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Austerity Modi’s way: Rs.17 crore goes down the drain at washed out Varanasi event

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Varanasi:  As rains led to the cancellation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to his parliamentary constituency on Thursday, for the second time in the past one month, a staggering Rs.17 crore of the tax payer’s money also has gone down the drain. Literally!

If local district and protocol officials are to be believed, washed out trip has cost the exchequer more than Rs.17 crores. While VVIP visits do cost a fortune, the amount spent on Modi’s now-cancelled visit is stunning for more than one reason.

First, while this is in stark contrast to the austerity Modi often speaks of, secondly, if one breaks down the expense of the visit, which was to last four hours and 35 minutes, the per-minute expense was to be Rs 6.18 lakh and the per-second averaging Rs 10,333.

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With heavy rains ruining Modi’s programme on June 28, the organizers this time had done their homework well and six special ‘German Hanger’ like marquees were erected for the public rally at Dereka grounds. These gigantic marquees were both fire and water-proof and are estimated to have cost Rs 9 crore. Three air-conditioned mobile toilets were requisitioned from New Delhi for use of Modi and his entourage.

The organizers, on condition, of anonymity said that air-conditioners totaling 100 tonne were in place at Dereka, keeping in mind the humid and sultry weather. Ten special generators to provide 125 KVA electricity were also installed, adding a major expense to the budget. While the VVIP’s were to be provided AC’s to give them respite from the humid conditions, 100 coolers and 2,000 fans were in place for the public.

These generators, along with ten 6 KVA and two 5 KVA gensets would have produced 1.4 MW of electricity that, in ordinary conditions, could have powered more than 1,000 households, an official mused.

This apart, over Rs.4 crore rupees has been sent on boarding, lodging, transport and other expenses of the prime minister’s security and SPG detail.

A Wi-Fi enabled mini-PMO was also raised behind the hanger in which Modi was to be present during the launch of the developmental projects. Fifteen LED screens that would have telecast the prime minister’s address live to almost 20,000 people and a high- quality sound system at the rally venue also burnt a hole in the common man’s pocket. (IANS)

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Weapons, Bombs Easily Detected by Wi-Fi: Study

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference.

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Wi-Fi can now detect weapons and bombs. Flickr

Interestingly, ordinary Wi-Fi can easily identify weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags just anywhere, be it a crowded stadium, or museums, theme parks, schools and other public spaces, a new study reveals.

The researchers’ suspicious detection object is easy to set up, reduces security screening costs and avoids invading privacy such as when screeners open and inspect bags, backpacks and luggage. Traditional screening generally requires high staffing levels and costlier specialized equipment.

“This could have a great impact in protecting the public from dangerous objects. There’s a growing need for that now”, said study author, Yingying Chen.

Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay
Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay

The study reveals that Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and detect them, including weapons, aluminium cans, laptops and batteries for bombs. Wi-Fi can also be used to estimate the volume of liquids such as water, acid, alcohol and other chemicals for explosives.

This low-cost system requires a Wi-Fi device with two to three antennas and can be integrated into existing Wi-Fi networks. The system analyzes what happens when wireless signals penetrate and bounce off objects and materials.

Experiments were done with 15 types of objects and six types of bags demonstrating detection accuracy rates of 99 percent for dangerous objects, 98 percent for metal and 95 percent for liquid. For typical backpacks, the accuracy rate exceeds 95 percent and drops to about 90 percent when objects inside bags are wrapped.

Wifi, Weapons
“We wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen. VOA

“In large public areas, it’s hard to set up expensive screening infrastructure like what’s in airports. Manpower is always needed to check bags and we wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen.

Also Read: The Japanese Bombings and American Falsification

Next steps include trying to boost accuracy in detecting objects by imaging their shapes and estimating liquid volumes.

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security on cybersecurity. (IANS)