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200 women from 40 countries
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MCI (P) 078/03/2019
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
APRIL 5, 2019
BY DELHI CRIME
the sari way
' HOL Y HU\
The women on
REPORT ON PAGES 4 & 5
Policeman works in heavy rain,
becomes social media star
A traffic policeman in
shot to fame on social
media for his exem-
plary dedication to
work amid heavy
rain on Sunday after-
Mr Mithun Das
was manning the Basistha traffic inter-
section and stood without a raincoat in
an uncovered podium directing traffic.
Videos of him taken by motorists
and bystanders have gone viral on so-
cial media platforms with many lauding
the constable’s act.
WhatsApp targets fake messages
ahead of India elections
WhatsApp launched a hotline on
Tuesday allowing Indians to flag
rumours circulating ahead of the
upcoming general elections, a major
concern in a country where fake news
has fuelled violence. It comes a day
after Facebook removed hundreds of
pages promoting India’s ruling and
opposition parties for violating rules
around spam and “coordinated
inauthentic behaviour” online.
The spread of viral fake videos and
messages on social media platforms has
proved incendiary in India, where half a
billion people are online but limited
digital literacy has helped rumours
spread like wildfire.
Study: Air pollution killed over
1.2 million in India in 2017
A new global study has revealed that
exposure to outdoor and indoor air
pollution contributed to over
1.2 million deaths in India in 2017.
Titled State Of Global Air 2019, the
study by the United States-based
Health Effects Institute, also indicated
that the life on average of a South Asian
child growing up in current high levels
of air pollution will be shortened by
two years and six months, while the
global life expectancy loss is 20
In India, air pollution is the third
highest cause of death among all health
risks, ranking just above smoking.
Northeast floods wreak havoc
Flash floods in Tripura have created
chaos in the state and left at least
3,000 people stranded.
The heavy downpour has also
triggered mudslides killing six people,
including three members of a family.
Floods have also killed two people,
including a child, in Manipur’s Thoubal
district following torrential rain.
Central bank cuts rates
India’s central bank cut interest rates
yesterday. The Reserve Bank of India
(RBI) said the benchmark repo rate –
the level at which it lends to
commercial banks – would be reduced
by 25 basis points to six per cent.
The RBI highlighted the need to
boost domestic growth due to
headwinds “on the global front”.
“The need is to strengthen domestic
growth impulses by spurring private
investment which has remained
sluggish,” the RBI wrote in the policy
India puts 29 satellites into three
orbits in one launch
An Indian rocket on Monday placed
domestic and foreign satellites in three
different orbits in a single launch, a first
for the nation and a low-cost option
that could burnish its reputation for
pioneering affordable options in space.
The launch of a domestic
intelligence satellite and 28 foreign
ones came less than a week after India
used an anti-satellite missile to take
down one of its own satellites,
demonstrating a capability only China,
Russia and the United States had
The Indian Space Research
Organisation said 24 satellites from the
US, two from Lithuania and one each
from Spain and Switzerland were
positioned in Monday’s launch, in
addition to India’s Emisat satellite.
Madras High Court asks
government to ban TikTok app
The Madras High Court on Wednesday
asked the federal government to ban
Chinese video app TikTok, saying it
was “encouraging pornography”.
TikTok allows users to create and
share short videos with special effects.
The High Court said children who
were using TikTok were vulnerable to
exposure to sexual predators.
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Marketing Team Head
Brand Modi in front
If Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wins the up-
coming general elections, as is widely expected, it will
also be another massive victory for the marketing ma-
chine created to amplify Brand Modi into every In-
dian living room.
Opinion polls regularly show Mr Modi is India’s
most popular politician and, to turn that appeal into
votes, his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has
pulled out all the stops from the most modern meth-
ods of communication to the very traditional.
There is the recently launched NaMo TV dedicated
to the 68-year-old leader, a Narendra Modi mobile
app the party says has been downloaded by 100 mil-
lion people and a massive social media following
across every major platform in India.
Mr Modi and the BJP have a combined 57.5 mil-
lion followers on Twitter, four times the total for the
main opposition Congress party and its president
Mr Modi is the world’s third-most-followed politi-
cian on Twitter after former United States President
Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump.
The BJP itself claims to have more members than
any other political party in the world.
Polls for the world’s biggest democratic vote open
on a rolling basis between April 11 and May 19.
Mr Modi is widely expected to be in a position to
form a new government after the elections, according
With the campaign now in full swing, the BJP says
Mr Modi physically reaches out to more than 250,000
people a day through the many rallies he addresses.
Most of those are then carried live across multiple
party platforms and news channels across India, in-
cluding the nation’s public broadcaster.
“He is doing three to four rallies every day. One
rally would cover three to four constituencies,” said
Mr Vijay Chauthaiwale, who is in charge of BJP’s for-
eign affairs department. Last Sunday, 10 million peo-
ple watched a TV programme in which Mr Modi inter-
acted with the country’s security guards, he added.
Opposition parties have complained the BJP is
gaining an unfair advantage by using the state broad-
caster and NaMo TV to air its propaganda. “Modi
used public projects, government-sponsored events as
a vehicle to serve his political campaigning,” Con-
gress’ spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said. “We
know the voters understand this strategy and they
will make the right choice of defeating his party.”
The BJP has denied the accusations but the Elec-
tion Commission has said it’s looking into the com-
Congress also complained in January that it was
struggling to find enough helicopters to ferry its lead-
ers because the BJP had reserved most of the avail-
able helicopters well in advance.
The BJP has indeed substantially increased its in-
come and party membership in the past five years in
power. In 2017-18, the BJP’s total income including
donations stood at Rs10.27 billion ($203 million)
compared with Rs1.9 billion for Congress, according
to the Association for Democratic Reforms, a Delhi-
based advocacy group.
“There’s a huge gap between our campaign and
their (Congress) campaign,” BJP spokesman Gopal
Krishna Agarwal said.“We’re much ahead in our com-
munication, on organisational structure, outreach
Karan Johar has become India’s first
film-maker to have a wax figure at
Madame Tussauds in Singapore.
The Bollywood celebrity unveiled
his own wax figure at the famous mu-
seum at Sentosa on Thursday and later
posed for photos with his mother Hi-
roo, aunts, cousins and fans.
The director, film producer and host
of popular celebrity talk show Koffee
With Karan is well known for his obses-
sion with selfies and showing the photo-
genic side of his face. His wax figure jus-
tifies his selfie obsession as it is made
like he is clicking a selfie.
“I feel like a childhood dream has
been realised today as my statue will be
a part of this prestigious museum. I am
absolutely excited and honoured,” said
the 46-year-old, who was dressed in an
all-white ensemble by Dolce & Gab-
Karan also launched an “ultimate
film star” experience, a 2,500 sq m new
zone celebrating Indian cinema, at
Madame Tussauds. Visitors can utilise
interactive technology to dance and act
in the Bollywood hall of fame.
Karan Johar and his wax figure.
a mask of
Mr Modi and
taking a selfie at
a campaign rally
in Siliguri, West
Karan Johar unveils
wax figure in Singapore
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