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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Bengaluru News Highlights: ED probing Bitcoin ‘irregularities’, says CM Bommai; Karnataka records 236 new Covid cases

Bangalore Rain Alert Today Latest Updates, Bangalore Covid-19 Cases Highlights: The most number of new Covid infections were recorded in Bengaluru Urban with 152 new cases. The district also recorded 187 recoveries.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru |
Updated: November 15, 2021 9:16:37 am
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Photo: Twitter/@BSBommai)

Bengaluru Live Highlights: A day after Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala demanded that an independent investigation be conducted into the alleged Bitcoin scam in Karnataka by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT), Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is already conducting a probe and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken the matter to Interpol as well.

Meanwhile, faced with questions over the “disappearance” of 31 Bitcoins, the Bengaluru police now say they had been deceived by the alleged hacker Srikrishna Ramesh into believing — and publicly announcing — that they had seized the cryptocurrency worth Rs 9 crore from his personal electronic wallet. “On enquiry, cyber experts opined that the said account claimed by the accused as his personal account, was in fact a live wallet of an exchange and the accused did not have a private key for this. Hence, the said account was left untouched and as a result, no Bitcoins were transferred to the police wallet,” says the police statement.

Karnataka on Sunday recorded 236 new Covid-19 cases and two fatalities. The active cases in the state stood at 7,997 with 264 recoveries. The most number of new infections were recorded in Bengaluru Urban with 152 new cases. The district also recorded 187 recoveries.

Live Blog

Bengaluru news Live Updates: Congress demands SIT probe into Bitcoin ‘irregularities’; Baby elephant in Karnataka named after actor Puneeth Rajkumar; Rains likely in Bengaluru, parts of Karnataka till Nov 14; and more. Follow the highlights from Karnataka, Bengaluru, Mangalore below

20:41 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Strong Centre-State ties vital for federal democracy: CM Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday stressed on strong Centre-State relations and good inter-state ties for the development of federal democracy. Hailing the Southern Zone Chief Minister's conference, chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Bommai said the zonal council serves as a platform for resolving disputes between central and state governments and among states in the zone "in true spirit of federalism."

On Bengaluru, Bommai said the city was strategically located and is cosmopolitan in nature, where people from across the country have their presence, earning their livelihood, living peacefully with the Kannadigas and contributing for the development of Karnataka and Bengaluru.

he Chief Minister stressed upon the fact that Karnataka is blessed with 10 agro climatic conditions, therefore the state has agriculture activities round the year in some or the other parts of the state. (PTI)

19:32 (IST)14 Nov 2021
We never had them, hacker deceived us: Bengaluru police on Bitcoin ‘disappearance’

Faced with questions over the “disappearance” of 31 Bitcoins, the Bengaluru police now say they had been deceived by the alleged hacker Srikrishna Ramesh into believing — and publicly announcing — that they had seized the cryptocurrency worth Rs 9 crore from his personal electronic wallet. 

The police’s central crime branch unit issued the statement on Saturday night in the wake of suspicions of corruption in handling the Bitcoins supposedly found with the hacker in January.

“On enquiry, cyber experts opined that the said account claimed by the accused as his personal account, was in fact a live wallet of an exchange and the accused did not have a private key for this. Hence, the said account was left untouched and as a result, no Bitcoins were transferred to the police wallet,” says the police statement. Read more

18:17 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Karnataka records 236 new Covid cases, 2 deaths

Karnataka on Sunday recorded 236 new Covid-19 cases and two fatalities, according to the bulletin shared by the state health department. The active cases in the state stood at 7,997 with 264 recoveries. The most number of new infections were recorded in Bengaluru Urban with 152 new cases and also accounted for the two deaths in the state. The district also recorded 187 recoveries.

17:15 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Karnataka govt orders private schools to collect only 85% tuition fee from previous year, managements seek 'clearer' order

In response to the Karnataka government order that stressed compliance to the high court instruction that school managements can collect only 85 per cent of the tuition fees they charged for the 2019-20 academic year, private managements have sought clarity for the same.

