GS Mains Test Series 2016

Answer Hints: Test No.5

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ENVIRONMENT,
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1.

Sustainable use of the major and minor natural resources can provide fundamental life
support, in the form of both consumptive and public, good services. What are the policy
initiatives that are undertaken to tackle illegal and inappropriate mining in India?
Explain how the Amendment to the Environment Impact Assessment can be helpful in
preventing indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources?

Hints:
Preservation of the natural environment and its major and minor natural resources is essential for
maintaining community sustainability. Resources like building stones, gravel, sand, limestone, Iron,
Mg, Al, Cu,among othershave been used for both consumption for survival and public good services,
often bypassing and subverting the laws and environment balance. So, there is need to protect and
maintain sustainable use of these for present and future generation.
Entry 54 of union list – I & Entry 23 of state list – II of seventh schedule of the constitution of India
empowers the Union & State Governments respectively for management of minerals. Anybody
found extracting or removing any mineral without obtaining permission from any lawful authority
amounts to illegal mining and is liable to be punished under the provisions of the rules. For this
Government have undertaken following initiative to tackle illegal and inappropriate mining in
India.
1)

Issue of Transit pass: Every leaseholder or permit holder has to use transit pass. Such
transit passes issued by authority shows the details of the lease holder / permit holder, date,
vehicle number transporting the material, quantity, time etc.

2)

First National Mineral Policy (NMP)- Government in 1993 for liberalization of the mining
sector. This aimed at encouraging the flow of private investment and introduction of stateof-the-art technology in exploration and mining. This was aims to minimise inappropriate
mining, bring transparency and efficiency.

3)

Hoda Committee and Sustainable Development Framework (SDF): - In line with the
Hoda Committee recommendations, the Ministry of Mines commissioned which prepared a
Sustainable Development Framework Report in November 2011, for which the new MMDR
Bill 2011 will provide statutory backing against illegal mining. The Ministry also set up a
Steering Committee against illegal mining.

4)

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 was amended
through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015. The Amendment Act has, inter alia, stringent
punitive provisions for combating illegal mining. Illegal mining has been made punishable
with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may
extend to five lakh rupees per hectare of the area.

5)

Special Courts: - Provisions have been made for setting up of Special Courts for the purpose
of providing speedy trial of offences relating to illegal mining under(MMDR) Act, 1957.

Further Amendment in Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) can be helpful in preventing
indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources by following ways.
Bring small-scale mining under its ambit of EIA: -Ministry of Environment, Forest and
Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has finally amended the Environment Impact Assessment
(EIA) Notification, 2006, to bring small-scale mining projects under its ambit. The amendment
will make environmental clearance (EC) compulsory for mining of minor minerals in areas
less than or equal to five hectares to prevent indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources.
Both the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal issued orders and directives
making ECs compulsory for projects less than five ha.

2)

Establishment of authorities at the district level to clear projects: -The latest notification
provides for the establishment of the District Environment Impact Assessment Authority
(DEIAA) and District Expert Appraisal Committee (DEAC) to evaluate EC proposals for
small-scale leases for minor minerals.

3)

District Survey Report (DSR): -The DSR shall be prepared for each minor mineral in the
district separately. As clarified, the main objective of the preparation of DSR is the identification
of areas where mining can be allowed and also where mining must be prohibited due to
geological and physical limits The report will also help in calculation of annual rate of
replenishment and allowing time for replenishment after mining in that area.

4)

Use of a unique barcode for transportation permits: -To curb illegal mining or transportation
of sand, it suggests measures such as the use of a unique barcode for transportation permits,
details on how the permit should be printed, use of smart phones and CCTV cameras at the
mine site, sophisticated weighing equipment to monitor the movement of sand from the
mines and tracking vehicles with radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and GPS.
Supplementary Notes

SC

OR

E

1)

GS

The Hoda Committee report (2006) was published in July 2006 with wide-ranging recommendations
like institutionalizing a Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) to address social, economic
and environmental issues arising out of mining.
A ‘high-level committee’ was, therefore, constituted in September 2005 under Anwarul Hoda,
member, Planning Commission. The committee’s terms of reference were:

To review the NMP and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
and suggest the changes needed for encouraging investment

To review existing procedures for granting Reconnaissance Permits (RPs), Prospecting Licenses
(PLs), and Mining Leases (MLs) and suggest ways for their streamlining and simplification

To review the procedures for according clearance to mineral exploration and mining projects
under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and
suggest ways for speeding them up

To prioritize critical infrastructure needs of the Indian mining sector and make
recommendations on ways to facilitate investment to meet these needs

To examine the implications of the policy of mineral-rich states to make value addition
within the state a condition for grant of mineral concession and make appropriate
recommendations in this regard

[2]

Hints: Environment, Science and Technology

To examine ways of augmenting state revenues from the mineral sector, and

To examine any other issue relevant for stimulating investment flows and inducting state ofthe-art technology into the sector. The committee submitted its report in June 2006.

2.

The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) has recently
issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related
Inventions (CRIs). How will this new order impact the development of software and
what will be its possible on innovation in India?

Hints:
India’s patent office, which is administered by the Controller General of Patents, Designs
and Trademarks (CGPDT), has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised
guidelines for computer related inventions. Only genuine applications claiming a novel
hardware component along with software will be eligible for patent protection.

The current guidelines are in tune with the provisions in the Patents Act, 1970 (as amended).
Section 3 (k) of the Patents Act that was included by an amendment in 2002 excludes
mathematical methods, business methods, computer programs, and algorithms from the
realm of patentable subject matter

The aim of these guidelines is to “further foster uniformity and consistency in the examination
of CRIs” and “bring out clarity in terms of exclusions, so that eligible applications of patents
relating to CRIs can be examined speedily”.

SC

OR

E

The patent office has accepted the three part test suggested by SFLC. in to determine the patentability
of CRIs:
(1) Openly construe the claim and identify the actual contribution;

GS

(2) If the contribution lies only in mathematical method, business method or algorithm, deny the
claim;
(3) If the contribution lies in the field of computer program, (If the contribution lies solely in the
computer program, deny the claim. If the contribution lies in both the computer program as
well as hardware, proceed to other steps of patentability).
Impact of the decision

proper implementation of these guidelines would enable our start-ups to innovate freely
without worrying about patent litigation, and infringement notices. (Presently big MNC’s
dominate the field of software technology due to their financial strength)

Freedom of software development will boost digital India program.

These guidelines ensure that India’s position is now similar to the stand taken by United
States and Europe while determining patentability for computer related inventions.

Customer will get advanced and improved software at cheaper rate.

India’s consistent stand on freedom of internet and innovation, both in case of net neutrality and
now on software patents, strongly signals it’s progressive attitude towards becoming a knowledge
economy, which believes in knowledge sharing rather than putting restriction on knowledge flow.
Hints: Environment, Science and Technology

[3]

but are less efficient than other systems. The Head Office of the Patent office is at Kolkata and its Branch offices are located at Chennai. no feedstock can match algae In terms of quantity or diversity. 1999 under the CGPDTM. They are simple and have low capital costs. In order to protect the Geographical Indications of goods a Geographical Indications Registry has been established in Chennai to administer the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act. New Delhi and Mumbai.These are the simplest systems in which algae is grown in a pond in the open air. First. algae have been used to produce up to 9000 gallons of biofuel per acre.These are similar to open ponds. According to the US Department of Energy. • It is also capable of producing outstanding yields. The Offices of The Patent Information System (PIS) and National Institute of Intellectual Property Management (NIIPM) are at Nagpur Hints: SC Fossil fuels though productive are known for emission of high levels of co2. Algae can be grown in any of the following ways. 1999 and also renders advice to the Government on matters relating to these subjects. Science and Technology .Supplementary Notes About Controller General of Patents. Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) is located at Mumbai. but they are not exposed to the atmosphere and use a sterile source of carbon dioxide. 1970. The emission of co2 could be reduced if we shift to biofuels. In fact. S. which is 10-fold what the best traditional feedstock have been able to generate. S. Designs and Trademarks: The Controller General supervises the working of the Patents Act. the Designs Act. Suggest some strategies to uplift their use taking into account the recent developments. 2000 and the Trade Marks Act. More importantly. Such systems have potential [4] Hints: Environment. The alternative clean energy sources like biofuels can not only cut off the emission of harmful gases but surly can cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 68% compared to petroleum fuels. land area would be needed to generate enough biofuel to meet all of the U. algae produce oil that can easily be refined into diesel or even certain components of gasoline. Another favorable property of algae is the diversity of ways in which it can be cultivated. E The Office of the Controller General of Patents.is a second property in it can be genetically manipulated to produce everything from ethanol and butanol to even gasoline and diesel fuel directly. as amended. The Trade Marks registry is at Mumbai and The Design Office is located at Kolkata in the Patent Office. however. They are also of concern because other organisms can contaminate the pond and potentially damage or kill the algae (b) Closed-loop systems . Algae can be grown in any of the following ways. Potential advantages of algae biofuel When it comes to the potential to produce fuel. GS • (a) Open ponds . 42% of the U. What are the potential advantages of using microalgae derived biofuels? Demarcate the challenges associated with use of such fuels in India. needs • Another favorable property of algae is the diversity of ways in which it can be cultivated. yields that are 10 times higher than second generation biofuels mean that only 0. OR 3.

