As Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for Dhaka on his first foreign visit after the Covid-19 pandemic, he termed Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as a statesman whose vision went beyond the narrow confines of physical borders and social division.
In a special op-ed for The Daily Star titled ‘Imagining a different South Asia with Bangabandhu’, PM Modi writes: “A sovereign, self-confident Bangladesh, at peace with its neighbours, bearing friendship to all and malice towards none, was rising fast from the ashes of a painful war. If this had continued, perhaps India and Bangladesh could have achieved many decades ago some of the accomplishments that we were able to reach only recently.”
“It was this rare combination of deep-seated belief in his own ideals, and yet the openness of mind to accept a different opinion, that made Bangabandhu one of the greatest statesmen of our times. It endeared Bangabandhu to the people of India as well. In him, we saw a tall leader whose vision went beyond the narrow confines of physical borders and social divisions,” wrote PM Modi for The Daily Star.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, known as the architect of Bangladesh’s independence, was killed along with most of his family members at his home in 1975. His daughters, Sheikh Rehana and Sheikh Hasina, the incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh, survived because they were living abroad at that time.
“That is why we join our Bangladeshi sisters and brothers in celebrating Bangabandhu’s memory in this very special Mujib Borsho,” he added.
The Prime Minister further said that India would have overcome the complications of history with the 2015 Land Boundary Agreement much earlier if Bangabandhu had been at the helm longer. “We could have built a closely integrated economic region, with deeply interlinked value-chains spanning food processing to light industry, electronics and technology products to advanced materials. We could have created inter-governmental structures to maximise the economic, scientific and strategic benefits of a community of hundreds of millions of people,” he said.
India and Bangladesh have made good progress in connectivity, says the PM, referring to plans like Bangladeshi barges travelling all the way to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
“Cargo from Bangladesh can move to Nepal and Bhutan through India. We are in the process of implementing a similar arrangement for Indian cargo to reach India’s North Eastern States through Bangladesh. We are making concerted efforts to operationalise our inland waterways, which will allow Bangladesh barges to reach all the way to Varanasi and Sahibganj in India.”
He talks about the completion of projects like the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline and the Akhaura-Agartala rail link.
Had Bangabandhu been alive today, both countries could have set up mechanisms to share meteorological, maritime and geological data, joined maritime capacities and developed a vast multimodal connectivity network of roads, he said.
“This is the ‘ShonaliAdhyaya’ that we may have been living in had it not been for that tragic Friday morning of August 1975. The assassination of the Father of Bangladesh deprived the region of the destiny that could and should have been ours to share,” PM Modi wrote for The Daily Star.
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Police likely to file chargesheet today, Sushil’s name included
Sources told The Daily Guardian that the Delhi Police on Monday is likely to file a chargesheet in the Sagar Dhankar murder case. More than 12 accused including Sushil Kumar have been included in this chargesheet.
According to sources, more than 50 people, including four victims, security guards of Chhatrasal Stadium, neighbours of Sagar Dhankar living in Model Town and some people living in Shalimar Bagh have been made witnesses.
As for electronic evidence, the police have video of Dhankar and his accomplices on the spot, which was recovered from the possession of the accused Prince. In Mod Down, there is footage of CCTV cameras coming and going of the accused. This is also being regarded as important evidence. Apart from this, the mobile location of all the accused is there. It is known from this that all of them were at the spot at the time of the incident.
In their chargesheet, police have mentioned that “encroachment of property”, “threat to eliminate” and supremacy were the reasons for the dispute which resulted in Dhankar’s death on 5 May.
On 4 May, Dhankar, who had competed in the 97-kg Greco-Roman category, was beaten to death. Sushil Kumar and his associates allegedly assaulted Dhankar and two of his friends—Sonu Mahal and Amit Kumar—over a property dispute, at the stadium on the intervening night of 4-5 May.
SC TO HEAR PEGASUS CASE FOR COURT-MONITORED PROBE THIS WEEK; OPPOSITION TOO MAY KNOCK ITS DOORS
The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear petitions filed by senior journalists N. Ram and Shashi Kumar, and separate petitions filed by Rajya Sabha MP John Brittas and advocate M.L. Sharma seeking a court-monitored probe into the Pegasus case.
N. Ram and Sashi Kumar on Tuesday had filed a plea in the Supreme Court for an independent probe headed by a former or sitting top court judge into the issue.
The petitioners also sought direction to the Centre to disclose if the government or any of its agencies have obtained licence(s) for Pegasus spyware and/or used/employed it, either directly or indirectly, to conduct surveillance in any manner whatsoever.
