This initiative is part of NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ Discussion Paper that focuses on establishing ICTAI in the country through private sector collaboration.
Aims of ICTAI: Based in Bengaluru, the Model ICTAI aims to conduct advanced research to incubate AI-led solutions in three important areas – healthcare, agriculture and smart mobility – by bringing together the expertise of Intel and TIFR.
It aims to experiment, discover and establish best practices in the domains of ICTAI governance, fundamental research, physical infrastructure, compute and service infrastructure needs, and talent acquisition.
Goals and objectives: Through this collaborative effort, the model ICTAI is chartered to develop AI foundational frameworks, tools and assets, including curated datasets and unique AI algorithms.
The intent is to develop standards and support policy development related to information technology such as data-storage, information security, privacy, and ethics for data capture and use.
The model Centre also plans to develop AI foundational technologies to promote applied research that can scale for national impact and will lead to the creation of a vibrant and self-sustaining ecosystem.
Another key area of its focus will be collaboration with industry leaders, startups, and AI services and product companies to productize technologies and IP that are developed at the model ICTAI. And finally, the goal is to support skilling and talent development for world-class AI talent.
The learning and best practices developed through this model ICTAI will be used by NITI Aayog to set up the future ICTAIs across country.
What is artificial intelligence (AI)? Artificial Intelligence comes from computer systems that have been programmed to — or have learnt to — do tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence. Many apps and software are already making mundane work easier by doing a certain part of it for us, based on acquired intelligence.
Concerns associated: Automation threatens 69% of the jobs in India, while it’s 77% in China, according to a World Bank research. The transition is expected to happen in a decade, according to experts. Therefore, if automation is not planned well and addressed holistically, it is a disaster in the making.
New opportunities: While there is a risk to jobs due to these trends, the good news is that a huge number of new jobs are getting created as well in areas like cybersecurity, cloud, big data, machine learning and AI. The new job roles that will dominate the IT workforce are within digital domains such as big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and cybersecurity. It is clearly a time of career pivot for IT professionals to make sure they are where the growth is.
Policy on AI: The Union ministry of electronics and information technology, in October 2017, set up an internal committee to advise the government on a policy on artificial intelligence (AI). The expert committee will advise the IT ministry on the most apt technologies for India. The government’s main focus is to reduce cyber attacks with AI.
Need for a policy on AI: The artificial intelligence market is estimated to touch $153 billion in 2020 and expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 45.4% from 2016 to 2022. However, AI is widely seen as a major challenge in generation of employment as many companies are likely to depend more on it to cut down on human resources.
Globally too, there is a growing interest in AI. In 2016, the White House initiated work on Preparing for the future of artificial intelligence; in the UK, the House of Commons committee on S&T looked at robotics and artificial intelligence while in 2017, the State Council of China started work on the next generation artificial intelligence development plan.
Seven- point strategy: The government has recently drawn up a seven-point strategy that would form the framework for India’s strategic plan to use AI.
The strategy includes developing methods for human machine interactions; ensuring safety and security of AI systems; creating a competent workforce in line with AI and R&D needs, understanding and addressing the ethical, legal and societal implications of AI, measuring and evaluating AI technologies through standards and benchmarks, among others.
Way ahead: AI is a complex subject; it would be simplistic to look at it as all bad or all good. But robots and AI taking away middle-class, manufacturing jobs in the not-so-distant future is a very real prospect that will have to be addressed by governments sooner than they probably think.
Key facts: This will be the first of its kind ocean surveillance ship being built as part of the efforts to strengthen the country’s strategic weapons programme.
Its induction will put India in the elite of club of a few countries that have such a sophisticated ocean surveillance ship.
It has the capacity to carry 300-strong crew with hi-tech gadgets and communication equipment, powered by two diesel engines, and a large deck capable of helicopter landing.
As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will be held at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand. This will be the 14th edition of the joint military exercise hosted alternately by both countries.
