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Tussle between Tripura HC, Government over law secretary continues

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Agartala: The conflict between the Tripura High Court and the government over removal of Law Secretary Data Mohan Jamatia from his post continues with the law minister shooting off a fresh letter to Chief Justice Deepak Gupta. Indian-Government

The state government had expressed its inability to relieve Jamatia of his responsibilities. A contempt of court case against Jamatia is pending in the Supreme Court.

A high court notification, issued on July 14, transferred Jamatia and posted him as a district and sessions judge of Unakoti district.

The court also asked him to take over the new assignment on August 3 and asked Chief Secretary Yashpal Singh to choose a new law secretary.

Last week, Law Minister Tapan Chakraborty, in a letter to Chief Justice Gupta, expressed the state government’s inability to relieve Jamatia as law secretary as he is looking after various pending cases in the Supreme Court and upcoming elections to local bodies.

The fresh letter came after the high court on July 23 turned down the law minister’s plea and stick to its decision.

Minister Chakraborty said: “Yesterday (Thursday), I have sent another letter to the chief justice to retain Jamatia in his post at least for another six months.”

Chakraborty, however, refused to divulge the contents of the letter.

An official with the law department, on the condition of anonymity, told IANS: “The minister told the chief justice that Jamatia has been looking after the state government’s appeal to the Supreme Court against the high court’s dismissal of 10,323 government teachers by an order on May 7 last year.”

“Besides, the law secretary’s service is urgently required by the state government in smoothly conducting elections to various urban local bodies, including Agartala Municipal Corporation, in December and elections to 527 village committees under the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in March next year,” the official said quoting the letter.

A division bench of the high court in April wanted contempt of court charges to be framed against Jamatia for making a derogatory remark about the judiciary in an official note to Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

Jamatia, who denied making any derogatory remarks against the high court, filed a petition before the Supreme Court against the high court decision.

The official said the law minister also raised questions over the appointment of Unakoti District Session Judge Gautam Debnath as officer on special duty (OSD) in the high court.

“The high court may appoint OSD but the post has to be created by the state government before any posting is made, as otherwise financial and other complications will arise in future,” the law minister said in his letter.

(IANS)

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AI Can be a Helpful Tool for Government to Deliver Public Services

Case studies in the report highlight how a competitive selection process may spell the way forward to discover and initiate pioneering AI technology in public service delivery

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as a helpful tool for governments in the Asia Pacific region to deliver public services, revealed a new UN-Google report on Wednesday.

The study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Google cited case studies highlighting the importance of partnerships between governments and technology firms for the delivery of public services.

Among the case studies that the report mentioned included an AI initiative in India that informs farmers of the best sowing date to increase crop yields.

The state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka teamed up with Microsoft to develop predictive AI services to help smallholder farmers to improve their crop yields and give them greater price control.

Since 2016 three applications have been developed. The report discussed two of these apps — the AI sowing app and the price forecasting model.

Both of the AI applications improved the lives of smallholder farmers in southern India by bridging information gaps and mitigating growing environmental risks. These AI services have the potential to increase crop yields, prices and incomes, the study concluded.

“The best part of the project is that the investment required by the farmers to benefit from the technology is minimal: all they need are a mobile phone capable of receiving text messages and a subscription to the most basic mobile phone services,” said the report.

Clearly, to make a technology accessible and affordable is a crucial step towards technology for inclusiveness.

artificial intelligence, nobel prize
“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

“On the path to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, governments in Asia and the Pacific are urgently pursuing innovative means to deliver effective, efficient and fair public services,” said United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana.

“Frontier technologies such as AI hold promise to reimagine how the public sector can better serve sustainable development needs.”

The report also features insights as well as context-specific recommendations from deployments of AI in a variety of sectors: health, justice, agriculture, environment, insurance and social welfare.

Public-private partnerships will become increasingly important to complement government initiatives with industry knowledge and expertise, said the report.

Also Read: Intel All Set to Acquire Smart Edge Platform from Pivot Technology

Amid the rapid pace of technological development, the report recommends that governments develop frameworks to regulate these partnerships and encourage more public information on AI projects to foster a landscape conducive to informed decision-making on AI partnerships.

Since applying AI in the public sector is still at an early stage of development, setbacks and a trial-and-error process may be inevitable.

Case studies in the report highlight how a competitive selection process may spell the way forward to discover and initiate pioneering AI technology in public service delivery. (IANS)