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Insights into Yojana:

December 2016


Insights into Yojana: December 2016

Table of Contents
1. Strengthening the S&T Roadmap..................................................................................................3
2. Defence Applications for Civilian Sector........................................................................................7
3. Space Based Platform for Common Man.......................................................................................9
4. Earth System Science for Public Safety........................................................................................12
5. Atoms in the Service of the Nation.............................................................................................15
6. Agricultural Technologies: Social Contributions..........................................................................19
7. High-end Diagnostics for Healthcare...........................................................................................21
8. Science and Technology in Sustainable Development.................................................................23
9. Connecting to the Masses...........................................................................................................27
10. Impact of Science and Technology on Women............................................................................29
11. Facts for Prelims.........................................................................................................................31
a. Surya-Jyoti
b. India-UK Tech Summit: Showcasing Indias Scientific and Technological Prowess
c. Making Safe Pregnancy a Social Movement
d. Flagship Scheme on Entrepreneurship Education
12. North East Diary.........................................................................................................................32
a. Mobile Air Dispensary' for remote areas of the North-East

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Strengthening the S&T Roadmap

The department of Science and Technology serves as the nodal agency for all government led
initiatives that create and strengthen the science and technology landscape in our country.
The specific mandate is to advance science and technology pursuits and develop related human and
institutional resources to foster excellence in these fields.
The DST accordingly develops policies and implements programmes to serve this important
mandate that also delivers science and technology based societal benefits.

Role of Department of Science and Technology (DST)

The missions of the Government of India have added impetus to the initiatives of the DST. These
include the Make in India, Start up India, Swachh Bharat, and Digital India programmes.
The DST partners the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) to empower
national academic and R&D institutions across the country.
The collaboration in Impacting Research Innovation and Technology (IMPRINT) project entails
DSTs partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to address major
societal and developmental needs, environment and climate change related mitigation and
A joint R&D initiative with Ministry of Railways focuses on fuel efficiency enhancement and
emission control technologies, alternate fuels, fuel conservation in diesel traction etc.
Reversing Brain drain to Brain Gain:
o An Early Career Research Award (ECRA) has been launched to provide rapid research
support to pursue exciting and innovative research in areas of science and engineering.
o The National Postdoctoral Fellowship (N-PDF) scheme is aimed to attract and retain young
scientists and discourage brain drain in academic/R&D institutions.
Attracting Women to Science:
o KIRAN (Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing) launched in
2014 enables gender parity in science through nurturing research careers of women
o The programme provides opportunities to women scientists to take up research and emerge
as an entrepreneur who had a break in their career primarily due to family responsibilities.

Societal benefits delivered:

These cover a wide variety of sectors including energy benefits, wealth from waste and optimal
extraction and sustainable management of bio resources.
Surya Jyoti Lights up homes of poor:
o A low cost device named Surya Jyoti has been developed and
o Surya Jyoti is basically a Micro Solar Dome which has a
transparent semi spherical upper dome made of acrylic
material that captures sunlight.

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Indigenous technology for rural industrialisation:

o For inclusive development of the country, sustainable industrial activities using local
resources in the rural areas are extremely important.
o One such initiative by DST is in a rural industry complex in a plot of wasteland at a village in
Jodhpur district of Rajasthan by utilization of local resources and by converting waste to
North Eastern Centre for Ethno Medical Research:
o The centre will undertake scientific validation of traditional herbs and products and help
improve socio economic status of local communities and enhance quality of life through
better livelihood and benefit sharing.

Going Global through Mega Projects

Thirty Meter Telescope:

o Indias participation in Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project is built at Mauna Kea, Hawaii,
o The cost would be met by DST and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
o The other countries participating in the project are USA, Canada, China and Japan.
Associate Membership of CERN:
o The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) is the worlds largest nuclear and
particle physics laboratory where scientists are probing the fundamental structure of the
o Indian scientists have been actively participating and collaborating at CERN on all aspects of
science, engineering and computing through joint funding provided by DAE and DST.
o The CERN Council admitted India as Associate Member of CERN in Sep. 2016.
o As an Associate Member of CERN, India will be a part of the huge scientific and
technological endeavour.
Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO):
o India has agreed in-principle to set up an advanced gravitational-wave (GW) observatory in
the country which will be the third such observatory across the world.
Devasthal Optical Telescope:
o A state of the art world class 3.6 meter Devasthal Optical Telescope was remotely
activated jointly by India and Belgium.
o The telescope is installed at Devasthal near Nainital. It is the largest steerable imaging
telescope in Asia; a result of scientific collaboration between Aryabhatta Research Institute
of Observational Sciences (ARIES) and Belgian Scientists.
Enhance quality and quantity of R&D:
o The objective is to position India amongst the top 5 countries in scientific research by
augmenting the R&D infrastructure, enhance number of active scientists and reverse brain
drain to brain gain for societal and industrial development and attract youth to pursue
career in science and technology.
o The DST will also intensify industry-academia R&D partnerships, to find solutions to
national challenges pertaining to energy, water, health, environment and climate and cyber
o There will be steps to leverage the best of international S&T knowledge and infrastructure
by cooperating in the selected areas to gain global competitiveness and support S&T
capacity building in least developed countries.

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Create a Robust S&T Led Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem:

o DST has developed a national initiative (National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing
Innovations- NIDHI) to up-scaling the start ups.
o This will promote the culture of innovation among students and rural communities.
o Technology Development and Deployment will improve decision making and governance
o Create awareness about emerging frontiers and the pervasiveness of science in daily life.
The Science Express is a classic initiative the benefits children across the country.

