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ARTICLES

ARTICLES

ARTICLES

HFCs were introduced as ozone-friendly gases but they are greenhouse gases with high global warming potential. They are factory-made gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration. While HFCs are less abundant in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, they have 10,000 times the planet-warming potency. But carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for centuries, while HFCs disintegrate after about 15 years. Some countries like the US and several other developed countries have long been seeking to replace HFCs with alternative technologies, such as HFOs (hydrofluoroolefins) and want the matter to be discussed under the Montreal Protocol. Read More...

  Oct 29, 2016   General Category

Designed to fit within a 30-cm cube, the 10kg Pratham satellite will measure total electron count in the ionosphere that can improve the accuracy of the Global Positioning System in India, and also predict tsunamis. Conceptualised in 2008, Pratham has been worked on by students across IIT-B engineering departments and spread over seven batches. The project cost Rs 1.5 crore.   All the signals that are sent by satellites towards earth interact with a layer of electrons (negatively charged particles) in the atmosphere. This interaction changes the behaviour of these signals, and introduces certain errors in the GPS readings, Pratham Knowing ... Read More...

  Oct 28, 2016   General Category

Production sharing agreements (PSA) are a common type of contract signed between a government and a resource extraction company (or group of companies) concerning how much of the resource (usually oil) extracted from the country each will receive. In production sharing agreements the country's government awards the execution of exploration and production activities to an oil company. The oil company bears the mineral and financial risk of the initiative and explores, develops and ultimately produces oil/gas from the field . When successful, the company is permitted to use the money from produced oil to recover capital and operational expenditures. The re... Read More...

  Oct 27, 2016   General Category

India recently achieved another space milestone when it successfully launched multiple satellites from one rocket into two different orbits. In the longest mission for the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV C-35) that lifted off from Sriharikota carrying eight satellites -- three from India, including the weather satellite SCATSAT-1, three from Algeria, and one each from Canada and the US. The PSLV has launched 39 remote-sensing satellites for Isro, including the Mars mission of 2013-14.   The 371-kg SCATSAT-1, will study oceans and help in weather forecasting, including cyclone detection. Two of the Indian satellites are student-made. P... Read More...

  Oct 26, 2016   General Category

In an indication that India will not allow Pakistan to stall regional development envisaged under SAARC, a smaller group of six south-Asian nations have released an operation plan running through to 2025. Member countries of the South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka — SAARC less Pakistan and Afghanistan. The SASEC OP (operational plan) is the program's first comprehensive long-term plan to promote greater economic cooperation among members.   SASEC was established in 2001 to improve cross-border connectivity, boost trade among member countries, and stren... Read More...

  Oct 25, 2016   General Category

India should identify and focus on priority sports as it aims to bag 50 medals at 2024 Olympics, NITI Aayog has proposed in the wake of the debacle at this year's competition, advocating a strategy followed by smaller nations such as Kenya and Jamaica.   In a 20-point action plan, the government's think tank has recommended that the country prioritise 10 sports and develop an outcome oriented action plan for each of them. "Each action plan should be reviewed after every four years and its outcomes assessed annually," the Aayog said in a report titled 'Let's Play'. The report has been put in public domain for s... Read More...

  Oct 24, 2016   General Category

Indian cinema played a crucial role in the freedom struggle. Many patriotic films, in Hindi and the regional languages, upheld it. A few film producers were even involved in the campaign. India’s staunch patriots as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Vallabhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sarojini Naidu, S. Satyamurti and Rabindranath Tagore, opining that the cinema was useful for emancipation and political awakening, strongly supported it.   Some pre-Independence champions in the cinema industry: Dwarkadas Naraindas Sampat – maker of the first political (silent) film, Bhakt Vidur (1921); J B.H. Wadia, most politically involved film maker of Hindi ... Read More...

  Oct 23, 2016   General Category

The word autophagy originates from two Greek words meaning “self-eating”. It refers to the process in which cellular junk is captured and sealed in sack-like membranes, called autophagosomes. The sealed contents are transported to another structure called the lysosome. Autophagy allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components. The process is crucial for preventing cancerous growths, warding off infection and, by maintaining a healthy metabolism, it helps protect against conditions like diabetes. The contents are degraded and recycled.  In the context of disease, autophagy has been seen as an adaptive response to stress. I... Read More...

  Oct 22, 2016   General Category

Microgrid is a small standalone system connected to solar panels which can supply power to about 100 households. In this model, a customer registers with the microgrid owner with a monthly subscription, and the service provider provides him solar power for two lights, a fan and cell phone charging socket. A customer would spend Rs 100. It is cheaper than kerosene and has been growing rapidly. A microgrid costs under Rs 60,000 to set up and the project costs get recovered in three years -- including maintenance, upgrades and other overheads. Households save money each month which helps ensure payments. These micro-economics are... Read More...

  Oct 21, 2016   General Category

Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad has developed a weather data explorer application - Real Time Analysis of Products and Information Dissemination (RAPID) which is hosted in India Meteorological Department (IMD) website. This software acts as a gateway to Indian Weather Satellite Data providing quick interactive visualisation and 4-Dimensional analysis capabilities to various users like application scientists, forecasters, and the common man.   The INSAT series of satellites carrying Very High Resolution Radiometer (VHRR) have been providing data for generating cloud motion vectors, cloud top temperature, water vapour conten... Read More...

