Tuesday March 19, 2019
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India Defends Its Development Assistance To Afghanistan After Trump’s Jab

Although India provides economic aid to Kabul, it has been more measured in giving military assistance

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Narendra Modi, India, election
Elaborate preparations for PM's election rally. VOA

India is defending its development assistance to Afghanistan after comments by U.S. President Donald Trump in which he mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for funding a library in the war torn country suggesting it is of no use.

Indian officials said New Delhi has been implementing a range of mega infrastructure projects that would go a long way in stabilizing the country and believes in the critical role that such assistance can play in transforming human lives.

India’s comments were attributed to official sources and widely circulated to domestic media. They came a day after a news appearance by Trump at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, in which he said he got along with Modi, but he was “constantly telling me that he built a library in Afghanistan.”

India And USA, India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugs President Donald Trump as Modi departs the White House, June 26, 2017. VOA

“You know what that is? That’s like five hours of what we spend,” Trump said. “And we’re supposed to say, Oh, thank you for the library.’ I don’t know who’s using it in Afghanistan,” Trump said.

Indian officials said while small libraries may have been built as part of community development projects undertaken in areas such as education and health, most of its investments in Afghanistan were on big infrastructure projects such as a more than 200 kilometer road, a dam for irrigation, and training programs for hundreds of Afghans in India.

India has provided $3 billion in assistance to Afghanistan and is the largest donor in the region to the war-torn country.

In a tweet, the general secretary of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, Ram Madhav, also reacted to Trump’s comment saying India is building lives.

Modi. BJP
Modi inaugurates eight projects in Manipur. VOA

“Trump should know that while he is decrying every other help in (Afghanistan), India has been building not only libraries, but roads, dams, schools and even Parliament building,” he said.

In an apparent response to Trump calling on India, Russia, Pakistan and other neighboring countries to take responsibility for Afghanistan’s security, Indian officials said their country does not send its armed forces abroad, except under the specific mandate of U.N. Peacekeeping Operations.

Also Read: US Military to Withdraw 7,000 Troops From Afghanistan

Although India provides economic aid to Kabul, it has been more measured in giving military assistance, wary that Pakistan has resisted a greater role for India in Afghanistan. (VOA)

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WhatsApp and NASSCOM To Come Up With Digital Literacy Training To Curb Fake News

"This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,"

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The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges. Pixabay

As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.

The co-created curriculum, which includes real-world anecdote tools that can be used to verify a forwarded message and actions that users can take like reporting problematic content to fact checkers and other law enforcement agencies, will be disseminated in multiple regional languages.

“We are excited to expand our partnerships with civil society to advance crucial digital literacy skills that can help combat misinformation share on WhatsApp,” Abhijit Bose, Head of India, WhatsApp, said in a statement.

“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added.

The training will be imparted by volunteers from NASSCOM Foundation who will launch the “each one teach three” campaign that mandates every volunteer to share their learnings with three more persons leading to a network effect.

These volunteers will post their takeaways from the workshops on their social media handles to increase the reach of these safety messages.

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As part of the partnership, WhatsApp and NASSCOM Foundation will train nearly 1,00,000 Indians to spot false information and provide tips and tricks to stay safe on WhatsApp.
Pixabay

The first training will be on March 27 in Delhi and will be followed by more planned interventions like hosting training workshops for representatives from rural and urban areas along with roadshows across numerous colleges.

“The use of technology platforms like WhatsApp are inherently meant to foster social good, harmony, and collaboration, but are sadly being used by a small number of miscreants to entice anger and hatred by spreading false and doctored information,” Ashok Pamidi, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation, said.

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“This training educates people throughout India to be mindful of the messages they receive and to verify the facts before forwarding,” he added. Pixabay

Also Read: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Claims, Cabinet Has Given Nod to Reform Gun Law

“I would like to urge all the connected citizens who want to join this fight against the spread of fake information, to come and help volunteer towards the cause,” Pamidi added.

Aspiring volunteers can register at www.mykartavya.nasscomfoundation.org

NASSCOM Foundation is the social arm of the industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). (IANS)