1) Do you think recent innovations in technology have lifted standard of living in economies like
India? What type of and in which sectors innovations are needed and why? Discuss.
2) Discuss the Societal Benefits obtained through the Developments in Indias Science and
3) What is the role of Department of Science and Technology to convert the Brain Drain to Brain
Gain in India?
4) Examine the role of Indias involvement in various scientific developments in the world.
5) Recently scientists made a historic detection of Gravitational Waves. The discovery would
represent a scientific landmark, opening the door to an entirely new way to observe the cosmos
and unlock secrets about the early universe and mysterious objects like black holes and neutron
Consider the following w.r.t Gravitational Waves
1. Gravitational waves can be produced by Humans, Cars and Aeroplanes.
2. The strongest gravitational waves are produced by catastrophic events such as colliding black
holes, the collapse of supernovae and the remnants of gravitational radiation created by the birth
of the Universe itself.
Select the correct code
a) Only 1
b) Only 2
c) Both
d) None
Solution (c)
6) The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an international project being funded by scientific
organisations of
1. Canada
2. China
3. India
4. Japan
5. USA
Select the correct answer using the code given below:

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(a) 1, 3, 4 and 5 only
(b) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
(c) 3, 4 and 5 only
(d) It is a purely indigenous and not an international project
Solution: b.
7) Consider the following statements:
1. The Technology Information, Forecasting & Assessment Council (TIFAC) is an autonomous
Organization set up under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology
2. It recently was conferred the Rani Lakshmibai Award for its work under the scheme KIRAN-IPR
Which of the statements above is/are correct?
a) 1 Only
b) 2 Only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2
Solution: b.
8) Which of the following statements about European Organization for Nuclear Research are correct?
1. It is a European research organization that operates the largest particle physics laboratory in
the world.
2. Israel is the only non-European country granted full membership.
3. CERN is also the birthplace of the World Wide Web.
4. India joins CERN as an associate member.
a) 1 and 2
b) 1, 2 and 3
c) 2, 3 and 4
d) All of the above
Solution: d.

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Defence Applications for Civilian Sector

Defence Research has been the arena for transformational technologies that result in empowering
a nation with military might and pave the way for systems that help in societal development and
civilian use.
From the GPS and other communication technologies, to drones, defence research fosters
innovation and engenders development.
Defence research, when aligned with the Make in India and Skill Development programmes are
bound to speed up the development process and foster an environment of healthy and competitive
entrepreneurship in defence research.

Defence and Economic Growth

Indian Defence R&D, for many years, operated with a financial outlay of less than 6% of the
Indian Defence budget, compared to USA at 15%, UK 8%, China 15% and Israel at 9%.
A significant part of economic growth of a country is dependent on the countrys ability to produce
indigenous defence equipment and systems.
Under colonial rule, defence S&T became a dead horse. Lack of proper research and infrastructure
facilities made India dependent on imports to a larger extent.
In recent times India has been making strides towards achieving self reliance in critical areas. There
is no dearth of entrepreneurship and policy making initiatives in the country.
The increased pace of manufacturing sector is very apparent. Many indigenous industries are
competing with foreign counterparts.

Defence R&D

Since 1958 Defence R&D has grown to be capable of delivering strategic missile systems, Electronic
Warfare, Electronics, Naval and complex platforms such as the Light Combat Aircraft.
Defence R&D led to the development of Bullet proof jackets, breathing systems, farming in high
altitude areas, multi insect repellent and food poison detection kit.
Bio-digester for human waste management has become a significant part of Swachh Bharat
Focus is to placed on futuristic technologies for India to become a future world leader. We need to
leapfrog in capability and lead in relevant areas.
Establishing focused research centres at R&D centres and academic institutes with state of the art
infrastructure is the first step in that direction. Innovations at small and medium scale industries
should be encouraged and supported.
The country needs to have innovative manufacturing institutes with public and private
partnership. These technologies must be devised for ultimate exports to earn foreign exchange for
the country.
Futuristic R&D is only possible by engaging the scientific manpower appropriately and a research
conducive ecosystem is evolved and put in place.

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Defence Technologies Benefits

Research in defence science bolsters the might of a nation, leading to development on the military
and economic spheres.
Policies should be tailored to capitalize on the knowledge, capability and capacity in the defence
innovation sector. Sustainable investments in defence S&T will lead to greater economic benefits.

Skill Development Initiatives

The basic strength of an organisation lies in its human resources, more so in the defence sector,
where domain knowledge is highly specific.
Universities and institutes need to plan programmes with curriculum related to the defence science
and technologies.
When resources and ideas are shared, risks are spread across all the stakeholders. This will put an
end to impediments and hasten development. This is the need of the hour.

Bright Future Ahead

India should identify the futuristic technologies for the next 10-20 years and take a lead in the R&D
of these technologies. The country needs to have innovative manufacturing institutes with public
and private partnership.
India is transforming itself from biggest importer of defence products and equipment to a major
exporter. However, a few points need to be taken into cognizance:
o The defence sector is technology intensive. Changes take place at a rapid pace, and with
shifting goal posts dictated by perceived and apparent threats.
o R&D in defence science is to a large extent carried out by government agencies, with little
R&D in the non-governmental sector.
Today private sector has already started playing a major role. In last 10 years, private industries
have graduated from mere component producers to developing state-of-the-art sub systems. More
than 70% of the supplies for Akash missile system are coming from a conglomerate of private
The new policies of the Government are enabling many overseas enterprises to start operations
and set up manufacturing units in India with large investments.

1) Analyse the role of S&T in upgrading Indias Defence capabilities.
2) Defence research, when aligned with the Make in India and Skill Development programmes are
bound to speed up the development process, comment.
3) A significant part of economic growth of a country is dependent on the countrys ability to
produce indigenous defence equipment and systems. Comment.