it has been suggested that algae might be tied directly to carbon emitting sources (power plants. however. It also means the cost of algae-base biofuel is much higher than fuel from other sources. SO2 which cause serious environment and health damage in the form of acid rain. • A minor drawback regarding algae is that biofuel produced from them tends to be less stable than biodiesel produced from other sources.are unparalleled. industry. Discuss how the coal fed power plants can be uplifted using newer technologies? Examine how the revised standards for coal-based thermal power plants will help in minimising pollution? GS • Hints: India derives nearly 60% of its energy from coal. and thus more prone to degradation. require large amounts of water. • One of the other major benefits of algae is that they can use a diverse array of carbon sources. (c) Photo-bioreactors -These are the most advanced and thus most difficult systems to implement. Science and Technology [5] . they have some serious flaws like the possibility of contamination by native algae species. and the possibility of using nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria to supply this nitrogen may help minimize these costs 4. nitrogen and phosphorus to grow. This is because the oil found in algae tends to be highly unsaturated. particularly at high temperatures. NO2. It is currently expensive to build close loop system thus more research should be done in that area. These thermal power plants emit CO2. • Currently the most popular way of developing algae is open-pond system. •  Providing a cheap source of fixed nitrogen will be important for algae biofuel production. resulting in high capital costs. Closed-loop and photo bioreactor systems have even been used in desert settings. Therefore if the environmental impact of these can be reduced it will help in Hints: Environment. Unsaturated oils are more volatile. evaporation. closed loop systems do not have contamination problems like open-pond system thus they should be promoted. However. This means that no carbon dioxide would be released from these settings and thus total emissions would be reduced substantially. etc. however. and in most cases produce lower energy density algal oil. Countries like India which depend majorly on coal for their electricity production face a surmounting international pressure and an environmental concern. Their advantages in terms of yield and control. ) where they could directly convert emissions into usable fuel. Most notably. All three systems mean that algae are able to be grown almost anywhere those temperatures are warm enough. More research will lead to development of better quality and productive algae species which will make algae biofuel commercially viable. E Challenges  Algae. They are closed systems. viral infection. This means that no farm land need be threatened by algae. even when grown in waste water.because they may be able to be directly connected to carbon dioxide sources (such as smokestacks) and thus use the gas before it is every released into the atmosphere. Strategies to uplift SC OR • Most investment on research is needed. So much in fact that the production of fertilizer to meet the needs of algae used to produce biofuel would produce more greenhouse gas emissions than were saved by using algae based biofuel to begin with. global warming and respiratory disease.

Several different technological methods are available for the purpose of carbon capture as demanded by the clean coal concept: • Pre-combustion capture . from which the CO2 can be efficiently captured and separated. Science and Technology . SC OR E a) Indian government has been making continuous efforts to improve the quality of environment in India. which will in turn help in bringing about an improvement in the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) in and around thermal power plants. transported. or membrane separations to remove CO2 from the bulk gases.This involves gasification of a feedstock (such as coal) to form synthesis gas.This refers to capture of CO2 from exhaust gases of combustion processes.great way to achieve Indian obligation for sustainable development. solvents.NOx will also help in control of mercury emission (at about 70-90%) as a co-benefit. typically using sorbents. This technology is usually associated with Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle process configurations. and ultimately sequestered. carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O)– from coal and water. b) The technology employed for the control of the proposed limit of Sulfur Dioxide . • Oxy-fuel combustion . in consultation with CPCB new emission norms for coal power plants. Supplementary Notes GS Coal gasification: Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas–a mixture consisting primarily of methane (CH4). which may be shifted to produce a H2 and CO2-rich gas mixture. Min of Environment has finalized. • Post-combustion capture . This will also lead to a reduction in energy requirement for drawl of water. which largely eliminates nitrogen from the flue gas enabling efficient. [6] Hints: Environment. rather than in air. Clean coal technologies can be used to achieve this which are: a) Chemically washing minerals and impurities from coal to reduce SOX b) Coal gasification c) Carbon capture and sequestration to remove CO2 from the flu gas d) Improved technology to remove flu gas (the gas emitted after the burning of coal through chimney) e) Dewatering of lower rank coal (brown coal) to improve its efficiency. sulphur dioxide and Oxide of nitrogen. Imposition of coal cess. c) Limiting the use of water in thermal power plant will lead to water conservation as thermal power plant is a water-intensive industry. The new standards are aimed at reducing emission of PM10.Fossil fuels such as coal are burned in a mixture of recirculated flue gas and oxygen. This can be used for converting municipal waste into energy. air and/or oxygen. air quality index to give air quality data and categorization of industries based on their environment impact into four categories are some other steps taken in this direction. carbon monoxide (CO). low-cost CO2 capture.SO2 & Nitrogen Oxide . hydrogen (H2).

GS • Causes: • When houses. It aims to achieve national fuel security by promoting hybrid and electric vehicles in the country. • Obstruction of rural air flows by the windward face of the built-up surfaces. • It is defined as the rise in temperature of any man-made area. Hints: Environment. This mission will bring down the pollution level.5% in carbon dioxide emissions. • In this direction. governments. Science and Technology [7] .5. parking problems. shops. e. (a) Explain how National Electric Mobility Mission Plan can be a remedy to surmounting problems of urban air pollution? Hints: Urban pollution has grown at an alarming rate due to growing urbanisation and increasing number of vehicles in India. climate change activists and other stakeholders are advocating greater adoption of alternate and cleaner transport technologies. the surmounting problems of the pollution need to be tackled down.5 million tonnes of liquid fuel and a decrease of 1. and industrial buildings are constructed close together. air pollution etc. This plan aims to save 2. it can create a UHI due to congested construction. • In the light of concerns about increasing consumption of fossil fuels and rise in global carbon dioxide emissions. The various problems in case of urban India are road congestion.3 – 1. which led the government to announce the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020. This is a right step in this direction. It negatively impacts not only residents of urbanrelated environments but also humans and their associated ecosystems located far away from cities. OR E • SC It is the critical importance of shifting to cleaner forms of transport. the Government of India launched the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 in 2013. as well from industrial processes and motorized vehicular traffic (i. resulting in well-defined distinct climate than the nearby area. anthropogenic heat).22. • As transportation sector accounts for second largest emissions of carbon dioxide globally. • Factors such as the scattered and emitted radiation from atmospheric pollutants to the urban area. • Production of waste heat from air conditioning and refrigeration systems. sustainable mobility has assumed greater significance in recent years. (b) What are the causes Urban Heat Islands? What are their impacts and what could be the mitigation strategy? Hints: The Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) is a phenomenon whereby the concentration of structures and waste heat from human activity (most notably air conditioners and internal combustion engines) results in a slightly warmer envelope of air over urbanized areas when compared to surrounding rural areas. There is an ambitious target to achieve 6-7 million sales of hybrid and electric vehicles year on year from 2020 onwards.

