1. Prologue
  2. ICT for Public welfare
    1. #1: C-DAC mobile app for women’s safety
    2. #2 VithU App
    3. #3: Google for Indian women
    4. #4: Google to defend freedom of expression
    5. #5: Street View Trekker
    6. #6: Param Yuva II
  3. ICT: new Technology by Indians
    1. #1: Gecko: Bluetooth device
    2. #2: Zendrive
    3. #3: ZoomCar Pvt. Ltd
  4. ICT: Government Rules/Policy
    1. #1: EMF radiation limit
      1. Electromagnetic field (EMF)
      2. Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)
      3. Electromagnetic spectrum
      4. Mobile Frequencies
      5. Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)
      6. Mobile towers- radiation limits
    2. #2: Preferential market access (PMA) policy
    3. #3: IT Potential in Africa
  5. IT: Misc.
  6. Mock Questions
  7. Mains


So far

ICT for Public welfare

#1: C-DAC mobile app for women’s safety

  • C-DAC=Centre for Development of Advanced Computing under Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY)
  • Made new mobile app for women.
  • Just by presing a button on the phone- the women in distress can send automatic message to nearest police control room. Then police can track the women based on her mobile location- send nearby PCR van etc.
  • Pilot project in Rajasthan.
  • financed by Nirbhaya fund

but What is Nirbhaya fund?

In 2013’s budget, Chindu came up with two new initiatives for women

  1. all India  bank for women
  2. Nirbhaya fund. (Named after Delhi rape victim “Nirbhaya)

This Nirbhaya fund has 1000 crore rupees- to support women centric projects by government and NGOs.

#2 VithU App

  • VithU, is an emergency App for mobile phones. (you may have seen its ad on TV)
  • App launched by Channel V (of Star India pvt. ltd.) in response to Delhi and Bombay gangrape incidents
  • With only 2 clicks of the power button, person can send SOS message to their guardian along with location on google maps.
  • App keeps sending the message repeatedly every two minutes with new location updates.
  • Limitation: Phone must have GPS+ internet connection.

#3: Google for Indian women

Only 1/3rd of Indian internet users are women. Google India came up with new project to get 50 million Indian women online by the end of 2014.


  1. Via a new website “hwgo.com“. This website will provide very basics of the Internet, special content for women like childcare, cooking recipes, household management etc .
  2. Available in Hindi + English. (Similarly, Intel designed a mobile app “easy step” to promote digital literacy)
  3. Toll free helpline number – where women can call and get free answers about internet/computer. (1800 41 999 77)
  4. A pilot project in Rajasthan to train computer-net surfing to 1 lakh women.


  • New opportunity for women to get education, freedom of expression and self-esteem. Ultimately
  • Less MMR and IMR
  • Higher GDP and HDI

#4: Google to defend freedom of expression

Google funded following projects to fight against online barriers

Project shield
  • to protect websites against “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attacks.
  • Google gave money to defend websites related to independent newsreporters, human rights, and elections-related bloggers (whom hackers/secret government spy agencies try to shut down)
Digital Attack Map
  • is a live data visualization to map DDoS attacks across globe.
  • shows real-time anonymous traffic data related to these attacks.
  • is a new browser extension under development
  • let’s friends provide each other with a trusted pathway to the web- thus protects your net surfing from filtering, surveillance or misdirection.

#5: Street View Trekker

street view trekker google

  • wearable backpack with a camera installed at the top
  • Camera has 15 lenses, takes picture every 2.5 seconds. The images are stiched together with software= you get a 360 degree view of the location.
  • For streetviews (under google maps) they mount this camera on top of a car.
  • but @certain places like ancient monuments or natural sites, the car cannot go. and person has to take this camera on foot.
  • why in news? Because Google India and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) announced partnership to create 360-degree online imagery of 100 most important heritage
  • including Taj Mahal, Khajuraho, Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb and Ajanta and Ellora caves.
  • will help people virtually visit those site.
  • Concept already used for Grand Canyon in the US and Mt Fuji in Japan. click me to see