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Space Based Platform for Common Man

Indian space programme had a 20 year late start compared to developed countries, Inspite of that
today it has emerged as one among the six leading space faring nations.
India has achieved self-reliance by mastering the technologies for building powerful rockets,
satellites for earth observation scientific experiments and communication.
These space platforms are the powerful tools helping human kind to expand its fundamental
knowledge of the universe and provide services on earth enriching the quality of life of common


Indian space program started with the launch of a rocket from the beaches of Thumba in 1963. Dr
Sarabhai set up the Space Science and Technology Centre (SSTC) at Thumba. Later this became
Vikarm Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).
Simultaneously development of spacecrafts was taken up at ISRO satellite Centre (ISAC).
Aryabhata and Bhaskara were the first two satellites developed for establishing our competence
in space craft technology.

Indian Space Programme

Disaster management:
o The synoptic view of planet earth in high resolution multi spectral images has opened up
new avenues for assessing natural resources, weather prediction, climate change studies
and assessment of damages due to floods, earthquake and tsunami. In case of cyclones the
INSAT satellite based system has become the mainstay.
o Net result is that loss of life is reduced to very low level. When all other means of
communication fails the satellite communication is the only way to reach out to flood or
cyclone affected regions.
By mapping of cultivated areas and monitoring crop growth helps in providing early warning of
pest attack, and drought condition.
Forest coverage is an important asset for the nation. Periodic monitoring provides an opportunity
to detect damages caused to environment by human intervention or calamities like forest fire.
Water Management:
o Assessment of quality of water in ponds, lakes and dams help in better water
management. Identification of potential fishing zone is another activity helping thousands
of fishermen.
o Watershed development is another area of remote sensing application. The suitability of
the land whether it is for agriculture, social forestry etc is assessed and advices given to
farmers on most optimum use of land, cropping pattern, and rain water harvesting had
helped the villagers to improve the returns from land and water.
o Communication through the geostationary satellites is the most effective one in reaching
out to remote and far flung places in India.

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o The direct to home (DTH) television services have revolutionised the entertainment
scenario. Much needed emergency communication to remote places is ensured through
the satellites which is a boon to disaster management.
India is considered as a leader in the area of application of space technology to solve problems on
Earth. The societal applications such as tele-medicine, tele-education and the concept of village
resource centre are unique.
ISRO launched a satellite dedicated exclusively for the purpose of education called EDUSAT in the
year 2004 which is mainly intended for distance education system in primary, secondary and
university education in rural and semi-urban areas.
o ISRO has developed its own navigation system providing accurate position and timing
signals over Indian region and its neighbourhood. Defence services will benefit immensely
out of this.
Communication network through satellites provide uninterrupted services in business community
especially the ATMs and stock exchanges.
Space Exploration:
o Our spacecraft Chandrayan and Mars orbiter had been orbited and provided extremely
useful data, confirming presence of water on the moon and huge deposits of Helium three
which are path breaking findings.
Medical diagnosis, observation, synthesis of complex molecules etc has been enabled through
technological breakthrough in space.


Uniqueness of Indian space programme is that it is able to use the space based platforms for
implementing various application programs which touches the day to day life of the common man.
A survey shows that the direct and indirect benefits far exceed the investment made by
Government in Indian space programs.

1) How does climate change affect smallholder farmers? How can this farming community fight
climate change effects? Discuss.
2) In recent years, Satellite operators are launching more high-powered communications rigs into
space. How will this affect various stakeholders? Examine.
3) What does scientific management of floods constitute? Discuss in the Indian context.
4) How has Indian Space Programme played its role in Disaster management and Water
5) Which of the following statements are incorrect?
1. EDUSAT is the first Indian satellite built exclusively to serve the educational sector.
2. It is mainly intended to meet the demand for an interactive satellite-based distance
education system for the country.

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Only 1
Only 2
Both 1 and 2
Neither 1 nor 2
Solution: d

6) Which of the following statements are correct?

1. Sputnik 1 was Russias first artificial Earth satellite.
2. Aryabhata and Bhaskara were Indias first two satellites developed for establishing our
competence in space craft technology.
3. INSAT-3DR is a weather satellite meant to provide meteorological services to India
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) All of the above
Solution: d
7) Which of the following statements are incorrect?
1. Bharati is an Arctic research station commissioned by India.
2. Maitri is India's second permanent research station in Antarctica as part of the Indian
Antarctic Programme.
3. Himadri Station is India's first Arctic research station located at Spitsbergen, Svalbard,
a) 1 only
b) 1 and 2
c) 1 and 3
d) None of the above
Solution: a

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Earth System Science for Public Safety

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (M0ES) was established in 2006 by bringing all agencies specializing
in weather and climate services and ocean development activities under one umbrella.
The vision of the ministry is to excel as a knowledge and technology enterprise in the Earth
System Science for public safety and socio economic benefits to the nation.
The mission is to explore marine living resources in a sustainable way and to explore the three
Polar Regions (Arctic, Antarctic and Himalayas).

