Narendra Modi seems to have changed his outlook towards the media. According to sources, the PM is now telling his cabinet colleagues and bureaucrats to interact with the media and convey the work accomplished by his government in the last 18 months. His colleagues are however, continuing to stay away as they are wary of a fallout should they speak what is not in the script. » The Ministry of Finance is now on YouTube. The channel was officially launched yesterday with an aim to strengthen the online presence of the ministry by Arun Jaitley. It will feature videos of major schemes, meetings, events and press conferences exclusively related to the Ministry. » Actor Irrfan Khan has joined the bandwagon on the intolerance debate. Expressing that shutting one’s mouth is not a healthy sign of a growing society. “I find it very strange when few people say that actors should act and they should not express their opinions on issues. Everybody has the right to speak their mind and concerns” he said during the NDTV Indian of The Year Awards.
A mystery patron has nominated Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize according to an AFP Report. The patron in his/her letter has praised Trump for “his vigorous peace through strength ideology, used as a threat weapon of deterrence against radical Islam, ISIS, nuclear Iran and Communist China.” Whereas, the world has famously seen Trump vowing to “bomb the shit out of ISIS” and threatened to impose a protective tariff on trade with the Chinese. » Bollywood actor Kajol and former editor of RSS’ mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ Seshadri Chari’s names have been drawn up by the MIB for filling the vacant posts of two part-time members of the Prasar Bharati Board. The final selection between the 7-8 nominated names will be made by a three-member committee headed by Vice President M Hamid Ansari. » Genesis Burson-Marsteller’s Step Up India initiative has extended to China as well. Launched together with Chinese PR agency Flyfinger, Step Up China, headquartered in Beijing will target startups, providing them the comms capabilities to grow their brands. Similar to the Indian version, the venture will provide two service offerings ‘custom packages’ and ‘partnering for growth services’.
The Auto Expo has kicked off today for media and business visitors. Over 80 models are set to be unveiled during the next two days in Greater Noida. An estimated 7 lakh visitors between 5-9 Feb are expected at the event and the major participants include Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra, Hyundai, Honda, Tata and Audi among others. While Jeep, Polaris and Benelli are the new entrants; Bajaj Auto, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), Royal Enfield and Harley Davidson are giving the expo a miss citing high costs. The organizers have also launched an app for all information relating to Auto Expo 2016. » Maneka Gandhi has suggested compulsory sex determination in a bid to counter female foeticide. The tests for pregnant women will help keep track and ensure the child’s birth. “We cannot keep catching people doing illegal sex determination tests”, she said at an event adding that arresting such people was not a permanent solution. » Patrick Brown of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada has slammed homophobia as Hindustan Times targeted “pro-gay” politician Kathleen Wynne’s visit to the Golden Temple. HT carried the headline “Pro-gay Ontario premier runs into an ethical wall in Punjab”, however, Wynne was given a warm welcome at the temple. “One’s sexual orientation should have no bearing on politics, foreign affairs or public service,” said Brown in a statement on Monday.
Demonstrations and vigils are being held by gay rights organizations ahead of the SC ruling that could decriminalize homosexuality. A ruling that could be life-changing for many, read what the activists have to say. » An RSS linked weekly newspaper ‘Organiser’ has attempted to justify the tradition of women being banned from entering the inner sanctum of the Shani Shingnapur temple. Although favouring a resolution of the dispute via ‘respect dialogue’, the newspaper went on to say that the Hindu way of life is always made a convenient target. » Even Gods are not beyond legal scrutiny! A case in Bihar has been filed against Lord Ram for ill-treating his wife Sita when she was exiled. “The Devi was exiled (given ‘vanvasa’) for no fault of hers. It was a hypocritical order from king Rama. How can a man become so cruel to his wife that he sends her off to live in a forest?” a report quoted Thakur Chandan Kumar Singh, the plaintiff. » Bajaj Auto is skipping this year’s Auto Expo citing high costs. The company which unveiled its latest bike ‘V’ on Monday at an event costing Rs. 5 lakh said that the same at the Expo would cost Rs. 5 crore.
English News channel Times Now has completed 10 years in the news media industry. Launched with the intention of changing the rules of the news reporting business, the channel and Arnab Goswami have done exactly that in a relentless and unapologetically opinionated manner. Have a look at what makes the channel tick, directly from the horse’s mouth. » Shashi Tharoor and Anupam Kher were caught in a Twitter spat over the veteran Bolloywood actor’s comments that he is scared to openly say that he’s Hindu. However, Tharoor’s response to the comment was not taken well by the actor as he went on to call the Congress leader a “Congi Chamcha”. » Almost 80 products are waiting to be unveiled at the Auto Expo starting this week. At a time when the policy road map looks uncertain with authorities targeting the auto industry for increasing air pollution in the cities, manufacturers are hoping that the new models will cause a splurge in the market. » An Egyptian cartoonist, Islam Gaweesh has been arrested for running a webpage without a license. Appearing to be a part of an intensive clampdown on activists and journalists; Gaweesh has been charged for “publishing drawings which are offensive to the regime”. His work has often being viewed as critical of government figures while also involving mundanities of life in Egypt.
Urban Development Minister, Venkaiah Naidu has announced the list of first 20 cities selected for the Smart Cities plan. Bhubaneswar topped the list from a total of 97 cities in competition. Other cities selected include Pune, Jaipur, Surat. The government plans to build these smart cities by 2022 and the estimated cost for the project is Rs 96,000 crore. » President Pranab Mukherjee returned the controversial ‘Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime’ (GCTOC) bill once again. The bill twice rejected by the previous Presidents, has been called off yet again by Mr. Pranab Mukherjee for rework and further consultion by the state government.
General V.K Singh has lashed out at the Media ‘presstitutes’ again for incorrect reportage. This comes in after a video surfaced on the internet showing Vijay Pal Tomar touching the feet of Amit Shah while felicitating him after he was re-elected as BJP President on Sunday. The media however, mistook the individual for V.K Singh to which the latter responded by saying that it was a case of “mischief by presstitutes.” » Donald Trump will “most likely” not participate in Thursday night’s FOX News-Google debate. Citing the participation of “lightweight” Megyn Kelly, Trump went on to poke fun at FOX news and said “Let’s see how much money FOX is going to make on the debate without me.” » A teacher of Mulluvaady Government Primary School in Pennagaram, Tamil Nadu has been suspended for defamatory posts on Facebook against the CM and local officials. The teacher posted a snap shot of an alleged interview of the 1980s, supposedly given by Ms. Jayalalithaa to a Tamil magazine, on his Facebook page.