December, 2019 marks Sixty-seven years old episode of polluted air that lead to environmental disasters in London which was enveloped by dense fog for four days, still remembered as Great Smog of 1952, which had taken a toll of more than eight thousand lives. Horrible Smog killed people in their homes as well as in the hospitals. Dead bodies were lying scattered on roads and streets that even burial of bodies became difficult owing to the scarcity of coffins and flowers. This also reminds US episodes of severe smog especially in New York City that has a history of three killer smog events and visibility was so poor that people abandoned their cars on road side. The United States ranks 10th in air quality with fine particulate pollution especially of PM2 which is a by-product of burning sourced from power plants, car exhaust and wildfires. Particulate matter and other pollution have dramatically decreased over the past 40 years in US, because of regulations like Clean Air Act of 1970, but still seconds to many counties like New Zealand, Canada, Australia and several European countries.
Particulate matter (PM) is also described as aerosol that is in condensed phases dispersed in the air, mostly observed in a lower atmosphere having active role in reaction with other pollutants. Smoke and soot emissions from different sources along with predisposing factors set a conducive condition for fog formation aided by an inversion of entrapped air from vertical flow to increasingly dense layer of smog as a consequence of reaction of solar radiation with airborne pollutants viz oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds. Nitrogen dioxide breaks into nitric oxide and monatomic oxygen by UV radiation. Resultant monatomic oxygen then reacts with oxygen gas to form ozone. The mixture of these primary and secondary pollutants viz ozone, aldehydes, and peroxyacetyl nitrates, forms photochemical smog. Primary and secondary pollutants in photochemical smog are highly reactive and oxidizing compounds responsible for negative health outcomes especially ozone irritation to lungs besides array of deleterious impact on health. Crop residues burning alone is not responsible for smog but emissions from vehicle and industries also react chemically in the presence of sunlight to form ground-level ozone, or photochemical smog.
Ceasing burning hydrocarbons seems not to happen in near future and emergency measures for cutting road traffic like that in Delhi by adopting “odd and even number” transportation; are of small endeavours with a lesser impact. Actually, our reliance on fossil fuels needs to be directed to have tangible solutions to curtail pollution. Pollution abatement technologies for non-carbon pollution include Titanium Dioxide to curb the emission at source. Ultrafine Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is an important component in many catalytic systems that regulates emissions as is in Euro IV, Euro V and Euro VI. Photocatalytic TiO2 breaks down pollutants in presence of sunlight paves a way for improving air quality. Daan Roosegaarde ,a great innovator , designed smog sucking bicycles primarily and then a Smog-Free Tower; a miraculous vacuum cleaner. Tower sucks in smog by top of the tower in the surrounding area using ionization technology, and releases the filtered air via the six-sided vents with efficient energy system and a capacity to essentially clean more than 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour. The Smog Free Tower was found efficacious in Rotterdam in 2015 and followed by its usage in four Chinese cities, Krakow, Poland etc. China is effectively using these towers. Smog Free Tower is charged with a positive current responsible for emitting positive ion into the air, which in turn gets attached to fine dust particles that are harmful. These dust particles along with the ions are accumulated inside of the tower. This technology differs from regular filter systems that fail to do which otherwise done by capturing ultra-fine smog particles by tower. recycle the same smog into wearable “smog gemstones”. A mechanism involved a collection of carbon particles and condenses these in little dices used in jewellery.
The problem needs to be addressed on threshold before it affects many societal sectors. Abatement strategies with a sound scientific basis to understand a technical and non-technical measure for cost-effective actions needs to be explored.
Prof. (Dr) A K Bhat
FASC, SGT University
‘Life is a festival only to the wise’….hence goes the saying. We all would agree that festival and celebrations play a big role in bringing respite to our otherwise monotonous routine. Entertainment and leisure are in fact an essential part of life and without them, it would not be wrong to say, life ceases to exist. Keeping the aforesaid sentiments in mind, SGT University has always believed in bringing juvenility and joy in the life of students through cultural and academic festivals as well as through periodic excursions and trips.
SGT University is renowned for its academic and technical fests such as Aura, Synergy, Symphonious etc. Here, in these events, the students come along with their innovations and ideas. This helps in boosting creative talents of the students. Synergy is a big event where several school and college students across NCR, present their projects. This event carries prize money worth 3 lakh and students showcasing best projects are rewarded for their efforts. Nukkad Nataks, Robo competitions, Drone competitions and Project innovations are some of the competitions that are held in this fest.
Apart from the academic events, various cultural fests are also organised from time to time within the campus. The three major fests worth mentioning are Holi fests, Diwali fest and Basant Utsav. Holi fests and Diwali fests are big affairs where the students showcase their talent on stage. Various competitions are held to commemorate these events, such as Rangoli competitions, Mehandi making competitions, etc. Students dance, sing and perform on the stage on various classical and modern playlists. Skits, and ballets, are enacted and various social issues such as female discrimination, importance of safe Holi, clean and green environment, etc. are addressed through them.
Another cultural event that is equally interesting is Basant Utsav- a flower show. In this, flowers of different species, colors, shape and type are showcased in order to celebrate the onset on Spring season. As the name is evident, this festival is held in the month of March and is organised mainly by the Faculty of Agriculture. SGTians never lead a dull life. For them life is a big festival. As students in SGT University, they realize that work and play, both are important aspects of life and go hand in hand.
