Monday September 24, 2018
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Royal welcome for Indian diaspora at UP Pravasi Diwas

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Agra: Around 250-odd members of the Indian diaspora received a warm welcome by the Uttar Pradesh government in the Taj city on Monday as the maiden ‘UP Pravasi Diwas’ took off to an impressive start.

Addressing the NRIs and PIOs, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the meet was a beginning of a never-ending dialogue between them and the state government assured them of all help.

He said that the whole idea behind the UP Pravasi Diwas was to reconnect the diaspora with their roots in the state and work on a common and meaningful dialogue of development of the state. “I am overjoyed to see such large number of NRIs here and must admit that the gathering has exceeded my expectation,” he added.

Announcing that the event would now be an annual affair, Akhilesh Yadav said that only the venues will change and would rotate among the major cities of the state. “We are here not only to welcome you in the Taj city but also to make you partners as the state endeavours to get its rightful place in the country,” he added to a round of applause.

Earlier, Prisons Minister Balwant Singh Ramuwalia, who coordinated the NRI Diwas, heaped praise on Akhilesh Yadav, saying that it was for the first time that a Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh had thought about the descendants of people who lived in the state many centuries ago.

Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan detailed on various infrastructure and development projects undertaken by the state government and said that the state was undergoing a never before turnaround.

Later 16 eminent people with roots in Uttar Pradesh and now living abroad were given the ‘UP Ratna’ awards by the chief minister and his wife, Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav while 13 MoUs were also signed at the event. Also, present during the event, among others, were members of Bollywood that included film directors Sudhir Mishra, Muzaffar Ali, veteran actor Sanjay Khan and Zayed Khan.

Over the next two days, the NRIs and state ministers and officials would interact in order to have a composite dialogue on how and in which sectors, investment can be explored, said Principal Secretary (NRI) Sanjeev Saran.(IANS)

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Social Media in India: Understanding The Dynamics of ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’

Social media, a double-edged sword, is an evolving forum of communication in the internet media

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Facebook one of the most popular apps in US. Pixabay
Facebook needs to fix itself. Pixabay

Social media is a strange place that connects millions of people worldwide. It is a platform that keeps people engaged in several trending issues. However, the point of concern being, how do they react? This makes social media a double-edged sword.

Let’s take an example. Once, a photo of a young schoolboy from a poor family went viral. The boy was sitting outside a Noida metro station, trying to earn money through a weighing scale and studying at the same time. He caught the attention of one of the commuters. A picture was taken and uploaded on Facebook. The picture went viral. Now, there were several people who came forward to help. One of them was the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav, who promised to ensure full opportunity for them to study without having to work.

ALSO READ: Social Media: Here is how it is creating Lifestyle pressure on Youth!

social media
Twitter, the microblogging site has 23.2 million Monthly Active Users in India, which is 2nd largest in Asia-Pacific after Japan with 26 million MUAs. Pixabay

This was one example or the so-called ‘positive side’ of social media. Now let’s turn the page and look at the other side of the road. Here the ‘other-type’ instances on social media:

  • In 2012, morphed pictures and videos of earthquake victims went viral. The morphed images were aimed to show that these were Muslim victims of civil riots in Assam and Burma. This was done to provoke riots by vested interests.
  • There were instances of hate and revenge messages being spread against Hindu migrants living in South India. This resulted in a mass exodus of people from the North East.
  • At an individual level, there are many examples where when a relationship went sour, one of the partners uploaded intimate pictures, videos or information, in revenge against their former partner.
  • Another point of concern is the easy access to all types of porn by minors. This is resulting in rapidly changing social behaviour and redefining morality.

The major problem being stated is that the society as a larger whole is unable to keep pace and social media is, hence, increasing the gap between older and younger generations rather than bringing them closer.

social media
There are over 30 Million LinkedIn Users in India, while 467 million users globally. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Teenagers using Social Media more likely to suffer sleep deprivations: Study

Should there be government intervention in the use of social media?

India is witnessing increasing internet and mobile penetration. With first-time users onto these platforms, the risk of mass hysteria or communal reactions increases. It is imperative for the government to get together all stakeholders of civil society and try and address the issue of balancing media freedom with media regulation.

Putting regulations or any type of curbs on the internet will be a sensitive subject in any type of free society and of course, it will result in certain opposition. However, what we need to understand is, each society is different. Therefore, every society has to develop its own mechanism to address the negative consequences of social media.

social media
There are 16 Million Instagram users in India. Pixabay

For example, the Indian government had blocked internet services in the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the period of eid in 2015. It was a preventive measure. However, despite the ban, there were clashes with the police and violence. The point of concern being, the situation could have been much worse had the internet and social media been accessible.

With the world getting increasingly connected through the web and India on the cusp of a ‘Digital’ revolution, the government must take up establishing clear cybersecurity laws and cyber management policies on an urgent basis. Social media could work as a development catalyst or could become a national threat.