WebQoof Recap: Chavhanke’s UPSC Claims, Times Now Airs Webinar

Here’s a quick round-up of the WhatsApp forwards and fake tweets that misled the public this week.

Published
WebQoof
5 min read
Here’s a quick round-up of the WhatsApp forwards and fake tweets that misled the public this week.
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From Sudarshan News Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke making misleading statements about the process of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, to Times Now running an “exclusive” bulletin, claiming that activists defending Umar Khalid spoke about “his alliance with outfits” and admitted that it was a “dangerous one” in a private chat, here’s all that misled the public this week.

1. Suresh Chavhanke’s UPSC Jihad Episode Makes Various False Claims

Sudarshan News Editor-in-Chief Suresh Chavhanke on Friday, 11 September, aired a bulletin on ‘UPSC Jihad Par Ab Tak Ka Sabse Bada Khulasa (The Biggest Expose of All Time on UPSC Jihad)”.

The bulletin made several misleading statements and talked about how the public service exam was structured and functioning in a way that favoured the Muslim community.

WebQoof Recap: Chavhanke’s UPSC Claims, Times Now Airs Webinar
(Photo: Kamran Akhter/ The Quint)

For instance, Chavhanke claims that Muslim OBCs get a benefit of three years in the upper age limit over non-Muslims candidates or General category candidates appearing for UPSC.

Now, let’s see what the guidelines related to age limit actually say. UPSC’s 2020 notification that was released in February mentions that a candidate in the General category should not have attained the age of 32 years on 1 August 2020.

For OBC candidates, the relaxation is up to three years, which means, till 35 years of age. These rules apply to all the candidates belonging to backward classes and not to Muslims alone.

In the same notification, a note mentions that if a candidate belongs to SC/ST, OBC and is also covered under categories of ex-servicemen, persons of benchmark disabilities, among others, he/she will be eligible “for grant of cumulative age-relaxation under both the categories.”

However, there is no mention of any cumulative age relaxation if a candidate is a Muslim and an OBC. Rather, there is no mention of any religion per se.

You can read the full story here.

2. Times Now Airs Webinar as ‘Secret Talks’ Between Activists

Hours after anti-CAA protester and United Against Hate (UAH) member Umar Khalid was arrested in connection with the Delhi riots investigation, English news channel Times Now ran an “exclusive” bulletin, anchored by Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar, claiming that activists defending Khalid spoke about “his alliance with outfits” and admitted that it was a “dangerous one” in a private chat.

For context, Shivshankar added that “Khalid is accused of conspiring with Khalid Saifi to raise funds from the National Investigation Agency-designated hate group the Popular Front of India (PFI).”

WebQoof Recap: Chavhanke’s UPSC Claims, Times Now Airs Webinar
(Source: YouTube/ Screenshot)

However, what Shivshankar called a “secret admission” and “accessed by Times Now” is actually a webinar which is available in the public domain and was hosted in August by Pedestrian Pictures, a media activist organisation.

The webinar was uploaded on Pedestrian Pictures’ Facebook page which was aired live on the platform on 16 August at 5:08 pm.

You can read the full story here.

3. Rural India Needs Mental Healthcare as Much as Metros. Here’s Why

Sushant Singh Rajput's death in June this year brought up the discussion about mental health, but it kept getting derailed by uninformed viewpoints on social media.

Bollywood actor and producer, Kamaal R Khan, made one such claim on Twitter recently about how “people in rural India do not suffer from depression”.

Dr Soumitra Pathare, a consultant psychiatrist and Director of Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy at ILS, corrected Khan on his claims. Dr Pathare pointed out that although there are fewer cases reported, depression is present in rural India.

About 4.48% of people in rural India had experienced depressive disorders in their lifetime, as compared to 8.23 in urban metros.
About 4.48% of people in rural India had experienced depressive disorders in their lifetime, as compared to 8.23 in urban metros.
(Photo: iStock/Altered by The Quint)

The National Mental Health Survey (NHMS) 2015-16 backs Dr Pathare’s claims. The report states that 4.48% of people in rural India had experienced depressive disorders in their lifetime, as compared to 8.23 in urban metros.

Further, Khan's tweet claimed, "So I can say with 100% guarantee that only drugs-addicted people do face depression problem. Therefore, people suffer from depression in the big cities and film industries only."

The NMHS report suggests that alcohol and substance abuse was prevalent more in rural areas of the country as opposed to the urban metros. According to the report, "the rate of alcohol and substance use disorders was 24% in rural India as compared to 18% in urban metros."

You can read the fully story here.

4. Pak Scribe Shares 2018 IAF Helicopter Crash Image as Recent One

An image of an Indian Air Force (IAF) transport helicopter which crashed after hitting an iron girder near Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath temple in 2018 was shared on Twitter with the claim that the helicopter crashed recently in Ladakh.

Mubasher Lucman, a Pakistan-based journalist, who hosts the programme ‘Khara Sach’, shared the image with the caption: “Indians please check is this your M 17 crashed in Laddakh? We will keep you posted of any developments. (sic)”

WebQoof Recap: Chavhanke’s UPSC Claims, Times Now Airs Webinar
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

On reverse searching the image on Google, we found a report by The Times of India wherein similar visuals can be seen. The article is titled: “IAF helicopter collides with iron girder, catches fire; one person killed.”

The incident was reported by several media houses including NDTV, Hindustan Times among others.

You can read the full story here.

5. Image Showing Amitabh Bachchan’s Tweet on Kangana and BMC is Fake

A viral image shows a tweet, allegedly shared by Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan, mentioning that if actor Kangana Ranaut’s office is illegal, then Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has complete right to demolish it.

BMC officials had started the process of demolishing ‘illegal alterations’ in Ranaut's Mumbai office-cum-residence Manikarnika Films on 9 September.

WebQoof Recap: Chavhanke’s UPSC Claims, Times Now Airs Webinar
(Source: Twitter/ Screenshot)

We scanned through the Twitter profile of Bachchan and could find only two tweets shared on 9 September, which is also the date stamp of the tweet in the viral image.

However, none of the tweets are even remotely close to what is being claimed in the viral image. Further, we found several red flags in the tweet that is being shared and found that it is fake.

For instance, in the viral image, a blue coloured ‘Tweet’ band can be seen on the top, however no such band can be seen on either desktop view, Tweetdeck view, or mobile view.

You can read the full story here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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