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How poor roads are making Tawang vulnerable to Chinese incursion 

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2012-01-10 16.06.26

By NewsGram Staff Writer

The parliamentary standing committee on defense expressed a grave concern over Tawang. As per a government report, the condition of the roads in Tawang is very poor and it will take a day for the Indian army to reach there. The defense ministry was concerned as Tawang is a strategically important place for India when it comes to military establishment.

Parliament’s standing committee on defense, in a recently-tabled report, said, it was “dismayed to note that in Tawang, the situation is very critical insofar as connectivity is concerned.”

“While our neighboring country can reach the border within two or three hours, our Army takes more than a day to reach there. This is a matter of great concern with regard to our defense preparedness,” the report said. The committee has recommended the construction of “good quality roads in this area on priority basis.”

The committee said that connectivity between Himachal Pradesh and the Ladakh region is “very crucial” for the expeditious movement of troops and equipment, and it also recommended the construction of the Nyemo-Padum-Darcha Road to connect the two.

Recently, in the month of December 2014, Chinese troops had intruded into Ladakh and Tawang, and it was only after a diplomatic talk they left the place.

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Shanghai Airport Gets Check-In With Facial Recognition Machines

Increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

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Shanghai,
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate. VOA

It’s now possible to check in automatically at Shanghai Hongqiao airport using facial recognition technology, part of an ambitious rollout of facial recognition systems in China that has raised privacy concerns as Beijing pushes to become a global leader in the field.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport unveiled self-service kiosks for flight and baggage check-in, security clearance and boarding powered by facial recognition technology, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Similar efforts are under way at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Shanghai,
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012

Many airports in China already use facial recognition to help speed security checks, but Shanghai’s system, which debuted Monday, is being billed as the first to be fully automated.

“It is the first time in China to achieve self-service for the whole check-in process,” said Zhang Zheng, general manager of the ground services department for Spring Airlines, the first airline to adopt the system at Hongqiao airport. Currently, only Chinese identity card holders can use the technology.

Spring Airlines, Shanghai said Tuesday that passengers had embraced automated check-in, with 87 percent of 5,017 people who took Spring flights on Monday using the self-service kiosks, which can cut down check-in times to less than a minute and a half.

Shanghai,
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

Across greater China, facial recognition is finding its way into daily life. Mainland police have used facial recognition systems to identify people of interest in crowds and nab jaywalkers, and are working to develop an integrated national system of surveillance camera data.

Chinese media are filled with reports of ever-expanding applications: A KFC outlet in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, where it’s possible to pay using facial recognition technology; a school that uses facial recognition cameras to monitor students’ reactions in class; and hundreds of ATMs in Macau equipped with facial recognition devices to curb money laundering.

Also Read: Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Person With Fake Passpost At The US Airport 

But increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

“Authorities are using biometric and artificial intelligence to record and track people for social control purposes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We are concerned about the increasing integration and use of facial recognition technologies throughout the country because it provides more and more data points for the authorities to track people.” (VOA)

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