The joint exercise Yudh Abhyas 2018 will simulate a scenario where both nations will work together in counter insurgency and counter terrorism environment in mountainous terrain under United Nation charter.
It will provide platform for Corporates and PSUs to fund creation of amenities at railway stations through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.
This portal will allow companies to register their requests for contributing to create amenities at railway stations through their CSR funds. These requests will be processed by Railway officials and based on tprinciple of first come first serve, requests will be shortlisted.
Selected applicants will be intimated to deposit the funds with Railways or its nominated agencies like RITES or RAILTEL etc. The nominated agency will get the work executed thereafter.
It will provide opportunity for industry, companies, associations to collaborate with Indian Railways. Fund utilized for creation of amenities will be beneficial for passengers and for neighbourhood of railway vicinity.
· 201 CR Stations operational across India. · Subsidy increased for setting up of CRS from 50 % to 90% in the North Eastern States &75% in other States, subject to a maximum limit of Rs. 7.5 lakhs
Akashvani Maitree · Exclusive service for Bangladesh and Bengali Diaspora launched by All India Radio
Films as new Medium of Communication · Exhibition of Children’s Film in Schools - 5 Lakhs children audience covered through 1400 shows during April 2016 to December 2016
· Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival organized for 1 st time. Over 4000 entries received in different languages through Crowd sourcing. The Best Film was awarded a cash prize of Rupees 10 lakhs, Three Second Best Films were awarded Rupees 5 lakhs each and six Third Best Films were awarded Rupees 2 lakhs each.
· Patriotic Film Festival being organized for the first time across India · First ever BRICS Film Festival held in Delhi – Twenty movies, four each from the five participating countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China & South Africa) was selected for the screening competition.
· FTII new SKIFT ( Skilling India In Film and Television)initiative to conduct short- term courses in Tier 2 cities
· MoU signed between FTII and Canon. Canon to contribute as Technology Partner in SKIFT, providing cameras and accessories free of cost for the courses.
· Diploma course in Urdu Journalism at IIMC upgraded to the level of PG Diploma in Urdu Journalism of nine months duration from academic session 2016-17
· A first of its kind 5 month course on writing for TV fiction and web series in the country was launched by Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) to cater to industry’s growing need for long-format storytelling.
· Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) and Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth (SLBSRSV) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for conducting a joint three months Advanced Certificate Programme in Sanskrit Journalism. Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) launched a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Marathi Journalism from its Western Regional Campus at Amravati in Maharashtra on 1st August,2017.
· Kisan Channel: It was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 26 th May, 2015. The 24x7 Kisan Channel telecasts updated information on agriculture and related subjects.
· A separate 24x7 DD Channel for Jharkhand was announced. DD Bihar will telecast DD Ranchi programmes till the launch of 24x7 channels. 2 new Shortwave. Solid State digital transmitters of 100 KW to broadcast across the border for Afghanistan-Pakistan region were also announced.
· Swachhta Samachar: Special 5 minutes Bulletin on Swachhta has been started on all weekdays. The Bulletin includes important news stories, people’s initiative and feature stories related to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan along with a Swachhta Tip.
· Doordarshan Sports organized Doordarshan Sports Conclave 2017, the first ever televised conclave of its kind, under the theme “Celebrating Sports in India”, to discuss future of Indian Sports.
· Innovative news format has been brought out by DD News § Special 5 minute bulletin daily for Hearing Impaired § Khabar Jaldi Jaldi - 4-minute news covering major national, international, business and sports news. § 5 Minutes Flash 15: This 5-minute news show has 15 important news items in a news capsule form, covering major national, international, business and sports news.
§ Vaarta Sanskrit Samachar: This daily news bulletin of 10 minutes duration in Sanskrit covers all the important news.
§ Good News India: A new weekly half-an- hour show covering national and international happenings of positive nature.
· Tejaswini: A special half-an- hour programme on women achievers in interview format has been started. It delves into the life, challenges and successes of inspirational women.
· A new Doordarshan channel ArunPrabha would be launched soon, which would show richness, variety and diversity of local culture and would seamlessly integrate North East with the entire country.
