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Oversight Board warns against online abuses & deepfakes during global polls

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Oversight Board warns against online abuses & deepfakes during global polls

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) As global elections gather steam, the independent Oversight Board warned on Thursday that inaccurate enforcement by social media platforms and unequal investment in global election integrity efforts have increased the risks of poll-related violence, the problematic suppression of critical political speech and the spread of fake news and deepfakes that aim to interfere with elections.

The Oversight Board, an independent body of 22 global human rights and freedom of expression experts from across the political spectrum and the world, has made elections one of its main strategic priorities.

In a paper, the independent board called for urgent action to tackle the worst online abuses threatening key global elections and free speech.

The Board analysed a broad collection of its election-related cases — ranging from the suspension of former US President Donald Trump on Meta’s platforms to the Board’s decision to leave up controversial comments about immigration by a French politician, as well as news reports on political speech in the Pakistani Parliament.

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It then devised nine key lessons that all social media platforms should follow.

These include dedicating sufficient resources to moderating content before, during and after elections, not limiting this to the immediate voting period, setting basic standards for all elections everywhere and not neglecting dozens of elections taking place in countries that might be less lucrative markets, but where the threat of instability is often greatest.

“Our guidance has been clear: if you are taking down content relating to politics, especially in the context of elections, removal must be necessary to prevent or mitigate genuine offline harms. The right of voters to express and to hear a broad range of information and opinion is essential,” said Michael McConnell, Oversight Board Co-chair.

“But this cannot be an excuse for allowing posts that will likely lead to violence or suppress the rights of others to speak and to vote,” he added.

The guidelines include not allowing political speech that incites violence to go unchecked, with quicker escalation of content to human review and tough sanctions on repeat abusers being prioritised.

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“More comprehensive labelling of AI-generated content is an important first step in this global year of elections, but too much is at stake for companies to drag their feet when it comes to adopting greater transparency across the board,” McConnell added.

–IANS

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Atal Innovation Mission, WIPO join hands to boost innovation in Global South

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Atal Innovation Mission, WIPO join hands to boost innovation in
 Global South

Atal Innovation Mission, WIPO join hands to boost innovation in
 Global South

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) at NITI Aayog and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on Monday joined hands towards building joint innovation programmes in the Global South.

Union Minister for Education and Skill Development Dharmendra Pradhan said that innovation is India’s strength.

“This pathbreaking partnership between AIM and WIPO will take the best of India’s innovation models to countries that are on similar development trajectories, and will enhance understanding and awareness about IPR right from the school level and unlock the innovation potential of the world as well as foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” he said.

According to Sherif Saadallah, Executive Director, WIPO Academy, intellectual property (IP) is a powerful catalyst for innovation and creativity, essential for addressing the development of youth and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Our focus on youth is an integral part of our work to build a more inclusive global IP ecosystem, and our partnership with Atal Innovation Mission demonstrates WIPO’s commitment to ensure youth’s participation in innovation and creativity,” said Saadallah.

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Last year, Daren Tang, Director General, WIPO had visited the AIM ecosystem and advocated for Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) and Atal Incubation Centers (AIC) to be a good template for innovation and entrepreneurship through South-South cooperation.

Suman Bery, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog said that WIPO’s recognition of India’s entrepreneurship development model is a proud moment for India and NITI Aayog. “This deepens an already productive relationship between NITI Aayog and WIPO on national competitiveness,” said Bery.

–IANS

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India needs to have gradual evolution of financial market: Eco Survey

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India needs to have gradual evolution of financial market: Eco Survey

India needs to have gradual evolution of financial market: Eco Survey

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Stressing that enhanced participation of retail investors in the Indian capital market lends stability to it, the Economic Survey 2023-2024 said on Monday that India needs to have an orderly and gradual evolution of the financial market.

Commodity derivatives turnover rose by 87 per cent in FY24, driven by an increase in turnover of options contracts of the energy segment. The number of unique tax IDs registered on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose from 2.7 crore in FY19 to 9.2 crore in FY24.

The Survey pointed out that most of the new retail investors are likely young and may have a higher risk appetite.

“It is also reflected in the interest that retail investors have shown in derivatives trading, especially expiration-day trading. While derivatives are hedging instruments, they are mostly used as speculative instruments by investors worldwide. India is likely no exception,” it warned. It added that derivatives trading holds the potential for outsized gains and caters to “humans’ gambling instincts and can augment income if profitable”.

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“These considerations are likely driving active retail participation in derivatives trading. However, globally, derivatives trading loses money for the investors, for the most part. Raising investor awareness and continuous financial education is essential to warn them of the low or negative expected returns from derivatives trading,” suggested the Survey document.

A significant stock correction could see losses that are more considerable for retail investors participating in capital markets through derivatives. “Investors’ behavioural response would be to feel ‘cheated’ by unseen more considerable forces. They may not return to capital markets for a long time. That is a loss to them and the economy,” the Survey noted.

It said that all stakeholders — market participants, market infrastructure institutions, regulators, and the government — must ensure that capital markets play their theoretically assigned role of directing savings to their most productive investments.

“It is not just in the national interest. It is an act of self-interest, too,” said the Survey.

