Science & Tech III

Delhi Law Academy


•            Nanotechnology or nanotech in short, is the technology that involves the manipulation of matter on atomic, molecular and supra-molecular scales. This includes particles of a scale of 1 to 100 nanometres.

•            As an emerging field of science and technology, it is important to have a basic understanding of nanotechnology and its applications.

Nanotechnology Origins

•            The concept behind this principle originated in a talk entitled, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” by physicist Richard Feynman in 1959. The term nanotechnology was actually coined by Professor Norio Taniguchi.

•            In 1981, the scanning tunnelling microscope was invented which made it possible to “see” individual atoms. This and the invention of the atomic force microscope (AFM) made it possible for nanotechnology to become reality.

•            Nanotechnology has come a long way since then and now affects many industries. It is an interdisciplinary field converging many streams of engineering and science.

Uses of nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is used in various fields today. Some of the uses of nanotechnology are discussed below.


•            Nano-RAM: It is a non-volatile RAM (Random Access Memory) based on carbon nanotubes deposited on a chip-like substrate. Its small size permits very high density memories.

•            Nano opto-mechanical SRAM (Static RAM): This shows faster read/write time as compared to a MEMS memory. Also, the processes take place without interference which further reduces time when compared to a traditional electrical enabled SRAM.

Healthcare and Medicine

  • Nanotech detectors for heart attack
  • Nanochips to check plaque in arteries
  • Nanocarriers for eye surgery, chemotherapy, etc.
  • Diabetic pads for regulating blood sugar levels
  • Nanoparticles for drug delivery to the brain – for therapeutic treatment of neurological disorders
  • Nanosponges – are polymer nanoparticles coated with a red blood cell membrane, can be used for absorbing toxins and removing them from the bloodstream
  • NanoFlares – used for detection of cancer cells in the bloodstream
  • Nanopores – use in making DNA sequencing more efficient


•            Solar paints or photovoltaic paints – can replace solar panels. Applying solar paints to any surface will enable it to capture energy from the sun and transform it into electricity. This can be used in houses and cars.

•            Wind power generationsnano-generators – these are flexible thin sheets which when bent can generate potential power.

•            Nano-batteries – these are used to help rechargeable lithium ion batteries last longer.

Agriculture and Food


  • Hybrid polymers are used in packaging and to reduce spoilage
  • Sensors for food-borne pathogens
  • Nano-emulsions – to reduce bacteria on produce
  • Nanoparticles based on titanium dioxide – used as antimicrobial agents

Nanotechnology in India: Nano Mission

•           Research and work on nanotechnology in India started in 2001 with the formation of the Nano-Science and Technology Initiative with an initial funding of Rs. 60 crores. In 2007, the Government of India launched a 5-year program called Nano Mission.

•           It had a wider scope of objectives and much larger funding. Fields involved in the mission were: basic research in nanotechnology, infrastructure development, human resources development and global collaboration.

•           Many institutions and departments were roped in for the work such as Department of IT, DRDO, Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), etc. In both IIT Bombay and IISC Bangalore, National Centers for Nanofabrication and Nano-electronics were established.

Results of these initiatives

  • India has published over 23000 papers in nanoscience.
  • India ranked 3rd in papers published in 2013 behind only the USA and China.
  • There have been many patent applications in this field.


  • India spends only a fraction of the amount spent by countries such as the USA, China, Japan, etc. on nanotechnology.
  • The quality of research is also to be improved significantly. Only 16% of the papers from India figured in the top 1% publications in 2011.
  • Only 0.2% of the patents filed in the US Patent Office in this field are from India.
  • There are very few students who take up this field.
  • Although the target number of PhDs in nanotechnology is 10,000 per year by the MInistry of HRD, the current number is just 150 per annum.
  • The contribution of the private sector is minimal in this domain. Even though there is a lot of potential, the private sector is yet to show tremendous enthusiasm.

Scope for potential:

  • A team from IIT Madras used nanotechnology to decontaminate arsenic from water.
  • A team from IIT Delhi has engineered a self-cleaning technology to be used in the textile industry.

Nuclear Reactors

•            A nuclear reactor is the most important part of a nuclear power plant. It is where the nuclear chain reactions that produce energy by fission occur. The heat thus produced can be used to produce electricity.

•            The main purpose of a reactor is to contain and control the energy released. Uranium is used as the nuclear fuel in the reactors.

•            The heat produced by nuclear reactions is used to convert the water into steam, which is further converted into carbon-free electricity by the help of turbines.

