Mahapex returns to Pune after six years with stamps, covers and drones

Mahapex is set to return to Pune after six years, as reported by HT. It will be held from 20 to 22 January 2018 at Ganesh Kala Krida Manch. This is a state level philatelic exhibition for Maharashtra and Goa.

“This year the exhibition will see a demonstration of drone technology. In this first demo a mail will be transported from Ganesh Kala Krida Manch to Swargate post office. A Segway will be used to demonstrate the movement of mail by air and land,” Ganesh Sawaleshwarkar, post master general, informed at a press conference.

340 frames of 95 stamp collectors will be displayed. 60 frames from international award winning exhibits will also be showcased. Simultaneously, competitions like stamp designing, letter writing, elocution and a quiz will be held for school students during this event.  “This will ensure that students show keen interest philately. It is a way to promote it as a fascinating hobby,” Sawaleshwarkar said.

Special covers of various sites of Maharashtra will be released.  These include Cavansite mineral near Wagholi, Kandhar fort at Nanded, Gateway of India and Marine drive from Mumbai, Directorate of postal accounts in Nagpur, Vidarba tiger and Irwin Bridge in Sangli.

The event aims to increase the interest in philately that has been declining. Some areas in Mumbai continue to promote it through merchandising stamp t-shirts and mugs.

Sources: Hindustan Times, TOI

Indians in America see relief as draconian policy of H-1B visa is shelved

Jonathan Withington, Media Relations Chief at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed Hindustan Times that the Trump administration was not going to consider the proposal that could lead to deportation of H-1B visa holders, including 500,000 to 750,000 Indians. Officials in USCIS stated that even if there should be any changes in section 104(c) of AC 21, they would not be compelled to leave the country. After they complete the 6-year limit, the employers can seek extensions based on section 106(a)-(b) of AC 21.

The earlier proposal to end a visa grant was formulated based on the policy of, “buy American, hire American” by Donald Trump to create jobs for the American population. This initial policy had led to increased anxiety among the Indian IT firms in America. Now this reconsideration has come as a major relief to the community who could have been deported earlier.

“This is a significant development. We are delighted about this news. We are grateful to USCIS for this,” stated an official in Immigration Voice. They hailed their efforts to protect H-1B visa holders from India.

India Today mentioned that this move happened due to increased displeasure that is seen in the business community. The Department of Homeland Security said that they did not consider the change and will not deport foreign workers.

Sources-Hindustan Times, India Today

232 Banks with Android Apps hit by a Trojan

Quick Heal, an organization for cyber-security informed news sources of  detection of an Android Trojan malware associated with banking apps . It is called Android.banker.A2f8a. Users are directed to download Flash player from third party stores, which is fake and harmful. It obtains personal data from banking and crypto currency apps, based on reports by News 18.

“Users are expected to keep their records on the apps safe. They should avoid downloading any third party store apps,” opined Sanjay Katkar, Chief Technology Officer and Joint Managing Director of Quick Heal Technologies.

The Indian Express informed that banking apps of Axis, HDFC, SBI, ICICI, IDBI, Union Bank and Bank of Baroda are some names from many others who have been targets of data theft. Users are requested to provide administrative rights to this app after setup. It continues to pester users till they do the needful. After obtaining rights, the app connects with these financial apps with a hidden app icon. It tries to obtain data from 232 such apps.

This app is not only limited to access of banking information. It mentions locations, divulges contact lists and messages. These are transferred to a vindictive server. “After Android 4.1, Adobe Flash Player is not available on the Google play store and consumers who have banking apps on their phones need to beware of such an issue,” mentioned Quick Heal sources.

 

Sources: Indian Express, News 18

Jail for people selling bottled mineral water above the MRP

The new guideline by the central government to the Supreme Court of India states that the sale of mineral water higher than the maximum retail price (MRP) is an offence. Restaurants, hotels and multiplex owners will be fined or be jailed if they do not adhere to it.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs informed DNA that overpricing of packed water was against the Legal Metrology Act. This decision was made as an aftermath to the petition of the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI). Increase in price has led to loss in income as service tax or excise duty for the government.  Ram Vilas Paswan, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister told the media that this offence would also include packed soft drinks.