According to D Shashikumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka (KAMS), a "clearer order" would sort the issue. "While the English version of the order (dated November 12), issued by the state government based on directions from the High Court (of Karnataka) and the Supreme Court, mentions that 15 per cent reduction of the annual fee should be effected, the Kannada version sounds different. The latter mentions that only a monthly fee can be collected, which is a clear violation of the court order," he said in a statement. 

16:02 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai attends Southern Zonal Council

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday participated in the 29th meeting of the Southern Zonal Council comprising of the States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telangana, and Union Territories of Puducherry, Lakshadweep and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands at Tirupati. Union Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Cooperation, Amit Shah chaired the meeting. 

Bommai said that the meeting would deliberate on evolving consensus for development with cordial spirit among the states.

15:17 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Inter-state &infrastructure issues to be discussed in Southern CM's Conclave: CM Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said various important topics, including inter-state issues, railways and other infrastructure projects would be discussed in the Chief Ministers' Conclave, which will be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Tirupati later in the day.

"The topics for discussion is the minor irrigation project related to Palar river, railways related issues and other infrastructure projects," he told reporters after paying tribute to the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his birth anniversary, which is celebrated as Children's Day.

To a query on whether other water sharing issues would be discussed, Bommai said that since most issues related to irrigation projects are pending in courts and tribunals, it may not be taken up at the conclave. (PTI)

14:58 (IST)14 Nov 2021
ED probing Bitcoin ‘irregularities’, will take action against those found guilty: Basavaraj Bommai

A day after Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala demanded that an independent investigation be conducted into the alleged Bitcoin scam in Karnataka by a Supreme Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT), Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is already conducting a probe and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken the matter to Interpol as well.

He added, “Our government’s stance is very clear. We are the ones who had first exposed this case. It is our government which recommended the ED and CBI to probe the case. If those involved are found to have perpetrated any fraud against the interests of the country, state or any individuals, we will act mercilessly against them.”

Bommai also said that if Congress leaders have any important documents in connection with the case, they hand should these over to the ED. “Surjewala’s efforts to project the issue as a major scam reflects his intellectual bankruptcy. It is not appropriate for the spokesperson of a national party to indulge in such an act just based on what is on Twitter. He should speak with circumstantial evidence,” Bommai said. Read more

12:29 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Karnataka to identify Special Education Zones ahead of implementing NEP in schools

With the Karnataka government expected to implement the new National Education Policy (NEP-2020) in schools from the next academic year, the Department of Primary and Secondary Education has constituted a task force to identify Special Education Zones (SEZs) in a bid to offer education with equity across the state.

According to a senior government official, the committee comprising educational experts and a top bureaucrat has already held three rounds of meetings to identify SEZs where specific interventions from the government are necessary.

10:52 (IST)14 Nov 2021
Rapid Bengaluru expansion choking Kachanayakanahalli lake

Two decades ago the fresh water of the 23-acre Kachanayakanahalli lake irrigated paddy fields in the Anekal taluk of rural Bengaluru, around 25 km from the city. Today, the toxic foam and stench emanating from the lake suggest it is being choked to death. The man-made lake that has been in existence for more than 100 years is feeling the pain of rapid urbanisation and expansion of the city into the rural corners on its outskirts.

The lake has not only served irrigation purposes but also helped prevent floods in the region for years.

Of the 23 acres over which the lake is spread, nearly 1.27 acres has been encroached by builders and other private persons. A team of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), which collected the samples from the lake in May this year, reported that sewage streams were now starting to choke the lake.

