War within: It’s Right versus Right at Shimla’s esteemed IIAS - The Daily Guardian
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War within: It’s Right versus Right at Shimla’s esteemed IIAS

Indian Institute of Advanced Studies is witnessing an unprecedented situation of charges and countercharges being hurled by top office bearers against each other, putting the prestige of the institute at stake.

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Shimla-based Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), a reminder of the grandeur of the Raj and its sense of Victorian architectural brilliance, has become a battlefield of petty personal egos among top office-bearers, resulting in a crisis of an unprecedented scale and proportion. Such has been the tussle that the campus is today witnessing open charges and countercharges of “wrongdoings” and “malpractices” among top officials, affecting the day-to-day functioning of the institute. So much so that even the IIAS’ account with a State Bank of India (SBI) branch in Shimla was frozen for a while.

 As per the documents accessed by The Daily Guardian, IISC Director Makarand R. Paranjape had accused Secretary Col V.K. Tiwari of releasing the July 2020 salary without proper authorisation from him with a single-signatory cheque for about Rs 87 lakh. When the Director complained to the bank about this “malpractice”, the IIAS account with the SBI Boileauganj branch, Shimla, was frozen and an inquiry ordered.

As per the documents, Prof Paranjape had alleged that single-signatory cheques were against the IIAS mandate with the bank, but Col Tiwari prevailed on the manager to permit withdrawal of money by producing “unauthorised letters” from the Chairman and the Vice Chairman. Interestingly, the said letters were written on 2 August 2020 (Sunday) and 15 August 2020 (Independence Day).

Prof Paranjape had also accused the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of writing letters to Col Tiwari and the bank without the knowledge of the Director which, according to him, is against the standard rules and practices. As per the documents, the Director had made an allegation that the IIAS Governing Body didn’t have any record of these letters, and the Chairman and the Vice Chairman seemed to have acted on their own without the Governing Body’s approval, which is the supreme authority at the IIAS.

When The Daily Guardian contacted the Secretary, he said, “Whatever has been done is done as per the rules, with the approval of the Director in writing. Whatever salaries have been paid have the approval of the Director. I am not aware of the bank issues as this is an internal matter.”

 The Chairman and the Vice Chairman, however, were more forthcoming about the differences. Calling the IIAS Director “nobody”, Chairman Prof Kapil Kapoor said, “Single signatory cheques were authorised by the Chairman and the Vice Chairman of the Governing Body. According to the MOA of the institute, we are responsible to run the affairs of the institute. The Director is a paid employee and his appointment order was issued by me (Chairman). He is not even an authorised signatory for making payments.”

Prof Kapoor, an authority on Hinduism with several books to his credit, then threw light on the transaction issue: “The financial payments are done by two officers — Secretary and the AO (Accounts Officer). At that moment, the appointment of the AO was under question. He was appointed by the Director in an irregular manner. It was an emergency situation because the salaries had to be paid. We wrote to the bank to release the salaries.”

 One the issue of the bank freezing the IIAS account, he squarely blamed the Director. “He (Director) even wrote a nasty complaint against the bank officer — a young lady. The bank asked him to withdraw his complaint which he didn’t. After which the bank froze the IIAS account. Then we appointed another second signatory after which the banks activated our account.”

 Vice Chairman Chaman Lal Gupta too called the appointment of the AO “illegal and unlawful”. He said, “The Account Officer was told not to sign any cheques because his appointment was not cleared by the Governing Body. The Director wanted to regularise the wrongful appointment of the Account Officer and also wanted to make him an authorised signatory which was not approved by the Governing Body. After which he made it an issue. He then wrote to the bank. The Director put pressure on the lady in the bank. When the bank called us, we told the bank that we had authorised it and Prem Chand who is a gazetted officer would be the second signatory and after which the bank released the salary.”

Gupta clarified that there was no second signatory because the AO’s appointment was wrong. “The Director was trying to act over-smart and wrote a mail to the Governing Body but he was snubbed by the body. He is a JNU product and is skilled in such scandalous things.”

 The Vice Chairman then alleged that the Director was facing 63 charges. “The HRD Ministry has sought clarification on 63 charges from the Director and an inquiry is going on. We are requesting the Ministry to remove him from the post,” he said.

