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Ram Nath Kovind to inaugurate 60th Goa Liberation Day celebration




President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate a cultural event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Goa Liberation day in Panaji on Saturday.

Goa was liberated from 451 years of colonial Portuguese rule on December 19, 1961.

Kovind is scheduled to arrive in Goa at 12.55 p.m. at the state’s Dabolim international airport and after a brief stay at the Raj Bhavan, the President of India is expected to lay a wreath at the martyr’s memorial in Panaji’s city square, Azad Maidan, before formally launching the cultural event at 6 p.m. Kovind is scheduled to leave the state on Sunday evening.

“The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, will visit Goa (Panaji) on December 19 and 20, 2020, to grace the commencement of the 60th Goa’s Liberation Day celebrations on December 19, 2020,” the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement on Friday.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said diverse cultural groups from all regions of Goa would be putting together a performance during Kovind’s visit and a 10-minute documentary related to the history of Goa would also be screened at the venue.

“The 60th year celebration is not only about celebratory events, but about celebrating development too, especially in Goa’s rural area,” the Chief Minister added.

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Pasupati Kumar Paras arrives in Patna for national executive meet, shown black flags




After the upheaval in the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Pasupati Kumar Paras reached Bihar capital Patna to participate in the national executive committee meeting he has called on Thursday.

A large number of Paras’s supporters assembled at the Jai Prakash Narayan airport in Patna on Wednesday with music bands at the airport as well as the LJP office in Patna.

A mild clash between Paras and Chirag supporters also took place on the street connecting the airport and the LJP office. The supporters of Chirag showed black flags to the convoy of Paras. They showed black flags at the LJP’s office as well. Following the incident, police personnel present at the place intervened.

The supporters of Chirag Paswan also chanted slogans of “Paras Murdabad” (Dead) and “Paras Go Back” at the airport as well as the LJP office in Patna.

While the supporters of Chirag Paswan painted the nameplates of Paras and Prince Raj with black colour at the LJP office on Tuesday, Paras’s supporters cleaned the black paint and also put up hoardings at the LJP office without the photograph of Chirag Paswan on Wednesday.

The infighting in the LJP arose after Paras declared himself as leader of the party in Parliament and also gave the names of 5 supporting MPs to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Following the development, Chirag, who claims to be the president of the party, sacked those 5 MPs from its primary membership.

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IT Minister blasts Twitter, says it failed to comply with new guidelines




A day after micro-blogging platform Twitter said that it has appointed a Chief Compliance Officer, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday said that the US-based company has failed to comply to the new intermediary guidelines.

In a series of tweets, the minister came down hard on the platform over its reluctance to comply with the new norms.

“There are numerous queries arising as to whether Twitter is entitled to safe harbour provision. However, the simple fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to comply with the Intermediary Guidelines that came into effect from the 26th of May,” Prasad said.

He also said that Twitter was given multiple opportunities to comply with the same, however it has “deliberately chosen” the path of non-compliance.

Observing that the culture of India varies like its large geography, he said in another tweet: “In certain scenarios, with the amplification of social media, even a small spark can cause a fire, especially with the menace of fake news. This was one of the objectives of bringing the Intermediary Guidelines.”

“What happened in UP was illustrative of Twitter’s arbitrariness in fighting fake news. While Twitter has been over enthusiastic about its fact checking mechanism, it’s failure to act in multiple cases like UP is perplexing & indicates its inconsistency in fighting misinformation,” he said.

Prasad said that it is astounding that Twitter which portrays itself as the flag bearer of free speech, chooses the path of deliberate defiance when it comes to the intermediary guidelines.

“Further, what is perplexing is that Twitter fails to address the grievances of users by refusing to set up process as mandated by the law of the land. Additionally, it chooses a policy of flagging manipulates media, only when it suits, its likes and dislikes,” he said.

Further, in another development, official sources have said that Twitter has lost its status as intermediary platform in India as it has not complied with new guidelines.

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Covid put conventional methods to test, innovation came to rescue: Narendra Modi




Inviting investors to the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that innovation came to the rescue during Covid as he highlighted India’s major benefits for both investors and innovators.

Delivering his keynote address at the 5th edition of VivaTech, one of the largest digital and start-up events in Europe, he said: “Covid-19 put many of our conventional methods to test. However, it was innovation that came to the rescue. By innovation, I refer to: Innovation before the pandemic. Innovation during the pandemic.”

“When I speak about innovation before the pandemic, I refer to the pre-existing advances which helped us during the pandemic. Digital technology helped us cope, connect, comfort and console. Through digital media, we could work, talk with our loved ones and help others,” he said.

Modi stated that the second part, innovation for the pandemic refers to how humanity rose to the occasion and made the fight against it more effective and in this, the role of the country’s start-up sector, has been paramount.

“India’s strides in the world of tech and start-up are well-known. Our nation is home to one of the world’s largest start-up eco systems. Several unicorns have come up in recent years,” he said.

The Prime Minister said: “India offers what innovators and investors need.I invite the world to invest in India based on the five pillars of Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and Culture of openness.”

Citing reforms in different sectors, he said: “We, in India, implemented huge reforms across sectors, be it mining, space, banking, atomic energy and more. This goes on to show that India as a nation is adaptable and agile, even in the middle of the pandemic.”

Stressing India’s extensive relation with France, he said: “India and France have been working closely on a wide range of subjects. Among these, technology and digital are emerging areas of cooperation.”

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