The Hindu Newspaper Analysis – 20 January 2021

Indo Nepal relations

  • This article comes in the backdrop of the recent visit of the Nepali Foreign Minister to India to further Indo Nepal ties. India and Nepal have had a long history of bilateral relations and friendship, we have cooperated in various aspects like trade, investment, culture among others but in the recent times the relations have been strained due to various factors and this visit helps to heal those issues.
  • We need to understand the fact that the Nepal’s domestic policies seem to influence the foreign policy of Nepal and they look at it from the prism of internal issues. Even the presence of China has seemed to affect the growth of foreign policy of Nepal.
  • This visit helps to propel the relations in a good manner as several important things were discussed and decided in this meeting, they are as follows:
    • There were praises and appreciations to each other’s diplomatic stance and bilateral cooperation
    • They seemed to cooperate in the pandemic with regards to vaccine among others
    • The meetings saw the discussion with the starting of a petroleum pipeline from Motahari and Amlekhganj which is a good step in energy cooperation
    • There was also the discussion about the starting of a railway line and new train services between the two nations
    • Cross border movement of people, goods and services has been provided for with integrated check posts in various regions.
    • Cooperation for joint multipurpose projects has been discussed like the Pancheshwar project
    • Cultural heritage projects have also been discussed like the Pashupati river front project among others
    • Nepal has supported India’s membership in the UN security Council also it is a part of several multilateral forums like SAARC, BIMSTEC inter alia.
  • The disputes with regards to the boundaries was not discussed in this meeting as India provided for it in a separate mechanism for the issue to be solved that Nepal accepted.
  • We have to note the fact, that Nepal has been severely affected with internal domestic problems that is affecting in foreign policy relations and this India has been able to handle this well.
  • China’s influence is able to be controlled by India as well.

Deepfakes

  • Deepfakes are computer generated images, videos, audios or texts that are so real to look or perceives that they are generally believed to be true.
  • The author provides for this concept in the article by mentioning the recent attack of the Capital hill by Trump supporters who claimed that the Biden’s victory was a result of the deepfakes and hence the author questions if this scenario is so powerful that it influences the electoral outcomes…?
  • We need to understand that it is a big problem that affects the cyberspace and these deepfakes are fully generated using artificial intelligence are very innovative and new in nature.
  • They cannot be detected by any normal methods, but they can only be detected using AI generated tools. These deepfakes are used in various vicious things like political interests, polarization, inciting violence among others.
  • In the year 2020 we saw that the heads of the technological giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter were summoned in the USA to provide their methods to tackle this issue of disinformation that can be spread through deepfakes as they are the major arena where the scenario runs.
  • India has no specific legislation to deal with this issue but there definitely is the presence of IPC and the IT Act that can be useful buts surely is not adequate.
  • In 2018 the Indian Govt proposed rules to curtail the misuse of information and curb this issue, but that wasn’t successful. Social media companies had also agreed to act in this regard.
  • This can be resolved by understanding that these deepfakes can only be tackled with AI generated tools to tackle the same which can prove the credibility and the reliability of the images, we can also use technologies like Blockchain.
  • Apart from this we can tackle this issue with proper awareness and education.
  • This is the way we need to tackle the scenario and bring this problem to an end.
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