Major Achievements

Quality of weather and climate services has improved over the last decade. Doppler Weather
Radar network was augmented to strengthen data assimilation efforts and to improve weather
Indian Meteorological Department provides the Agro-meteorological advisories for farmers.
Improvements in track and intensify forecast of the tropical cyclones and heavy rainfall forecasts.
Accurate forecasts of the recent cyclones, Phailin and HudhHud saved thousands of human lives.
Air pollution monitoring and forecasting network was established in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune to
monitor air quality and generate air quality forecasts.
A state of the art High Altitude Cloud Physics Observatory was established at Mahabaleshwar near
Pune for aerosol and cloud observations.
Significant progress has been made in establishing a large ocean observing network for the Indian
Ocean during the past 10 years.
A state of the art Tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean Rim countries was
established at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
Implementation of Storm Surge Prediction system for the Indian coasts and development of
systems for ocean state forecasts.
Important achievement made by scientists at National Institute for Ocean Technology (NIOT) is
installation of desalination plants in three islands of Lakshadweep and at North Chennai Thermal
Power station using low temperature thermal technology.
Survey and exploration, environmental impact assessment, and technology development for
exploration of polymetallic nodules in the central Indian Ocean.
A new research station Bharati a state of the art facility was commissioned at Larsemann Hills,
Antarctica in March 2012.
A research station Himansh was established in Himalayas with several monitoring systems to
support field survey and laboratory studies in Himalayas.

Vision for 2030

There is considerable scope for accelerating the current initiatives to enable the country become a
world leader in providing high quality services in the field of earth sciences, and provide greater
economic and social benefits to the country.
Accordingly a Vision document has been prepared for the next 15 years (up to 2030).

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The ministry is planning to expand its activities on ocean survey and exploration, with a view to
support the Blue Economy initiative of the Government.
Another major mandate of the ministry is to explore the polar regions of Antarctica, the Arctic and
the Himalayas for monitoring and predicting variability of the fragile global cryosphere system.

Way Forward

To further improve accuracy of weather forecasts, observational network has to be augmented

With global warming, natural disasters are expected to increase in frequency. Therefore ministry
should have a strategy to predict these natural disasters more accurately with ample lead time for
effective disaster management and saving lives of people.
Ocean observing system should be sustained and expanded by including robotic observing

1) Examine the importance of storm water drainage to a city. Do you think Indian cities have
adequate storm water drainage facilities? Examine.
2) Considering its vast geographical diversity, in your opinion, how should India formulate
adaptation strategies to global warming? Discuss.
3) What is the role of Earth System Science for Public Safety?
4) An INCOIS team (The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services) was one among
many presented with the National Geoscience Award 2014 recently. For the development of
which of the following systems was the team rewarded?
(a) Coral Bleaching Alerts
(b) Ocean State Forecast
(c) Tsunami Early Warnings
(d) Marine Fishery Advisories
Solution: b.
5) Which of the following statements with reference to the Regional Integrated Multi- Hazard Early
Warning System for Africa and Asia (RIMES) is/are incorrect?
1. India is a Member State in this intergovernmental institution
2. It was established in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 Only
(b) 2 Only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Solution: d.

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6) The Government of India through the Ministry of Earth Sciences recently signed a contract with
the International Seabed Authority for exploration of Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS).
The contract permits India to explore PMS along which of the following regions?
1. Central Indian Ocean Basin
2. Central Indian Ridge in the Indian Ocean
3. Southwest Indian Ridge in the Indian Ocean
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) None of the above
Solution: b.
7) The first World Tsunami Awareness Day was celebrated on November 5th, 2016. This day will
commemorate the
(a) First documented instance of a tsunami early warning.
(b) First documented tsunami which occurred on November 5th about 2,500 years ago.
(c) Birthday of Tilly Smith, who in 2004 saved the lives of a few hundred beach-goers by alerting
them minutes before the arrival of the tsunami caused by the Indian Ocean earthquake, as soon
as she noticed water receding from the shoreline.
(d) None of the above.
Solution: a.
8) NASAs Kepler Mission, sometimes seen in the news, serves what purpose?
(a) This mission has been designed to discover terrestrial planets in our region of the Milky Way
(b) This mission has been designed to discover terrestrial planets outside of our Galaxy, viz. in
galaxies other than the Milky Way
(c) It continuously measures and transmits atmospheric data of the inner planets of our solar
(d) It is a mission to help discover galaxies that have the same characteristics as that of the Milky
Solution: a.

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Atoms in the Service of the Nation

For the full industrialisation of the developing countries, for the continuation of our civilization and
its further development, atomic energy is not merely an aid, it is an absolute necessity. The
acquisition by man of the knowledge of how to release and use atomic energy must be recognised
as the third epoch of human history. Home Jehangir Bhabha
The great era of scientific discoveries in the early part of the 20 th century was born out of a thirst
for advancement of human knowledge towards furthering the frontiers in the understanding of the
This innate urge of man to explore, understand and perhaps conquer the forces of nature gave rise
to many paths of discovery in science in a multitude of disciplines.

Atoms for peace A Utopian Landscape

Atoms for Peace was an initiative of the US President, Mr. Dwight D. Eisenhower, launched in the
470th Plenary in the UNGA in 1953, with Smt. Vijayalakshmi Pandit of India being the president of
the assembly.
It focuses on peaceful use of atomic energy, promising the use of radioactivity in energy
generation for harnessing the power of the atom.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was thereafter founded by the UN charter in 1955.
The journey of the Indian Atomic Energy programme began in 1954 with the founding of the
Atomic Energy Commission under the leadership of Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha.
Motto of the nuclear energy programme of the country the use of nuclear and radiation
technology for providing better quality of life to its citizens.

Health Care to Cure

Applications of radioisotopes in healthcare have grown into one of the most important peaceful
uses of atomic energy.
There are over 500 centres across the country that are benefitting from using radio
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is working with Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to
benefit common man, with an aim to bring the benefits of these technologies to everyone.

