Pension is an integral part of the armed forces’ terms of engagement. This year, for the first time in the history of independent India, the government will spend more on paying pensions than on purchasing weapons and weapon systems. Thus, concerns have arisen that the pension budget is unsustainable and would hinder India’s defence capabilities, especially during these trying times. Reforms must be ensured as soon as possible to address this issue and also to safeguard the needs of the ex-servicemen.
Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing technologies have led to rapid development in the sophistication of audio, video, and image manipulation techniques. This synthetic media content is commonly referred to as “deepfakes.” Deepfakes are one of the serious threat of our times. The word ‘deepfake’ is a combination of deep learning (a subset of the artificial intelligence) and the word ‘fake’. The result of the increase in deepfakes has caused across the globe in damaging and sinister ways. Recently, the US Senate has approved a deepfake bill to defend against manipulated media and the proposed legislation calls for research to detect synthetic shams online. Also, the Bombay High Court recently has sought a report on Telegram DeepFake bot creating fake nudes of women. In this context, let’s make a detailed analysis of Deepfake.
Media is recognized as the fourth pillar of Democracy after Legislature, Executive and Judiciary. Therefore, to ensure democracy, there is a need for free and independent media. However, these days the role of media is often criticized, especially in reporting criminal matters. The media sometimes go beyond its domain and starts interfering with the functions of the court. Often the media have gone a step further and published information based on mere assumptions and suspicion about the line of investigation by the official agencies to vigorously report on the issue on a day to day basis and comment on the evidence without ascertaining the factual matrix. Such reporting has brought an undue pressure in the course of fair investigation and trial.
The Border Road Organization has been in news in recent times for its successful completion of projects in border area infrastructure. The Darbbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie (DSDBO) road built by BRO is at the center of the current stand-off with China. It was built by BRO. BRO is an important part of India’s security and preparedness. So, it becomes important to study the organization.
The Shekatkar committee has been in news even during the Covid-19 pandemic as the exigencies along the border continue to haunt. The current government’s focus on national security and defense preparedness made it relook at the committee report in the wake of Ladakh border issues with China. It swung into action recently approving major recommendations of the committee.
The COVID-19 crisis has become the centre of the USA-China tussle with each blaming the other for the global pandemic. Controversially, the virus is being claimed (by the US) to have originated from a lab in China’s Wuhan while China claims its originated in the USA- though both claims lack any evidence to support them. However, the entire issue has thrown open the question about international readiness to tackle biosecurity risks. In this light, India needs to take a look into its biosecurity preparedness and plug all the big gaps to prevent being blindsided by a dangerous biological agent- either man-made or natural- a second time.
Terrorism and Organized crime have long been considered as two separate phenomena. But recently scholars are beginning to grasp the symbiotic relationship that has grown over the years especially after the 9/11 attack on the USA. India continues to be the main target of terrorism and also grapples with the menace of organized crime; it is important for policymakers to study and come up with a solution to the unholy linkage.
The Media and social networking sites are fast becoming a double-edged sword in the internal security regime. The digital and data revolution has exponentially increased the reach of traditional/digital media and social media. The potential of threats emanating from media to internal security is immense. In this article we shall discuss both sides of the two faces of new age media.
The Ministry of Home Affairs notification through its Cyber Coordination Center on ZOOM Application after Computer Emergency Response Team’s (CERT-IN) raised concerns on video conferencing through the app in lockdown situation once again exposed the threats to the internal security through communication networks.