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IFFM brings diverse, inclusive Indian cinema to Australia.

Diversity and inclusion, which have taken centrestage in talks surrounding the global entertainment industry, are being represented prominently in the line-up of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2018, which gets underway here on Friday.

With Tabrez Noorani’s “Love Sonia” — on the issue of sex trafficking — as the opening film, the ninth edition of the gala will also screen the box office hit “Sanju”, the issue-based and sensitive “Hichki”, as well as widely acclaimed films like “Village Rockstars”, “Nude”, “Balekempa” and “Gali Guleiyan”.

Australia is a key foreign market for Indian cinema, given that Indiansmake one of the largest migrant community in the country.

Even the non-diaspora population is taking a growing interest in what Indian movies have to offer, says IFFM Director Mitu Bhowmick Lange.

One of the movies that will be featured is, Rani Mukherjee’s ‘Hichki’. Flickr

Inclusion is the theme of the film festival, where a cohesive mix of commercial Hindi films, regional movies and indie dramas will be screened till August 22 here.

Lange told IANS: “Inclusion is an all-encompassing, wonderful theme which touches upon all — disabled, gender, sexuality or race. There has been a lot of positive awareness.

“I feel that probably our Indian entertainment industry is the most inclusive industry where your educational background, your caste, creed, race doesn’t really matter as long as you get the work done.”

Still, she feels the global showbiz world has a long way to go as far as being inclusive of the differently abled is concerned. As part of the fest, Rani Mukerji-starrer “Hichki” — a film about a woman with Tourette’s Syndrome — will be shown.

The actress will be feted by the Victorian Government, which has been supporting the festival since its third edition.

“The government has embraced the festival. It’s a very tight partnership and that’s the Victorian government’s way of engaging with India — of showing how important India is to Australia and to the Victorian government,” Lange said.

Directed by Raj Kumar Hirani, will be present during the screening. Flickr

Government officials will also be present at the Federation Square here on August 11, when Rani will hoist the Indian flag ahead of the Independence Day.

Some of the other celebrities who will be a part of the fest include Rajkumar Hirani, Vicky Kaushal, Simi Garewal, Nikhhil Advani, Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal, Dhanush, Manoj Bajpayee, Malaika Arora, Freida Pinto and Sachin-Jigar.

Advani is a jury member, and is visiting the fest for the third time.

“To see Indian films being celebrated and being recognised majorly in the land Down Under for me as a filmmaker is very rewarding,” Advani said.

For Vicky, it’s his maiden time in Melbourne and he is looking forward to interacting with cinema lovers here.

Composers Sachin-Jigar will perform the opening act at the awards night of the fest — where “Padmaavat” and “Sanju” are leading the nomination pack — on August 12. They are excited as it’s the first time they will perform in Australia.

Also Read: Kuala Lumpur To Host The Premiere of ‘Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical’

“We will be performing in two sets. The first will comprise our hit songs, and the second will be about patriotic numbers,” the composers behind the tunes of “Gold”, told IANS.

One day will be dedicated to panel discussions, while Simi will do a special tribute to late actor Shashi Kapoor, with whom she featured in the 1972 film “Siddhartha”. The film will be shown too. (IANS)



In the Indian atomic energy sector, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Officials of the Indian space sector, both serving and retired, are of the view that the space sector's organisational structure is expected to mirror that of India's atomic energy sector.

They also said that senior officials of the Indian space agency should address the employees on what is happening in the sector and how it will pan out so that uncertainty and confusion are addressed.

In the Indian atomic energy sector, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is at the top, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) is the sectoral regulator while the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (both power companies), the Uranium Corporation of India Ltd, the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd, and IREL (India) Ltd are public sector units (PSU).

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The Bhabha Atomic Energy Centre (BARC), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) are the premier research and development (R&D) organizations and there are several DAE-aided organizations.

While the DAE is headed by a Secretary (normally from the R&D units) who is also the head of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the R&D centres and PSUs are headed by different persons.

Similarly, the government that has started the space sector reforms seems to be replicating the atomic energy model, several officials told IANS.

