Twitter rival Koo woos Indian users amid data leak row - The Daily Guardian
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Twitter rival Koo woos Indian users amid data leak row



Homegrown, vernacular microblogging platform Koo, which has emerged as a favourite among a section of users who want to quit Twitter, has found itself in the midst of several controversies including a data leak row and Chinese investment.

These issues have emerged at a time when the platform is trying to keep its systems up in the face of a sudden influx of users, including several cabinet ministers and various ministries in the wake of the ongoing Twitter-government war of words.

The issue of data leak row rocked the platform after a French security researcher who goes by the name Elliot Alderson on Thursday claimed that the platform was leaking user data like date of birth, marital status, etc.

“You asked so I did it. I spent 30 min on this new Koo app. The app is leaking of the personal data of his users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender,” said Alderson as he also posted a screen shot of a user data.

Koo Co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna denied that there was any data leak.

“Some news about data leaking being spoken about unnecessarily. Please read this: The data visible is something that the user has voluntarily shown on their profile of Koo. It cannot be termed a data leak. If you visit a user profile you can see it anyway,” Radhakrishna said in a tweet.

Alderson, who has earlier alleged flaws in the Aadhaar platform and Aarogya Setu app, quickly reacted, saying, “Update: Koo founder commented the leak. It’s a lie. I did check this point before tweeting and it was not true.”

Another controversy that has hit the platform is the issue of investment from China as the platform pitches itself as an “AatmaNirbhar (self-reliant) App”. However, the Koo CEO clarified that the Chinese investor, which had invested in the earlier brand Vokal, was on its way out.

“Koo is an India registered company with Indian founders. Raised earlier capital 2.5 years ago. Latest funds for Bombinate Technologies is led by a truly Indian investor 3one4 capital. Shunwei (single digit shareholder) which had invested in our Vokal journey will be exiting fully,” Radhakrishna said.

Koo earlier this month announced that it has raised $4.1 million as part of its Series A funding.

Infosys veteran Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital is the latest addition to the investors on board, it said, adding that Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator also participated in the round.

Koo currently has about 3 million users and traffic to the platform rose as much as by 30 times on Wednesday, according to a source who is familiar with the matter.

User base of the platform, according to the source, has also increased dramatically over the past two days.

The growth comes amid a controversy surrounding Twitter which refused to fully comply with the government’s order for blocking some tweets and Twitter accounts, citing the right to freedom of expression.

“We have got more love than we expected. Our systems are facing more load than ever. Thank you for placing your trust in us. Our team is working on overdrive to fix it. We request your patience and support through this time. Let’s do this together,” Radhakrishna said. IANS

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By calling Sidhu a ‘traitor’, Captain is targeting Gandhi family, says Punjab Congress chief’s advisor



Principal strategic advisor to Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mohammad Mustafa on Sunday alleged that by calling the cricketer-turned-politician a ‘traitor’ and saying that he has relations with Pakistan, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is “targeting the Gandhi family”.

Speaking to reporters here today, Mustafa said, “Navjot Singh Sidhu is not a traitor. Captain Amarinder Singh is not authorised to certify who is is a traitor and who is a patriot. By calling Sidhu a traitor, Captain has actually targetted Rahul and Sonia Gandhi. I have not called Captain a traitor. Captain Amarinder Singh might be a nationalist but the army and police personnel can also be traitors.” He further said, “Captain can say whatever he wants to say about Sidhu but Sidhu is not a traitor. By saying that Sidhu has relations with Pakistan, Captain is targeting the Gandhi family. I cannot tolerate such remarks about the Gandhi family which made Sidhu whatever he is today.”

Sidhu’s advisor said that although the Congress ‘tolerated’ Captain Amarinder Singh for 4.5 years, if he would have been the party leader, he would have removed Singh in merely 30 days.

“Captain Amarinder Singh has been humiliating Punjab for the last 5 years. The people in this party have been tolerating him for the last 4.5 years. If I was the leader of the party, then I would have removed Captain from the party in 30 days. Now if he speaks a word, I will come up with an entire book against him,” added Mustafa.

Mustafa’s remarks came a day after Captain Amarinder Singh had told ANI hours after stepping down from the post of the Punjab Chief Minister in an exclusive interview that he will oppose any move to make Sidhu chief ministerial face for reasons of national security.

He also termed Sidhu, who is Punjab Congress chief, as “incompetent”.

