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WhatsApp Privacy Policy: Plea moved in SC seeking stay

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New Delhi [India], January 30 (ANI): The Internet Freedom Foundation has approached Supreme Court challenging WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy which was introduced earlier this month in India.
The petitioner sought guidelines to safeguard the personal data and privacy of over 400 million Indian WhatsApp users.
It has sought an interim stay on the operation of the messaging platform’s new Privacy Policy.
The plea stated that the 2021 Policy of WhatsApp is highly invasive and has been unilaterally forced upon Indian internet users.
It urged the Court to grant an ad-interim order, restraining the sharing of any personal data of users by Whatsapp with Facebook for marketing or other purposes.
The intervention application is filed in an appeal filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi in 2017, which had challenged the 2016 privacy policy of WhatsApp. The matter is being heard by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.
It requested the Court to direct WhatsApp to provide the same standard of privacy protections to its Indian users as it is providing to users in the European Region. It also asked Court to direct provide its users with an opt-out option while using its services, to allow users to opt-out of sharing their data with Facebook for marketing and advertising purpose.
Earlier this month WhatsApp had introduced its privacy policy mandating its users to accept its terms and conditions, failing which the accounts and services would be terminated after February 08, 2021, for the respective user.
After facing criticism over the privacy policy, WhatApp took to micro-blogging site Twitter clarifying that “no one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8 and we will be moving back our business plans until after May.”
Earlier Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also filed a plea in the top court challenging the new WhatsApp policy stating that the Centre has failed to discharge its constitutional duty and responsibility by protecting the privacy rights of citizens forcing the petitioner to approach the top court.
It had sought a direction to WhatsApp and Facebook to allow the government to carry out ‘Technical Audits’ of their data centres, where the data of Indian Users are stored, so as the retrieve and delete such data of Indian Users.
It had said that in 2016, Germany, the United Kingdom and the entire European Union had prohibited similar action of Facebook which was also asked to delete all the data relating to Whatsapp users. (ANI)

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Assam: One held in Guwahati for transporting 5 quintals of ganja in truck

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Guwahati (Assam) [India], February 28 (ANI): One person was arrested in Guwahati for allegedly transporting five quintals of ganja in a truck, according to the police official on Saturday.
“We have arrested one person in Guwahati for transporting five quintals of ganja in a truck. We have seized 50 packets of ganja (10 kg each) from a truck,” said the Guwahati police official.
“The apprehended accused is the driver of the truck. Further investigation is underway,” said police. (ANI)

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Odisha makes COVID-19 test mandatory for passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, MP, Punjab

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Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 28 (ANI): Odisha government on Saturday made the COVID-19 test mandatory for passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh.
“Passengers arriving from Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Punjab, and Madhya Pradesh will undergo screening tests at the airport in Odisha,” said Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das.
“If found symptomatic, they will undergo an antigen test. Those testing COVID positive will be kept under isolation,” he informed.
On February 24, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Jammu and Kashmir for supporting them in public health measures for targeted COVID response and management.
According to the official release, the three-member multidisciplinary teams will work closely with the states and UT administration and ascertain the reasons for the recent surge in the number of COVID19 cases.
They will also coordinate with health authorities of the states and UT for requisite COVID19 control measures to break the chain of transmission.
The health ministry has advised states and UTs for regular critical review of the emerging situation with concerned district officials to ensure that gains made so far in COVID management are not lost. (ANI)

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PM Modi to address Mann Ki Baat today

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New Delhi [India], February 28 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address 2021’s second Mann Ki Baat on Sunday at 11 AM.
“Tune in tomorrow at 11 AM. #MannKiBaat,” tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
On February 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited people of the country to share their inspiring stories in the field of art, culture, and tourism.
“Through inspiring examples, January’s #MannKiBaat highlighted diverse topics ranging from art, culture, tourism and agri innovation. Would love to hear more such motivating anecdotes for the programme in February, which will take place on the 28th,” PM Modi tweeted and shared a link for the people inviting ideas for the next ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Prime Minister Modi had also shared a toll-free number for people to record their message in either Hindi or English.
In the last Mann Ki Baat in January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to the countrymen to write about freedom fighters and stories of their struggle to mark the country’s 75th Independence Day this year.
“Mann ki Baat” is the Prime Minister’s monthly radio programme to the nation, which is broadcasted on the last Sunday of every month. (ANI)

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Rajasthan: MBBS student dies by suicide in Jodhpur

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Jodhpur (Rajasthan) [India], February 28 (ANI): A student studying MBBS died allegedly by suicide in Jodhpur, according to the police official on Saturday.
“Final year student at MDM hospital was found hanging on a fan of his hostel room. Post mortem and room search will be done in presence of a family member,” said Shastrinagar Police Officer Pankajraj Mathur.
“The classmates called the student for dinner at night, but no response was received from the closed room. Despite calling and knocking on the door, there was no response. The student’s cousin, who was preparing for PMT, also came there. When everyone pushed and opened the door, everyone presumed that the student died by suicide,” said Mathur.
“Further investigation will be done accordingly,” said the police official. (ANI)

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Haryana: Khap panchayat in Hisar decides to increase milk price in protest against farm laws, rising fuel prices

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Hisar (Haryana) [India], February 28 (ANI): Khap panchayat in Hisar on Saturday decided to increase the rate of milk against farm laws and rising fuel prices.
“We have decided to give milk at the price of Rs 100/litre. We urge dairy farmers to sell milk at the same price to government cooperative societies,” said the Panchayat spokesperson.
Many people were sitting in agitation against the rising fuel prices coupled with their angst against the recently passed farm laws.
Amid surging fuel prices in the country, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on February 21 termed “less fuel production by manufacturing countries to gain more profit” as one of the reasons behind the price hike.
“There are two main reasons behind the fuel price rise. The international market has reduced fuel production and manufacturing countries are producing less fuel to gain more profit. This is making the consumer countries suffer,” Pradhan said.
Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November last year, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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Civilian gets injured in Jharkhand after he accidentally steps on IED planted by Naxalites

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Gumla (Jharkhand) [India], February 28 (ANI): A civilian was severely injured in Gumla city of Jharkhand after he accidentally stepped on an Improvised explosive device (IED) planted by Naxalites, according to the Jharkhand Police on Saturday.
“A civilian was severely injured in Gumla, Jharkhand after he accidentally stepped on an IED planted by Naxalites with an intention to cause harm to security forces,” read a statement by the Jharkhand Police.
“He was airlifted to Ranchi for treatment,” informed the police. (ANI)

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