InfoDigger: A source of simple and sequential news

Latest NewsRailTel provides WiFi facility at 6,045 railway stations | Smriti Irani Launches 24/7 Helpline for Women Affected by Violence | India gets its 40th World Heritage Site | WhatsApp introduces new feature for iOS beta users | Tamil Nadu's first auto ambulance service finds mention in Mann Ki Baat | Income Tax Department conducts searches PAN India on prominent business group | Mirabai Chanu makes India proud | India starts its Olympics March | MDMA tablets worth Rs 5 lakhs seized by Chennai Air Customs at Foreign Post Office | Union Cabinet approves PLI Scheme for Specialty Steel |

RailTel provides WiFi facility at 6,045 railway stations


RailTel, a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Railways, has so far provided Wi-Fi facility at 6,045 railway stations.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Indian Railways has decided to provide Wi-Fi facility at all stations except halt stations.

Provision of Wi-Fi at balance stations is in progress and is dependent upon the availability of Infrastructure like Optical Fibre Cable at these stations. Out of these, 55 stations are targeted for completion in this financial year.

Zone-wise detail of Railway Stations where Wi-Fi is commissioned is as below:

Zonal Railway - Total Stations

Eastern - 350

East Central - 400

East Coast - 254

Northeast Frontier - 380

South Eastern - 248

South East Central - 202

Metro Kolkata - 33

Northern - 572

North Eastern - 294

North Central - 286

North Western - 418

South Central - 587

Southern - 542

South Western - 308

Central - 373

West Central - 271

Western - 468

Konkan (KRCL) - 59

Total - 6045


Smriti Irani Launches 24/7 Helpline for Women Affected by Violence


With the objective of further improving safety and security of women across the nation, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani today inaugurated the National Commission for Women's 24/7 helpline number - 7827170170.

The helpline aims to provide 24/7 online support to women affected by violence through referral by linking them with appropriate authorities such as police, hospitals, District Legal Service Authority, psychological services etc.

Inaugurating the helpline virtually, Ms Irani congratulated the NCW for this initiative and lauded the new helpline. She said that this digital helpline gives a message to women that whenever they are in need, their government and their Commission will stand by them. She said that the partnership between NCW and WCD goes a long way in ensuring a seamless intervention to help women in distress.

Speaking on the occasion, NCW Chairperson Ms Rekha Sharma said that the helpline strengthens the commissions existing complaint mechanism and the helpline will enable women in need of support and counselling to get help in time. 

The objective of the Helpline is to provide 24-hour complaints and counselling services to women affected by violence by linking them with appropriate authorities such as police, hospitals, District Legal Service Authority psychological services and providing information about women related government programmes across the country through a single uniform number. The helpline will function with a team of trained experts. Any girl or woman aged 18 years and above can seek help by calling on this Helpline which will be operated from the premises of the National Commission for Women, New Delhi.

The Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani inaugurated the 24/7 helpline number virtually along with Secretary, WCD, Indevar Pandey and NCW Chairperson Ms Rekha Sharma in the presence of Members of the Commission and Mr Vinay Thakur, Senior Director (Research), Digital India Corporation.


India gets its 40th World Heritage Site


India's nomination of Dholavira, the Harappan City in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat has been inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage list.

India submitted the nomination dossier for Dholavira: A Harappan City to the World Heritage Centre in January, 2020. The site was on the UNESCO's tentative list since 2014. Dholavira: a Harappan city, is one of the very few well preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Absolutely delighted by this news. Dholavira was an important urban centre and is one of our most important linkages with our past. It is a must-visit, especially for those interested in history, culture and archaeology."

The Union Minister of Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy shared this news on Twitter shortly after the announcement. This followed a few days after the Rudreswara Temple, (also known as the Ramappa Temple) at Palampet, Mulugu district, Telangana State becoming the 39th World Heritage Centre in India.

With this successful nomination, India has 40 world heritage properties overall, which includes 32 cultural, 7 natural and one mixed property.


WhatsApp introduces new feature for iOS beta users


WhatsApp, which introduced a feature for its Android beta users last week allowing them to select the quality of images they send via chats, has now extended this feature to its beta users on iOS.

The HD photos feature has been introduced for specific beta users, reported WABetaInfo that tracks WhatsApp updates. To check if the feature is available on your phone, go to WhatsApp Settings, then look for 'Media Upload Quality' under 'Storage and Data'. If it's there, then the feature has been enabled for your WhatsApp beta account.

If you tap the 'Media Upload Quality' option it brings up three options - Auto (recommended), Best quality and Data saver. The second option needs to be chosen for sending HD photos.

The feature will be rolled out for some more users in the coming week.


Tamil Nadu's first auto ambulance service finds mention in Mann Ki Baat


If we want to know about the exemplary services rendered by many unsung heroes of our society, we should surely listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monthly radio broadcast "Mann Ki Baat".

