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Twitter blocks JazzyB, three other accounts

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Microblogging platform Twitter has “withheld” the accounts of Punjabi singer JazzyB, hip-hop artist L-Fresh the Lion and two others in response to a legal demand in India, even as it draws flak over delay in complying with the new IT rules in the country.

According to an information on Lumen database, Twitter received legal request from the Indian government on June 6 for actioning four accounts, including that of JazzyB.

Requests received by Twitter for withholding content are published on Lumen database – an independent research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content.
Users checking Jazzy B’s account are shown a message saying “account has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand”.

When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson said when it receives a valid legal request, it reviews it under both the Twitter Rules and local law.

“If the content violates Twitter Rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson noted that in all cases, it notifies the account holder directly so that they’re aware that the company has received a legal order pertaining to the account.

“We notify the user(s) by sending a message to the e-mail address associated with the account(s), if available… Twitter is committed to the principles of openness, transparency, details of the requests to withhold content have been published on Lumen,” the spokesperson said.

Reports suggest that Jazzy B had frequently tweeted in support of farmers’ protests.
Earlier this year, more than 500 accounts were suspended and access to hundreds of others in India blocked after the government ordered the microblogging platform to restrain the spread of misinformation and inflammatory content related to farmers’ protests.

Over the past many months, Twitter has been embroiled in a number of issues. Twitter had drawn flak after it marked several tweets by ruling BJP leaders on an alleged strategy document of the Opposition to target the government over COVID as containing ‘manipulated media’, triggering a sharp rebuke from the government.

The row over Twitter’s handling of certain messages had recently blown up into all-out war of words between the Centre and the social media platform.

Last week, the government issued a notice to Twitter giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules and warned that failure to adhere to the norms will lead to the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act.

Twitter has an estimated 1.75 crore users in India, as per data cited by the government recently.
The new IT rules for social media companies that came into effect last month mandate large platforms like Facebook and Twitter to undertake greater due diligence and make these digital platforms more accountable and responsible for the content hosted by them.

The rules also require significant social media intermediaries – providing services primarily in the nature of messaging – to enable identification of the “first originator” of the information that undermines the sovereignty of India, the security of the state, or public order.
The new IT rules require significant social media intermediaries – those with other 50 lakh users – to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer. These personnel are required to be resident in India.

Under the new rules, social media companies will have to take down flagged content within 36 hours, and remove within 24 hours content that is flagged for nudity, pornography etc.
The Centre had said the new rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of platforms, and offer users a robust forum for grievance redressal.

Non-compliance with the rules would result in these platforms losing their intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.

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Horror! One-and-a-half-year-old abducted, Raped and murdered

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A one-and-a-half-year-old girl died after she was abducted and sexually assaulted by a man in a village in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district. According to report, the accused was caught by locals from the crime scene and thrashed before being handed over to the police. He tried to escape from police custody while being taken to court but was overpowered after being shot in the leg, police said.

According to reports, the toddler was sleeping in an open courtyard on Monday night when the accused (30) picked her up and took her to a deserted school building nearby, where he raped her. When the parents did not find their girl early morning on Tuesday, a search began and she was found profusely bleeding. The accused, who was also with the victim, was caught by the villagers and handed over to the police.

The girl was admitted to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries during the treatment.

A case under charges of murder and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act has been lodged against the accused. While being taken to court in the afternoon for remand, the 30-year-old attacked the police team and tried to escape from the spot, SHO of the area police station Sanjay Singh said.

Police fired in the air but the accused did not stop and got shot in the leg, the SHO said, adding that he was arrested and sent to court for remand following a medical examination. The ASP said charges under the National Security Act will also be invoked against the accused.

The girl’s father said he frantically searched for his missing daughter along with other villagers only to find her in such a bad state in the nearby school.

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CBSE, CISCE Class 12 Board Results 2021: Check Latest Update

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The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) have told the Supreme Court that the results for Class 12 board examination 2021 would be declared by July 31 and the students, desirous of taking up the board examination physically of CBSE can do so between August 15 to September 15, subject to conducive pandemic situation.

The CISCE said its students can take improvement examinations which may commence from September 1, subject to the situation remaining conducive.

In affidavits filed by both the boards before the top court, they have said that as per the scheme the results for Class XII Board Examination 2021 shall be declared by July 31.