As per the IIAS sources, the relationship between the top office-bearers has gone beyond repair. And the matter has reached the doors of the Union Education Minister from both warring sides. Sources say that the IIAS Director too had written a letter to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, complaining about Chairman Prof Kapil Kapoor for continuously “pressurising” and “harassing” him and making attempts to “grab the powers of the Director”.

A senior IIAS Fellow confirmed the ongoing tussle between the Chairman and the Director, with the Secretary siding with the former. “The entire tussle is about who would run the institute.”

Sources said the situation on the IIAS campus has never been so tense. An ugly scene erupted on 31 July, with agitating employees shouting slogans. “I was witness to the whole agitation,” a current Fellow said, adding: “The Director was addressing a meeting of the Fellows via WebEx. The virtual meeting was hijacked by the Secretary, who started abusing the Director. Then he took his laptop to the slogan-shouting employees outside.”

When asked about the WebEx incident, the Secretary said, “We all raise our opinions differently.”

According to Vice Chairman Gupta, the Secretary is being targeted because he had “levelled 63 charges of irregularities against the Director on file”. He added, “Director then ordered repatriation orders against the secretary. When the matter came before the Chairman and the Vice Chairman, we cancelled the orders of repatriation as it was wrong. He (Director) refused to accept our orders and then we wrote to the HRD Ministry to uphold our orders and the Ministry upheld the orders and repatriation was stopped. After which the Director complained to the Army General. We got a call from the Army officials and we explained the matter to them as well.”

When contacted, the Director refused to talk on the matter, saying, “It is best not to wash one’s dirty linen in public.” But an official believed to be close to him said the Vice Chairman’s comments are contrary to facts. “The repatriation order was issued on 30 April. Tiwari levelled his charges on 15 May,” he said, adding: “How can Secretary level such charges when he himself is a signatory to the decisions?” The official further stated: “A 33-page reply, along with a reply point-wise from each section, was already sent to the ministry, with a copy to the members of the GB on 30 June 2020. No inquiry has been initiated by the ministry till date.”

The official put more light into the saga. “Col Tiwari was taking the Military Service Pay, an allowance permitted only in the Army, even after opting for the IIAS civilian cadre. When the Director found out, he ordered the extra amount of over Rs 20,000 per month to be stopped and the excess payment to be recovered. There were several other memos given to Tiwari. In fact, he was asked to go back to the Army. But the Chairman influenced the GB members to protect him… That was the breaking point of their relationship,” he said.

 Though Prof Paranjape refused to talk about the incident, in a letter written to the Union Education Minister, of which The Daily Guardian has a copy, the IIAS Director alleged that Prof Kapoor had gotten his monthly allowance enhanced to Rs 50,000 from Rs 20,000 in addition to secretarial assistance, on which the institute spends about Rs 25,000 per month. He informed the minister that Kapoor interfered in every way possible and had quarreled with Prof Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT-Roorkee, when he had the additional charge of IIAS, for the same reason.

 Prof Paranjape, in his letter, also requested the minister to form a committee for an inquiry into the matter. “In view of the endless allegations and counter-accusations, the truth can come out only if an impartial and independent review committee enquires into the crisis that has engulfed us.”

An upstanding resident of Shimla believed that in this “power struggle”, this “great institution” would suffer. “It’s sad to hear all this. We thought things were really shaping up well. The new administration was seen to be reaching out to the best in the community, welcoming them to the Rashtrapati Nivas for the special programmes. I myself have really enjoyed the Radhakrishnan Memorial lectures by Bibek Debroy in 2018 and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, in 2019,” he opined, adding: “One hopes the ongoing crisis doesn’t harm the institution for all time to come.”

Reactions

Prof Kapil Kapoor Chairman, IIAS

 The Director is nobody. Single signatory cheques were authorised by the Chairman of the Vice Chairman of the Governing Body. According to the MOA of the institute, we are responsible to run the affairs of the institute. The Director is a paid employee and his appointment order was issued by me (Chairman). He is not even an authorised signatory for making payments… He (Director) even wrote a nasty complaint against the bank officer—a young lady. The bank asked him to withdraw his complaint which he didn’t. After which the bank froze IIAS accounts.

Chaman Lal Gupta Vice Chairman, IIAS

 There is a tussle going on right now. Col Vijay Tiwari, who is the Secretary at IIAS, had levelled 63 charges of irregularities against the Director on file. The Director then ordered repatriation orders against the Secretary. When the matter came before the Chairman and the Vice Chairman, we cancelled the orders of repatriation as it was wrong… He (Director) is a JNU product and is skilled in such scandalous things.