Sanrachna, The Policy research unit of SGT University held a panel discussion on ‘Emerging Privacy Challenges in Cyber World, at The Indian Law Institute, New Delhi on 25 September 2019.
The distinguished panel was chaired by Hon’ble Justice Shri Talwant Singh Ji with Prof. Upendra Baxi as the Guest of Eminence. Other distinguished members of the panel were Shri Ashok Arora, an eminent legal practitioner, Shri Neeraj Aurora, an eminent cyber law expert, Ms. Aditi Chaturvedi, and Ms. Rhythm Bhardwaj. The event was attended by over 100 students, faculty members, and legal professionals.
Hon’ble Justice Talwant Singh joined Delhi Bar in 1986 and practiced as a litigation lawyer at High Court and District Courts of Delhi till April 2000. His practice areas were Corporate Law, Family Law, Civil, and Criminal Law. He joined Delhi Higher Judicial Service in May 2000 as Additional District & Sessions Judge.
Apart from Judicial work, he has a great passion for use of ICT (Information & Communication Technology) in Courts and has been active in this field for the last more than 18 years and made his humble contribution to computerization of District Courts in Delhi. Recognizing Justice Singh’s interest in ICT, his services were requisitioned by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India as Member-Judicial of E-Committee in the year 2013. This Committee was entrusted with the responsibility to computerize more than 14,000 Courts all over India, which it completed in record time. He was also a member of the Software team responsible for the development of National CIS (Case Information System) for all District Courts in India in collaboration with NIC, Pune. During his address, Justice Talwant Singh shared several milestone judgments in the Data Privacy Space.
Prof. Upendra Baxi enlightened the audience on the need for globalization and the need to act responsibly as far as data is concerned.
Prof. Upendra Baxi was the vice-chancellor of the University of Delhi (1990–1994), prior to which he held the position of professor of law at the same university for 23 years (1973–1996). He has also served as the vice-chancellor of the University of South Gujarat (1982–1985) and since 1996, he has been a professor of law in development at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.
In 2011, he was awarded the Padmashree, the fourth highest civilian award in India, by the Government of India.
Mr. Ashok Arora, a well-known lawyer and former Secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association (India) is also the author of a number of articles and books. He graduated from Hindu college & later studied law at Campus Law Centre, Delhi University. He has had a career of thirty-eight years. In his impeccable style, Mr. Arora highlighted the need to assume joint ownership if the world seeks privileges of data privacy and protection.
Mr. Neeraj Aurora is an Arbitrator, Lawyer, Writer Analyst, and Strategist on the issues relating to Cyber Law, Cyber Crime, Cyber Forensic, and Cyber Warfare. On account of his blended mixture of his qualifications, training, and roles, he shared deep insight into the field of the cyber domain from the point of view of different stakeholders.
Ms. Rhythm Anand Bhardwaj, Legal Editor for Republic TV shared her experience in several landmark cases related to electronic media. She has a decade’s experience in covering courts, and politics. She has covered ICJ hearings at Hague and extradition hearings at London.
Ms. Aditi Chaturvedi, Counsel at Software Freedom Law Centre emphasized the need to develop clarity on the use of systems that link very sensitive personal data with public and private. Citing the example of Aadhaar, she said that, “while the Act permits the use of Aadhaar only in some cases, we aren’t able to understand where the line will stop”.
It was a rare occasion to hear views of some extraordinary luminaries on emerging data protection and privacy challenges in ever so increasing race to achieve an interconnected world.
By Rajneesh Wadhwa
Dean – Faculty of Engineering & Technology
“We want to stand at the intersection of computers and humanism” – (Steve Jobs)
Who can forget those days when one time or the other we complained about our school teachers being partial to some particular kids? We called them the teacher’s pets. Didn’t we? School years are made of these bittersweet memories.
However, Artificial intelligence or AI is about to change all that. So, what is AI exactly? Well, Google defines it as the arena of computer science that deals with the creation of intelligent machines that work like human beings. In recent times, AI is making necessary changes in our present education scenario. The education system is being redefined by ever-changing technology.
A teacher is assigned with the task of handling each and every child in a class and it is a difficult responsibility. But, assisted by AI this difficult task becomes easy. AI technology has the capacity to handle a vast array of work. It, therefore, becomes important for students to understand this technology and for educationists and teachers to incorporate this technology into their curriculum.
How does it work?
Machine learning tools can manage data easily. It can detect errors and frauds. AI algorithms can be used for scoring purposes and reaching full-proof results. It can be used in making complex calculations and creating scenario-based simulations. It briefly put is a very feasible machine learning tool which when combined with human efforts can lead to impeccable outcomes.
Future of AI in education sector
Sceptics believe that AI will take over human beings. Others believe that AI is not full proof mainly because of the fact that it doesn’t have human emotions and lacks emotional quotient.
However, AI specialists beg to differ. Artists such as painters, for example, are trying to explore and exploit AI for co-creating artworks. Also, statistics are also in favor of AI. For instance, in the US while on one hand 16% of jobs were lost to machine technology; on the other hand, 13.6 million were created the previous year. Also, in the education sector, AI can soon read human expressions too.
The human element in teaching is going to stay. We need to restructure our self. By incorporating AI and AI related tools in our education sector, we can change ourselves and reinvent ourselves. And as they say ’Change is only constant’; this is one change that will create a better future for all of us.