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Photo : Wikipedia

Is Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Under Modi’s Radar?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known for delivering shock therapy. It was visible sometimes back when BJP replaced the veteran Lingayat leader BS Yeddyurappa as the chief minister of Karnataka by appointing Basavraj Bomai. Likewise, Modi took the call to replace Uttarkhand’s then chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat with Lok Sabha member Tirath Singh Rawat. In July, four months after being made chief minister, Tirath Singh Rawat was replaced by two-time MLA Pushkar Singh Dhami. In Gujarat, ahead of assembly elections slated for 2022, Modi surprised the party legislators by appointing a first time MLA Bhupendra Patel, who hails from the politically influential Patidar community, thereby replacing Home Minister Amit Shah’s confidant Vijay Rupani who comes from the Jain community. Rupani was the fourth CM to be replaced by BJP in the last six months. Now, within the BJP circle, there is a strong buzz about replacing Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar who does not belong to the Jat community, by appointing a Jat community leader especially in the wake of ongoing farmers’ agitation. Khattar, who was handpicked by Modi, has been under the latter’s radar for his style of functioning during his second term. Also, Khattar’s controversial statement of “jaise ko taisa,” asking BJP’s farmers’ arm to form groups against Opposition-led farmers’ blockades seems to have angered the top leaders of BJP.

Rising Shareholder Activism Keeping Promoters On The Hook

Shareholder activism has been gaining currency and managements have to think twice before proposing resolutions to be approved and voted by shareholders. SEBI is also ensuring that it becomes difficult for promoters to push anything just because of their majority stake. For every negative vote, you now need three positive votes to approve the resolution. In some cases, the promoter is not allowed to vote and the minority shareholders decide the outcome. Readers would recall that Eicher Motor shareholders rejected a pay hike to Sidharth Lal, its MD & CEO. Similarly, IDFC shareholders rejected the reappointment of Vinod Rai as independent director. In the case of Zee Entertainment, two directors stepped down on the eve of the AGM as proxy advisors had asked the shareholders to vote them out. Meanwhile, the company which announced a non-binding agreement sale to Sony Entertainment has been directed by NCLT Mumbai bench to consider shareholder Invesco’s request for EGM to oust MD Punit Goenka. Jindal Steel & Power wants its shareholders to approve payment of one-time remuneration to its four independent directors. Proxy holders are advising shareholders to oppose the same as it violates terms of an independent director. Further an investor has rejected the reappointment of Shallu Jindal, wife of Naveen Jindal and a director on the board of the company for nine years. Indeed, it is a tough time for promoters.

Apple’s Private Relay Upholds Privacy – Even For The Underworld

In what could be dangerous for police forces, Apple has launched encrypted browsing at the touch of a switch on its iPhones, iPads, laptops and desktop computers. It is called the Private Relay feature and criminals could have a free run on it with law enforcement rendered helpless in tracking them. Broadband and mobile companies may be unable to assist police investigations into dangerous suspects like terrorists or child abusers. Hitherto, criminals had to be extremely computer savvy to use the DarkNet to carry out their nefarious activities. With all Apple devices giving people encrypted protection, it could be a virtual invitation for the criminally minded to use them with the anonymity they seek in working the Internet.  As technology improves to offer the hiding of digital footprints, investigating authorities might struggle even if Apple is offering to “respond productively” to any police requests for information. When people browse the web, their browser takes them directly to the website they seek, leaving a digital footprint with their broadband or mobile operator. Apple’s Private Relay service uses technology similar to the “dark web”, to ping people’s traffic between different servers so no one entity can see where they have been. Even Apple will not be able to see who you are either and what sites you are visiting.
smriti mandhana

Photo : Twitter

Smriti Mandhana’s Stroke-Filled Cricket Inspiring Gen Next

There are like-minded people in the cricketing fraternity who believe that the top leadership role for Smriti Mandhana is not far away. This line of thought is for both white-ball, which is leveraged to promote women’s cricket worldwide, and red-ball cricket, which the national team has got the taste twice in the last five months. Smriti, through her stylish strokes, brings large doses of cricketing oomph that is compelling to watch. Not knowing when the next multi-day Test match will be scheduled, because the immediate focus will be on the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand next March, the elegant left-hander showed a terrific mindset to uncork a century (127, 22x 4s and 1×6) that rattled the well grizzled Australian team in the one-off pink ball Test at Gold Coast’s Carrara Oval recently. Smriti at 25 already exemplifies as a fine role model for the even younger talent to follow. The Sangli lass has chosen to play a brand of cricket that the present-day fans and stakeholders lap it up. She has already made a big impact on Shafali Verma who goes after the bowling from the word go. A splendid striker of the ball, Harmanpreet Kaur, the present Twenty20 captain, appears to have lost way. But India’s women cricket will be in good hands in the future, with Smriti showing the way.

