Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Current Affairs - 2020

IIT Kharagpur: AI Based Social-Distancing Monitor

The Researchers of IIT Kharagpur have developed an Artificial Intelligence based cyber-physical system to monitor social distancing in public places.


The device developed by the researchers will play a proximity alert whenever there is a violation of social distancing norms. The device captures field view and computes distances according to the criteria set by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The researchers of the institute have designed the device using inexpensive and easily accessible hardware materials.

Social Distancing

The social distancing is non-pharmaceutical prevention of an infection. This is done by decreasing contact between the persons that are infected by the disease-causing pathogen. According to WHO, when someone has COVID-19, the minimum physical distance to stay away from him is 1 metre. The same norms are followed in India as well.

Some countries follow 2 metres of social distancing and some others follow 1.5 metres. UK follows 2 metre distancing and Australia follows 1.5 metres.

Task Force to be set up to prevent Human and Animal transmission of COVID-19

The Indian Government is taking precautionary steps after it was learnt that COVID-19 infects animals as well. Recently a Malayan tiger in the zoo of New York was reported to have infected with COVID-19.


India is taking precautionary step to prevent Animal and Human transmission of the virus in the country. The Central Government has instructed the state governments to take immediate steps to stop the spread of the virus from humans to the animals.

Steps taken

The number of staffs in the zoos, national parks, tiger reserves and sanctuaries are to be limited. A Task Force is to be set up with field managers, veterinary doctors and front-line staffs. Also, a nodal officer is to be appointed to report a “round the clock mechanism”. The GoI has also advised the animal welfares to stick to stipulations issued by the Health Ministry. This is mainly being done to restrict the movement of staffs and other local people in and around sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves.