Dear Reader,

The rise of AI, and the threat its misuse poses, presents a vicious challenge to democracy. The potential to manipulate critical elections -- a spate of which are scheduled this year in Mexico, South Africa, the United States and India -- cannot be underplayed.

In response to the threats, AI companies like OpenAI, have announced plans to call out deep fakes, encourage a transparent media ecosystem, and bolster accurate information on the polls and related aspects. The MediaNama examines why this effort by AI companies is critical, and looks at what other AI companies are doing to prevent deep fakes and disinformation from maliciously intervening in the electoral process.

Another threat to our lives and livelihoods comes from the ever-escalating climate change, the realities of which are writ large, this time in Kashmir’s Gulmarg. As the Mojo Story reports, an unprecedented and radical spell of weather has turned the usually snowy blanket to dry, forlorn slopes, with an unnerving 79 per cent deficit in rainfall. The implications for tourism, agriculture and the ecology are forbidding.

In the recent past, the government has been pushing the adoption of millet farming as millets are drought resistant, need a relatively lesser quantity of fertilisers and are considered a healthier alternative to rice and wheat.

However, the Baiga tribe in the Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh, who traditionally cultivated and consumed millet, are being pushed to grow rice and wheat on the promise of better productivity. A change, मैं भी भारत reports, that is being resisted by the tribes, as they fear losing both their health and their tradition.

While Swacch Bharath and the quest for a clean India have been much sung and heralded, justifiably so, it defies the reality on the ground. Abysmal outlays and the utter apathy of the elected representatives to the ‘clean India’ movement means, as The India Forum explains, that the country’s “waste management processes are in a mess.”

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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Election Integrity In The AI Era: OpenAI Lists New Measures In Preparation For 2024

MediaNama analyses the efforts that AI technology companies are drawing up to keep the elections deep-fake-free and tells us why this is important.

Read Here

Gulmarg’s Winter Wonderland Threatened by Unprecedented Dry Spell

The Mojo Story reports on how climate change has pummelled Gulmarg, the tourist haven in Kashmir, and threatens to turn a once gleaming snow-laden paradise into a barren land.

Read Here

How Wheat and Rice are being pushed into the Baiga tribe’s diet

The Baiga tribe in Dindori district, Madhya Pradesh, faces a challenge, मैं भी भारत reports, as they are forced to change their farming and diet from millet to “more productive” rice and wheat.

Watch Here

The Mess that is Waste Management in Urban India

The quest for ‘Clean India,’ with its successes, is still a victim of abysmal financial outlays and government apathy, says The India Forum.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Khajuraho Tourism Picks Up With More Women Involved
The training and skilling of women in Khajuraho has changed the face of tourism in the temple town in Madhya Pradesh. The Citizen reports.
ആറളം ഫാം: പട്ടയം റദ്ദാക്കാനുള്ള നീക്കത്തിനെതിരെ ആദിവാസികൾ
Tribals threatened with displacement from the Aralam Farm region in Kannur, Kerala, are up in arms against the government’s move to cancel their land titles, Keraleeyam Masika reports.
वाराणसी : 'एक आदमी एक नाव एक लाइसेंस' के खिलाफ मांझी समाज में आक्रोश
The Varanasi administration’s order of registering and licensing only ‘one boat per person’ has caused anguish among the Manjhi community, the traditional boatmen on the Ganga, as they fear that it will impact their livelihood. Gaon Ke Log reports from the ground.
मध्य प्रदेश: बस्तियों की टूटी नालियां, गलियों में कूड़े का ढेर और भोपाल को देश में सबसे स्वच्छ राजधानी का ख़िताब! ग्राउंड रिपोर्ट
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh’s capital, is touted as the ‘cleanest state capital’ in the country. However, The Mooknayak goes to the ground to find a different reality.

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