Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Google plans to release information on who pays for political ads

Ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Google plans to release information on who pays for political ads

As we know the elections are fast approaching and all political parties in the country have already begun their election exercises. It’s just not the political parties, technology giant Google has also planned something for the upcoming elections. Google is planning to undertake an exercise in India that was used during the US mid-term elections, where it attempted to put in place “tight control” over who is spending on political advertisements.

According to Indian Express, Google will also issue guidelines requiring all such advertisements to include a disclosure identifying who paid for it. In the recent US mid-term elections, Google rolled out a weekly transparency report that listed political advertisement spends on the basis of advertisers and their party affiliations.

“We are planning something. What we did with the recent US elections is that we built a very tight control on who is spending on election advertisement and how we are controlling information on elections. We launched a transparency report on the kind of political advertisements that were being run. We also did a product control on spread of misinformation and fake news around elections,” Sunita Mohanty, Google India’s Director of Trust and Safety told the leading daily.

The advertisements on Google are based on the identification of relevant keywords entered by a user, the search giant’s report revealed who spent more than USD 500 on advertisements of political importance in the current US federal election cycle May 31, 2018, onwards. “We have a principle that determines what is extremely individual and personal, and what we can (use for personalising advertisements). We sat down and worked out a policy principle — sexual orientation cannot be used for personalisation, but clothes or shoes is personalised. Personalised advertisements help people make better choices,” Mohanty told the Indian Express.

IGNOU releases December Date Sheet 2018, check at; also announces admission to certificate, diploma programmes

IGNOU releases December Date Sheet 2018, check at; also announces admission to certificate, diploma programmes

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has released the date sheet for December Term End Exam (TEE). The candidates who will appear for the examination can check detail on the IGNOU’s official website, The IGNOU has released date sheet for all the courses, and will conduct the TEE from December 01, 2018, which will continue until December 31, 2018.

The IGNOU has also announced admission for the session commencing January 2019. The interested students can submit their application online on the Online Admission Portal of the University –  The admission process, which has started on November 5, 2018, will continue till January 15, 2019. Academic Programmes at PG Diploma, Diploma, Certificate and Appreciation level in diverse disciplines are on offer in Open and Distance Learning or ODL mode. Details of the Programmes on offer, fee structure, and eligibility are available on the University website. The University is offering more than 150 certificate, diploma, degree and postgraduate programmes in January 2019 admission cycle.

Steps to check IGNOU Date Sheet:

Step 1: Visit the official website of IGNOU,

Step 2: Click on “student support” tab available on the site.

Step 3: Then click “student zone” among the five choices available.

Step 4: Fill in the details.

Step 5: Candidates have to select the ‘Download Link’ appearing in the 5th option of the first column.

Step 6: In the page, choose the ‘Pre-Exam Information’ in the series of links available and finally access the date sheet by referring “Date Sheet for all programmes” link.

Sabarimala row: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan calls for all-party meet to discuss issues ahead of pilgrim season

Sabarimala row: Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan calls for all-party meet to discuss issues ahead of pilgrim season

Trivandrum: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has called for an all-party meeting to discuss the issues related to Sabarimala Temple ahead of pilgrim season. The all-party meet will be organised on November 15. Interestingly, the call for the meeting by the Kerala Chief Minister comes days after he had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders from the state of conniving to create trouble in Sabarimala.

On November 9, Vijayan asserted that evidence has surfaced pointing that the BJP leaders in the state connived to create trouble in Sabarimala. “The odious politics and perfidious ways of BJP stand exposed. Evidence has surfaced that BJP leaders in the state connived to create trouble in Sabarimala,” he had said. Last Monday, the Kerala government had also submitted an affidavit in the High Court on Sabarimala Temple issue stating that it never interfered in religious matters and rituals in connection with the same.

The state government had also stated that some political parties with their own agenda staged protest condemning the judgment of the Supreme Court, obstructed women devotees going to the Sabarimala temple. The Sabarimala Temple and surrounding areas witnessed a string of protests recently over the Supreme Court’s decision to quash restrictions on the entry of females of menstruating age, between 10 and 50 years, into the shrine. As many as 3,505 protesters have been arrested and around 529 cases were registered so far in connection with a series of incidents of violence in the state after the opening of the temple gate in October this year.

