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Cyber Attack on 96 Countries

Sonu Kanojia

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Global ransomware attack shuts down computers in countries including India. UK hospitals severally affected
A massive ransomware attack affected computer systems across the world. India was among the countries worst affected by the ransomware, which uses an exploit first developed by the US NSA.
A massive ransomware attack, which security researchers say used a Windows exploit first developed by the United States National Security Agency, shut down computer systems across several countries, including India, last night.
According to anti-virus provider Kaspersky, there were at least 45,000 attacks in 74 countries, Reuters reported. The numbers were an initial estimate and were expected to go up.
India was among the three countries worst affected by the attack, data shared by Kaspersky showed. However, there was no immediate information on what companies in India were affected in the cyberattack.

The attack made headlines for targeting hospitals in the United Kingdom. A ransomware attack infects individual computers with a malware that blocks access to all data on the system.
The malware encrypts all the data on a computer system and decrypts it only after the computer user/owner agrees to pay a ransom, usually in bitcoin.
UK publication The Guardian reported that as many as 16 National Health Service trusts, some of which oversee several hospitals, were affected in the attack and that hospital staff were unable to access patient records. (Hospitals are a common target of ransomware attacks, perhaps because their dependence on patient records makes them likely to pay up quickly and easily).
The ransomware – dubbed Wanna Cry – demanded payments between $300 (around Rs 19,000) and $600 (around Rs 39,000) in bitcoin to unlock data on a single system, news agency Reuters reported.

India Reacts

“Surgical Strike Day”: Display of patriotism or Political move?

Arti Ghargi

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surgical strike

What is the aim of “Surgical Strike Day” exactly? Is UGC notification a move inspired by patriotism or is it politically motivated?

 

On Thursday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) issued a notice to all the universities in the country asking to celebrate September 29th as ‘Surgical Strike Day’.  The Modi government wants to celebrate the day in remembrance of the Surgical Strike conducted by Indian Army after the attacks of Uri. However, as several opposition parties called the move politically motivated, HRD minister Prakash Javdekar issued a clarification. He said that the decision was motivated by patriotism and is not politically motivated. He further said, “We have not done any compulsion on institutions or students. We have released the program after suggestions of many students and teachers needing to celebrate the second anniversary of the surgical strike.”

UGC

UGC notification

On the other hand, while responding to the instructions of the UGC, JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar said that we will celebrate Surgical Strike Day in JNU. He further said that JNU is very close to the defense forces.

What is the aim of “Surgical Strike Day” exactly? Is UGC notification a move inspired by patriotism or is it politically motivated? HW News brings you reactions from across party lines:

Madhav Bhandari, BJP Spokesperson:

Sangli

“First of all, earlier surgical strikes which are claimed now, they were not made public at that time and even military officials of that time, they are also saying that those were not surgical strikes, so those surgical strikes are controversial. Secondly, this surgical strike was a big activity, it was a big strike, it was successful and it has been held everywhere in the world. Government is saying to maintain that stay.”

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:

NCP

“The entire BJP, Modi government is very much frightened that the country will not vote for them. That is why they want to grab every opportunity. UGC using only one incident in university curriculum is not fair, they want to introduce any curriculum they should include entire Indian army and one of the incidents can be a surgical strike. A lot of the things have been done by Indian Army, they had defeated the Pakistan two times, they had created Bangladesh, where surrendered more than one lakh soldiers from Pakistan in the battle of 1971. These all things are done by Indian Army. By only introducing Surgical Strike, BJP wants to insult Indian army, I think they don’t understand what Indian army is.”

Preeti Sharma Menon, AAP Spokesperson:

rape

“This is a completely political decision. Not only there have been surgical strikes in the past, but we have won many wars. I don’t remember any of those war celebrations of those victories. So to try and gain the political advantage of the one effort which is done under the Modi regime, this is been done. The sad part is instead of trying for peace the M0di government is more interested in making a spectacle of small acts of aggression. They have no long-term plan for the valley. Today situation in Kashmir is worst, it has been in decades. In 2017, more people died in Kashmir than they have died in a decade. They include civilian, police and armed forces people. So the death count is piling up. Every day the policemen are attacked by the terrorists in the valley. So there is no solution to the hostilities. No steps have been taken to achieve any peace, but there is a lot of tom-tomming and swashbuckling, which I think is really sad. But now people are seeing through it, the Modi regime is over. Now people know that this is all tom-tomming and no concrete, a cohesive policy even for Kashmir or Pakistan. It’s quite sad. Its just political propaganda and now people see through to it.”

