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Showing posts with label TECHNOLOGY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TECHNOLOGY. Show all posts

Thursday, 21 October 2021

IIT-D’s DAKSH Centre of Excellence for Law & Tech using tech tools and data research to improve legal justice delivery in India

 

Four projects launched in last one year to improve caseflow management, build AI-based legal assistant, study cheque bounce cases, conduct UI/UX evaluation of high court websites


THE DAKSH Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Law & Technology at IIT Delhi is the first of its kind facility set up in India to rigorously explore the intersectionality of law and technology, and build solutions to different challenges of our justice delivery system harnessing interdisciplinary research.

The CoE was set up in October 2020 with a vision to:

  • Conduct research on problems of the law and justice system, and create new knowledge, by using methods, tools, and techniques from various disciplines;
  • Build models and tools for application in the law and justice system; and
  • Build a community of practice that will bring together members of the judiciary, civil servants, legal practitioners, researchersacross disciplines, and industry.

The CoE has already launched four projects, and more are in the pipeline. It aims to establish the Indian law and justice system as an exemplary one globally. Apart from conducting independent research, the CoE envisions serving the Law and Justice sector of the country by identifying the areas that are relevant and have a significant impact on the performance of this sector on the ground.

Explaining its objective, Professor Nomesh Bolia, Co-ordinator CoE, Law & Technology, IIT Delhi says, “The CoE’s research and outreach aims to build and nurture a community of practice that is committed to tackling key problems in the law and justice system of the nation through rigorous, data-based research. The CoE stands for a collaborative as opposed to a confrontational approach, respecting the constraints and sensitivities of all institutional stakeholders.”


A brief of launched projects by the CoE over the past year are provided herein.


Indian courts produce massive amounts of data. Indian courts also suffer from pendency issues. Most of the data produced by Indian courts also remains to be digitised in a manner that renders them useful for applying data analytics and machine learning techniques. An important aspect of Indian courts that technology may seek to address in the short term is that of caseflow management (CFM).

What is CFM? In simple terms, it refers to the coordination of court processes and resources to allow cases to progress in a timely fashion from the point of filing to its disposition, regardless of case type or disposition framework adopted. The goal of CFM is to create an environment that assures justice is achieved in each case in a fair, timely, and efficient manner.

A team of researchers at IIT Delhi under the coordination of the DAKSH Centre of Excellence for Law and Technology is seeking to develop a simulator created for Indian court systems with special emphasis placed on the Delhi High Court from the point-of-view of commercial court cases. The simulator considers different categories of commercial cases such as writ petition, original side matters, and appellate matters under commercial disputes, execution, and interlocutory applications.

What is the justification for working on a court simulator? Given the hype around deep learning techniques, there may be an immediate tendency to focus more on applying machine learning techniques to data produced by the court. But equally important is the availability of technology to simulate the workings of courts on computers as well as simulate any number of desired interventions to check how much improvement they have to offer. This is very much in sync with the philosophy of digital twins.

Employing simulators for public systems brings several advantages: (i) continuous centralized control of case progress by court authorities (ii) alleviation of the problems of court congestion and delays (iii) enhancement of the quality of litigation process, and (iv) better utilization of limited court resources.

Tentatively the process of creating such a simulator begins with the normative mapping of different commercial case types (writ petition, original side matters, and appellate matters, and appellate matters under commercial disputes, execution, and interlocutory applications). This process can be represented using simple task network diagrams.

Then begins the more challenging task of data collection through various means such as scraping data from the high court websites or conducting a time and motion study in cooperation with the high courts. Rather than coding such simulators using programming languages, there is also the choice of making use of excellent simulation software packages that are available in the market like Anylogic and Flexsim.

Building a simulator is only useful if it can be validated to mirror real-world operations. Only then is it possible to proceed with performing what-if analyses and counterfactual reasoning to infer strategies that, when implemented by the policymakers, may lead to significant improvement in court systems.

Similar research work has been carried out in other countries. For example, a simulation model that was applied to the Southeastern United States court system helped in decreasing the average duration for a case to be processed in the court by approximately 39.9%. The total time until the defendant is ready for trial was also reduced by approximately 20.6%.

