India GDP Grows 1.6% In Q4, Contracts 7.3% In FY2021

India’s GDP grew by 1.6 per cent in the January to March quarter (Q4 FY21) but contracted by 7.3 per cent in the entire financial year, government data released on Monday showed.

A continuing fall in domestic consumption due to Covid-19 pandemic was behind the sluggish pace.
Real GDP or gross domestic product (GDP) at constant (2011-12) prices in 2020-21 is estimated to attain a level of Rs 135.13 lakh crore as against the first revised estimate of GDP for 2019-20 of Rs 145.69 lakh crore.

“The growth in GDP during 2020-21 is estimated at minus 7.3 per cent as compared to 4 per cent in 2019-20,” said the National Statistical Office (NSO).

“GDP at constant (2011-12) prices in Q4 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 38.96 lakh crore as against Rs 38.33 lakh crore in Q4 of 2019-20, showing a growth of 1.6 per cent.”

GDP is derived as the sum of the gross value added (GVA) at basic prices plus all taxes on products less all subsidies on products. The total tax revenue used for GDP compilation includes non-GST revenue and GST revenue.

“The measures taken by the government to contain spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have had an impact on economic activities as well as on data collection mechanisms,” said a statement issued by the NSO. (ANI)

Intel Warning Against Use Of Chinese Phones By Army Families

We Strive To Comply With Applicable Indian Laws: Twitter

As Twitter faces allegations of not complying with the IT rules in the country, the Twitter spokesperson on Monday informed that the microblogging company “strives to comply” with applicable laws in India.

As per an official statement by the spokesperson, it informed, “As we have stated earlier, Twitter strives to comply with applicable laws in India. We continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the Indian law.”

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to Twitter after a petition was filed against it for alleged non-compliance of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

Twitter Inc told Delhi High Court that it has complied with the new IT Rules and already appointed a Resident Grievance Officer under Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules 2021 on May 28. A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli asked the Centre and Twitter Inc to file a reply on the petition and listed the matter for July 6.

Earlier on Thursday, Twitter had said it was concerned by recent events regarding their employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression.

“Concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and potential threat to freedom of expression for people we serve. We have concerns with regards to intimidation police’s tactics in response to enforcement of global Terms of Service and core elements of the new IT Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson had said.

In response to this, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) on Friday had asked the microblogging company to “stop beating around the bush” and “comply with the laws of the land”.

In a statement on Thursday, MeitY asserted that India had a “glorious tradition of free speech and democratic practices” and Twitter’s statements were an ‘attempt to dictate its terms to the world’s largest democracy.

On May 24, the Delhi Police visited the Twitter India offices after it issued notice to Twitter seeking an explanation on what grounds it tagged BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet on the alleged Congress toolkit designed to target the Central government as ‘manipulated media’.

The Delhi Police Special Cell asked Twitter to explain the rationale and share all the information on how it described the toolkit as manipulated media. (ANI)

Bengal Defies Centre, Refuses To Release Chief Secy

Three days after the Central government had issued an order to recall West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asserted that the state government “can’t release and is not releasing its Chief Secretary at this critical hours” and requested the Prime Minister to withdraw, recall and reconsider the decision and rescind the order.

“I request you “to withdraw, recall, reconsider your decision and rescind the latest so-called order in larger public interest. The Government of West Bengal cannot release, and is not releasing its Chief Secretary at this critical hour, on the basis of our understanding that the earlier order of extension, issued after lawful consultation in accordance with applicable, laws, remains operational and valid. The latest order is also clearly in violation of applicable laws and against public interest: it is in any case ab initio void,” stated the letter written by Mamata to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

She further said, “I must confess that I have been shocked and stunned by-the unilateral

order dated 28th May, 2021 sent to us by the Government of India, asking us to releast Alapan Bandyopadhyay IAS, Chief Secretary, West Bengal, so that he may join the Government of India on 31st May, 2021, the normal date of his superannuation.