Prithviraj Chavan, former Maharashtra CM:

Chavan

“The decision is completely politically motivated. The point the government has nothing to show as far the relationship with Pakistan is concerned. They were complete blank as far as Prime Ministers initiative meeting with Nawaz Sharif going to uninvited and that has backfired and after every government initiative, Pakistan has replied by kicking us in the shin. Therefore I think, the whole point is there is nothing to show, and that’s why they are suddenly woken up after two years and want to celebrate surgical strike which is a routine operation during previous governments. Such kind of this has happened. and there is nothing wrong with doing internal discussion. Whatever they want to call it, it was an incursion by Indian armed forces to the Pakistan territory. This has happened many times in the past but we never advertised this. Now they have nothing else to say that’s why they are making a deal out of it. We are proud of our jawan but ultimately who leads them the political leadership the really is the issue. our jawans are being sailed by our political leadership.”

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India Reacts

Is RSS serious about reaching out to parties other than BJP?

Arti Ghargi

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rss

What does this shift in RSS chief’s stand indicate? Is RSS serious about extending its cadre strength to parties other than BJP?

 

In the 3-day event that concluded on Wednesday, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat came up with a rare praise for Congress and earful for BJP. As HW News has been mentioning, Bhagwat showed a complete detour in his statement from that of Modi.

In his speech on the day 1 of RSS conclave, Bhagwat heaped praises for the opposition Congress. It came as a surprise as Congress has been constantly criticising BJP and its ideological parent RSS. Mohan Bhagwat not only said that Congress has great contribution in India’s freedom movement but also said that the organization believes in the inclusion of all and the language of “mukt” is not in their lexicon.

Further, Mohan Bhagwat even said that the RSS does not have any particular political affiliation. However, it helps any political party that asks for help. He even mentioned that if any other party comes forth asking for help, the RSS will be happy to allot a “Sangathan Mantri”.

At a time when 2019 elections are just a few months away, what does this shift in RSS chief’s stand indicate? Is RSS serious about extending its cadre strength to parties other than BJP? HW News brings you opinions from across the political lines:

 

Bhai Jagtap, Mumbai Congress VP:

 

SC/ST

 

“RSS has always carried communal ideological perspective. They have a communal agenda. If they want to lead the country forward they will have to leave communal ideology behind. They always speak about Hindutva and want to protect the interest of Hindus. They need to understand that though most of the people living in India are Hindu, the fabric of the country is different. If at all he is talking about the country and its development he has to clarify if  RSS is going to stick to their own agenda. This countries progress lies in acceptance of multi-culture, religion, and language. Even if they give an open invitation to Congress to work together for the betterment of the country, there is no way we can work together. Our ideologies are drastically different. We are like East and West. Congress as a party represents vividity and Multicultural society which is a contrast to the ideologies and beliefs of RSS.”

Madhav Bhandari, BJP Spokesperson:

Sangli

 

“He is asking other political organizations to come, unite and work together for the nation building. I don’t see any hint of their ideologies going against. The earlier Sarsanghachalak or chief also had same ideologies as what Dr. Mohan Bhagwat has, which reflects unity. Right since its inception, founders of RSS from Dr. Hedgewar to Dr. Mohan Bhagwat have been speaking in a unified language, there is no suggestion of RSS going against BJP. When the opposition talks about liberalism and inclusive politics. Declining such an invitation shows the oppositions rigidity to listen to others viewpoints and their opinion.”

 

 

Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:

NCP

 

“What he wants to project to the people of this country is that there is a lot of anger in them against BJP and that they can not face RSS. This is a damage control strategy played out by both sides. They initially started with Gowalkars ideology now they are talking completely different. Why? It is RSS’s strategy to confuse the people of this country. This is nothing but damage control exercise that was pre-planned and executed to confuse the people. They want to divert the mind of the people from other issues.”

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India Reacts

Will the fuel price touch Rs. 100 mark?

Arti Ghargi

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fuel

With the continuous hike in petrol and diesel prices, will the fuel price in India touch Rs 100 mark? Or will the prices be reduced before the election?