Sabarimala Row: Supreme Court to hear review petitions today, things to know about it

Sabarimala Row: Supreme Court to hear review petitions today, things to know about it

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear 48 petitions seeking review of the judgement which the apex court had passed one and half month back. The apex court’s five-judge Constitution Bench led by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, on September 28, had in a 4:1 majority verdict allowed menstruating women between the 10-50 age group to enter the temple and offer prayers. The Supreme Court said that the ban on women in menstruating age group, whose presence at the Sabarimala temple was considered “impure”, violated their fundamental rights and constitutional guarantee of equality.

The apex court’s judgement has led to protests and counter-protests at the hill-top shrine in Kerala. The temple and nearby areas had witnessed massive protests from devotees against the entry of young women into the shrine, when it was opened for monthly pujas on November 5 and 6 and for five days from October 17. Over a dozen women under 50 had been prevented from reaching the temple. Over 3,700 people had been arrested for violence during Sabarimala protests across the state after the apex court ruling.

What is today’s hearing of review petitions about?

A batch of 48 petitions seeking review of the judgement would be taken up for consideration in-chamber by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra would consider the review petitions in their chambers at 3 pm.
Besides these pleas, three separate petitions seeking review of the verdict are also slated to come up for hearing in the open court before a bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph.
The top court had, on October 9, declined an urgent hearing on the review plea filed by an association which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench’s verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.
Later, the court had said that it would consider the review pleas on November 13.
A plea filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), which has sought review of the verdict, had said that “the notion that the judgment under review is revolutionary, one which removes the stigma or the concept of dirt or pollution associated with menstruation, is unfounded. It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse”.
Besides the Association, several other petitions including one by Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict. The NSS had said in the plea that as the deity is a ‘Naistika Brahmachari’, females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females. “Hence, the delay or wait for 40 years to worship cannot be considered as exclusionary and it is an error of law on the face of the judgement,” the plea had said.
What is Kerala government doing?

After mounting tensions over the Sabarimala issue, on November 12, the Kerala government mulled to convene an all-party meeting to discuss various matters relating to the Sabarimala temple, which has been rocked by the issue of entry of women in the menstrual age, ahead of the annual pilgrim season commencing this week.

The Kerala government also strongly opposed a plea by a BJP functionary, seeking to restrain non-Hindus and non-idol worshippers inside the Sabarimala temple, saying the hill shrine was a “secular temple” where devotees of all faiths visit for offering prayers.

(Inputs from Agencies)

Gurugram Shocker! 3-year-old girl, missing from home, found dead; cops suspect rape, murder

Gurugram Shocker! 3-year-old girl, missing from home, found dead; cops suspect rape, murder

A three-year-old girl’s naked body was found on Monday in Sector 66 of Gurugram. The girl had gone missing from her home since Sunday morning.

According to Hindustan Times, the girl’s dead body was found in a room constructed for labourers, and the body was naked making police suspect it as a case of rape and murder. After the body was recovered, people of nearby villages reached the spot and identified the deceased. Police reached the spot and sent the body for post-mortem.

Doctors who conducted her autopsy on Monday afternoon said that the girl was brutally raped and murdered, and they found “10-cm-long wooden stick” inside her private parts, reported Indian Express. Dr. Deepak Mathur, who conducted the post-mortem told the Indian Express, “The cause of death was a head injury and excessive internal bleeding. She has been sexually assaulted. We also found a 10-cm-long wooden stick inside her private parts.”

According to leading daily, the entire incident came to light on Monday around 8.30 am, when a group of labourers discovered the child’s naked body in a vacant room and alerted police. After the cops found the body, they called up her parents and directed them to reach the spot and identify the body.

The 3-year-old girl’s father, who is a labourer, and mother a domestic help discovered the girl was missing on Sunday at 3 pm. “Children playing with her told us that she had gone with the accused, who lured her with a chocolate and a Rs 10 note,” the 3-year-old girl’s father told the Indian Express. After failing to track the girl, the parents approached the police and registered a missing complaint.