This attribute decreases heat transfer to the indoor environment.Impacts: • UHIs often have lower air quality because there are more pollutants (waste products from vehicles. Explain how these regulations can be strengthened to bring an international parity? GS SC OR E • Hints: • A healthy environment is a constitutional right & also a duty of the people in India. that is.Roofs can be designed and built as practical heat reflectors with materials that have a high solar reflectance. existing provisions are unable to provide a sustainable solution of environment concerns in wake of economic development. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. Science and Technology . These act to some extant initiated the practices in line with healthy environment however.using materials that lower surface temperatures are available and can be used in establishing roads. industry. Sprinklers on the roof wet the surface so that the air around it cools through evaporation. • Roof sprinkling is another evaporative cooling solution. • The United Nations Conference on Human Environment held at Stockholm in 1972 led to the enactment of much legislation in the field of environment. and people) being pumped into the air. Critically analyze the suitability of the present environment regulations in the country. releasing a large percentage of the solar energy they absorb. climate change & globalization. The environment regulations in India were just to cater the domestic needs and challenges.wild life protection Act 1972. due to the incidence of thermal discomfort on the human cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The enactment of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution). and the inclusion of provisions relating to the environment in the Constitution are examples of this. 1981. the development of Indian environmental law is piecemeal and responsive to certain trigger events. it stresses the native species that have adapted to life in a cooler aquatic environment. • Energy conserving by Tree Planting and Landscaping – Increasing vegetative cover by planting trees. • The cities with variable landscapes and climates can exhibit temperatures several degrees higher than their rural surroundings. 6. but with changing climate and increasing global challenges they may look the thing of last decade. 1974. parking lots and other facilities. • Construct Roads with Cool Pavement. • When warm water from the UHI ends up flowing into local streams. Article 48 A and 51 A (g) imposes the duty of environmental protection on both the state and its citizens respectively. • Redesign Rooftops as Cool and/or Green Roofs . The mitigation strategy for UHI can be: By painting structures white. [8] Hints: Environment. Forest Conservation Act 1980. • A direct relationship has been found between UHI intensity peaks and heat-related illness and fatalities. Cool roofing materials also possess the characteristic of high emittances. streets. or other light colors which increases the albedo and reverses the urban heat island effect. shrubs and other vegetation in a properly designed manner is a simple and effective way to reduce the heat island effect. However.

Lacunas of Present Environment regulations & measures to strengthen them: The Bhopal gas Tragedy of 1984 exposed many lacunae in the Indian legal system. There is need to amend the law to provide punishment for offence under EPL 1986 for its better enforcement. Mechanism should be in place for timely transfer of fund & monitoring of its utilization for the said purpose. A number of statutes were enacted in the wake of the tragedy. • Environment Impact assessment of Industrial project is must in the wake of climate change however. several stringent penalties & punishment are provided under EPL 1986 for violation. Enforcement mechanism to be backed by stricter punishment even if states are found guilt & involvement of locals through need to be ensured for better monitoring of river banks. It acts as an umbrella for the other environmental Acts. • Inspite of these issues India made a significant mark to control the pollution levels compared to levels of 1990s. Rule should provide the consensus of affecting people to be taken & discretionary power of the officials should be abandoned & decision to be objective based on report.BS VI norms to be implemented & to be enforced uniformly to become at par with global standards • There is no specific guideline on time limit to allocate back the fund collected by diversion of forest land to commercial use to state CHAMPAs so that compensatory afforestion can be started. and are still fighting in various courts in the US and India is a case in point.1989 • Major Indian Rivers are like Ganga & Yamuna has become a dumping site for many industries & municipal sewerages. There is no strict monitoring & implementation of laws as most local bodies are itself defaulters. Thus it has been criticized as paper tiger & cobra without venom.waste & its dumping in India. The legal battle that the victims had to fight. They should be made autonomous thus their functioning could not be compromised in projects & complaints related to center & states. Guidelines & rules should be provided under Hazardous waste Handling & management Act. GS SC OR E • Hints: Environment. • Chairman of SPCB is part time & most of the members of board are drawn from various administrative services. Environment (Protection) Act 1986 being the most important. • There is also significant difference in BS norms & EURO norms by vehicular air pollution particularly on limits of particulate matters. Indian Judiciary has strengthened the environmental jurisprudence in India. discretionary powers are granted to the official. NOx. • However. There is lack of transparency in decision making & participation of affected people in decision making is also absent. India is lagging behind from European norms by nine years & even BS IV norms are not uniformly enforced across the country. There is lack of adequate disposal guidelines & regulation for manufacturers & users. • Increasing globalization is also leading to increased e. Criteria in rule & regulation to provide for qualification of the post & for them being professional. PIL has become effective tools in the hands of creative Judges to impart Justice in the field of environment. Science and Technology [9] . but section 24 of the Act provide that if any act or omission constitute an offence punishable under this act & also under any other Act then the offender found guilty shall be liable to punish under the other Act & not under this Act. • Implementing & enforcing bodies like CPCB & SPCB are attached to environment ministries in center & state respectively.

concept of sustainable development and the notion of inter-generational equity were advanced by the Judiciary to protect the environment. precautionary principle. 1989 7. principle of absolute liability. • In New Delhi. ASHOKA – short for Advanced Super-computing Hub for OMICS Knowledge in Agriculture – was established at the Centre for Agricultural Bioinformatics (CABin) as the first supercomputing hub for Indian agriculture [10] Hints: Environment. Supercomputing can help India not only in proving its technological capacities but also in planning for growth. 2002 • Environment (Protection) Act. 2006 • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution). What are the recent initiatives of Government of India in the field of supercomputing? GS SC OR E • Hints: • A supercomputer is a computer with a high-level computational capacity compared to a general-purpose computer. 1980 • Indian Forest Act. • In a world. 1927 • National Green Tribunal Act. 1974 • Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act. India has continuously endeavoredto work on cutting edge supercomputing Agricultural planning • A paradigm shift is occurring within the agricultural sciences. 1981 • Biological Diversity Act. 2010 • Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001 • Public Liability Insurance Act. Explain uses of supercomputing in context of above statement. Supplementary Notes India’s Major Environment Laws: Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. 1991 • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act.• Many doctrines & concepts like the polluter pays principle. where the might of a nation is more a function of it’s hold on technology. owing to the genomics-based data explosion and concurrent computational advances. Science and Technology . 2002 • Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 • Noise Pollution Act • Hazardous waste Handling and management act. Along with these Law should incentivize & promote the Green economy including green industries & renewable energy to make India in parity with Global standards. 1986 • Forest Conservation Act.

Disaster management Forecasting disasters: Seismic simulations are used to generate advanced hazard maps and developed software that significantly advances this map-making ability. e. drought prediction. transportation cost and delivery time can be drastically reduced (enhancing competitiveness) • Monetary and fiscal policy formulation: The high computing and analytic power of Super computers can be used in evidence based policy formulation. The potential saving is in billions of dollars in preventing property loss/damage. post-processing system powered by supercomputing. g Chilean project “cybersyn” • By calculating shortest path method. Every 1% reduction in fuel consumption saves users of these products $2 billion/year. along with protecting lives • Supercomputing can significantly improve tropical cyclone intensity prediction OR E • Economic planning Decision support systemto aid in the management of the national economy by analyzing trends and statistics. and transmit advice and directives to enterprises and factories in alarm situations by using the telex network. Decreasing the material scrapped due to defects such as cracks. e. reduces the need for observation wells and has demonstrated commercial success in oil and gas recovery. • Sophisticated operations room would provide a space where managers could see relevant economic data. carbon capture and sequestration and geothermal energy Government initiative • The government in March 2015 approved launch of National Supercomputing Mission to connect national academic and R&D institutions with a grid of over 70 high-performance computing facilities at an estimated cost of Rs 4. • Automotive and engine manufacturers are using high performance computing to develop next. Hints: Environment. super computers can be fed with factors and indices to generate appropriatepolicy rates. even by a small percentage.generation engines that use less fuel. Science and Technology [11] . • The information would also be input into economic simulation software that the government could use to forecast the possible outcome of economic decisions. These fuel savings are estimated at more than $1 billion per year.• Apart from this supercomputing can be used in precision farming. complex weather forecasting and crop management. documenting and protecting plant genomics Environment and Biodiversity planning • emission reduction: • GE used a supercomputer to reveal a new aspect of turbine behaviour that is already providing GE with a competitive advantage in fuel efficiency. results in a large net savings to steel manufacturers and customers GS SC • Security planning Energy security: The low-cost. formulate responses to emergencies. • Researchers are using simulations to decrease the materials scrapped during the continuous casting process. g to keep check inflation in economy. 500 crore.