On the Indian side, the simulation process can focus not only on delay and workload management but also on other areas of equal importance such as updated management procedures administered by a court administrator, evaluation of the cost, manpower recruitment associated with potential changes, and the layout of physical facilities in the court. Such simulation software shall aid the courts in planning, programming, budgeting for future facility requirements as well as evaluating alternative resource allocation and operating procedures.


This project aims to build the prototype of an AI-based legal assistance tool to help common people navigate the area of consumer grievance redressal and dispute resolution. It would help people understand the legal rights they have under specific circumstances, and the options they may have to seek legal relief in case of infringements on such rights. The tool would suggest the nature of such rights, as well as prior cases in response to a person’s description of a situation in natural text format (obtained through a conversational chatbot).

Since case documents are difficult for a common man to follow, relevant cases would also be summarized. A prediction of the probable outcome of the case and its likely duration is also planned.

The tool is being designed using a multidisciplinary approach, and hence the project team is actively consulting and collaborating with legal experts and AI researchers.


This project is examining cheque-bounce cases in district courts to understand the volume of such cases, their duration, the time taken at various stages of the cases, and the causes for delay. This project will contribute to the growing literature on demonstrating the use of quantitative approaches in solving systemic problems in the field of law and justice.

Using the data extracted from the text of orders/judgments and the data provided by e-courts, the project aims to construct a predictive model to estimate the duration of a cheque bounce case based on its characteristics. This econometric model paired with court level data aggregates on the volumes of cases and the prevalence of issues will give a solid foundation to objectively assess recommendations generally made to solve this problem and identify other interventions for efficiency gains.


A well-designed UI/UX is crucial for public institutions’ websites to simplify access to information for citizens they are serving. Its importance is amplified for court websites that need to ensure justice access to a wide spectrum of users. An increasing number of court cases and the country’s advancement in technology make it imperative for the public to access information regarding the judiciary easily.

This research study analyses the accessibility and availability of this information through a detailed study on the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) of six High Court websites – Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Madras.

Key findings of this study include several low-hanging fruits such as appropriate placement of contact and RTI based information and the need for a detailed analysis of navigation efficiency and aesthetics. The report also highlights some positive aspects about the UI/UX of the High Court websites, such as their speed and good performance on certain Interaction Design Principles.

A detailed report of the study is available here.

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Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Geological Survey of India Training Institute launches its dedicated 24x7 website

 Ministry of Mines 

 

Innovative Step for Spreading Earth Sciences Knowledge Digitally Accessible to Masses

  by PIB Delhi 

Geological Survey of India Training Institute (GSITI),Hydrabad,  the training and capacity building wing of the  Geological Survey of India (GSI), under the Ministry of Mines  has recently launched its 24x7 website(https://training.gsiti.gsi.gov.in/)  for round-the-clock accessibility of various online training courses on Earth Sciences to its stakeholders. This is in tune with the Digital India Campaign of the Government of India.

The beta version of this site, designed for catering to the training needs of the geoscience fraternity, hosts over 33 recorded training courses (164 lecture videos) and awards completion certificates. Moreover, the day-to-day activities of GSITI like new training announcements and lists of nominated participants of ongoing programmes are regularly uploaded on this website. Over 12380 participants have already registered on this website and are getting benefited from the rich technical content offered by this Institute.

Training and capacity building that enhances skill and efficiency is considered as the basic tenet for the growth of an organization. With the intent of providing induction-level orientation training to the new incumbents of GSI, the Training Institute was established in 1976. Over the last 45 years, GSITI has expanded to nine (09) training sites of GSITI located at Hyderabad, Nagpur, Lucknow, Kolkata, Shillong, Raipur, Zawar (Rajasthan), Chitradurga (Karnataka), and Kuju (Jharkhand). Hyderabad Centre, with a full-fledged campus of its own, is designated as headquarters for all other eight centres.