Nuclear Medicine Diagnosis

Nuclear medicine uses trace amounts of radioactive substances in the diagnosis and treatment of a
wide range of diseases and conditions in a safe and painless way.
Nuclear medicine procedures help in identification of abnormalities in organ function in early
stages of a disease.
Nuclear medicine has proven its worth in the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, neurological
disorders (like Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases), and cardiovascular disease in their initial
stages, permitting early treatment as well as reduced morbidity and mortality.

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Radio Therapy

Radiation therapy involves the use of high energy radiation either by using special machines or
from radioactive substances.
The aim of the radiation therapy is to impart specific amount of radiation at tumours or parts of the
body to destroy the malignant cells.

Food Security Supplementing the food basket

There is a need for technology driven sustainable management of natural resources for achieving
food, nutritional, environmental, and livelihood security to ensure all inclusive growth in the
Use of ionizing radiation based technologies provides safe, hygienic and economically viable
solutions to address the issues of agricultural productivity.

Nuclear Agriculture

Ionizing radiation is being employed by BARC to include mutations in plant breeding which include
new kinds of groundnut, black gram, pigeon pea, soybean, rice etc.
They are endowed with desirable attributes such as higher yield, earliness, large seed size along
with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Food Preservation Produce and Preserve

Pest infestation is another impediment in food security and safety, as it causes substantial losses of
agricultural productivity globally including India.
Conservation of agricultural produce has assumed paramount importance if we have to leverage
the increasing yields and feed the growing population to boost Indian economy.
The use of synthetic pesticides is fraught with several problems such as potential health hazards,
disturbance of ecology and development of resistance in the pests against the synthetic pesticides.
Radiation processing can provide a viable, effective and eco-friendly alternative to chemical
There is an utmost need to adopt and integrate the irradiated foods into the countrys supply
chains to ensure food safety and security.
Radiation processing of food has been approved by various International and National
Organizations viz. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Food and Agricultural Organization
The irradiation based strategies have the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in the agriculture
sector and propel our nation towards prosperity.

Energy Security Nuclear is clean and Green

Nuclear Energy provides a solution to the problem of global warming, being endowed with the
lowest carbon footprint amongst all energy producing sources-including the renewable sources
such as solar, hydro and wind power.
Being a rapidly growing economy with international obligations to curtail carbon emissions, India
today needs to rapidly ramp up power production using nuclear energy.

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The atomic energy sector is projected to make a significant contribution to energy security and
climate mitigation over the next few decades.
Issues pertaining to proliferation and waste storage are currently well within the realm of being
managed and with the advent of new generation of reactors, these concerns are going to be further

Societal Applications-Towards the Common Good

Large amount of sewage sludge is generated in India on a daily basis. The sludge is laden with
infectious microorganisms and improper disposal of the sludge can result in the spread of diseases
thereby becoming a public health hazard.
Radiation technology has been used to hygienise the sludge to protect public health and
environment and in addition, manufacture the manure for use in farming sector.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has taken the lead to set up the first plant in India to
treat 100 tons/day sludge and produce manure.
The technology has high potential in contributing towards meeting the objectives of the Swachh
Bharat Mission.

Water-The Elixir of Life

Isotope hydrology techniques enable accurate tracing and measurement of the extent of new and
renewable underground water resources.
The technique is used for monitoring surface water resources for leakages through dams and
irrigation channels. This is used towards resource planning and sustainable management of water
Scientists have developed low cost and user friendly kits for measurement of contaminants in
water. These are used for the detection of fluorine in ground water and chromium in water of
river Ganga.
Technologists of BARC have developed a membrane for filtration for the removal of bacterial
contamination and for desalination of brackish water as well as sea water.

1) What is radiocarbon dating? Explain the science behind radiocarbon dating and examine its
2) Cleaner technologies with the potential to improve air quality are available, but policymakers
tend to focus on the costs of action, rather than the costs of inaction. Discuss.

3) The gravest threat to groundwater in India isnt over-exploitation but arsenic and salt
contamination. Discuss.
4) It is suggested that India would do better to invest in nuclear energy than in solar and in wind
power. Discuss the merits and demerits of this suggestion.
5) What are the benefits of Nuclear Science in Health, Medicine, Food Security, Energy and water

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6) Consider the following statements in regard to Indias 3-stage Nuclear Power Programme:
1) The first stage Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) use natural uranium as fuel and
heavy water as moderator and coolant
2) The second stage Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs) use plutonium (which is produced by irradiation
of uranium-238) and liquid sodium as coolant
3) The third stage is based on the thorium-uranium-233 cycle. Uranium-233 is obtained by
irradiation of thorium.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a) 2 and 3 only
b) 1 and 2 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) All of the above
Solution (d)
7) Consider the following statements about Bio Digester Technology
1. Its a green technology developed by CSIR(Council of Scientific & Industrial Research)
2. It uses anaerobic digestion method.
3. Process is carried out by using Bacteria and Fungi.
Which of the above given statements is/are correct?
a) 2 only
b) 1 & 2 only
c) 2 & 3 only
d) 1, 2 & 3
Solution (a)
8) Which of the following statements about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are correct?
1. IAEA is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear
energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
2. The IAEA was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957.
3. Though established independently of the United Nations through its own international treaty,
the IAEA Statute, the IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security
4. The IAEA has its headquarters in Vienna.
a) 1 and 2
b) 2, 3 and 4
c) 1, 2 and 3
d) All of the above
Solution: d

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Agricultural Technologies: Social Contributions

Millions of people derive their livelihood security from agriculture and it directly provides
employment to nearly 52% of total workforce.
Despite falling share of agriculture in national GDP, this sector remains important as it ensures food
security, provides raw materials to agro-based industries and has direct impact on reduction of
rural poverty in the country.
The role of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) has been pivotal to the immense
growth in agricultural production.