"The Central government's moves in the space sector seems to replicate the atomic energy model," an official told IANS.

Currently, the Department of Space (DOS) is at the top and below that, comes the private sector space regulator Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with various R&D-cum-production (rockets, satellites and others) units.

The sector has two PSUs - Antrix Corporation Ltd and NewSpace India Ltd.

Unlike the atomic energy sector, the Secretary of the DOS and Chairman of the Space Commission is also the Chairman of the ISRO.

As part of the space sector reform measures, the government has set up IN-SPACe as a regulator for the private sector players.

"Ultimately there will be only one sectoral regulator. There cannot be two regulators - one for the private sector and other for the public sector. Who will be the regulator if there is a company that is floated in public-private partnership," an official asked.

"It is good that there is a separate sectoral regulator outside of the DOS and the ISRO," an official said.

The recently-formed PSU NewSpace India has been mandated to build, own satellites, rockets and also provide space based services and transfer ISRO-developed technologies to others.

ISRO Chairman and Secretary DOS K.Sivan has been saying that ISRO will focus on high end research.

As a result, the positions of Secretary, DOS and Chairman, ISRO may not be held by the same person.

"Looking forward, there are possibilities of the government coming out with a voluntary retirement scheme for ISRO officials and merging its various production centres with NewSpace to synergise its operations," a former senior official of ISRO told IANS.

"But there is one issue in this proposition. For ISRO, the production centres are also its R&D centre. Both production and R&D are interwoven. One has to see how both will be separated to be housed under ISRO and NewSpace India."

Meanwhile, the minds of ISRO officials are filled with uncertainty and confusion about their future which is linked to that of their organization.

ISRO Staff Association General Secretary G.R.Pramod had told IANS that there is "uncertainty all around about the future of about 17,300 employees of ISRO".

"The ISRO top management that includes the Chairman and the Heads of various centres should come out openly and address the employee concerns at the earliest," an official added.

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The micro-blogging platform already covers explicit instances of abusive behaviour

Twitter has announced to ban sharing of private media, such as photos and videos, without permission from the individuals that are shown in those images.

The micro-blogging platform already covers explicit instances of abusive behaviour under its policies, the expansion of the policy will allow the platform to take action on media that is shared without any explicit abusive content, provided it's posted without the consent of the person depicted.

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"Sharing personal media, such as images or videos, can potentially violate a person's privacy, and may lead to emotional or physical harm," Twitter said in a blog post late on Tuesday.

"The misuse of private media can affect everyone, but can have a disproportionate effect on women, activists, dissidents, and members of minority communities. When we receive a report that a Tweet contains unauthorised private media, we will now take action in line with our range of enforcement options," the company informed.

Under the existing policy, publishing other people's private information, such as phone numbers, addresses, and IDs, is already not allowed on Twitter.

This includes threatening to expose private information or incentivising others to do so.

"There are growing concerns about the misuse of media and information that is not available elsewhere online as a tool to harass, intimidate, and reveal the identities of individuals," Twitter said.

When Twitter is notified by individuals depicted, or by an authorised representative, that they did not consent to having their private image or video shared, it removes it.

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India's IT spending is expected to reach $101.8 billion in 2022, up 7% from the previous year.

Driven by a surge in digital transformation owing to the pandemic, the IT spending in India is forecast to total $101.8 billion in 2022, an increase of 7 per cent from 2021, global market research firm Gartner said on Wednesday.

In 2022, all segments of IT spending in India are expected to grow, with software emerging as the highest growing segment.

Spending on software is forecast to total $10.5 billion in 2022, up 14.4 per cent from 2021.

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While experiencing a slower growth rate than 2021, spending on software in 2022 is forecast to be nearly double of what it was pre-pandemic.

"India has experienced one of the fastest recoveries despite being one of the worst hit regions in the second wave of the pandemic in early 2021," said Arup Roy, research vice president at Gartner.

As hybrid work adoption increases in the country, there will be an uptick in spending on devices in 2022, reaching $44 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent from 2021.

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