 

Fuel prices yet again witnessed a fresh hike on Tuesday morning, with petrol and diesel being sold at Rs. 82.16 and Rs. 73.87 per liter respectively in the national capital.

The surge in fuel prices has affected people in Mumbai the most, with petrol retailing at Rs.89.54 per liter and diesel at Rs. 78.42 per liter.

While a litre of petrol is being sold for Rs. 83.91 and diesel for Rs. 75.53 in Kolkata, the petrol and diesel prices in Chennai rose to Rs. 85.31 and Rs. 78, respectively.

The constant rise in fuel prices is strengthening citizens’ demand for government’s intervention in the matter.

The Union Government has also been facing flak in the past few weeks for not implementing stringent measures to curb prices.

With the continuous hike in petrol and diesel prices, will the fuel price in India touch Rs. 100 mark? Or will the prices be reduced before the election? HW News brings you reactions from across political parties.

 

Majid Memon, NCP Spokesperson:

fuel price

“At the time of the election, they (the central government) will try to give the people a lollipop. The whole spectacle is for elections. So people can say that we did this. First gradually increase and then decrease again. This is not an economic problem, it is a political problem. They will spoil the economy so that if this government does not come back to power, there will be difficulties for the new government.”

 

Madhav Bhandari, BJP Spokesperson:

Sangli

 

“It is clear that the government cannot control the price of petrol, diesel. Reducing the prices of petrol, diesel is in the hands of the GST Council. If petrol and diesel are within the purview of GST, then the costs can be reduced to a great extent. But the GST Council’s decision depends on the Congress and other non-BJP ruled states. Because there is a decision with a vote in GST Council. The majority do not. Congress and non-BJP ruled states should clarify that they will cooperate to reduce the cost of petrol diesel and bring them to the realm of GST. The Congress party is running Dogali policy, speaks out against these prices but creates problems in bringing GST to the council. Congress should clarify its attitude. It is just speculation that prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced by the Central Government at the time of the election, and I do not want to comment on speculation.”

 

Sachin Sawant, MPCC Spokesperson:

 

Triple talaq

 

 

“The current government’s concerns only comes to the foreground before and during the time of elections. They are concerned with electoral success. They do not have the sensitivity or is concerned about the plight of the people. As far as the taxes are concerned Maharashtra remains to be the top taxpayer compared to other states. The prices of petrol and diesel, the people of Maharashtra are compelled to pay is huge. Since we have been continuously demanding to reduce the taxes, the government, on the other hand, is increasing taxes on certain commodities and services. There is no apathy from the BJP government’s side towards the people of this country facing problems due to increasing inflation. It has a cascading effect on the farming activities as well. The farmers are also at the receiving end. Just because the General Elections are around the corner they might try to reduce the prices, which is highly condemnable. I believe that they should act vigilantly and take action right away to curb the prices of Petrol and Diesel like how Karnataka government has done.”

 

Sandip Deshpande, MNS Spokesperson:

 

hindi

 

“The prices definitely reach the 100 mark or may even surpass that mark to be the highest priced fuel. The way the prices are going up and the competition of against dollar is ever increasing and in such a situation the prices tend to go up. This government is very insensitive towards the people. Mr. Ramdas Athawale during such situation has made an insensitive comment whereby he has said that I am a minister and that I get petrol free is unacceptable. This is the kind of mentality that the BJP party men nurture. The people will answer such an insensitivity in the upcoming election. Even if they reduce the fuel prices exponentially before or during the coming 2019 General Elections, the people or the voters are smart enough to identify such gimmicks and to not fall for the trap. BJP won’t be able to pull the same gimmick and repeating again before the election. The people are vigilant and intelligent towards such gimmicks.”

 

Gajanand Kirtikar, Shiv Sena, MP

The prices are ought to increase. Once the GST is applied there will be a direct impact on the consumer. This is a prominent reason why the budget has been increasing and there is an increase in the price of commodities for that matter. Though the measures have been taken. But due to GST, the prices to the consumers are higher than the traders. The fuel prices are directly related to the international crude oil prices which tend to fluctuate. So, now nothing can be said on if the prices will touch 100 or surpass the mark in coming years. Considering the situation in the context of the prices, people have already lost faith in the present government. People of the country are smart and they know whom to vote. There is going to be zero impact on the voters’ mind even if the sitting government reduce the price right before the coming elections.

 

 

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