Companies & Sectors
BlackBerry's up to Android smartphone

The device, called Venice, will run Google's mobile OS and complete suite of apps, Droid Life reported

 

Blackberry seems to have finally shed all qualms about the Android and is ready to hog the platform.
 
There have been rumours of the possibility of BlackBerry releasing an Android device this year. The device, called Venice, will run Google's mobile OS and complete suite of apps, Droid Life reported.
 
According to a leaked press render, the device looks rather elegant, featuring a rounded front display, complete with microUSB, headphone jack, and large speaker.
 
However, this is not all. The display can slide up, revealing a full keyboard for those who wish to use one. Venice, in that way, seems to be a blend of modern design and a bit nostalgia.
 
The Venice will be hitting AT&T's network, but there is no timeframe for the release.
 
As shown in the render, the device looks to be running all of Google's applications, meaning the device will likely have access to Google Play.

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Digital Locker scheme challenged in Supreme Court
Creating Digital Locker services only for Aadhaar holders is a threat to the right of equality for Indian citizens, alleges Sudhir Yadav, the petitioner
 
The Narendra Modi government's decision to create digital lockers for citizens by mandatorily using Aadhaar numbers is challenged in the Supreme Court. In the petition, one Sudhir Yadav has prayed before the apex court for exemplary punishment to the concerned officers who has flouted the Supreme Court directions for not making Aadhaar number mandatory for availing benefits from the government.
 
Yadav said, "Despite the clear orders of the Supreme Court, the Modi Government has announced a new service, which is totally Aadhaar-based and even if anybody wants to create an account on that website digitallocker.gov.in that person has to provide Aadhaar number that is clearly violation of Supreme Court order."
 
While launching the Digital India week, Prime Minister Modi had announced the Digital Locker service for all citizens to store valuable documents online. However, only those who have procured an Aadhaar number can access it.
 
"Due to this act of Government, the right of equality is under threat as people who have not enrolled for Aadhaar cannot access the website of Digital Locker even if they are citizens of India and they contribute in the society," Yadav alleged in the petition. 
 
Karnataka High Court's former judge K S Puttaswamy had moved the Court in 2012 contending that the entire Aadhaar scheme was unconstitutional as the biometric data collected under it was an incursion and transgression of individual privacy. The apex court is likely to hear the matter concerning and illegality of 12-digit biometric Aadhaar number on 21 July 2015.
 
Earlier in March 2015, a bench of Justice J Chelameswar, Justice SA Bobde and Justice C Nagappan reiterated it was incumbent upon the central government to ensure that the states complied with the Supreme Court's order of not making Aadhaar mandatory for availing social benefits under various schemes.
 
The apex court by its 23 September 2013 order, had said "no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar in spite of the fact that some authorities had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."

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COMMENTS

saravanan ramamoorthy

2 years ago

when congress was in power, doing nothing, where were these petitioners ?

Fresh From The Farm – 2: Till the Cows Come Home
Cattle are tom-tommed as the backbone of our economy. However, increasingly, farmers are finding it difficult to take care of them
 
A couple of years ago, a senior ophthalmologist residing in my locality got up as usual for his regular morning walk. His wife, a physician at a local government health outpost, was also getting ready. It was 4:00am. 
 
He put on the light of his portico and opened the door. The distance from his main door to the gate was just a few feet. As he opened the gate, two persons suddenly barged in and pounced upon him. They were wielding swords.
 
“Go back into your house!” they warned in menacing tones. 
 
The good ophthalmologist was still rubbing his eyes. From the haze, he could see a Maruti Omni van on the road in front of his house. There were two or three more people there. They were loading a cow into the vehicle.
 
He went inside and tried to peep out from his window. The operation was quick, the men jumped into the van and they drove away.
 
In the local Tulu lingo, they were petta kandunakulu (roughly translated, it means those who steal cows)—or cattle rustlers—common in the coastal areas.
 
Later that evening, our colony’s residents’ association president, secretary and a few other people met. This was the situation: Cows from the adjacent village are left to graze in our colony without anyone to mind them, and they populate our colony.
 
Every resident had his own, but similar story to share. In the dark hours, sometime between late night and early morning, a van or a car or a tempo used to drive up. The cattle rustlers injected the cow with some ‘medicine’, and once it became unconscious—usually in a couple of minutes—they would load it into a van or jeep and whisk it away. Everything was done in an eerily quiet manner. On occasion, such thefts took place in the afternoons when the streets were deserted because the men were away at work and housewives were having their siesta. 
 
This writer was a member of the colony along with the ophthalmologist already mentioned earlier, two retired senior bankers, a businessman, a school headmaster, and a surgeon in a major multi-specialty hospital. We walked down to the old houses in the village, a few yards away, and spoke to the residents who owned the cattle. 
 
After an hour or so of discussion, they promised to take care of their cattle “from now on”.
 
Yet, the story continued. And it still continues.
 
The businessman, a popular social worker in the area, went to the nearby Manipal police station along with a couple of residents. The cops admitted that cattle rustling was a major issue and assured him that they would “look into it”.
 