Makarand R. Paranjape Director, IIAS

 The power-grab is usually accompanied by a disinformation campaign. Such authorities seem to have little interest in trying to find lasting solutions or making structural changes. It’s really sad at one level we want to be the ‘visva-guru’ but on the ground our best institutions are failing.

Col V.K. Tiwari Secretary, IIAS

Whatever has been done is done as per the rules, with the approval of the Director in writing. Whatever salaries have been paid have the approval of the Director. I am not aware of the bank issues as this is an internal matter.

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VIT-AP University felicitates 25 unsung heroes

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On the occasion of 73rd Republic Day Celebrations on Wednesday, VIT-AP University felicitated APSRTC driver O. Madhu, APSP Police Constable K. Srinivasa Rao was honoured posthumously, 10 fire services personnel, Two RTC Drivers and Conductor,12 Policemen for saving the lives of people by discharging their duties diligently.

A.S. Dinesh Kumar, Joint Collector, RB&R, Dr S.V. Kota Redddy, Vice Chancellor, Dr C.L.V. Sivakumar, Registrar, Dr Anupama Namburu, Dy Director, Student Welfare, along with Unsung Heroes.

A.S. Dinesh Kumar, Joint Collector & Addl.District Magistrate, Guntur Dist. unfurled the national tricolour and presented the award winners with certificates of appreciation and rewards for their services. He also handed over free Laptops to the Students of 2021 batch of Support The Advancement of Rural Students (STARS) programme on this occasion.

During his address by reminding Service to humanity is service to God. Lauded university authorities for choosing to Re-public Day & Independence Day felicitating Unsung Heroes in remembrance of the selfless service to the humanity under University Social Responsibility. He also enlightens the constitutional & moral values. All 23 members received these awards and reward of Rs. 20,000/- each. Vice Chancellor Dr. S.V. Kota Reddy, Registrar Dr. C.L.V. Sivakumar, Dr. Anupama Namburu, Deputy Director student welfare family members of unsung heroes, faculty, students and staff were also present.

LIFE SAVING AWARD:(APSRTC)

O. Madhu was behind the wheel of Tirupathi to Tirumala APSRTC bus on 10th May 2021. He suffered from severe heart attack. Even while sustaining cardiac pain carefully parked the bus on the roadside at Kapilatheertham (Near Alipiri) then he was taken to SVRR hospital, Tirupathi and declared dead. There were 8 passengers on the bus, who would have met with serious accident if not for Madhu’s quick thinking even in the throes of cardiac arrest. His wife O.Premala received award and reward of Rs. 25,000/-

G.Ravi sekhar, Bus Conductor whose hand was fractured as bus fell into Jalleruvagu and ten passengers including driver died and 26 passengers injured. He saved five passengers by breaking the window glasses and lifting them through the windows.

M.Srinivasulu, Driver of Tirupathi to Tirumala APSRTC bus observed dust, smoke and falling of big boulder rocks duly damaging the road and barricades. He immediately reversed and stopped the bus, alighted 28 passengers safely from the bus duly alerting them to go back and also alerted other vehicles.

ANDHRA PRADESH STATE DISASTER RESPONSE FORCE

Eleven Policemen includes One Home Guard, Four Police Constable, Two Head Constables, Three Inspector of Police and One SDPO received these awards and reward of Rs. 20,000/- each.

K.Srinivasa Rao, PC working in 5th Batallion, APSP deployed to Nellore Dist. Due to heavy floods reported before the RDO, As per instructions SDRF team reached Damaramadugu village for rescue operational duties. Team saved 10 family members. SDRF team tried to rescue another two members struck in floodwater near mosque. At that time K.Srinivasa Rao life jacket was accidentally hooked with unknown object into the water and drowned into water. SDRF team taken him to Butchireddypalem Govt. Hospital and was declared dead. His wife K. Suneetha received award and reward of Rs. 25,000/-

Head Constable V.Nagaraju & D. Ganesh Police Constable saved Golli Vidyasagar from his suicide attempt at Pillar No.70, Prakasam Barrage, Krishna river. They observed and rushed into the spot quickly by boat and saved him as alive by using proper throw bag and waterman ship techniques and pulled him into the boat and given medical first response and counselling given.

