1. Environment: International cooperation
  2. Environment: Pollution
  3. Environment: Water Resources
    1. IMD says impossible & drought are not in my dictionary
    2. World Bank to finance Neeranchal
  4. Defense Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016
  5. Indian Contribution for GS2- Fringe science
  6. Medicine and Biotech
    1. Triglyceride’s to prevent obesity
    2. CIRB Gaurav: Cloned buffalo
    3. Blood Plasma: A cure for Ebola?
  7. ICT/E-Governance
    1. SDR radio
    2. IT/Space: Misc.

Environment: International cooperation

Ocean Energy
  • India’s long coastline has potential to extract ocean energy (wave, currents and tidal).
  • Tropical countries have high sea surface temperatures and hence Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a good option for countries like India.
  • Recently, India decided to become member of International Energy Agency – Ocean Energy Systems (IEA-OES)- to get the R&D support from this inter-governmental organization.
  • NIOT, an autonomous research institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, will coordinate.
JICA Mula Mutha Government signed a loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for pollution abatement of River Mula-Mutha in Pune.
BIOFIN BIOFIN: Biodiversity Finance Initiative by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support 20 global Aichi biodiversity targets and India’s 12 national biodiversity targets

Environment: Pollution

Epoch it is a unit of geological time. A researcher coins new a new epoch called “Anthropocene” (after Holocene).  The Anthropocene is the age of human-induced change/signatures on land, sea and in the air (usually about pollution and degradation).
SAMAR System of Aerosol Monitoring And Research (SAMAR)- it contains a network of sensors and meters to study aerosol radiative properties & climate impacts. SAMAR is operated by IMD.

Environment: Water Resources

IMD says impossible & drought are not in my dictionary

  • India Meteorological Department (IMD) says there is no “drought” word in its new office manual.
  • It is for Government to declare “Drought”, IMD is not the nodal agency for that.
  • IMD can only say following:
    • if rainfall <10% of normal and affected 20-40% of area then it would be called a “deficient” (instead of “All India Drought Year”)
    • if rainfall deficiency >40 per cent then it’ll be called “All India Severe Drought Year” (instead of “Large Deficient Year”).
  • besides, IMD has several definitions of drought: meteorological, hydrological and agricultural. For example, if 90% shortfall in monsoon then its meteorological drought. But still if <20% area affected, then it can’t be called an agricultural drought.

World Bank to finance Neeranchal

  • Rural Development Ministry: World Bank to give loan for its Neeranchal National Watershed Project.
  • It’ll run for 6 years (2016-21) and it will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana.
  • Major beneficiaries will be 9 states with large watershed projects viz. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujrat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana will benefit more from the project due to implementation of large number of watershed schemes in these states.

Defense Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016

  • Government to promote MSME and R&D in defense sector upto 90% R&D funding to be given.
  • Accepted most recommendations of Ex-Home Secretary Dhirendra Singh’s Committee
IDDM: Desi daaru & defense equipment’s zindabad introduced new category, Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) platforms. These IDDM will be given priority in procurement. Within IDDM 2 sub-categories

  • Cat#1: mandatory 40 percent domestic content for a domestic design
  • Cat#2: category mandating 60 percent local content if the design is not Indian.
offset clause: diluted
  • Offset clause mandates that a foreign company should invest 30 percent of the contract value back into India.
  • New DPP finetuned its norms to give flexibility to foreign companies.
Better Tendering earlier tender was given to lowest bidder (L1 system), but then many better quality products left out. so now 10% weightage will be given to performance as well.

Why should we promote desi defense mfg?

  • To reduce current account deficit.
  • Because desi industry will also innovate technology that has applications in other sectors such as medicine, e-governance etc.
  • Example- the bio-toilets designed for army for harsh terrain and environment- they also have use in railways.
  • Therefore, to become a developed nation, India must have domestic military industrial base.

Will new DPP cure everything?

