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NITI Aayog, Intel & TIFR Collaborate to set up a Model Inter. Center for Transformative AI: - NITI Aayog, Intel, & Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) are collaborating to set up Model International Center for Transformative Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI) in Bengaluru.

  • Collaboration is part of NITI Aayog’s ‘National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence’ Discussion Paper that focuses on establishing ICTAI in country thru pvt. sector collaboration.
  • Model centre is aimed at solving major challenges in India w/special focus on application-based AI research in healthcare, agriculture, & smart mobility.



  • It will aid in Developing & deploying AI-led application-based research projects.

  • It will conduct advanced research to incubate AI-led solutions in 3 imp. areas – healthcare, agriculture & smart mobility – by bringing together expertise of TIFR and Intel.

  • It will experiment, discover & establish best practices in domains of ICTAI governance, fundamental research, physical infrastructure, compute & service infrastructure needs, & talent acquisition.

Key Features

  • Model ICTAI will develop AI foundational frameworks, tools & assets, including curated datasets & unique AI algorithms.

  • It will develop standards & support policy development related to IT such as data-storage, information security, privacy, & ethics for data capture & use.

  • It will develop AI foundational technologies to promote applied research that can scale for national impact and will lead to the creation of vibrant & self-sustaining ecosystem.

  • ICTAI will collaborate w/industry leaders, startups, & AI services & product companies to productize technologies & IP that are developed by it.

  • It will support skilling & talent development for world-class AI talent.

Niti Aayog Launches Mobility Hackathon ‘Move Hack’

  • NITI Aayog launched ‘Move Hack’, global mobility hackathon to crowd source solutions aimed at future of mobility in India.
  • Hackathon, which is envisaged to be one of largest globally, will be focused on 10 themes.
  • It will be structured over 3 legs - online, followed by leg in Singapore & finals in New Delhi.

Objectives of Hackathalon

  • Move Hack aims to bring about innovative, dynamic & scalable solutions to problems pertaining to mobility.

  • Hackathon will have 2-pronged campaign approach:

  • Just Code It: Approach will be aimed at solutions thru innovations in technology, product, software & data analysis.

  • Just Solve It: Approach will involve developing innovative business ideas or sustainable solutions to transform mobility infrastructure thru technology.

Key Details of Move Hack

  • Move Hack will be open to individuals from all nationalities. Registrations are opened on hackathon’s main website- https://www.movehack.gov.in.

  • Hackathon is being organized in partnership w/Govt. of Singapore & is powered by Hacker Earth.

Cabinet Approves National Digital Communications Policy-2018

  • Union Cabinet approved National Digital Communications Policy-2018 (NDCP-2018) & re-designation of Telecom Commission as “Digital Communications Commission”.
  • It replaces existing National Telecom Policy-2012 to cater to modern needs of digital communications sector of India.

Impact of National Digital Communications Policy-2018

  • ‘Customer focused’ & ‘application driven’ NDCP-2018 shall lead to new ideas & innovations, after launch of advanced technology such as 5G, IOT, M2M, etc. which shall govern the telecom sector of India.

Objectives of National Digital Communications Policy-2018

  • Broadband for all

  • Creating 4 million additional jobs in Digital Communications sector

  • Enhancing contribution of Digital Communications sector to 8 % of India’s GDP from ~ 6 % in 2017

  • Propelling India to Top 50 Nations in ICT Development Index of ITU from 134 in 2017

  • Enhancing India’s contribution to Global Value Chains

  • Ensuring Digital Sovereignty

Features of National Digital Communications Policy-2018

  • Provide universal broadband connectivity at 50 Mbps to every citizen

  • Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 & 10 Gbps by 2022

  • Ensure connectivity to all uncovered areas

  • Attract investments of USD 100 billion in Digital Communications Sector

  • Train 1 million manpower for building New Age Skill

  • Expand IoT ecosystem to 5 billion connected devices

  • Establish comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards privacy, autonomy & choice of individuals

  • Facilitate India’s effective participation in global digital economy

  • Enforce accountability thru appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe

  • Secure digital communications infrastructure & services.

Strategy for Achieving Objectives of National Digital Communications Policy-2018

  • Establishment of National Digital Grid by creating National Fibre Authority

  • Establishing Common Service Ducts & utility corridors in all new city & highway road projects

  • Creating collaborative institutional mechanism b/w Centre, States & Local Bodies for Common Rights of Way, standardization of costs & timelines

  • Removal of barriers to approvals

  • Facilitating development of Open Access Next Generation Networks

Finalization of National Artificial Intelligence Mission

  • Task Force on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for India’s Economic Transformation was constituted on 24th August 2017. Task Force gave its report on 19th January 2018.
  • NITI Aayog has identified 5 sectors that include healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure, & transportation that can benefit from adoption of artificial intelligence.