Speaking of monuments and culture

Kittur Utsav-2013
  • In Karnataka
  • to celebrate the historical revolt of Rani Chennamma. She was queen of Kittur in N.Karnata, fought against the British in 1824.
  • Janapada Kalavahini: Cultural procession showing traditional art forms of north Karnataka region.
Ayyappan Theeyyattu
  • Ayyappan Theeyyattu is an age old temple art form from Kerala.
  • There are no training schools and it is practised and propagated by a handful of members of a few families known as Thiyyadi Nambiars,
  • Udayasthamanakoothu: performance of the art in full by a single performer that ends with breaking of 12,000 coconuts.
  • Bidar is a city of Karnataka.
  • In the 1400s, it was the capital of Bahamani kingdom.
  • Bahamani kings used Persian style to construct the palace, water system etc. here
  • The “karez” water system= a complex system of aqueducts used for agricultural irrigation.
  • has  three national monuments – Bidar Fort, Ashtur tombs and the Madrasa of Mahmud Gawan

ok but why in news?

World Monuments Fund (WMF) gave ca$H to Following desi monuments:

  1. Bidar in Karnataka
  2. house of Sheikh Salim Chisti in Fatehpur Sikri,
  3. Juna Mahal in Rajasthan
PIN 110201
  • this has nothing to do with Sci-tech or Culture. but came across while going through Thursday newspaper.
  • Department of Posts has given this separate PIN code — 110201 — for the Supreme Court of India.
  • before this PIN: letter to SC=>sorting office => delivery post office=>reaches to SC.
  • After: letter to SC=>sorting office=>directly reaches SC.
  • Benefit? faster delivery + cost savings for post office
  • Soon, Separate PIN codes for High courts as well.

anyways back to the topic: IT topic.

#6: Param Yuva II

  • super computer by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing)
  • launched in early 2013
  • capacity: 524 teraflops but consumes 35% less electricity than other supercomputers of same capacity.


  1. Precise weather forecast
  2. faster tapping of natural resources in the sea
  3. design customised drugs for individuals
  4. solve large and complex computational problems

Ok but why in News?

  • This supercomputer has been ranked in the list of top 500 ‘Green’ supercomputers in the world.
  • In terms of Power efficiency, Param’s ranking: 1st in India, 9th in Asia-Pacific and 44th in world

IT: new Technology by Indians

#1: Gecko: Bluetooth device


  • Gecko is a Bluetooth device- size just little bigger than a coin. by Banglore based startup company.
  • it also has an accelerometer sensor – to detect motion.
  • You can pair it with an apple or android phone/device.

ok but what’s the use?

  1. Since it can detect motion- you put it in the doorknob- everytime someone opens door, it’ll notify you on phone. If someone opens door at odd hours- say 2AM, it can make your phone raise the burglar alarm.
  2. similarly can be put in a pillbox- to ensure the person doesn’t forget to take medicine. (if he forgets=pillbox doesn’t move=gecko sends remainder via phone)
  3. you can even pair it with a camera- once you can get in the frame, wave your arm and Gecko will trigger the camera to shoot photo

Why in news? because Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak gave funding.

#2: Zendrive

  • Another startup company- one of its founder from India- Pankaj Risbood.
  • Zendrive aims to make driving better by using data from smartphone sensors.
  • insurance companies can use its data to determine auto-insurance premium e.g. if person has erratic driving habit=more likely to accident=should be charged higher insurance premium.
  • Similarly, Parents could also use the system to track their teenagers’ driving habits.
  • Determining best route based on real time traffic data and so on.
  • Why in news? Because Jerry Yang (of Yahoo) gave funding to them.

#3: ZoomCar Pvt. Ltd

  • This is India’s first and only car-sharing company (similar to Zipcar in the US).
  • allows individuals to hire cars by the hour or by the day.
  • You can rent a car as low as Rs 225 an hour- for personal driving. (you must be minimum 23 years old)
  • Reservations are made through the website or through mobile.
  • If you get in car accident- they coordinate everything with the police, insurance, and road-side assistance.
  • Available only in Bangalore at the moment.
  • Why in news? Because former US treasury secretary Larry Summers gave funding to this startup company.

