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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY


Smart City And Grids

A smart grid works by combining advanced communication, sensing and metering infrastructure with the
existing electricity network.

Smart grids have enormous potential to improve the efficiency of electricity sector and transform the way
Indians use energy in their homes and businesses.

A smart grid can improve the reliability of electricity services for consumers by identifying and resolving
faults on the electricity grid, better managing voltage and identifying infrastructure requiring maintenance.

Smart grids can also helps consumers for better managing their individual electricity consumption and
costs through the use of energy efficient 'smart appliances' and pricing structures.

What are some examples of how a smart grid and a smart city can be synergistic?

At the most basic level, if a smart grid is more economical, reliable, sustainable and secure, then those
benefits accrue to the city and its citizens.

A smart grid and a smart


city can coordinate
between monitoring and
control of the city's
power demand and
energy consumption. To
reduce the utility's peak
power demand and/or
schedule it during times
when the utility's rates are
lowest.

A smart city served by a


smart grid can correlate
traffic light monitoring to
determine which traffic
lights (or other critical
facilities) are inoperable
due to a utility power
outage or vice versa.

A smart city that deploys


municipal broadband for
its own use or for its
citizens might provide the
communications platform
needed for smart grid operations. The Chattanooga Electric Power Board in Tennessee is a terrific example
of this.

Smart grid monitoring and analysis can help a smart city evaluate its energy use and efficiency at each
city facility.

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Call Drops

In Telecommunications, the Dropped Call Rate (DCR) is the fraction of the telephone calls which, due
to technical reasons, were cut off before the speaking parties had finished their conversational tone and
before one of them had hung up (dropped calls) This fraction is usually measured as a percentage of all
calls.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued amendment in Telecom Consumers Protection
Regulations on October 16, 2015 in which it added a rule mandating mobile service providers to compensate
their subscribers for call dropped or automatically disconnected due to technical glitches in their network.
The rules mandate telecom operators to provider Rs. 1 compensation for each call dropped, with a
compensation cap of Rs. 3 per day. Telecom operators have approached the Delhi High Court against this
regulation

Everyone hates the increasingly frequent dropped calls, but no one seems able to do anything about them.
The Department of Telecom blames the telecom operators; the operators point to the shortage of both
spectrum and towers.

Reasons
a.

Mobile phones work using radio waves in the frequency range of 300 MHz and 3,000 MHz. But the entire
range is not available for use. Critically, the lower the number, the better the quality of transmisison. It
makes sense for a telecom company to pitch for a 900 MHz band instead of 2,100 MHz or even 1,800
MHz. Since limited space is available in each band, companies jostle for more space in the better (or
lower) bands. If a company has too little of the better bands, the quality of voice service got drops. It
also drops if the number of customers rises. India has 961 million mobile phone subscribers, the most
in the world after China. Too many companies are slicing up the available bands into smaller parcels.
There is little comparable international data, but India's telecom regulator concedes it is possibly the
highest among mature telecom markets.

b.

Towering Problems : Towers act as boosters that help radio waves travel better, and are a necessary part
of the telecom architecture in any country. There are approximately 5,50,000 towers in India, and industry
associations reckon, another 1,00,000 towers are needed. The lower radio bands need fewer towers to
travel longer distances, so when telecom companies offer richer services like 3G or 4G, they have to be
at higher frequencies (2,100 MHz or 2,300 MHz instead of 900 MHz), which need more tower support.
Cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Patna have far fewer towers than are
needed. Civic authorities across the country have shut down a total of around 10,000 towers. Another
12,000 cannot be used due to various reasons. Telecom companies are reluctant to share towers. This is
because they are fixed investments by subsidiaries of telecom companies or by stand alone companies for
whom a sharing formula does not work. Permission to erect a tower is given by the municipal body. No
uniform standards or procedures exist here.

c.

The setting up of boosters on buildings remains a contested area, and permission has to be obtained on
a case-by-case basis. Things could improve if telecom connectivity were seen as being similar to water
and power supply, and developers were to apply for a uniform set of permissions.

d.

Companies Role : Do companies benefit from call drops? Depends on the tariff plan. If it's measured in
seconds, the telecom company gains nothing. No matter how many times the connection snaps, billing
resumes at the same rate. But if it is measured in minutes, or if the plan contains features such as a certain
number of free calls in every billing cycle, call drops hurt the consumer. Telecom firms claim 95% of tariff
plans involve billing in seconds. Since call drops are the most common in high-congestion areas, interruptions
tend to shorten the call and, to that extent, reduce the average revenue per user per minute. Since
companies measure their performance on the basis of call drops too, it is risky for anyone to deliberately
create conditions for drops, thus incentivising porting to another operator.

e.

