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IPCC Synthesis Report

On March 20, 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its final report of the sixth assessment cycle, warning that there is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.

  • Irreversible Adverse Impacts: The report highlights the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, including those who have contributed the least to climate change.
  • It warns that overshooting 1.5°C of global warming will result in irreversible adverse impacts on certain ecosystems, such as polar, mountain, and coastal ecosystems, which are impacted by ice-sheet, glacier melt, or committed sea level rise.
  • Climate Justice is Crucial: It emphasizes that climate justice is crucial because those who have contributed least to climate change are being disproportionately affected.
  • It also highlights that one of the most significant implications of climate change is the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, which could have dire consequences for agriculture, the economy, and public health.
  • Need for Urgent Action: If significant action to cut emissions is not taken, it would be impossible to prevent the earth from heating 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels.
  • The report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action, and shows that if we act now, we can still limit certain unavoidable and/or irreversible future changes by deep, rapid, and sustained global greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
  • Investment and Infrastructure: It also emphasizes the need for policymakers to prioritize investments in disaster risk reduction, including early warning systems, evacuation plans, and infrastructure development to protect these populations

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a United Nations body that was established in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on the state of knowledge about climate change, its causes, potential impacts, and response options. The IPCC does not conduct its own research; rather it assesses and synthesizes scientific literature related to climate change from around the world.

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World Happiness Report 2023

On March 20, 2023, the annual U.N.-sponsored World Happiness Report was released, ranking Finland as the happiest country in the world for the sixth year in a row while India ranks 126th out of 137 countries.

  • The report includes an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on happiness and resilience, as well as an examination of the relationship between state effectiveness and happiness.
  • The report is based on People’s self-assessment of their happiness.
  • The six factors considered in the report are: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.
  • It also explores the relationship between altruism and well-being for altruists, beneficiaries, and observers.
  • Despite the Russian invasion, Ukraine's ranking improved from 98 to 92 this year, with acts of kindness growing in the country.
  • It notes a stronger sense of common purpose and benevolence in Ukraine since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
  • Israel rose five spots to occupy fourth position, while the Baltic countries are rising rapidly towards Western European levels.
  • Afghanistan, which has occupied the bottom spot (lowest country) on the table since 2020, saw its humanitarian crisis deepen since the Taliban government took power in 2021.
  • Overall, the report highlights the importance of a strong welfare system, high trust in authorities, and low levels of inequality in promoting happiness.

World Happiness Report 2023 is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which is a global initiative launched by the UN in 2012.

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Ethical guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence

Recently, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) released ethical guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare and biomedical research.

These principles can be broadly categorized into the following ten points:

  1. Accountability and Liability: AI systems should be held accountable for their actions and outcomes, and those responsible for their development and deployment should be held liable for any harm caused.
  2. Autonomy: Patients should have control over their personal health data and the use of AI should respect their autonomy, privacy, and dignity.
  3. Data Privacy: The use of AI in healthcare should adhere to strict data privacy and security standards, and patients should be informed about the use of their data.
  4. Collaboration: Collaboration between stakeholders, including researchers, clinicians, hospitals, public health systems, patients, ethics committees, government regulators, and the industry, is essential for the development and deployment of AI tools in healthcare.
  5. Risk Minimization and Safety: AI systems should be designed and deployed in a way that minimizes risks and ensures patient safety.
  6. Accessibility and Equity: The use of AI in healthcare should be accessible to all, regardless of their socio-economic status, and should not exacerbate existing health disparities.
  7. Optimization of Data Quality: AI systems should use high-quality data and avoid biased or incomplete data sets.
  8. Non-Discrimination and Fairness: AI systems should be designed and deployed in a way that avoids discrimination and promotes fairness in healthcare outcomes.
  9. Validity: AI systems should be validated using appropriate methods, and the results should be transparent and reproducible.
  10. Trustworthiness: AI systems should be transparent, reliable, and trustworthy, and patients should have confidence in their use in healthcare.