December 5, 2020

Science&Techonology GS-3

Trilok Singh

ISRO navigation satellite in orbit

India on Saturday demonstrated its ability to establish an independent regional navigation satellite system, as ISRO’s PSLV C-27 successfully launched Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) 1-D satellite into the intended orbit.

“We will now be able to make use of our receivers to locate ourselves independently,” ISRO Chairman K.S. Kiran Kumar said. This is the first launch this year and the first under his chairmanship.

While the ambit of the U.S. GPS was global, the IRNSS was meant for regional coverage, he said, replying to a query. “The globe comes later, the country comes first.”

IRNSS 1-D is the fourth of the series of seven satellites, which would form ISRO’s IRNSS.

Source:-The Hindu



The Defence Acquisition Council(DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Manohar parrikar,which met on 28th march 2015 approved the development of an indigenous Airborne Warning and Control systems(AWACS)  by the DRDO.

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DRDO conducts maiden test-flight of Panchi (Defance Techonology)

Panchi, the wheeled version of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Nishant, capable of taking off from and landing on small airstrips, had its maiden flight on December 24 from an airfield at Kolar in Karnataka.What is unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)? An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone and also referred to as an unpiloted aerial vehicle and a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. ICAO classifies unmanned aircraft into two types:
Autonomous aircraft – currently considered unsuitable for regulation due to legal and liability issues
Remotely piloted aircraft – subject to civil regulation under ICAO and under the relevant national aviation authority

  1. Nishant, which has an underbelly airbag, is launched by a catapult, and lands with the help of an onboard parachute. Panchi has all the surveillance capabilities of Nishant, but it can stay in the air longer because it does not have to carry the airbag and the parachute systems of the other. It is also a light vehicle with its body made of composites, and has a high degree of stealth because it has a low radar cross-section signature.
  2. The aim of the flight was “to demonstrate that Panchi can take off and land on its wheels.
  3. Panchi was designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) facility at Bengaluru.

Read more in the Hindu newspaper dated 26 Dec pg 11
IMPORTANCE: GS Paper-III (Main Examination)- Security

Naval LCA makes first flight from ski-jump

A giant leap for Indian Naval Aviation.

  1. In a defining moment for Indian Naval Aviation, the first prototype (NP1) of Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the first indigenously designed and developed 4th plus generation combat aircraft designed to operate from the decks of air-craft carriers, had a successful first flight from ski-jump facility of shore-based test facility at INS Hansa in Goa.
  2. LCA (Navy) is designed with stronger landing gears to absorb forces exerted by the ski jump ramp during take-off, to be airborne within 200m as against 1000m required for normal runways.
  3. The Shore Based Test Facility has been created to replicate the aircraft carrier with a ski jump for take-off and arresting gear cable for arrested landing by Aeronautical Development Agency with the participation of the Indian Navy, Goa shipyard and Indian Navy with Russian agencies providing the design support and specialised equipment.
  4. Read more in the Hindu newspaper dated 23 Dec pg 10
    IMPORTANCE:  GS Paper-III (Main Examination)- Security

History of Science & Technology in India

The new scheme of Civil Services (Main) Examination – 2013 has Science and Technology as a theme in General Studies, Paper – III. In view of that we shall explore the growth of Science and Technology (S & T) in India. Science & Technology has enormous significance for economic growth at the macro level and for building business competitiveness at the micro level. Globalization and liberalization have thrown up immense opportunities and some challenges for S&T.

                                                                        In an increasingly competitive world, Indian industry needs the support of indigenous S&T in a big way. Over the past few years, it has been increasingly recognized that greater coordination and cooperation between industry on the one hand and the R&D/academic institutions on the other is necessary for facing these challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities offered. At the macro level, S&T management should focus on meeting the needs of the nation (including industry), and encompass a wide spectrum of activities; namely basic research, applied research, technology transfer, design, development, fabrication, tests and trials, manufacturing, marketing, maintenance and product support during the life cycle. At the micro level, R&D institutions and the academia must move from R&D to R&D and Engineering so that the indigenous technology can meet the specific requirements of the Indian industry.

        In the present liberalised, competitive environment, industry should pay much more attention to the external sources of technology and upgrade its technology through quantum leaps in technological inputs. It should anticipate and take advantage of technological changes to develop new products. Customers’ experiences and preferences may project new demands, which will stimulate the development of newer technologies. Technology management for industry can, thus, be viewed as a continuous process.

