Open Gov Asia: India launches National Digital Library. “On 19 June, the Union Human Development Minister, Mr Prakash Javadekar launched the National Digital Library in the country’s capital. The library is a source of millions of academic texts from around the world which will be open to the general public.”
Zee Business: Google to help govt in flood management across the country. “The government will team up with the global technology major Google for effective flood management in India. Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said that collaboration with Google will help in better flood management in the country. Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organisation in the field of Water Resources, has entered into a collaboration agreement with Google. CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the in the field of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and geo-spatial mapping for effective management of water resources particularly in the field of flood forecast and dissemination of flood-related information to the masses, a Water Resources ministry statement said.”
The Guardian: Fears mount over WhatsApp’s role in spreading fake news. “Abijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das were driving back from a visit to a waterfall in the Indian province of Assam earlier this month when they stopped in a village to ask for directions. The two men were pulled out of their car and beaten to death by a mob who accused them of stealing children.”
Xinhuanet: 40 arrested for spreading rumors on social media in NE India. “Indian police have arrested some 40 people in northeastern state of Assam for spreading rumors about child lifters and hate messages on social media.”
CNET: Google brings free Wi-Fi to 400 India train stations, reaches 8 million users. “Google announced Thursday that it hit its target in bringing free Wi-Fi to 400 train stations across India, with 8 million people using the service each month. The initiative began in 2015, the company says in its blog, when it partnered with Indian Railways and RailTel to offer public Wi-Fi to the country’s travellers.”
Down to Earth: A mango database developed for plant breeders. “Even if you are mango connoisseur, it may be difficult for you to identify all mango varieties grown in India. While the number of commercial mango varieties is about 30, more than a thousand different types of mango plants are cultivated and propagated in India. Despite this biodiversity, the country does not have a central repository that keeps an account of its rich mango heritage. Now scientists at the Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur, have prepared a new database which will be of great help to mango breeders. The mango database lists 40 mango varieties based on a standard set of features.”
Scroll .in: Government plans to monitor individual social media users to gauge opinion about official policies. That’s not creepy at all. This is India, BTW. “With less than a year left for the general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government hopes to deploy a ‘social media analytical tool’ that will create digital profiles of citizens, ostensibly to gauge their opinions about official policies, according to a bid document issued last month by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The government hopes to use this information to target individuals with personalised campaigns to promote ‘positive’ opinions and to neutralise ‘negative sentiments’ about government schemes. The tool, according to the specifications of the bid document, should have the capacity to monitor a range of digital platforms: Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogs. The tool should also be able to ‘listen to’ email, the document says, though it is not clear how this can be achieved without violating users’ privacy.” What is this, the anti-GDPR?