Government's Role: There is a shortage of spectrum in key bands like 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz. The
government insists that call drops can be addressed to a large extent through better management of
spectrum, but that can provide only partial relief. Call drops peak in high-congestion areas, typically city

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centres. This means there is an unequal spread of traffic across the spectrum, which cannot be made good
by diverting traffic on to an adjacent, underutilised spectrum. That would be a reflected light signal, with
gaps in the voice akin to international calls at times. Again, DoT guidelines are not mandatory, since the
jurisdiction over towers lies with the state governments or civic bodies.
What The Government Can Do?
1)

Offer more spectrum by releasing some from the defence services

2)

Allow trading of spectrum to reduce the cost of adding on to spectrum

3)

Encourage states to follow uniform procedures on towers

4)

Free up the roofs of government buildings to erect towers

5)

Set up a nationally publicized database on call drops to force laggard companies to improve on their
services.

e-Kranti : NeGP 2.0

e-Kranti is an important pillar of the Digital India programme.

Vision of e-Kranti is "Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance". The Mission of e-Kranti
is to ensure a Government wide transformation by delivering all Government services electronically to
citizens through integrated and interoperable systems via multiple modes, while ensuring efficiency,
transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs.

The objectives of 'e-Kranti' are as follows:


i.

To redefine National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) with transformational and outcome oriented eGovernance initiatives.

ii.

To enhance the portfolio of citizen centric services.

iii. To ensure optimum usage of core Information & Communication Technology (ICT).
iv.

To promote rapid replication and integration of e-Governance applications.

v.

To leverage emerging technologies.

vi. To make use of more agile implementation models.


The key principles of e-Kranti are as follows:
i.

Transformation and not Translation.

ii.

Integrated Services and not Individual Services.

iii. Government Process Reengineering (GPR) to be mandatory in every Mission Mode Project (MMP).
iv.

Information Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure on Demand.

v.

Cloud by Default.

vi. Mobile First.


vii. Fast Tracking Approvals.
viii. Mandating Standards and Protocols.
ix. Language Localization.
x.

National GIS (Geo-Spatial Information System).

xi. Security and Electronic Data Preservation.

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Re-usable Launch Vehicle - AVATAR

To achieve low cost access to space, ISRO has chalked down a plan to develop a new breed of reusable
launch system called AVATAR to substantially cut down the launch costs.

A reusable launch system (or reusable launch vehicle, RLV) is a launch system which is capable of
launching a launch vehicle into space more than once. This contrasts with expendable launch systems,
where each launch vehicle is launched once and then discarded.

Space Endeavors are too costly.

ISRO is aiming to bring down this cost by half in the short term by the use of its new LVM3 (GSLV Mk3)
and Unifield Launch Vechicle (ULV) expendable systems.

AVATAR will be a Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) launch system that will attempt to reuse maximum subsystems and will use turbojet and dual mode Ramjet-scramjet propulsion. The use of air-breathing ramjetscramjet engines will preclude need for carrying all the propellants, particularly oxidizer, that will enable
cutting the system cost.

AVATAR is an ambitious program and with the kind of engine and material technologies required, such
SSTO launch system will take a long time to develop. Accordingly, ISRO has decided to 1st develop a
Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) reusable launch system for the immediate future by utilizing its current
capabilities and target development of AVATAR in the long term.

Neutrino Observatory

India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is an underground laboratory with a rock cover of approximate
1200 metre for non-accelerator based high energy and nuclear physics research in India.

The project also includes Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP) and Iron Calorimeter
Detector (ICAL).

The INO laboratory will host experiments such as the neutrino-less double beta decay and the search for
dark matter.

The INO project will be set up near Pottipuram village in the Bodi West Hills of Theni district in Tamil
Nadu. The project is at an estimated cost of 1500 crore rupees.

The project will be jointly supported by the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of
Science and Technology.

The infrastructural support will be given by the State Government of Tamil Nadu since the project is
located in Tamil Nadu.

IICHEP will be established in Madurai that is about 110 km. from the proposed site of the Neutrino
Observatory.

The construction of 50000 tonne magnetised ICAL is to study the properties of the neutrino especially
the mass hierarchy among different types of neutrino.

The Goals of INO Are:

To Study neutrinos which are fundamental particles belonging to the lepton family. Neutrinos come in 3
flavours, one associated with electrons and the others with their heavier cousins the muon and the Tau.

Development of detector technology and its varied applications.

