Get Wired 10/6: Funds Off for NGOs, S’pore Okays Maggi, Buddha in Bamiyan and More

Congress hits out at Modi government

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Congress party held a daylong conclave on Tuesday, with nine party state Chief Ministers and other senior Congress leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attending. Sonia Gandhi attacked Modi saying he was allowing his colleagues to create an atmosphere of “fear and foreboding” and was “playing a duplicitous game.” The government was also centralizing power and over-riding state interests, it claimed. Rahul Gandhi said that while the government was giving with one hand by sharing more of the taxes, it was taking away with the other by restructuring social welfare programs. With a special focus on the North-East states, Sonia Gandhi urged the Chief Ministers to agitate against the government if the Centre’s decisions adversely affected them.


UP Minister booked for journalist’s death

Uttar Pradesh Minister Ram Murti Singh Verma was booked for his involvement in the death of a journalist who was set on fire in Shahjahanpur district. A case of murder and criminal conspiracy along with other charges, has been registered against the Minister for Backward classes welfare and five others including members of the police. The family of the journalist Jagendra Singh alleged that the police burned him to death after Jagendra posted messages regarding the minister’s involvement in illegal mining and land grabbing. Even before his death, Jagendra had accused Verma of ‘unleashing a reign of terror’ against him because of comments made against the minister.

No foreign funds for over 4,000 NGOs

cashThe government has cancelled the licenses to receive foreign funds of another 4,470 non-governmental organization, after having earlier cancelled such licenses for over 9000 NGOs in April. The NGOs whose licenses have been cancelled include Delhi Deputy Chief Minister’s NGO Kabir, the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan that works under the Sports Ministry, the Supreme Court Bar Association among others. A variety of reasons have been given for the cancellation of the licences, ranging from non-filing of returns, to non-compliance with the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

Indian Maggi is fine, says Singapore

Mmmm... monosodium glutamate. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), has declared Maggi imported from India to be free from health risks, and ordered the resumption of its sale in the city. Singapore has some of the most stringent laws on food safety, and the Nestle stock surged on receiving news regarding clearing the Singapore tests. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom, which imports the masala flavor from India, is also testing the noodles at the Food Standards Agency.



NCERT hires controversial consultant

Amba Charan Vashishth, a 70-year old with previous links to the BJP mouthpiece ‘Kamal Sandesh’ has been made part of the publication team of the NCERT as a consultant. He will also be involved in public relations for the body. Vashishth has previously published on various topics related to minorities and is seen as a polarizing figure. He has spoken out against MF Hussain, activist Teesta Setalvad as well as against reservations for minorities. The NCERT meanwhile maintained that the selection process was fair and that Vashishth was the most competent of the applications received.

DY Patil students in Mauritius left in the lurch

The DY Patil Medical College. Credit:

The DY Patil Medical College. Credit:

Students pursuing MBBS and post-graduate studies at the DY Patil Medical College’s Mauritius campus are uncertain about their future as they are still waiting for their degrees to get recognition. The local government had earlier passed a ‘no-admission’ order, but the college had said that students who were already pursuing studies there would continue to do so. Students who have passed out of the institution and have returned to India are yet to start practicing as their degrees are not recognized, and students at the campus are afraid a similar fate waits them once they get done with their final examinations.


Chettinad business empire in conflict

Logo of the Chettinad Group. Credit: Chettinad

Logo of the Chettinad Group. Credit: Chettinad

The conflict between former Chettinad group Chairman MAM Ramaswamy and his adopted son MAMR Muthiah, reached new lows on Saturday when both the father and son alleged that people representing the other side had attacked them. Ramaswamy alleged that he had been attacked in an attempt to take his house and remaining assets away by a group of 30-40 men, while Muthiah claimed that he was attacked by an angry mob upon his return to his Chennai house from Singapore. The father has disowned Muthiah. The dispute in one of the most famous family-run businesses in Tamil Nadu started when the shareholders of Chettinad Cements voted last August against the reappointment of Ramaswamy as its Chairman. Meanwhile, the Income Tax Department has raided offices of the company regarding suspected tax evasion. However, they had nothing to do with the family feud, the IT department has said.

Texas Police officer suspended for violence against black teen

police officer was suspended in Texas following his violent takedown of a teenaged black girl at a pool party. The officer, who was called in as ‘too many black teens’ were partying in the area, forced the girl to the ground and proceeded to chase her friends with a gun. The entire incident was videotaped and posted on social media websites where it generated outrage and disgust. The case is among the long line of cases of violence by white cops against minority races, mostly African-American. The girl’s father had earlier called for the immediate firing of the officer.

Buddha back in Bamiyan

Bamyan. Credit: UNESCO

Bamyan. Credit: UNESCO

A Chinese couple travelling through the historic Silk route has started an initiative, which has resulted in 3D projected images of Buddha statues being shown in Bamiyan. The site is notorious for the Taliban destroying the Buddha statues present there in 2001, leaving behind holes where the statutes once were. The statues were two of the tallest standing Buddha statues in the world, at 180 and 120 feet high. The Afghanistan government had ten years ago come up with a similar initiative to project 3D images of the Buddha at Bamiyan, but the plan never came to fruition.


Shahrukh Khan buys Trinidad cricket team

Shahrukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment has bought the Caribbean Premier League team Trinidad and Tobago. The company also owns the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders. The Caribbean Premier League has other teams owned by Hollywood starts Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler. The league has been hugely successful in the region, and Trinidad and Tobago are one of last year’s semi-finalists.

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