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
Struggling with rationing and prioritising available supplies amid the acute Covid-19 vaccine shortage, the BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has floated a global tender for supply of 1 crore doses, even as it has announced a walk-in vaccination campaign next week for select categories of citizens.
Expressing regret that despite being the largest producer of vaccines in the world things have fallen apart in India, Ashok Seth, a Padma Bhushan awardee and chairman of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, has said that the focus needs to be on percentage and not the number of population vaccinated.
In Maharashtra, the epicentre of India’s devastating second wave, several NGOs and civil society organisations have been at work to combat the pandemic – by spreading awareness about precautions, by helping the slum-dwellers book appointment for vaccine, by providing meals to the marginalised a
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed the landmark of 17 crore on Monday as the Phase 3 of the nationwide vaccination drive expands further. India is the fastest country to administer 17 crore Covid vaccine doses – China took 119 days and USA 115 days
India is battling the second wave of Covid-19 and infections are spreading into the interiors of the country, says Dr Anurag Bhadouria, National Spokesperson, Samajwadi Party. It is precipitated by the elections in five states, the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar and also panchayat elections in many states, he says
The CoWIN system, the overarching digital platform for citizens seeking appointment for the Covid-19 vaccine, is introducing a new four-digit security code” in the application from Saturday to minimise a peculiar error and subsequent inconvenience to citizens. “It has been notic