K.Ravikumar, Head Constable and Police constables R.Ramanjaneyulu, P.V.Ramanaiah, G.Mohan Bhaskar after receiving the information from MRO chittor regarding 31 people

Struck up in the floodwater at veerabhadra colony 24 member SDRF team reached the spot and swimmed into the heavy floating water with the help of ropes and lifeboats and saved 31 members who are in danger drowned. In this operation, these four (4) personnel have done outstanding performance of their duty.

V.Sureshbabu, Inspector of police rescued and saved the life of women and two of her children who tried to commit suicide at polavaram canal water.

Tammisetty Madhu, Inspector of police has shown sincere, exhaustive and intellectual effort saved six (6) persons rescued from collapsed house.at Kadiri town.

K.Ravimanoharachary, SDPO, Angadi Sadiq Ali, Inspector of police saved a family consisting of six members whose res-idence was situated amid elevated riverbed of Gargeya during NIVAR cyclone who strived for 18 hours and finally by adopting risky crane and can cradle idea when their lives in danger as heavy rains lashed Piler, Chittor District.

S.Papa Rao, Home Guard, Visakhapatnam city saved 5 persons came to the beach bathing from Malkapuram and One dead body moved to KGH, Visakhapatnam.

RESCUE SERVICES AWARDS: (AP STATE DISASTER MANAGEMENT & FIRE SERVICES)

A total of ten fire personnel rewarded with Rs. 20,000/- each for their commendable rescue services.

T.Rambabu, firemen, Kotabommali fire station exhibited excellent service in serious fire call where number of unskilled labour were trapped in the processing unit of Sri Sai Vardhana Jute Pvt. Ltd. Due to mechanical heat. Being the first re-sponder he opened the passages t the trapped workers with the available equipment and saved their lives. He offered unblemished firefighting efforts to douse the flames which saved Rs.6 crore property in the industrial premises.

G.Adinarayana, leading firemen exhibited his professional skills in the Major Fire accident occurred. due to Electric Short Circuit emanating smoke and flames from the Electrical Board at Maharaja Central (Covid) Hospital, Vizianagaram At the time, Nearly 50 members both Corona patients and attendants were in the Maharaja Central Hospital, Vizianagaram During the mid-night, he who led the standby team at Maharaja Hospital was notices Fire accident initially and alerted crew members and rushed to the Fire spot within seconds along with Fire vehicle and extinguished Fire using Dry Chemical Powder. As his timely action the Fire was comes under control within few minutes and he taken necessary steps not spread to others rooms. As his efforts there are no causality and minimise fire loss and saved valuable property worth of Rs. 49,80,000/- i.e., medicine and oxygen cylinders which are essential at that time for COVID patients as well as saved public lives.

S.Koteswara Rao, Firemen, Sabbavaram firestation, Visakhapatnam exhibited professional skills in a major Fire Accident occurred at Birla Junction, Murali Nagar, Visakhapatnam on receipt of the fire message the fire units of Marripalem Fire station along with its crew immediately rushed to the fire spot and extinguished the fire efficiently without spreading to the surrounding area and saved the property worth of Rs.90,50,000/- It was remarkable service rendered by him.

Jeeri Srinivasa Reddy, Station Fire Officer, Anaparthi Fire Station, East Godavarai District exhibited excellent performance in emergency call where one person named Revuri Venkata Ramu aged 50 years was travelling on Motor bike following back side of van carried carbon dioxide cylinder load from Sampath Nagar village to Yanam suddenly blast of Carbon dioxide cylinder load at Z. Medapadu Bridge, Near Essar petrol bunk, Mandapeta mandal, East Godavari district. The Carbon dioxide cylinders spreaded on the road and one cylinder hit the person wearing helmet and fell down from the vehicle and seriously injured and sent to hospital in police jeep.

Srinivas Dayam, Fireman, Nidadavole Fire Station, West Godavari District exhibited excellent performance in major Fire Call at railway wagon box with coal goods, Railway Station, Nidadavole. He exhibited his performance with greater operational skills in controlling the major fire. The timely action rendered by him as a Fireman by applying his skills in the fire spot to control the fire and saved the property with value Rs.70,00,000/-

Valavala Sriramamurthy, Leading Fireman, Hanuman Junction Fire Station, Krishna District exhibited excellent work in extinguished the major Fire accident that took place on 01.12.2021 at 8.00 hrs at Mohan Spintex India Ltd, Remalle Village, Bapulapadu Mandal, Krishna District. In which Mohan Spintex India Ltd are involved in the fire accident and thus saved the surrounding property Rs. 140,00,00,000 He saved surrounding property with his timely action without any casualties. The fire accident was created a terrible situation around the industry with blowing flames and dense smoke and restricted to extend the fire to the beside buildings, machineries and yarn and cotton godowns.

B. Sam Prakash, Leading Fireman, Tirupathi Fire Station, Chittoor District exhibited excellent skills in the rescue operations took place at Yashoda Nagar area which was fully covered with flood water and saved the persons struck in the heavy stream of water. He rendered good work along with his team in the rescue spot and rescued the victims safely brought out from the flood water by using life buoys, Life jackets and ropes. He always shown devotion to his duties and rendered excellent service to the public in times of emergencies.

K. Giridhar, Leading Fireman, Chittoor Fire Station, Chittoor District exhibited excellent skills in the rescue operations took place at Punepalli, Penumuru, Chittoor District in which a woman while crossing the heavy steam of water accidentally stroked in the floating water. He rendered good work along with his team in the rescue spot and rescued the victim safely brought out from the heavy stream of water by using life buoys, life jackets & ropes. He always shown devotion to his duties and rendered excellent service to the public in times of emergencies.

D. Obula Reddy, Leading Fireman, Dharmavaram Fire Station, Anantapuram District exhibited excellent skills in the rescue operations took place at Chitravathi River near Veldurthi Village, Chennekothapalli Mandal, Anantapuram District where a car with 4 passengers are struck in the flood water. The station Fire Officer, Dharmavaram and crew tried to rescue the 4 members with the help of ropes, Life Jackets, Life Buoys and JCB. He ren-dered good work along with his team in the rescue spot and rescued the victims safely brought out from the flood water by using Life buoys, life jackets, ropes and JCB. He always shown devotion to his duties and rendered excellent service to the public in times of Emergencies.

O Narendra Kumar, Fireman, Rajampet Fire Station, YSR District, Kadapa exhibited excellent skills in the rescue operations took place at Hemadripuram Village, Rajampet Mandal, YSR Kadapa District where a private bus in which 36 passengers were caught in the food water, and the bus was drowning slowly and the crew approached the bus, tied the bus with one end with ropes and rescued the passengers within the help of ropes, life jackets and Life buoys. He rendered good work along with his team in the rescue spot. He always shown devotion to his duties and rendered excellent service to the public in times of Emergencies.

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180 artworks shortlisted for 2022 CIMA awards

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Centre of International Modern Art (CIMA), in collaboration with the Art & Heritage Foundation, is delighted to announce the fourth edition of the highly anticipated CIMA Awards. The CIMA Award will be a triennial event to recognize excellence in the visual arts and discover genuine talent in India, especially beyond the cities. This event is open to all artists between the ages of 25 and 45 years and are residents of India only, trained as well as self-taught. The winner of the CIMA Awards receives:

• CIMA Award: 5 lakhs, a trophy and a solo show within two years of winning the award.

• 1st Runner up Award: 3 lakhs and a trophy.

• 2nd Runner up Award: 2 lakhs and a trophy.

• Two Special Jury Awards: 1 lakh each and a trophy.

• Two Special Mention Awards: 50,000 each and a trophy.

• Four Merit Awards: 25,000 each.

• Director’s Choice Awards: 25,000 each.

The works are selected through a two-tiered jury system comprising a Preliminary Jury and a Final Jury. The preliminary jury will shortlist artists for CIMA Awards Show while the final jury will select the awardees. Qualities such as creative excellence, originality, creative use of materials and presentation are among some of the criteria to be considered.

This year, 180 artworks from across the country have been shortlisted for the final round by the preliminary jury comprising Shreyasi Chatterjee, Samir Aich, Chhatrapati Dutta, Veena Bhargava, Pankaj Panwar, Tapas Biswas, Akku, Ajit Seal, Ramendranath Kastha and Aveek Mukherjee.

