Regulations
Indian telecom regulator declines discriminatory data pricing
New Delhi : The Indian telecom regulator on Monday said no service provider should offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data on the basis of content.
 
"No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged to the consumer on the basis of content," the sector regulator said in the notification.
 
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman R.S. Sharma said: "No service provider shall charge differential charges based on source, destination, application and content."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Headley exposes Pakistan's role in 2008 Mumbai terror strike
Mumbai : Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley on Monday revealed a goldmine of information for Indian authorities on various aspects leading to the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, while deposing via video conference from a US jail before Special TADA Court Judge G.A. Sanap here.
 
Among the stunning disclosures was a hitherto unknown fact that two unsuccessful attempts were made in Mumbai in September and October 2008 which failed, before the final strike at multiple locations in south Mumbai on November 26-29, 2008.
 
He spilled the names of officials connected to the Pakistan Army and spoke of their role, its dreaded Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the LeT and others who were involved in the conspiracy, planning and execution of the 26/11 attacks which killed 166 people and injured hundreds more.
 
"Headley has made several sensitive revelations. We are satisfied with the evidence," said a pleased Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.
 
Headley also named LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and his close associate Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi -- both suspected right from the beginning since the investigations were launched by Indian agencies after the attacks.
 
Naming two people directly linked with the Pakistan Army and the ISI -- Major Iqbal and Major Ali -- Headley unravelled how he was arrested by the Pakistan Army around 2002 when he was going to meet a drug smuggler to make arrangements to send arms and ammunitions consignments to Kashmiri groups fighting the Indian Army.
 
The two army majors also supervised his two-year-long training by the LeT at a camp in Muzaffarabad, which is in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), he added.
 
Admitting he was a functionary with the LeT, Headley identified a picture of his main contact in the terror group - Sajid Mir - and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and said he was "inspired" by Saeed's fiery speeches to join and was trained by the terrorist group in 2002.
 
Both Saeed and Lakhvi used to address these terror training camps, while others like Abu Furkad, Sanaullah, Abu Hanzala, Abu Saif, Abu Fahadullah and Abu Usman were his trainers, he said.
 
In those two years, he was given leadership training, how to handle AK-47 assault rifles, bombs and explosives.
 
To a query by Nikam on "sophisticated weapons training", Headley said if an AK-47 was sophisticated, then he was trained to operate it.
 
About the motive behind joining the LeT, Headley said he wanted to assist the Kashmiris fighting against the Indian Army in the border state.
 
But, when he desired to join the Kashmiris, Saeed dissuaded him and said he had another "important assignment" for him in mind.
 
On the two unsuccessful attempts to wreak havoc in Mumbai that year, Headley said 10 terrorists were to strike in the first attempt in September 2008, but the terrorists' boat hit some rocks in the Arabian Sea, resulting in loss of weapons and ammunition, but those on board survived as they wore life jackets.
 
The second attempt came in October, with the same people involved as in the first, but that also failed for unknown reasons, before the third and successful attack was executed on November 26 that year, he said.
 
Headley provided details of his passport with an American name and spoke of his 7-8 trips to Mumbai and one to New Delhi between 2006 and 2008 before the 26/11 attacks.
 
The trips included seven via Pakistan and one via the UAE. He made yet another trip to Mumbai on March 7, 2009, after the terror attack was successfully executed.
 
Sajid Mir, his LeT handler who had advised him to change his name even in the passport, had told him to make general video shoots of various locations in Mumbai.
 
To a question by Nikam, Headley named one person -- Raymond Sanders, a visa consultant, who helped him procure Indian visa in Chicago.
 
However, Headley said most of the information on his visa application was false -- except his birth date and place, mother's name and nationality and the passport number -- as he did not want to blow his cover or get detected by Indian agencies.
 
Earlier, Headley, 56, said he was born on June 30, 1960, in the US and shifted to Pakistan later where he changed his name to Daood Sayeed Gilani, which was appreciated by Hafiz Saeed and others in LeT.
 
Flanked by three people at an undisclosed location in the US -- his attorney John, US attorney Sarah and a person identified merely as Bob -- Headley was administered the oath at 7.30 a.m. and Special Public Prosecutor Nikam started firing questions at him.
 
"The evidence coming out today could be very significant," said eminent lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, who is helping out Headley's attorneys in connection with the procedural issues pertaining to Indian laws.
 
Another LeT functionary, Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, who is now facing trial in the 26/11, appeared through video-conferencing from Arthur Road Central Jail, appeared irked by Headley's revelations and was seen taking notes.
 
At a previous hearing on December 10 last year, the special TADA court judge had pardoned Headley and made him an approver in the case, subject to certain conditions.
 
Headley had already confessed to his role in the offences in the US for which he is seving a 35-year sentence.
 
The five-hour court proceedings -- which will resume on Tuesday -- were held here amidst tight security with over 100 policemen deployed in and around the Mumbai City Civil and Sessions Court.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

10 months ago

I have had no doubt that, for decades, the USA has been indirectly waging a war against India, by offering financial and military aid to Pakistan, knowing fully well that much its aid finds its way into the terror outfits based in Pakistan, like the LeT, JeM, Mujahideen, etc. Many of these outfits are believed to have been "created" and "nurtured" by Pakistan's ISI to be India-centric. While this must surely be known to our top RAW and other security agencies, I wonder why India has never raised this issue in international fora, like the UN. US has always played a double-game with India, by offering trade ties and such, while funding terror in Pak all along. Pity, no Indian leader is willing / daring enough to call US's bluff.

