PAYMENT BANKS: AN OUTLINE

Ed. Note: This post by Vishal Rackecha is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.

One of the greatest problems for the Indian Economy faces today is the problem of financial inclusion and the lack of credit in rural areas and for micro industries. In 2013, the Reserve Bank released a paper based on the findings of a committee under the chairmanship of Nachiket Mor. This committee said that services provided through mobiles and other internet portals are a low-cost method and under the right regulatory setup would have the potential bringing financial services to places where the formal banking setups find it unviable or unprofitable to setup branches. This is because having both credit and savings functions is necessary. The committee suggested that allowing non-banking businesses with huge customer bases and comprehensive data about the consumers will be able to increase the reach of the requisite facilities in regions where they are not available.

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GOOGLE PIXEL AND ITS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The New Big Daddy Watching You?

Ed. Note: This post by Sayan Bhattacharya is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.

Google launched its first smartphone series called Pixel some time earlier this month. The major shift from being software producer to being both hardware and software producer was a calculated change in policy to take a direct dig at Apple’s hardware throne.

Apple stood as undisputed kings in terms of design and the meticulously designed software which ran on them, perfecting user experience with highest precision. Google on the other hand was the undisputed king of software and search engines, comprising of much higher software offerings than any other. Even the most diehard fans of iPhones spent most of their time on their devices using Google products. The changeover was thus a direct policy measure to cut through Apple’s base in hardware design but providing an alternative with Google’s exclusive product range.

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CIVILIAN DRONE HYSTERIA: The Absence of a Regulation Mechanism

This post by Sayan Bhattacharya is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.

We live in a world where presence of drones, more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are owned by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to high school kids who put them to several new non-military uses previously unimaginable. We live in a world where drones are conceptualized to do something as simple as delivery of items by Amazon to your doorstep to delivering radioactive vials to the office of the Japanese Prime Minister, from monitoring crops to capturing heart stopping footages which you would see circulating on social media platforms. In a world where these gadgets have flown uncomfortably close to US airspaces as many as 650 times, been used to smuggle contraband into prison cells, used to take pictures of inner premises of temples in India which are prohibited, interfered in police and firefighting operations and lastly crashed into civilian populations causing injuries. This article is placed in such a paradigm where clear absence of regulations have led to imposition of blanket bans post freak accidents and subsequent media hysteria leading to isolation of these progressive gadgets from our daily lives.

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Roboethics

Ed. Note: This post by Benjamin Vanlalvena is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.          

                                         Source: xkthe_three_laws_of_roboticscd

Liability in law arises to persons who are considered rational and have control over their actions. Techonology is advancing at a rapid pace; machines have taken over a lot of jobs requiring manual labour. Some argue that this is beneficial as it means humans as a race would be able to focus on other activities/specialize. However, with the rate at which things are developing, one wonders what kind of activity would be left for humans. We already have a ‘robot lawyer’ hired by a law firm, a robot which helped people with their traffic tickets and has already successfully challenged 160,000 tickets, there are also robots writing stories for news agencies, one wrote a movie, another drew art. Robots have already defeated us in chess and go. Though they might not be completely ‘intelligent’, there’s no doubt that someday they could catch up to us.

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Biotechnology, Ethics and CRISPR: A Panacea or Pandora’s Box?

Ed. Note: This post by Benjamin Vanlalvena is a part of the TLF Editorial Board Test 2016.

Change is inevitable. Through technology, humans have brought about changes not only in the environment but also within themselves. Whether these changes are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, the fact is that we have achieved things and gone to places we would never have dreamed of.

These changes have given us more control over how we live and how we affect and are affected by the environment.

What is it and how does it affect us?

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