In the News Today – 3 November 2019

‘India has stopped working in a routine, bureaucratic manner’

PM Modi spoke at Aditya Birla Group’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in Bangkok. Exerpts:

  • I am eager to give you a picture of some positive changes happening in India today.
  • I say this with full confidence – this is the best time to be in India
  • India has seen many success stories in the last five years in various sectors. The reason for this is not only the Governments.
  • India has stopped working in a routine, bureaucratic manner
  • India received 286 billion US dollar FDI in the last five years.
  • This is almost half of the total FDI in India in the last twenty years
  • If there is one thing I am specially proud of, it is India’s talented and skilled human capital.
  • No wonder India is among the world’s largest start-up eco-systems
  • In the spirit of our Act East Policy, we are paying special attention to enhance connectivity with this region.
  • Direct connectivity between ports on Thailand’s west coast and ports on India’s east coast will enhance our economic partnership
  • For investment and easy business, come to India.
  • To innovate and starting up, come to India.
  • To experience some of the best tourist sites and warm hospitality of people, come to India.
  • India awaits you with open arms

Delhi Air Pollution: ‘We will support Centre in all initiatives’

Arvind Kejriwal, @ArvindKejriwal – Delhi CM :

  • Pollution has reached unbearable levels across North India.
  • Delhi govt taken many steps. Delhiites have made many sacrifices.
  • Delhi suffering for no fault of theirs.
  • Punjab CM also expressd concern. C
  • entre should take immediate steps to provide relief.
  • We will support Centre in all initiatives

‘Let’s do all we can to reduce pollution & pray for a strong shower to wash away the Delhi smog’

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, @SriSri :

  • Chhath Pooja reminds us to honor the Sun, the Earth & all of Nature – even clean air is a blessing.
  • Collective callousness towards environment has led to this disaster.
  • Let’s do all we can to reduce pollution & pray for a strong shower to wash away the Delhi smog.

ASEAN leaders at the traditional group photograph

Raveesh Kumar, @MEAIndia – Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs :

  • Holding hands and growing together!
  • PM Narendra Modi and leaders of 10 other ASEAN countries at the traditional group photograph before the beginning of the 16th ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok.


Pic Credit: @MEAIndia

PM Modi’s opening remarks at ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand

  • ASEAN is the integral part of our Act East Policy and will always be.
  • An integrated and progressive ASEAN will favour India.
  • We want to strengthen our partnership on maritime security, blue economy and human co-operation on several other such issues

PM Modi meets PM Prayut Chan-o-cha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, @narendamodi :

  • Had an excellent meeting with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
  • We talked about ways to expand cooperation between India and Thailand.
  • I also thanked him for the wonderful hospitality of the people as well as Government of Thailand.


Pic Credit: @PMOIndia

The illegal spyware ‘Pegasus’ was used to hack cell phones in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections: Congress

Congress Party briefing by @rssurjewala , In-charge, Communications, AICC :

Bharatiya Janata Party Govt. should be given a new name. People are saying- ‘ab ki baar jasoos sarkar’.
We will present before the nation some shocking facts and documents:

  • An espionage has been uncovered. BJP govt. & its agencies, illegally & in an unconstitutional way used Israeli firm NSO’s software Pegasus to hack phones of politicians, academicians, journalists, editors & social & political activists.
  • Latest documents in public domain unmistakably reveal that:- 1. ​The illegal spyware ‘Pegasus’ was used to hack cell phones in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections to Parliament of India and BJP Government was fully aware of the same.
  • 2. Israeli company NSO’s Pegasus spyware can only be sold to the government not to any private firm or individual.
  • 3. Pegasus spyware was used to spy on politicians and journalists in our country.
  • 4. What all internet and broadband networks were corrupted by Pegasus software has also been revealed.
  • Most shocking is that Pegasus spyware was also found in National Informatics Centre (NIC) run on national internet backbone run by VSNL and BSNL.
  • Facebook that owns WhatsApp, reported cell phones hack through Pegasus software to Govt. of India in April-May 2019. It was duly noted & a report was issued on 17 May 2019 by ‘Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’ – CERT- In of Ministry of Information Technology.
  • The report says – a vulnerability has been reported in Whatsapp which could be exploited by a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the affected system. It can be done by making a decoy Whatsapp voice call to the target phone number.
  • ‘Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow the attacker to access information on the system such as call logs, messages, photos etc which could lead to further compromise of the system’.
  • Report by Facebook & Whatsapp says- As the entire CRTCP module is pretty big, there could be additional patches that we have missed.
  • The report also says- In addition, judging by the nature of fixed vulnerabilities and by the complexities of the mentioned module there is a probable chance that there are additional unknown vulnerabilities in this module.
  • BJP Govt. was fully aware of the hack in April-May 2019 around the Lok Sabha elections. In September first week, Facebook gave it in writing to the Govt. despite that the Govt. was mum.
  • IT Minister, Ravishankar Prasad ji met Facebook Vice-President, Mr. Nick Clegg on 12th September, 2019. Yet Ravishankar Prasad ji chose to keep mum.
  • In fact, only when the news of WhatsApp suing NSO Group over the illegal spyware ‘Pegasus’ came out on October 30, 2019, Modi Govt’s IT Minister responded on twitter on 31st October, saying they’re collecting information on this.
  • Till today, no clarification statement of facts denying the complicity of the Government in illegally deploying the spyware ‘Pegasus’ has been issued either by Shri Ravishankar Prasad or by the PMO.
  • Pegasus spyware infected Bharti Airtel Ltd India, Bharti Airtel Ltd telemedia services India, MTNL India, National Internet Backbone India, Hathway, Star broadband, among others.
  • BJP govt. has been completely exposed of its role in this espionage scandal. Now Modi ji should answer 5 questions:
  • 1. Was BJP government spying on politicians, journalists, social and political activists during the 2019 general elections?
  • 2. In Indian Govt. who allowed illegal and unconstitutional use of Pegasus?
  • 3. Who gave permission for its purchase?
  • 4. Why was Govt. of India silent on this despite the information?
  • 5. What action will be taken against those responsible?
  • We hope that the Standing Committee of Parliament takes cognizance of this whole matter and ask the NSO, WhatsApp, Facebook and the Government of India to give all facts and investigate

‘The Rajini Chair Point’ at Thiruvanmaiyur beach

The most difficult part of wildlife management – managing the humans

‘God’s Own Country’

Amitabh Kant, @amitabhk87 – CEO, Niti Aayog :

  • Away from the hustle, bustle of Delhi in God’s Own Country where I have lived, worked and served the people of the State.
  • This is where I will settle down in life.
Pic Credit: @amitabhk87


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