The auto ambulance service initiative of Ms Radhika Shastry of Nilgiri district found a mention in Mann Ki Baat today. During the programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Radhika Shastry has started the AmbuRx (Amburex) Project. The purpose of this project is to provide easy transport for the treatment of patients in hilly areas. Radhika runs a cafe in Coonoor. She raised funds for AmbuRx from her cafe colleagues. Today six AmbuRx are serving in the Nilgiri hills and are coming to the aid of patients in remote parts during the time of emergency. An AmbuRx is equipped with a Stretcher, Oxygen Cylinder, First Aid Box and other things."

Following the acknowledgement of the Prime Minister, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Shri L Murugan spoke to Radhika Shastry over the phone and congratulated her. Later, in a tweet, Mr Murugan said this compassionate gesture by her in Nilgiris will motivate others and also improve health facilities in the region.

As the Central and State Governments are taking innumerable active measures in the fight against the global pandemic, the first auto ambulance service initiative that was launched in the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu has received wide appreciation from the public. This project which has been introduced in collaboration with various organisations houses all medical facilities including oxygen.

This auto ambulance has been designed in such a way as to reach hilly areas where the normal Government-run ambulances are unable to reach. With the ability to travel across narrow paths and aid sick people to get timely treatment, this new service is indeed a blessing in disguise.

Ms Shastry said she initiated this project with the intention to serve the community in any possible way. At present six auto ambulances are plying in Coonoor, Kothagiri and Udhagamandalam, she added.


Income Tax Department conducts searches PAN India on prominent business group


Income Tax Department carried out a search operation under section 132 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 on 22nd July 2021 on a prominent business group, which is involved in businesses in various sectors, including Media, Power, Textiles and Real Estate, with a group turnover of more than Rs 6,000 crore per annum.

As many as 20 residential and 12 business premises spread over 9 cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Noida and Ahmedabad have been covered.

The group has more than 100 companies including holding and subsidiary companies. During the search, it was found that they have been operating several companies in the names of their employees, which have been used for booking bogus expenses and routing of funds. During the search, several of the employees, whose names were used as shareholders and directors, have admitted that they were not aware of such companies and had given their Aadhaar card and digital signature to the employer in good faith. Some were found to be relatives, who had willingly and knowingly signed the papers but had no knowledge or control of the business activities of the companies, in which they were supposed to be directors and shareholders.

Such companies have been used for multiple purposes namely; booking bogus expenses and siphoning off the profits from listed companies, routing of funds so siphoned into their closely held companies to make investments, making of circular transactions etc. For example, the nature of such bogus expenditures booked, vary from supply of manpower, transport, logistics and civil works and fictitious trade payables. The quantum of income escapement using this modus operandi detected so far amounts to Rs 700 crore spread over a period of 6 years. However, the quantum may be more as the group has used multiple layers and investigations are being carried out to unravel the entire money trail. Furthermore, these involve violation of S.2(76)(vi) of the Companies Act and Clause 49 of Listing Agreement prescribed by SEBI for listed companies. The application of the Benami Transaction Prohibition Act will also be examined.

Cyclical trading and transfer of funds among group companies engaged in unrelated businesses to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore has been found. The enquiries have confirmed that these have been fictitious transactions without any actual movement or delivery of goods. The tax effect and violation of other laws are being examined.

The real estate entity of the group operating a Mall had been sanctioned a term loan of Rs 597 crore from a nationalised Bank. Out of this, an amount of Rs 408 crore has been diverted to a sister concern as a loan at a low interest rate of 1 per cent. While the real estate company has been claiming expenses of interest from its taxable profit, it has been diverted for personal investments of the holding company.

The listed media company does barter deals for advertisement revenues, whereby immovable properties are received in lieu of actual payments. Pieces of evidence have been found indicating cash receipts in respect of the subsequent sale of such properties. This is under further examination.

Pieces of evidence have been found which indicate receipt of on-money in cash, on sale of flats by the realty arm of the group. The same has been confirmed by 2 employees and 1 director of the company. The modus operandi as well as the corroborating documents have been found. The exact amount of out-of-books cash receipts are being quantified.

A total of 26 lockers have been found in the residential premises of the promoters and key employees of the group, which are being operated.

The voluminous material found during the search operations is being examined.

Searches are continuing and further investigations are in progress.


Mirabai Chanu makes India proud


Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the women's 49 Kg weightlifting event today, winning India's first medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

She had total lifts of 202 kg, including 87 kg in Snatch and 115 kg in Clean and Jerk. The 26-year-old from Manipur, who was nurtured carefully after a back injury in 2018, became the toast of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sports Minister Shri Anurag Thakur and people of India from all corner of the country congratulated Mirabai for her achievement.

President Ram Nath Kovind wished Chanu on her outstanding win. He tweeted, "Heartiest congratulations to Mirabai Chanu for starting the medal tally for India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning silver medal in weightlifting."