National Artificial Intelligence Mission

Advantages of AI

  • Application of AI to healthcare could increase access & affordability of quality healthcare while it can enhance farmer’s income, increase productivity & reduce wastage when used in agriculture.

  • In areas of education AI can improve access & quality of education while improving connectivity & safer modes of transportation when put to infrastructure & transportation sectors.

Committees for AI

  • Committee on platforms & data for AI

  • Committee on leveraging AI for identifying National Missions in key sectors

  • Committee on mapping technological capabilities, key policy enablers, skilling, re-skilling & R&D

  • Committee on cybersecurity, safety, legal & ethical issues

Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics and DigiVaarta

  • Digi VAARTA (Vehicle to Accelerate Access and Reach to Transformational Action) is a platform designed to enable Financial and Social inclusion. It is a chat app that provides help to first time users in making a digital payment.
  • Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) was inaugurated by Union IT Minister in New Delhi. Centre was set up by National Informatics Centre (NIC) in joint initiative w/National Informatics Centre Services Incorporated (NICSI).

About CEDA

  • Centre of Excellence for Data Analytics (CEDA) is created to support govt. departments to unlock hidden potential of data that they are generating as part of governance processes & use it to improve overall governance.

  • It aims to strengthen citizen service delivery thru data-driven governance.

  • It proposes to establish strong partnerships w/academia & industry to ensure that cutting edge technologies & quality expertise are brought in to help govt. take advantage of booming analytic wave.

CEDA Will Provide Following Services to Govt. :

  • Data Quality Assurance Services

  • Custom-built Data Analytics Solutions

  • Develop reusable assets

  • Knowledge Management

  • Capacity Building & Self Service Analytics

  • Change Management

Background of CEDA & DigiVaarta

  • DigiVaarta App, which aims to spread awareness on DigiDhan, was launched in Delhi.

  • App aims to spread popularity of BHIM’s barcode-based merchant payment mode w/merchants & traders at large.

  • Initiative aims to enable citizen govt. dialogue & engage citizens in educational & outreach programmes.

Finance Ministry Launches Mobile Application “Jan Dhan Darshak” as a Part of Financial Inclusion

Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance & National Informatics Centre (NIC) has jointly developed mobile app called Jan Dhan Darshak as part of financial inclusion (FI) initiative.

Jan Dhan Darshak App:

  • App will act as guide for common people in locating financial service touch point at given location in country.

  • App will provide citizen centric platform for locating financial service over 5 lakh touch points across all providers such as banks, post office, CSC, etc.

  • 1.35 lakh Bank Mitras would be included by 1st Dec. , 2018.

Features of Jan Dhan Darshak App Are:

  • Find nearby Financial touch points, based on current location (Branches/ATM/Post offices).

  • Search by place name w/Voice Interface.

  • Phone number of bank branches available in app, w/facility of call button for integrated dialing.

  • Users’ feedback will go directly to concerned bank for carrying out necessary updation in data on financial touch points.

Union Home Minister Launches Two Portals to Strengthen Women Safety

  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched Cyber Crime Prevention against Women & Children (CCPWC) portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in) to check objectionable online content.
  • Portal will allow citizens to lodge complaints on objectionable online content related to child pornography, child sexual abuse material, & sexually explicit material such as rape & gang rape.
  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched India’s National Database of Sexual Offenders (NDSO) . W/this, India became 9th nation to maintain such thorough database.

Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC) portal

  • Portal will enable citizens to report complainants in w/o disclosing their identity.

  • This will help victims, complainants & help civil society organizations & responsible citizens to anonymously report complaints pertaining to objectionable online content involving women & children.

  • It allows complainants to upload objectionable content & URL to assist in investigation by state Police.

  • It has features like report & track option allowing victim or complainant to track his/her report using his/her mobile number.

National Database on Sexual Offenders (NDSO)

  • NDSO is initiative under National Mission for Safety of Women aimed at curbing crimes against women & children.

  • It will mainly include database sexual offenders in country convicted under charges of rape, gang rape, POCSO & eve teasing 2005 onwards.