“Navjot Singh Sidhu is an incompetent man, he is going to be a disaster. I will oppose his name for the next CM face. He has a connection with Pakistan. It will be a threat to national security…” Amarinder Singh told ANI.

Capt Amarinder Singh had said Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is Sidhu’s “friend”.

“He is friends with Imran Khan and General Bajwa. Daily so many drones, weapons, explosives, grenades, pistols, rifles, AK47s, RDX, heroine is coming (in Punjab). Where is all this coming from, from Pakistan….when he knows the bigwigs from Pakistan and we share a 600 km border with Pakistan, it is a matter of national security,” Amarinder Singh had said. Amarinder Singh resigned as the chief minister of Punjab on Saturday following months of infighting between him and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

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Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has accused the Mamata Banerjee government of violating the Constitution. He says that the state government has not been sending him the recommendations related to the Finance Commission.

Arup Kali



After a long time, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar once broke his silence and reproached Trinamool government Of West Bengal. The governor accused the state government of violating the constitutional norms.

Jagdeep Dhankhar, who regularly used to take to the Twitter and post against the state administration, was silent on social media for quite a while until recently. He was not heard making any explosive remarks in front of the media personell either. But once again on Sunday, there were indications of a clash between the governor and the TMC-led government. He accused the state of violating the constitution as the latter, according to him, has not been sending the recommendations related to the Finance Commission. The governor claimed in a tweet that the chief minister’s finance commission was sending a recommendation under sections 243I and 243Y of the constitution. He claimed that no such recommendation has been sent since 2014. He juxtaposed the incident on the collapse of the constitutional framework.

The governor claimed that according to the Constitution, the state government is obliged to send a recommendation to the Governoron several issues. Nonetheless, these recommendations are to be submitted to the Legislative Assembly. But no recommendation has been sent since 2014. In other words, Jagdeep Dhankhar has claimed that no recommendation has reached his predecessor Kesharinath Tripathi. Raising the allegation, he said that the state’s constitutional infrastructure had collapsed.

In the last two weeks, the governor has shown new opposition to the state. Earlier, however, he had raised some questions about the state’s business summit. But there was no such thing. In this tweet, Dhankhar seems to be catching the same mood again.

He was vocal enough about post-election violence. But surprisingly, the time when the High Court reprimanded and ruled the state on post-poll violence, he kept silent. Which in fact surprised even the top leaders of the ruling party in the state. Many began to question, what is in the governor’s hall? However, one thing is clear in yesterday’s tweet, Jagdeep Dhankhar is always vigilant.

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Athawale invites Amarinder Singh to join BJP-led NDA



CM Captain Amarinder Singh.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Sunday extended an invitation to Captain Amarinder Singh, who resigned as Punjab Chief Minister, to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and said he should quit Congress which “humiliated” him.

Speaking to ANI, Athawale said that Singh can be of good use to bring the NDA to power in Punjab after the Assembly polls next year. “I would like to ask Captain Amarinder Singh what is the use of staying in a party which has humiliated you. I request him to leave the Congress party and join the NDA led by Narendra Modi,” he said.

“Everyone in the NDA is equally respected. Amarinder Singh can be of good use to bring the NDA to power in Punjab (Assembly Polls 2022),” Athawale added.Further, Athawle said, “When Sidhu went to Pakistan, it was a serious matter that Imran Khan hugged Bajwa; Amarinder Singh is right, Sidhu is a deceiver.”

Amarinder Singh resigned as Chief Minister and submitted his resignation to Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Saturday. The resignation came ahead of the meeting of the Congress legislature party convened by the party leadership. Singh served as president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee from 2010 to 2013.

Athawle also dismissed all claims by Rahul Gandhi on the nation’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage and said, “The central government is doing the work of providing as much vaccine as there is. 80 crore people have taken the vaccine so far. What is Rahul Gandhi talking about? Gandhi’s tip is not right; we are at the forefront of the world in vaccination.”

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NEW DELHI: Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday said that India is becoming a destination country for healthy food items.

“The Government of India has emphasised on re-introducing traditional food items including millet, other nutritious cereals, fruits and vegetables, fish, dairy and organic products in the diet of the people. Their production has been phenomenal in India in recent years and India is becoming a destination country for healthy food items,” said Tomar during the second day’s session of the G-20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting. The theme of this session was “Working together to achieve the Zero Hunger goal: successful projects implemented by the Ministries of Agriculture”.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in Tomar’s virtual address at the meeting, he said that keeping in mind the importance of Nutri-cereals, the United Nations has accepted the proposal of the Government of India and declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets.

