Regulate Fake News

Noticing the increasing instances of fake news in various mediums including print and electronic media, the Government has amended the Guidelines for Accreditation of Journalists. Now on receiving any complaints of such instances of fake news, the same would get referred to the Press Council of India (PCI) if it pertains to print media & to News Broadcasters Association (NBA) if it relates to electronic media, for determination of the news item is fake or not.

The determination is expected to be completed within 15 days by these regulating agencies. Once the complaint is registered for determination of fake news, the correspondent/journalist whoever created and/or propagated the fake news will, if accredited, have the accreditation suspended till such time the determination regarding the fake news is made by the regulating agencies mentioned above.

Some incidents in the past few years have shown that society and its conflicts manifest themselves in what has come to be known as “fake news” — and the internet does aid its rapid distribution. That is not the malaise of the internet or social media platforms, however. It is the actors, very often, competing for political and other special interests which are producers of such content. But, fake news is a huge problem and demands an urgent solution.

Social media platforms are a modern-day Roman Forum. These platforms are agnostic wondrous architectures, enabling different forms and types of self-expression. However, the need for checks around credibility and authenticity seems to have long forgone. What stays is the need for freedom. Which is warranted, of course. Yet, at the same time, need a sense of direction. With a critical sense of objectivity. Social media services can simply not afford to step into the conversation and regulate it.

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Phase 1 of Bharat Net project to be completed by December

The first phase of the national optic fibre network christened Bharat Net project — which aims to deploy high-speed optical fibre cables across rural areas — will be completed by December this year.

The fourth edition of the ‘i-Bharat 2017’ conference held in the capital, based on the theme of ‘ICT Elucidations for Unserved and Unsolved’, organised by industry body FICCI in association with the ministry of electronics and information technology.

Bharat Net has now reached 83,000 gram panchayats. It is imperative to create a fibre-first programme where the government, as well as private sector, can join hands to achieve the objective of doubling the reach of telecom fibre network in the country by 2020.

About BharatNet project:

Bharat Net sought to connect all of India’s households, particularly in rural areas, through broadband by 2017, forming the backbone of the government’s ambitious Digital India programme. It proposes broadband connectivity to households under village panchayats and even to government institutions at the district level. The project is being funded through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

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India joins quantum computing race

Keen to tap into the next big advance in computing technology, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is planning to fund a project to develop quantum computers.
A quantum computer, still largely a theoretical entity, employs the principles of quantum mechanics to store information in ‘qubits’ instead of the typical ‘bits’ of 1 and 0. Qubits work faster because of the way such circuits are designed, and their promise is that they can do intensive number-crunching tasks much more efficiently than the fastest comparable computers.

For instance, to sort a billion numbers, a quantum computer would require 3.5 million fewer steps than a traditional machine, and would find the solution in only 31,623 steps, says a Morgan Stanley analysis last August. Solving other problems, many having to do with computing physics, becomes possible on quantum machines, the authors say, whereas they might never be possible on traditional computers.

While the Physics departments at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Harish Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad, have only forayed into the theoretical aspects of quantum computing, a DST official said that “the time has come to build one.”

Experts from across the country are expected to gather this month in Allahabad for a workshop to develop such a computer. Internationally, Canada’s D-Wave Systems is a pioneer in developing quantum computers and has sold machines to Lockheed Martin and Google.

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