Indian Express Newspaper 14th January 2020

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1. Explained: Meet the Virtual Human Neon:- 

The first project of Samsung’s Star Labs, NEONs are being called the world’s first artificial humans. They look and behave like real humans, and could one day develop memories and emotions — though from behind a 4K display.

So what are NEONs?

The company says NEONs are computationally created virtual humans — the word derives from NEO (new) + humaN.

For now the virtual humans can show emotions when manually controlled by their creators. But the idea is for NEONs to become intelligent enough to be fully autonomous, showing emotions, learning skills, creating memories, and being intelligent on their own.

How could NEONs be used?

Mistry sees a world in which NEONs are the interface for technologies and services. They will answer your queries at a bank, welcome you at a restaurant, or read out the breaking news on television at an unearthly hour. Mistry says this form of virtual assistance would be more effective, for example, while teaching languages, as NEONs will be capable of understanding and sympathising.

2)Explained: How Malappuram topped the list of world’s ‘fastest growing cities’:-

The Economist put Malappuram at the top of the “Top ten fastest-growing cities” in the world, based on “Total % change, 2015-20 forecast”. The list, based on data from the United Nations Population Division, appears unusual; this is because the total fertility rate (TFR, the number of children a woman is likely to have in the childbearing age of 15-49) in Kerala is 1.8 as per NITI Aayog data from 2016 — below the replacement rate of 2.1.

How does urban population grow?

Urban populations can grow when the birth rate exceeds the death rate (natural growth); when workers migrate to the city in search of jobs; when more areas get included within the boundaries of the city; or when existing rural areas are reclassified as urban. The low fertility rate in Kerala means the increase in the population of Malappuram and other cities is not because women are having more children; rather it is because more villages are being transformed into towns, and city borders are expanding.

According to the Census definition, an urban area is either a census town (CT) or a statutory town (ST).

An ST is any place with a municipal corporation, municipal council, or cantonment board.

A CT can be a village with “urban characteristics” — a population more than 5,000, population density more than 400 people per sq km, and with more than 75% of the population not engaged in agriculture for their livelihood.

When a village becomes a CT, its population is included in the urban population of the district.

3)What is the Raisina Dialogue?

Conceived just three years ago, in early 2016, the Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier foreign policy conference. And within this short span, it has emerged as a much-awaited event in the international foreign policy calendar.

Organized along the lines of the Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, and co-hosted by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and the Observer Research Foundation, it takes its name from the Raisina Hills, where India’s seat of power resides.

This year : In New Delhi.

Raisina Dialogue opens to talks on US-Iran, Afghan peace initiatives, climate change.


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