News Feed 23 – Aug ‘2016

Sindhu, Sakshi, Dipa, Jitu Rai to get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

  • Indian government has conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2016 to Olympic medallists P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik; ace gymnast Dipa Karmakar, who lost a medal by a whisker, and shooter Jitu Rai.
  • For the first time the nation’s highest sporting award has been conferred on four athletes.
  • Dipa Karmakar’s coach, Bishweshwar Nandi, has been selected for the Dronacharya Award, alongwith Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Raj Kumar Sharma (cricket), S. Pradeep Kumar (swimming) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling).
  • Fifteen sportspersons will be honoured with the Arjuna Award and three with the Dhyan Chand Award.
  • Besides, the Punjabi University of Patiala will be awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.
  • Apart from a medal and a citation, a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh. The Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each, said a press release from the Sports Ministry.
  • The Selection Committee for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Arjuna Award was headed by Justice S.K. Agarwal, retired Delhi High Court Judge. The Selection Committee for the Dronacharya Award and the Dhyan Chand Award was headed by M.C. Mary Kom.
  • The awards will be distributed by President Pranab Mukherjee on August 29.


Dubai set to open world’s largest indoor theme park

  • World’s largest indoor theme park is set to open in Dubai this month to lure back some of the tourists and residents who often flee abroad during the scorching desert summer.
  • In a sandy suburb beyond Dubai’s concrete jungle and pockets of artificially green spaces, IMG Worlds of Adventure’s boxy exterior belies a 140,000-sq. m air-conditioned cathedral of entertainment teeming with animatronic dinosaurs, roller coasters, Marvel superheroes and Cartoon Network characters.
  • Zombies pop out from dark corners of a haunted house and the Velociraptor coaster throttles passengers within a misty simulated rain forest dubbed the Lost Valley. Families in Dubai have few places to stretch their legs beyond expensive malls while temperatures outside can approach 50 degrees Celsius.
  • The theme park is set to open on 31st
  • Both the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai and Saudi Arabia, have launched initiatives this year to create more fun for their car and smartphone-obsessed people.
  • Saudi Arabia announced in June that it was in talks with Six Flags Entertainment Corp to build theme parks, and the UAE created a “Happiness Ministry” in February to look at ways of measuring and improving quality of life for citizens.


3-year jail for viewing pirated films online?

  • Browsing the net to watch or download pirated copies of films may lead you to blocked websites and a stern warning from your local internet service provider. The URLs have been blocked following a Bombay high court order under the Copyright Act, where offenders could attract a three-year prison term and fine of up to Rs 3 lakh for viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of copyrighted content.
  • In July, the HC blocked “134 web links and URLs” on a plea by producers of ‘Dishoom’, who sought orders against illegal distribution of their film through online piracy. The warning is essentially to enable any link or URL wrongly blocked to initiate steps to have it unblocked. But Indian netizens worry that merely visiting a blocked site could land them in jail.
  • Allaying such fears, senior counsel Venkatesh Dhond stated that a user who merely reaches a site that has been blocked…is not liable to any penalty. But if he persists with his attempt and accesses the pirated print, then he could be liable to punishment under the law.
  • In a bid to strike a balance between the rights of film producers and legitimate ecommerce sites, Justice Gautam Patel, while ordering the blocks, also directed ISPs to display a disclaimer that the site was unavailable due to a court order. Subsequently, on August 12, an ISP, Tata Communication Ltd (TCL), pleaded that it was “technically impossible” to implement the directive.
  • But the court insisted that TCL should display the warning message: “This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the competent government authority or in compliance with the orders of a court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of up to Rs 3 lakh.”
  • Also, “any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact a nodal officer within 48 hours… for redressal.”
  • The order is applicable only to links on Indian websites. The HC had recently passed a similar blocking order for 110 websites when makers of ‘Great Grand Masti’ said it would be no fun for them if viewers had access to illegal, pirated copies online. The producers then had sought 800 websites and links to be blocked, but the HC wanted specifics.
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