The police suspect that a 20-year-old man from the same slum cluster is the prime suspect. According to police, the man, who hails from Uttar Pradesh, had been visiting a relative in the locality for the last one week.

The Police are currently investigating the matter, with the body undergoing a post-mortem and a case reportedly being filed against unknown people under IPC sections 376 (punishment for rape), 302 (punishment for murder) as well section 4 (punishment for penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.

Fuel Price Cut: Fuel prices continue downward march, petrol at Rs 82.94 per litre in Mumbai

Fuel Price Cut: Fuel prices continue downward march, petrol at Rs 82.94 per litre in Mumbai

New Delhi: Petrol and diesel prices continued to witness a decline in the national capital on Tuesday. In Delhi, petrol is being sold at Rs 77.43 per litre after a decrease of 13 paise whereas diesel is available at Rs 72.19 per litre following a decrease of 12 paise.

Meanwhile, in the financial capital Mumbai as well,  petrol and diesel prices have slipped to Rs 82.94 per litre (decrease by Rs 0.13) and Rs 75.64 (decreased by Rs 0.12), respectively. The rates of the fuel across India have been slashing due to the fall in the prices of crude oil. The United States recently softened its stand on Iran’s sanctions and given nod to eight oil countries to continue to import oil from Tehran temporarily. The list includes India, China, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan.

RRB Group D: Admits cards for November 16 exams releasing today, here’s how to download

RRB Group D: Admits cards for November 16 exams releasing today, here’s how to download

Candidates appearing for the RRB Group D November 16 exams should get ready to download their admit cards as Railway Recruitment Board will release the admit cards today. Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) will release RRB Group D Admit cards for November 16 exam on their official website ‘’.

Students should check the official website of RRB for updates. On the admit cards, candidates will get the date of exam, city and centre. The admit cards for November 12 exams were released on the official website of RRB earlier. As per reports, 1.9 crore candidates have applied for RRB Group D Recruitment 2018.

The exams for filling up the posts have begun from September 17. The admit card has been released only for those candidates who applied properly for the exam. It is compulsory for candidates to carry their RRB Group D Admit Card on the day of the examination. Candidates should also carry a valid identity proof and passport size photo.

Once the RRB group D admit cards for November 16 exams have been released, candidates can download it from official website of RRB. Below are the steps explaining how to download the admit cards.

Steps to download RRB Group D admit cards 2018:

Step 1: Visit the official website of RRB — ‘’ Click on ‘recruitment’ tab on the top.

Step 2: A list of various state websites of RRB will appear on a new page. Click on the state from where you are appearing for the exam.

Step 3: Click on the admit card link.

Step 4: Enter your registration number and date of birth.

Step 5: Click login. Your admit card will appear on the page.

Step 6: Your admit card will be displayed, download it and take a print out for further references.

Chhattisgarh elections 2018: Polling begins under tight security for 10 seats in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh elections 2018: Polling begins under tight security for 10 seats in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: Voting began in 10 out of 18 Assembly constituencies in the first phase of Chhattisgarh elections on Monday under a tight security blanket comprising over 1.25 lakh police and paramilitary personnel. In the first phase, 190 candidates are in the fray and as per electoral rolls, there are 31,80,014 voters.

Women voters outnumber men for the first phase of polling, with 16,22,492 female voters on the rolls against 15,57,435 men. There are 87 third gender voters as well. As many as 4,336 polling booths have been set up for the first phase and 19,079 polling personnel have been deployed. “Polling in nine constituencies of Bastar division and one in Rajnandgaon district has begun from 7 am and will conclude at 3 pm, while in the rest of the constituencies the polling time is from 8 am to 5 pm,” a poll official said.

Polling time in 10 constituencies — Mohla-Manpur, Antagarh, Bhanupratappur, Kanker, Keshkal, Kondagaon, Narayanpur, Dantewada, Bijapur and Konta — is from 7 am to 3 pm, due to the Naxal menace. In the remaining eight constituencies — Khairgarh, Dongargarh, Rajnandgaon, Dongargaon, Khujji, Bastar, Jagdalpur and Chitrakot —  it is from 8 am till 5 pm. Among the prominent candidates who will try their electoral luck are Chief Minister Raman Singh, state ministers Kedar Kashyap (Narayanpur) and Mahesh Gagda (Bijpaur), as well as BJPs Kanker Lok Sabha MP Vikram Usendi (Antagarh).

