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Black money stalemate: If Modi government gives the promised Rs 15 lakhs, what’d you do?

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PM Modi

By Shilpika Srivastava

Last year’s Lok Sabha election campaigns had witnessed amazing election promises made by various political parties and politicians. On one hand, Andhra Pradesh based Lok Satta Party promised to nationalize the sale of liquor, while MDMK, a BJP ally in Tamil Nadu, guaranteed to rename the country as “United States of India” to put emphasis on the federal structure. However, amid all the unique and weird promises, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ignited a hope in the hearts of 1.252 billion of Indians by promising Rs 15 lakhs to be transferred in their bank accounts by recovering black money within 100 days.

The 100 days swiftly passed away and Pradhan Mantriji even travelled abroad on janta’s hard-earned money. Soon, Bhartiya Janta Party president Amit Shah declared Modi’s promise as a chunavi jumla (idiomatic expression).

As Sheldon Cooper, a character from famous American sitcom Big Bang Theory, says, “Once again, you’ve fallen for one of my classic pranks. BAZINGA,” similarly, Modi tricked billions of Indians by his empty promises.

Gradually, the moment of truth struck the blind followers who ended up trolling Modi heavily on social media channels. Prime Minister received major heartburns when the followers asked him directly ‘Where is my Rs 15 lakhs?’ on Twitter.

While the followers are still hoping for the ‘best,’ NewsGram asked people what will they do if they get 15 lakhs in their bank accounts as promised by our very own Modiji.

Rohan, who was on a shopping spree in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, told us, “I would keep those 15 lakhs with myself and would buy a house.”

Mohammad Iqbal, a tailor, said that he will invest it in a business and will open a clothing shop. “I will expand my business and would also increase the wages of my employees,” he added.

Mohammed Iqbal would like to start his own business.
Mohammed Iqbal would like to start his own business.

On the other hand, Zakir, a shoe shop salesman, has lost all the hopes that Narendra Modi will even fulfill his election promise. “Let the money come first. I see no hope of Rs 15 lakhs coming in our accounts,” told Zakir.

Zakir doesn't believe that black money is going to come back.
Zakir doesn’t believe that black money is going to come back.

In the world of greed and insatiability, there are still a few people who want to contribute towards the improvement of the Indian society.“I want to do something for senior citizens. I will open an old-age home once I get the money,” told Ramesh Pradhan, a second-hand bookstore owner in Lajpat Nagar, to NewsGram.

Ramesh Pradhan has more charitable concerns on his mind.
Ramesh Pradhan has more charitable concerns on his mind.

Indeed, there were few who found the promise humorous. “I will quit work and spend my lifetime with those Rs 15 lakhs,” laughingly told Janardan, a rickshaw-puller.

Janardan wants to live an easy life if he gets the money.
Janardan wants to live an easy life if he gets the money.

Well, we can still digest the fact that Modi’s ’Rs 15-lakh promise’ is a chunavi jumla, but what about crores of black money stashed away in foreign banks? Where are those Acche Din (good days) that you promised, Mr. PM?

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Finance Minister’s Announcements Will Boost MSMEs: PM Modi

Modi praised the announcements made by the Finance Minister in a tweet

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Prime Minister
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to appreciate the announcements made by the Finance Minister. Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hailed the announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to aid the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), which have taken a beating during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Modi tweeted, “Today’s announcements by FM @nsitharaman will go a long way in addressing issues faced by businesses, especially MSMEs. The steps announced will boost liquidity, empower the entrepreneurs and strengthen their competitive spirit.

He also used the hashtag ‘Atma-nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, which is a reference to self-reliant India, something which he vowed to turn the country into during his televised address to the nation on Tuesday night.

TV, LED panels, Finance Minister, India, import duty
Sitharaman announced to widen the definition of MSMEs and raise the investment limit on Wednesday. Wikimedia Commons

Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, Sitharaman announced to widen the definition of MSMEs and raise the investment limit. Another criteria, turnover of the company, has also been added to the required norms for classification of MSMEs.

Read More: Bars, Guest Houses Allowed to Open in Lockdown 4, Urges Goa Minister

Sitharaman also announced a collateral-free automatic loan for MSMEs of up to Rs 3 lakh crore, among other liquidity measures.

In a move to provide more scope for Indian companies, including MSMEs, the Centre has decided to disallow global firms from participating in government procurement tenders up to Rs 200 crore.

