The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on January 12 busted six YouTube channels which were “working in a coordinated manner and spreading false information in India”. The six YouTube channels — Samvaad TV, Nation TV, Sarokar Bharat, Nation 24, Swarnim Bharat and Samvaad Samachar — were found to be “operating as part of a coordinated disinformation network, had nearly 20 lakh subscribers and their videos have been watched over 51 crore times”. The PIB Fact Check Unit of the Ministry released six separate Twitter threads having over “100 fact-checks to counter the fake news spread by these channels”. This is the second such action from the unit where entire channels have been busted.
The Centre on January 12 said 18,600 toys were seized pan-India from 25 retail stores, including Hamleys and Archies, for lack of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) quality mark. “Toys are under Mandatory Certification Scheme of BIS through Quality Control Order and cannot be manufactured, sold, imported or distributed without bearing the ISI Mark,” the Bureau of Indian Standards said in a tweet.
The Human Rights Watch’s World Report 2023 said that Indian authorities had “intensified and broadened” their crackdown on activist groups and the media through 2022, adding that the “Hindu nationalist” Bharatiya Janata Party-led government used “abusive and discriminatory policies to repress Muslims and other minorities”. “The BJP government’s promotion of Hindu majoritarian ideology provokes authorities and supporters to engage in discriminatory and at times violent actions against religious minorities,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch, adding that the authorities should be reigning in party members and supporters responsible for these abuses instead of “jailing critics and shutting down rights groups”.
A young man breached Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security cover to give him a garland, during his roadshow in Hubballi. He was immediately pulled away by security personnel. A video clip from the roadshow showed a boy running towards the Prime Minister with a garland.
The situation along the frontier with China is “stable” but “unpredictable” and Indian troops are adequately deployed to deal with any contingency, Army Chief Gen. Manoj Pande said on January 12. At a press conference ahead of the Army Day, Gen. Pande also said that the troops deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been able to maintain a robust posture to defeat any evil design of the adversary with a firm and resolute manner.
The Congress on January 12 sought to know from Prime Minister Narendra Modi when will there be a discussion in Parliament on the border conflict with China as it released a calendar of “catastrophic mistakes” by the BJP government in 2022 regarding Beijing. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera posed a set of questions to Mr. Modi while claiming that China continues to occupy Indian territory in Ladakh and that the status quo ante has not been restored even after three years.
The production licence of Noida-based pharmaceutical firm Marion Biotech, allegedly linked with the deaths of children in Uzbekistan, has been suspended while the results of its controversial cough syrup are awaited, an Uttar Pradesh drug official said on January 12. The World Health Organisation has also issued a medical product alert on Ambronol and Dok-1 Max syrups, both manufactured by Marion Biotech in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Santosh Kumar Sarangi on January 12 said the government will take an appropriate decision on the demand to lift the ban on wheat exports at the time of crop harvest around March-April. Before this decision, a review will be done of the gap between the demand and supply of wheat in the country, he said. The head of the DGFT was in Indore to participate in the Global Investors Summit ‘Invest Madhya Pradesh’ organised by the M.P. government.
The United Arab Emirates on January 12 agreed to extend an existing loan of $2 billion and provide an additional loan of $1 billion to help cash-strapped Pakistan tackle its economic woes, including the fast-depleting foreign exchange reserves. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s Office made the announcement after his meeting with U.A.E. President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka’s former president Maithripala Sirisena was on Thursday ordered by the apex court to pay 100 million Sri Lankan rupee as compensation to victims of the 2019 Easter attack for his negligence in preventing the country’s one of the worst terror strikes despite having credible information of an imminent attack. In its verdict, a seven-member Bench of the Supreme Court ruled that the respondents named in the petitions for failing to prevent the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks had violated the Fundamental Rights of the petitioners. The court said top officials failed to act on the detailed intelligence information shared by India to avert the deadly suicide bombings.
Protests against Peruvian President Dina Boluarte’s government that have left 48 people dead since they began a month ago spread through the south of the Andean country on Wednesday with new clashes reported in the tourist city of Cusco. Health officials in Cusco said 37 civilians and six police officers were injured after protesters tried to take over the city’s airport, where many foreign tourists arrive to see sites including the nearby Incan citadel of Machu Picchu.
India’s retail inflation cooled to 5.72% in December 2022, staying below the central bank’s 6% tolerance threshold for the second month in a row after a ten-month streak above it. Rural inflation, however, remained higher, dipping marginally from 6.09% in November 2022 to 6.05% in December. While inflation measured by the Consumer Food Price Index dipped from 4.67% in November to 4.19% in December, there was a wide disparity in the price rise for food items faced by rural and urban consumers. Urban food price inflation was just 2.8% in December compared to 5.05% in rural markets.
Star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy dished out another splendid show to progress to the men’s singles quarterfinals with a thrilling win over Indonesia’s Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo in the Malaysia Open Super 750 tournament in Kuala Lumpur on January 12, 2023. The World number 8 Indian looked in fine fettle as he staved off the spirited challenge from world number 19 Chico 21-9 15-21 21-16 in an hour and four minutes.