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–IANS

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Creating 78.5 lakh jobs annually till 2030 signals Centre’s resolve: Assocham on Eco Survey

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Goa CM hails Centre lifting ban on govt employees joining RSS activities

Goa CM hails Centre lifting ban on govt employees joining RSS activities

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Terming the Economic Survey 2023-2024 a ‘bold’ document, leading industry chamber Assocham on Monday said the way it has emphasised the need for creating 78.5 lakh jobs annually till 2030, signals the government’s resolve to leverage the fourth global industrial revolution, taking advantage of new-age technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Calling the Survey a morale-booster India growth story, projecting 6.5-7 per cent economic expansion for the fiscal 2024-25 supported by robust services sector, Assocham said it promises manufacturing and investor enthusiasm as reflected in encouraging rise in Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF).

“The Survey’s promising GDP projections for the current financial year come in the backdrop of 8.2 per cent economic growth in 2023-24. Growth is well spread across different sectors like manufacturing, real estate and construction,” said Deepak Sood, Secretary General.

He said a stellar increase of 19.8 per cent in GFCF in the private sector non-financial corporations in FY23 would have contributed immensely to overall impressive performance in the subsequent year.

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“The trend is expected to continue this fiscal as well and appears to be secular in nature,” said Sood.

The chamber noted that the Survey has aptly emphasised the importance of deregulation and the catalyst role of the private sector in boosting investment.

Specific stress on expanding the Indian manufacturing sector for generation of employment for ”semi -skilled” workforce needs to be complimented, it added.

“The role of MSMEs and its formalisation into the economy through various government initiatives like Udyam Registration Portal, different schemes on credit guarantees has been well-recognised in the Economic Survey,” said the chamber.

–IANS

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Wipro shares nosedived over 9 pc after missed earnings expectations

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Wipro shares nosedived over 9 pc after missed earnings expectations

Wipro shares nosedived over 9 pc after missed earnings expectations

Mumbai, July 22 (IANS) Shares of IT major Wipro nosedived on Monday by nearly 9.3 per cent over missed expectations in its April-June quarter results and a weak guidance for the next quarter.

Wipro’s stock closed Rs 51.85 down at Rs 505.35, after it reported a one per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) decline in its consolidated revenue in the results declared on Friday.

According to brokerages, the early recovery in discretionary demand could potentially boost Wipro’s future performance.

For the September quarter, Wipro expects revenue growth to be between minus one per cent to one per cent in constant currency terms.

Nuvama expects Wipro to continue underperforming its peers. It has maintained its ‘Hold’ rating on Wipro.

Meanwhile, Citi has maintained its ‘Sell’ rating on the stock with a price target of Rs 495.

On the other hand, Morgan Stanley is ‘underweight’ on Wipro with a price target of Rs 459.

Wipro reported a 4.6 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 3,003 crore for the first quarter of the current fiscal (FY25), as revenue dropped 3.8 per cent to Rs 21,964 crore.

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The company added 337 employees during the quarter, reversing the trend of declining headcount after six quarters.

–IANS

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SC asks IIT Delhi panel to give opinion on contentious Physics question in NEET-UG exam

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SC asks IIT Delhi panel to give opinion on contentious Physics
 question in NEET-UG exam

SC asks IIT Delhi panel to give opinion on contentious Physics
 question in NEET-UG exam

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday asked IIT Delhi to form an expert panel to give its opinion on the decision of the National Testing Agency (NTA) to treat two options as the correct answers to a Physics question in the NEET-UG examination.

A bench, headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, said: “We request the Director of IIT Delhi to constitute a team of three experts of the subject concerned. The expert team is requested to formulate its opinion on the correct option and to remit its opinion to the registrar of this court by 12 noon on July 23.”

The bench, also comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, directed that a copy of its order may be forwarded on Monday itself to the Director, IIT Delhi for expeditious action.

In the batch of petitions alleging irregularities in the conduct of the NEET-UG exam, petitioners questioned the award of grace marks in respect of a contentious Physics question, adding that as many as 44 candidates were able to secure full marks on account of the ambiguous question. They contended that the NTA’s decision to award compensatory marks contradicts its own instruction asking students to follow the latest NCERT textbook.

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The matter will be taken up for further hearing on Tuesday.

In the previous hearing, the apex court had sought a copy of the report of Bihar Police and its Economic Offences Unit (EOU) in relation to the NEET question paper leak case.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta undertook that he will place on record the copy of the report filed by Patna police as well as the report filed by EOU of Bihar Police.

The NEET question paper leak case was cracked by Patna police on May 5, the day of the examination and an FIR was registered at the city’s Shastri Nagar Police Station. The case was later transferred to the EOU of Bihar Police for investigation. On June 23, the Centre decided to transfer the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The SC also asked the NTA to release on its website centre-wise results after redacting personal information, including the roll number of the candidates. During the hearing, the apex court had asked the petitioners to illustrate that the leak was so systematic that the exam must be cancelled in its entirety and conducted afresh. It reiterated that if tainted cases cannot be segregated from untainted ones, the entire examination has to go.

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Earlier, the top court had directed the NTA to make full disclosure regarding the nature of the paper leak, the places where leaks took place, and the lag of time between the occurrence of the leak and the conduct of the examination. It also asked the CBI to file a status report indicating the status of the investigation and the material collected during the course of the probe.

–IANS

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