She also alleged that the unilateral “order” came without any prior consultation with the Government of West Bengal, ‘without any volition by the officer, without meeting any of the pre- conditions of the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules; 1954 and other applicable laws under reference.

She further alleged that the unilateral directive is legally untenable, historcally unprecedented and wholly unconstitutional.

Banerjee’s letter further said, “Only a few days back, on my request, you had kindly allowed, and the Government of India had issued an order to extend his service for 3 months as Chief Secretary, beyond 31st May, 2021 for the purpose that he could serve.”

The West Bengal Chief Minister said with the state severely affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and further devastated by an extremely severe cyclone, she presumes that the said order granting extension to Alapan Bandyopadhyay as the Chief Secretary of the state, issued after mutual written consultations stands in any case.

“I really and sincerely hope that this, latest order is not related to my meeting with you at Kalaikunda. If that is the reason, it would be sad, unfortunate and would amount a to sacrificing public interest at the altar of misplaced priorities,” read the letter.

“I thus humbly appeal to your conscience and good sense, on behalf of the people of West Bengal and request you to rescind, the latest ‘order’,” the West Bengal Chief Minister requested in her letter to the Prime Minister.

The Central government on Friday issued an order to recall West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay from the State and deputed him to the Department of Personnel and Training, Delhi. Bandyopadhyay has to report to North Block by May 31.

The development took place after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with the state chief secretary skipped the review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting at Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district to take stock of the post-cyclonic situation. Mamata Banerjee was supposed to attained the meeting.

However, she arrived late by 30 minutes and handed him over reports of damage caused by the impact of Cyclone Yaas. Following this, she and the state chief secretary left for her “pre-scheduled” meeting at Digha. (ANI)

Karnataka Sees Spurt In Black Fungus Cases, 39 Dead

A total of 1,250 black fungus (Mucormycosis) cases have been reported in Karnataka so far, informed the state health department.

Of the 1,250 affected patients, 1,193 are still under treatment. While 18 patients have been discharged so far, 39 people have succumbed to the fungus, stated a bulletin released by the health department on Sunday.

Bengaluru Urban Khurda district accounted for the most number of infections with 521 cases. While 508 people are still under treatment in the state capital, 10 people have recovered and 3 patients have died so far.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Sunday said that Union Minister DV Sadananda Gowda held talks with more than eight companies for black fungus medicine.

“About 80,000 vials are in the market. The state has received 8-10 thousand vials so far. There were 1,250 cases of black fungus in the state. 30-35 deaths took place due to the infection. The medicines are being distributed to black fungus infected persons who were admitted to either a government hospital or a private hospital,” the Karnataka Health Minister said. (ANI)

Malaika Recounts Recovery From Covid-19: It Wasn’t Easy

Bollywood diva Malaika Arora, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September 2020, in a new social media post on Monday, opened up and spoke at length about her recovery experience from the deadly virus, saying it was “not easy”.

The 47-year-old star took to her Instagram handle and shared a collage of pictures of her toned body. She revealed in the caption that the virus ‘broke’ her physically and that even basic movements like walking felt like a herculean task.
Malaika, who is a known fitness enthusiast, revealed that by virtue of her reputation, people assumed it must have been easy for her to recover.

She wrote, “You’re so lucky”, “It must have been so easy” is something I hear regularly. Well yes, I am grateful for a lot of things in my life. But luck played a very small role in it. And easy!? Boy! That, it was not. I tested positive on the 5th of September and it was really bad. Anyone out there calling a COVID recovery easy is either blessed with great immunity or isn’t aware of the struggles of COVID.”

Bollywood Celeb On Yoga Day

Talking further about her recovery experience, Malaika wrote, “Having gone through it myself, “Easy” is not the word I’d choose. It broke me physically. Walking 2 steps felt like a herculean task. Sitting up, just stepping out of bed, wanting to stand in my window was a journey in itself. I gained weight, I felt weak, lost my stamina, I was away from my family and more. I finally tested negative on the 26th of September and I was so grateful that I did. But the weakness stayed.”