21:31 (IST)13 Nov 2021
‘4,219 ward committee meetings held across Bengaluru in last one year’

Over 4,219 ward committee meetings were held across 198 wards of Bengaluru in the last one year. Janaagraha, a Bengaluru-based NGO, had undertaken a study to evaluate how Bengaluru’s ward committees performed between August 1, 2020 and September 4, 2021. The study revealed that only 40% nodal officers (76 nodal officers) were able to effectively respond and answer all queries regarding ward committee meetings for this survey.

In order to understand the performance of Bengaluru’s wards vis-a-vis the mandate of conducting regular ward committee meetings, Janaagraha carried out a first-person survey between September 6-18. Phone calls were made to 198 BBMP nodal officers. Read More

20:50 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Rahul Gandhi says Karnataka Bitcoin scam big but cover-up much bigger, Congress seeks SC-monitored probe

The Congress on Saturday alleged a multi-crore Bitcoin scam and its cover-up by the BJP government in Karnataka and demanded that an independent investigation be conducted into the matter by a Supreme Court-monitored SIT. Former party chief Rahul Gandhi alleged that the scam is big but the cover-up is much bigger.

Taking to Twitter, he said, “Bitcoin Scam is big. But Bitcoin Scam Cover-up is much bigger. Because it has to cover up someone’s fake big ego.” Read More

18:49 (IST)13 Nov 2021
CM Bommai meets Yediyurappa, BJP state chief Kateel as Bitcoin scam casts shadow

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai called on former Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa amid the opposition allegations that the BJP government was not doing enough to probe the alleged Bitcoin scam. The two leaders reportedly had a discussion for about 30 minutes late on Friday, sources close to Bommai said.

After his meeting with Yediyurappa, Bommai went to the BJP state headquarters and was closeted with the BJP state president Nalin Kumar Kateel for more than an hour. 

The meetings assume significance as Bommai had recently visited Delhi and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders, including BJP national president J P Nadda. (PTI)

16:58 (IST)13 Nov 2021
BMTC to induct 565 BSVI buses by Feb 2022

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is all set to induct 565 BSVI buses by February 2022 which it is procuring with the support of the Karnataka government.

BMTC officials inspected the first BSVI bus received on Saturday in Bengaluru and said that BMTC will be the first corporation in the state to introduce BSVI buses.

In addition to this, under the Smart City project, the BMTC will operate 90 non-air conditioned electric buses.

16:04 (IST)13 Nov 2021
CSIR-NAL’s ‘octacopter’ drone delivers Covid vaccines to Karnataka village

The ‘octacopter’ drone of CSIR-NAL delivered 50 vials of Covid vaccines to a primary health centre in Karnataka’s Haragadde on Saturday. The vaccines were delivered along with syringes in a special container from Chandapura PHC. A constituent of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) has teamed up with the Karnataka Department of Health and Family Welfare for the aerial delivery of vaccines to remote areas. 

“CSIR-NAL’s octacopter took off at 9.43 am from Chandapura PHC carrying Covid-19 vaccines and delivered to Haragadde PHC at 9.53 am. Octacopter flew at an altitude of 300 metres above ground level (AGL) at a speed of 10 meters/second and covered an aerial distance of 7 km in about 10 minutes. After delivery of the vaccines at Haragadde, the Octacopter returned to Chandapura PHC. The entire mission covered a distance of about 14 km in 20 minutes, including delivery of vaccines,” Dr Jitendra J Jadhav Director, CSIR-NAL, said. Read More

14:38 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Diabetes no hurdle, this Army officer is all set to participate in the Ironman triathlon

Diagnosed with type-1 diabetes in 2010, the world seemed to be falling apart before this 25-year-old army officer. Today, Major Kumar Gaurav who serves as an education officer at the Madras Engineers Group (MEG) and Centre, Bengaluru, has to inject insulin twice a day to maintain his glucose levels. The determined young officer, nevertheless, has repeatedly pushed himself beyond the limits and after proving his mettle in several half marathons, is now all set to participate in the Ironman triathlon, considered to be the world’s toughest one-day sporting event.