CIMA Awards has been designed as one of the most definitive and exciting events on Indian visual art. It is an award centric project, aiming to reward and promote excellence and enhance creative freedom. Each edition of the CIMA Awards gives almost 200 artists a chance to meet the doyens of the Indian art world and present their works to them,” says Rakhi Sarkar, director of CIMA. The 2022 CIMA Awards will be accompanied by the CIMA Awards Show. This year the entire collection will be featured at two venues in Kolkata—CIMA Gallery and GEM Cinema from 5 to 27 February 2022

CIMA opened in 1993 and quickly became one of the premier art galleries in India with 11,000 sq. ft. of state of the art gallery space in Kolkata. The aim is to recognise and reward young artists from across India for their talent and creativity.

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INDIA ON WAY TO REDUCE INFANT MORTALITY RATE

Need of 5-6 centres of excellence for care of children with congenital heart disease in different parts of the country: Prof. V. K. Paul

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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (UN SDG 2030) mandates India to reduce its Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) from the existing 29 per 1000 live birth to 12 per 1000 live births by 2030. With increasing affluence of society and improving Quality of life index (QoLI), and as Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) starts approaching 12-15, congenital heart disease becomes the commonest contributor to the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in that society. Provinces of Kerala (IMR, 9), Tamil Nadu (IMR, 17) and a part of the Himalayan region are already experiencing this phenomenon. Gradually and ultimately, the same will be followed by all other provinces of the country with improvement in their socio-economic status.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (UN SDG 2030) mandates India to reduce its Infant Mortality Rate (IMR)

Thus, it has been realized that IMR, as mandated by the UN SDG 2030, can only be reduced by improving survival of babies with congenital heart disease. It calls for development of pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiac intensive care, pediatric cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiac anaesthesia and pediatric cardiac radiology services specifically dedicated and committed towards children.

Accompanying two pictures are evidence of poor state of affairs as far as congenital heart disease is concerned in the North.

Realising these hard facts, Prof. V. K. Paul (member of Niti Aayog, and a Pediatrician himself) expressed the need of 5-6 centres of excellence for care of children with congenital heart disease in different parts of the country in the inaugural address of annual conference of Pediatric Cardiac Society of India.

In the North, we cannot have a better place than Chandigarh to establish such a center of excellence (within the PGI fold).

Increasing legal age of girls’ marriage to 21 year is a social intervention to reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).

Creating a center of excellence for children with congenital heart disease will be an executive intervention for the same.

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You need to have a social media presence to build a brand: Anshuman Sharma

In an exclusive interview with NewsX with NewsX Influencer A-List, Anshuman Sharma opened up about his viral videos, his association with the music industry, his latest projects and much more.

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Music and comedy influencer Anshuman Sharma joined NewsX for an exclusive interview as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the candid chat, Anshuman opened up about his viral videos, his association with the music industry, his latest projects and much more.

Speaking about his viral videos on Ritviz, Badshah and others, Anshuman said, “I used to make fun stuff on Instagram like dialogue remixes and stuff. There was this dialogue remix that I made on someone that kind of sounded like Ritviz. People were tagging Ritviz in the comments. I listened to his music and then I realised that I do kind of did sound like him. There were already these videos already on the Internet by International YouTubers, who showed people on how to make a Micheal Jackson or Drake song in 2 minutes. I thought why not do it with Ritviz since I already know how it sounds. I could just create a track and put a video on it. It got a million views on Twitter and 2 million on YouTube.”

Talking about his association with the music industry and the songs he’s working on right now, Anshuman said, “I have been working with Salim Suleman. I have done a couple of background music tracks along with them. I did background music for Coolie No 1, which we featured Varun Dhawan. I did Disco Dancer 2.0 featuring Tiger Shroff. They recently released an album called Bhoomi, so I did various songs in that album including one for Sunidhi Chauhan and one for Sukhwinder. Those are folk songs mixed with Jazz, so I have been working on stuff like that.”

Sharing how his journey with Salim Suleman started, Anshuman said, “I used to put videos of me playing the keyboard on Instagram. I sent some of those videos to various composers like Vishal Dadlani, Salim Merchant and AR Rahman. Luckily, Salim Merchant saw my video and my DM. He followed me back and he said it is great. After 2-3 months, I was going to do MBA but then somehow I decided that MBA is not for me. I decided to message Salim Merchant and asked if I could intern with him. He said yes. I left everything and just went for it.”

When asked about making spoofs on artists and if he ever contemplates about not making them fearing it might hurt somebody and hamper his future prospects, Anshuman responded, “There is never a conflict because I don’t try to bring them down. I keep it as less offensive as I can. It is basically just picking out certain things from their music and telling people that this is mostly this type of stuff that they have been doing and present it in a fun way. I don’t make fun of them.”

