In the era of technology, drafting regulations to govern them is perhaps the kind of safeguards we ought to realise. Technology along with good intent has been a boon for mankind. Today we are environed by technology, misuse of which can have deleterious effects on our present and future. Policies around technologies, which have the potential to become detrimental to us in the wrong hands, are necessary. The bank-related frauds that have cautioned account holders of deceit regarding their accounts and cards are a kind of example of misusing technology for detrimental purposes. Online transactions, account management and bank affairs are one set of safeguards that we require – which have been proactively provided by banks in the form of information and measures to stay secure – for our security. But since we now have more data which can be stolen or misused, there ought to be more safeguards to protect ourselves. In the age of cyber advancement, cybersecurity becomes utterly important. With India emerging as the second country with most-Internet access, protection of data has risen to be a priority. Not just personal data but institutional, governmental, intelligence, et al. Data today drives the world and internet is pervasive. And, things which drive the world – money and now data – will always be lucrative for those with malice intent. It is this inevitable situation of data protection that urges governments and institutions to bring up security measures. The government plays a crucial part in data protection and cybersecurity. It has the capacity to govern the internet – which drives data across interfaces – through a robust framework which will act as a regulator. In this regard, NITI Aayog’s efforts to draft a policy on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity take a leap towards the next step of protecting and regulating data technology. Fiction novels and movies show how data in future can be as priceless as identity. Not to say that it is the case today but we are not far from that. Right from the Aadhaar Card which has our biometrics to our profiles on social networking websites which house our personal information; data is vulnerable. Of course, there are safeguards but those have been breached and it is, therefore, in public interest to build a framework and draft legislation which governs it, and directly, not pseudo governance through existing legislatures regarding technology. India has embarked on the path of digitisation and comprehensive digitisation is underway. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are two parts which need to be explored under this proposed security draft. With the advent of AI and ML, cybersecurity is headed for paradigm changes and NITI Aayog’s attempt to cook policies regarding those is a step in the right direction. Developing centres of excellence in AI and ML across the country will not only empower research along those but also train professionals and increase competencies. Considering how AI and ML are part of the next revolution in technology and industry, it is crucial to harness benefits from developing both, that too indigenously, while providing a safe environment for its application. This will create capacity for skilled labour and operators, increasing employability – a major concern for India right now. Apart from industrial training and general research, AI and ML should also be taught to students in universities on a grand scale to create a technically-proficient pool which will be instrumental to the AI and ML market. Also Read – Securing nutritionCybersecurity is one aspect of growing technology. India must also look forward to setting up centres for developing these on a scale where it contributes to our net exports. Manufacture of technology-driven commodities will expand India’s market and help India become a global player in the technology market. With this view in mind, the National Policy on Software Products – approved by the Cabinet earlier this year – aims to transform India from a net importer of software products into a net exporter. Skilling people in augmented reality (AR), AI, ML, etc., remains as important as safeguarding those in the collective interest of the nation. With the pace that India has portrayed in adopting digital payments, transition into AI and ML-driven lives is not a far cry. We must prepare, for the world is set to be all the more technological.
The probability of dying from NCD4 between 30 and 70 years of age. Credit: NCD Countdown 2030PARIS, France (AFP) — More than half of all countries will likely fail to hit the UN target of reducing premature deaths from a quartet of chronic diseases by a third before 2030, researchers said Friday.Cancers, heart and blood-vessel disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease combined to kill 12.5 million people aged 30 to 70 worldwide in 2016, they reported in a major study.“The bottom line is this: a set of commitments were made, and most countries are not going to meet them,” lead author Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial School London’s School of Public Health, told AFP.Only 35 nations are on track to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 — launched in 2015 — for women, and even less for men, the study revealed.“International donors and national governments are doing too little to reduce deaths from non-communicable diseases,” Ezzati said.The good news, he added, is that most countries are at least moving in the right direction.But around 20 states — 15 for women, 24 for men — are either stagnating or backsliding.That select group of failure includes only one wealthy nation: the United States.A much-noted study last year in the American Journal of Public Health showed that the rise in premature deaths was especially sharp among white, rural Americans, described by the authors as gripped by an “epidemic of despair”.“It comes down to weak public health, weak health care system, high levels of inequality,” Ezzati said.Across all age groups, non-communicable diseases kill more than 40 million people a year worldwide, accounting for seven in ten deaths.Of these, 17 million are classified as “premature,” or before the age of 70.“We are sleepwalking into a sick future because of severely inadequate progress on non-communicable diseases,” said Katie Dain from the NCD Alliance.The “NCD Countdown 2030” report, published in The Lancet ahead of next week’s UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs in New York, “will assist in holding governments and donors accountable”, she added.Ezzati rejected the notion that the UN goal may have been set too high.“The fact that 30-odd countries are very much on track, and another 40 or 50 — depending on the gender — are close, means that it is very doable,” he said by phone.Declining tobacco and alcohol use, low blood pressure, a good public health care system, low levels of inequality — countries not doing so well in meeting the UN target are likely to fail in a couple of these things, Ezzati said.Only four countries — South Korea, Japan, Switzerland and Australia — ranked among the top ten for lowest NCD mortality rates for both men and women.Spain, Singapore, Portugal, Italy, Finland and France rounded out the good health podium for women.For men, the other countries were Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Bahrain, Canada and New Zealand.The United States ranked 53rd for men, and 44th for women, with Chinese men and women placed 80th and 76th, respectively.China is not on track to meet the goal but its NCD rates are declining, even as levels of obesity and high blood pressure are on the rise, the study revealed.Smoking rates have stabilised but remain high, especially for men. Tobacco use claims one million lives in China every year.“China has the ability to do a lot when it comes to managing tobacco and alcohol, with both largely state-owned industries,” Ezzati noted.“They are also wealthy enough so that hypertension treatment should be trivial.”In sub-Saharan Africa, non-communicable diseases account for a smaller share of deaths than infectious diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis.But their NCD mortality rates are still much higher than in most middle-income and rich countries, and should not be neglected, the authors said.“By any standard, it would be inappropriate and non-strategic to not incorporate NCDs in the strengthening of the overall health care system,” Ezzati said.“We should say to the donor and aid agencies: ‘Focus on the overall health system rather than disease by disease’.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRegional consultation next month to discuss ending of HIV/AIDS by 2030January 24, 2017In “Health”Children born to mothers under 30 are more likely to dieSeptember 30, 2013In “Health”C’bean health ministers agree on new agenda to attain universal health by 2030September 29, 2017In “latest news” read more