These were part of a multi-pronged approach of the government to rejuvenate the sector which has been badly hit by the suspension of economic activities in the country in the wake of the nationwide lockdown which is place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. (IANS)

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Twitter Launches New Gratitude Emoji in India

The new gratitude emoji that can be triggered with '#thankful', #gratitude' ,etc

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twitter
Twitter India has launched a gratitude emoji. Pixabay

Micro-blogging platform Twitter India on Wednesday launched a new gratitude emoji that can be triggered with ‘#thankful’, #gratitude’ and other variations of the words.

Since March 15, there have been over 250 million tweets worldwide expressing gratitude and thanks – a 26 per cent increase from February’s average.

“Who do we see people expressing that gratitude for? The most common word is ‘everyone’. Everyone who is an essential worker. Everyone who has helped. Everyone in healthcare. Everyone who has reached out. Everyone,” the company tweeted.

cell-phone
“To give you another way to show your gratitude, we’ve created an emoji that will appear when you use #thankful or other hashtags for #gratitude (in various languages),”, the company tweeted. Pixabay

Read More: Don’t Let Lockdown Diminish The Spirit of World Cocktail day

“To give you another way to show your gratitude, we’ve created an emoji that will appear when you use #thankful or other hashtags for #gratitude (in various languages),” it added.

Earlier in April, on WorldHealthDay, Twitter had also sent out a token of appreciation for healthcare workers by tweeting with ‘clap’.

The platform recently onboarded the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (@MoHFW_INDIA) to Twitter Seva to help Indians with a speedy resolution to their health-related queries. (IANS)

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Our Work Has Become More Critical Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: Twitter India

The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content

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Twitter
Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. Pixabay

As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India.

The power of a uniquely open service during a public health emergency is crystal clear, says Mahima Kaul, Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia at Twitter, adding that they are continuing to review the rules in the context of COVID-19 and considering ways in which they may need to evolve to account for new behaviours.

Since introducing its updated policies on March 18, Twitter has removed more than 2,400 tweets containing misleading and potentially harmful content. “Our automated systems have challenged more than 3.4 million accounts targeting manipulative discussions around COVID-19. We will continue to use both technology and our teams to help us identify and stop spammy behaviour and accounts,” Kaul told IANS.

Twitter has received positive response to its efforts in curbing COVID-19 related fake news and misinformation in India. The efforts include an events page dedicated to COVID-19 information called “Coronavirus Tweets from Indian authorities”, which is essentially a timeline of tweets from verified Indian officials and bodies such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi), Health Minister Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan), the official Citizen Engagement Platform of the Government of Indian (@mygovindia, Press Information Bureau (@PIB_India) and other state and Central ministers, as well as public health agencies.

“Every account holder in India can see this page on the top of their home timeline. If someone has their settings set to Hindi, then they will see the same page with Hindi Tweets. The timeline also lets people track developments around the latest social distancing and healthcare information,” informed Kaul. The platform recently onboarded the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (@MoHFW_INDIA) to Twitter Seva to help Indians with a speedy resolution to their health-related queries.

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“This public service is allowing the Ministry to communicate effectively and at scale with the public, especially in crisis situations like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The dedicated account @CovidIndiaSeva establishes a direct channel between the Government and citizens to provide access to authoritative health and public information,” Kaul elaborated.

She said that Twitter India is regularly working with trusted partners, including public health authorities, researchers, NGOs, and governments to keep improving its fight against COVID-19. “To tackle misinformation related to COVID-19, we have broadened our definition of harm and expanded our safety rules to address content that goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources with the intent to influence people into acting against recommended guidance,” said Kaul.

Twitter
As disinformation related to COVID-19 is spreading faster than the virus itself, micro -blogging platform Twitter feels that its work has never been more critical and its service has never been in higher demand than ever before globally, including in India. Pixabay

The company has also increased its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on potentially abusive and manipulative content. “Additionally, we’re continuing to review and require the removal of Tweets that do not follow the Twitter Rules – half of which we catch before they’re ever reported to us. We continue to remain vigilant,” Kaul added.

Twitter is releasing a new endpoint into Twitter Developer Labs to enable approved developers and researchers to study the public conversation about COVID-19 in real-time. Tweets by people on the service will be made available to researchers and developers for free. According to Kaul, the data will help research the spread of the disease, understand the spread of misinformation, crisis management, emergency response, and communication within communities.

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“As we’ve said on many occasions, our approach to protecting the public conversation is never static. That’s particularly relevant in these unprecedented times. We intend to review our thinking daily and will ensure we’re sharing updates on any new clarifications to our rules or major changes to how we’re enforcing them,” Kaul told IANS. (IANS)