On the new trend on having a social media presence to build your own brand, Anshuman commented, “If I take examples of songs, a lot of songs are hit songs but people don’t know who made them, unless it is a big composer. In order to tell people that, you need to build a brand and you need to have that social media presence. Once you have a following, they will know who you are and your songs would have better chance of becoming hit songs.”

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:

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When I started, the goal was not to become a social media influencer: Vishnu Kaushal

In an exclusive interview with NewsX as part of NewsX Influencer A-List, Vishnu Kaushal spoke to us about his journey to become a social media influencer, having an alternative career plan and much more.

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Disrupting the Internet with his comedy and style videos, Vishnu Kaushal joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation, the comedy content creator spoke to us about his journey to become a social media influencer, having an alternative career plan and much more.

Talking about his journey of becoming a social media influencer, Vishnu said, “I am 24 right now. I started making videos in 2013, which makes means when I was 16. I did not have the idea of short form content back then or all those things. When I started, the goal was not to become a social media influencer. It was to become a creator and make a living while creating and doing something I loved. That was just the goal. However, it took me a while. I made videos for 4.5 years without getting any sort of recognition or virality. I gave up the idea of doing this for a living, then Instagram reels came along and my videos started to find the right set of audience. It all started clicking really well because I had all this experience to write a joke and deliver it in the best way. I had the perfect opportunity and I had the baggage of 4 years of content, where I already knew what I wanted to say. I got the right outlet when reels came along. It really did it for me and that’s when it grew up.”

When asked if it is difficult to create short form content than long form content because one only gets 30 seconds to woo the audience, he responded, “For someone who grew up making long form videos, for them it is definitely tougher because they are used to dealing with nuances, building a premise that is longer and delivering a joke. But, for a GenZ kid, short form content comes easily. They are very intuitive with their content. They know how to do it. I have done short form content for a while and I still can’t make a video less than 45 seconds because I think to myself, ‘What do I do in 45 seconds?’. My videos are usually 45 seconds to 1 minute. I think it is more about conditioning. Once people find their length and wavelength, it comes naturally. Long form and short form are very different. Comparing them is tough.”

Speaking about having an ‘alternate plan’ to content creation, Vishnu said, “There was always an alternate plan. This was the alternate plan. I started making videos in my 12th grade. I was in my college when started this. For the first 4 years, I was doing my B-Tech in computer science engineering while I was making videos in college. I was also working with an organisation back then, so I was doing college, working on something and making videos. After college, I got an internship/job and I was doing that. I was into social media marketing, PR and advertising, then I got a call from MenXP, asking if I want to come and audition. Until I got that call, I never stopped having this one thing, i.e my day job. I always was making videos. For me, making videos was never a profession. For me, it has always been the time I can do whatever. That time is my time. Creating videos, after coming back from my college or job, was my time. It has always been fun for me.”

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:

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REPUBLIC DAY CELEBRATIONS

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The National Flag is hoisted above the Clock Tower (Ghanta Ghar) on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day, at Lal Chowk, in Srinagar on Wednesday. ANIIndian Air Force’s Rafale aircraft leading MIG-27, MIG-29 and Sukhoi aircraft in a fly-past above Rajpath during the 73rd Republic Day parade, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIPresident Ram Nath Kovind presents the Ashoka Chakra (Posthumous) to Babu Ram, Assistant Sub-Inspector of J&K Police. The award was received by his wife Reema Rani and son Manik Sharma, at the 73rd Republic Day Celebrations, at Rajpath, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIA dance performance going on during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, in front of Vidhan Sabha, in Lucknow on Wednesday. ANIArtists take a selfie after the conclusion of the 73rd Republic Day Parade, in Jammu on Wednesday. ANIThe Arunachal Pradesh tableau, based on the theme “Anglo-Abor (Adi) Wars” on the Rajpath during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIIndian Army’s Akash missiles on display during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, at Rajpath, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIBorder Security Force (BSF) women Dare Devils perform a stunt during the 73rd Republic Day Parade, at Rajpath, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANIParamilitary personnel march during 73rd Republic Day celebrations, in Leh, Ladakh on Wednesday. ANICentral Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel celebrate after winning the first prize for march past at the 73rd Republic Day function, in Patna on Wednesday. ANI

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