He appealed to the nations to support the celebration of Millet Year to promote nutrition and sustainable agriculture.

Tomar stated that the agriculture sector in India has achieved great success after independence.

“The Minister expressed happiness that the various initiatives of the Government of India to keep the Agri-market dynamic along with the Agri-input supply chain during Covid have helped the agriculture sector in better performance. During the year 2020-2021, along with an increase in the production of food grains, there has been a significant increase in exports,” informed the ministry.

“Biofortified varieties are the source of a staple diet rich in micronutrients. They are being promoted to remove malnutrition. 17 such varieties of different crops have been developed and released for cultivation. The Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken steps to increase the optimal use of water resources, create infrastructure for irrigation, conserve soil fertility with balanced use of fertilizers, and provide connectivity from farms to markets,” it said.

The Union Minister informed that under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the government is providing income support of Rs 6,000 per year to small farmers. So far, Rs 1.58 lakh crore has been deposited in the bank accounts of more than 11.37 crore farmers under this scheme.

He said that India is fully aware of its commitments on the issues of climate change and several steps have been taken to make agriculture sustainable.

The ‘Per Drop- More Crop’ scheme for irrigation and ‘Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana’ for organic farming is being successfully implemented. Unfavourable weather affects the production and income of the farmers, in such a situation, the Government of India has implemented the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to provide insurance cover for the farmers.


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Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday promised jobs to one lakh youth within six months of winning the 2022 Assembly polls in Uttarakhand and unemployment allowance for unemployed youth. He also announced that 80 per cent of jobs in the government and private sector will be given to the people of Uttarakhand. During his visit to Haldwani in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Kejriwal made several announcements on behalf of the AAP keeping in mind the youth and then undertook Tiranga Sankalp Yatra.

While addressing the media, Kejriwal questioned both Congress and BJP and said that the political parties have left no stone unturned to ruin Uttarakhand which was formed 21 years ago and have ‘looted the forests and mountains’.

“In the last few days, we have been planning with Ajay Kothiyal and the people of Uttarakhand about how schools and hospitals will be built, and employment will be provided in the state,” he added.

Kejriwal also said that providing 300 units of free electricity in Uttarakhand is the first point of their plan.

The Chief Minister also said that the youth of Uttarakhand has a lot of energy and the ones in the army show ‘amazing power’, “but, due to the plight of over 21 years here, the youth have left Uttarakhand and have migrated to other states.”

In a series of announcements, Kejriwal said that every unemployed youth in Uttarakhand will get employment and until then, one youth from every family will be given Rs 5,000 rupees per month. Kejriwal also announced the formation of a separate Ministry, Ministry of Employment and Migration Affairs, whose job will be to create employment opportunities and to make proper arrangements to bring back the people who have migrated.

Before Kejriwal’s announcement, the AAP CM candidate for Uttarakhand, Colonel Ajay Kothiyal said that he has been given the responsibility to go from place to place and discuss the issues with the people here.

“Presently, the youth have no future to look at. Recently, the government outsourced the recruitment of jobs in one of its departments. Even I applied for the same and was hired as a watchman at a salary of Rs 8,500,” Kothiyal said.

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Gehlot hopes Amarinder will not take any step that would harm Congress



Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has expressed hope that former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh would not take any step that could harm the Congress.

In his remarks on the crisis in Punjab following Capt. Singh’s resignation, Gehlot said that Capt Singh, who was a respected leader of the Congress, had himself stated that the party had kept him as the Chief Minister for nine-and-a-half years. “Capt Singh has served the people of Punjab by working to the best of his ability,” he tweeted.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said that the Congress’ high command was forced to take a decision in Punjab in the party’s interest on the basis of the feedback received from MLAs and the public at large.

Gehlot said, “I personally believe that the Congress president has to face the resentment of several leaders who are in the race, while selecting a CM. The same leaders later blame the high command for its decision.”

“In such moments, one should listen to one’s conscience,” Gehlot said. He said while the people should be worried about the fascist forces taking the country in the wrong direction, the responsibility of Congress members had increased manifold in this situation. Gehlot pointed out that ‘Captain Saheb is the respected leader of the party, and I have hope that he will continue to work in the interest of the party.

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