In the first phase, the prestige of nine sitting Congress MLAs -Manoj Singh Mandavi (Bhanupratappur), Mohan Lal Markam (Kondagaon), Lakheshwar Baghel (Bastar), Deepak Kumar Baij (Chitrakot), Devati Karma (Dantewada), Kawasi Lakhma (Konta), Girwar Janghel (Khairagarh), Santram Netam (Keshkal) and Daleshwar Sahu (Dongargaon) is at stake. Of the 18 seats going to polling in the first phase, 12 are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) while one is for Scheduled Caste (SC) category. The second phase of polls will see voting in 72 seats on November 20.

Amit Shah’s name of Persian roots, BJP should rename him: Professor Irfan Habib

Amit Shah’s name of Persian roots, BJP should rename him: Professor Irfan Habib

Aligarh: Noted historian Professor Irfan Habib on Sunday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party should change the name of its president Amit Shah as his surname is of Persian origin. Professor Habib’s statement adds spice to the ongoing political controversy over the renaming spree kicked off by the BJP.

Speaking to ANI, Professor Habib said: “This penchant for changing names is a part of their Hindutva ideology, which clearly says that there will be no Islamic names for cities. Shah is a Persian word. And it is not derived from Sanskrit. They should first change his name before renaming cities.”  Even some of the BJP allies have made similar suggestions. A minister from Uttar Pradesh has been spoken out against renaming, alleging that BJP is diverting attention from the needs of oppressed sections of society.

“They (the BJP) have a national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain, union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Uttar Pradesh minister Mohsin Raza. They should change their names first,” said minister Om Prakash Rajbhar – the chief of SBSP — whose boss, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has changed the names of Allahabad, Faizabad and Mughalsarai over the last weeks.

Talking about the history behind the names of Allahabad and Ahmedabad, the noted historian said, “The city of Ahmedabad was founded by Ahmed Shah of Gujarat. Before that, there was a nearby city called Karnavati.  There is no connection between these two. Similarly, when Akbar constructed a fort, it was called ‘Illahabas’. In both Hindi and Urdu, it became ‘Illahabad’. When the Britishers came (to India), it was called Allahabad. Prayag is a different thing. It denotes the confluence of rivers, which is ‘Sangam’. Changing the name from Allahabad to Prayag is wrong.”

Continuing his tirade against the BJP, Prof Habib underlined that the name changing is an attempt to separate the culture of the minorities.  “You cannot jump from ancient to modern (age) and that too contemporary,’’ says Heramb Chaturvedi, professor of medieval and modern history at the Allahabad University. “You can’t move from 8th Century to 21st Century directly. The interceding centuries have to be taken into account. You have to talk in terms of development of human society,” he added.

PM Narendra Modi reaches Uttarakhand, to pray at Kedarnath shrine

PM Narendra Modi reaches Uttarakhand, to pray at Kedarnath shrine

Dehradun: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Wednesday and left for Kedarnath in a chopper, officials said. The Prime Minister flew into the state capital in a special Indian Air Force (IAF) plane. He was received at the Jolly Grant airport by Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat and other senior officials.

Besides praying at Kedearnath’s Lord Shiva shrine, Modi will also review the reconstruction work of the famous temple which was devastated in the 2013 flash floods that killed thousands. The Prime Minister has taken personal interest in the reconstruction and has visited the shrine twice in the last six months. It has been snowing in the region for the past few days and the road from the VIP helipad to the shrine that had been covered with snow has been cleared.

Modi is also scheduled to watch a video presentation prepared by the state government officials on the reconstruction work of the guest house near the shrine. According to reports reaching here, the Prime Minister might visit Harshil where he will spend Diwali with Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troopers. On Tuesday, Army chief Bipin Rawat visited Harshil and reviewed the preparedness of the troopers.