  Oct 20, 2016   General Category

It is a move towards better management of Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases across the country. JE is an important public health concern in the country accounting for substantial morbidity, mortality and disability. JE is caused by a mosquito-borne virus. Since the virus attacks the brain of the child, the chances of the child becoming mentally retarded are high.   By declaring JE as a notifiable disease healthcare providers will have to notify every JE case to the local authorities every week. In order to ensure early diagnosis and case management, reduce transmission, address the problems of emergency and spread of disease in newer geogra... Read More...

  Oct 19, 2016   General Category

2016 Nobel prize in economics has been awarded to UK-born Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström of Finland for their work on contract theory, which has covered a range of issues from public-private partnerships to executive pay. As it announced the prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences described the pair’s work as key to the understanding of the real-life contracts and institutions that hold together modern economies. Their research was praised for shedding light on how contracts help people deal with conflicting interests in areas such as insurance and employment. They were also recognised for helping... Read More...

  Oct 18, 2016   General Category

It  is a process that occurs at mid-ocean ridges, where new oceanic crust is formed through volcanic activity and then gradually moves away from the ridge. Seafloor spreading helps explain continental drift in the theory of plate tectonics. It  is a geologic process in which tectonic plates—large slabs of Earth's lithosphere—split apart from each other. Read More...

  Oct 17, 2016   General Category

The National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) is an integral part of the three-tier institutional structure dealing with national security issues with the National Security Council at its apex. The other important wing is the Strategic Policy group.  The NSAB normally meets at least once a month. Its principal function is to undertake long-term analysis of and provide perspectives on issues of national security. It reports to the National Security Council headed by the PM. The National Security Advisory Board consists of senior retired officials, civilian as well as military, academics and distinguished members of civil society drawn from and having exper... Read More...

  Oct 16, 2016   General Category

The Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment under the WTO means every member should all others normally for trade relations. Preferential terms are allowed but not negative discrimination. Exceptions to the general MFN rule on grounds of National Security, via Article XXI are permitted.  There are other exceptions as well, in Article XX of the GATT.  India in 1996 gave MFN status to Pakistan.   Pakistan, which is bound by WTO rules to extend the MFN status to India has not done so, using the provisions of Article XXI. India has not taken the issue to the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, partly because it is difficult to challenge P... Read More...

  Oct 15, 2016   General Category

A startup ecosystem is formed by people, startups in their various stages and various types of organizations in a location (physical or virtual), interacting as a system to create new startup companies and increase the productivity of the existing ones.. These organizations are universities, funding organizations, support organizations (like incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces etc.), research organizations, service provider organizations (like legal, financial services etc.) and large corporations. Different organizations  focus on specific parts of the ecosystem function and startups at their specific development stage. 1. Government pol... Read More...

  Oct 14, 2016   General Category

Currently, there are measures to control wholesalers and importers and not retailers. Retail prices are fixed by market forces, leaving very little room for the government to check undue spike in prices. The amendments to the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, have a provision to fix retail price of any essential commodity. If retail sale price of any essential commodity is fixed and notified by the competent authority under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, the same shall apply. This rule will apply to essential commodities that are sold both in loose and packaged form in retail markets. Fixing retail prices of essential items will be do... Read More...

  Oct 13, 2016   General Category

Himansh, the glaciological research facility of India is located in Spiti Valley, one of the most uninhabited parts of the country, Himansh is considered to be the highest point from where an Indian glacier research facility is functioning. The research lab, established by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR), has automatic weather stations, ground penetrating radars, geodetic GPS systems and other sophisticated facilities to study glaciers and their discharge. The facility will serve as the base for Terrestrial Laser Scanners and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to digitise glacier movements and snow cover variations, said a c... Read More...

  Oct 12, 2016   General Category

It belongs to 9th century BC and associated with the post-Rigvedic Vedic civilization. In some sites, BRW pottery is associated with Late Harappan pottery, and according to some scholars, the BRW may have directly influenced the Painted Grey Ware and Northern Black Polished Ware cultures. BRW pottery is unknown west of the Indus Valley. Use of iron, although sparse at first, is relatively early, postdating the beginning of the Iron Age in Anatolia (Hittites) by only two or three centuries, and predating the European (Celts) Iron Age by another two to three hundred years. Recent findings in Northern India show Iron working since ... Read More...

  Oct 11, 2016   General Category

The term "Janapada" literally means the foothold of a tribe. The fact that Janapada is derived from Jana points to an early stage of land-taking by the Jana tribe for a settled way of life. This process of first settlement on land had completed its final stage prior to the times of the Buddha and Pāṇini. The Pre-Buddhist north-west region of the Indian sub-continent was divided into several Janapadas demarcated from each other by boundaries. In Pāṇini's "Ashtadhyayi", Janapada stands for country and Janapadin for its citizenry. Each of these Janapadas was named after the Kshatriya tribe (or the Kshatriya Jana) who ha... Read More...

  Oct 10, 2016   General Category