Keeping with the latest development and trends in Earth sciences and priorities of the organization, GSITI imparts various types of technical, administrative, and management training not only to the geoscientists of GSI but also participants from state Department of Geology and Mines (DGMs), Central Organizations (like AMD, MECL, IBM, NMDC, CMPDI), Research Institutes (NGRI, WIHG, BSIP, JNARDDC, NHPC), IITs, NITs and other Central and State Universities as well as other Earth Science organizations of the country. International geoscientists are also being trained regularly by the Institute under the aegis of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) / Special Commonwealth Assistance for African Countries (SCAAP) programmes sponsored by the Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India. GSITI also conducts repeated programmes of ISRO and ONGC.

In the last one decade (2010 to 2020) GSITI has undertaken 1207 training courses while imparting knowledge in different domains to 27902 participants from International communities, DGMs, University faculty, and research scholars along with the employees of GSI. In 2020-21, GSITI resorted to e-Training and blended (both online and offline) mode in wake of COVID-19 pandemic and imparted 194 training for 21,112 participants in 1810 training days. The paradigm shifts in imparting training in the virtual medium led to participation of 14274 trainees of 504 academic institutions; 1637 from different state DGMs and other Central Organizations like AMD, MECL, IBM. 551 participants were from different State DGMs. Similarly, 790 from IIT-ISM, 531 from other IITs, 778 from BHU, 168 from NITs, and 12017 from other Central and State Universities were benefited from the programmes of GSITI in 2020-21. The remaining 5201 participants were from different offices of GSI.  In 2021-22, GSITI has completed 134 training programmes benefiting over 12500 participants, mostly by imparting online training.

Besides,  bringing the training courses of GSITI to the general public, the purpose of this website is to draw attention of the student community towards the subject of Geosciences and its importance in nation-building. As a part of the Commemoration of 75 years of Indian Independence (Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav), GSITI has carried out over 22 e-lecture/training sessions for UG/PG students benefitting over 6000 participants.  Similarly, under the BHUVISAMVAD, the flagship programme of the Ministry of Mines, facilitating interaction among GSI professionals with academia, GSITI has successfully interacted with /trained 27819 students/scholars/faculty members. In its constant endeavours to share knowledge on Earth Sciences and build the technical and scientific capacity of the country, GSITI further requests the common citizens to visit and explore the website.

 The Geological Survey of India (GSI) was set up in 1851 primarily to find coal deposits for the Railways. Over the years, GSI has not only grown into a repository of geo-science information required in various fields in the country but has also attained the status of a geo-scientific organisation of international repute. Its main functions relate to creating and updating of national geoscientificinformation and mineral resource assessment. These objectives are achieved through ground surveys, air-borne and marine surveys, mineral prospecting and investigations, multi-disciplinary geoscientific, geo-technical, geo-environmental and natural hazards studies, glaciology, seism tectonic study, and carrying out fundamental research.

GSI’s main role includes providing objective, impartial and up-to-date geological expertise and geoscientific information of all kinds, with a focus on policy making decisions, commercial and socio-economic needs. GSI also emphasizes on systematic documentation of all geological processes derived out of surface and subsurface of India and its offshore areas. The organisation does so by using the latest and most cost-effective techniques and methodologies, including geophysical and geochemical and geological surveys.

GSI’s core competence in survey and mapping is continuously enhanced through accretion, management, co-ordination and utilization of spatial databases (including those acquired through remote sensing). It functions as a ‘Repository’ or ‘clearing house’ for the purpose and uses latest computer-based technologies for dissemination of geoscientific information and spatial data, through cooperation and collaboration with other stakeholders in the Geo-informatics sector.

 

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Friday, 20 August 2021

Facebook Removes Rahul Gandhi's Post With Photos of Family of Delhi Dalit Girl

 Facebook Removes Rahul Gandhi's Post With Photos of Family of Delhi Dalit Girl  

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. Photo: PTI

 

New Delhi: Facebook-owned Instagram on Friday took down a post by Rahul Gandhi which had pictures of the Congress leader meeting the parents of the nine-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and killed in Nangal area of Delhi Cantonment.

According to the Indian Express, Facebook said the post was in violation of its policy and the company has informed Gandhi that the post had been taken down, along with the reasons for doing so.

Gandhi’s post has caused controversy since the law does not allow the identity of a minor victim or her family to be revealed if sexual assault is alleged. Earlier, Twitter had deleted the post and then locked Rahul Gandhi’s account, along with several other Congress handles, for sharing the same post. The accounts were later unlocked.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had asked various social media platforms to take action against Gandhi’s post. The child rights body had also summoned Facebook on August 13 and subsequently, the social media giant wrote to Gandhi and asked him to remove the pictures.