Challenges in Agriculture sector

Agriculture faces new challenges of sustainability in terms of sustaining factor productivity,

increasing profitability, and building resilience to climate change, besides attaining significant
increase in the production of pulses and oilseeds for self-sufficiency.
The production loss in perishable products indicates weak linkages (both forward and backward).
Addressing these problems and challenges and providing durable solutions is a technology and
policy challenge.

Research Investment

In India, agricultural research system is mainly under the public domain and the government has
played a major role in developing agricultural R&D system.
Local R&D institutions have failed to emerge as major players and supporters of agricultural R&D
in India.
The issue of under funding needs immediate attention of policy makers.

Contributions of Agricultural R&D

Agricultural R&D has potential to offer long term solutions to the problems of agriculture sector
and has the potential to derive the same or even higher benefits at lower cost per unit of output.
Development in pre and post harvest management technologies have facilitated reduction in
losses and helped in increasing the availability, value addition and contributing to national
Rice crop is studied as this is one of the major crops covering large cultivated area, and receiving
greater attention of the research system.
Besides, research in horticultural crops making available disease-free planting materials by tissue
culture and other modern technology and contributing to rapid adoption of improved varieties and
higher crop yields.
The resource conservation technologies are reducing water use by 5 to 30 per cent in rice-wheat
The development of livestock technologies have increased milk and meat yields and reduced
mortality rates in animals.

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Reduced cost of production

The estimates of total factor productivity refer increase in output due to technological and
knowledge based factors other than physical inputs used in production process.
Research and knowledge inputs have contributed to increased output growth in majority of crops
during 1975-2005.
Wheat crop has been most benefited followed by cotton, gram and paddy.
Thus, the estimated actual benefits from research far exceed the investment and therefore justify
higher investments by the government.

Returns to Research Investment

Research investment in agricultural research has been a win-win option as it is the largest
contributor to total factor productivity in agriculture, which in turn reduces rural poverty
significantly and lead to development of agriculture in the country.
Analysis revealed that additional investment of rupee one in research generated more than Re one
on an average in all the crops, except groundnut, rapeseed and mustard during the period 19752005.

1) The most essential and often ignored element in ensuring food and nutrition security is healthy,
living soil. Whats the importance of soil in ensuring food security? Also discuss threats to soil
health in India and measures needed to address these threats.
2) How can farm mechanization transform agriculture in India? Considering small landholdings and
rural unemployment problem, examine how India can successfully implement farm
mechanization thats beneficial to farmers.
3) Examine how India should use breakthroughs in biotechnology and genetic engineering for
achieving the goal of low-input, high-output agriculture which is a pre-requisite for doubling
farmers income.
4) What do you understand by climate smart agriculture? Illustrate with examples various
techniques used in climate smart agriculture to combat climate change effects.
5) The potential of the agriculture sector to become a growth engine for India and food provider to
the world can definitely be achieved. How it can be achieved? Discuss

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High-end Diagnostics for Healthcare

Major advancements in S&T have allowed healthcare decisions to become increasingly granular
over time.
Personalized medicine may be thought of as the tailoring of medicine treatment to the individual
characteristics, needs and preferences of a patient during all stages of care.

Stem cell Therapy:

Stem cell therapy is one such approach where patients own cells are transformed into model for
studying disease and developing potential treatment to negate the chances of rejection.
Reprogramming of adult cells has been employed to obtain induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
The iPSCs are derived directly from adult tissues, which eliminate the need for embryos and can be
made in a patient specific manner, paving the way for advanced personalized medicine.

Gene therapy:

The genetic basis of complex diseases and related intermediate traits are unique in Indians.
Based on the information of the genetic makeup of an individual, personalized gene therapy may
be employed to reduce the chances of infection and disease progression.

DNA chips:

Genes play an important role in nearly every disease. In the future, every newborn could get his
entire genome sequenced on a tiny chip.
This technology would help doctors better prevent, diagnose and treat diseases based on each
persons genetic profile.
It would also make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to develop personalized drugs for
diseases like depression and breast cancer.


Although tissue engineering along with nano technology is capable of addressing the current
problems in stem cell therapy, there are several issues that need to be resolved.
Owing to upcoming advances in the healthcare industry, there will be a need for the development
of inexpensive and easy to use medical devices and information sharing tools that provide timely
health status information at the point-of-care (POC).

1) Write a note on the principles of stem cell therapy and latest advancements in this field.
2) Gene Therapy offers wide range of prospects for humans. Comment.
3) Today personalized medicine is gaining importance for treatment to the individual
characteristics, needs and preferences. What are the merits of personalized medicine?

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4) The regulation of manufacturing of medical devices in India is entrusted with:
a) Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
b) Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers
c) Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT
d) Department of Science and Technology
Solution: b.
5) Which of the following is a function of stem cells?
a) To fight against infections
b) To produce all the cell types in the body
c) It is a specialized cell
d) To make copies of itself
Solution: b)
6) Which part of body can stem cells be obtained from?
a) Embryo or tissues in body
b) Tissues in body
c) Heart
d) Brain
Solution: a)
7) Which of the following cells can be created from embryonic stem cells?
a) Brain cells
b) Heart cells
c) Skin cells
d) All types of specialised cells
Solution: d)

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Science and Technology in Sustainable Development

The joys of festivities got marred with deteriorating air quality of the country and capital, possibly
at an all time low. The metaphor has been of a gas chamber with low temperature and stagnant
winds, refusing to dilute the noxious pollutants.
The age old health prescription of morning walks is now forbidden; we must stay indoors with our
air conditioners on.
Threats thus loom large, in the event of our inability to secure ourselves a clean and healthy
environment, challenging our ambitious programmes on swachh bharat, breathable air, clean
flowing waters in our rivers, healthy terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem.