The INO Project Director is Naba Mondal who is a Senior Professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research,
Mumbai and was earlier associated with the pioneering experiments at the underground laboratory at Kolar
Gold Fields.

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The Project Includes:


(a) Construction of an underground laboratory and associated surface facilities in Bodi West hills of Theni
District of Tamil Nadu.
(b) Construction of a Iron Calorimeter (ICAL) detector for studying neutrinos.
(c) Setting up of National Centre for High Energy Physics at Madurai.
Why INO ?

Neutrino detectors around the world seem to see evidence that these weakly interacting, little-understood
particles are not really massless, as was thought so far. Not only do they have non-zero masses, different
species (or flavors) of neutrinos seem to mix and oscillate into one another as they traverse through the
cosmos. If this is true, this is not only one of the 1st pieces of evidence for physics beyond the so-called
Standard Model of Particle Physics but would also have great impact on diverse fields such as nuclear and
particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. It is thus imperative to study the details of the interactions
of these particles. The best option of course is to have a lab in order to do so. In order to maximize the
sensitivity to the interactions of these weakly interacting particles, such a neutrino lab is necessarily placed
underground.

Bio-Similar Medicines
Unlike generic medicines where the active ingredients are identical, biosimilars are similar to but not identical
copies of the originator biologic. They are similar, but not the same. Biologics made by different manufacturers
differ from the original product and from each other. The complexity of biologics precludes identical copies
and is therefore not the same as generic drugs. Due to the complex structure of biologic medicines and the
processes involved in production, biosimilars must be determined on the basis of analytical, non-clinical and
clinical data to be similar to an original biologic in terms of structural characteristics, and safety and efficacy.
Minor differences with the active ingredient are expected and permitted so long as any such differences are
demonstrated not to be clinically meaningful. The patents of a growing number of biologic medicines have
already expired or are due to expire, which has led to an increased interest in the development of biosimilars.
How do biosimilars differ from the original innovator medicines?
The active ingredient of a biosimilar is expected to closely resemble that of the original biologic. Unlike
generic medicines (small molecules) where the active ingredient is required to be identical, the manufacturing
process through which a biologic (large molecule) is made cannot be exactly duplicated by another manufacturer.
There are naturally occurring differences between an originator and biosimilar medicine:
a)

Biologic medicines are not made using a set of standard materials, but are developed using unique
biological systems and living cells. As a result, the active ingredient is impossible to recreate exactly and
the selected cell lines from which the biologic medicine originates are unique to each manufacturer.

b)

The manufacturing process for biologic medicines requires dozens of steps involving hundreds of variables
and is generally more complex than manufacturing processes for chemical drugs. Any variation in this
complex process can affect a biologic products stability, efficacy, safety and/ or immunogenicity. Unlike
small molecule drugs, biologic medicines are produced in genetically-engineered living cells that are sustained
in a highly-controlled environment. The protein produced by the cells will be influenced by individual cell
characteristics as well as the environment and nutrients provided.

c)

The manufacturer has different processes that create distinctive characteristics in the product, which are
specific to the manufacturer. This creates a unique relationship between a biologics manufacturing process
and the final product approved by regulators.

The emerging role of biosimilars:


Countries around the world face a growing, aging population and an increase in chronic disease. With expanding
demand for good-quality healthcare comes the challenge of controlling healthcare expenditure. The regulated
introduction of biosimilars into the market has been forecasted to increase access to much needed biologic