IT: Government Rules/Policy

#1: EMF radiation limit

DoT (Department of Telecom)  panel has recommended 10 lakh fine if cell tower violates EMF (electro magnetic field) radiation limits. (0.45 watts per sq metre)

More background news covered in an earlier article: click me

Let’s check the theory

Electromagnetic field (EMF)

  • as the name suggests: Electrical field + Magnetic Field= Electromagnetic field (EMF)
  • EMF is created when electric and magnetic waves travel to space together.
  • for example: electricity supply, radio waves from TV, radio devices, medical devices mobile phones, radar and satellite communications.
  • EMF strength is measured in units watt per square meter(W/m2).
  • EMF radiation weakens very quickly as we move away from the source / antenna.
  • EMF strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source.
  • e.g. when distance from antenna doubles (2x) the EMF strength is reduced to (1/4)th
  • Similarly when distance 3times (3x), strength reduced to 1/9th.

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR)

Its source can be of two types

natural manmade
UV, visible light radio, TV, mobile phones etc.

we can further classify electromagnetic radiation based on can they ionize (and hence damage) biological molecules?

Non Ionizing radiation Ionizing radiation
  1. mobile handsets and antenna
  2. radiation from visible light
  3. infra-red radiation
  1. X-ray radiation
  2. gamma ray radiations
has relatively low energy and low frequency relatively higher
  • can’t break chemical bonds in body cells.
  • can’t cause ionization of atoms and molecules.
  • can’t damage DNA
Can do those damages.

Electromagnetic spectrum

Observe following photo-From left to right: frequency increases and wavelength decreases.

EMF radiation wavelength and frequency

Mobile Frequencies

mobile handset frequency
CDMA 869 – 890 MHz
GSM900 935 – 960 MHz
GSM1800 1805 – 1880 MHz
3G 2110 – 2170 MHz
4G 2300-2400 MHz

Observe frequency increases with new technology. Meaning wavelength must decrease.

Speaking of mobile phones

  • A mobile phone is two way radio.
  • It contains a transmitter and a receiver.
  • It emits electromagnetic radiation to exchange information with nearest base station.
  • but the strength of electromagnetic field decreases rapidly as we move away from source-  so we need to setup more and more mobile towers to have good connectivity.

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)

  • It is the Rate at which Radio Frequency energy is absorbed in the human body
  • Unit of SAR = watts per kilo gram (W/kg) of tissue.
  • Every model of mobile handset has specific SAR value.
  • SAR Limit in India: 1.6 w/kg (effective from Sep.2012)
  • SAR matter falls under Department of Telecom.
myth fact
It is safer using a mobile from car because the car shields from the radiation. Mobile phone generates more RF radiation to overcome the shielding of car and reach the tower. so infact, using phone while in car=more harmful.
mobile phone emits radiation only when you are talking with someone. As long as mobile is “on” it automatically transmits Radio frequency signal to check (poll) the network with nearest tower. it doesn’t matter where you’re talking or not.
Mobile Base stations are dangerous and we should keep distance from it. We need to keep distance from the ‘antenna’ of base station.At the ground level, the radiation intensity is much lesser than @Antenna.
  • Metal & water are good conductors of radio waves so avoid using a mobile phone while wearing metal-framed glasses or having wet hair
  • People having active medical implants should preferably keep the cell phone at least 15 cm away from the implant

Mobile towers- radiation limits

  • for mobile phones, Telecom department has prescribed SAR limits (1.6 w/kg)
  • similarly for Mobile towers, Telecom department has prescribed  EMF radiation limits:
Nation EMF limit for mobile towers
India 0.45 watt/m2
China 0.9 watt/m2
Italy 0.1 watt/m2

Even Italians are more conscious about mobile tower radiation than India/China.

  • Anyways, if a mobile tower operator doesn’t comply with this limit, he’ll have to pay 10 lakh rupees fine per tower.
  • Telecommunications Engineering Centre (TEC) under Department of Telecom measures these radiation levels.