Malaika said that she felt weak even after recovering and that working out was quite a struggle for her, “I felt disappointed that my body wasn’t supporting how my mind felt. I was afraid that I’d never gain back my strength. I wondered whether I’d even be able to complete one activity in 24 hours. My first workout, was brutal. I couldn’t do anything well. I felt broken. But Day 2, I got back up and I told myself, I am my own maker. And then day 3 and 4 and 5 and so on.”

Eight months since her recovery, Malaika said that she is finally feeling like herself, “It’s been about 32 weeks since I tested negative and I finally have started to feel like myself again. I’m able to workout the way I used to before I tested positive. I’m able to breathe better and I feel strong both physically and mentally.”

She concluded by thanking everyone for all the wishes that kept her spirits high, “The four letter word that pushed me through was HOPE. The hope that it’s all going to be okay, even when it feels like it’s not okay. Thank you to all of you who have been sending me messages, DMs and inspiring stuff which kept my spirits high. But I also pray that the world recovers as well and we all come out of this together. I come out of this phase with 2 words.”

The second wave of coronavirus infected many people, and the number of COVID-19 positive cases has been on the rise. In Bollywood also, an array of celebrities like Manish Malhotra, Vicky Kaushal, Ranbir Kapoor, among others got infected within a span of weeks.

Earlier, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Arjun Kapoor, and some others were also infected with the virus.

Malaika, who took COVID vaccination on April 2, is quite active on social media and regularly updates fans on her activities by posting pictures and videos.

Though she is mostly seen busy judging reality shows, she also commands an awesome screen presence which makes her fans go gaga every time she makes an appearance. (ANI)


The first time the word “toolkit” became a subject of controversy in India’s public discourse was in February this year. The farmer’s protest against the government’s decision to introduce three new farm laws was raging; and the social media was abuzz about a ‘toolkit’ on farmer protests, which was shared by the 18-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. A toolkit is a document that provides online resources to explain and expand on the cause of a mass protest and its objectives. The toolkit shared by Thunberg advised people on how they could show support for the protesting farmers. 

The knee-jerk reaction by the Indian authorities was to file a First Information Report against Thunberg accusing her of  “criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity on grounds of religion”. Thunberg’s tweet was preceded by a tweet by the pop singer, Rihanna, who drew attention to the Indian authorities’ move to block the internet at locations where the farmers’ protests were taking place. Rihanna was castigáted by pro-government social media trolls as well as senior ministers. 

Last week, another “toolkit-related” issue led to more dramatic reactions. When a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and spokesperson, Sambit Patra, tweeted an alleged Congress-sponsored “toolkit”, which he implied was meant to discredit the Modi government’s handling of the Covid pandemic that is raging in India, Twitter tagged it as “manipulated media”. The Congress had alleged that the toolkit attributed to the party was fake and demanded that Twitter take action against a couple of other BJP ministers that were allegedly spreading the false propaganda.

After Twitter decided to tag Patra’s tweets, the authorities swung into action. Last week, police raided Twitter’s offices in Delhi and elsewhere. Shortly afterward, last Wednesday (26 May), a new set of Indian IT rules governing social media intermediaries such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, came into effect. According to the new rules, which were announced first in February, social media players would have to adopt additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person, and a resident grievance officer. Intermediaries with more than 50 lakh registered users (covering all the major social media platforms) were given three months to comply with the new regulations. Non-compliance could lead to action against them, including a ban.

The new rules also require these platforms to remove any content that is found objectionable by the authorities within 36 hours and take down posts depicting nudity or morphed photos within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. According to the rules, social media platforms will also have to have an officer in charge of complaint redressal and public monthly compliance reports. 

