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New Delhi: The appointment controversy of Mahesh Rangarajan, director of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), took a new turn with the culture ministry accepting his resignation on Thursday
Speaking to reporters here, union Culture minister Mahesh Sharma said the executive council of NMML has accepted Rangarajan’s resignation.
“The resignation of Mahesh Rangarajan dated September 16 has been accepted by the executive council of the NMML. Although he offered his resignation two days ago, the council gave him time to rethink,” the minister said.
Denying any pressure on Rangarajan to resign, the minister said it was his personal choice.
“I have no problems with him. There was no pressure from any quarters for him to resign. It is his personal choice,” the minister said.
Rangarajan’s resignation came in the wake of Sharma last week terming his appointment as “illegal and unethical”.
Meanwhile, the Congress said Rangarajan’s resignation as director of NMML was an outcome of pressure from the RSS.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the council of NMML had lauded work done by Rangarajan.
Singhvi said there was a plan to remove Rangarajan and there was unbearable pressure from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, “which is the biggest remote control on the government”.
Rangarajan offered to resign on Monday citing personal reasons.
However, the executive council did not accept his resignation. Reiterating the charges, the minister said the appointment was done violating the code of conduct of the Election Commission in May last year.
“There are certain irregularities in the appointment. The appointment was made despite the EC’s order to the culture ministry on May 12, 2014, asking it to stop the appointment of Rangarajan,” the minister said, adding that the UPA had violated rules on absorbing him permanently for the post.
Rangarajan’s appointment was approved by the erstwhile UPA government on May 14, two days after the last day of polling – when the EC’s Model Code of Conduct ceased to be operational.
The minister added that Rangarajan took charge as director on May 19, 2014.
“Lot of questions were raised at the time and the mode of his appointment,” he said.
On questions of why it took a year to look into the irregularities of the appointment, the minister said that the ministry started inquiring after getting information through an anonymous informer three months ago.
“Three months ago, we got the information through an anonymous source. That’s when we started looking seriously into the matter,” he said.
Rubbishing allegations of “saffronisation of NMML” by the Congress and a section of historians, the minister said the proposal of revamping of NMML was initiated by the UPA government and his ministry is only taking it forward.
“The idea of revamping NMML was mooted by the previous Congress government. We are only carrying it forward. We have earmarked Rs.10 crore for the upgradation process,” said Sharma.
The minister said there could be inquiry into Rangarajan’s appointment.
“It is not his fault. But I am not ruling out probe if there is irregularities involved,” said Sharma.
The minister also said the process of searching and appointing a new director of NMML will begin soon.
With the festive season on in full swing, iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture. Through its one-of-a-kind campaign #RevibeTheNight, the brand brings together beloved music artists like Divine, Ritviz, Lisa Mishra, Taba Chake along with popular indie bands like When Chai Met Toast and Mad Boy Mink, among others to perform live across iconic community spaces in India.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. The brand's goal is drive social regeneration in India and bring back the vibe of socializing through local music artists and reignite the trade, driving social culture by executing the live events with Covid measures in place and a limited capacity audience capacity.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. | Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Unsplash
Prior to the world going into lockdown, the after-hour culture in India bloomed at celebrated community hubs, that eventually became a safe-haven for individuals, a place where they found their sense of self-expression and belonging, that fuelled progress. This community was driven through the culture of live music and enthralling performances that created their very own vibe, a vibe that built extraordinary, forever-lasting relationships. Through #ReVibeTheNight, one can reconnect with this community bringing music curated by artists who have a history of captivating crowds with their one-of-a-kind live experiences. Catch the gigs and live performances for artists in these venues/cities for the live performances.
(Artiicle originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: johnnie walker, social, #revibethenight, performances, community, artists, culture, festivity, begin
By Nikhila Natarajan
In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.
"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.
"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."
The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
The study was conducted by Ferenc Huszar (Twitter, University of Cambridge), Sofia Ira Ktena (now at DeepMind Technologies), Conor O'Brien (Twitter), Luca Belli (Twitter), Andrew Schlaikjer (Twitter), and Moritz Hardt (UC Berkeley).
The questions probed were:
How much algorithmic amplification does political content from elected officials receive in Twitter's algorithmically ranked Home timeline versus in the reverse chronological timeline? Does this amplification vary across political parties or within a political party?
Are some types of political groups algorithmically amplified more than others? Are these trends consistent across countries?
Are some news outlets amplified more by algorithms than others? Does news media algorithmic amplification favour one side of the political spectrum more than the other?
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: algorithmically, timeline, algorithmic, tweets, political, survey, twitter, study, germany, skew
Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".
Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.
"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.
"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: cowin, covid, india, people, Rohit bansal, Sonu kumar, vaccine, snapdeal, registrations