2015 which has following objectives: To provide an appropriate institutional mechanism. The compensatory afforestation has only increased tree cover as VDF (very dense forest) and MDF (moderately dense forest) has declined. This causes degradation of indigenous or native species. Hints: SC Green tax or environmental tax is a tax imposed on environmental pollutants or on goods whose repeated use contributes to pollution. KIOCL(Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. ) planted trees in Bhadra river basin which has destroyed natural grassland over there 3. Therefore there is no consolidation of OGF (old growth forest) but fragmentation of them. improve speed of its planning process.. Along with the above mentioned steps. This shall be taken into account. Government along with private sector should invest more in R&D infrastructure to give our young aspiring scientists to developmore powerful indigenousSupercomputers. • The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications. both at the Centre and in each State and Union Territory 2. affecting dispersal of animals. GS 1. transparency in utilization of amounts realized in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose 3. India needs to harness the power of supercomputers to enhance quality.g. Science and Technology . What do understand by Green tax and Compensatory Afforestation? Critically analyze that whether the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill 2015. E. Given the complexity. But recent CAF Bill has many flaws which have been highlighted by environmentalists as: 1. Centre proposed CAF bill. so that the huge potential of Supercomputers can be fully realized. creates new edges that expose forest to exploitation and severe degradation. will create a benchmark futuristic regulation or in its present form would squander away staggering amounts on meaningless efforts. The species raised are non-native to the areas where they are planted. security and. OR E 8. volume and dimensions ofdevelopmental planning. Compulsory Afforestation (CA) refers to afforestation and regeneration activities carried out as a way of compensating for forest land diverted to non-forest purposes. The bill promotes breaking of large forest land into smaller patches which disrupts landscape connectivity. Environment & forest. 2. Here "non-forest purpose" means the breaking up or clearing of any forest land or a portion thereof for.• The NKN is another program of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network and develop by using these facilities applications of national relevance. At the same time more application workshops are conducted. Ensure expeditious utilization of accumulated unspent amounts available with the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). [12] Hints: Environment. To provide safety. involving different stake holders. Recently green tax has been imposed on trucks that enter Delhi. This was highlighted by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology.

Simultaneously NPV value should be enhanced by detailing biodiversity loss in better manner. E Supplementary Notes OR Key challenges in compensatory afforestation in India The Bill establishes the Funds for compensatory afforestation and forest conservation. restoring degraded ecology and using funds for non-native plantations only in extreme case when forest is extremely degraded with no trace of native species. switching system. effective utilisation of these funds will depend on the capacity of state forest departments. 9.4. its computation methodology would be important. and should be allowed only as an exception. • A High Level Committee on Environment Laws observed that quality of forest cover has declined between 1951 and 2014. and difficulties in complying with procedures for land use. This is too conservative and over simplistic These apprehensions are genuine. with poor quality of compensatory afforestation plantations being one of the reasons behind the decline.there are several factors (other than administration of funds) which affect compensatory afforestation and forest conservation. 6. Also. development of new edges that increases the forest loss. these devices communicate with each other on real time basis. Science and Technology [13] . As NPV constitutes about half of the total funds collected. NPV (value of loss of forest ecosystem) assesses only 20 year impact that too with restricted knowledge of biodiversity loss. such as agriculture. With the share of funds transferred to states increasing from 10% to 90%. Hints: Environment. Bill also does not provide for natural restoration and regeneration of degraded forest 5. • Procuring land for compensatory afforestation is difficult as land is a limited resource. Comment GS SC • Hints: Technological developments have continuously aided governments. However. But balancing the development environment trade-off is equally challenging. • The Bill delegates the determination of NPV (value of loss of forest ecosystem) to an expert committee constituted by the central government. There is also need to promote consolidation of OGF. maximum effort should be made to restrict development projects that are intrusive for forest. • A 2013 CAG report noted that state forest departments lack the planning and implementation capacity to carry out compensatory afforestation and forest conservation. This is compounded by unclear land titles. and is required for multiple purposes. Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are the two recent technological developments which can transform the way governmentswork world over. traffic lights etc. fringe effect etc can never be compensated. industry. These factors are mentioned below. What are IoT and Big Data and how they are related a) IoT is the real time networking of sensors which can be on multiple devices like smartphones. CAF should stand to meet out and compensate those projects that have wide social impact. (a) Internet of Things and big data technologies can transform the ways and means of eGovernance in India. fragmentation effect. Ancillary impacts like biodiversity loss. etc.

however. and they are able to easily penetrate buildings. How it will help in governance: Both these technologies can be used for governance. such as the train frequency required on certain route. b) Government of India’s Smart City initiative is based on the combination of these two.b) Big data is the data which is large in size and need huge technological capacities for its verification. Other initiatives in the field of e-governanceBharat-Net: aims to provide broadband in each village Panchayat. For example. through this internet can be provided not only to village but to each household. Usually these data sets are auto generated logs of people’s activities and movements. traffic control in a metro city. If this can be done the benefits will be huge. Digilocker for easy storing and retrieval of digital documents. removing inertia of the technology averse bureaucracy are some of them. c) In disaster management. c) The initiative of Bharat-Net (NOFN) is stuck up because of land acquisition issue. with proper software and correct statistical modeling it is possible to read this data and use it policymaking. Science and Technology . The digital divide is huge and it is affecting the quality of life and governance. CSC: Common Service Center in each district and Panchayat to be the hub for e-Gov based services. foliage. d) In wake of these two projects by global giants can help in great way in providing last mile connectivity. the entire data generated by DMRC is very large is impossible for anyone to read and derive any useful assertion. c) As IoT expands it will create huge amount of data which will need big data technologies to handle them. GS Hints: a) Project loon is an initiative by Microsoft to increase the reach of internet using ballons. SC OR E a) (b) Briefly discuss the importance of Project loon and White-fi in expanding the reach of Digital India. For example optimized planning of the procurement. e) As TV is available nearlyin each household. [14] Hints: Environment. f) the range of the frequencies used in White-fi are 10 to 15 kilometers. d) But to make use of these opportunities certain barriers has to be overcome. processing and use. b) As on 2015 only 40cr out of 120 cr Indians used internet. Swacch Bharat both can help in an immense way. Whereas White –fi uses TV unused spectrum for providing internet. making huge investments. crowd management. distribution and transportation of the food grains. Developing common standards. number of people interchanging between lines and hence the need to mitigate them. and terrible weather.

collection bins. b) The garbage is generally thrown in empty spaces and this can't be cleaned after efforts by workers. Bangalore and Kolkata. Like use of waste food for animals. can be emulated. India generates about 60 million tonnes of trash every year. a) The problem of landfills will be solved. d) No segregation and recycling of the waste because of lack of knowledge. c) Absence of appropriate technologies. glass. or preparation of agriculture manure from it. Ten million tonnes of garbage is generated in just the metropolitan cities: Delhi. d) This will solve the problem of waste being strewn on the street as proper chain will be established. Elaborate upon the reasons that have created such mounting challenges in India. b) This will lead to monetization of the solid waste so private sector participation can be elicited. Mumbai.10. Solid waste management is one of the most pertinent issues being faced by Indian cities. Hints: Environment. GS SC OR a) Waste to energy and how it can solve the problem of Solid Waste Management Waste to energy is the generation of energy in the form of electricity or heat from non-recyclable and non-hazardous waste.etc) and other types of waste. f) Absence of culture of cleanliness which results into garbage not being carried to designated points. Traditional practices of rural India for solid waste management were suited to the local conditions and employed local resources. Municipal Solid waste management is one of the major problems faced today in India. paper) recyclable waste like (plastic. and use of traditional and local material for construction. Chennai. e) the landfills of most of these cities are already overflowing. g) Waste collection is done in the morning only whereas generation is done during the whole day. Hyderabad. E Reasons: Absence of proper infrastructure of collection and disposal like dustbins. Explain how the conceptualization of waste to energy can bring a ground-breaking change in the scenario? Analyze how traditional practices of rural India can be a way out to the problems? Hints: Solid waste is garbage consisting of daily use items like waste like biodegradable waste (food. Science and Technology [15] . c) The revenues generated can be used for better payment of staff and they can work for the whole day. bottles. use the one that generate least environment footprint.

