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Parliamentary Committee to discuss Net Neutrality issue today

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After a long-running debate, the controversial net neutrality issue will be discussed today by a parliamentary committee in a special meeting. The gathering will also be attended by officials from telecom companies like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.

The main agenda of this meeting is to understand the views of telecom company officials on the topic that has been creating uproar for some time. In fact, even a number of MPs had spoken in favor of net neutrality in the Parliament during this year’s budget session.

According to sources, the views of telecom officials on net neutrality are very crucial for the proper understanding of the issue that triggered a storm after a consultation paper floated by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last month suggested that net neutrality could end.

Amid controversies, the issue has united almost all the political parties in India, be it BJP, Trinamool Congress, Shiv Sena or INC. Derek O’Brien from Trinamool Congress had even raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha regarding the subject of Internet equality.

When asked about his plans for today’s meeting, he said, “I am glad that Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari allowed Calling Attention Motion on it (earlier this month). And I am glad that the matter has gone to the next stage.”

He also said that he hopes the government will see ‘some sense’ and not consider the TRAI consultation paper.

The government has made it clear that no decision has been taken on the matter yet, and has also promised to ensure ‘non-discriminatory access to Internet’ to all citizens.

During the parliament session, IT and Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, “Government stands for ensuring non-discriminatory access to internet for all citizens of the country. It is committed to the fundamental principles and concept of net neutrality, keeping the internet accessible and available to all without discrimination.”

While replying to the Calling Attention Motion in Rajya Sabha raised by Derek O’Brien, Prasad said, “Connectivity to internet must go in an unhindered manner. I assure the House that the key principles of net neutrality will be followed while following concerns with a national outlook.”

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How the Internet can help those who self-injure

The study, published in the journal Digital Health, suggested that those who engage in NSSI, the Internet can provide a less threatening and more anonymous information and support network, especially if individuals are not getting support elsewhere.

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The Internet can provide a less threatening and more anonymous information and support network, especially if individuals are not getting support elsewhere. Pixabay

Positive messaging through social media could be a powerful tool to help people overcome non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), a new study has found.

The study, published in the journal Digital Health, suggested that those who engage in NSSI, the Internet can provide a less threatening and more anonymous information and support network, especially if individuals are not getting support elsewhere.

“Self-injury, including cutting and burning, is a serious public health concern around the world,” said lead author Stephen Lewis, Professor at Canada’s University of Guelph.

The researchers also found that while it affects people of all ages, self-injury is more prevalent among people from 14 to 24. Within that age range, up to one in five have engaged in self-injury.

“We know that young people who struggle with self-injury often go online to obtain needed social support,” said Lewis, adding that the stigma surrounding self-injury contributes to a strong sense of isolation.

Internet
Exposure to pessimistic comments about recovery did not increase participants’ sense of hopelessness. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers measured how online comments about self-injury affected the attitudes about recovery in people who have engaged in self-injury.

The team embedded fictional peer comments in a screenshot of an NSSI-themed YouTube video and assessed attitudes about NSSI recovery before and after positive and negative messaging.

While there is growing concern that accessing NSSI content online may hinder recovery, the researcher found that exposure to positive comments improved participants’ attitudes about recovery.

They also found that exposure to pessimistic comments about recovery did not increase participants’ sense of hopelessness.

“NSSI is a complex concern, but many who self-injure experience very painful, intense and difficult emotions that are perceived as extremely difficult to tolerate and control,” Lewis said.

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“To this end, we see that the most common reason given for self-injury is to get relief from these adverse experiences, even if for a moment,” Lewis noted. (IANS)