The Niti Aayog is planning to launch a National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP) in May to provide government data in a user-friendly format, to promote data-driven decision making and research, officials of the think-tank said.
Conceived in 2020, the platform aims to standardize data across government sources and provide flexible analytics that make it easy for users to analyse information using multiple datasets, they said.
Anna Roy, a senior adviser at NITI Aayog, said, “We will launch the portal in May. It will help policymakers, academics, researchers etc to easily analyse data without having to process it. The portal will have 200 datasets from more than 46 ministries at the time of the launch and we will add new datasets up to the village level in the future.” Currently, government data is not standardised, making it difficult for policymakers, researchers, etc. to analyse.
A NitiAayog official familiar with NDAP said that while many government departments have public dashboards with options to download data, some are available as image files while others are in PDF format, making it difficult to compile information.
Analysis is another key challenge, the official said, adding that data collected by various government departments is incoherent due to different standards for common indicators. Roy said this issue has been addressed in NDAP. “Using specially designed algorithms, the data fetched from various government portals is processed to ensure uniformity in semantics so that two different datasets can be compared,” she added.
Ukraine's prime minister to visit Washington next week, report says
As Russia and Ukraine enter its day 52 of the war, several parts of the war-torn country continue to be bombed. While over hundreds of people have died in the war, several have been forced to flee the country.
The bodies of more than 900 civilians have been discovered in the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital following Russia's withdrawal — most of them fatally shot, police said Friday, an indication that many people were "simply executed.”
Moscow continued preparations for a renewed offensive in eastern Ukraine.
Fighting also went on in the pummelling southern port city of Mariupol, where locals reported seeing Russian troops digging up bodies, news agency Reuters said.
In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, shelling of a residential area killed seven people, including a 7-month-old child, and wounded 34, according to regional Gov. OlehSinehubov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops into Ukraine on what he calls a "special military operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine.
Kyiv and its Western allies say those are bogus justifications for an unprovoked war of aggression that has driven a quarter of Ukraine's 44 million people from their homes and led to the deaths of thousands.
North Korea celebrates founder with dance, music but no military parade
North Korea celebrated the 110th anniversary of the birth of late founder Kim Il Sung on Friday with fireworks, a procession, and an evening gala in Pyongyang's main square, with thousands of people in colourful traditional dress singing and dancing.
"The Day of the Sun" is North Korea's biggest annual public holiday. Kim, who died in 1994, founded the authoritarian regime now led by his grandson, Kim Jong Un.
This year's holiday marks 110 years since Kim Il Sung was born on April 15, 1912, and North Korea typically stages bigger celebrations on every fifth and tenth anniversary.
Leader Kim Jong Un visited his grandfather's mausoleum, and attended a "national meeting and a public procession" in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, but gave no reported public remarks. A senior official spoke at the meeting, saying that North Korea would overcome all difficulties and always emerge victorious, state news agency KCNA said.
State media aired live footage of an evening gala in Kim Il Sung square after sundown on Friday, but gave no sign of an anticipated military parade.
Other earlier events included concerts, art exhibitions, and ideological seminars. A light festival opened in downtown Pyongyang, with dancing fountains and decorated boats on the Taedong River, KCNA reported.
The festival "artistically depicted" Kim IlSung's native home and "the sacred mountain of revolution, Mt Paektu," KCNA said. Residents could take photos in front of arches lit with phrases such as "Pyongyang Is Best" and "We Are the Happiest in the World."
Foreign direct investment inflow to India may touch $100 bn in 2022-23: Report
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow to India is expected to reach $100 billion in FY2022/23 supported by various economic reforms and increased ease of doing business, the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) said in a report Friday. The industry body also said it expected India's FY22/23 economic growth to be among the highest in the world.
PHDCCI president PradeepMultani said he expected FY22/23 real GDP growth of over 8 per cent, which is nearly a full notch above the 7.2 per cent projected by the Reserve Bank of India.
It is, however, in line with the World Bank, which this week cut for India forecast citing worsening supply bottlenecks and rising inflation risks caused by the Ukraine crisis.
The PHDCCI report also suggested a ten-pronged strategy to strengthen national economic growth and achieve the target of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the next five years.
The suggestions include speedy infrastructure investments, inclusion of more sectors under the PLI scheme, increase in public investments in agriculture sector, addressing the high commodity prices and shortages of raw materials, news agency PTI reported.
Last month finance minister NirmalaSitharaman said FDI inflow had crossed $500 billion under prime ministerNarendraModi, and that it was more than the sum received in the 10 years of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.
FDI inflow in 2020/21 was a record $81.71 billion and it was $74.9 billion the previous year.
The government told parliament last month that these figures are an endorsement of the country's status as a preferred investment destination amongst global investors.
::Science and tech::
California start-up sends tiny robots on voyage into brains
Sending miniature robots deep inside the human skull to treat brain disorders has long been the stuff of science fiction -- but it could soon become reality, according to a California start-up.
Bionaut Labs plans its first clinical trials on humans in just two years for its tiny injectable robots, which can be carefully guided through the brain using magnets.
"The idea of the micro robot came about way before I was born," said co-founder and CEO Michael Shpigelmacher.
"One of the most famous examples is a book by Isaac Asimov and a film called 'Fantastic Voyage,' where a crew of scientists goes inside a miniaturized spaceship into the brain, to treat a blood clot."
Just as cellphones now contain extremely powerful components that are smaller than a grain of rice, the tech behind micro-robots "that used to be science fiction in the 1950s and 60s" is now "science fact," said Shpigelmacher.
"We want to take that old idea and turn it into reality," the 53-year-old scientist told AFP during a tour of his company's Los Angeles research and development center.
Working with Germany's prestigious Max Planck research institutes, Bionaut Labs settled on using magnetic energy to propel the robots -- rather than optical or ultrasonic techniques -- because it does not harm the human body.
Magnetic coils placed outside the patient's skull are linked up to a computer that can remotely and delicately maneuver the micro-robot into the affected part of the brain, before removing it via the same route.
The entire apparatus is easily transportable, unlike an MRI, and uses 10 to 100 times less electricity.
Tsitsipas back from the brink to set up semi-final with Zverev in Monte Carlo
Defending champion StefanosTsitsipas came out on top from a thrilling quarter-final clash with Diego Schwartzman, prevailing 6-2 6-7(3) 6-4 on Friday to set up a meeting with Alexander Zverev at the Monte Carlo Masters.
The Greek third seed was 5-2 up in the second set but inexplicably lost the plot and trailed 4-0 in the decider before rediscovering his touch.
He will take on Alexander Zverev for a place in Sunday's final after the German world number three claimed an epic 5-7 6-3 7-6(5) victory against Italian Jannik Sinner.
Earlier, Spain's Alejandro DavidovichFokina reached his first Masters semi-final by beating American Taylor Fritz 2-6 6-4 6-3 and will take on Bulgarian GrigorDimitrov.
In the penultimate match of the day, Zverev and Sinner provided the Monte Carlo Country Club crowd with an intense encounter.
A terrible service game by Sinner gave Zverev a break for 3-1 but the German failed to hold on to the advantage and the Italian broke back before bagging the opening set.