The Silver Medal winner weightlifter interacted with media in a Facebook live arranged by Sports Authority of India. During the interaction Ms. Mirabai expressed her happiness and said that she has made a lot of sacrifices for this day and today all her hard work has been rewarded and her dream has come true.

Mira started her training at SAI centre in Imphal near her hometown. For the last five year, the genial Mirabai Chanu would have been home in Manipur for a total of five weeks. She remained in her training base at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala, taking time off only to travel to Mumbai for rehabilitation of her lower back injury in 2018. She was inducted into the Target Olympic Podium Scheme in 2017.

She travelled to St. Louis, United States of America, with support through the TOP Scheme, where renowned physical therapist, strength and conditioning coach Dr. Aaron Horchig assisted her in improving her technique to prevent the pain that she occasionally felt in her shoulders and back. It helped her establish a Clean & Jerk world record in the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent in April 2021.

The decision to send Mira to St. louis was taken within a few hours after it became apparent that US would close down for Indian travellers. She boarded a flight on May 1, a day before the United States of America ruled not to let Indians fly to its country because of the growing Covid-19 incidences in India. There is no doubt that this stint helped Mirabai Chanu immensely.

She had earlier visited the US for rehabilitation and training under Dr. Aaron Horschig in October 2020 to December 2020.


India starts its Olympics March


The grand opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 was held today, in which India also took part in the parade of Nations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his best wishes to the Indian contingent for the Olympics.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said; 

"Come, let us all Cheer4India!

Caught a few glimpses of the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony. 

Wishing our dynamic contingent the very best."

The Prime Minister also extended his best wishes to the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga for Tokyo Olympics2020.

Have a glimpse of the proud Indian contingent through the above pics.


MDMA tablets worth Rs 5 lakhs seized by Chennai Air Customs at Foreign Post Office


Based on specific information, Chennai Air Customs has seized one registered postal parcels containing MDMA tablets which arrived from Germany at Foreign Post Office, Chennai.

The parcel was addressed to a Chennai based person. On cut opening, one opaque silver plastic packet was found inside. Inside the silver packet, one transparent plastic packet containing 100 green colour tablets with markings "Maserati 300mg NL"  suspected to be MDMA, valued at Rs 5 lakhs were recovered and seized under NDPS Act, 1985.

Total 100 MDMA tablets worth Rs 5 lakhs were recovered and seized under NDPS Act, 1985.

Further investigation is under progress, according to a press release issued by the Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport.


Union Cabinet approves PLI Scheme for Specialty Steel


The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for specialty steel.

The duration of the scheme will be five years, from 2023-24 to 2027-28. With a budgetary outlay of Rs 6,322 crores, the scheme is expected to bring in an investment of approximately Rs 40,000 crores and a capacity addition of 25 MT for speciality steel. The scheme is expected to give employment to about 5,25,000 people of which 68,000 will be direct employment.

Speciality steel has been chosen as the target segment because out of the production of 102 million tonnes steel in India in 2020-21, only 18 million tonnes value-added steel/speciality steel was produced in the country. Apart from this out of 6.7 million tonnes of imports in the same year, approx. 4 million tonnes import was of specialty steel alone resulting in FOREX outgo of Approximately Rs 30,000 crores. 

After the above decision, it is expected that the speciality steel production will become 42 million tonnes by the end of 2026-27. This will ensure that approximately 2.5 lakh crores worth of speciality steel will be produced and consumed in the country which would otherwise have been imported. Similarly, the export of specialty steel will become around 5.5 million tonnes as against the current 1.7 million tonnes of specialty steel getting FOREX of Rs 33,000 crore.

The benefit of this scheme aims to accrue to both big players i.e. integrated steel plants and to the smaller players (secondary steel players)

Specialty steel is value added steel wherein normal finished steel is worked upon by way of coating, plating, heat treatment, etc to convert it into high value added steel which can be used in various strategic applications like Defence, Space, Power, apart from automobile sector, specialized capital goods etc.

The five categories of specialty steel which have been chosen in the PLI Scheme are:

  1. Coated/Plated Steel Products
  2. High Strength/Wear resistant Steel
  3. Specialty Rails
  4. Alloy Steel Products and Steel wires
  5. Electrical Steel

Out of these product categories, it is expected that after completion of the Scheme India will start manufacturing products like API grade pipes, Head Hardened Rails, electrical steel (needed in transformers and electrical appliances) which are currently manufactured in very limited quantity or not manufactured at all.

There are 3 slabs of PLI incentives, the lowest being 4 per cent and the highest being 12 per cent which has been provided for electrical steel (CRGO). The PLI Scheme for specialty Scheme will ensure that the basic steel used is 'melted and poured' within the country which means that raw material (finished steel) used for making specialty steel will be made in India only, thereby ensuring that the scheme promotes an end to end manufacturing within the country.