The apex court was told by both CBSE and CISCE that they have amended their respective evaluation scheme to assess Class 12 students and incorporated a dispute resolution mechanism for the candidates who have any objections with regard to the results.

“I further say that regarding the date before which the optional examination for the candidates who are not satisfied with their assessment with the policy, the examinations for such candidates shall be conducted any time between August 15, 2021 to September 15, 2021, subject to conducive situation,” said the affidavit filed by Sanyam Bhardwaj, controller of examinations in CBSE.

The CISCE in its affidavit said, “The CISCE will endeavour to hold the improvement examinations as expeditiously as possible after the declaration of the results. Subject to the situation remaining conducive and stable and declaration of results in a timely fashion, the improvement examinations should commence before September 1, 2021”..

The CBSE said it has incorporated a clause which said that the dispute with regard to computation of results will be referred to a Committee constituted by the board.

It said that the scheme has been further amended to say that after declaration of result, if the candidates are not satisfied with their result, CBSE will provide online facility for registration for the examination.

The CBSE said that it has complied with the direction given on June 17 by the top court which asked it to provide for a dispute resolution mechanism, in case the students apply for correction of the final result declared by the CBSE.

The apex court had also directed the CBSE to specify the timeline for declaration of the result and the date before which the optional examination will be conducted, subject to conducive situation and logistical constraints.

“Examination will be conducted by the board only in the main subjects as and when conditions are conducive for holding the examinations. However, the marks obtained by a candidate in this examination will be treated as final for those who opt to take this examination,” the CBSE said in its affidavit.

With regard to private or second chance compartment candidate, the CBSE said that there examinations shall be conducted in such a manner so that they will fall within the assessment policy for the academic year 2019-2020 as approved by this the top court last year and, their results shall be declared in accordance with the said assessment policy.

“Their examinations shall also be conducted anytime between August 15, 2021 to September 15, 2021, subject to conducive situation,” the affidavit said. Similarly, CISCE has also filed an affidavit in the top court saying that it has complied with the direction and amended its assessment scheme for Class 12 students.

It said that the CISCE will endeavour to publish the results as expeditiously as possible, subject to the situation remaining conducive and stable, the results will be published on or before July 31, 2021.

The CISCE said that in the event of a student having objection(s) regarding computation of marks in the result; she/he may make a written application to the school concerned, stating the objection in detail along with reasons thereof.

“The Head of the School concerned will review the application, and only upon being satisfied with the contentions made therein, forward the same to the CISCE along with her/his comments/remarks endorsing the contentions made and documents supporting the opinion regarding the computation of marks”, it said.

It added that no application will be entertained by the CISCE unless it is forwarded by the Head of the School concerned and is being sent to the CISCE within seven days of declaration of results.

“Applications sent after the expiry of 07 days from the day of declaration of results will not be entertained,” the affidavit filed by Gerry Arathoon chief executive and secretary of CISCE clarified.

It said that the CISCE will then review the application, the supporting documents and the Head of School’s comments/remarks and convey its decision to the concerned School, in writing. “In case the result needs to be altered, the CISCE will notify the Head of the School concerned”, it said, adding that the CISCE will appropriately appoint an in-house committee for the dispute resolution mechanism.

“It is made clear for the avoidance of doubt that the Recheck of Answer Scripts is not applicable for the ICSE/ISC Year 2021 Examinations. This dispute resolution mechanism is only for the correction of calculation errors,” the affidavit said.

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Does COVID vaccine affect fertility in men and women? Check what Health Ministry has to say

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Amid recent reports claiming infertility due to COVID-19 vaccination amongst the population of reproductive age, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday (June 21, 2021) issued a clarification. Busting the myth, it said that none of the available coronavirus vaccines affects fertility as all vaccines and their constituents are tested first on animals and later in humans to assess if they have any such side effects.

“Vaccines are authorized for use only after their safety and efficacy is assured,” the Ministry said in a press statement.

It said that in the past few days, certain media reports have highlighted the prevalence of various superstitions and myths in a section of healthcare and frontline workers including the nurses.

“Such misinformation and rumours were observed to be spreading in the community during the vaccination drives earlier too e.g. polio and measles-rubella,” the Health Ministry added.

The Centre stated that there is ‘no scientific evidence’ suggesting COVID-19 vaccination can cause infertility in men and women.

 

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Covid-19 Stats

22 Jun 2021, 5:39 AM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

30,002,691 Total Cases
389,661 Death Cases
28,950,726 Recovered Cases

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