• We should make it clear that the India will not in any way subvert. particularly from international terrorism. etc. Indians should be assured that their government will respect their privacy. along with the IT Rules. India should support [16] GS SC OR E • Hints: Environment. To this end. it should not be permitted to use those communications in any proceeding against the Indian citizen. credit card records. Lawful interception. This will protect the mass surveillance with proper encryption of data. • Data and access ofPersonal information isvery much important to provide social sector schemes and also protects it from the non-state actors for personal and major national security threats. India should support international norms or agreements to increase confidence in the security of online communications. • Mass surveillance in India includes Surveillance. In the absence of any legal framework and parliamentary oversight. surveillance under Indian Telegraph Act. • Substantial steps must be taken to safeguard Internet freedom. telephone companies and Internet providers) without a court order. These include the following: Central Monitoring System Project. Open-source intelligence. the government will have a national security justification for access to such metadata. India has been using many mass surveillance projects for many years. We need more transparency in the system. Do you agree that digital encryption and mass surveillance can go hand in hand with right to privacy in India? Analyze Hints: Article 21 of the Constitution guards the right to privacy as a Fundamental Right.11. weaken or make vulnerable generally available commercial encryption. which should be held. credit card companies. protects data privacy in India. the NCCC could encroach upon Indian citizens’ privacy and civil-liberties. cyber warfare and espionage. If the government incidentally captures communications of Indians when they are communicating with non-Indians. and which should be available only after an appropriate order by a court. phone records and Internet data) from third parties (such as banks. 2011. The world has a greater need to gather and access personal information to provide Public Services and Security. Debates around government surveillance and access to encrypted communications and mass surveillance are growing louder in the shadow of terror attacks in Paris and US’s PRISM project. 2000. personal privacy and civil liberty. It aims at screening communication metadata and coordinate the intelligence gathering activities of other agencies. 1885. the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We do not have an explicit Act in this regard. In some cases. • The government should affirm that such surveillance must never be directed at illegitimate ends. but Section 43A of the IT Act. • The proposed National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) is a proposed cyber security and e-surveillance project of India. instead either by private providers or by a private third party. • Many Internet-freedom activists and security engineers have told the public to trust math— encryption—not politics or law to protect their privacy. such as the theft of trade secrets or obtaining commercial gain for domestic industries. DRDO Netra andLawful Intercept and Monitoring Project. undermine. Telephone tapping. Science and Technology . • Public officials should not have access to otherwise private information (such as bank records. • The current program creates potential risks to public trust.

Karnataka. 2017. 12. and Severe. Himachal Pradesh. Haryana. • The Bharat Stage norms were adopted by the government in 2000. Satisfactory.air standards and reduce the public health risk. Dadra-Nagar-Haveli and Andaman & Nicobar will get BS-IV fuel. Union Territories of Daman and Diu. in an encoded version according to a specific algorithm. • The AQI will prove to be a major initiative for monitoring and improving air quality in urban areas as it would enhance public awareness and involvement. all of Goa. • It would create a competitive environment among cities to take steps for air pollutionmitigation. Uttarakhand. Telangana. is used to transform another. BS-IV petrol and diesel are being supplied in whole of Northern India covering Jammu and Kashmir. Punjab. which is controlled by the type of fuel made by the oil companies and the up-gradations and modifications made by the auto firms to their vehicles to control the pollutants released from the vehicle • India had enforced Bharat stage III norms across the country since October 2010. NO2. O3. The proposed AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM10. What do you understand by National Air Quality Index? How it can be helpful in checking the levels of harmful urban and industrial air pollutants? What are major impediments in early roll out of BS-IV and BS-VI standards in India? Hints: National Air Quality Index is an index developed by the Central Pollution Control Board in consultation with IIT-Kanpur and an expert group to monitor the level of air quality. PM2. based on the European emission norms. The rest of the country has BS-III grade fuel. The rest of the country is scheduled to get supplies of BS-IV from 1 April. at rest. 5. In 13 major cities. Kerala. CO. • It provides the likely health implications of the six categories which would also be provided with a colour code. Very Poor. a key. reversing the transformation without a key takes tens or hundreds of orders of magnitude longer than the encryption did. the plain text. • Checking the quality of air will help to meet clean. Poor. This will help in checking the level of pollution and potential health hazards. Odisha. namely Good. SO2. Science and Technology [17] . • From 1 April. Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released. NH3. In the light of this decision. • There are six AQI categories. and Pb). • Encryption is a category of mathematical operations in which one string. Bharat stage IV emission norms were put in place since April 2010.efforts to encourage the greater use of encryption technology for data in transit. • Recently the government proposed to introduce Bharat VI norms directly by 2020. Moderately polluted. Delhi and parts of Rajasthan and western UP. Currently. This will protect the data from ill uses. the major impediments in the implementation can be discussed as: GS SC OR E • Hints: Environment. in the cloud and in storage for mass surveillance subject to privacy of Indian citizens. Once the text is transformed. 2016.

there are several challenges related to technology upgradation. • Also. And.There are two major industries which would face challenges: first is the oil refineries that will need a substantial investment to upgrade. • Second. availability of fund. application and validation of new engine technologies to move from BS-IV to BS-V. Science and Technology . GS India is facing major challenges from communicable diseases which could be seen from periodic spurges in major communicable diseases from time to time in India. In the light of the above statement. trucks. with the temperature raising across India in recent years it has become easier for Aedes Aegypti mosquito to breed. Though India has thus far not reported any case. Recently Zika virus has emerged as a new threat to India’s health security. 000 crore to Rs 80. but through travelers it has also been reported in Maldives and Thailand. availability of BS VI Fuel in shorter time frame yet this cost would be compensated by the reduction in diseases due to air pollution which has become a severe health hazard for the Indian cities. Which initiatives shall be undertaken by government to safeguard India from Zika virus.the same mosquito also transmits the Dengue virus and is found widely in India. sports utility vehicles (SUVs). This would hit the margins of oil companies. These upgrades will allow the refineries to supply fuel types that can match the BS-VI standards. India is currently facing a major threat from communicable diseases. the better the mosquito that carries Zika virus is at transmitting a variety of dangerous illnesses. 000 crore to petroleum companies. The shift of technology from BS-IV to BS-VI is likely to cost anything between Rs 50. • The decision will make cars. the automobile manufacturers would require a significant technological jump especially in diesel filter technology & in optimization of selective catalytic reduction technology. Since India is a major tourist destination it makes us vulnerable to this disease like Maldives and Thailand. the mosquito behind the Zika virus seems to operate like a heat-driven missile of disease. It will spread quickly which will cause lots of damage in India. • Such a move could lead to safety and quality problems. [18] Hints: Environment. Scientists say the hotter it gets. Last year dengue virus created havoc in Delhi. Vulnerabilities India faces from Zika virus • Currently. OR E • Hints: SC 13. • India offers a fertile ground for the virus to breed as there is lack of general cleanliness in India and also due to over-crowding if this virus will emerge in India. and a similar time to graduate to BS-VI. it would take as much as four-anda-half years of lead time for design. comment on the vulnerabilities that India faces from Zika virus. Indians have to take extra care to protect them. given the large number of people suffering from dengue. rising cost of vehicles. the virus is largely circulating in Latin America. buses and auto parts more expensive • Though. • Infection of the Zika virus happens when the Aedes mosquito bites a person . before that swine flu also affected large number of Indians.

• The absence of vaccines. • Pregnant women who have travelled to areas with Zika virus transmission should mention about their travel during ante-natal visits in order to be assessed and monitored appropriately. he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. and conjunctivitis (red eyes). sleeping in air-conditioned rooms. OR E • Supplementary Notes Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. specific treatments and rapid diagnostic tests. long dresses with long sleeves. rash.Initiatives India should undertake? Pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should defer/ cancel their travel to the affected areas. thick clothing to resist bites. mosquito netting and keeping screens on windows and doors. we should follow the standard mosquito protection measureslike using repellents. Why it is a major threat? • The association with microcephaly or abnormally small brain development in newborns. pesticides. Makes this disease highly dangerous. Hints: Environment. • The potential for it to spread further internationally given the wide geographical distribution of the mosquitoes that carry it the lack of immunity in newly affected areas. Science and Technology [19] . •  Before Zika reaches India. many people might not realize they have been infected. For this reason. and they very rarely die of Zika. • The best prevention is to control the spread of the Aedes mosquito that breeds in clean water and spreads the Zika virus. which is being attributed to the present Zika outbreak in Brazil. has been confined mainly to Africa. Once a person has been infected. The virus. • Zika may be linked to birth malformations and neurological syndromes. • India should invest in research to develop vaccine for Zika virus. GS • SC About Zika virus How does this virus spread? The virus is spread when people are bitten by an infected Aedes mosquito. which got its name in 1947 from the Zika forests of Uganda where it was first reported. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever. joint pain. This can be done my spreading mass awareness campaign so that common people do not leave stagnant water in their home and also Local municipalities should impose fine on those households who are not following the government guidelines on prevention of Zika virus.