“According to NCPCR’s August 10, 2021 notice, a post you uploaded through your Instagram account, is unlawful under Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015; Section 23 of the POCSO, 2012; and Section 288A of the Indian Penal Code. In accordance with NCPCR’s notice, you are requested to remove this post expeditiously,” Facebook had said in its e-mail to Gandhi, according to IE.

 

The report adds that after Facebook provided the NCPCR with a copy of the letter it had sent to Gandhi, the child rights panel exempted the social media company from the summons.

The Congress and Gandhi himself have been critical of social media companies for bowing to government demands to remove his posts. Last week, Gandhi accused Twitter of being “biased and interfering in the country’s political process” after it suspended his account termporarily.

 

“It’s obvious now that Twitter is actually not a neutral, objective platform. It is a biased platform. It’s something that listens to what the government of the day says,” he charged in a video message posted on social media.

“By shutting down my Twitter they are interfering in our political process. A company is making its business to define our politics. And as a politician I don’t like that,” he said.

SOURCE ; THE WIRE

 

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US District Court lets Devas track down ISRO’s commercial arm Antrix's assets

 ISRO Antrix.jpg 

A US Court has ordered Antrix Corporation to disclose financial details, including assets valued at more than $50,000, to the shareholders of Devas Multimedia. This comes after Devas shareholders filed an appeal seeking discovery of Antrix’s assets and purported alter egos as part of its plan to enforce the $1.29-billion arbitration award against India.

Devas’ shareholders told the court that Antrix has been transferring certain business assets to a new company, NewSpace India Limited, wholly owned by the Government of India and under the direct control of the Department of Space. They alleged that “Antrix is being hollowed out,” as its business dealings are being “shifted” to NewSpace, possibly “due to the Devas, Deutsche Telekom, Columbia Capital, and Telecom Ventures liability claims”.

The US District Court of Western District of Washington ordered that all communications from September 14, 2015, reflecting any transfer of accounts, transfer of assets, personnel, intellectual property, customer relationships, or any other thing valued at more than $50,000 from Antrix to NewSpace should be disclosed.

In addition, all documents dated on or after September 14, 2015, reflecting payments over $50,000 that Antrix has made to any entity in the US should also be made available. All documents reflecting amounts over $50,000 owed to Antrix also have to be shared with Devas’ shareholders.

Antrix had questioned the jurisdiction of the US court to pass such an order and contended that Devas’ shareholders do not have the authority to seek discovery of Antrix assets. But this was dismissed by US District Judge Thomas S. Zilly on grounds that shareholders of Devas are a “judgment creditor” and and have “a legal right to enforce the execution of judgment for a specific sum of money.”

 

Devas Multimedia had won a $1.29-billion award granted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on September 14, 2015. In October 2020, the award was enforced by the US Federal Court in the Western District of Washington. However, this has been challenged by India.

Matthew D. McGill of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, lead counsel for a number of Devas’ shareholders, said: “We welcome the court’s careful and well-reasoned ruling. Antrix and India have attempted to subvert the district court’s judgment, but this ruling ensures that it will be enforced.”

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Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh says, Start-Up avenues of self-employment are more lucrative than government jobs

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh says, Start-Up avenues of self-employment are more lucrative than government jobs

Interacted with Agriculture Start-Ups, young entrepreneurs and farmers in Jammu under CSIR- Aroma Mission Phase-II at CSIR- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine

 Ministry of Science & Technology

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said in Jammu today that many Start-Up avenues of self-employment are more lucrative than government jobs and the need is only to change the mind-set which is inclined to prefer a small-time government job with a meagre salary instead of a self-employed Start Up initiative which could comparatively beget manifold returns from the beginning itself.

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During interaction with Agriculture Start-Ups, young entrepreneurs and farmers after inaugurating the one-day awareness cum training programme for farmers under CSIR- Aroma Mission Phase-II at CSIR- Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Dr Jitendra Singh was told by a young entrepreneur that by using modern technology in cultivation, he had started earning Rs. 3 lakhs per annum from beginning itself from a bare one hectare of land while two B-Tech graduate engineers said that their income through a similar Start-Up initiative had doubled within a short span of five months.

