03 January, 2020 22 Min Read
|GS-I||Northeast monsoon ends, country records 30 per cent surplus rain||Geography|
|GS-II||Success of facial recognition tech depends on data||National and Political Issues|
|India, Nepal to hold talks on Kalapani||International Relations|
|GS-III||In Haryana, scientists develop India’s own brain template, Brahma||Science and Technology|
|Air defence command plan on||Miscellaneous|
|India records less than 100 tiger deaths for the first time in three years||Environment and Sustainable development|
GS-I : Geography
Syllabus subtopic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
Prelims and Mains focus: About the monsoon: its features and impact; South-west and north-east monsoon
News: 2019 was a year of bountiful rain. The year’s Northeast monsoon ended on a high, with the season’s total rainfall recorded remaining 30 per cent surplus.
Northeast Monsoon (Retreating Monsoon)
Monsoon in India
Southwest V/s Northeast monsoon
Source: Indian Express
GS-II : National and Political Issues
Syllabus subtopic: Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies
Prelims and Mains focus: About the AFRS system and its uses in various fields; about NCRB: its objectives and functions
News: Facial recognition software is now an integral part of policing, globally. Last month, the police used its automated facial recognition system (AFRS) to screen crowds at PM Modi’s rally on the citizenship law in Delhi.
What is the purpose of AFRS software?
How does the software work?
The police’s AFRS is different from the facial recognition systems used on smartphones. The latter is based on the ISO 19794-5 standard meant for consumer biometrics; the police’s software is more “restrictive”, as per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) document seeking proposals for the system. It measures facial features and uses the measurements to create a “template” to be matched against others, says an American Bar Association study. Law enforcement’s software is meant to work in various light conditions; detect make-up, plastic surgery or ageing; and work against sketches of subjects.
Can facial recognition technology be beaten?
A review of the London Metropolitan Police’s facial recognition system by academics from the University of Essex in July 2019 showed that the system had erred in 81% of the cases. However, law enforcement bodies worldwide have adopted the system, although there are enough reports for and against the software.
Which databases does AFRS have access to?
The NCRB document says AFRS should be able to check against various databases. Besides the criminal database, it mentions the passport database; the Aadhaar database that includes your photo may be used too. It mentions the Immigration, Visa and Foreigners’ Registration Tracking database, the ministry of women and child development’s Khoya-Paya and the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System. It can match a photo against many and compare one photo with another. The more the data, the better is the output.
What is the scope of India’s AFRS?
NCRB’s proposal clearly states that while a centralized web application will be hosted in the crime record bureau’s data centre in Delhi, it will be made available to “all police stations of the country”. That means AFRS certainly stretches on a national scale. Furthermore, Delhi Police also required the software to work on Android, iOS and Windows platforms. “NCRB has already proposed the provision of mobile data terminals to each police station,” states the proposal document.
About National Crimes Record Bureau (NCRB)
Syllabus subtopic: India and its neighbourhood relations.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the Kalapani dispute between India and Nepal; about the Treaty of Sagauli
News: Nepal and India will resolve the Kalapani border issue through dialogue, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
Source: Indian Express
GS-III : Science and Technology
Syllabus subtopic: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
Prelims and Mains focus: about the Brahma brain template; its need and significance
News: A team of scientists led by senior scientist Pravat Mandal at the Nueroimaging and Nuerospectroscopy Laboratory (NINS) of the National Brain Research Center (NBRC), in Manesar, Haryana, has developed a brain template, Brahma, which will show intrinsic details about the anatomy of the Indian brain.
This comes close on the heels of Mandal in December leading a team that had developed a technology that uses the brain’s stress levels and pH for early identification of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, depression and schizophrenia.
What is a brain template?
Significance of Brahma
About the Brahma project
Signficance of Brahma
Syllabus subtopic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate
Prelims and Mains focus: about the move and its significane; CDS: mandate and functions
News: In his first meeting with the officials of the Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, outlined priorities towards creating an air defence command and common logistics support pools as part of measures to create jointness and synergy among the three services.
Significance of the move and concerns associated
Mandate of CDS
The broad mandate of the CDS includes bringing about jointness in operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services, within three years of the first CDS assuming office.
Source: The Hindu
Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Prelims and Mains focus: about the tiger population stats across the country; about NTCA: functions and significance
News: For the first time in the past three years, the number of tiger deaths in a year in the country has been less than 100.
Reasons for reduction in tiger deaths
Tiger deaths across states
With the increase in tiger numbers, more areas in the country need to be declared Tiger Reserves. Currently, there are 50 Tiger Reserves in India with an area of about 73,000 sq. km.
About National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
Source: The Hindu