New panel formed to monitor govt. ads as mandated by SC
A panel comprising former chief election commissioner OP
Rawat, advertising veteran Ramesh Narayan and former PrasarBharati member AK
Tandon will look into the content and propriety of government advertisements
to check their adherence to Supreme court guidelines.
In 2015, the SC directed the central government to constitute a
three-member committee "consisting of persons with unimpeachable neutrality and
impartiality" to regulate the issue of public advertisement In a notification
issued last week, the I&B ministry said the new committee will look into the
implementation of the SC guidelines on content regulation of government
The new committee has been selected by a three-member panel
comprising Press Council of India chairman CK Prasad,lyricist Prasoon Joshi and
I&B secretary AmitKhare.
In 2016, Tandon-led committee had flagged the expenditure of AAP
in govt ads, following a complaint from Congress leader Ajay Maken on the issue.
It had also directed the AAP to reimburse the money spent on such ads and had
said the Delhi government should assess its expenditure.
The committee will not only monitor print advertisements, but
will also seek reports from I&B ministry, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and
the National Broadcasters Association in identifying violations in
advertisements on electronic media. The committee has been asked to send monthly
reports to the ministry in this regard.
PM stresses on effective policing to ensure women safety
Prime Minister NarendraModi has emphasised the role of
effective policing for the safety and security of women. He was speaking at
the concluding session of the 54th All India conference of DGPs and IGPs in
Pune today. Mr Modi said at all times, police personnel must strive to
improve the image of the police force to inspire confidence amongst all
sections of society, including women and children.
The Prime Minister participated in the conference today as well
as yesterday. Apart from leading the discussions and giving valuable suggestions
over the past two days, he addressed the valedictory session of the conference
this evening. The Prime Minister also awarded the President’s police medals for
distinguished service to officers of the Intelligence Bureau.
Commending the Conference for generating good inputs for policy
planning and implementation, Mr Modi laid emphasis on the emergence of concrete
outcomes from the finalised action points.
The Prime Minister appreciated the meticulous efforts made by
the country’s police forces for maintaining general peace and tranquillity in
the country and ensuring normalcy. He said people must not forget the
contribution of the families of police personnel, who stood firmly behind them.
Mr Modi urged the heads of police departments to carry forth the
spirit of the conference to the lowest level from State to District to the
police station. After listening to the presentations made by State police
forces, the Prime Minister mentioned that a comprehensive list of the best
practices could be prepared and adopted by all States and Union Territories.
Report suggests UPI may not see new players
The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system may not see many
new players entering the space as it has got aggregated with few players,
according to a report.
As a payment product, UPI will continue to scale with more
innovative use cases coming in and will remain default payment gateway for the
country, said a report by The Digital Fifth.
Advisor on industry and data management and analysis at the
NitiAayog, Roy also leads the Women in Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP)
initiative, supporting women entrepreneurs in India. She is leading the
Government of India's initiatives on frontier technologies such as BigData,
artificial intelligence and Blockchain.
The report further said the remittance business would continue
to scale as the market has remained largely untapped as of now.
India will see emergence of few large remittance players with
focus on high-traffic corridors, it said.
The business-to-business segment has done well over past few
years across POS (point-of-sale) and payment gateway segments with firms such as
Pinelabs and Razorpay, building scalable and profitable business models, it
This change will impact payment start-ups focusing on the
issuance side where they share issuance fees with banks and acquirer side, it
New national policy on statistics to be unveiled soon
India will shortly unveil a National Policy on Official
Statistics in the wake of various controversies related to the alleged
suppression of bad news, undermining the credibility of government data,
said people with knowledge of the matter.
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI)
has begun work on a cabinet note on the policy that seeks to provide “timely and
credible social and economic data,” one of the persons said.
The policy seeks to create synergy between the Centre and the
states in statistical matters besides promoting an ecosystem for “informed
debate” on various social and economic issues affecting people’s lives.