In response, the Minister said, there is a take home message for the misguided youth who keep struggling for a daily wage job which may not fetch them more than Rs. 6,000 per month, whereas here we have young Start-Ups who are not only providing lucrative livelihood for themselves but also for their peers. Time has come, said the Minister, for the youth and their parents to decide the priorities with clarity. He said, no government in the world can provide a Sarkari job to every youth but a responsible government like the one headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unfolded amazing opportunities for the youth to earn livelihood through self-employment.

Even in government jobs, said Dr Jitendra Singh, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has abolished interviews, as a result of which there will be lesser and lesser scope for jobs through nepotism, favouritism or any other considerations by manipulating the interview marks. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every right citizen to educate the youth to determine his priority with clarity and to decide whether he has merit and talent for a government job or skill and entrepreneurship to earn livelihood through a vocation outside the government sector, he said.

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Dr Jitendra Singh gave an elaborate account of the landmark achievements of the Institute making a special reference to ‘mint’ plant being used on a wide scale commercially that is a part of the legacy of the institute. While referring to the expanding footprint of lavender farming in the UT, he said that the Institute has played a pivotal role in the purple revolution in India that is helping the farming community in increasing their income and improving livelihood.

While lauding the role of the scientific community, the Minister said that CSIR played a significant role in the growth of the aroma industry in India and helped the growers and farmers by enhancing their farm incomes. The institute has contributed towards development of aroma-based entrepreneurs and in creating job opportunities through its research, skill development and outreach initiatives.

Referring to the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doubling the farmer’s income by 2022, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Jammu and Kashmir was progressively improving farmer’s income with support of allied sectors and institutes like IIIM Jammu. He said that the focus of agricultural and allied sectors, and researchers should be on productivity rather than production.

The Minister said that immense potential of technology in improving livelihood of people should be harnessed by all departments collaboratively. He urged the youth to actively seek the livelihood opportunities being created by the Government. He encouraged the youth to become agro-entrepreneurs that fetch greater incomes.

He said that the developments in Science and technology in domains like those of agriculture need to be at the centre-stage of the public discourse. This, he said, would help in better recognition and awareness of the role of science in various fields as well as in development of scientific temper among masses.

While reiterating the commitment of the Government towards balanced development in the various regions of the UT, Dr Jitendra Singh said that various projects in like AIIMS Jammu, Ring Road Project in Jammu region were progressing at a fast pace and people of the region stand to benefit from such social and physical infrastructural projects.

Naveen Choudhary earlier in his address said that said that the change in strategy with focus on productivity, value addition, technology and reducing wastage of perishable farm produce have been game changers for increasing farmer’s income. Dr D.S. Reddy, Director, CSIR- IIIM, in his address said that in recent years the aroma project was giving positive results as a result of collaborative effort of the Scientific community and the agricultural department through continuous interactions and coordination. Prof J P Sharma, Vice Chancellor SUKAST, Jammu emphasised the fact that with focus on aromatic and medicinal plants the incomes of farmers could be raised substantially.

Dr Jitendra Singh flagged off two mobile vans for awareness the Mission and inspected Stalls showcasing the processed products of aromatic plants from the UT. He also unveiled a song in Baderwahi language composed by artist Maloop Singh for mass awareness to attract farming community to embrace lavender farming.

Project Aroma of CSIR-IIIM focuses on catalyzing setting up of cooperatives for marketing, promotion of cultivation and processing of high value Maps, development of superior varieties and their agro technologies, setting up of distillation units and processing facilities, skill and entrepreneurship development, value-addition and product development from MAPs. The Institute aims to cover 9000 Hectares in next three years in Jammu. Himrosa CK 10, Mint, lavender, Lemon grass Rosa grass, Ocimum, Rosemary, Wild Marigold, Salvia are some of the variety of aromatic plants under phase II of Aroma Mission. The project covers Fourteen high value aromatic crops extended on 3247 ha area covering 17 states and benefitting more than 3100 farmers. Around 190 Trainings/Awareness Programmes have been organized under CSIR Aroma Mission in 13 states.

