SCIENCE & DEVELOPMENT

100 Percent FDI in Defence: How Wrong Can You Get?

A GOLDEN Raspberry Award or Razzie has been awarded in Hollywood every year since 1981 to the film declared to be the worst movie of the year just a day before the Oscars. If there were a Razzie for the worst public policy in India in the recent past, it would certainly go to the Modi government’s announcement of opening up the defence manufacturing sector to 100 percent FDI with relaxed norms.

Reforming the Regulator: Parliamentary Committee Report on Medical Council of India

THE World Health Organisation (WHO) identifies India as one of the 57 countries with a critically low level of human resources available for healthcare. This would not come as a surprise given the evidence in the country of widespread shortages of skilled health workers of all kind including doctors, nurses and other health workers – in most parts of the country. The shortage of health workers and the attendant poor quality of skills in a large proportion of them is one of the biggest obstacles to the availability of quality healthcare services in India.

The Cost of Modi's US Visit: Offering Rs 2.8 lakh crore to Westinghouse

THE fourth visit of Modi to the US has very little to show as achievements. No wonder, the headlines screamed about “the start of the preparatory work” on six nuclear reactors as a major achievement. Not content with this, the Westinghouse AP 1000 reactors were hyped as fifth generation reactors, skipping two whole generations of reactors in between. The earlier AP 600 reactors are recognised as second generation reactors, making the AP 1000 the third generation, which is how they are known in the rest of the world – except to certain gentlemen in the Indian media.

India’s Reusable Launch Vehicle

ISRO added another feather to its cap by successfully launching, on May 23, 2016, the first of four experimental versions of its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) technology demonstrator (RLV-TD) programme under which a series of calibrated tests with serially upgraded versions would be tested towards the ultimate objective of developing a two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) reusable launch vehicle. Once again, India joins a small group of countries working to develop an RLV, and has show-cased the vision and strengths of its multi-faceted space programme.

Oppose the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy

THE cabinet has approved the national IPRs policy on May 12 2016. It is India’s ‘first of its kind” policy which covers all the forms of intellectual property and follows a common set of principles to govern the rights of intellectual property owners without bothering to pursue the concerns of development. In the recent past, India has been under pressure from the US government under Section 301. India has been asked to strengthen the intellectual property regime beyond TRIPS Agreement to which India reluctantly acceded to in order to be member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Geospatial Bill or the Monumental Stupidity of the Home Ministry?

THE Geospatial Bill, May 2016 has been released by the ministry of home for public discussions before being placed in the parliament. The bill is not about geospatial data or applications of geospatial data for development and better governance, but only about how to “protect” India's borders on various maps, and “hide” sensitive information from its enemies. In the process, we have a throwback to the 19th century mindset, when Survey of India was the sole map making entity, maps were confidential and only paper maps existed.

Bitcoin: Has the Real Nakamoto Stepped Foward?

WHO is Satoshi Nakamoto and why should we even bother knowing who he is? Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the person who created the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, who till this week, was just a name. Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur, who had earlier also been linked to Nakamoto, stepped forward this week with the claim he is indeed the iconic Nakamoto and responsible for starting Bitcoin.

WTO: The World Can Fry, But Trade Must Rule

THE world is currently smashing temperature records one after the other, with 2016 now looking very likely to be the third year in a row as the hottest year on record since 1850. Already, we have had hardly any winter anywhere in the world including the Arctic, and smashed the March all-time high temperature record by quite a margin. Two climate experts, Jeff Masters and Bob Henson write, “We are now hurtling at a frightening pace toward the globally agreed maximum of 2C warming over pre-industrial levels.”

Will Machines Replace Human Beings? AlphaGo and DeepMind

ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) or machine intelligence has always been a little scary. We picture evil robots controlling the world and making human beings obsolete or, even worse, using us as energy sources as in the Matrix. The defeat by Google's DeepMind – a computer programme – of the world champion in Go, an ancient Chinese board game, has reinforced the apocalyptic vision of machines taking over the world in the popular media.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - SCIENCE & DEVELOPMENT