UV radiation: three types

  • Ultra violate light (UV) has three subtypes based on their wavelength
  • Shorter the wavelength=more dangerous for body.
UVA wavelength longest among 3 Majority of UV radiation coming to earth, is of this type.
UVB medium As Ozone layer depletes, more and more of this UVB light incoming. It cannot penetrate beyond skin layer. Hence does all its damage to skin itself e.g. tanning, burning, skin cancer.
UVC shortest among 3 but doesn’t reach earth’s surface. Most damaging- upto cell’s DNA. Artificial UVC lights used in food/medical/pharma industry to kill germs.

#2: Preferential market access (PMA) policy

  • By  Department of Electronics and IT (DEITY)
  • PMA policy makes it mandatory for the government and private companies to procure a certain percentage of its requirements from desi manufacturers.
  • This was opposed by American companies including Apple.
  • Now government revising this policy to give some exemption to private companies
  • And limit to the scope of PMA policy to only the  supply of electronic and telecom equipment that has security implications.

#3: IT Potential in Africa

Nothing sci-tech but some fodder material:

Scope of Indian IT Companies in Africa because of following reasons:

  1. Most of the African countries are seeing political stability and better economic growth than ever before.
  2. Indian companies can create digital infrastructure for in e-governance, e-banking, e-learning- especially for maths+science.
  3. IIT Delhi actively involved in the training, particularly vocational training and training of teachers in some African countries.
  4. Nearly 30% Of Africa’s demand for CRT, picture tubes, inverters, radios, sound equipment, medical equipment, etc. is met from India imports.
  5. Indian government setting up IT parks and other ICT related activities in a number of African countries like Ethiopia, Senegal, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania.

IT: Misc.

  • it is a netbook, but instead of Microsoft windows, it runs on google’s chrome operating system. (OS)
  • photo messaging system.
  • you take a picture, send it to friend. it’ll automatically disappear from his phone after 24 hours. American teenagers like this.
  • Mark Zukerburg (facebook) wants to bring them to facebook- hence offered 3 billion $ cash to snapchat maker, but he refused.
Windows 8.1
  • It’s a patch released by Microsoft to add new features in the existing Window8 Operating system
Yahoo Lookflow=Yahoo bought this company, to provide image recognition facility in Yahoo’s photo website “flickr”Tumblr=Yahoo bought this blogging companyMarissa Mayaer=Yahoo’s female CEO.

Mock Questions

  1. Arrange the given mobile phones in the ascending order of the frequency they use: (1) 3G (2) GSM (3) CDMA
    1. 123
    2. 321
    3. 213
    4. All work on same frequency
  2. Arrange these in ascending order of wavelength (1) Visible Light (2) Gamma Rays (3) Radiowaves (4) Microwaves
    1. 1234
    2. 4321
    3. 1243
    4. 2143

Q3.Consider following statements

  1. Rani Chennamma was the queen of Southern Kerala.
  2. Rani Chennamaa was a contemporary of Rani Gaidinliu.
  3. Both Rani Chennamma and Rani Gaidinliu had fought against the British.

Correct Statement(s)

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. Only 3

Q4. Consider following statements

  1. Bidar fort is located in Balasore, Odisha.
  2. Bidar was once the capital of Bahmani kings
  3. Bahmani architecture is influenced by Persian style.

Correct Statement(s)

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. Only 1 and 3
  4. Only 3

Q5. Consider following statements

  1. SAR is the rate at which base tower receives signals from mobile phones in the given cell region.
  2. In India, SAR limit for mobile phones is 0.45 watts/sq.meter
  3. The SAR and EMF radiation limits are administered by Ministry of Environment and Forest

Correct statements

  1. Only 1 and 2
  2. Only 2 and 3
  3. only 1 and 3
  4. None


5  marks

  1. Nirbhaya Fund
  2. VithU App
  3. Street View Trekker
  4. Kittur Utsav
  5. Ayyappan Theeyyattu
  6. Bidar Fort
  1. Rani Chennamma
  2. Ayyappan Theeyyattu
  3. Param Yuva II
  4. Gecko Bluetooth device
  5. Zendrive
  6. Preferential market access (PMA) policy


  1. Discuss the significance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tool for empowerment and safety of women.
  2. Write a brief note about any five women freedom fighters of India- except Rani Laxmibai, Annie Besant, Meeraben, Kasturba and Sarojini Naidu.