Why Aadhaar is safe; What prompted Jay Panda to join politics; What does a dept of joy actually do and why Artificial Intelligence is scaring everyone. Here's what you should read over the weekend
GN Bureau | May 19, 2017
Aadhaar has been designed as a digital identity platform, which is inclusive, unique and authenticable to participate in any digital transaction. This has transformed service delivery in our country, providing huge convenience to citizens and substantial reduction of leakages. Direct benefit transfer, subscription to various services and authentication at the point of service delivery are some benefits.
The UID project has been aware of privacy and data protection issues since the very beginning and has taken every step, as per the best practices available in the world, to ensure they are not violated. The general law on privacy is beyond the ambit of the UIDAI. With the Aadhaar Act in place, let us discuss the provisions relating to privacy and data protection in the Act.
Read: Don’t panic, your Aadhaar is safe, writes RS Sharma
What made him take to politics? The suave MP says it was around the mid-1990s that he felt the mid-career blues. “I was frustrated with the system – the corruption, the red tape, the slow pace,” he says. As he would often crib about it to his friends, some of them advised him that he should rather become part of the system and change it from within or simply “shut up”. “I got involved and was then like a push envelope,” he says.
Read: Breaking bread with MP Jay Panda
How to put a finger on that elusive thing called happiness? Well, for a beginning, you could set up a department, as the Madhya Pradesh government has done, the first (and only one) of its kind in India. No matter if the creation involves some bureaucratese: on August 6, 2016, a “happiness department” made its appearance through an amendment in the Madhya Pradesh Government Business (Allocation) Rules, under Heading No LXVII, rule 2. If Bhutan goes for Gross National Happiness (GNH), then the Madhya Pradesh government has its own Anand Vibhag, headed by none other than chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Read: A department of joy
Sand mining was once an activity that provided an alternative source of livelihood to the fisherfolk living on the outskirts of Mumbai. Today, relentless, mechanical sand mining has not only snatched away a source of income for the locals; it has also caused extensive ecological damage.
Read: Stripped of sand
AI proved to be far more complex and complicated, simply because it sought to replicate human cognition by seeking to convert it into discernible frameworks of rationality, logic and decision making. Humans are genetically tuned to be instrumental and abstract, local and global, tactical and strategic, and all often at the same time. Eons of hunting, gathering, protecting against the elements and other beings, stocking up for the future and playing the extremely nuanced mating rituals have turned human beings into a species that has distilled collective self-interest into an intuitive way of life. We refer to it as common sense; a logical underpinning widely accepted and understood as a cognitive framework for all human action and activity. Simon’s bold prediction proved off target because AI programmers just couldn’t replicate all possible permutations and combinations of common sense that informed general human decision tree into a replicable and predictable framework.
Read: Why Artificial Intelligence is scaring everyone
Just after the UP assembly election in 1996, I was among the scores of reporters waiting at Kalyan Singh’s residence, waiting to get the first inkling of the future course of the BJP. The party had secured the maximum seats – 174 out of 425 seats – but was short of the majority mark
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Statistics has come a long way from the time when British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli observed: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Statistics is now an accredited branch of applied mathematics; statistical methods are routinely used to prove or disprove the
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