Shortly after the new guidelines came into effect, WhatsApp (a subsidiary of Facebook with 340 million users in India) filed a case challenging the new rules claiming that they would require the company to provide access to encrypted messages that would violate its privacy protections for users. After the raids at its offices, Twitter, which has 17.5 million users in India, also expressed concern over the “the potential threat to freedom of expression and intimidation tactics by the police”, adding that while it would “strive to comply with applicable law”, it also planned to ask for changes in the rules to “elements that inhibit free, open conversation”.

Ironically, according to reports, the police raids at Twitter’s offices yielded little that was worth the while. As Covid rages in India, most companies, Twitter included, have their employees working from home. So the police teams visiting the micro-blogging company’s offices presumably left without making any progress in their investigation of the “toolkit” controversy.

The latest guidelines for social media need to be viewed in the context of the Indian authorities’ control over media in general. Mainstream media organisations in India are always under some sort of tacit pressure by the government, particularly the current BJP-led regime, to toe its line and, in effect, not criticise authority, policies, or government’s actions. The economics of print publications and TV channels depend a lot on government patronage, particularly because large shares of their advertising revenue come from government agencies or public sector undertakings. These sources can be very effective instruments to squeeze and, therefore, make media outlets conform by eschewing content that the government finds unfavourable.

In general, online media outlets, including social media intermediaries, do not depend much on government patronage for revenues. Some, such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, are part of huge global conglomerates. The new rules for monitoring them can control the way mainstream media is made to toe the line. 

Tarun Tejpal case: An acquittal followed by an appeal

More than seven years after he was accused by a female colleague of sexual assault, Tarun Tejpal, the former editor-in-chief of Tehelka magazine, was acquitted by a fast-track court in Goa in a judgment that gave him “benefit of the doubt” based primarily on observations that in the days following the alleged incident, the prosecutrix did not display the “normative” behaviour of someone who had been traumatized. The acquittal has been criticised by activists as well as others who are of the opinion that the grounds for his acquittal are subjective and, therefore, unjust.

The Tejpal case, which has been keenly followed by Indian media, and women’s groups, particularly after the global Me-too movement that has seen many well-known personalities being charged with sexual harassment, was considered by many to be a crucial test in a country where discrimination and exploitation on the basis of gender is still rampant, particularly in workplaces. The prosecution has now appealed the verdict of the Goa court and proceedings that will begin in the Bombay High Court are expected to be watched closely.

Motherhood the Movie- Empowering Sikh Women

The Storyline

In the 17th century, the Indian subcontinent had fallen victim to countless invasions and atrocities. People’s homes and wealth were pillaged, their right to live a dignified life was denied and their right to practice faith freely was assaulted. Forced religious conversions had become the norm. Into this dangerous climate… the Khalsa was born.

The Khalsa was a universal brotherhood of warrior saints. Their primary purpose was to protect the meek from further oppression and tyranny. Swearing to defend the people’s right to live freely, the Khalsa adorned a unique physical identity, as per their divine mission: to stand out from the crowd, be ever ready to protect others, and continually fight for humanity.

Such was the extraordinary birth of this Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699, whose spiritual father and mother were Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Sahib Kaur. This movie is about the life story of Mata Sahib Kaur (forever immortalised as the Mother of the Khalsa – the mother of an entire nation). It explores her spiritual and temporal leadership qualities, and the socio-religious contributions she made to society during the most turbulent times the country had ever witnessed.

Nihal Nihal Nihal Productions

Nihal Nihal Nihal Productions (N3P) is a company working with more than 130 professionals and 300 volunteers around the world. Their vision is simple, unique, and achievable, they will create 20 high-quality non-profit 3D animation movies over the next 10-15 years. These movie masterpieces will become educational resources that will inspire children around the world and become a legacy for our future generations.

Their first movie is Motherhood: The Journey of Mata Sahib Kaur. All their movies will be released in cinema’s worldwide to showcase Sikh history using state-of-the-art digital animation technology.

