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PM Modi set to gift 5G services to Indians on Oct 1

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The National Broadband Mission (NBM) under the Ministry of Communications on Saturday tweeted (and later deleted) that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will officially roll out the 5G services in India on October 1 — the same day when the India Mobile Congress (IMC) kicks off which will heavily focus on 5G and related domains.

All the top telecom honchos — including Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal — are scheduled to join the keynote address at the sixth edition of the IMC that will take place at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, from October 1-4.

“Taking India’s digital transformation & connectivity to new heights, Hon’ble PM, @narendramodi, will roll out 5G services in India; at India Mobile Congress; Asia’s largest technology exhibition,” read the screenshot of the tweet (now deleted from the NBM handle).

The event will see participation from telecom gear manufacturers and other industry stakeholders, in the presence of IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

According to sources, the government may showcase some successful 5G testbeds being run in the country by Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea at the IMC 2022, jointly organised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

During his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister had said that the 5G services will be launched in India soon.

Vaishnaw last month said the government expects 5G services to be rolled out in the country by October 12, and the Centre will make sure that the prices are affordable for the consumers.

Vaishnaw said that installations are being done and telecom operations are busy with the seamless rollout of 5G services.

The government will ensure that the 5G plans remain affordable for the public, the minister said.

The 5G services would be rolled out in a phased manner and during the first phase, 13 cities are likely to get the 5G internet services.

The cities are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune.

Just like 3G and 4G, telcos will soon announce dedicated 5G tariff plans and according to industry experts, consumers may pay more to access the 5G services on their devices.

An immediate tariff war with the launch of 5G is unlikely, but it “will be competitive as India continues to be a price-conscious market”.

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Mumbai: Virar-Dahanu railway project soon to be quadrupled

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The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has decided to recommend to the environment ministry from the CRZ point of view the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation’s (MRVC) proposal for quadrupling of Virar Dahanu railway project under Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase III.

The proposed corridor is planned on the west side and parallel to the existing line. However, MCZMA has laid down 10 conditions that will have to be complied with during project development. MCZMA took this decision at its meeting held on November 10 though its minutes were released on November 30. 

MRVC has submitted that there will be a saving of about 1 hour daily in travel time of 5 lakh passengers and the corridor will serve the requirement of about 2 million population in the section from Virar to Dahanu Road in Palghar district. However, MCZMA stressed the need to strike a balance between the development and environment.

‘’The project proponent (PP) needs to exercise extra caution with the objective to have less impact on the surrounding mangroves and coastal ecology. During the construction phase, all possible efforts/measures should be taken to maintain the coastal ecology and biodiversity.  Necessary training/awareness should be imparted to contractors and workers so that adequate environmental safeguards could be implemented on site during project execution,’’ said the MCZMA.Mumbai: Western Railways floats tender for new terminus at Jogeshwari station

Further, MCZMA directed that PP should obtain prior high court permission as per its order dated September 17, 2018 since the project involves cutting of mangroves. Further, PP should seek no objection certificate from Mangrove Cell and carry out compensatory mangrove plantation with its consultation. PP will have to obtain the prior Forest Clearance under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

According to MCZMA, PP will ensure that noise and vibration level is within permissible limit during the construction phase of the project and it will also strictly ensure that activities of local fishermen communities would not be hampered.

MCZMA has said that PP should implement the Environment Management Plan (EMP)  effectively and efficiently during construction and operational phases to ensure that the coastal environment is protected. There should be a third party monitoring/audit of all such management initiatives by government agencies during and after completion of project from time to time.

Moreover, PP shall set up a full fledged in-house Environment Management Cell for effective implementation of the EMP including mangrove replantation plan, monitoring and Disaster Management Plan. No labour camps are allowed in CRZ area and it should also be ensured that the waste water from these entities should not be released into the sea. Mobile toilets with mobile sewage treatment plants will be provided in the work front area.

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After Delhi HC order, Telegram discloses details of users sharing infringing material

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 Pursuant to the Delhi High Court judgment of August 30 that courts in India can direct a messaging app to disclose the information of infringers, Telegram — an instant messaging application — has finally handed over the copies to the court.

The said data, which is in the form of a chart, shows the names of the admins, phone numbers, and IP addresses of some of the channels.

The channels were accused of unauthorised sharing of the study material prepared by Campus Private Limited and its teacher Neetu Singh for various competitive examinations.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh in the order dated November 24 said that the copy of the data can be supplied to the plaintiff’s counsel but with clear direction that neither the plaintiff nor their counsel shall disclose the said data to any third party, except for the purposes of the present proceedings.

“To this end, disclosure to the governmental authorities/police is permissible,” said the court, adding that the affidavit of Telegram along with the chart containing the data have been taken on record.

The court then directed the Registry to retain the said data in a sealed cover.

“List before the court for case management on February 14, 2023. This shall not be treated as a part-heard matter. The matter shall be listed before the Roster Bench,” the court said.

Earlier, the court had directed Telegram to disclose the details of the channels/devices used in disseminating the infringing content, mobile numbers, IP addresses, email addresses, etc., used to upload the infringing material.

“The data relating to the infringing channels and the details as to the devices/servers/networks on which they are created, their creators, operators, including any phone numbers, IP addresses, and email addresses, used for this purpose shall be disclosed by Telegram within a period of two weeks thereafter,” the court had said.

Recently, the HC had directed Telegram to comply with its 2020 order asking it to disclose the Basic Subscriber Information of the users involved in unauthorisedly uploading and sharing the ePaper (PDF) — which can be accessed only after subscription — of Dainik Jagran newspaper for free in their channels.

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WhatsApp bans 26 lakh bad accounts in India as amended IT rules take shape

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 Meta-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday said it banned over 26 lakh accounts in India in the month of September in compliance with the new IT Rules, 2021, which are now being amended to put more responsibilities on social media platforms.

The messaging platform, which has nearly 500 million users (according to third-party data) in the country, received 666 complaint reports in September in India, and the records “actioned” were 23.

“In accordance with the IT Rules 2021, we’ve published our report for the month of September 2022. This user-safety report contains details of the user complaints received and the corresponding action taken by WhatsApp, as well as WhatsApp’s own preventive actions to combat abuse on our platform,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The platform banned over 23 lakh bad accounts in India in August.

Under the upgraded IT Rules 2021, major digital and social media platforms, with in excess of five million users, have to publish monthly compliance reports.

Meanwhile, in a major push towards an open, safe, trusted and accountable Internet, the Ministry of Electronics and IT has notified some amendments aimed at protecting the rights of “Digital Nagriks”.

Currently, social media intermediaries are only required to inform users about not uploading certain categories of harmful/unlawful content.

The amendments impose a legal obligation on intermediaries to take reasonable efforts to prevent users from uploading such content.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that protection of constitutional rights of the Indian citizens is a must.

The amendments were notified after the Ministry followed an exhaustive public consultation process involving all stakeholders.

The new provisions will ensure that the intermediary’s obligation is not a mere formality.

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