b. Science and Technology . Similarly. of which location are affected. Therefore there is a need for exemplary punishment which must include environmental costs. though unknowingly also as perpetrators of environmental pollution GS SC OR a. how many are affected. smog. E In recent Volkswagen has been found involved in misrepresenting emission data from its vehicles and using cheat devices to pass environment or pollution related regulations. What could be the steps taken Globally to mitigate such problems in future? Hints: Corporate crimes are those crimes committed by corporations or business units. It is far easier to define the Corporate Crimes than acts of pollution. which could have been averted through sensible behavior from consumer. health costs of the population which suffered. and similarly. f. Embezzlement of funds. e. and can be defined but how crime related to pollution like CO2 effects on people. d.g. if some of the world most celebrated companies are doing it. It shows that for them profits were ranked higher than environment. Thus. But most important is strengthening regulatory framework by improving their technological and human resource capacities so that they can’t be violated. who are out of regulatory net as they are either too local and unknown and too small to create news. the testing process shall be brought close to real life usage conditions and the gap between laboratory results and real life varies too much at times. The economic loss caused by ill health. recovering any other benefits that may have been awarded because of lower emission standards.14. because environmental effects related to global warming are spread globally. Such actions affect the health and well-being of the whole world. It is important to consider why such a large scale scandal was allowed to operate freely for so many years. The fuel efficiency of the car owners was less than what tests showed thus indirectly aiding environment pollution or climate change. It raises questions over the regulatory and testing mechanisms and their authenticity. It even affects the behaviour of car owners. This is going to have many ill-effects: It misled the people and governments on environment. Through this act the carmaker made users of the cars. It deliberately caused environmental pollution. h. g. then what to say of other small manufacturers. It was found that the emissions of CO2 and NO2 in many instances were nearly 10 times more than claimed in tests. c. it is imperative that regulatory loopholes are filled and it is made sure that such scandals be avoided at all possible costs. It may even have affected the greenhouse gases data prepared by governments under UNFCC and other climate related talks. Elaborate upon the ill effects of emission violations started through corporate emission scam much recently. how much they have been affected is difficult to identify and quantify because a polluting car may have moved throughout country affecting all.. ground level ozone would be immense. for e. while it is easy to make a scapegoat of an issue. [20] Hints: Environment. rendering the testing process useless. false claims etc. It affected the health of many who lived in the areas where these cars were used.

Public investment should be complimented with private investment. Hints: Science and technology provides the base for the transformation of economy through improving productivity. c) New institutions of higher learning like IIT were established. These areas were nearly neglected. GS a) In spite of these initiatives the investments needed in the sector were never made. and Indian Science Congress were established. Nuclear energy. 000 population. But India suffered from absence of strong base. compared to 4. biotechnology and IT were the new focus areas in coming decades. 000. • India has only 140 researchers per 1. lack of commitment from governments were some of the reasons for poor base in S&T at the time of independence. Development in the field after independence: The initiatives were government led and planned through Planning Commission. • Reformers and educationist like Raja Ram Mohan Roy realized the importance of sciene and education. providing ground for innovations and developing scientific temper. OR E • SC But foreign language as medium of education. • None of Indian institutions are among the top in the world. Later three institutions Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science. IISc. Critically analyze the development of science and technology in India pre and post independence. JC Bose. 651 in the United States. Development in the field before independence: Before independence there was not much focus on S&T field. d) Later on defence. lack of investment. Hints: Environment. • In many areas we are still dependent Conclusion: Growth of science and technology is closely related with education. The process was of gradual incrementalism.15. ICAR in the field of agriculture were established. Meghnad Saha flourished in these institutions. English as medium of language provided Indians opportunity to know what is happening and get involved in the scientific endeavours of west. economy and private investment. • Individuals like CV Raman. Science and Technology [21] . The base for S&T is provided by education system and investments. establishing institutes of higher education. All these steps will help in establishing S&T tradition in India. Science policy was formalized in 1958 outlining the growth in the sector. modern India has had a strong focus on development of science and technology. • Most of the efforts in the field were philanthropic in nature supported by big industrial houses. But the link with the west. Several institutions focusing different areas like CSIR for industrial sector. space were focused on in late 1950s and 60s. In India less than 1% of the GDP is invested in R&D. a networking of industry and educational institutions must be done. b) It started with focus on agriculture and industries. Realizing the worth of science and technology in economic growth. India needs to give a great push to tertiary education where enrollment levels are around 20% only.

habitat destruction. posing a serious threat to biological diversity. there are various factors behind this sad state. • Pollution in wetlands is a growing concern. affecting drinking water sourcesand biological diversity. Increases in temperature are causing polar ice to melt and sea levels to rise. • Wetlands are also very useful in reducing the pollution concentration in urban areas besides them. • Wetlands cover about 9% of the earth’s surface and are estimated to contain around 35% of global terrestrial carbon. Hints: A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water. filling of natural tanks and reservoirs. especially if their vegetation is protected and their natural processes are maintained. • Wetlands also prevent the phenomenon of urban heat islands by having a moderating effect on climate. Drainage and run-off from fertilized crops and pesticides used in industry introduce nitrogen and phosphorous nutrients and other toxins like mercury to water sources. They are source of drinking water in the cities. Science and Technology . filtering out pollutants and absorbing nutrients that would otherwise result in poor water quality for downstream users. • Climatic Change is also taking its toll. [22] Hints: Environment. removal of sand from river beds •  Construction activities – have led to deforestation. These chemicals can affect the health and reproduction of species. lakes. Wetlands are ecologically sensitive and adaptive best lands which sometimes are taken as wastelands in urbanization. • Wetlands improve water quality by trapping sediments. either permanently or seasonally. • Encroachment of wetlands for Agriculture and urbanization purposes is also leading cause for the loss of wetlands • Fisheries production at large scale and increasing economic demand for shrimps has threatened the coastal mangroves. such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. SC OR E • Factors associated with loss of wetlands in India GS One-third of Indian wetlands have already been wiped out or severely degraded.16. This in turn is leading to shallow wetlands being swamped and some species of mangrove trees being submerged and drowned. The wetlands on Eastern coast have helped to save the Chennai and Vishakapattanam during the 2004 Tsunami and other flooding. Significance of wetlands Wetlands reduce the risk of flooding by slowing down the movement of floodwaters along rivers and releasing water over time. rivers. Demarcate the significance of wetlands in urban environment sustainability and conservation? What are the factors associated with the loss of wetlands and their impacts in India? Critically analyze the role of wetland conservation strategies and initiatives in India. Wetlands act as sinks for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. similarly they are also helpful in recycling and decomposition of the organic waste. •  Mining and extraction – resulting in release of toxic wastes in nearby ponds.

creating the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-Systems. an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. estuaries. the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Science and Technology [23] . with a surface area of 689. especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. Their loss has resulted in scarcity of usable water in the Indian cities Role of wetland conservation strategies and initiatives in India India is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention. • cooperate internationally on transboundary wetlands. The country has only 26 sites designated as wetlands of international importance. • designate suitable wetlands for the list of Wetlands of International Importance (the “Ramsar List”) and ensure their effective management.Impact of loss of wetlands in India • Increased flooding events: . Even these 26 sites are plagued by uncontrolled development and illegal encroachment • Despite India having a National Wetlands Conservation Program since 1985-86 that provided financial support for the protection of 115 wetlands in different states. 2010. Loss of wetlands has resulted in clogging of water in the cities which has resulted in severe floods in India’s major cities whenever there is excess rainfall. wet grasslands. The reason being apathy shown by the state government and With no working plans being drawn up by the states. there’s nothing to show for this on the ground. scientific. reservoirs and salt pans. rice paddies. swamps and marshes. These Rules have been drafted by the Ministry of Environment Hints: Environment. cultural. 131 hectares. It includes all lakes and rivers. With the degradation of wetland water has nowhere to go and will consequently move into areas resulting in increased occurrence of flood as well as soil erosion. recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic. aimed at a more holistic framework for the conservation and restoration of lakes and wetlands. peat lands. • Wetlands are also big source of fresh water. the Contracting Parties commit to: • work towards the wise use of all their wetlands. GS • Under the “three pillars” of the Convention. and all human-made sites such as fish ponds. underground aquifers. deltas and tidal flats. and recreational values. oases. Supplementary Notes Ramsar convention SC OR E • The Ramsar Convention (formally. whereas a much smaller country like the UK has 169 Ramsar sites. 2010 • The Ministry of Environment and Forests today notified the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules. • To improve the situation recently the cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the merger of the National Lake Conservation Plan and National Wetlands Conservation Program. mangroves and other coastal areas. the Central funds are unused. coral reefs. • The Convention uses a broad definition of wetlands.wetland stores floodwater by tapping it and slowing the water down thus protecting the area during the flood event. The prime example of which are Mumbai floods in 2005 and the recent Chennai floods. shared wetland systems and shared specie The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules.

