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Internet of Things (IoT) to empower millions in rural areas

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image source: www.4virtus.com

By Nishant Arora

New Delhi, March 24: Some call it the fourth industrial revolution or “industry 4.0”; for others, the time when machines can “talk” at “smart” factories and “connected” homes to make your life better is here. But for India, Internet of Things (IoT) can bring a real revolution: empowering millions in rural areas and connecting “humans” to the mainstream.

A well-connected nation is the first step towards a well-served nation and, hence, connecting rural India to the IoT will provide the much-needed bridge between urban and rural India.

“It is a surefire way of channelling the benefits of a digital economy to the largest part of the country. IoT will enable delivery of education, health, governance and financial services to otherwise underserved areas,” Oracle India managing director Shailender Kumar stressed.

For example, most patients in rural areas do not have access to specialists. Thus, several large hospitals in the metros are beginning to offer remote consulting services in rural villages using media-rich network capabilities.

“The doctors can see and interact with patients in remote telemedicine centres, with the case history and medical data automatically transmitted to the doctor for analysis. Similarly, the IoT technology can be leveraged to offer high-quality remote education in high schools across the country,” Shailendra Kumar told reporters.

The IoT connectivity also offers a host of development opportunities to untapped areas, including manufacturing and e-commerce to market local and traditional products.

“A host of ‘localisation’ technologies can help different regions to communicate; so language is not a barrier. Relevant information and updates can be provided in local languages and scripts,” the Oracle executive added.

According to K.S. Viswanathan, vice president (industrial initiative) at apex IT body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), as IoT emerges as the next big thing to become a $300 billion global industry by 2020, India is all set to capture at least 20 percent market share in the next five years.

“The IoT is dramatically alerting manufacturing, energy, transportation, medical and other industrial sectors worldwide,” said Viswanathan while launching the “Nasscom IoT Centre of Excellence” in Coimbatore last week.

Andhra Pradesh has taken a lead when it comes to leveraging the IoT potential in the country. The state government has approved the first-of-its-kind IoT policy with an aim to turn the state into an IoT hub by 2020 and tap 10 percent market share in the country.

“We will develop state-of-the-art IoT infrastructure that matches global standards to grab an Indian market share of $1.5 billion by 2020,” said state IT minister Palle Raghunatha Reddy as the Centre is currently drafting an ambitious policy to create an Indian IoT industry worth $15 billion by 2020.

On the global consumer front, Gartner has forecast that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

As you traverse through these mind-boggling IoT numbers, where does India stand?

“We see that India will have a significant growth in IoT connections in the next four-five years,” said Mats Lundquist, chief executive officer at Telenor Connexion, Sweden-based leading enabler of connected business solutions.

Industry numbers indicate that manufacturing will be one of the main IoT drivers in the Asia Pacific (APAC) market and will be the biggest sector in IoT spending.

According to a report from global market research firm Frost & Sullivan, manufacturing contributed 30 percent of the IoT spending in 2014 and it is expected to rise up to 32 percent of total spending in the APAC region by 2020 which equates nearly $79 billion.

“Being an emerging market, India has a big potential owing to several initiatives like “Digital India” and “Smart Cities”. The next big market (for connected devices) in the world is south Asia and India holds a good position,” Apalak Ghosh, principal consultant at market research and consulting firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), told reporters.

“Eventually, south Asia will contribute to about 30-40 percent of the total connected things,” Ghosh added.

So where will the real revenue come from – the consumer or the enterprise sector?

“The Digital India initiative has created a strategic roadmap to build and strengthen domain competency and place India on the global IoT map. We believe that the enterprise sector will bolster IoT revenues,” elaborated Deep Agarwal, regional sales director (India) of US-based Zebra Technologies that builds tracking technology and solutions.

“To begin with, the revenue will first come from the enterprise sector. As the technology booms, the revenue will start coming from the consumer sector,” Ghosh added.

Since IoT is a concept of devices talking to one another, there is a lot of data transfer happening which is vulnerable to cyber threats as well.

“The cloud can work as a catalyst to make IoT work and for that, there has to be a right kind of framework that can assist it. The GRC (governance, risk management and compliance) guidelines can play an important part to make IoT work in a proper manner,” Ghosh said.

India is currently a small IoT market but with great potential. “We will definitely see a great development in the country on the IoT front in the coming years,” Lundquist pointed out.

For Oracle’s Shailendra Kumar, rural India is set to transform itself by taking the technology leap and adopting real-life solutions like IoT. (IANS)

 

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Prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer rises in rural India, according to experts

The rural masses need to be made aware of the treatment, drugs and technologies to combat the disease

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Prostate cancer
Sarcomatoid prostate carcinoma, abbreviated SPC. Wikimedia
  • Prostate cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths among men worldwide
  • Experts claim, that the second most common cause of cancer, is rising in rural India 
  • The rural masses need to be made aware of the treatment, drugs and technologies to combat the disease.

New Delhi, September 22, 2017: Prostate cancer, the second most common cause of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths among men worldwide, is rising in rural India, experts claim.

Cancer projection data shows that the number of cases will be doubled by 2020.

“Most of the metastatic prostate cancer cases are from rural areas. Therefore, it’s a challenge to government and doctors to decrease the risk factors and take prostate cancer risk in the rural areas very seriously,” P.N. Dogra, Professor and Head of Urology at AIIMS, said in a statement on Thursday.

The rural masses need to be made aware of the treatment, drugs and technologies to combat the disease.