· Union Cabinet approved the way for conducting the auction of 683 channels in 236 cities in subsequent batches. § The auction will usher in new/enhanced experience of FM radio in more cities. With the complete roll- out of FM Phase- III auctions, all the 29 States and 6 out of the 7 UTs (except Dadra & Nagar Haveli) will be covered by private FM radio broadcasting.
§ Likely to generate direct and indirect employment to more than 10,000 persons on a pan India basis. § These auctions will yield estimated revenue more than Rs. 1,100 crore.
· Akashvani Maitree: An exclusive service for Bangladesh and Bengali diaspora launched by All India Radio. Baluchi Multimedia website and Mobile App for greater people to people contact also launched. · All India Radio (AIR) Resources signed 221 fresh Agreement with Private FM broadcasters for migration of 229 channels from Phase-II to Phase-III
· Digitisation Drive Ø Live streaming on multimedia website and mobile app of Baluchi service of ESD launched expanding its reach to Baluchi Diaspora world over. Ø Airworldservice – mobile platform for foreign and Indian language services of ESD on Android and IOS launched.
Ø Multimedia websites for 16 language services of ESD enhancing its global Ø outreach has been launched supplementing the terrestrial transmission.
Ø AIR, Fazilka (Punjab) has been started to make Urdu Service available in FM mode in Pakistan Ø 24X7 niche ‘RAAGAM’ channel dedicated to Indian classical music launched.
· FMisation of entire Vividh Bharati: All India Radio has completed FMisation of entire Vividh Bharati by replacing 4 Medium Wave transmitters of Vividh Bharati at 4 metros viz. Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi & Chennai.
· MoU signed between Publications Division and Sasta Sahitya Mandal for Joint Publication of books, to sensitise the young generation about India’s rich and diverse culture and history. It would promote availability of good literature for the people on diverse topics.
· Agreement on “Cooperation in the field of Information, Communication and Media” was signed between India and Ethiopia. The Agreement will encourage cooperation between mass media tools such as radio, print media, TV, social media etc. to provide more opportunities to the people of both the nations and create public accountability.
· 360-degree Multimedia Campaigns such as International Yoga Day, Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, Rashtriya Ekta Diwas were launched by the Government. It entailed Multimedia Exhibitions, social media campaigns using Infographics, animations, graphic plates, short videos, live streaming of events /conferences etc.
· 6th National Photography Awards organized. Shri Raghu Rai conferred Lifetime Achievement Award. Professional Photographer of the year award to Shri K.K. Mustafah and Amateur Photographer of the year award to Shri Ravinder Kumar.
· Three Heritage Books on the occasion of Centenary Celebrations of Champaran Satyagraha released.
· Set of books titled ‘Swachh Jungle ki kahani – Dadi ki Zubani’ Books published in 15 Indian languages by Publications Division to enable development of cleanliness habit amongst children released.
· “Saath Hai Vishwaas Hai, Ho Raha Vikas Hai” Exhibition organized and was put up across state capitals for duration of 5-7 days showcasing the achievements of the Government in the last 3 years in various sectors.
· 100 Volumes of Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi released. The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi’(CWMG) is a monumental document of Gandhiji’s thoughts which he spoke and wrote from 1884, when Mahatma was a 15 year old boy, till his assassination on January 30, 1948.
· Special Webpage on Goods and Services Tax (GST) http://pib.nic.in/gst was created on PIB Website and is a one stop platform for all information on the new tax regime.
· RNI Annual Report - Press in India, an Important Index of Print Media was released. The report gave a comprehensive analysis of the contours of the growth for the industry specially the growth amongst regional language publications.
· A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Cooperation in the field of Mass Media” and an “Audio-Visual Co-Production Agreement” has been signed between the Government of the Republic of India and Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh on 8th April, 2017. The MoU would facilitate training/study tour of personnel in the field of mass media and public relations and the Audio-Visual Co-Production Agreement would cover co-production of films, documentaries, and animations films.