and Forests to ensure better conservation and management and to prevent degradation of existing wetlands in India. in the process and reduces the cost of transaction. has zero maintaining balance. Crypto-currencies are a subset of alternative currencies. but is designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information through a process made possible by certain principles of cryptography. such as the bank or credit card providers. right now. elaborate what benefits it provides over the traditional money and plastic money? OR Hints: A crypto-currency(or crypto currency) is a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new units. the Rules specify activities which are harmful to wetlands such as industrialisation. • They can be earned through faucets on the Internet. construction. and prohibit these activities in the wetlands. • It would help in lowering the cost of remittances to countries in the developing world which could a win-win situation for the sender and the receiver. reclamation etc. They can be one option to provide banking services at the doorstep of the people who could not access banks. Though there have been debates going on about the regulatory framework over them. • They have given rise to hot concepts like “empowering the unbanked” and “building decentralized organizations”. E 17. • They also have enormous potential in cross border money transfers. • Under the Rules. dumping of untreated waste. • It is an alternative store of value as well as widening access to investment opportunities. but they can play a transforming role in developing and emerging economies like India. or specifically of digital currencies. wetlands have been classified for better management and easier identification. is corruption-resistant (politically and financially speaking). • Though it is a medium of exchange like normal currencies such as USD. • In order to ensure there is no further degradation of wetlands. What is understood by crypto-currency? How it can find a transforming role in developing economies like India? What is e-wallet. is expensive and slow. Central Wetland Regulatory Authority has been set up to ensure proper implementation of the Rules and perform all functions for management of wetlands in India. Other activities such as harvesting. Apart from necessary government representatives. dredging etc may be carried out in the wetlands but only with prior permission from the concerned authorities. Some of the point can be discussed as: [24] GS SC • • This technology certainly makes it easier for people to do real time transactions without involving any third party. Hints: Environment. Science and Technology . and can potentially grow in value over time. Introducing them is likely to make the transfers fast and cheap which will play a transforming role in economies where people transfer money in large amounts. • It can be used to carry out normal transactions using these currencies. the Authority shall have a number of expert members to ensure that wetland conservation is carried out in the best possible manner. does not require a credit check. Sending money internationally.

There is no need of carrying a debit or credit card. Banks tried to uplift the neglected areas like agriculture. small scale industries. To overcome these problems. modern era has brought progressive change in banking industry as a whole which is resulted from disintermediation process and information technology. They remember ones card and bank details. The main reason for the nationalisation was to give the government more control of credit delivery in order to discharge social obligations. New entrants (private and foreign banks) in the banking industry generally known as New Generation tech-savvy banks tend to introduce various innovative services while incurring minimum cost but also suit the customer preferences. Thus. the government was having direct control on the 90% of the banking business in India. current account. The Indian Government nationalized the 14 largest commercial banks and afterwards nationalisation of 6 more commercial banks were followed in 1980. • Hence. Banks in India started moving towards the social orientation due to which nationalization took place in July 1969. • The benefits of the wallet can be passed on to friends and family as well. • The payments made through these wallets are easier and quicker. Making payments is like a single-button-click effort. • Due to this effect of nationalization. e. • For some sites there is no minimum amount and you can deposit an amount as low as Rs 10. consumers can buy a range of products without swiping a debit or credit card. The money is stored in a wallet from where the transactions can be carried out when needed. Some of them are: Ease of use without having to enter the debit/credit card details for every online transaction.e-Wallet: e-Wallet is an online prepaid account where one can stock money. Supplementary Notes Evolution of Plastic Money in India Traditionally. SC • OR E • GS In the seventies. remote areas and weaker section of the society by providing them with funds at reasonable rates of interest. Banker’s main purpose was to manage the savings of people through the mobilisation of funds. the cost of banking operations increased and thus profitability of banks declined drastically. • There is no chance of a decline of payment since e-wallet is a prepaid account. banks were only concerned with acceptance of deposits from customers and lending surplus money to the suitable customer who want to borrow at some rate of interest. to be used when required.Wallet offer a number of benefits over the traditional form of money or plastic money which needs to carried along with. term deposit account and lending products being cash credit and term loans. The most common products being offered by banks were savings account. till nineties. tertiary sector. • They allow people not to carry physical currency/cards andstill make payments. it became necessary for the banks to introduce new products and services which are commercially viable and helped them to improve their profitability and productivity. This is the period when automation of banking operations has gained much importance. Hints: Environment. Science and Technology [25] . • While fulfilling the social objective. As it is a pre-loaded facility.

Hints: The government of India is following various strategies to protect the tigers in the country whose number decreased significantly in the last years. The change in demographic features of consumers in terms of their income. marital status. the banking industry in India has witnessed remarkable changes due to information technology and computer applications. an estimated 90 percent of personal consumption expenditure in India is still made with cash.Hence. With the effect of this changing environment. (a) Discuss the strategy adopted by India for Tiger Conservation and also suggest some measures to improve it. Science and Technology . over last one and a half decades the banking environment has changed progressively. PC banking. • So this can be considered as mere beginning which indicates the bright future prospects of plastic card market in India. Some of the initiatives are given below: [26] Hints: Environment. education level etc. and upgradation of technology and its awareness has brought the relevant changes in consumers’ preferences. their preferences and wants. the plastic cards are gaining popularity among bankers as well as customers and getting accepted in the market place. • RBI is also taking important steps in order to enhance its usage and popularity through initiatives like regulating card market to maintain the security levels and to build up confidence of bankers and customers. to be successful in the long run. GS SC OR E • 18. Internet Banking. • Indian banks have shifted their emphasis from traditional banking to banking for customers as customer is always regarded as the key driver for the success of any new product and services launched in the market and the customer should be satisfied with the offerings of industry. we can say that the Indian banking sector is accepting the challenge of information technology as all the groups of bankers have now recognized it as essential requirement for their survival and growth in future. Smart Cards etc. Therefore. In nutshell. But it was not very popular among Indian consumer at the time of its introduction. It can be well imagined from the discussion that no doubt. Thus. After financial sector reforms during nineties. which indicates the tremendous growth potential of this business. Electronic banking also makes it easier for customers to compare banks’ services and products with that of others competitors in the industry and allows banks to penetrate new markets and thus expand their geographical reach. The information technology has replaced the brick or traditional banking with the wide range of e-banking products and services like ATM (Automated Teller Machine). • The plastic money in the form of cards has been actively introduced by banks in India in 1990’s. Despite the strong advances in e-payments.acceptance of particular product and services in the market. Credit Cards. • These changing preferences have also modified their outlook and decision regarding the acceptance and non. banking industry must adapt to the changing needs of customers. However. Indian banking has witnessed remarkable growth since 2006 as banking sector is growing by 18% and it is 6 times more than the last decade growth. Debit Cards. EFTs. the plastic cards market is growing at a large pace in India yet it has long way to go as it lacks behind if compared to the usage trends of other countries. Hence. it has become important that the payment system in India has to be modernized enough to be at par with the systems prevalent in other countries. since our domestic financial markets are increasingly getting integrated with markets abroad.