Till March 2021, more than 13 lakh rooted plants of Lavender were provided to more than 800 farmers in Jammu region (like DodaBaderwah) for more than 200 acres. As per estimates provided by the institute, income of farmers who adopted Lavender increased from around Rs. 20,000/- per acre to more than Rs. 180,000/- per acre.

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Saturday, 14 August 2021

"CSIR Aroma Mission: Transforming Lives Through S&T" Webinar, on the eve of the 75th Independence Day and occasion of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav

 Ministry of Science & Technology 

 

Jammu & Kashmir Heralds ‘Purple Revolution’ in the Country, taking a lead in the Lavender Cultivation: Dr. Jitendra Singh

CSIR has Visible Footprints in Jammu & Kashmir and the Northeast of the Country, which are Priority Areas for the Government

Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh Delivers Keynote Address at the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” Event


Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Jammu & Kashmir heralds the ‘Purple Revolution’ of India by taking a lead in the lavender cultivation in almost all the 20 districts of the Union Territory. In particular, the districts of Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Srinagar, Pulwama, Kupwara, Bandipora, Budgam, Ganderbal, Anantnag, Kulgam and Baramulla have made a huge headway in this direction, he observed.

Zaful WW

Delivering keynote address at the Special Webinar on Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Aroma Mission on the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has visible footprints in Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast, both being the priority areas of the Modi Government.

rbk.money (CPL)

 

Milanoo WW

 

The Minister said that on the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day, this webinar is dedicated to the farmers of the country as well as to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve of doubling farmers’ income. He said that the CSIR’s Aroma Mission is generating new avenues of self-livelihood and entrepreneurship.

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India is a vast country and its different parts / regions have similar resources, said Dr Jitendra Singh, which should be used by all stakeholders to everyone’s benefit. The Minister suggested holding a conference at the national capital to share the best practices from across the country. He also floated the idea of having inter-ministerial committees with various Ministries, such as, Agriculture, DoNER, Education and Health & Family Welfare as its constituents.

Terming the new-age farmers as ‘Agri-Technocrats’, Dr. Jitendra Singh observed that the Aroma Mission of the CSIR has generated rural employment of farmers, spurred entrepreneurship in aromatic oils and other aromatic products manufacturing, and lowered the import of essential and aromatic oils. Today, with CSIR’s Aroma Mission, important medicinal and aromatic plants are being cultivated in 6,000 hectares of land. The Mission has generated 10 to 12 lakh man-days of rural employment and more than 500 tonnes of essential oil worth Rs.60 crores was produced during the last two years.

During the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh also engaged in a virtual interaction with farmers engaged in aroma mission through CSIR from across the country, including Doda in Jammu & Kashmir, Assam in Northeast, Shirdi in Maharashtra, Barabankvi in Uttar Pradesh and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.

The webinar was also addressed by Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR-IHBT) detailing the Aroma Mission. Dr Ranjana Aggarwal, Director, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (CSIR-NIScPR) delved deeper into the socio-economic impact of the Mission accomplishments. Prof. Virendra Kumar Vijay, Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi spoke on transforming rural livelihood through Science & Technology interventions.

Biletix RU

The highlight of the programme was the participation of the Aroma Mission beneficiaries, such as the farmers who shared their experiences and thanked the CSIR for lending a helping hand.

SOURCE ; PIB NEWS

 

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Hoff

Monday, 5 July 2021

Ministry of Science & Technology

 

Supervised mindfulness meditation benefits patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment & early Alzheimer’s disease

Meditation has emerged as an efficacious practice which improves attention, awareness psychological health. Researchers from Shri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, have shown that supervised mindfulness meditation benefitspatients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in terms of memory and orientation language and visual-spatial perception. It has potential as a therapeutic approach for management of cognitive decline associated with neurological disorders.

 

Mild Cognitive Impairment & early form of Alzheimer's is a condition in which memory deteriorates, but a person remains functionally independent. Among several treatment options, meditation is one non-invasive and cost-effective approach to bring relief to such patients.