But everybody knew that the police were hand-in-glove with the thieves. There were police barricades three-four kms either way on National Highway 169A abutting our village. The rustlers cannot move even without being stopped for a check.
 
This writer spoke to many villagers in the surrounding areas -- mostly farmers and separately, to their wives, about the cattle theft.
 
Living a couple of hundred metres away from my house, Shakuntala Shetty, 55, is the head of her household. Her father-in-law is very old and cannot work anymore. Her husband is an autorickshaw driver. They have a three-acre farm, on which they grow mostly rice.
 
Shakuntala also has three children, all grown up and educated. One son works in Mumbai, another is doing his 3-year diploma course at a polytechnic institute and the third is still in school. They also have other relatives staying with them.
 
They have two cow-sheds and possess several cows.
 
Shakuntala is also the president of the local dairy cooperative. Every morning and evening, she heats up gruel for the cows, feeds them, milks them and lets them free to graze in the nearby areas; she later leaves for the diary office, a few kilometers away, to sell the milk and talk to others of her ilk.
 
In between, she has to do the household chores, look after the paddy fields and organise labourers during the two harvesting seasons, since it is all manual work.
 
As we have a large compound and find it difficult to maintain–removing the weeds, overgrown grass, fallen leaves and so on—Shakuntala leaves a couple of cows with us, especially when they are pregnant. She will come and tie the cows inside our compound. In the evening, she comes and collects them.
 
She knows that we love cows: All of us, my wife, son, daughter and, of course, myself. My daughter has named them Kaveri and Gowri, based on their colours.
 
Shakuntala knows that we will take good care of her cows. 
 
That was until a year ago when I fell ill seriously. Due to hospitalisation and other issues, we could not take care of the cows. Recently, the cows came back. On their own!
 
But Shakuntala’s reason for leaving the cows was not that there was enough grass in our compound nor the fact that I also ran a “cow wash”. (She barely has any time to clean them…)
 
It was her fear that her milch cows would be whisked away by cattle thieves.
 
These thieves are not the only issue faced by villagers. By itself, taking care of cattle has become a cumbersome chore.
 
A few days ago, I travelled by train from Udupi to Kumta on the scenic Konkan Railway route, about 150kms away, in the beautiful monsoon season.
 
The fields along the railway tracks for miles and miles around were being readied for harvesting. I could see the farm folk—women included—going about their work. Some were repairing the bunds, some spreading fertilizers, a few others ploughing their fields. 
 
What struck me later was that at only one place I saw a couple of bullocks being used by a farmer for ploughing. At all other places, it was a mechanical, hand-operated plough at work!
 
The second thing that struck me was that most of these people were middle-aged or older.
 
I noticed the same thing in the villages and hamlets in my neighbourhood also.
 
I spoke to a farmer sometime back – he owns six acres of land about a couple of minutes from my house. They were once well-known for possessing some of the finest stock of cows in the area. However, one night, after a hard day’s work, while he was having his regular tipple at a local bar, he told me that he had to give up his cattle, one by one. In the middle of the night, he would take a head of cattle, leave it in nearby Manipal city, and return.
 
“What to do? I am growing old, my wife is also not keeping well. Our children go out and they find it below their dignity to taking care of the cattle,” Ramdas Nayak told me.
 
Besides, they are ‘educated’. They rarely come to help in the fields, even at the time of sowing or during harvest.
 
Even though Nayak’s fields are next to River Swarna, they are entirely dependent on the monsoon. The reason is that during summers, the river turns salty as sea water comes in with the tide.
 
“Earlier, we used to have at least two cycles of paddy, but nowadays we barely manage one,” he said, sipping his ambrosia.
 
One of his ‘educated’ sons—‘only’ 12th fail—is now driving an autorickshaw. His daylong earnings are spent in the same watering hole along with his friends.
 
Coming back to the cattle, when one of Shakuntala’s cows gave birth to a male progeny, she was dejected. The cows give milk, the bulls are of no use, and they are abandoned to their fate.
 
And, they say, cattle is the backbone of our rural economy!
 
(Shrikant N Shenoy has been a journalist since 1980, having worked in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Dubai. He launched a news portal and an online Konkani language channel from Manipal, Udupi, but ran out of money. In 2011, he successfully launched an English newspaper with five editions simultaneously on a shoe-string budget. He tweets as @udupinet.)

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COMMENTS

Anand Vaidya

2 years ago

There is another side to this problem: The cattle-rearers let loose their cows on the city streets for "free feeding" on the streets.

1) These cows sometimes turn aggressive and attack people. Me and wife just survived such an attack by "Go Mata". This happened inside a park where these cows were happily destroying vegetations and suddenly remembered their wild side.

2) Have we all not seen cows eating from garbage dumps? I have seen them eating - rotting food, bandages (yuck) and plastic etc. Now that makes consuming daily uneasy...

I wonder why can't these cow-owners keep their cows in their own sheds tethered and feed them with grass and leaves?

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