the party fold at its state headquarters here.

With BJP ceding Mandya seat to its alliance partner JD(S) in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Sumalatha, after consulting her supporters and wellwishers in Mandya, on Wednesday announced her decision to opt out of the elections, and join the BJP.

The wife of popular film star M H Ambareesh, Sumalatha had earlier staked claim for BJP ticket for re-election from the Mandya seat that was represented by her late husband in the past. But the party convinced her and gave it to JD(S).

JD(S) state President and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is now the alliance's joint candidate from Mandya.

Kumaraswamy on Sunday met Sumalatha, and sought her cooperation in the polls.

As an independent candidate, Sumalatha had won the seat in 2019 by defeating the then Chief Minister Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy of JD(S), by a margin of 1,25,876 votes, with the BJP's support.

It was a bitterly fought election back then. The JD(S) was in an alliance with the Congress at the time.

Sumalatha entered politics in 2019 and plunged into the poll arena as an independent, after the Congress, of which her late husband was a part, denied her the ticket, as the party had ceded the Mandya seat to its then alliance partner JD(S). Both parties were then running a coalition government under Kumaraswamy's Chief Ministership.

Late Ambareesh had served as MP, MLA and Minister in Karnataka and at the Centre in the Congress governments. He was also part of Janata Dal in the past.

In the 2019 polls, Sumalatha rode on a sympathy wave following the death of her husband, who was an icon of sorts in Mandya district.

Popular Kannada film stars like Darshan Thoogudeepa and Yash (Naveen Kumar Gowda), along with her son Abishek Ambareesh had extensively campaigned for her then. 

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News Network
April 3,2024

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Udupi, Apr 3: K Jayaprakash Hegde, who recently rejoined Congress nearly a decade after his expulsion from the grand-old party, filed his nomination as Congress candidate in Udupi-Chikmagalur segment today.

He was accompanied by former ministers Motamma, Vinay Kumar Sorake among others when he filed his nomination papers at the Udupi deputy commissioner’s office. 

Addressing the party workers, Hegde, who had earlier served as the Udupi-Chikkamagaluru MP, said that he had initiated multiple development works in both Udupi and Chikkamagaluru districts within 20 months.

“I seek this opportunity to fulfil the pending projects which were initiated during my previous term. Both districts face distinct challenges, with issues ranging from coffee and areca-nut cultivation in Chikkamagaluru to coastal tourism, fishermen's concerns, education, and health in Udupi. Strengthening the guarantee schemes is crucial, and we must promote and publicize them,” he said

“Had the central government created 2 crore jobs, we would witness the creation of 20 crore jobs today,” he said.

Hegde, who had joined BJP in 2017, was until recently the Chairman of Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes that submitted the much-awaited Socio-Economic and Education Survey report, popularly known as the 'caste census' to the government. 

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