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Punjab Government announces special Rs 50-Lakh Grants for Martyrs’ widows and kin

The grant will be payable in three half-yearly instalments of Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 15 lakh

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October 13, 2016: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday announced special grants-in-aid of Rs 50 lakh each to war widows or other legal heirs of defence force personnel who died in the wars with China and Pakistan in 1962, 1965 and 1971.

The announcement comes after many families of martyrs refused to end their agitation over the demand for 10 acres of land each from the Punjab government. Families who failed to get the land demanded they be given land or compensation at the present collector rate.

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“The grant is a major goodwill gesture and an expression of honour and gratitude to the valiant soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan wars and the 1962 India-China war,” a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office here said.

The grant will be payable in three half-yearly instalments of Rs 20 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 15 lakh.

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Under the state government policy, families of such defence personnel were entitled to 10 acres or cash compensation.

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“The policy had been announced way back in 1975 and over 1,500 war widows who applied in time were allotted up to 10 acres of rural agricultural land or cash. However, there were nearly 100 cases in which the applicants, for one reason or the other, failed to apply before the cut-off date. Intended beneficiaries in such cases applied by the extended cut-off date of January 4, 2010,” the spokesperson said.

The Punjab government recently decided to give cash compensation but it was rejected by the families since the amount was calculated at the rates prevalent in the mid-1970s. It came to around Rs 20 lakh per family.

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The residual agricultural land available for allotment is either locked up in litigation or in unauthorised possession, which rendered it practically impossible for the war widow allottees to take possession of.

Keeping in view the demands of the war widows and their representatives, the state government had decided to honour the remaining duly verified and deserving cases of war widows with the cash grant,” the spokesperson said. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?