The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown has exposed several fault lines in the urban design frameworks and law enforcement mechanisms of cities and other townships in India. The Epidemic Diseases Act has enabled a brutal lockdown by law enforcement authorities across states even as social distancing has remained elusive in urban townships due to the inherent design flaws exacerbated by the population density. Dr. Shiben Banerji, Professor of Art History and Urban Design at the Art Institute of Chicago, explores these themes in a conversation with Taarush Kishore Jain. He also shares his sentiments on the mass communication campaigns by the Indian Prime Minister during the lockdown and suggests modifications to the Centre-State relationship in India.
Mr Utkarsh Roy is one of the co-founders of Introbot AI, a WhatsApp-based artificial intelligence software that helps people find verified covid resources in real-time. He founded this software alongside Mr. Divyaansh Anuj. Mr Roy did his MSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto and was the co-founder and CEO of OhWow, a mobile-first file sharing tech startup for the creator economy.
Mr Rahul Raina and Mr Naman Gupta are the co-creators of the Covid Resource India bot, that provides similar services on Twitter. They are graduates of the School of Accelerated Learning in Secunderabad. Mr Raina did his Bachelors of Engineering in Production Engineering and works as a Node JS developer at Link Fields Inn. Mr Gupta did his Bachelors of Commerce from Delhi University, his Masters in Computer Applications at Indira Gandhi National University before joining the School of Accelerated Learning. He works as a backend developer at Everest Engineering.
Recorded online in June, Shivani Menon, a student of economics at King’s College London, talks to the three co-founders about the policy landscape for such operations, challenges encountered, and the prospects of AI in the future. This conversation draws from the expertise of the pioneering work of the people behind the artificial intelligence software aiding covid-resource allocation in informing the larger public policy discourse surrounding the usage of artificial intelligence in health crisis management in India.