In order to strengthen the interface between industryR&D—academia and to enhance the level of industry participation, appropriate steps need to be taken at various levels by all concerned — Government, industry associations, R&D institutions -and universities. The awareness of mutual strengths and requirements would require measures like: joint workshops/seminars and exhibitions; promotion of sandwich programmes involving attachment of students to an industry during their academic stints; establishment of sustained one-to-one linkages between R&D/ academic institutions and the industries located in a particular region; and setting up of accurate, upto- date, reliable, realistic and user-friendly database on indigenous, technological expertise/ infrastructure, S&T personnel, R&D programmes, technological breakthroughs and innovations etc.

Encouraging the mobility of S&T personnel between industry and R&D/academic institutions would also be a thrust area. Academic institutions and R&D laboratories also need to organise appropriate training programmes for industry personnel in order to cater to the specific requirement of industry. Policy, procedures and systems should be reformed to encourage the academic faculty to accept contract/collaborative research for industry.

Technology transfer to industry would be another thrust area. R&D/academic institutions should give appropriate importance to design and product engineering aspects, the application and constant upgrading of the technology to be transferred. Interaction with the industry should not end with technology transfer but the agency providing the technology must constantly interact with the user industry for problem solving, technology absorption and improvement upgradation of the technology. Government and industry associations should work together for the establishment of independent test facilities for reliable quality-checks, calibration and also for technology validation. Establishment of Industry S&T Interface Institutions (ISTI), with technology management centres manned by qualified personnel, could also be considered, besides the establishment of S&T entrepreneurship parks, Technology Business Incubators, upgrading R&D infrastructure of the industry through consortiums of industry associations. Incentive/support measures would also need to be introduced for promoting the purchase of products developed through indigenous technologies.


Indus Valley Civilisation: India’s progress in science and technology is not a new phenomenon. As early as 2500 B.C., the Indus Valley Civilization boasted of well-planned towns, drainage systems and ports such as Lothal.

World’s Oldest University: In Takshila (India), the world’s oldest university was established in the year 700 BC. It has been said that the students had options to study more than 60 subjects. Even, the University of Nalanda was established in the fourth century BC. It is regarded as one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.

Mathematics: Sulvas sutras, which embody the mathematical principles then known, laid down the principles of geometry for the design and construction of sacrificial altars. It was in this land, that use of zero originated which was also called Arabic numerals (acknowledging their Indian origin, the Arabs called them Hindas)

Astronomy: Aryabhata first put forth the idea of the rotation of the earth on its own axis and calculated the sidereal period of the earth’s rotation fairly accurately. Panchsiddhanta and Suryasiddhanta have greatly influenced the later scientific researches.

Medicine : The Atharvaveda is perhaps the original repository of India’s medical knowledge. Charaka and Sushruta Samhitas, he two great works on Ayurveda- the science of life, describe the medical and surgical practices used in India some 2,500 years ago.

Chemistry: Progress in chemistry led to well established processes of dyeing, paper production, perfume and sugar manufacture, and use of alloy. Several industrial metallurgical centres cropped up dealing with iron forging and copper smelting.

Technology: India’s technology progress was visible from 6th century BC onwards, when signs of excellence were seen in multiple areas, like technical skills involved in iron metallurgy, and steel, copper, bronze working, craftsmanship in stones and metals etc. The famous iron pillars at Delhi, Dhar and Mt.Abu, the huge copper statue of Buddha at Sutanganj in Bihar and the beams of temple at Konark are classical examples that proved the extraordinary skills of the blacksmiths at the time.

Science and Religion: Earlier, science and religion had been benefiting from each other. But later on, religion felt threatened by the progress of science and became antagonistic to it. Science can not prevail over the entranced power of the priestly class, and learned Brahmins’ insular attitude and all prevailing mysticism retarded the pace of science.

Metallurgy: India invented a high —carbon steel, which was called wootz. Wootz is the english for Ukku in Kannada and Telgu, meaning stall. During ancient times, the Indian steel were used to make swords and armour in Persia and Arabia. Ktesias at the court of Persia (5th century BC) mentions two swords made of Indian steel which the Persian King presented him.

Arrival of the British science revised once again with the advent of the British in India who brought with themselves a spirit of scientific inquiry and reform. The British tailored developments in S&T education essentially to serve the imperial needs to increase revenues, to meet defence requirements and to provide communication systems for trade and administrative control over the country. A series of surveying institutions were set up for mapping land and other natural resources of the country, meteorology made progress, railways and other communication systems were developed.


Invention of medicines: The Council of Science and Industrial research (CSIR) has played a vital role in not merely making India self-reliant, but also a net exporter in the fields of drugs and pharmaceuticals. The Council has adopted a dual strategy; developing new drugs and developing alternative and cost effective routes for known drugs. Some of the drugs developed by CSIR are Centchroman (a non-steroidal, once-a-week contraceptive for women), Picroliv (an herbal drug for treatment of liver disorders), Acyclovir and AZT (anti-AIDS drugs having high export potential).