The ministry began drafting the policy in June, shelving a
proposal to set up a National Statistical Development Council, an independent
authority headed by the Prime Minister that would supersede the National
Statistical Commission (NSC). The latter is the apex body on statistical
Earlier this year, the government withheld the Periodic Labour
Force Survey report that showed unemployment sharply rising to 6.1% in FY18
compared with 2.2% in FY12. Issues were also raised about GDP data based on the
new series with economists citing quality issues.
India hopefull in inking crucial agreement with the U.S
India and the US hope to conclude three key agreements on
issues, including space and science, at the second edition of the 2+2
ministerial dialogue in Washington on December 18.
The two sides are negotiating pacts on science and technology,
water, and space that could entail technology transfer and collaboration, ET has
learnt. The proposed pacts could be signed at the Foreign and Defence Minister,
or 2+2, dialogue in DC.
The space deal will entail collaboration in handling space
debris and incidents of increased collision threat with operational spacecraft.
The pact could lead to collaboration between ISRO’s Space Situational Awareness
& Management (SSAM) and the corresponding US agency.
The ISRO control centre would host a range of activities
pertaining to protection of Indian space assets from inactive satellites, pieces
of orbiting objects, near-earth asteroids and adverse space weather conditions.
The water agreement is likely to involve collaboration under the government’s
Jal Shakti Mission.
“Inherent in India’s growth story is a natural partnership with
the US. This partnership is evolving fast both in strategic and economic
domains,” Indian envoy to Washington Harsh VardhanShringla told students and
faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Global arms sales rise by around 5 percent in 2018
Worldwide arms sales rose by nearly five per cent in 2018.
According to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research
Institute (SIPRI), the market is dominated by the United States.
The turnover of the 100 biggest arms manufacturers came to 420
billion dollars. US manufacturers alone accounted for 59 per cent of the market,
or a turnover of 246 billion dollars, up 7.2 per cent on the previous year.
Russia was second in the rankings for arms production, with 8.6
per cent of the market, just ahead of the United Kingdom on 8.4 per cent and
France on 5.5 per cent.
The study did not include China, for lack of sufficient data,
but SIPRI estimated that there were between three and seven Chinese businesses
in the top 100 arms manufacturers.
The world's largest arms maker remains the US firm Lockheed
Martin, as it has been since 2009. Its turnover last year was 47.3 billion
dollars. Its sales alone account for 11 per cent of the world market.
::SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY::
Scientists decode evidence on river Saraswati
There has been a strong belief that the Harappan
civilization depended on monsoons. But now there is ample evidence that a
large number of Harappan settlements had mushroomed and flourished along the
ancient course of the modern seasonal stream, Ghaggar, in northwestern
India. And this ancient course was that of the mythical river Saraswati.
A new research — led by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL),
Ahmedabad, in collaboration with IIT-Bombay — has reported “unequivocal
evidence” that there existed a perennial river on the plains of northwestern
India. The river, according to the researchers, flowed roughly along the course
of the modern Ghaggar. Researchers say that this river was the Saraswati
mentioned in the Rig Veda.
The researchers provide evidence that the Saraswati was
perennial and had flowed from the Higher Himalayas between 7,000 BC and 2,500
BC, and that the Harappans had built their early settlements along this powerful
river between 3,800 BC and 1,900 BC.
The research posits that the decline of the Saraswati had led to
the collapse of the Harappan civilization. The demise of the river and the
civilization approximately coincide with the beginning of the Meghalayan Stage —
the current dry phase in the global climate that began about 4,200 years ago.
The scientists reached this conclusion by determining the
depositional ages of the coarse-grained white sand layers that occurred 3-10
metres below the modern alluvium of the Ghaggar’s floodplain. The dating was
done with radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence methods at the PRL.
Anthony Joshua reclaims world heavyweight championship
Britain's Anthony Joshua reclaimed his world heavyweight
crown from Andy Ruiz, outclassing the Mexican-American to score a unanimous
Joshua, who suffered a stunning knockout defeat to Ruiz in New
York in June, produced a masterclass performance to regain his IBF, WBA and WBO
titles in emphatic fashion at Ad Diriyah in Saudi Arabia last night.
Dominating from the outset, Joshua won by margins of 118-110 on
two scorecards with the third judge making it 119-109.