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More than 70 Global Experts from Malaria Elimination Group gather for the Annual meet in Chennai

According to WHO, India has nearly halved the number of reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2014 ,from two million to 1.1 million

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Female Anopheles mosquito which cause Malaria. Pixabay
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Chennai, December 7, 2016: In a bid to help efforts towards a malaria-free India, more than 70 global experts from the Malaria Elimination Group — an independent international advisory group — gathered here on Wednesday for their annual meet.

Convened by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the three-day event will see experts discuss strategies to shrink the global malaria map and take stock of India’s aim to eliminate the disease by 2030.

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India’s goal aligns with the World Health Organisation (WHO) targets for elimination and the 2014 East Asia Summit pledge made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 17 other leaders to achieve a malaria-free Asia-Pacific region by 2030.

“India’s recent success in eliminating polio shows what can be done when political commitment is strong,” Sir Richard Feachem from the Global Health Group at UCSF said in a statement on Wednesday.

“With vigorous action in the low-burden states, and renewed efforts in all states, India can reach the historic goal of malaria-freedom by 2030,” Feachem added.

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India had the highest malaria burden in the Asia-Pacific region, with more than one billion people at risk of infection.

However, according to WHO, India has nearly halved the number of reported malaria cases between 2000 and 2014 — from two million to 1.1 million.

Some states and union territories (UTs) in India are clearly on the path to elimination, but others are not. Fifteen low- and 11 moderate-burden states/UTs in the country are targeting elimination by 2022.

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“We have been successful in reducing the incidence of malaria through the implementation of both national and state interventions,” noted A.C. Dhariwal, Director at the National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) in New Delhi.

The annual meeting of the Malaria Elimination Group in 2015 was held at Swaziland in Africa, in recognition of the country’s success in eliminating malaria. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Pichai met with senior Republicans on Friday to discuss their concerns, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?