What makes their approach unique?

What’s unique about what they are doing is that they are raising funds from the community to produce their first movie, so that all the profits can be reinvested into future animated movies and social welfare projects.

This is a community funded project to produce the first movie after which all profits will be re-invested into future movies and social welfare projects.

The World’s First 3D Animated Movie Seva Project

After years of research and anticipation – Nihal Nihal Nihal Productions are proud to announce the first-ever fully 3D Sikh animation movie to be funded by the global community. Motherhood: The Journey of Mata Sahib Kaur will be a visual and historic masterpiece to be released in cinemas worldwide, revealing the untold epic life story of Mata Sahib Kaur (Khalsa leader – Khalsa Mother).

Non- Profit


UK fundraising campaign

The inspiration.

It’s well known that Guru Nanak Dev Ji started a social revolution. When his father gave him 20 rupees as a business investment, telling him to come back with a profit – what did the Guru do? With the mind and heart of a true leader, he spent all the money feeding the poor. Thus, the legacy of “langar” was born – free food available to anyone who needs it.

Guru Nanak started this social revolution with 20 rupees over 500 years ago. Today we’re asking everyone living in the UK to get involved in a digital revolution by donating just £20 that will fund 20 movies over the next 10-15 years.

To donate – All you need to do is Click Here and you will find options where you can donate easily. By donating – you too can be part of this amazing journey, look back in 10 years and say “I helped build a legacy for the next generation”.

Mamta on Dharna Near PM House

Mamata To PM: Ready To Touch Your Feet… Stop Vendetta

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the Central government’s order to recall West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay from the state and alleged that the Centre is not letting the state government work.

“I felt bad. They humiliated me by running the one-sided information circulated by the PMO. When I was working, they were doing this. For the sake of people, I am ready to touch your feet. Stop this political vendetta. I request Prime Minister to withdraw this order of Chief Secretary (being attached to DoPT) and let us work,” Banerjee told reporters here.

“There should be some courtesy. The Centre is not letting the State work. Do not insult me like this, do not defame Bengal. Bengal is my priority and I will never put it in danger. I will remain a security guard for the people here. My Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Finance Secretary have been attending meetings all the time. They are working for the Centre, when will they do the State job. Do not you think it is a political vendetta,” she said.

The central government on Friday issued an order to recall West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay from the State and deputed him to the Department of Personnel and Training, Delhi. Bandyopadhyay has to report to North Block by May 31.

The development took place after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee along with the state chief secretary skipped the review meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday aftermath of Cyclone Yaas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting at Kalaikunda in Paschim Medinipur district to take stock of the post-cyclonic situation. Mamata Banerjee was supposed to attained the meeting.

However, she arrived late by 30 minutes and handed him over reports of damage caused by the impact of Cyclone Yaas. Following this, she and the state chief secretary left for her “pre-scheduled” meeting at Digha. (ANI)

PM Cares To Help Children Orphaned Due To Covid-19

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that all children who have lost both parents or guardians due to COVID-19 will be supported under the ‘PM-CARES for Children’ scheme.

The PM CARES will contribute through a specially designed scheme to create a corpus of Rs 10 lakh for each child when he or she reaches 18 years of age.

“This corpus will be used to give a monthly financial support/ stipend from 18 years of age, for the next five years to take care of his or her personal requirements during the period of higher education and on reaching the age of 23 years, he or she will get the corpus amount as one lump-sum for personal and professional use,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

As many as 577 children lost their parents due to the pandemic, the government sources had told ANI. The central government is constantly monitoring all these orphaned children in coordination with the state governments, they added.

The Centre said it will ensure free education for children who lost their parents to COVID-19. The children will be assisted to get a loan for higher education and PM CARES will pay interest on the loan.

These children will also get free health insurance of Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman Bharat till 18 years and the premium will be paid by PM CARES.

