Government Polices Current Affairs - 2019

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Government sets up expert group for suggestions on artificial intelligence policy

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) has set up an internal expert committee to advise the government on a policy on artificial intelligence (AI).

The expert committee will advise the IT ministry on the most apt technologies for India as government’s main focus is to reduce cyber-attacks with AI. Its recommendations will be used to frame the policy.

Seven-point strategy on AI

The government recently had drawn up a seven-point strategy that would form the framework for India’s strategic plan to use AI. The strategy includes developing methods for human machine interactions; creating a competent workforce in line with AI and R&D needs, ensuring safety and security of AI systems; understanding and addressing the ethical, legal and societal implications of AI, measuring and evaluating AI technologies through standards and benchmarks, among others.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is branch of computer science concerned with making computers behave like humans. In contrast to normal hardware and software, AI enables a machine to perceive and respond to its changing environment. The artificial intelligence market is estimated to touch $153 billion in 2020 and expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (cagr) of 45.4% from 2016 to 2022. It is also widely seen as major challenge in generation of employment as many companies are likely to depend more on it to cut down on human resources.

Globally too, there is a growing interest in artificial intelligence. In 2016, White House had initiated work on Preparing for the future of artificial intelligence; in UK, the House of Commons committee on S&T had looked at robotics and artificial intelligence while in 2017, State Council of China had started work on next generation artificial intelligence development plan.

Government unveils revised Building Code

The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution unveiled the revised Building Code, making builders liable for the structure’s safety.

The code has been prepared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). It is voluntary in nature, but the states can incorporate them in their building bylaws. 

Some provisions of the code 
  • Safety responsibility: Structure designers and supervisors are made responsible for the safety of the structure. Builders are also made responsible safety of the construction.
  • Builders have to give a certificate mentioning that the building has been constructed as per the planned design submitted to the local bodies
  • Modern buildings: It incorporates necessary changes keeping in view the requirement of modern buildings. Besides, it encourages use new building material and alternative smart technologies.
  • It also has provisions on use of innovative materials and technologies and on prefabricated construction techniques that can give fillip to speedier construction.
  • Fire and life safety norms: Specified for high rise buildings and a proper horizontal evacuation system in high-rise hospitals and public buildings. It includes high speed lifts for tall buildings.
  • Universal accessibility: It provides for universal accessibility for senior citizens and differently abled citizens.
  • Sustainability norms: It features norms for solar energy utilisation, inclusion of modern lighting technique including LED, updated provision on piped gas supply in houses and hospitals. It also covers solid waste management and rain water harvesting.
  • Ease of doing business: It has a detailed provision for streamlining the approval process in respect of different agencies in the form of an integrated approval process through single window approach thereby avoiding separate clearances from various authorities.

The Building Code is used by local bodies for framing building bylaws. It is used by government departments in construction activity and also by private builders as well as professionals like planners, architect and engineers. It is also used for academic purpose