Daily Archive: April 16, 2018

Noted journalist and former Chief Editor of The Statesman and The Indian Express, Surendra Nihal Singh passed away

Noted journalist and former Chief Editor of The Statesman and The Indian Express, Surendra Nihal Singh passed away here at his residence on Monday evening.

He was due to turn 89 later this month.

Born on April 30, 1929, in Rawalpindi, Nihal Singh, as he was popularly known, was an authority on foreign affairs.

For the past few months, the veteran columnist was suffering from renal failure and breathed his last at about 5 pm today.

Cremation would take place at the Lodhi Road electric crematorium tomorrow at 12 noon, family members said. His wife predeceased him and he was survived by his sister-in-law Indoo Nihal Singh.

Son of Gurmukh Nihal and Lachchmi (Devi) Singh, he was awarded the prestigious International Editor of the Year Award in New York for his role in opposing former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s emergency in mid-1975.

He was a foreign correspondent in Moscow, London, the United States, and Indonesia, and most of his assignments were for The Statesman.

He took over as the Resident Editor of The Statesman at Delhi in 1973 before becoming the Chief Editor of the newspaper in Kolkata in 1975.

During 1981-82, he was the Editor-in-chief, The Indian Express, and also the founding editor of The Indian Post, Mumbai, in 1987.

His last assignment was as the Editor of the Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 1994. After his return to Delhi, he became a noted columnist and contributed to a number of dailies, including The Tribune.

सुनो द्रोपदी शस्त्र उठा लो, अब गोविंद ना आ एंगे

सुनो द्रोपदी शस्त्र उठा लो, अब गोविंद ना आएंगे

छोड़ो मेहंदी खड़ग संभालो
खुद ही अपना चीर बचा लो
द्यूत बिछाए बैठे शकुनि,
…मस्तक सब बिक जाएंगे
सुनो द्रोपदी शस्त्र उठालो, अब गोविंद ना आएंगे |

कब तक आस लगाओगी तुम, बिक़े हुए अखबारों से,
कैसी रक्षा मांग रही हो दुशासन दरबारों से
स्वयं जो लज्जा हीन पड़े हैं
वे क्या लाज बचाएंगे
सुनो द्रोपदी शस्त्र उठालो अब गोविंद ना आएंगे

कल तक केवल अंधा राजा, अब गूंगा-बहरा भी है
होंठ सिल दिए हैं जनता के, कानों पर पहरा भी है
तुम ही कहो ये अश्रु तुम्हारे,
किसको क्या समझाएंगे?
सुनो द्रोपदी शस्त्र उठालो, अब गोविंद ना आएंगे….

Exclusive: Cambridge Analytica Pitched Election Strategy To Congress, Boss Met Rahul Gandhi, Say Sources

New Delhi : Cambridge Analytica, the UK-based firm at the heart of a massive worldwide data breach, pitched a proposal last year to the Congress party, which included "data mining of Facebook posts and tweets" and "influencing voter intention" for the 2019 national election. NDTV has exclusively accessed the proposal that promised a "data-driven campaign" with an estimated cost of around Rs 2.5 crore.

Sources in the Congress say the meeting did take place but the party never signed any deal with the company.

"Just being the recipient of a commercial proposal does not automatically imply a contractual engagement between the party and the vendor," said Praveen Chakravarthy, who heads the Congress’s Data Analytics Department.
Source: NDTV

Bad News : Government drops plan to raise salary threshold to Rs 21,000 for mandatory PF coverage, Details here

The Narendra Modi-led government has dropped a plan to enlarge the social security net for nearly six million organised sector employees in an attempt to ease the burden on the government exchequer. The labour ministry has decided not to act on a proposal approved by the central board of Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) – India’s state pension fund – to increase the salary threshold from up to Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000 per month to bring more workers under mandatory EPF coverage and give them PF and pension benefits, reported the Mint on Monday.

The report further highlighted that the decision of not raising the wage level may not go down well with workers’ unions at a time of rising anti-government protests across the country. The newspaper quoted Union Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Gangwar as saying, “It has not moved . right now there is no proposal from our-side . I cannot comment anything more on this.” At present, all workers drawing a monthly salary up to Rs 15,000 are covered mandatorily under EPF and the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) social security benefits.

Last year, the central board of EPFO had okayed a plan to increase the salary cap from Rs 15,000 to Rs 21,000. However, the increase in the salary cap would have cost the Modi government up to Rs 3,000 crore per year. The EPFO hiked the salary threshold from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000 in August 2014.

“Yes, the central board had recommended hiking the salary threshold,” V P Joy, the central PF commissioner without elaborating on why the plan has been shelved, told the financial daily.

The Centre pays 1.16 per cent of the basic wages to each EPFO subscriber earning less than Rs 15,000 a month towards employees’ pensions.

Meanwhile, Gangwar has said that there is no disagreement with the North Block on providing 8.55 per cent rate of interest for 2017-18 to over five crore subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO.

In February, the EPFO cut the interest rate for the financial year 2017-18 to a five-year low of 8.55 per cent. The rate was trimmed by 10 basis points from last year’s rate of 8.65 per cent. This is the third straight year that the provident fund organisation has cut the interest rate. The EPFO manages a corpus of over Rs 11 lakh crore.