Ocean Development : The Government of. India has established the Department of Ocean Development in 1981, to promote and co-ordinate the many endeavours required to accomplish the task. Its aim is also to develop the emerging frontier of Antarctic research and deep sea bed mining. India along with the Caribbean countries has initiated a programme of training in an oceanographic research. This has led to a formation of Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), and India is a member of it. India’s research vessel ‘Sagar Kanya’ (the daughter of the sea) has navigated from the coastal Goa and touched a round through 13 CSC member countries of the Caribbean. It has gathered a number of samples for the research work.


In the new millennium, India is emerging as a leader in the field of software engineering and web- based services. India’s IT Sector is known for its cost-effectiveness, world-class quality, high reliability and rapid delivery The Indian software industry, has zoomed from a mere US$ 150 million ten years ago to a whopping US$ 3.9 billion in 1998- 99, and US$ 15.9 billion in 2011-12.

Green Revolution: In the post-independence, self-reliance in food production is one of the major achievements. Under the guidance of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, the Indian scientists strived for development of Sankar – a hybrid seed. Irrigation facilities were extended and farmers were given free loans for seeds, pesticide and chemicals and new methods of agriculture were implemented. The prediction of foreign scientists who said that India would never become self-reliant in food grain production was proved wrong. With the Green Revolution, White Revolution (for dairy products) took place. In 1949 AD, Verghese Courian dreamt of a co-operative society in Anand – Gujarat. Today Anand is one of the main co-operatives in the world.

Space Development: Indian participation in the field of space research dates back to 1961, when an Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR) was set up under the chairmanship of Dr. Vikram. A. Sarabhai. India’s practical space activity began with the establishment of Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) took over the Commission in 1972. The first Indian Satellite Aryabhatta was launched in 1975.

Nuclear Tests: In the year 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru said: “India would develop atomic power for peaceful uses, but warned that, as long as world was continued as it was, every country would have to develop and use the latest scientific devices for its protection.” The Atomic Energy Commission, set up in August 1948, is responsible for all atomic energy activities in the country.

Telecommunication and Information Technology: India has made an amazing progress in this field. In 1947 India had only 6 Radio Stations which have now increased to 376 stations today (2013) located across the country, reaching nearly 92% of the country’s area and 99.19 % of the total population. AIR originates programming in 23 languages and 146 dialects. In 1960-61, India had only one T.V. transmitter and they were more than 834 at the end of December, 1996. With the help of satellites all Indian villages are inter connected with telephones, radios and television networks India has the highest skilled software engineers in the world.

Invention of Cryogenic Engine: India has joined the elite club of five with the successful full test firing of an indigenously developed powerful cryogenic engine used in rockets to launch satellites in geostationary orbits, 36,000 km above Earth.

The five countries who have the capability to launch rockets with cryogenic engines are the US, Russia, France, China and Japan. According to ISRO sources in Bangalore, the test lasted 10 seconds. It is one of a series of short-duration tests conducted before the engine can be tested for a long duration. The cryogenic upper stage project envisages design and development of an indigenous cryogenic upper stage to replace the Russian- supplied cryogenic stage in Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).


The first experimental flight of India’s next generation launch vehicle Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III (GSLV Mk-III) was successfully conducted on December 18, 2014 morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. Also known as LVM3, this suborbital experimental mission was intended to test the vehicle performance during the critical atmospheric phase of its flight and this carried passive (non functional) cryogenic upper stage.

Super Markets IN USA – Marketing par excellence!

America is the Mecca of marketing. There are so many things that one can learn from the American way of marketing. Americans have a flair for dramatization. Donald Trump the maverick Entrepreneur named his hotel “Taj Mahal” and boasted that it was as good as the original Taj Mahal! Innovations that Americans have brought to the retail industry.