Role of S&T in Sustainable Development

It is very natural that we look forward to S&T for remediation to meet these non ending streams of
Availability of potable water for rural India and decimation of urban water bodies disrupting
hydrological flows remains a concern.
For reducing dependence on fossil fuels and emission free energy generation, scientific research
needs to be targeted towards alternate sources of energy, algae, nuclear fusion, fast breeder
reactors for thorium, advanced fossil fuel extraction technologies, hydrogen energy, bio-refineries,
wireless power transmission, green and net zero buildings.
Our environment needs safeguards to alternatives to polluting construction materials like sand,
artificial lighting by using absorbed energy, bio mimetic constructions.
Solar energy applications would require silicon replacements with grapheme, zinc oxide and organic
Mining and processing techniques should be more environment friendly.
With climate change a reality, we need to understand the impacts on vulnerable species and
ecosystems. Science will play a stronger role in implementing new approaches to conservation of
biodiversity. S&T has great responsibility towards SDGs.
We are now in a geological epoch called Anthropocene where humanity is driving possibly an
irreversible global change to some of earths basic processes. Science has to contribute to meeting
these global changes.
Scientific research will play an important role in meeting international commitments like CBD
(Convention on Biological Diversity), Ramsar Convention, UNCCD (United Nations Convention on
Combating Desertification), CMS (Convention on Migratory Species), UN Laws of the Seas amongst
Department of S&T (DST) which organises National Childrens Science Congress has declared
Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development as the theme for the year
2017. Children in the age group of 10-17 years are gearing up to the challenges of Sustainable

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Way Forward

Global apprehensions in Gene Therapy and usage of Genetically Modified Organisms need to be
Dismal investment in Research and Development of less than 1% of GDP does not gel with the
available scientific man power.
It is time that we move from technology dependence, technology import and technology adoption
to technology reliance. For this we need to upgrade our skills and capacities and institutions of
higher scientific learning should prepare out societies to meet these challenges.

1) Examine the salient features of Indias Technology Vision 2035 (TV 2035). Do you think
development of new technology and introduction to masses has inherent difficulties in
democracies like India? How can they be overcome? Does TV 2035 address this issue? Examine
2) While there is much technological advancement taking place all around us, in your opinion, which
five big themes will play a very important role in defining the next 20 years? What implications
will these technologies have on India? Discuss.
3) Critically discuss why and how India should manage balance between economic development and
environmental sustainability.

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4) In a recently released report on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought, the UNCCD
(United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) observed that food security cant be
achieved without looking into the issue of desertification and land degradation. Discuss the
linkages between food security, desertification and land degradation.

5) What is the role of S&T in mitigating Climate Change?

6) How can S&T be used for urban waste management and soil conservation?

7) Fungus (Fungi, Funguses) can be used for which of the following purposes?
1. Production of antibiotics
2. Bioremediation
3. To produce alcoholic beverages
4. Recycle rechargeable batteries
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Solution: d.
8) Which of the following is not true about the SDGs?
a. They encourage the promotion of health, well-being, and education for all, at all ages
b. They explicitly promote innovation
c. They include the development of sustainable cities, infrastructure, and industry
d. They are a legally binding international treaty that all nations are required to follow
Solution: d
9) Which of the following is not part of the Sustainable Development Goals?

Access to sustainable energy for all

Availability of water and sanitation for all
Provision of internet services for all
Promotion of decent jobs for all
Solution: c

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Connecting to the Masses

India has a rich tradition of communication, especially when it comes to communicating to masses.
Folk plays like Nautanki, and religious plays like Ramlila, folk songs and folk dances are immensely
effective as a means of taking message of developmental aspects to the masses.
The campaigns of polio eradication, swachh bharat and swasth bharat, etc are tremendously
supported by science and development communication models.
The early means of communication were oral communication, Guru-Shishya parampara of learning,
and dissemination of information by interacting with people.

Role of S&T for communicating to the Masses

Science and development communication has now drawn the attention of policy makers, planners,
scientists, and media personnel during the past decade world over and so as in India.
In fact, print and electronic media have certain limits, but the illiterates or neo-literates can also be
enlightened through the use of folk medium.
In terms of international comparison, in India the efforts, like Vigyan Jatha, Childrens science
congress, etc are unique and first ever in the world.
Information Communication Technology (ICT) led science communication has made it simpler to
the specially abled segments of the society.
This new media has given birth to a more instant and global mode of communication in the form
of Social Media.
Perhaps, India is the only country to have a special provision to develop the scientific temper,
humanism and the spirit of enquiry and reform as one of the Fundamental Duties of the

Concerns / Challenges

The scientific literacy is drastically low in the country.

The development communication has still not succeeded in attracting the media to the extent that
it could appear on the front page or become a lead story, like that politics, films or sports.
Indian science magazines have been closed and Indian editions of some foreign magazines have
ceased their publication.

Way Forward

There is an urgent need of appropriate initiatives to work towards putting in every effort to make
science communication activities more effective and sufficient.
Our population at large, particularly the illiterate and backward community must develop a
scientific outlook that allows informed and logical decision making and elimination of
superstitions and ignorance.
The role of development communication is vital in todays world especially where complex issues of
development, environment, industry, politics and mass media are coming to the fore.

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1) India is among the underperformers on access to Information and Communications Technology.
How and why should government bridge the digital divide? Examine.
2) What is the role of S&T for communicating to the Masses?
3) Information Communication Technology (ICT) led science communication has made it simpler to
the specially abled segments of the society. Elucidate.