RBI Turns To Ace Finance Pros From South To Turn Around NBFCs

When things are going down, this regulator too decides to head south! Well, the RBI, yet again, has chosen to look for talents in the south to reset a couple of recalcitrant NBFCs. This time around, the RBI has brought in two stalwarts from the south to assist the newly-appointed administrator of Srei Infrastructure Finance and Srei Equipment Finance. The boards of these two were superseded by the RBI on October 4, 2021. R Subramaniakumar, administrator of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), and TT Srinivasaraghavan, former MD, Sundaram Finance, have been included in the three-member advisory committee to help Rajneesh Sharma, ex-Chief General Manager, Bank of Baroda, as the administrator of these two companies. Since November 2019, Subramaniakumar, former MD & CEO Indian Overseas Bank, has been an administrator of DHFL. After many twists and turns, the debt resolution plan submitted by Piramal Group for DHFL has been finally approved by the National Company Law Tribunal. Subramaniakumar, in fact, was driving IOB during its critical phase. A few days ago, IOB came out of the Prompt Corrective Action framework. IOB was placed under PCA in 2015. Srinivasaraghavan is a highly respected personality in the NBFC world. And he piloted Sundaram Finance for many years with a sense of dedication and unalloyed commitment. The south has a nice side to its story after all.
love story_poster

A Telugu Love Story Opens To Rave Reviews Amid Splitsville For Nag Chaitanya & Samantha

Two leading stars from the south – Nag Chaitanya and Samantha – have realised that they are not made for each other after all… Nearly a decade of courtship and four years of marriage later. Samantha’s OTT series, The Family Man brought her worldwide fame, and infamy when Tamils resented her playing the role of a Sri Lankan terrorist. Badnaam tho hua, magar naam tho kamaya! Critics acclaimed her stellar performance, and her stock went up. Coincidentally, Chaitanya hadn’t had a hit for some time, and the chasm only widened! Fate has a way of even-stevening things! On September 24, Nag Chaitanya and the adorable Sai Pallavi’s Telugu movie, Love Story released to rave reviews. A simple story of inter-caste marriage and child abuse were woven into a gripping movie by director Sekhar Kammula. Audience identified closely with the hero and heroine, some openly shedding tears. This reel love story has put Nag on top of bankable heroes, but the real life love story between the couple, went bust. Divorce is nothing new in film families. Nagarjuna, Telugu film Superstar Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s son, had divorced his first wife Lakshmi Daggubatti, and married Amala. Tinsel town marriages may be made in heaven, often break down on ground once the stardust wears off.
bhupesh_TS Singh

Bhupesh Baghel, TS Singh Deo

Crisis Averted As Congress Empowers Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel To Take On Yogi In Poll-Bound UP

The Congress party’s Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who broke the political pact (power sharing arrangement of 2.5 years each) with state colleague TS Singh Deo, is staying firmly put in his chair. Even as the scheduled 2.5-year milestone was reached and Singh Deo invoked the pact for the CM’s chair, Baghel broke his word, even flying a dozen party MLAs to New Delhi in a sort of public posturing of his political clout in the state. Lo and behold, the party high command lost its resolve to go through with the power transition at least for the immediate future. A senior political leader from New Delhi told Short Post: “Baghel was able to get a recharge for a year more at least as Rahul Gandhi has additionally appointed him as Congress incharge for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh polls. After his fresh appointment, Baghel will use his political acumen and government machinery in Chhattisgarh to impact BJP prospects in UP. Will the Gandhis now remove him from his CM post and risk their own UP prospects?” Seems unlikely. However, the Congress is known to pull a rabbit (read Charanjit Singh Channi) out of its hat at the last moment as in Punjab when the battle between Navjot Singh Siddhu and Captain Amrinder Singh threatened to boil over. It will be interesting to see Singh Deo plotting a silent jockeying for power.


Technology Cannot Disrupt Original Content Provider: Short Post Editor

They say time flies. How true!  Today is our #SecondAnniversary. Two years back at the height of Covid-19 Pandemic when lockdown was the way of life we took a leap of faith and launched Short Post (Jan 28, 2021), the first-of-its-kind website in the country that focuses on Authentic Gossip. The Oxymoron is deliberate. Well, the response has been quite encouraging. That’s what has kept us going. Till date we have posted close to 2000 stories in the areas of Politics, Business, Entertainment and Sports. Each insightful story of around 225 words has been contributed by Senior Editors. There is a sense of satisfaction of creating a new segment in the market – authentic gossip — and in the process creating a brand (in a limited sense), creating demand (readers) and creating supply (writers). Well known advertisers — IDFC FIRST Bank, ICICI Lombard – supported us.  And that really boosted our confidence. Thank you!

So here we are raring to go.  But, when I look at the media landscape the disruption is indeed fast and furious. Technology is playing a very big role in how content will be consumed. In the past, we have seen how social media has disrupted the media world. Now, everybody is saying the same thing about ChatGPT. It has reached 1 million users in five days. Its scorching pace of growth is indeed frightening and will disrupt the media industry big time. My limited argument is can it do investigative stories, write gossip items using the digital world ecosystem. Unlikely. Clearly, the original content has to be created first — only then can ChatGPT do the magic. That’s what we promise to do – focus on original content.

Before I sign off, I am reminded of an old advertisement of the early sixties: “Avis is only No.2 in rent a cars. So we try harder”. Likewise I can say, we are two years old and we are trying even harder to be relevant to you readers.