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Nearly 30 percent of India’s land turning to desert and rate of degradation of agricultural areas increasing, says ISRO report

In states like Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Goa, more than 50 percent of the land is under desertification

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An increasing number of farmers in India are committing suicide due to debt pressure. To tackle the issue, the government has come up with farm loan waivers. (VOA)

More than a quarter of India’s land is turning to desert and the rate of degradation of agricultural areas is increasing, according to the new analysis of satellite images. A report from the Indian Space Research Organization says land degradation — broadly defined as loss of productivity — is estimated at 96 million hectares or nearly 30 percent of Indian land.

“As a country, we should be more than alarmed by this data,” said S. Janakarajan, chairman of the South Asia Consortium for Inter-disciplinary Water Resources Studies. “There is no coherent plan to reverse this process or its impact.”

Analysis of satellite mapping shows new areas in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and eastern Indian states like Orissa and Jharkhand turning arid, with nine states together accounting for nearly 24 percent of desertification.

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In states like Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Goa, more than 50 percent of the land is under desertification.

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“Population pressure has resulted in over-exploitation of land for cultivation, grazing, water resources and deforestation leading to degradation of drylands,” Indian minister Jitendra Singh wrote in the report.

The ongoing study, initiated by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, was led by the Indian Space Research Organization and involved 19 other institutes.

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It analyzed satellite images over an eight-year period to compile the atlas.

“This is the first time we are looking at a digital atlas of degradation and it is pointing at newer areas undergoing desertification,” A.S. Rajawat of the Space Applications Center
told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “It is a ready reckoner to understand where we stand and the impact of land degradation on agricultural productivity.” (VOA)

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Oracle Ensures Keeping Sensitive Data within Boundaries of India

Not just big enterprises, Sutherland is confident the new Oracle Cloud will help small and medium businesses (SMBs) shun the legacy infrastructure and begin their Cloud journey

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Oracle office.

By Nishant Arora

There is definite hunger and desire among the Indian enterprises to move their workloads to the Cloud and with Oracle Gen 2 data centre now open in Mumbai, we have ensured that sensitive data remains within the boundaries of the country, a top company executive has said.

The Indian CEOs and CTOs are clear on one thing: It’s from my data that I’m going to learn my customers’ behaviour, understand my product better, receive new insights and innovate on top of those.

“Every organization is a data organization today; it’s all about the information and how to analyse it, parse it and create AI-based Cloud models that help the organization grow. We have now fulfilled the most challenging demand coming from the Indian businesses: If the data doesn’t stay on-premise, let it stay within the country,” Andrew Sutherland, SVP-Technology, Oracle EMEA and JAPAC, told IANS.

For Sutherland, it is big leap for Oracle at a time when not only companies but the governments too recognize the value of information and how data is core to the success of any firm across verticals.

“We’re becoming increasingly conscious that there are strong data jurisdictions and we need to respond to that in a sensible way. By putting Gen 2 Cloud data centre here in India, we hope that we will meet those requirements,” the executive noted.

Over 100 enterprise customers in the country have already moved their workloads onto the Gen 2 Cloud data center in Mumbai, which is being run solely by Oracle without any third-party involvement.

The Cloud major has plans to open another Gen 2 Cloud data centre in Hyderabad next year.

Oracle Launches Intelligence Map for Close Look at Internet.
Witnessing double-digit growth in India for past 3 years: Oracle. IANS

Customers and partners in India can now harness the power of Oracle Cloud and leading services like Autonomous Database to unlock innovation and drive business growth.

The Gen 2 enterprise cloud supports all legacy workloads while delivering modern cloud development tools, so enterprises in India can bring forward their past as they build their future.

According to Sutherland, to help enterprises achieve greater insights and deliver better customer experiences, we need to have a whole new Cloud architecture that is built around cost, scalability, agility and self-repairing capabilities.

“In the new Oracle Cloud infrastructure (OCI), the multi-layered security provides a different security architecture with incorporating intelligence into it. We’re asking data to look after itself with autonomous database in this infrastructure. That’s what we are confident it will help unlock the modern Cloud era for enterprises,” he elaborated.

Also Read: Bitfury to Set up a Blockchain Innovation Centre in Hyderabad

Not just big enterprises, Sutherland is confident the new Oracle Cloud will help small and medium businesses (SMBs) shun the legacy infrastructure and begin their Cloud journey.

“There’s hunger and desire to move onto the Cloud among SMBs in India. I don’t think there’s any cultural resistance in any way. There is boldness in their approach. The next step is where to take the first bite to eat and for that, we are here to help,” said the Oracle executive. (IANS)