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Impact of Science and Technology on Women

While most countries rely on technological innovation as an important strategy to get ahead of the
rest, the concerns of women and the poor who constitute the vast majority of the population is
often forgotten.
Bringing women and the poor to the forefront of the S&T policy is a challenge.

Women and S&T Policies in India

Though S&T have historically excluded women, it was hoped that with the addition of innovation,
there would be greater participation of the under privileged and women in general.
Innovation in Indian context has had a more equitable participation of the poor and women, which
is illustrated through several rural innovations documented by the National Innovation
The current Science Technology and Innovation policy of 2013 has the potential to expand
participation in S&T to every section of society.
It is important to recognise that the current STI policy allow S&T to impact women:
o The first is to build bridges between S&T and socio economic sectors and address national
o Second is through an increased and real participation of women S&T professionals to
shape the research agenda of this country.
In an attempt to reach out to vast majority of the population predominantly women, scientists have
focused on domestically daily needs like low cost efficient fuel, drinking water, efficient agricultural
equipments to reduce the drudgery of labour.

Women in Science in India

Today the statistics of participation of women in science is extremely encouraging with almost
equal participation of women in science courses in the under graduate and post graduate levels.
Womens participation at higher levels of science in research positions has shown little increase.
During their early 30s, a period that coincides for most Indian Women with marriage and family
commitments. Thus as a compromise, a large number of qualified women scientists opt for under
graduate or school level teaching, while others completely drop out of science.
Therefore, policies designed to provide extended maternity breaks or temporary research projects
may actually not address the central problem and may instead work against the interests of
Thus for women more than men, organizational structures that ease the work atmosphere and
flexibility in timings will help their balance family life.

Way Forward

A compulsory gender audit with mandatory requirements for all research institutions, universities
and national laboratories to provide department wise gender breakup of students and faculty at all
levels needs to be implemented.

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Time bound target recruiting system (TRS) with an emphasis on increasing the recruitment of
women to premier research institutions needs to be implemented.
There is a need for modification of existing schemes for re-entry for women. For policies to be
effective it is essential to have at least one-third representation of women.
Periodic review of policies to evaluate the extent to which the recommendations have been
implemented or may require modification.


There is a need for more dialogues and collaborations between the physical scientists and social
scientists to be able to unravel the complexities of women in S&T in India.
It is trough this symbiotic relationship between science and society through equal participation that
can realize the dream of reaching science to women in India.

1) Critically discuss Indias policy on science and technology.
2) Discuss the role of women in strengthening climate change action.
3) One of the singular features of Indias recent growth trajectory has been the limited
participation of women in it. Discuss the reasons.
4) What are the reasons for womens dropout in higher scientific research? What needs to be
done to encourage higher participation of women in Scientific Research and Development?
5) Does a mandatory requirement for all research institutions, universities and national
laboratories to provide department wise gender breakup of students and faculty help
promote womens participation in S&T? Examine.
6) What is the role of Science Technology and Innovation policy to promote real participation of
women S&T professionals in Indias Scientific Research?

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Facts for Prelims

Surya Jyoti (Photo-Voltaic Integrated Micro Solar Dome) is a low cost and energy efficient lamp
useful for urban slum or rural areas which dont get electricity supply.
The device has been developed by DST as a part of Green Energy Initiatives.
It can lead to a saving of 1750 million units of energy.
It would also lead to an emission reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2.
The manufacturing process of the device is labour intensive and is expected to generate huge job

India-UK Tech Summit: Showcasing Indias Scientific and Technological Prowess

The summit marked the high point commemorating 2016 as the India-UK year of Education,
Research and Innovation.
Need for harnessing the vast traditional knowledge base in India coupled with modern scientific
investigation to provide a holistic approach to preventive healthcare which can help address some
of the modern life style diseases.
India-UK cooperation in S&T covers basic science to solution science aimed at addressing societal
challenges were started under the Newton-Bhabha program.
India needs active partnership and collaboration with UK for Indias flagship programmes like Digital
India, Jan Dhan Yojana, Make in India, Smart City Mission and Start up India.

Making Safe Pregnancy a Social Movement

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) is aimed to reduce maternal and infant
mortality rates through safe pregnancies and safe deliveries.
The national programme will provide special free antenatal care to about 3 crore pregnant women
across the country in order to detect and prevent high risk pregnancies.
The programme will provide fixed day assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care to
pregnant women on the 9th of every month.
Pregnant women can now avail of a special antenatal check-up in their second or third trimesters at
Government health facilities provided by gaenocology specialists/ physicians with support from
private sector doctors to supplement the efforts of the Government sector.
These services including ultrasound, blood and urine tests will be provided in addition to the
routine antenatal check-ups at the identified health facility/outreach in both rural and urban

Flagship Scheme on Entrepreneurship Education

Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana, MSDEs flagship scheme on entrepreneurship education and
The scheme spans over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21), and will provide entrepreneurship
education and training to over 7 lakh students in 5 years through 3050 Institutes.
It will also include easy access to information and mentor network, credit, incubator and
accelerator and advocacy to create a pathway for the youth.

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Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana has national and international best practices of learning in
entrepreneurship education.

North East Diary

Mobile Air Dispensary' for remote areas of the North-East

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER),
MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has
proposed Mobile Air Dispensary" service for remote and far-flung areas of Northeast, which
would envisage a mobile dispensary in a Helicopter with a doctor, necessary equipment and
medicines that can fly to remote and far-flung on regular basis and also, as and when required.
This service will particularly help in areas from where patients find it difficult to reach a dispensary,
a doctor with dispensary can reach them.
The same experiment can also be replicated in other hill States and remote areas having poor
connectivity like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh etc

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