• Eco-development (ecologically-sensitive development) must be combined with educational conservation programs that inform. On-the-ground protection is essential to protect tigers from poachers seeking tiger parts for the lucrative market. GS SC OR • (b) The natural hybridization methods like in DMH-11 can even pose a greater threat to indigenous biodiversity. Mustard DMH-11 based on the evidence that it can pose a greater threat to indigenous biodiversity. • Hybridization does not change genetic contents of organisms but it produces new combination of genes. Special Program for Orphan Tiger cubs. • Seeking proper implementation of the programs launched for the protection of tigers. • Mass awareness programs thorough mass media and social media platforms. established more than 25 tiger reserves throughout the country.Project Tiger which was started in 1973 by the government and has. These reserves have been established on reclaimed land. • The government has employed refined technology of double sampling using camera traps in the tiger habitats to monitor killing and poaching of tigers. • Project Tiger was the first program to receivefinancial support from the Indian government for habitat conservation and tiger protection. Hints: Environment. Explain. • In February 2016. to date. The expressed concern is that this would adversely affect biodiversity as well as human and animal health. empower and inspire local communities to participate in the protection of the tiger. • Tiger Conservation practices in the country could be adopted and practiced by the community as a step towards sustainable forest management so as to ensure habitat protection. • Measures related to Special Tiger Protection Force. especially through the introduction of alien genes. • Proper monitoring of the tiger population using cameras and pug marks so that timely actions can be taken. Hints: • The production of a hybrid by crossing two individuals of unlike genetical constitution is known as hybridization. • Develop community-based sustainable development and conservation programs. Hybridization is an important method of combining characters of different plants. where human development and inhabitation is forbidden. Some of the issues are as following: • It is likely to lead to tweaking the genetic makeup of crop plants. E • Some of the measures to improve tiger conservation strategy in India can be as following: Manage key tiger habitat for the protection of tigers. Science and Technology [27] . the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GMEC) deferred the decision to allow the commercial production of another GM crop viz. • The Economic Valuation of 6 Tiger Reserves is carried out to provide qualitative and quantitative estimates of benefits accruing from tiger reserves. efforts to control poaching and initiatives to minimize Human-Animal conflict and encroachment have been taken. It can be both natural and artificial.

• This will give India a significant position in the world as it would place India equivalent to the few countries that have their own cryogenic engines and place India into a select group of nations . However. The space agency spends around Rs 500 crore for the launch of heavyweight satellites by a foreign space agency.the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) could launch these satellites onboard its own launch vehicle like the GSLV at nearly half the cost. • Cryogenic propellants are preferred when rockets have to carry payloads of high mass because they have the greatest efficiency in terms of thrust generated. [28] GS SC OR • Hints: Environment. E Hints: Cryogenic engine is considered as an advanced technology which is considered a frontier in rocket science technology. • India hasmastered the PSLV technology with successful launch of many satellites using this technology. Elaborate upon the benefits of NASA-ISRO joint missions. But with the development of cryogenic engine India will have significant advantage.• The after-effects the process that appear in long term can be detrimental to the environment as the super weeds that grow with GM crops have higher resistance thus requiring greater amount of pesticides with time. Discuss the significance and importance of development of Cryogenic Engine in space research for India. 19. Science and Technology . currently the level of concern surrounding this process is too high and it only after carrying out Comprehensive Risk Assessment that such crops can be introduced.it still had to depend on foreign countries to launch heavier satellites.which have developed their own cryogenic rocket engine technology. for getting its two-tonne plus GSAT/INSAT satellites off the ground. • It can launch the satellites for the other developing countries in the region from where it can get to be successful in the technology by launching more satellites. However. Cryogenic stage is a highly efficient rocket stage that provides more thrust for every kg of propellant it burns compared to solid and earth-storable liquid propellant stages. GSLV D-5 would enable India to place satellites with a weight of upto 2000-2500kg in space. • The success of India’s cryogenic engine. • Its deployment would free India from its dependence on the Ariane-5 vehicle of the European space transportation company. • India can also consolidate its position in the globalcommercial launch market by offering the services ofGSLV-MKII for launching the satellites of international customers on commercial terms. Such crops are likely to beimmune to antibiotics and their consumption by human beings can lead to anti-microbial resistance among them thus rendering antibiotics ineffective in case of disease • Thus. Indian satellites of this category are launched by foreign space agencies like Arianespace. At present. • The cryogenic stage on the GSLV is the third stage and uses liquid hydrogen as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidiser. Arianespace. The fuel used is also cheap so the technology is economical. This helps in bringing down the cost.“cryo club” . As there are no comprehensive scientific records of its safety and hazards on humans and environment so the impact on environment needs to be studied in long term.

including ecosystem disturbances. volcanoes and landslides. India’s development of a cryogenic engine Designing a cryogenic engine is an extremely challenging task mainly because thermal and structural problems associated with the low temperatures. This helps in getting the necessary Thrust to the rocket. three engines had been ground-tested. India launched a programme to develop a one-tonne cryogenic engine in 1986 itself. NISAR. Propulsion of rocket is achieved by the thrust force produced by the ignition of the fuel acting against the gravitational force of Earth. In February 2000. the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar. in order to speed up the process. Supplementary Notes Cryogenic Engine and its Principle – OR E • A cryogenic rocket engine is a rocket engine that uses a cryogenic fuel or oxidizer. In 2014. that is. satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the complex processes. required to move out of earth’s blanket. In 2012. This mixture is then allowed to expand and gases are allowed to pass through the convergent -divergent nozzle. • This collaboration can be used in future for launching joint missions in other fields also and study some complex processes. The fuel is liquidated and compressed gases at very low temperatures. Data collected from NISAR will reveal information about the evolution and state of Earth’s crust. • Such missions are also useful in the field of research as it leads to sharing of information and further research in new fields. the first indigenous cryogenic engine began to be test-fired on the ground. In 2009. GS Cryogenic engine follows the Newtonian law i. Hints: Environment. its fuel or oxidizers (or both) are gases liquefied and stored at very low temperatures. Subsequently. By December 2003. Science and Technology [29] . National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have launched a joint mission. GSLV D5 with GSAT-14 was successfully launched and placed in geostationary orbit marking the success in indigenising the cryogenic technology. but failed.e every action has an equal and opposite reaction. • Using advanced radar imaging that will provide an unprecedented. Eventually ISRO undertook theoretical studies and besides studying a procured Russian cryogenic rocket. icesheet collapse. India entered into a technology transfer agreement with Russia. • Such missions have a great significance as such mission lead to establishment of enhanced cooperation between the two. detailed view of Earth. SC In this Oxidiser /fuel or both are held at very low temperatures. this deal did not bear any significant fruits. In 2008. But with the Russians unwilling to reveal necessary information. Realising this. the process of indigenisation accelerated when indigenous cryogenic engine was declared fully qualified after a successful flight test. first flight model with cryogenic engine was tested successfully for 200 seconds meeting all parameters. or NISAR. ISRO tested the cryogenic ignition in vacuum conditions at high altitude test facility. tsunamis. and aid future resource and hazard management. help scientists better understand our planet’s processes and changing climate. and natural hazards such as earthquakes. This not only reduces the weight and size of the fuel tank but also increases its efficiency and load bearing capacity.

Gravitational Waves: GW are ripples in time and space. Light waves can be blocked or can be distorted. c) Also scientists can peep into big bang theory.20. Same things can happen with IR radiation. neutrinos etc. c) It can be used for nuclear non-proliferation by keeping a tab on radioactive material. or IndIGO(Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations) a consortium of Indian gravitational-wave physicists have been active in setting up advance experimental facilities in the field of gravitational wave astronomy. b) The detectors used in neutrino observatory can be used for detection of cancer tumors. But the field is facing resource crunch and therefore there is need to holistically implement S&T policy of 2013 to improve the quality of research in India. Till now the idea about universe was taken from light waves emitting or IR radiations emitted. For measurement of these space telescopes have been installed which is also costly. GW are emitted by black holes. It is very good for the development of science in the country. At present there are only two GW detectors in US. SC a) Advantages Indian can gain from Neutrino research Application of neutrions in future can be data communication. mineral resources. which otherwise is impossible because they don’t allow any radiations to escape from them for observation. OR Contribution of India: E a) In the present project various scientists from various Indian institutes like nstitute of Plasma Research (IPR) Gandhinagar. f) It will help re-establish India as a leader in particle research. As neutrinos interact very weakly long distance data transfer using them can be possible. Every body with mass generates gravitational waves. GS a) In recent times India has been actively participating in global science projects like TMT (Thirty meter telescope). radioactive element detection at vehicle checking point etc. The detection of these is going to open up new vistas in the field of science esp. b) INDIGO. They were predicted by Einstein. Elaborate how the present concept of Gravitational Waves can bring a new outlook in space research? How significant has Indian research been in understanding Gravitational Waves? What are the advantages that India can gain from Neutrino Research? Hints: Recently scientist at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) observed the gravitational waves which were once predicted by Einstein in 1915. in astrophysics. d) Apart from knowledge of Neutrinos and the future application of neutrinos other gain that can be gained from neutrino research are: e) It will help in creating necessary science infrastructure in the country which will help future generations in excelling. Pune were involved. b) The detection of GW can lead to better understanding of the universe.  [30] Hints: Environment. Science and Technology . through their measurement idea about these bodies can be made. Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA). c) India is also one of the countries where GW observatory is being build.