Bengaluru News Highlights: Detailed report sought on voter data issues; Google to support emerging local startups in Karnataka – The Indian Express

Bengaluru News Highlights (November 18): Google Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Karnataka government to support its vision to promote innovation and spur the growth of startups across the State. In collaboration with the Karnataka Innovation and Technology Society (KITS), it would work with women-led founders and startups across tier-2 and tier-3 cities to offer essential training, access to partners, and expertise on Google’s suite of tools and technologies, said a statement from Google.
In other news, the State Election Commission in Karnataka on Thursday said that it has directed the district election officer of BBMP to conduct a probe into allegations of illegal voter data collection and submit a detailed report. CM Basavaraj Bommai too said a “comprehensive probe” will be conducted into the issue.
This comes after the party’s Karnataka in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala said at a press conference Thursday that the BBMP had authorised a private firm to carry out a door-to-door survey of voters ‘ free-of-cost’ who gathered information about their gender, mother tongue, collected voter ID and Aadhaar details.
Anjum Parwez, managing director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, Friday said the Bengaluru Metro rail project will complete a total distance of 175 km of connectivity in the city by June 2025.
Addressing a session on ‘the future of mobility’ at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2022, Parwez said, “The Bengaluru Metro rail project is on track and will complete 175 km of commute in the city by June 2025. As a part of the second and third phases of the project, Bengaluru will have 314 km of Metro rail connectivity by 2041. The construction of the Metro lines near the airport is also progressing.”
He said the biggest challenges in urban mobility are the integration of multi-modal transport systems and to urge people to avail public transports instead of personal vehicles. Read more
Reacting to the controversy over Bengaluru-based NGO Chilume Educational Cultural and Rural Development Trust allegedly stealing voter data, Karnataka Congress president D K Shivakumar said, “People involved should be arrested immediately. BBMP Commissioner himself agreed to have misused the opportunity given to them. It’s a big criminal act.”
Bengaluru, Karnataka | People involved should be arrested immediately. BBMP Commissioner himself agreed to have misused the opportunity given to them. It’s a big criminal act: DK Shivakumar, KPCC President, on voter ID collection allegation & BBMP complaint against private entity pic.twitter.com/Kr8BLnKlc6
The NGO Chilume Educational Cultural and Rural Development Trust, which is embroiled in a controversy over allegations of voter data theft in Bengaluru, was entrusted with election-related tasks in the past too, documents reveal.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had entrusted the NGO with the task of conducting awareness about the Lok Sabha elections, revision of electoral rolls and taking up Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme in December 2018, BBMP official documents show.
This year, the NGO was tasked with the additional responsibility of going door to door, linking Aadhaar with voter card and enrolling new voters. However, allegations that the NGO had collected personal information about voters, with its members posing as government officials in some cases, led the BBMP on Thursday to file a police complaint. Read more
From polishing up your cosplaying skills to enjoying books and plays, here’s a look at some of the interesting events happening in Bengaluru this week.
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Days after BJP MP Pratap Simha threatened to demolish a bus stand in Karnataka’s Mysuru because of its dome-like design, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has issued a notice to the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) asking it to demolish the “controversial structure”. The move comes at a time when Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said that he will send an expert team to look into the issue.

“Since it has developed communal issues as per the National Highway Administration Act this may be treated as notice otherwise as per the Highway Administration Act 2003, action will be initiated,” the NHAI project director has said in a letter dated November 15 to MCC and Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL). (Read more)
Water supply will be disrupted in several parts of Bengaluru between 6.00 am and 6.00 pm on Friday. The disruption has been caused due to the shifting of water supply lines from KR Puram to Silk Road along the outer ring road, city authorities have announced.
Here is a full list of areas that will be affected:
Jamboosawari Dinne, Puttenahalli, Konanakunte Cross, Jaraganahalli, J.P. Nagar 4th, 5th 6th & 7th Stage, Chunchakatte Main Road, Kottanoor Dinne Main Road, Doresanipalya, Bannerghatta Main Road, Jayadeva Hospital, 4th ‘T’ Block Part ‘A’, Tilak Nagar, Vijaya Bank Layout, Bilekahalli, Rolle colony, Kodichikkanahalli, Bommanahalli, Hongasandra, H.S.R. Layout 1 to 7 Sector, Mangammanapallya, Hosapallya, Electronic City 1st and 2nd Phase, 3rd Block Koramangala, Kudre Mukha Colony, Maestri Palya, 4th Block Koramangala, S.T Bed, Srinivagilu, New Gurappana palya, G.palya, K.E.B.layout, Sudarshanslum, Bismilla nagar, Maruthi layout, Narayanappa garden, Balaji nagar, Bhavani nagar, Bharathi layout, Mico Layout, N S Palya and surrounding areas
For 24 hours: Partly cloudy sky. Fog or mist is very likely during early morning hours in some areas. Maximum and minimum temperatures are very likely to be around 28 and 16 Degree Celsius respectively.
For 48 hours: Partly cloudy sky. Fog or mist is very likely during early morning hours in some areas. Maximum and minimum temperatures are very likely to be around 28 and 15 Degree Celsius respectively.
The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Thursday said that it has arrested Misbahuddin S, a partner in Injaz International group, in connection with a money laundering case believed to be over Rs 250 crore.
Misbahuddin was produced in court and handed over to ED custody till November 19.
According to ED, Misbahuddin and Suhail Ahamed Shariff are partners in Injaz International, a firm that allegedly accepted deposits from investors and cheated them, in violation of RBI guidelines. (Read more)
Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal will land in Bengaluru today for a two-day visit. He will participate in Open Network for Digital Commerce press conference and Bengaluru Tech Summit on Friday.
Union Minister @PiyushGoyal will be on a two-day visit to Bengaluru from today.

