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News in Short

News in Short - 05-January-2021

India to look for lithium reserves in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia

Date: 05 January 2021 Tags: Energy
  • India has inked a pact with an Argentine firm mid-last year to jointly prospect lithium in the South American country that has the third largest reserves of lithium.
  • The new company, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd was incorporated in August, 2019 by three state-owned companies, NALCO, Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration Ltd, with a specific mandate to acquire strategic mineral assets such as lithium and cobalt abroad and is also learnt to be exploring options in Chile and Bolivia, two other top lithium-producing countries.
  • China is currently a key source of both the raw material and cells. India is seen as a late mover as it attempts to enter the lithium value chain, coming at a time when EVs are predicted to be a sector ripe for disruption.
  • While the Li-ion batteries are seen as sufficiently efficient for applications such as phones and laptops, in case of EVs, these cells still lack the range that would make them a viable alternative to internal combustion engines.

Indian American nominated for Associate judge

Date: 05 January 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • U.S. President Donald Trump has nominated Indian-American advocate Vijay Shanker for the position of Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
  • If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Shanker will replace John R. Fisher, who has now retired. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals is the highest court for Washington DC.
  • Currently, he serves as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, and as Deputy Chief of the Appellate Section.
  • Before joining the Department of Justice in 2012, Mr. Shanker was in private practice with the Washington, DC, offices of Mayer Brown, LLC and Covington, and Burling, LLP.

New 2D tags and AI authentication to identify counterfeit products

Date: 05 January 2021 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers
  • A new anti-counterfeiting technique uses two dimensional (2D)-material tags along with artificial intelligence (AI)-driven authentication software, and promises to deliver faster, more accurate results even under extreme conditions.
  • The new method called ‘DeepKey’ was developed by an international team of researchers.
  • The 2D-material secure tags have randomly generated ‘Physically Unclonable Function’(PUF) patterns, which can be categorised and validated by a deep learning model.
  • The authentication process takes under 3.5 minutes to complete, and involves scanning the tags under an electronic microscope to obtain the PUF pattern, which is sent to the AI-driven software for validation.
  • The 2D-material PUF tags are environmentally stable, easy to read, simple, and inexpensive to make. The new technology can be used with valuable products such as jewellery, and electronics.
  • The tags can be applied on COVID-19 vaccines for authentication, including the ones that are stored at very low temperatures.

Chennai tops in CCTV surveillance

Date: 05 January 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • Chennai has the maximum CCTV coverage per square kilometre and per 1,000 population among the 130 cities studied worldwide, according to a recent report.
  • According to the report, the world’s first CCTV camera was installed in Germany in 1942, and now there are nearly one billion devices.
  • The report maps out how prevalent the CCTV cameras are in 130 of the world’s most populous cities. China and India are the countries with the highest densities of CCTV surveillance cameras in urban areas.

World’s biggest vaccination drive to begin in India

Date: 05 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A day after India gave green signal to the emergency use of two vaccines against Covid-19, Prime Minister  Narendra Modi has said India is on the threshold of starting the largest vaccination programme in the world.
  • PM Modi said that the Indian scientists have been successful in coming up with two 'made in India' Covid-19 vaccines and the country is proud of its scientists.
  • On Sunday, India's drugs regulator approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.