“There is an urgent need to create awareness about prostate cancer threat amongst the rural population,” said Anup Kumar, Head (Department of Urology and Renal Transplant) at Safdarjung Hospital.

Also read: Abdominal fat drives cancer in postmenopausal women: Study

Safdarjung Hospital sees more than one lakh patients every month from all over the country.

Of these, 20 per cent are prostate cancer patients, in which 40 per cent are clinically localised, 30 per cent are locally advanced and 30 per cent are metastatic prostate cancer cases, Kumar said.

“Prostate cancer has become a major health problem globally during the last few decades. This disease is the second most common cause of cancer and the sixth leading cause of cancer death among men worldwide,” Dogra said.

According to the Population Based Cancer Registries in Delhi, the disease is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in the national capital, accounting for about 6.78 per cent of all malignancies. (IANS)

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Creator of ‘Tibeb Girls’ use their Superpowers to Stop Harmful Practices against Girls in Rural Areas in Ethiopia

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'Tibeb Girls' is an animated cartoon featuring three young girls who use superpowers to fight the injustice and oppression Ethiopian girls routinely face. (Screenshot from 'Tibeb Girls') VOA

Three young Ethiopian girls use their superpowers to stop harmful practices against girls in rural areas and to promote access to school. That is the story behind “Tibeb Girls,” a new animated series developed in Ethiopia.

“Tibeb Girls” is the first animated cartoon in which Ethiopian girls play not only the lead characters, but are also portrayed as superheroes. “Tibeb” means wisdom in Amharic.

“For me, it was very important to have girls who look like me and who look like my child to be on the screen playing very good role models,” said Bruktawit Tigabu, who created “Tibeb Girls.”

Bruktawit Tigabu, creator of 'Tibeb Girls.'
Bruktawit Tigabu, creator of ‘Tibeb Girls.’ VOA

The animated cartoon breaks taboos by discussing things such as menstruation and, in the first episode, the lead characters save a girl from child marriage.

Bruktawit screens the show at schools and events around Ethiopia.

“Most of the issues we are raising are not well discussed in the community or in school or in the house,” she said. “So that is another inspiration to really break the taboo and give them a very entertaining, but also engaging way to talk about very serious subjects.”

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The animated series is produced in Addis Ababa with a team of voice actors, artists and writers.

Representing and empowering girls is a big responsibility. Therefore the writers, such as Mahlet Haileyesus, put a lot of preparation into an episode.

“We try to include everybody, like the relevant stakeholders, government bureaus, specific target groups,” said Mahlet Haileyesus, one of the show’s writers. “And then once the synopsis is developed, we do prototyping, which means we go to the field and test it.”

Meaza Takele reads the 'Tibeb Girls' comis strip to her young children.

Meaza Takele reads the ‘Tibeb Girls’ comis strip to her young children.

“Tibeb Girls” is also published as a comic strip that Meaza Takele reads to her young children each night before they go to bed.

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“When I ask my children why they love the cartoon, they say it’s because now they have a cartoon that is Ethiopian and where their own language is spoken,” she said.

Creator Bruktawit hopes to raise funds to further develop the TV show, as she tries to sell the first season to broadcasters in Ethiopia and other African countries where young girls face the same issues. (VOA)

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UP CM Yogi Adityanath to ensure Electricity in entire UP by 2019, Villages to get uninterrupted Power Supply

Government aims at making UP energy efficient by 2018

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BJP, Yogi Adityanath
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Lucknow, Apr 11, 2017: UP CM Yogi Adityanath takes a few more steps as he calls his second state cabinet meeting since assuming the office last month. It was decided that district headquarters will get a 24-hour power supply, Power Minister Shrikant Sharma told reporters here after the three-hour-long meeting.

The chief minister directed the power department to ensure that defective or burnt transformers are replaced expeditiously in rural areas so that agricultural operations do not suffer, he said.

Sharma said the ambitious ‘Power for All’ pact will be signed by Adityanath and Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal here on April 14 to meet the Centre’s target of making the state energy efficient by 2018 and help in ensuring power in all UP villages before 2019, mentioned PTI.

“It was the order of the Chief Minister that all Shaktipeeths are supplied 24-hour power during Navratris and we have been successful in it…examinations are on and students should get power during the night so that they do not have to suffer,” Sharma said.
The CM ordered 18-hour power supply in villages, 20-hour at tehsil level and in Bundelkhand region besides deciding to ink a pact with the Centre to ensure electricity in all UP villages by 2019.
The chief minister directed the officials to ensure uninterrupted supply to the villages from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning so as to help the students prepare for exams.

“It is the dream of BJP chief Amit Shah and the Chief Minister that every house, every poor, and every village get power by 2018,” Sharma said.

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On former CM Akhilesh Yadav’s statement that there is nothing new in providing power during Navratri and Ramnavami, he said the earlier roster system was not implemented on the ground and remained restricted to the CM’s residence, Shakti Bhawan and for the VIPs.

“The difference is, our VIPs are poor residing in villages. We will take action against officers if the roster is not implemented at the rural level, which was ignored ealier. The government is working for providing 24-hour power supply by October 2018,” he said.
In a bid to end woes of potato growers, the cabinet decided to purchase 1 lakh metric tonnes of potato at Rs 487 per quintal.

“Government aims at giving adequate price to potato growers. If we cannot give them profit, we want to give them price of their produce,” Sharma said.

For cane growers, the cabinet decided to ensure payment of their current cane dues within 14 days and old dues within 120 days.

“Legal action will also be taken against sugar mills if they fail to make payments,” he said.

-prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram Twitter @NikitaTayal6