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More than 42% of India Abnormally Dry, Around 6% Exceptionally Dry

The increase is 0.45 per cent from April 28 when it was 42.16 per cent

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India, Dry
the bulletin said that the overall storage situation was better than the same time last year. Pixabay

About 42 per cent of India is ‘abnormally dry’ which is around 6 per cent more than last year, according to the Drought Early Warning System (DEWS).

In the May 28 update of the real time drought watcher, the percentage of abnormally dry area increased to 42.61 per cent from a week before (May 21) when it was 42.18 per cent.

The increase is 0.45 per cent from April 28 when it was 42.16 per cent. The situation was little better on February 27 when 41.30 per cent area was abnormally dry.

The dry index has worsened over the last year as 36.74 per cent of the area in India was abnormally dry on May 28, 2018.

India, Dry
The percentage of abnormally dry area increased to 42.61 per cent. Pixabay

There is an increase in the area under ‘severely dry’ category from 15.93 per cent a week ago to 16.18 per cent on May 28.

Little less than 6 per cent of the area is under ‘exceptionally dry’ category.

Some of the worst affected areas are in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The area under exceptionally dry category went up from 0.68 per cent last year to 5.66 per cent this year.

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The latest bulletin of the Central Water Commission on May 30 said that live storage of water in 91 reservoirs was 31.65 BCM which is 20 per cent of the capacity. However, the bulletin said that the overall storage situation was better than the same time last year.

All eyes are now on the monsoon. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its second early forecast has claimed that it will be a normal monsoon but northwest India and northeast India are expected to have less than normal rains.

The Long Period Average (LPA) of 96 is expected for the whole country which is the bottom of the scale (96 to 104).

In northwest India, rainfall is expected to be 94 per cent and 91 per cent in the northeast. Rainfall is expected to be 100 per cent in central India and 97 per cent in peninsular India. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Funds Six AI-based Projects in India

Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers

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Google
Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers. Pixabay

Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation.

Google Research India will provide each team with funding and computational resources in addition to supporting the efforts with expertise in computer vision, natural language processing, and other deep learning techniques, the company said in a statement.

“We are increasingly seeing people apply AI to address big challenges. Therefore, we have made research in AI for Social Good one of the key focus areas of Google Research India — the AI lab we started in Bengaluru last year in September,” said Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research Team, India.

Among the six projects are improving health information for high HIV/AIDS risk communities from team from IIT Delhi led by Tavpritesh Sethi, team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham and nonprofit Swasti.

Researchers from IIT Madras led by Balaraman Ravindran and nonprofit Armman will use AI to predict the risk of expectant mothers dropping out of healthcare programmes, to improve targeted interventions and increase positive healthcare outcomes for mothers and their babies.

The team from Singapore Management University led by Arunesh Sinha and nonprofit Khushibaby will apply AI to help ensure consistency in how healthcare information is captured and monitored.

Another team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham along with nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Trust will use AI to predict human-wildlife conflict in the state of Maharashtra to help inform data-driven policy making.

The team of Nanyang Technology University led by Bo An and nonprofit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & The Environment will apply AI to inform dam and barrage water releases, to help build early warning systems that minimise risk of disasters.

Google
Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation. Pixabay

The last team from AI4Bharat and IIT Madras led by Mitesh Khapra and Pratyush Kumar along with nonprofit Storyweaver will build open-source input tools for underserved Indian languages to accelerate publishing of openly licensed content.

“We look forward to supporting academic researchers, organisations and the broader community over the coming months and years to bring these projects to life,” said Milind Tambe, Director, AI for Social Good, Google Research Team, India.

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Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google’s global network of researchers. (IANS)