 

Dr. Ramshekhar N Menon, Additional Professor, SCTIMST, Trivandrum, Dr. C. Kesavadas, Dr. Bejoy Thomas, and Dr. Aley Alexander (SCTIMST) Dr. S Krishnan (Govt Medical College, Trivandrum) conducted a two-phased study with separate objectives for each phase. The first phase was designed to explore neural correlations of mindfulness and study regions of brain activation enhancements among seasoned mindfulness practitioners and healthy non-practitioners through Imaging Biomarkers, which is the first of its kind multimodality imaging work in dementia from India. The second phase was planned to verify the changes in cognitive performance of patients with MCI prior to, as well as subsequent to, mindfulness training. The team carried out cognitive retraining weekly for 1 hour and provided feedback on the performance of the retraining tasks at the end of each session. The patients were given home-based tasks for practicing during the rest of the days.  They also developed a 10 Weeks mindfulness meditation-based program for patients called ‘Mindfulness Unified Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (MUCBT)’ training program.

 

The results of initial resting-state fMRI indicated that compared to age-matched healthy subjects who did no form of meditation practice in their routine lifestyle, mindfulness practitioners establish increased connectivity, based on resting-state brain activity in medial prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula, regions of the brain which are concerned with emotion, stress response, attention as well as response of an individual to environmental stimuli and behavior. The results of second phase suggest that mindfulness can activate neural correlates coupled with cognition, especially attention, behavior, stress response, and reaction or adaptation to the environment, among other functions, and it suggests that consistent practice of mindfulness can mediate internal as well as external awareness and can subserve psychological and cognitive health.

 

The study concludes that mindfulness meditation has potential in the modulation of brain regions concerned with attention, emotion, stress-response, and behavior which also impact on other body functions such as heart, blood circulation, and metabolism. Further, a rigorous mindfulness-based intervention program has the potential to improve or stabilize cognitive functioning as well as the quality of life among patients suffering from MCI and early Alzheimer’s disease.

Description: C:\Users\Lenovo\Downloads\R S Menon_page-0003.jpgDescription: C:\Users\Lenovo\Downloads\R S Menon_page-0002.jpgDescription: C:\Users\Lenovo\Downloads\R S Menon_page-0001.jpg

Publication link:

DOI: 10.3174/ajnr.A6219

DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.117093

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_848_20

DOI:10.1159/000496476

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Saturday, 3 July 2021

ISRO gives nod to parliamentary panel to implement satellite TV classrooms

 


 
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Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has given its nod to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education to provide technical assistance for satellite TV classrooms in the country to bridge the learning gap due to COVID-induced lockdown.

ISRO scientists appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Education yesterday and made a detailed presentation about the proposed satellite TV classroom for students. Education secretaries and senior officials of five states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana and Arunachal Pradesh also attended the panel meeting.

ISRO scientists emphasized that the organization is ready to provide satellite rights to states to start satellite TV classrooms but asked if the States will be willing to use the technology.

Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth and Sports will be on a five-day visit to Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir next week. 


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CRPF signs MoU with C-DAC to train manpower of force in advanced technologies, undertake joint projects


 
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The Central Reserve Police Force, CRPF has signed a MoU with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing C-DAC to train the manpower of the force in advanced technologies and undertake joint projects.

The MoU aims at augmenting the technical capabilities of CRPF by training its manpower in advanced areas like Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber security, Artificial Intelligence, High-Performance Computing and Big Data Analytics.  

The agreement will also provide the expertise of C-DAC in the form of Technology Partner and Knowledge Partner in developing various ICT solutions of CRPF.

Ravideep Singh Sahi IG Communication and IT on behalf of CRPF and Dr. Hemant Darbari, DG C-DAC on behalf of C-DAC, signed the 5 Year MoU in the presence of CRPF DG Kuldiep Singh, in New Delhi yesterday.
 
Thanking C-DAC for the collaboration, DG CRPF Kuldiep Singh said, as the dependence on technology keeps increasing in the world, this association will benefit CRPF by making the experience, expertise, caliber and skill set of the C-DAC available to the Force.

In his address, Dr. Hemant Darbari, DG, C-DAC said that the rapidly advancing technology entails the concept of learn, unlearn and relearn to keep up with the pace of advancements.