The petitioners stated that such targeted surveillance using weapons grade Pegasus software violates Article 21, 19 and 14 of the Constitution of India, as it breaches the right to privacy and the right to freedom of speech and expression.
The present surveillance is also in complete derogation of the Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Information Technology Act, 2000 and as such is completely illegal and a criminal act, it added
The plea further stated that such targeted surveillance violates the right to privacy, which is the constitutional core of human dignity and is protected under Article 21, 19, 14, 25, 28, the Preamble and Part III of the Constitution according to the landmark judgment of a nine-judge bench of this Court in K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India.
The right to privacy extends to the use and control over one’s mobile phone, including but not limited to both oral conversations and messages, and any interception by means of tapping/hacking is a breach of privacy and an infraction of Article 21 of the Constitution, the plea said.
The conscious targeting of politically engaged persons such as journalists, doctors, lawyers, civil society activists, government ministers, Opposition politicians and constitutional functionaries for surveillance seriously compromises the effective exercise of the fundamental right to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a), the plea added.
The plea also stated that the government response does not provide any clarity whatsoever on how such mass surveillance using military grade software was carried out with such impunity. This is clearly illegal and a serious abridgment of fundamental rights, not to mention a criminal offence, the plea said.
The petitioners alleged that no investigation into these extremely serious allegations has been initiated by the respondents, despite the extremely grave ramifications of such a targeted attack using weapons-grade spyware.
It is essential to initiate a thorough, independent and effective investigation to analyse the source, method and actors involved in the Pegasus spyware attack, which has had a direct and demonstrable impact on the exercise of critical fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19 and 21 across the territory of India, it added
On 25 July Rajya Sabha member John Brittas had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe into reports of alleged snooping of activists, politicians, journalists and constitutional functionaries using Israeli spyware Pegasus.
The parliamentarian said that the recent Pegasus snooping allegations as reported by a website on 19 July are causing huge apprehensions and great agony for the citizens of India, as such snooping violate citizen’s freedom of speech under Article-19 (1) (a) as well as his/her personal liberty under Article-21.
On 22 July, advocate M.L. Sharma had filed a petition in Supreme court seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team into the reports of alleged snooping by government agencies using Israeli spyware Pegasus over journalists, activists, politicians and others. The plea further sought to declare buying of Pegasus software for snooping illegal and unconstitutional.
The Opposition is all set to approach the Supreme Court seeking an independent probe into the Pegasus snooping issue. “Pegasus issue is a very serious security concern for the nation. The opposition is planning to approach the Supreme Court for unbiased and fair investigations in the Pegasus snooping case,” sources told ANI. The move comes soon after the BJP levelled serious allegations against the opposition parties that they were not allowing the Parliament to function.
“The opposition parties are responsible for not allowing both Houses of Parliament to transact any business. The disruption in Parliament has resulted in a loss of over Rs 133 crore to taxpayers’ money,” the BJP had alleged.
Many opposition parties have decided to approach the apex court, instead of raising the Pegasus issue in the Parliament during the ongoing Monsoon Session. Opposition parties have decided to change their agenda in Parliament from Monday.
WITH ANI INPUTS
THIS I-DAY, PAKISTAN PLANS TO PUSH TERROR THROUGH SKIES
According to intelligence agencies, all security agencies have been asked to be on high alert regarding the possibility of a terrorist attack through drones on 15 August.
After facing a series of setbacks at the hands of India’s security forces on the ground, especially in the year 2021, Pakistan is now trying to spread terror through the skies.
A conspiracy is being hatched in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir to carry out a major attack on the occasion of 15 August. Pakistani intelligence agency ISI has prepared a special strategy for this. Intelligence agencies have got information about this in their intercepts.
Intelligence agencies have said that all security agencies have been asked to be on high alert regarding the possibility that terrorists can attack through drones. According to intelligence agencies, on the occasion of 15 August, terrorists can also target the main event site, so all kinds of security should be strengthened.
Senior officials of ISI and Pakistan Army have held a meeting with top commanders of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Muzahideen in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.
On the occasion of 15 August, terrorist outfits operating from across the border are planning to carry out a major attack in Jammu and Kashmir. Based on the inputs received by security agencies, it is believed that terrorists can carry out drone attacks. Security agencies are on high alert regarding this.
The way the Air Force station in Jammu was attacked on 27 June by dropping an IED through a drone, the same modus operandi can be used on 15 August as well. Drones have been seen at various places in Jammu and Kashmir continuously for the last several days.