Broadcast Sector · Analog signals in Phase III Urban Areas switched off. "Authorized officers" under Sec 11 of the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act can seize the equipment of the MSOs/Cable Operators, if they continue to carry analogue signal in Phase III urban areas after 31st January, 2017.
· Digital Radio Round Table Conference organized. Digital Radio technology would provide listeners with significantly improved audio quality and service reliability at an affordable price. All India Radio has already completed the technical installation and upgradation of 37 powerful transmitters in the first phase of Digitization of Radio Broadcast.
· 14 short films produced by Doordarshan on success stories of various Flagship schemes of the Government which had positively impacted people’s lives and had brought a transformational change in the country.
· A separate 24x7 DD Channel for Jharkhand announced. DD Bihar to telecast DD Ranchi programmes till the launch of 24x7 channel.
· 2 new Shortwave Solid State digital transmitters of 100 KW to broadcast across the border for Afghanistan- Pakistan region announced. · New website of DD News launched. · Sardar Patel Memorial Lecture 2017 was organised.
· · Film Condition Assessment Project under National Film Heritage Mission launched. This one-of-its-kind project in the world, for film preservation, will make rich filmic heritage available for the future generations to come.
· The condition of about 1,32,000 film reels at NFAI would be assessed and each film reel will be tracked and monitored through RFID tagging, during the first phase.
· North East Film Festival – Fragrances from the North East organized at National Film Archives of India, Pune. 10 film makers from the North East sponsored for the first time to attend the IFFI in Goa.
· Bhojpuri Film Festival organized in Delhi. The festival includes a National Award winning film “Kab Hoi Gavana Hamaar” and screening of two films selected in Indian Panorama section of IFFI - Nitin Chandra’s Deswa, and Mangesh Joshi’s film “He”.
· India & Ukraine to strengthen bilateral cooperation through the medium of Film Festivals and utilizing the Film Facilitation Office platform established by India.
· MoU signed between FTII and Canon to promote short courses in Film & Television. Canon to support skill-oriented courses as Technology Partner. These short courses will be held in collaboration with State Governments, Universities and Educational institutions.
· New category of visa for foreign filmmakers created to ease issues related to their entry into the country. Both the Film Visa and the Film Facilitation Office (FFO) have been aimed to promote India as an attractive filming destination to the world. · 64th National Film Awards organized in Delhi. Kassav awarded Best Feature Film.
· Renowned Film Director & Actor Shri Kasinadhuni Viswanath to be conferred Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2016
· The 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), 2017 was organised in Goa. A Total of 196 Films from 82 Countries, over 64 India Premieres of International films, 3 world Premieres, over 28 Oscar submissions were screened, for the first-time ever Retrospective of James Bond film screened. A special section of Restored Classics, a special Focus on Canada curated by the Toronto International Film Festival showcased.
· Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Film (MIFF) 2018 got overwhelming response, 792 films in fray for Golden & Silver Conch Awards. It will be inaugurated on 28 January, 2018 at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai.
Cabinet PM-AASHA will provide MSP assurance to farmers Giving a major boost to the pro-farmer initiatives of the Government and in keeping with its commitment and dedication for the Annadata, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a new Umbrella Scheme “Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’ (PM-AASHA). The Scheme is aimed at ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers for their produce as announced in the Union Budget for 2018.
This is an unprecedented step taken by Govt. of India to protect the farmers’ income which is expected to go a long way towards the welfare of farmers. Government has already increased the MSP of kharif crops by following the principle of 1.5 times the cost of production. It is expected that the increase in MSP will be translated to farmer’s income by way of robust procurement mechanism in coordination with the State Governments.
Components of PM-AASHA: The new Umbrella Scheme includes the mechanism of ensuring remunerative prices to the farmers and is comprised of Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) Pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PPPS).
The other existing schemes of Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) for procurement of paddy, wheat and nutri-cereals/coarse grains and of Ministry of Textile for cotton and jute will be continued for providing MSP to farmers for these crops.