The Minister will participate in ONDC Press Conference and Bengaluru Tech Summit today.

(File Pic) pic.twitter.com/3jQJXI1qsI

The Karnataka High Court has reserved its judgement on the plea filed by Chinese technology firm, Xiaomi challenging the order passed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), seizing Rs 5,551 crore in its bank accounts for alleged violation of FEMA rules. Justice M Nagaprasanna concluded the hearing of arguments on Thursday and reserved the judgement.
Xiaomi Technology India Pvt Ltd filed the petition on October 3, challenging a September 29 order of the Competent Authority appointed under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), which confirmed the April 29 seizure order of the ED to freeze the amount in the company’s bank accounts.
The ED had earlier this year ordered the seizure of Rs.5,551.27 crore in the bank accounts of Xiaomi for allegedly violating FEMA rules and transferring money in the guise of royalty to three companies outside India, in the USA and China. (PTI)
Following allegations of voter data irregularities, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) filed a complaint with the Bengaluru city police to look into the matter.
Rangappa, special commissioner (administration and elections) of BBMP, Thursday filed a complaint at the Halasuru Gate police station. A case has been registered under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The police have also named the Chilume Educational, Cultural and Rural Development and its representative Lokesh K M in the FIR. (Read more)
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Karnataka Manoj Kumar Meena on Thursday requested the regional commissioner of Bengaluru to conduct a detailed inquiry into the alleged violation by a private firm in creating awareness on voter registration.
Meena said his office received a complaint on WhatsApp on November 10 wherein it was alleged that a private person used an identity card to impersonate the booth-level officer in Mahadevapura Assembly constituency.
“With regard to the complaint, the electoral registration officer reported that identity cards were issued to Chilume Educational, Cultural and Rural Development Trust (the NGO in question) to work as booth-level coordinating officer on January 29, 2022 based on the permission of district election officer given to the said institution for coordinating with the BLOs and that the said institution has made photocopies of the ID cards and written BLO, June 9, 2022, on them,” Meena said in his letter. (PTI)
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday and Tuesday conducted raids at 16 locations in Bengaluru in connection with a part time job scam and froze 80 bank accounts having a total balance of Rs 1 crore, the agency said Thursday. This is the second such raid conducted by the agency in the last one month in Bengaluru.
The ED had initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR lodged on March 3, 2021 by the South CEN police station against M/s Super Like Online Earning Application and other accused persons. (Read more)
Highlighting the contribution of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to the growth of startups working in the space sector, ISRO Chairperson S Somanath Thursday said preparations are underway for the launch of Vikram S — India’s first privately made rocket — from Sriharikota Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Friday.
Vikram S is a suborbital vehicle that has been developed by a private company Skyroot Aerospace.
Addressing a session, ‘R&D of India – Innovation for Global Impact’ at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2022, Somanath said, “ISRO has signed MoUs with companies to work closely which include hand-holding in space technology and building processes from start to finish. 100 startups have registered with us and are working closely in various domains of the space sector.” (Read more)
Karnataka’s capital became the sixth centre in India to house a science and technology cluster when the Bengaluru Science and Technology (BeST) cluster was launched in the city.
The Indian Institute of Science said Thursday that the cluster was launched at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2022 by the central government’s principal scientific advisor, Ajay Sood, in the presence of former IISc director G Padmanaban and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. (Read more)
