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Politicians pay for fake LIKES on social media
Report dated 04/12/2013 @ 6:13 PM

Politicians pay for fake LIKES on social media A sting operation in India by undercover investigators Cobrapost, has revealed many startling facts about social media malpractices by Indian politicians and corporates. Among the politicians named are Narendra Modi of the BJP and Shashi Tharoor of the Congress Party.

According to Cobrapost's Operation Blue Virus, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot had fake Facebook followers, most of whom were based in Istanbul. Also, 69 percent of Narendra Modi's followers and 65 percent of Shashi Tharoor's followers are fake.

Agencies exist that help politicians create fake followers, and they also offer to 'sully' names. They do it for a fee that could amount to millions of rupees, that is required to be paid in cash.

Apart from creating fake profiles, buying likes, and generating fake followings, these companies also help make promotional, even incendiary, videos go viral, to create divides in the electorate.

Many of these malpractices directly violate laws and are as such, punishable under various sections of the Indian penal code.

Arrogant son of Minister vandalizes Goa toll booth
Report dated 04/12/2013 @ 6:10 PM

Arrogant son of Minister vandalizes Goa toll booth Maharashtra industries minister Narayan Rane's son Nitesh Rane has been arrested along with 8 others, by Goa Police, after they ransacked a tollbooth near the Maharashtra/Goa border and assaulted staff members there.

Nitesh Rane's vehicle had moved on when occupants of the other two vehicles argued over the fee, which turned into an assault. Three of the booth employees were beaten badly and the booth was ransacked, before the vehicles sped away.

Police tracked down Nitesh Rane and the others in Calangute and detained them, making for a tense situation, as over 100 angry Rane supporters have crossed the border into Goa.

'Cyber-Hindus' – India’s new breed of political activists
Report dated 03/12/2013 @ 5:55 PM

'Cyber-Hindus' – India’s new breed of political activists Small social cells of young tech-savvy professionals are meeting online and personally to create cells across the country, many of which come together of their own volition, and with a common desire, to see Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi become the next Prime Minister.

The young pro-Modi activists are being dubbed 'cyber-Hindus'. When online they spread Modi's message and sometimes mock the Gandhi dynasty that runs Congress. At party rallies as well the volunteers produce live-streaming of speeches.

They all share the opinion that Modi has proven himself, done what should have been done in India a long while ago, and is a uniting force who worked his way up from tea boy to an aspiring PM of India.

The cyber-Hindus believe that with the aid of social media, they can mobilise millions of like-minded Indians to vote for Modi and the BJP in the elections.

India's 1.2 billion people are mostly Hindu with Muslims a 14 percent minority. Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists make up the rest.

Mangalyaan crosses Moon's orbit en route to Mars
Report dated 03/12/2013 @ 5:52 PM

Mangalyaan crosses Moon's orbit en route to Mars ISRO announced that its Mars Orbiter, Mangalyaan, which was placed in inter-Mars trajectory yesterday, has crossed the Moon's orbit and is now travelling beyond the Moon.

ISRO has planned mid-course corrections in the case of any deviation along its path to Martian orbit, before it is expected to arrive in the orbit of the Red planet in September 2014, making this the first time an Indian-made spacecraft is being sent into deep space.

The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at Isro Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ITRAC) in Bangalore, with support from the Indian Deep Space Network antennae at Byalalu, in Chennai.

Gold smugglers back in business in India
Report dated 02/12/2013 @ 10:44 PM

Gold smugglers back in business in India The business of gold smuggling has raised its ugly head again, said to a result of the widening difference in gold prices between the domestic market and Dubai. The price gap is up to Rs.5 lakh a kg in the past few months.

The Mumbai airport customs has seized some 73 kg of gold worth Rs.19,71 crore between April and October this year, over double the amount it seized during the same period last year.

Customs officials say syndicates are trying various modus operandi to get the gold out of Mumbai airport without getting caught, including body concealment, hiding the precious metal in electronic items and in the battery slot of mobile phones.

But the authorities have been keeping a close watch on flights arriving from Dubai and Bangkok.

The crackdown at Mumbai airport has forced smugglers to move to other cities and in the last week over 40 kg of gold was seized in two separate incidents at Kolkata and Jaipur.

The Mumbai Jewellers Association says the government should bring down the import duty, which will minimise the price gap, and help in curbing smuggling.

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