Tuesday November 19, 2019
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Governments not serious about 90 percent unsafe buildings in Delhi: HC

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday took strong objection to the central and Delhi governments showing apathy towards the issue of 90 percent of buildings in the capital being “structurally unsafe” to withstand a seismic zone (SZ) IV earthquake.

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A division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva directed the central and Delhi governments to give a status report on action taken to ensure structural integrity of buildings here saying they were waiting for a “disaster to happen”. “The union of India and Delhi government are not interested (in the issue). And MCD is allowing all kinds of rampant illegal construction,” the bench remarked seeking their response within two weeks. “Only 10 percent of buildings in MCD areas are earthquake safety norm compliant, that means 9 out of 10 will flatten when earthquake comes. So, how much population will be wiped out, the bench asked the Center and MCD’s counsel.”

“Alarming position has been revealed that only 25 percent of capital’s areas is planned or approved while the rest 75 percent is unplanned or unauthorized. There are 17,000 unauthorized colonies here with no layout plan but they are in the process of regularization by the government,” the high court said. The MCD in its affidavit filed in the high court said: “The corporation is planning to seek help of IIT Delhi, Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, RITES, Indian Association of Structural Engineers Association etc to suggest ways and means of ascertaining the structural integrity of these buildings and steps to strengthen or retrofitting requirement in accordance with the provision of Modified Building Bye Laws. “The MCD also said old buildings and buildings in the unplanned areas do not have the record of their design and drawing details.

It further said the corporation was planning to launch a public awareness program in which people living in buildings about 30 or more years old will be asked to obtain a structural fitness certificate for their building from the impaneled structural engineers. The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava seeking directions to immediately determine the seismic stability of buildings in Delhi. In the PIL, Bhargava also sought direction to the authorities to take consequent remedial measures in a time bound manner in the larger public interest. “It is apparent that construction is carried out in these colonies without obtaining any approval from any authorities,” the PIL said adding that approximately 50 lakh people were staying in these unauthorized colonies.

(IANS)

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IIT Guwahati Developing AI-Enabled Chatbot Named “ALBELA” to Teach and Support First Year Students of EEE

Earlier we did the trial runs of the chatbot, and started using from this academic session onwards

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IIT, Guwahati, Chatbot
We have been working on its development since last 7 months with a team of dedicated 7 research scholars of the department. Pixabay

In a bid to promote learning through Artificial Intelligence (AI), a team of postgraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, along with their faculty members are developing an Artificial Intelligence-enabled chatbot named “ALBELA” to teach and support first year students of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE).

“We have been working on its development since last 7 months with a team of dedicated 7 research scholars of the department. Earlier we did the trial runs of the chatbot, and started using from this academic session onwards.

“The response from the students has been overwhelming and we hope that this will become the new normal in near future. Prof. Rohit Sinha, Head EEE Department, and the team IBM have extended their continuous support for this activity,” Praveen Kumar, Professor, Department of EEE, IIT Guwahati, said in a statement.

IIT, Guwahati, Chatbot
In a bid to promote learning through Artificial Intelligence (AI), a team of postgraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, along with their faculty members are developing. Pixabay

The chatbot would help students find their class schedule, tutorial schedule, and examination queries via a AI-based chat window. Students at times may hesitate to approach an instructor regarding their queries, but with this chat-based system students can clear their doubts, both technical and non-technical, according to the institution.

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“The team is developing the analytical problem solving skill. It will be helpful for the students to learn how to solve analytical problems related to the course. Within next one year, we will extend it to biomedical signal processing, electrical machine courses, said Samarendra Dandapat, Professor, Department of EEE at IIT Guwahati. (IANS)