Image of National Database on Sexual Offenders

Image of National Database on Sexual Offenders

Image of National Database on Sexual Offenders

  • It will be maintained by NCRB for regular monitoring & tracking by State Police.

  • NDSO will maintain database of cases classified as posing low danger for 15 years.

  • Database of cases, which are classified as moderate danger, will be stored for 25 years.

  • Data for cases involving repeat & habitual offenders, criminals, convicted gang rapists & custodial rapes will be stored permanently.

IIT Madras develops India’s 1st indigenous microprocessor

  • Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have designed India’s 1st indigenous microprocessor called ‘Shakti’.
  • It is aimed at developing industrial-grade microprocessors & other components of microprocessor ecosystem.
  • It will help to reduce dependency on imported microchips & risk of cyber-attacks.
  • Microprocessors are brain of all computing & electronic devices & are used to operate larger high-speed systems & supercomputers.

Shakti microprocessor

  • It was designed, developed & booted by IIT Madras w/microchip fabricated in ISRO’s Semi-Conductor Laboratory at Chandigarh.

  • It is developed under project partly funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), as part of 2-decade-old efforts to develop indigenous microprocessors.

  • Its design originates from open source instruction set architecture (ISA), set of basic instructions called RISC V, which makes it customisable to any device.

  • ISA is programming or machine language & provides commands to processor instructing it on functions to be executed.

  • RISC-V is open, free ISA which enables new era of processor innovation thru open standard collaboration. It delivers new level of free, extensible software & hardware freedom on architecture.


  • It will reduce dependency on imported microchips especially in communication & defence sectors & thus eliminate risk of cyber-attacks.

  • It can be used in mobile computing, wireless & networking systems.

  • It may provide power to mobile phones, smart meters & surveillance cameras.

Digital Sky Platform launched

  • In August 2018, India had announced release of its Civil Aviation Regulations (CAR) to enable safe flying of RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems) in India.
  • Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems (RPAS), known as drones, are technology platform w/wide-ranging applications.

Digital Sky Platform:

  • New features will be developed to ease process of flying for users.

  • To provide oversight to security agencies.

  • It is envisioned that in future Digital Sky Service Providers (DSPs) will be extending functionality of platform thru Application Program Interfaces (APIs).

Permissions to fly in diff. zones:

  • Green zones – Flying in green zones, requires only intimation of time & location via portal or app.

  • Yellow zones – Permission will be required for flying in yellow zones.

  • Red zones – Flights will not be allowed to fly.

If RPAS does not have permission to fly, it will not be allowed to take-off under policy of No-Permission-No-Takeoff (NPNT) .

Researchers Develop Web-based Tool to Monitor Fake News on Social Media

  • Web-based tool to monitor spread of fake news on social media platforms has been developed by Researchers from University of Michigan in US.
  • Tool uses Platform Health Metric called Iffy Quotient & will supposedly draw data from 2 external entities namely NewsWhip and Media Bias/Fact Checker.

Working of tool

  • News Whip will collect URLs from hundreds of thousands of sites each day & then it will gather information abt engagements of these sites on Facebook & Twitter.

  • Iffy Quotient will fetch information by querying NewsWhip for top 5000 most popular URLs Facebook & twitter.

  • Then tool will check using information at Media Bias/Fact checker whether URL is classified as iffy, ok, or unknown.


  • It is social media engagement tracking firm to collect URLs of thousands of sites everyday & collect information whether these sites have involvement in Facebook & Twitter.

Media Bias/Fact Checker

  • It divides URL into 3 categories, ‘Iffy’ if website is on questionable source or conspiracy list & ‘OK’ if websites on lists such as Left Bias, Right Bias or Satire, & ‘Unknown’ if website is not on any of lists.

IAF Launches MedWatch Mobile Health App

Indian Air Force (IAF) has launched ‘MedWatch’ mobile health app to provide health information to users, including first-aid & other health & nutritional topics.

  • It was launched on 8th Oct on occasion of IAF’s 85th anniversary.

  • It is 1st of its kind mobile health app built by any of 3 armed forces.

MedWatch app

  • App was conceived by doctors of IAF & developed in-house by Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) w/Zero financial outlay.

  • It will provide correct, scientific & authentic health information to air warriors & all citizens of India.

  • It comprises host of features like information on basic First Aid, health topics & nutritional facts, reminders for timely medical review, vaccination & utility tools like Health Record Card, BMI calculator, helpline numbers & web links.

  • App is available on: www.apps.mgov.gov.in.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 4, 2018


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