REPLY

shadi katyal

In Reply to Simple Indian 10 months ago

It is no secret that any aid given by USA to Pakistan is niot cash and thus your arguments have no leg to stand. The Billions oif Dollars mnentioned as aid are cost of equipment and even if there is any inflow of cash, there is no way UDSA cannot control as there is no accountbility.
India has never been friendly to USA in the past despite USA trying to help India . We always felt our God given duty to use any method to sp[eak against West and particulrly USA. Duyring Cold War days Pakistan allowed sorties from her soil over Russia and thus became more friendly while we continue to show our true colours as in your letter.
Every nation tried to protect her own but we try to tell the world what is good for them. We had and have no friends as we are our worst enemy. Kindly tell us who came to India help in 1962 when Chinese invaded. Did any of those impotent Non Alligned nation even spoke a word.
KGB had a good hold on India and issued misinformatiuon of about 5,000 articles against USA and it distrubs me that we forget our behavior and find faults with other nations.
Pakistan has deep deep hooks in USA state dept,Pentafgon and Congress and that is why no acion was taken when supply convey were held up and looted.We only criticise instead of creating friendly relations.

shadi katyal

10 months ago

One wonder why has it taken so long to bring this to court. Pakistan will never admit as ISI controls Pakistan present Govt.\
One question which has never been answered about his VISA and who gave and what if any action taken against such officer.
Similary what happened to Ms. Gupta who passed documnets to ISI lover while she was posted in Pakistan.
Why did India not disclose Hedlay visits to India before this.

Zika vaccine claim: Hope or hype?
Bengaluru : An Indian biotech company's "breakthrough" claim that it has developed two "candidate vaccines" against the Zika virus - while being hailed as a 'made in India' product - has alarmed some virologists.
 
Krishna Ella, managing director of Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, announced last week that his company is probably the first in the world to file a "global patent" for its vaccines against the virus that is suspected to cause birth defects and neurological problems and is terrorizing Brazil and other countries in South America. The company said it started work on the vaccines a year ago using "live" Zika virus. But, despite repeated requests from IANS, neither Ella nor the company's spokesperson revealed from where or when the company got this virus.
 
"It is a serious question," said Kalyan Banerjee, a renowned virologist and former director of the National Institute of Virology in Pune, a premier laboratory under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
 
"Normally one should not import any exotic virus into the country under any pretext," Banerjee told IANS in an email. "Only the government of India's biotechnology board or a similar body is authorized to give permission to import after ascertaining all aspects of the virus."
 
"It is amazing how the said laboratory obtained the live virus, particularly when there is no record of isolation of Zika virus from the Indian subcontinent," Banerjee said.
 
The Zika virus is spread by the Aedes Aegypti species of mosquitoes that are abundant in India.
 
"Regarding the company getting the virus and making a vaccine, it needs to be carefully investigated," Banerjee said, pointing out that "loopholes in the import of pathogenic agents may lead to national disaster".
 
He said strict vigilance was one main reason why the yellow fever virus - which is also spread by Aedes mosquitoes and causes a fatal disease - never came to India.
 
Durga Rao, another leading virologist at the Indian Institute of Science here, agrees.
 
One can import a virus from any source with approval from ICMR or the department of biotechnology, "but unauthorized introduction of a virus which is not reported yet in India by anyone could be a serious regulatory problem as it can get into the environment easily under our unsupervised facilities", Rao said in an email.
 
But inquiries reveal that the vaccine maker failed to follow the standard procedure for importing the live Zika virus whose potential threat to newborns forced the World Health Organization on February 1 to declare a global emergency.
 
"We did not import the virus and Bharat (Biotech) got it themselves," ICMR director general Soumya Swaminathan told IANS in an email to a query if the company sought its permission to import.
 
"There are safety concerns with Zika virus vaccine -- so all steps in regulatory approval need to be followed," she said.
 
Asked if the DBT gave the permission, its secretary K. Vijayraghavan - instead of an emphatic yes or no - said that the question "is best addressed to the industry concerned". In an email, he said the DBT is committed to work with ICMR and the health Ministry to ensure preparedness.
 
Apart from its reluctance to reveal the source of the virus used to develop the vaccines, the company has declined to give details about the global patent it claims to have filed in July 2015.
 
A search of the Indian Patent Office website for Bharat Biotech's patent applications, or the company's own website, does not show any specific filing for the Zika virus. One patent expert told IANS that "it is possible that the patent office hasn't yet published this patent application".
 
Some scientists are impressed - and at the same time intrigued - by the Indian company's foresight in trying to develop a vaccine for a disease that was not yet there.
 
According to a report in the journal Science, "less than a year ago, Zika seemed too trivial for anyone to bother developing countermeasures", and Brazil reported its first case (microcephaly) of Zika virus only in May 2015.
 
"But Bharat Biotech says it started work on the vaccine as early as in 2014 and filed for patents for two vaccines in July 2015 itself," said one medical researcher who did not want to be named. "This defies credibility."
 
But Bharat Biotech has dismissed this argument saying the company was already developing vaccines for chikungunya and dengue and it was natural to work also on a vaccine for Zika virus which too is spread by the same species of mosquito.
 
Although the Indian company has an early start in vaccine development, bringing the vaccine to the market will be years away, experts say. There is no monkey model yet to enable comparisons of candidate vaccines and human trials have to be done in endemic countries like Brazil, not in India.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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