If you understand the problem well enough, then the solution is around the corner.
Sitting on his computer, the district education officer in Karnataka’s Gulbarga district finds out which schools need an upgrade in toilet and education facilities. He also is aware of the institutions which need additional classrooms, so that he can quickly draft a proposal once funds are sanctioned for infrastructure improvement.
While assessing the need for new police stations in Shimoga city municipality, the superintendent of police analyses the crime data, population density and socio-economic factors related to reported crimes on the press of a button of a computer.
These officials and many others are using the district-level geospatial data infrastructure (SDI) or maps in all 60 districts of Karnataka for effective decision-making.
Like the geospatial agency in Karnataka, West Bengal and Uttarakhand government agencies have also generated SDI in their respective states, with help from the Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS), under the department of science and technology of the Central government.
Geospatial technology, which uses geospatial data or maps stored on computers, can help study and store information related to natural resources, like water bodies and forests, demography, infrastructure like schools, health centres, drinking water facilities, ground water table condition and veterinary facilities, among others.
The technology can also enhance use of touch screens and e-governance tools for efficient delivery of services to citizens.
According to officials of the NRDMS, they are now in the process of proposing projects and initiatives aimed at encouraging use of geospatial information, accessible though the web, in planning in all states.
The proposal is aimed at boosting the government’s programmes like Smart City Development, Digital India, Land Records Modernisation, Clean Ganga and River Linking, Disaster Management, Land and Water Management and Compensatory Forestation.
Experts point out that the geospatial technology can also be used for studies to reduce risk during disasters. They say the Kedarnath Temple deluge in Uttarakhand in 2013 was partially linked to unchecked urbanisation in the areas that triggered landslides which blocked the path of the river. The illegal urbanisation could have been detected and removed in time using spatial data.
“Use of spatial technology could have minimised the loss of lives had it been used to study how the land would behave in these areas in the event of extreme rainfall,” said Dr Bhoop Singh, Head, NRDMS, stressing on the important role that NRDMS, launched in 1982, can play in putting in place such probabilities in place through studies.
Spatial data, also known as geospatial data, is the information about a physical object that can be represented by numerical values in a geographic set-up.
“Effective use of geographical information system (GIS) can help take preventive steps against landslides, encroachment in forests and groundwater depletion,” said Dr Singh.
A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth’s surface.
Under its National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) programme, NRDMS has worked with data providing agencies like Survey of India, CPCB, Forest Survey of India, Census of India and National Remote Sensing Centre, among others, to develop GIS data assets like maps.
District level maps or spatial data infrastructure has also been developed in 60 districts in Karnataka, West Bengal and Uttarakhand. Another 100 districts in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Jharkhand and Odisha are developing maps or spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that will help decision makers during disasters like drought, floods, landslides and development of infrastructure and watershed management.
The SDI agencies are now developing web-accessible databases in all districts, said Dr D. Dutta, adviser, NRDMS.
Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.
The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.
Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.
These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.
Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.
AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, making decisions, and understanding natural language.
Virtual assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of virtual assistants that use natural language processing to understand and respond to users’ queries.
Recommendation systems: Companies like Netflix and Amazon use AI to recommend movies and products to their users based on their browsing and purchase history.
Efficiency: AI systems can work continuously without getting tired or making errors, which can save time and resources.
Personalization: AI can help provide personalized recommendations and experiences for users.
Automation: AI can automate repetitive and tedious tasks, freeing up time for humans to focus on more complex tasks.
Job loss: AI has the potential to automate jobs previously performed by humans, leading to job loss and economic disruption.
Bias: AI systems can be biased due to the data they are trained on, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
Safety and privacy concerns: AI systems can pose safety risks if they malfunction or are used maliciously, and can also raise privacy concerns if they collect and use personal data without consent.