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2 Chinese Tourists visit some of the “strategically important” Locations in Arunachal Pradesh on Wrong Documents

Citizen of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign national of Pakistani origin shall not be issued a special permit without the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs"

Tawang monastery, Arunachal Pradesh. Flickr

Guwahati, November 3, 2016: In a case of administrative goof-up, two Chinese nationals visited some of the “strategically important” locations in Arunachal Pradesh on Protected Area Permit (PAP) issued instead of the Restricted Area Permit (RAP).

The incident came to light about three weeks after expiration of the PAP, which was recovered only recently from Bomdila in the frontier state that shares international border with China, Bhutan and Myanmar.

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“On August 30, PAP was issued to two Chinese nationals from Hongkong — Young James John and Wu Chong Shong. They wanted the PAP to enter Tawang, West Kameng and Lower Subansiri districts for 30 days from September 12 to October 11,” said an official at the Deputy Resident Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh in Guwahati on Thursday.

“The problem is that the citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan require RAP to be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The application for the PAP was recommended to our office by the Resident Tourism Officer of the government of Arunachal Pradesh. The concerned officer here must have overlooked the issue of Chinese citizenship of the two tourists and issued the PAP instead of RAP,” he said.

“The two PAPs to the Chinese nationals were issued against tourist visa,” he added.

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“I have come to know about the incident and I shall submit a report to the government soon,” he said, adding that the government was yet to order a probe into the incident.

Although there was no record whether the two Chinese nationals from Hongkong visited the frontier state or not, recovery of a copy of the PAP from Bomdila indicates that they must have visited the places.

Tawang and West Kameng are heavily militarised zones and are of strategic importance to India, considering the security concern of the country and China’s claim over Tawang as their territory.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, in order to facilitate tourist inflow to the frontier state, in 2015 delegated powers to Secretary Tourism, the government of Arunachal Pradesh, Resident Commissioner Delhi, and to the Deputy Resident Commissioners at Kolkata and Guwahati to issue PAP to normal foreign tourists to enter Arunachal Pradesh.

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However, the MHA in its guideline for PAP order 1958 Section 3(ii), clearly said, “Citizen of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign national of Pakistani origin shall not be issued a special permit without the prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

It instructed that issuing authority should exercise utmost caution and thoroughly check the records, negative lists and other restrictive circular etc. before granting a special permit to a foreigner. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?