CNN News 18 reports that as per section 36 of the act, people caught selling bottled water at dearer prices could be fined anything between 25, 000 to one lakh. They could also be jailed. Brands such as Bisleri, Kinley and Aquafina are known for their quality. Additionally consumers pay more money than other regular brands. This often adds to the revenue of hotels and restaurants, and does not justify the need to overcharge.  This was decided in consideration with the complaints received from the Members of Parliament, consumer organizations and general public.

Sources- News18, DNA India

68% vote in Phase one Gujarat polls-A look at the Highlights of the Day

Hindu Business Line reported that Gujarat saw a 68% voter turnout in the first phase of voting on Saturday, 9 December. 19 districts with 89 assembly seats were part of this phase. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, BJP state chief Jitu Vaghani, former state Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia, OBC leader Alpesh Thokor and SC/ST leader Jignesh Melvani are some big names from today’s list of contested seats.

NDTV stated that there were certain allegations about the use of mobile jammers at the place of voting. This was denied by the Chief Electoral Officer, BB Swain. It was not used due to policy guidelines. 397 candidates are ‘Crorepatis’. Pankaj Patel, the Congress candidate from Daskroi constituency is the richest with worth 231.93 crores declared assets. Molti Ba, 106-year-old citizen who witnessed the Dandi March and Civil Disobedience Movement during India’s freedom struggle, was one among the many voters.

India Today informed that 1,085 villagers of Gajadi, in Morbi district did not vote this time. They were upset about the lack of delivery of poll promises. The village lacks the basics of bijli, sadak and paani (electricity, roads and water). They complained that neither the BJP nor the Congress paid heed to their plea.  Hardik Patel mentioned, “I will join the Congress if it suites the needs of the Patidar community. I feel Rahul Gandhi has matured as a fine politician.”

The second phase is scheduled for 14 December. Results will be announced on 18 December. Gujarat has been the election laboratory for the country. BJP is eyeing to continue its political reign in Gujarat, while Congress sees it as a litmus test and wants to make a comeback.

Sources – India Today, NDTV

Delhi hospital declares twins as dead, one found alive

Max hospital in Delhi declared premature twins as dead. They were wrapped in a polythene bag and handed over to their parents, Varsha and Ashish.

Tribune informs that police reports suggest that Varsha’s condition was serious and in her six months of pregnancy, the survival chances of the twins were bleak. She was initially at a nursing home at Paschim Vihar, and shifted to the hospital at Shalimar Bhag. She gave birth to a girl and a boy. While traveling to the crematorium to perform the last rites of both the infants, Ashish felt the boy was moving. They discovered that the infant was breathing. They immediately admitted the baby to a nursing home nearby in Pitampura.

Health Minister JP Nanda told reporters that Delhi government would look into the matter, as per instructions by the Centre. The incident will be probed and a preliminary report will be made available in three days.

NDTV mentioned that the boy has been kept on the ventilator, since critical medical care was needed. He would be kept under observation for three months. This would amount to one lakh for the first three days. It would cost 50 thousand each day on other days.  Max healthcare blamed the doctor for the blunder.

Sources- Tribune India, NDTV

 

Kolkata kindergarten student sexually assaulted by teacher

A kindergarten student was assaulted by her male physical education teacher on Friday, December 1st. The incident was reported to have occurred at GD Birla Centre for Education in Ranikuthi, Kolkata.

“Our daughter rushed home crying. We noticed that her uniform had blood stains. She was taken to SSKM Hospital. The doctors informed that she had been sexually abused. Later, she told us that her teacher had trapped her,” her father mentioned in his statement to The Indian Express.

Partha Chatterjee in an interview stated, that the state government along with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education has set up a committee to probe the incident. Actions of the school would be monitored so that they consider the security of students as a top priority. Strong measures would be taken to ensure that the accused is punished. He also ensured assistance to the parents.

The Principal informed India Today, that they have begun to investigate the issue thoroughly. CCTV cameras would soon be installed in the school. She further said that the accused had seven years of teaching experience in the school, and had no accusations against him previously.

Agitating parents are reluctant to send their wards to the school till safety measures are strictly formulated and followed. They, along with the girl’s father, protested and demanded the authorities to take necessary action immediately. Police have detained the accused and other staff of the school.

Sources – Indian Express, India Today