The security agencies have also warned terrorist outfits can carry out a terrorist attack on 5 August. Article 370 was removed from Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August 2019.
The concerns of attacks through drones have risen on many fronts. The intelligence agency has issued an alert for the period between 4 August and 15 August.
A drone-like object was spotted on Saturday night in the Domana area of Jammu, within hours of two suspected UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) being sighted in a neighbouring district. A local youth had made a video of the drone-like object with blinking light on his mobile phone. The suspected drone disappeared after three minutes.
The first two drone sightings took place in Samba district between 8 and 9 pm. The third UAV activity was witnessed at about 9.50 pm in Domana area of Jammu district. Drone sightings along the international border in J&K have increased in the wake of the attack on IAF Station Jammu in June.
Tushar Mehra & Mallika Puri, Co-Founders, Talentopedia on digitizing India’s freelance economy
In an exclusive conversation, as a part of NewsX India A-List, Tushar Mehra and Mallika Puri, Co-Founders of Talentopedia spoke about their venture and the importance of focusing on digitizing India’s freelance economy.
In his inaugural comments, Tushar Mehra said, “At Talentopedia, our aim is to digitize the Indian freelance economy and we are doing that by giving an app to freelancers to help them better manage and grow their businesses. There are about 20 million freelancers in India, despite that big number most of freelancing happens offline. The best way to grow your business is not to sell your services on online markets, the best way to do it is to get work through first degree networks.”
Joining the conversation, Mallika said, “I have been a freelancer myself, I’ve worked in the industry for 5-6 years. I have personal experience with respect to being a freelancer and the challenges that we ourselves faced. I have tried to generate business as a single army through online platforms like freelancer.com, fiveearth and I could never generate any business because I would spend my prime hours of working on online platforms just to generate business.”
“I realised these platforms are not build for freelancers and people like myself, they are built for buyers where they come on board, generate as many leads, whereas, the freelancers are just on the platform to bid for those leads that are coming on board. But we are constantly cost-cut, facing a lot of challenges with various different freelancers who are verified by the platform. Thus, we land up with zero work. So, we’d rather switch to offline channels through first degree networks to get our own business and manage work. That’s how Talentopedia was born. So, that we could cater to the freelancers first, make them our focus, focus on their challenges and then cater to the buyers,” said Mallika.
Commenting on how Talentopedia is set apart to help freelancers apart from helping and creating a market place, she added,“Freelancers are our prime focus, they are our customers. We look at providing them business-management tools through our application that helps them to manage their business, generate leads and also grow their business.”
Explaining how Talentopedia works, Tushar stated, “We have an application on the google play store. We have a portfolio to upload projects freelancers have done, list their skills and services they sell. You can even input reviews you get from Facebook and other platforms. You can use our payment links to get easy payments like UPI (Unified Payments Interface). If you are working, getting clients offline through your first degrees, use our tool, manage those clients.”
Recalling their journey so far and future plans for Talentopedia, Puri said, “The journey has been absolutely amazing, we have around 100,000 freelancers on our Android app. In next five years, we want to see 10 million freelancers on our app. We want to create job opportunities for people who are looking at freelancing as their source of income in the pandemic.”
Towards the end, Tushar added, “If you’re a freelancer, this is the perfect time to join our platform and start growing because with the pandemic, a lot of start-ups have recently started to hire freelancers as they have realised the power of freelance.”
“Got a lot of opportunities from global companies after Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative”: Raj Chodankar, Chairman & CEO, Rrps4e Innovation Pvt Ltd
NewsX was recently joined by Raj Chodankar, Chairman & CEO, Rrps4e Innovation Pvt Ltd for a candid conversation with in its special series, NewsX India A-List.
Raj kickstarted the conversation by sharing insights from his experience in the electro-optics and healthcare industry. He said, “Our journey actually commenced in the year, 1990, that’s when we first ventured into doing some sort of business in India, but, the real assignment that we took up was in 2001 when we built up a very unique nano-machining facility, one of its kind in India, which catered specifically to the nuclear fraternity. So, that was the platform which took us into electro-optics because most of the optical elements that go into an electro-optics need the nano-machining setup and that’s where our journey began in 2010-12.”
He further added, “2014 was when we did a really good job for the Indian army as an outside partner with an Israeli company where we built all the optical elements for thermal imaging fire control system which gets mounted on a tank that is where we started getting recognition and our journey then progressed into trying to offer complete products rather than only components because there was a lot of value addition in the products.”
