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Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party Leader Jayawantiben Mehta Passes Away at 78

The last rites are scheduled on Monday evening at Shivaji Park crematorium

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Jayawantiben Mehta. Youtube
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November 7, 2016: Jayawantiben Mehta, senior most Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Maharashtra and a former Union Minister, passed away early on Monday at her residence following a brief illness. She was 78.

Considered a pillar of the party’s ‘old guard’, she had served as a minister in the first NDA government headed by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

 A housewife-turned-politician who also served as BJP National Vice President, Mehta breathed her last around 1.30 a.m. on Monday. The last rites are scheduled on Monday evening at Shivaji Park crematorium, said a party official.

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Around six years ago, she had penned and released her multi-lingual autobiography, ‘Marching With Time’, detailing her life’s journey from a middle-class home-maker to a lawmaker – her career spanning as a municipal corporator to legislator to parliamentarian and then a union minister.

Top leaders from across the political spectrum on Monday expressed grief over the demise of Mehta, who was a prominent leader of the Gujarati community in Mumbai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences: “Saddened by the passing away of Jayawantiben Mehta. We remember her rich contribution to the nation. Condolences to her family.”

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Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, who was her former colleague in the union cabinet, described Mehta as “a good orator and a committed social worker gifted with boundless energy”.

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“She maintained her contact with the people, helped various social organizations, made immense contribution to the development of the state, especially her constituency of Mumbai South,” Rao said in a tribute.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was saddened to learn of the passing of the party’s “maternal figure” who was always sensitive to public issues and contributed immensely in different fields, and inspired lakhs of party activists.

BJP Vice-President Vinay Sahasrabuddhe called her “a stormy petrel of Jan Sangh and later the BJP, and a rare leader with affectionate motherly approach”.

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Recalling her services, state BJP President Raosaheb Danve said she handled effectively any responsibility assigned to her both in the party and government as the occasion demanded.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said he felt sad by Mehta’s demise and remembered her as a crusader and a fiery orator.

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and party state spokesperson Nawab Malik mourned Mehta’s death and condoled her family. (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 Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

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?