Karnataka’s capital Bengaluru will face disruption of water supply on November 21 from 6 am to 6 pm in following areas: Jamboosawari Dinne, Puttenahalli, Konanakunte Cross, Jaraganahalli, J.P. Nagar 4th, 5th 6th & 7th Stage, Chunchakatte Main Road, Kottanoor Dinne Main Road, Doresanipalya, Bannerghatta Main Road, Jayadeva Hospital, 4th ‘T’ Block Part ‘A’ , Tilak Nagar, Vijaya Bank Layout, Bilekahalli, Rolle colony, Kodichikkanahalli, Bommanahalli, Hongasandra, H.S.R. Layout 1 to 7 Sector, Mangammanapallya, Hosapallya, Electronic City 1st and 2nd Phase, 3rd Block Koramangala, Kudre Mukha Colony, Maestri Palya, 4th Block Koramangala, S.T Bed, Srinivagilu, New Gurappana palya, G.palya, K.E.B.layout, Sudarshanslum., Bismilla nagar, Maruthi layout, Narayanappa garden, Balaji nagar, Bhavani nagar, Bharathi layout, Mico Layout, N.S.Palya and surrounding areas.
The distruption is caused due to the shifting of various diameter water supply line at Metro station laid by BWSSB from KR Puram to Silk board along the outer ring road. So there will be a disruption in water supply of Cauvery 4th stage phase-1 in the following areas. (ENS)
The Karnataka forest department said on Thursday that the entry of bullock carts and livestock has been banned at the annual temple fair of Beladakuppe in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, citing the threat of lumpy skin disease spreading from the livestock to the wild. Beladakuppe Sri Mahadeshwara Swamy temple is located in the Hediyala forest range which forms the core tiger habitat of the tiger reserve. The fair is slated to be held from November 20 to 23.
The forest department reiterated that it would not allow private vehicles to enter the forest areas. In addition, the use of loudspeakers and generator sets was also prohibited inside the tiger reserve. (Read more)
Karnataka health and medical education minister Dr K Sudhakar Wednesday announced to set up a committee to monitor and check “unnecessary cesarean (C-section) ” deliveries at the government-run district and taluk hospitals in Tumakuru district.
During his visit, he also interacted with the patients and handed over a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to the elder daughter of a pregnant woman from Tamil Nadu who died on November 3 while delivering her twin babies at home after being turned away by the Tumakuru District Hospital. (Read more)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath on Thursday said about 100 start-ups were registered with them and were working closely in various domains of the space sector. Addressing a plenary session on Thursday here at the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2022 on ‘R&D of India – Innovation for Global Impact,’ he said ISRO has signed Memoranda of Understanding with companies to work closely which include hand holding in space technology and building processes from start to finish.
He said a significant number of companies have the potential to become big players in the space sector and ISRO is playing the role of facilitator and helping in building technologies. He said out of 100 start-ups, at least 10 of them are working on developing satellites and rockets. Somanath announced that Chandrayaan-3 mission will be in orbit in a few months adding that ISRO is working closely with NASA in space technology areas. He said the computer that was used in the rocket was made in India. (PTI)
A self-proclaimed acupuncture therapist who ran a clinic in Bengaluru was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly secretly filming his female patients in an objectionable way during sessions to blackmail them, police said. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) who brought Venkataramana alias Venkat, 57, to Bengaluru from Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, have recovered many video clips and images from his mobile phone.
The investigators suspect he has recorded many such videos, an officer said. According to police, the arrested, a native of Andhra Pradesh, used to insert pins into the body of women in his Mathikere clinic and took photos and videos during the sessions. He would then misuse them to blackmail his clients. (Read more)
Difficult to develop app for auto services: Karnataka govt in meeting held to fix fares
It “will be difficult” for the government to develop an app to offer auto services, the Karnataka transport and road safety department said Tuesday in a meeting with the traffic police from all the zones, mobility activists and the general public. The meeting was held to reach a decision on how to fix fares for app-based autos.
The department’s response came after people demanded the government to come up with their own ride-hailing app and fix the rates for auto services.
Commissioner of transport S N Siddaramappa said, “Developing a ride-hailing app by the government will be difficult now. Government coming up with an app is something that will take its own course and until then, we will have to work within the framework of the Constitution. However, we will make efforts to bring justice to the public in this direction by taking in inputs from all the stakeholders of the issue.” (Read more)

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