Major Kumar Gaurav says that his aim is to inspire people living with type-1 diabetes. (Special Arrangement)

“I want to test my physical limits and aim to inspire people living with type-1 diabetes. I am determined to share this positive approach and not let diabetes hold me back. At present, I am training for Herculean 70.3 (half Ironman), Odisha and the Bangalore marathon, both scheduled for January 2022. As of now, I am self-sustained and manage my own expenses,” Gaurav says. (Read more)

14:20 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Baby elephant in Karnataka named after actor Puneeth Rajkumar

As a tribute to actor Puneeth Rajkumar, whose untimely demise left his fans in shock, the Sakrebailu elephant camp in Karnataka’s Shivamogga named a baby elephant after the ‘power star’.

The elephant was named after Puneeth Rajkumar during weaning. (Express Photo)

The Deputy Conservator of Forest (wildlife) Nagaraj said that the gesture was a mark of remembrance of the actor’s visit to the camp days before his death.

The elephant was named after the actor during weaning, a process in which the baby elephant is separated from its mother. (Read more)

13:19 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Rains likely in parts of Karnataka till tomorrow morning

Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) predicted widespread light to moderate rains with isolated heavy rains associated with thunder activity likely over Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits till 8.30 am of  November 14.  

The weather bulletin by KSNDMC also predicted widespread light to moderate rains with isolated heavy rains likely over Coastal Karnataka, Malnad, North interior Karnataka and South Interior Karnataka regions.

11:18 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Aim to make Indian automobile sector no. 1 in world: Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Friday said his aim was to make the Indian automobile industry number one in the world, for export of electric vehicles, in five years time.

Speaking at the first edition of Ananthkumar memorial lecture virtually, he said his vision and commitment is to make the Indian automobile industry number one in the world for export of electric car, scooter, buses, auto rickshaw and trucks, in five years.

10:23 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Bommai to attend CMs' meet chaired by Amit Shah

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said he would participate in the southern region Chief Ministers' conference, which would be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on November 14.

"I am going to Tirupati to attend the Chief Ministers' conference of southern region on November 14, which will be chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah for better coordination between the States," Bommai told reporters during the sidelines of an event. He said he has had a meeting with the officials in this regard. (PTI)

08:53 (IST)13 Nov 2021
Karnataka to soon have anti-conversion law: CM

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday said the state will soon have an anti-religious conversion law.

Speaking to reporters here, Bommai said, "The state government is studying related laws enacted by other states and soon an anti-conversion legislation will be formulated."

He was replying to a query on the meeting with a group of seers, seeking a ban on religious conversion, on Friday. (PTI)

karnataka covid news, bangalore covid news Students undergo thermal screening at a government primary school after the authorities allowed schools to reopen from classes 1 to 5, in Bengaluru, Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. (PTI Photo)

Karnataka: Private resort encroaches deemed forest land in Sakleshpura to construct road and entertainment zone

A private resort at Sakleshpura taluk in Karnataka’s Hassan district has allegedly encroached on the forest land by constructing a road, four cottages and an entertainment zone.

Google Earth images shared by the forest department officials show how a valley of forests in Western Ghats of Sakleshpura, Hassan District, have been plundered to build a resort. The resort owners, as pointed out by the forest department, have allegedly cut a road through the deemed forest illegally.

Covid-19 pandemic nudged Karnataka to digitise, ensure inclusivity in education: C N Ashwathnarayan

Digitising content during the Covid-19 pandemic to enable continuous learning at higher educational institutions have set the state government moving in the right direction to ensure inclusivity in education while beginning to implement the new National Education Policy (NEP-2020), Karnataka Higher Education Minister C N Ashwathnarayan said on Wednesday.

“While content is being provided through the newly developed Learning Management System (LMS), internet-enabled smart classes are being developed across the state. The government is also providing a device to each student in polytechnic, engineering and degree institutions to ensure students even beyond Bengaluru are not deprived of any learning facility,” he explained.

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