Cabinet has also decided that participation of private sector in procurement operation needs to piloted so that on the basis of learnings the ambit of private participation in procurement operations may be increased. Therefore in addition to PDPS.
It has been decided that for oilseeds, states have the option to roll out Private Procurement Stockist Scheme (PPSS) on pilot basis in selected district/APMC(s) of district involving the participation of private stockiest. The pilot district/selected APMC(s) of district will cover one or more crop of oilseeds for which MSP is notified. Since this is akin to PSS, in that in involves physical procurement of the notified commodity, it shall substitute PSS/PDPS in the pilot districts.
The selected private agency shall procure the commodity at MSP in the notified markets during the notified period from the registered farmers in consonance with the PPSS Guidelines, whenever the prices in the market fall below the notified MSP and whenever authorized by the state/UT government to enter the market and maximum service charges up to 15% of the notified MSP will be payable.
Expenditure: The Cabinet has decided to give additional government guarantee of Rs.16,550 crore making it Rs. 45,550 crore in total.
In addition to this, budget provision for procurement operations has also been increased and Rs. 15,053 crore is sanctioned for PM-AASHA implementation. The scheme henceforth is a reflection of Government’s commitment and dedication to our ‘Annadata’.
Procurement over the years: During financial years 2010-14 total procurement was Rs. 3500 crore only whereas during financial years 2014-18, it has risen 10 times and reached to Rs. 34,000 crore. For procurement of these agri-commodities during 2010-14, Government Guarantee of Rs. 2500 crore was provided with expenditure of only Rs. 300 crore; while during 2014-18, Guarantee amount has been increased to Rs. 29,000 crore with expenditure of Rs. 1,000 crore.
Details: Government of India is working with the holistic approach of solving any issue rather than in fragments. Increasing MSP is not adequate and it is more important that farmers should get full benefit of the announced MSP.
For this, government realizes that it is essential that if price of the agriculture produce market is less than MSP, then in that case State Government and Central Government should purchase either at MSP or work in a manner to provide MSP for the farmers through some other mechanism.
With this approach, Cabinet has approved the Umbrella Scheme of PM-AASHA with three sub-schemes i.e. Price Support Scheme (PSS), Price Deficiency Payment Scheme (PDPS) and pilot of Private Procurement & Stockist Scheme (PDPS).
In Price Support Scheme (PSS), physical procurement of pulses, oilseeds and Copra will be done by Central Nodal Agencies with proactive role of State governments. It is also decided that in addition to NAFED, Food Cooperation of India (FCI) will take up PSS operations in states /districts. The procurement expenditure and losses due to procurement will be borne by Central Government as per norms.
Under Price Deficiency Payment Scheme this scheme (PDPS), it is proposed to cover all oilseeds for which MSP is notified. In this direct payment of the difference between the MSP and the selling/modal price will be made to pre-registered farmers selling his produce in the notified market yard through a transparent auction process. All payment will be done directly into registered bank account of the farmer.
This scheme does not involve any physical procurement of crops as farmers are paid the difference between the MSP price and Sale/modal price on disposal in notified market. The support of central government for PDPS will be given as per norms.
The Government is committed to realizing the vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. The emphasis is on enhancing productivity, reducing cost of cultivation and strengthening post-harvesting management, including market structure. Several market reforms have been initiated. These include Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Act, 2017 and Model Contract Farming and Services Act, 2018. Many States have taken steps to adopt these through legislation.
Efforts are on for a new market architecture, so as to ensure that farmers get remunerative prices on their produce. These include setting up of Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) so as to promote 22,000 number of retail markets in close proximity of farm gate; competitive and transparent wholesale trade at APMC through eNAM and a robust and pro-farmer export policy.
Besides, several other pro-farmers’ initiatives such as implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri KrishiSinchai Yojana, ParamparagatKrishi Vikas Yojana and distribution of Soil Health Cards have been undertaken. The commitment for farmer welfare is also reflected by unprecedented decision of announcing minimum support price based on the formula of 1.5 times the cost of cultivation.