Further, the Prime Minister said that the child will be given admission to the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar. However, if the child is admitted to a private school, the fees as per the Right to Education norms will be given from the PM CARES.

The PM-CARES will also pay for expenditure on uniform, textbooks and notebooks.

The corpus will also support the school education of children aged between 11 and 18 years. “The child will be given admission in any Central Government residential school such as Sainik School, Navodaya Vidyalaya etc and in case the child is to be continued under the care of Guardian/ grandparents/extended family, then he or she will be given admission in the nearest Kendriya Vidyalaya or in a private school as a day scholar.”

As an alternative, scholarship equivalent to the tuition fees/course fees for undergraduate/vocational courses as per the government norms will be provided to such children under Central or State government schemes. For children who are not eligible under the existing scholarship schemes, PM CARES will provide an equivalent scholarship.

While announcing these benefits to children impacted by the current COVID pandemic, the Prime Minister emphasised that children represent India’s future and the country will do everything possible to support and protect the children so that they develop as strong citizens and have a bright future.

He added that the measures being announced have only been possible due to the generous contributions to the PM CARES which will support India’s fight against COVID-19.

“In such trying times it is our duty, as a society, to care for our children and instil hope for a bright future,” he concluded. (ANI)

Indian Medica Association Dares Ramdev For A Debate

After yoga guru Ramdev made defamatory statements against allopathy and “defaming” scientific medicine, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Uttarakhand on Friday challenged him for an open debate on a public platform in the presence of media.

IMA Uttarakhand President Dr Ajay Khanna in a letter to yoga guru Ramdev called his statement rash, irresponsible and selfish.

“This is to inform you that IMA UA State through its state office request you to constitute a team of qualified and duly registered Ayurvedacharyas from Patanjali Yogpeeth to have a one-to-one discussion with a team of doctors of IMA UA State which has already been constituted by the state office. This one-to-one panel discussion shall be closely supervised and recorded by the electronic and print media which shall also be invited in this panel discussion,” IMA letter reads.

The letter further stated that Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna can also join the team of Ayurvedacharyas but only as spectators because they have not sent the qualification to the state office of the IMA.

“The responsibility is on you to decide the date and time of the above proposed healthy discussion, however, the venue shall be decided by us,” it said.

“The above proposal is for your kind consideration and implementation at the earliest to ensure that the deadlock and the confusion created by you shall meet its end. From this day onwards the onus lies on you regarding the above issue,” the letter said.

The letter further said that this activity shall ensure the harmony between Allopath and Ayurved to be restored again as it was in the past but was disturbed for these couple of days by your rash, irresponsible and selfish statement.

In another letter, IMA also demanded details of hospitals where he has claimed that Patanjali medicines have been used.

Earlier on Wednesday, IMA appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take appropriate action under sedition and other charges against Ramdev for allegedly “spearheading a misinformation campaign on COVID vaccination”.

“At this juncture, we are pained to bring to your kind notice, two videos where Ramdev, owner of Patanjali Ayurved, is seen inter alia to be claiming that 10,000 doctors have died in spite of taking both the dose of vaccine and that lakhs of people have died due to allopathic medicine. He has also claimed that ‘Allopathy Ek stupid Aur Diwaliya Science Hai’ and that thousands of people have died from taking allopathic medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 related symptoms. These videos are circulating virally on social media,” IMA claimed in a letter to PM Modi.

The IMA on last Saturday sent a legal notice to Ramdev over his alleged statements against allopathy and “defaming” scientific medicine. However, the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust has denied allegations by the IMA that Ramdev has misled people by making “unlearned” statements against allopathy and defamed scientific medicine.

On Sunday, Ramdev withdrew his statements on allopathic medicine after receiving a strong-worded letter from Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan who called his remarks “inappropriate”.

According to a Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust statement, Ramdev was reading out a WhatsApp forwarded message in the video that has gone viral on social media. (ANI)