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“India Bans Over 230 Chinese Apps Amid Major Crackdown on Loan-Lending Apps”

In recent years, the Indian government has banned over 250 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Xender, PUBG Mobile, Shein, Camscanner, Garena Free Fire, and others, as they were believed to gather sensitive user data and request important permissions.

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"India Bans Over 230 Chinese Apps Amid Major Crackdown on Loan-Lending Apps"
(garena.com)

The Indian government has banned around 230 Chinese apps, including 138 betting apps and 94 loan-lending apps, on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis due to a major crackdown on loan-lending apps. The ban was initiated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The government conducted an analysis of 288 Chinese apps and found that these apps could have accessed the personal data of Indian citizens. This move came after complaints of extortion and harassment of individuals who had taken small loans through the mobile apps.

According to reports, these apps were created by Chinese nationals who hired Indians as directors in operation. The apps lured desperate people into taking loans and then jacked up the interest rates by up to 3,000% annually. When the debtors were unable to repay the interest, the individuals representing these apps started harassing them with lewd messages, threatened to release their morphed photos, and shame them with messages to their contacts.

This situation came to light after a series of suicides, particularly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, by those who had opted for such loans or lost money to betting apps. Central intelligence agencies and states such as Telangana, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh asked the Union Home Ministry to take action against these apps.

The government found that 94 apps were available on e-stores, while others were working through third-party links. Although many apps are now not available for download on smartphones, sources say that betting apps and games are still being downloaded through independent links or websites.

The government has issued an advisory stating that betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country and that advertisements of these betting platforms and their surrogates are illegal under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995, and the IT Rules, 2021.

In recent years, the Indian government has banned over 250 Chinese apps, including TikTok, Xender, PUBG Mobile, Shein, Camscanner, Garena Free Fire, and others, as they were believed to gather sensitive user data and request important permissions. It was reported that servers in China were improperly receiving and using the acquired data. This ban was imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

The ban on Chinese apps highlights India’s concerns over data privacy and national security. The government’s action against these apps sends a strong message that it will not tolerate any threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country. The Indian government’s efforts to protect its citizens’ data and security should be commended.

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Karnataka

Karnataka Cricketer Hoysala Dies at 34 from Cardiac Arrest

The Aegis South Zone tournament in Bengaluru was struck by tragedy as Karnataka cricketer Hoysala K, aged 34, succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest.

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Karnataka Cricketer Hoysala Dies at 34 from Cardiac Arrest
IMAGE: X

The Aegis South Zone tournament in Bengaluru was struck by tragedy as Karnataka cricketer Hoysala K, aged 34, succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest. The competition, brimming with excitement between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, took a solemn turn with the unexpected loss of this talented player.

After the intense match against Tamil Nadu, Hoysala joined his teammates for dinner when he suddenly collapsed due to a heart attack. Despite swift medical intervention on-site, including emergency treatment by attending physicians, Hoysala could not be revived. He was swiftly transported to Bowring Hospital, but tragically, doctors pronounced him deceased upon arrival. The news sent shockwaves through the cricketing fraternity, with players, supporters, and officials mourning the untimely departure of this gifted cricketer.

Dinesh Gundu Rao, Karnataka’s Minister of Health & Family Welfare, conveyed his condolences via social media, stating, “Deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Karnataka’s emerging cricketer, fast bowler K. Hoysala, during the Aegis South Zone Tournament. My heartfelt sympathies are with his family and friends during this difficult time. Instances like these underscore the imperative of health awareness, particularly regarding cardiac health.”

Hoysala K, renowned for his prowess as a fast bowler, had previously showcased his talents with teams like Bellary Tuskers and Shivamogga Lion in the Karnataka Premier League, leaving an indelible mark on the state’s cricketing scene. His sudden departure has left a palpable void within the cricketing community.