Throwing some light on their journey further, Raj expressed, “We got very prominent in 2018-19 and we were recognised well. 2020 was the time when we diversified into healthcare and it was only because of the challenges that the entire world was facing due to the pandemic. Because we had this thermal core technology which was the base, we used that thermal core technology to build thermal scanners for fever detection and then we use this thermal camera jointly with a Japanese company.”
Further talking about their collaborative projects in India and PM’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, he said, “The era of making India Atmanirbhar is something that has always encouraged us and it continues to encourage us, or else life was very difficult for any entrepreneur to display his skills or innovation because at the end of the day we have to remember that if we are going into some niche technologies or products that go into Indian army, it is very important that these products go through some extensive trials and these trials by default can be anything between 1.5 to 3 years. The use of the Atmanirbhar plan under Make In India plan allowed us to buy technologies from global companies which made the buyers life much more simpler because it was a proven technology, and, we could then display our skills because the global technology provider will allow us to build 50 per cent of those modules or components in India which we call as the indigenously designed, developed and manufactured in India, the IDDM category.”
Towards the end of conversation, Raj shared about their global tie-ups. He stated, “After this Atmanirbhar setup, we got a lot of opportunities from global companies that wanted to partner with somebody who is already a part of the ongoing technologies and which is where we got an upper hand over the others. Not that we are of corporate level, we are just getting into corporate zones. We are doing really well, our growth pattern is going into constant jumps.”
“We want everyone who follows and wears the brand to be love generation”: Founders of LoveGen
Founders of LoveGen, Bhavana Pandey, Nandita Mahtani and Dolly Sidhwani joined us on our special series and shared with us the idea behind the brand and their experiences.
In an exclusive interview with NewsX India Alist, Founders of LoveGen, Bhavana Pandey, Nandita Mahtani and Dolly Sidhwani joined us on our special series. LoveGen is a brand that is uniquely tailored to meet the taste of an adventurous young generation who love to enjoy life and are interested in fashion, music and social media. LoveGen allows both young men and women to express themselves through clothes at every occasion.
Bhavana shared with us the idea behind the brand and said “All three of us have been friends for almost 20 years now. Fashion and marketing was something that was common between the three of us now, Nandita has been a designer for many years and Dolly had a brand and comes from an export background. I had a bit of marketing experience in fashion. Over many of our conversations, we realized that we don’t have fast fashion Indian brands which can be spread over all age groups and something comfortable.”
“That’s how the idea came about, and three of us were pretty much on the same page with it and we just decided to go for it and finally execution happened quite quickly,” added Bhavana.
Nandita Mahtani shared with us about the coming of the brand together and said “This is something that we all individually wanted to do and it was just about finding the right people to do it with because to start a new brand on this level is not an easy job. The three of us connected and our synergy was great and there was no turning back.”
Dolly Sidhwani talked to us about the thought behind the brand’s name and how LoveGen wants everyone to be loved. “We wanted to create a community about love, and there was a lot of hate around the world right now. We want everyone to be about love and everyone who follows us and wears the brand to be love generation,” said Dolly.
With so much prior experiences in the world of fashion and design, the founders elaborated on the USP of the brand and what sets it apart from others in the market. “Right now we are very focused on denims and what is really different about our brand is that it is very relaxed and at the same time it’s very glamorous and simple and interesting and it’s very cool and this is what sets it apart. A lot of our design elements come into play from our travels and whatever we carry back from our travels,” explained Dolly.
Renowned fashion designer Nandita shared her experiences working on that brand and said “LoveGen is a very affordable brand for everyone and it was very exciting to design. We have a lot more styles for every season and it’s more sort of interesting for the younger generations.” “We wanted more mass appeal so there was a lot of more scope,” added Nandita.
Throwing light on the journey of the brand in the wake of the pandemic and turbulent times, Bhavana told us “The last one and a half years, people have been through so much. We were fortunate because we have got partners who’ve invested in the brand. They were really supportive with us and the three of us been like very strong about it. We made sure to keep that our employees, our people are loved as much as we could. And we’ve kind of waded through this whole time together.”
Adding on how they are looking at the positive side, Bhavana further added “Our store in Malad, which is the Inorbit Mall has opened again and two more stores in Indore. We’re looking at opening more stores this year. We have started our brand online as well so we’re getting a lot of eyeballs on LoveGen.com.”
Talking about the emergence of digital marketing and sales, Dolly added “Social media is a huge part of our world but somehow I think there’s always going to be a balance between brick and mortar and digital. It is going to be a lot digital going forward but we are also planning to open 30 to 50 stores in the next two years.”
On an ending note, the founders of the brand advised their fans and viewers to never give up on dreams and follow their dreams and do what they love.
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