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Is India’s Supreme Court’s Diwali ban on firecrackers right? Fight air pollution

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The Supreme Court of India has put in place a Diwali ban under which it has prohibited sale of firecrackers in national capital Region (NCR) Delhi, citing alarming deterioration in air quality levels. A three-judge SC bench, which was headed by Justice AK Sikri, has upheld its own order of 11 November 2016, according to which it suspended all licences which “permit sale of fireworks wholesale and retail within territory of NCR.” The SC said there was “direct evidence of deterioration of air quality at alarming levels” each year during the festival of Diwali due to the bursting of firecrackers. The ruling for Diwali ban is an effort to prevent spike in toxic smog that engulfed Delhi last year and led to the closure of schools, power stations, as well as construction sites. Last year at Diwali, the festival of lights, tens of thousands of firecrackers were burst in Delhi spread over many days. It left the city engulfed by a thick sheet of smog. There was massive increase in air polluti…

Sports and Big Data Analytics: How technology is improving athletes

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Ace India's shuttler PV Sindhu was almost within striking distance of a historic BWF World Championships 2017; however, she lost out to Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in the three-game final of the tournament. Big Data Analytics perhaps had a role to play. Athletes all over the world are leveraging technology to estimate competitors and devise strategies to overcome them. Sportspersons, worldwide, have been leveraging a wide array of analytics. And it has been helping them in all departments. Several new-age digital transformation technologies such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Analytics are making a substantial impact on industries and human activities across the world ranging from healthcare to oil and gas to education, even the world of sports. Modern disruptive innovations are being put to widespread and diverse use.  From what angle to serve to how to cover a badminton court to the array of shots in the arsenal of the rival and mos…

World's youngest woman commander of Boeing 777 is Air India's own Anny Divya: Women empowerment

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Meet Anny Divya, from Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), the 30-year-old Indian woman pilot who has become the world's youngest woman to command a Boeing 777 aircraft. Breaking all stereotypes and societal norms, Anny made history with Air India, the carrier which created a record after it flew across the globe, led by an all-female crew on the occasion of International Women’s Day. These are stories which remind us nobody should give up on their dreams. If there is a will, then there is a way to achieve the seemingly most un-achievable of aspirations and women should come forward in the labor sector. No matter how rocky the road is, a human being can always aspire and overcome the odds: nothing is impossible. The story of Anny Divya is no different. Born in Pathankot, she always wanted to become a pilot since childhood. Blazing the trail for women empowerment Anny attended flying school at the tender age of 19 and in 2006, she joined Air India. She first trained in Spain on how to fly…

Mumbai flooding: Why does the Maximum City sink every year?

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In the worst case of flooding after 2005, in which more than 1000 were killed in Mumbai, rains have again battered the Maximum City, bringing it to a grinding halt. Life is thrown out of gear as low-lying areas continue to be waterlogged and the train services, which are the lifeline of the city, are paralyzed. Flights are diverted, subways inundated, and schools after incessant rains for more than 12 hours. The rain is forecast to continue for 48 more hours. Here are some of the lessons that can be drawn out of the disaster. Modernize the drainage system: Bolster the existing system and carry out fresh projects on an urgent basis. The 100-year-old drainage system is crunching under the weight of the burgeoning population. The infrastructure needs a revamp badly but nothing is being done about it.Issue prompt warnings: The public usually gets caught unawares. Provide them the window to act in a proactive and timely manner. Given the opportunity, they will take evasive action.Complete …

Does India need a second Green Revolution for freedom from food scarcity?

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Till the 70s, India imported food and depended on foreign donors. Famines were common. Lack of development and modern technology, faulty food distribution, and other factors led to a big chunk of population going hungry and unable to feed. Malnutrition and starvation were the biggest problems facing the country. Food grains had to be imported as traditional agricultural practices, with low productivity, were unable to sustain a growing population. There was strain on foreign exchange reserves. Green Revolution increased food grain production several timesGreen Revolution happened in the 1970s. Modern agriculture technology ushered in the era of increased output. It led to increased agricultural production, helping Indian government to maintain buffer food grain stocks. India gained self-reliance and self-sufficiency. The new methods were led by American agronomist and humanitarian Norman Borlaug, also called Father of Green Revolution. He received Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for saving …

How is India suffering from chronic poverty? Tackling India’s hunger problem and ways to fight it through technology

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A huge chunk of the Indian population suffers from chronic hunger. On the Global Hunger Index, India is at the 97th position. According to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IRPRI), one-sixth of India’s population is undernourished, while 190 million people go to bed hungry daily. A total of 30% children below the age of 5 years are underweight. India alone accounts for around 30% of neo-natal deaths internationally, all linked to malnutrition. Rs. 50,000 crore worth food wasted yearly behind India’s hunger One may be tempted to conclude that the culprit is insufficient food production. However, this is not true. In India’s case, around 40 percent of fruits and vegetables and about 20 percent of grains get destroyed because of insufficient infrastructure and supply chains that are inefficient. Food never reaches consumers. Around Rs. 50,000 crore worth of food is wasted every year. Such wastage has other ramifications as well. It results not only in hunger b…