In the pivotal match against Tamil Nadu, Hoysala played a pivotal role in Karnataka’s triumph, contributing both with the bat and the ball. His thirteen runs off thirteen balls coupled with the crucial wicket of Tamil Nadu’s opener, P. Parveen Kumar, were instrumental in securing a nail-biting victory for Karnataka. Defending a modest total of 173 runs, Karnataka clinched the win by a mere run, showcasing Hoysala’s invaluable contributions to the team’s success.

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Karnataka

Karnataka Council Passes FAR Amendment Bill

Karnataka Council approves FAR Bill amidst uproar. Premium FAR capped at 0.4%, Transferable Development Rights at 0.6%.

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Karnataka Council Passes FAR Amendment Bill
(Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar | File Photo PTI )

The Legislative Council approved the bill enabling the sale and purchase of premium Floor Area Ratio (FAR) despite the BJP members staging a walkout during the session on Thursday.

Presented by Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who oversees Bengaluru City Development, the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Amendment) Bill 2024 received passage in the Council after its prior approval in the Assembly. This legislation permits developers to augment building floors by acquiring additional FAR through a fee payment equivalent to 40% of the guidance value, as sanctioned by local planning authorities. Furthermore, the bill sanctions the sale of FAR.

According to Shivakumar, the inclusion of premium FAR provision is anticipated to augment the revenues of local planning authorities, enabling investment in developmental endeavors. The premium FAR allotment is capped at 0.4%, with Transferable Development Rights limited to 0.6%.

The bill mandates that the proceeds from premium FAR fees be allocated towards land acquisition and the enhancement of basic amenities. Presently, FAR determination hinges on factors like road width, zoning regulations, and other pertinent parameters.

Expressing concerns, BJP MLCs cautioned against potential traffic congestion arising from the proliferation of buildings due to additional FAR. They proposed referring the matter to a select House committee for comprehensive deliberation, while some members advocated for an in-depth discussion before tabling the bill.

Shivakumar defended the legislation, asserting its simplification aimed at benefiting all stakeholders and bolstering the revenues of local planning authorities. He underscored that the previous BJP administration under Basavaraj Bommai had intentions to amend this law.

“We’ve introduced certain amendments to the law. Premium FAR has been operational in Mangaluru for some time now, generating approximately Rs 3,000 crore in additional revenue over the past six years. This amendment extends the same benefit to the entire state,” remarked Shivakumar.

However, BJP members opposed the bill and subsequently staged a walkout from the Council.

In addition, the Council ratified the BBMP Property Tax Amendment Bill, which previously received approval in the Assembly.

Shivakumar elucidated that the bill aimed to rectify an oversight from the previous government, which led to substantial penalties on property owners. He highlighted that the 15th Finance Commission stipulated the release of grants contingent upon property tax aligning with the guidance value, necessitating the introduction of this amendment bill.

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Karnataka

Forest personnel in Karnataka search for leopard, find dog

Forest officials in Rajarajeshwari Nagar were on high alert on Monday and Tuesday in response to reports of leopard sightings from concerned residents.

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Forest personnel in Karnataka search for leopard, find dog
(Representational Image)

Forest officials in Rajarajeshwari Nagar were on high alert on Monday and Tuesday in response to reports of leopard sightings from concerned residents. However, their efforts were met with an unexpected discovery. Despite the urgency of the calls, upon investigation, officials determined that the alleged leopard was, in fact, a dog.

Responding to multiple calls from RR Nagar residents who claimed to have seen a leopard in their vicinity on February 11 and later on February 19, forest personnel conducted a thorough search operation. However, their efforts yielded no evidence of a big cat prowling the area.

Even as some residents maintained night vigils in hopes of catching a glimpse of the elusive creature, no leopard was sighted. The situation escalated when residents of a local apartment complex shared CCTV footage capturing an animal moving along the road, albeit unclearly.

With concerns mounting, residents promptly alerted forest authorities, presuming the creature to be a leopard. Forest officials mobilized their resources for a comprehensive search, only to discover that the supposed leopard was, in reality, a domestic dog.

The incident highlights the importance of accurate identification and prompt response in wildlife management, even in urban areas where encounters with wildlife are rare but not unheard of.

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