  1. American trouser sizes: One thing that all people hate is the dreaded question that the sales person asks “sir what is your waist size?” Shoppers in USA are in for a pleasant surprise. The American size is one size less than actual. For example Indian size 38 would be size 36 in USA. Shopping in USA is a pleasurable experience as 2 inches are taken of your waist that too instantly! The only other place that can make you even happier is Ethiopia where one magically becomes 7 years younger (Ethiopia follows a calendar that is 7 years behind the Georgian calendar. Ethiopians are right now in 2007!).
  1. Large, extra-large: America is the country that made inches redundant by getting in a new concept called small, medium, Large and extra-large. Many people console themselves saying “well we are large”. But how large, no one really bothers because after large it is all XL (extra-large and one can go on till 7 XL). Bank on Americans on taking the guilt out of shopping!
  1. Plus sizes: Fat is out but fat people are still good for business. In a country that celebrates thinness paradoxically most of the customers are fat and they have to be pampered. USA has a very polite name for fat customers. They call these customers plus size customers and there are shops catering to plus size customers’ fashion needs.
  1. Zero size: USA worships thinness. USA has coined a term called zero size. Zero size does not mean having a waist of zero. It is 22- 24 inches at waist. But the concept of zero size becomes so popular that a winsome lass like Kareena Kapoor starved herself to get a zero size. Sanity prevailed and she has returned to her earlier and normal waist size.
  1. Calling clients as guests: One of the things about USA is the terminology. All other countries call their customers as customers but USA has taught the world to call their customers as guests. Guests in the house and they must be treated as guests are treated at one’s home.
  1. Allowing readers to read to their hearts content: American book shops have mastered the art of display and enticement. American book shops are so inviting that readers can go to the book shop pick up a book and read it to their heart’s content. There is no pressure of buying. One can sample the book and buy it only if one wants. It works to the advantage of the book shop as the book shop appears to be crowded. A crowded shop always triggers others to walk in. It is a win-win for the book shop.
  1. The latest in thing USA is electronic price tags. These are price tags that display change in prices depending on raw material availability and changes in the dollar rate against the international currencies. So do not be surprised it some price is displayed at the time of picking up the product and another price might be displayed at the time of payment. One might get benefited or might lose out. But isn’t that what is life all about!

Super Markets: The best of the marketing in USA can be seen in the super markets. “Have time will party, shop till you drop, shopping mania, walking in the malls, mall bashing, window-shopping”. All these thoughts kick in as one wanders through the super markets in the USA.

Super markets come in all shapes all sizes and all names. Savor some of them: Target, Dollar tree, Sears, Macy, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Big Lots, Costco and many more.

The first thing that sets apart the US super markets is their size and the huge parking lots that come along with them. The stores have nice displays and automatic doors. One deodorant company had a picture of many people pasted on the automatic door. As the shopper approaches, the doors part and the shopper feels as if other shoppers are moving away from him/her. As the shocked shopper enters inside the shop the first display is of the deodorant company.

The displays are huge and the aisles are so huge that two trolleys can be fitted alongside each other. Most of the products are within reachable height and if they are not signs are posted asking the customers to request for help. When two shoppers at the opposite sides of the same aisles bend down to reach merchandise, their booties (bums or backsides) don’t touch. Why all these precautions? Americans respect their privacy or private space and would walk way if they think that the aisles are crowded.

The shopping experience is smooth as silk and the super market ambience is very nice with piped in music. Dollar Tree stores (everything at a dollar) are more down to earth. It is refreshing to see the purchasing power of the dollar. Many budget conscious shoppers buy at Dollar Tree. It is always worth an experience if only to find out how much the other super market chains are padding the products. The real eye openers are at the checkout counters. Shoppers wait for their turn behind a yellow line. A sign at a pharmacy counter proclaims, “Wait here to protect the privacy of the customers before you”. At the checkout counters itself shoppers can distinguish their products from the shopper earlier with a help of a simple check out divider (great for product promotion).

The trolleys themselves are state of the art. They can be motor driven, have space for a small baby, can lock themselves once they are out of sight of the supermarket and in Dollar Tree come with a 25 cent charge for usage. Think of innovative ideas.

The customers can opt for a self-checkout or a clerk assisted check out. Facilities for trading/discount stamps, cash (paper and coins) are also available. For physically challenged shoppers counters are set at a lesser heights for easy signing of the credit card.

One thing unique about super market pricing in USA is that they are way ahead of anybody else in innovative pricing. Wal-Mart introduced the concept of everyday low pricing.

Costco the king of low prices focuses on selling products at low prices, often at very high volume. These goods are usually bulk-packaged and marketed primarily to large families and businesses. Costco does not carry multiple brands or varieties where the item is essentially the same except when it has a house brand to sell, typically under the Kirkland Signature label.

This results in a high volume of sales from a single vendor, allowing further reductions in price, and reducing marketing costs. If Costco management feels the wholesale price of a product is too high, they will refuse to stock the product. Costco also saves money by not stocking extra bags or packing materials. To carry out their goods, customers must bring their own bags or use the merchandise shipping boxes from the company’s outside vendors.

Lighting costs are reduced on sunny days, as most Costco locations have several skylights. During the day, electronic light meters measure how much light is coming in the skylights and turn off an appropriate percentage of the interior lights. During a typical sunny day, it is very common for the center section of the warehouse to have no interior lights powered on.

Most products are delivered to the warehouse on shipping pallets and these pallets are used to display products for sale on the warehouse floor. This contrasts with retail stores that break down pallets and stock individual products on shelves. Costco limits its price markup on items to 15%. Typically the decor and the fittings are utilitarian and the stores are located in places where the real estate prices are low.






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