He expressed his confidence that the MoU will go a long way in providing CRPF personnel with customised advanced courses aligned to the needs of the field and practical applications.

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Saturday, 26 June 2021

Astronauts perform third spacewalk to install solar panels outside ISS

 

NASA's Shane Kimbrough and France's Thomas Pesquet tackled the second in a series of powerful solar wings that should keep the space station running the rest of this decade, as space tourism ramps up with visitors beginning in the fall.

This photo provided by NASA shows astronauts NASA's Shane Kimbrough and France's Thomas Pesquet during a space walk outside the International Space Station, June 25, 2021.
This photo provided by NASA shows astronauts NASA's Shane Kimbrough and France's Thomas Pesquet during a space walk outside the International Space Station, June 25, 2021. (AP)

Astronauts have worked to install another new solar panel outside the International Space Station, making their third spacewalk in just over a week.

NASA's Shane Kimbrough and France's Thomas Pesquet tackled the second in a series of powerful solar wings that should keep the space station running the rest of this decade, as space tourism ramps up with visitors beginning in the fall.

It should have been a two-spacewalk job, but spacesuit and other problems hampered the astronauts’ work on June 16. As a result, the first solar wing wasn't unfurled to its full length of 19 metres (63 feet) until Sunday.

NASA added a third spacewalk for Friday to attach and unfold the second wing.

To avoid electrical shocks, Kimbrough and Pesquet had to conduct most of their work on the nighttime side of Earth. That way, the station's solar panels were not soaking up sunlight and generating power.

 

 

 

Extra electricity

The two solar panels delivered by SpaceX earlier this month aren't nearly as big as the station's original wings. But they produce more electricity because of new tech. NASA plans to send up four more panels over the coming year; Boeing is supplying them.

This first pair will supplement the space station's oldest solar wings, degraded after 20 years of continuous operation.

Kimbrough and Pesquet are two months into a six-month mission. Two other Americans are aboard the space station, along with one Japanese and two Russians.


Source: AP 
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Sunday, 6 June 2021

India warns Twitter to comply with tough new social media laws

 

India's Electronics and Information Technology Ministry sends a letter to Twitter as a "final notice", otherwise the company “shall be liable to consequences" if it does not agree to restrict content criticising PM Narendra Modi’s government.

In this Thursday, February 25, 2021, file photo, India's Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, left, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar address a press conference announcing new regulations for social media companies and digital streaming websites in New Delhi, India.
In this Thursday, February 25, 2021, file photo, India's Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, left, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar address a press conference announcing new regulations for social media companies and digital streaming websites in New Delhi, India. (AP)

India’s government has warned Twitter to immediately comply with the country’s new social media regulations, which critics say give the government more power to police online content.

Twitter is involved in a tense battle with the Indian government, which has often asked it to restrict content alleging Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is trying to silence criticism, including of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to Twitter, the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry said the new rules came into force on May 26, but the social media site so far hasn't complied. 

It asked Twitter to treat Saturday's letter as a final notice, otherwise the company “shall be liable to consequences,” the Press Trust of India news agency reported.

The letter did not elaborate on what consequences Twitter might face. There was no immediate comment from Twitter.


 

'Twitter could face lawsuits over content'

Last month, the company said it was worried about the safety of its staff in India, days after Indian police visited its office in New Delhi over its labeling of a tweet by a governing party spokesperson as “manipulated media”.

Twitter said in a statement that “to keep our service available, we will strive to comply with applicable law in India.”

“But, just as we do around the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law,” it said.

The new rules require internet platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to erase content that authorities deem unlawful and to help with police investigations, including identifying the originators of “mischievous information.”

The ministry's letter Saturday warned Twitter that non-compliance with the new social media regulations could see the company lose its liability protections as an intermediary, meaning Twitter could face lawsuits over content.

Critics accuse Modi’s government of silencing criticism on social media, particularly Twitter, a charge senior leaders have denied.

Last month, the messaging app WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in Delhi High Court arguing that new government rules that require it to make messages “traceable” to external parties are unconstitutional and undermine the fundamental right to privacy.


Source: TRTWorld and agencies
 
 
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