  • Desi vendor’s payment not cleared until inspector gives work completion certificate. Same doesn’t apply to foreign vendors.
  • Foreign vendor exempted from custom duty payment, but desi vendor has to wait for months before his excise rebate comes.
  • This new DPP doesn’t solve above issues.
  • Tonbo is an Indian company making night vision equipment’s and drones for US army. But it operates from Singapore, due to “no ease of doing business” in India for defence production companies.
Defense: Misc.
DRDO’s new Tank ammo DRDO designed two special types of ammunitions Arjun Tank- (1) Penetration-Cum Blast (PCB) and (2) Thermobaric (TB) Ammunition.
Ex Sarvatra Prahar “Ex Sarvatra Prahar” artillery exercise at Devlali, Maharashtra

Indian contribution to Fringe science for GS2

  • 2016’s Indian Science Congress (ISC) held in Mysuru, Karnataka. Theme- science & technology for indigenous development for India
  • Nobel Chemistry winner Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Venki) says, “Indian Science Congress (ISC) is a “circus” and I shall never attend it again.” He’s angry over the “Fringe scientists” given platform at ISC e.g. research papers on
    • Detailed plans of airplanes available in Ancient Indian literature
    • Lord Shiva was a great environmentalist
    • Blowing of Shankh: an indigenous tradition for fitness and wellness.
  • Such things are discouraging real scientists from ISRO and elsewhere, whose real achievements are not highlighted by media.

GIAN initiative: HRD ministry: Global Initiative of Academic Network (GIAN) – it aims to bring foreign noble laurates and academicians to Indian colleges, so our students can benefit from their coaching and xeroxed notes.

Medicine and Biotech

Triglycerides to prevent obesity

  • Vegetable oils are usually rich in triglycerides. Triglycerides is a class of fats that are associated with stroke and heart disease, because though our digestive system breaks them down for energy but they’re stored in the body as fat.
  • So, researchers came up with new type of cooking oil containing Diglycerides.  less of it is stored as fat and more burned of to provide energy. Therefore, less chances of weight-gain compared to traditional cooking oils.
  • Now  Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) of Mysuru, is planning for human clinical trials of this “anti-obesity cooking oil.”

CIRB Gaurav: Cloned buffalo

cirb gaurav cloned buffalo triglycerides

  • Indian scientist at Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) in Hisar, Haryana produce a cloned buffalo ‘Cirb Gaurav’.
  • They used cells from ventral side of bull-buffalo’s tail, because it’s least exposed to sunlight hence minimal mutation.
  • National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal was the first to produce a cloned calf
  • 2016: CIRB becomes India’s 2nd and world’s 3rd institute to produce cloned buffalo.

Blood Plasma: A cure for Ebola?

  • If patient survives a disease- his convalescent plasma can be used for treating measles, mumps, pneumonia, influenza and diphtheria, because it contains antibodies that can fight against virus.
  • Although, Scientists tried this plasma for Ebola but promising results not coming yet.


SDR radio

  • SDR/software defined radio is a radio communication system where components that have been typically implemented using hardware are instead replaced by software.
  • This reduces cost, power consumption and size of components on a personal computer or embedded system.
  • It can be used for powering satellite phones, drones and satellite receiver for ISRO.
  • An Indian startup company- Saankhya Labs has built such SDR chip- Brand name Pruthvi chip

IT/Space: Misc.

NACO Blood bank data National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) orders 2000+ blood banks in India to provide their data to National Health Portal (NHP) website. It will help the relatives of a patient to directly search for blood online in the nearest Blood Bank, instead of wasting time finding other relatives/friends with matching blood-group.
Highway UAV ISRO and NECTAR-North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR) will provide UAV and remote sensing technology to moniter national highways construction.
GIS in tourism Kerala Tourism to install Global Positioning System based fleet safety management system for houseboats. It’ll have SOS/panic buttons for emergency. And Geofencing to prevent boats from violating boundries. Name of this specialized software is Keltron-iTAC.
Crab Pulsar Crab Pulsar- this supernova is located 6500 light years away from earth. It is the most powerful pulsar in our galaxy. Recently scientists discovered the most energetic light of universe emitted from here- and it’ll help learning how neutron stars operate.

This concludes major current affairs developments in January week2, 2016