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medicines and reduce costs. Over the next few years, we will continue to see a new generation of complex
biosimilars being developed as numerous leading biologic medicines, worth an estimated $81 billion in global
annual sales, will lose their patents by 2020. Fusion proteins and monoclonal antibodies used in cancer and
autoimmune diseases are expected to form a substantial proportion of this new line of biosimilars.
Based on experience gained by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since the introduction of a regulatory
mechanism for developing, reviewing and approving biosimilars in the European Agency, the EMA has updated
its overarching guidance on the general principles of Biosimilar development, quality and nonclinical and
clinical issues. In addition, class specific guidelines for growth hormones, monoclonal antibodies, GCSFs,
recombinant follicle stimulating hormones, interferons, lowmolecular weight heparins and recombinant insulin
products have been developed. The biologic medicines market is expected to grow to $190-200 billion by 2016,
with biosimilars a small but growing proportion at $2-2.5 billion.
Regulation of biosimilars
In India, biosimilar biologics are regulated as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, the Drugs and Cosmetics
Rules 1945 (as amended from time to time) and the Rules for the Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and
Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms and Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells 1989 (Rules 1989)
notified under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization
(CDSCO) and Department of Biotechnology (DBT), through the Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation
(RCGM), approved the biosimilar biologics using an abbreviated version of the pathway applicable to new
drugs. CDSCO is the apex regulatory authority in India, and addresses issues and challenges for ensuring the
safety and efficacy of similar biologic products and establishing appropriate regulatory pathways. CDSCO, in
collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) recently issued the Guidelines on Similar Biologics:
Regulatory Requirements for Marketing Authorization in India, which have now been implemented. These
guidelines detailed the regulatory requirements, such as data requirements for production process, characterisation,
preclinical studies and clinical trials, for the marketing authorisation of biosimilar biologics.
One of the most important considerations when regulating biosimilar biologics in India is that a similar biologic
can only be approved against an authorised reference biologic using a complete data package. However, if the
reference biologic is not authorised in India, it should be licensed and marketed for at least four years with
significant safety and efficacy data. The manufacturer has to submit data demonstrating similarity during
product characterisation, preclinical and clinical studies carried out in view of an authorised reference biologic
to ensure that the similar biologic product meets acceptable levels of safety, efficacy and quality.

Outer Space: Issues and Challenges


Outer space is thenear-vacuum beyond the Earths atmosphere. It hasno air to scatter the lightand so what
we observe is a black emptiness spangled with stars and other extraterrestrial matter.
What constitutes Outer Space?

It is the void that exists betweencelestial bodies, including theEarth.

It is not completely empty, but consists of ahard vacuumcontaining a low density of particles predominantly
plasmaofhydrogenandhelium, as well aselectromagnetic radiation,magnetic fields, neutrinos, dust and
cosmic rays.

UN treaties coming under the supervision of UN committee on peaceful uses of outer space

Outer Space Treaty: The Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and
Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

Rescue Agreement: The Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the
Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

Liability Convention: The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects.

Registration Convention: The Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

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Moon Treaty: The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial
Bodies.

Outer Space Treaty


The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration
and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of
international space law. The Treaty was opened for signature by the three depository Governments (the Russian
Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) in January 1967, and it entered into force
in October 1967.
The Outer Space Treaty provides the basic framework on international space law, including the following principles:

The exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all
countries and shall be the province of all mankind.

Outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;

Outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation,
or by any other means;

States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies
or station them in outer space in any other manner.

The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;

Astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;

States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or nongovernmental entities;

States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and

States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.

Space Race:
With the advancement of technology and integration of nations through economy, the level of partnership
among nations has gained momentum. We witness several bilateral and multilateral forums where cooperation
among nations is visible. Earlier scientific endeavors were to show ones capability but now have added
scientific strength-economic strength-political cooperation and future partnership. Earlier space advancement
and struggle between USA and USSR were more of political rift. But now it is a multidimensional approach.
This space race has paved the way for governance system for space too. Outer Space Treaty is one such
approach because Space comes under Global Common.
Recently, Space Debris and Space Junk has gained much attention due to ever increasing crave of nations to
send their space satellites and creating a problem of space junk or debris.
Why focus is on China?
China has made rapid forays in expanding its influence over many of the third world countries keen on entering
the space age. By making available space servicesby way of building custom made satellites followed by their
in orbit-deliveryChina not only stands to expand its business interests but also seeks to strengthen its
diplomatic clout. By arranging soft loans and providing knowhow and expertise for building and launching
satellites on reasonable terms, China is all set to become a recognized player in the multi- billion dollar global
space market. Indeed, this dual offer of technological support and financial assistance on reasonable terms has
made China the most sought after space partner for the developing countries.
A. Chinas Strategy:

India and other like minded nations are skeptic about Chinas so called soft space diplomacy. Particularly
India feels that China is encircling India, now from space.

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A thin line of String of pearls and Maritime Silk Route of China, already a concern for India from long
time. Secondly China has left no scope untapped where India has failed to tap or boost its relations with
its neighboring nation.

Chinas endeavors may not be against India in reality but loss of neighbors hold is a major concern for
India, whatsoever may be the reasons.

B.

Concerns for India:

China has done its best to support the Sri-Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan and other nations in
satellite technology. Indias concern is inevitable as India has no hold in space diplomacy even among its
neighbors. In todays diplomatic ties certain leverages or cooperation matters a lot. When China is doing well
to support in scientific development, it is inferred that it will get major future cooperation from those nations
and enhance its importance, strategically and economically that can affect several future economical and
political engagements of India. In short, Chinas String of pearls, Maritime Silk Route and now thread of space
satellites to have eye on India.