Main Components of a Nuclear Reactor

•            The main components of a nuclear reactor are listed below.

•            The Core: It contains all the fuel and generates the heat required for energy production.

•            The Coolant: It passes through the core, absorbing the heat and transferring into turbines.

•            The Turbine: Transfers energy into the mechanical form.

•            The Cooling Tower: It eliminates the excess heat that is not converted or transferred.

•            Neutron Moderator: Moderators are used for reducing the speed of fast neutrons released from the fission reaction and making them capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction.

•            Usually, water, solid graphite and heavy water are used as a moderator in nuclear reactors.

•            Commonly-used moderators include regular (light) water (in 74.8% of the world’s reactors), solid graphite (20% of reactors), heavy water (5% of reactors).

•            The Containment: The enveloping structure that separates the nuclear reactor from the surrounding environment.

•            Neutron Poison : A neutron poison (also called a neutron absorber or a nuclear poison) is a substance with a large neutron absorption cross-section.

Types of Nuclear Reactors

•            Based on various components and working principles of Nuclear Reactors, one can distinguish them into the following types discussed below.

•            Even though all the commercial nuclear power reactors use Nuclear Fission, they can be classified into two categories based on the energy of neutrons that sustain the fission chain reaction.

Thermal Reactors

•            Thermal reactors (the most common type of nuclear reactor) use slowed or thermal neutrons to keep up the fission of their fuel.

•            Boiling water reactors (BWR), Pressurized water reactors (PWR) and Heavy water reactors (HWR) operate with thermal neutrons.

Fast Neutron Reactors

•            Fast neutron reactors use fast neutrons to cause fission in their fuel.

•            Very rare due to complexity and costs. They are more difficult to build and more expensive to operate.

•            Fast reactors have the potential to produce less radioactive waste because all fissile is fissionable with fast neutrons [fuel is highly enriched in fissile material].

Types of Nuclear Reactors

Light Water Reactors (LWR)

  • LWR is a type of Thermal Neutron Reactor.
  • Uses Normal Water instead of Heavy Water as its coolant and Neutron Moderator
  • BWR & PWR are Light Water Reactors.
  • The BWR drives the steam turbine when the reactor core heats the water converting it into steam. Example: Fukushima Daiichi, Japan.
  • Pressurized water has a higher boiling point. Reactor core heats the water without producing any steam in the core.
  • This pressurized hot water then exchanges heat with a secondary low-pressure water unit which turns into steam.
  • This steam drives the steam turbine.

Heavy Water Reactors

  • HWR is also a type of Thermal Neutron Reactor.
  • Uses Heavy Water (deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and Neutron Moderator.
  • The HWR follows the working principle of the Pressurized Water Reactor.
  • Even though Heavy Water is very expensive, it allows the nuclear reactor to operate without any fuel enrichment due to the enhanced neutron economy.
  • This also allows the Nuclear reactor to use alternate fuel cycles.

Gas-Cooled Reactors

  • BWR, LWR, HWR & PWR can’t operate at very high temperatures and thus doesn’t provide great thermal efficiency.
  • In Gas-Cooled reactors, gas is replaced as a coolant and that drives the turbine.
  • These reactors are called High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors (HTGRs).
  • Gases like Helium & Carbon-Dioxide are used as coolants.
  • HTGRs provide high thermal efficiency (Upto 50%) as they can operate at high temperatures.
  • HTGRs can have multiple applications other than power production which involve heat processes like hydrogen fuel cells, water desalination, oil refineries, etc.
  • Gas being, not the most efficient coolant, HTGRs need a highly- efficient back-up coolant.

Fast Reactors

  • The reactors discussed above use moderators that slow the high-energy (fast) neutrons down to low-energy (slow).
  • Fast reactors don’t use moderators and use Fast Neutrons.
  • In order to sustain the fission reaction by fast neutrons, the fission material needs to be highly enriched.
  • Uranium enrichment is very expensive thus making the use of Fast reactors uneconomical.

Critical Mass

  • A critical mass is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction.
  • The critical mass of a fissionable material depends upon its nuclear properties, its density, its shape, its enrichment, its purity, its temperature, and its surroundings.
  • When a nuclear chain reaction in a mass of fissile material is self-sustaining, the mass is said to be in a critical state in which there is no increase or decrease in power, temperature, or neutron population.

India’s Three Stage Nuclear Power Program

  • India’s 3 stage Nuclear Power Program was conceived soon after Independence to meet the security and energy demands of Independent India. India’s Uranium reserves constituted a very small amount, but India has a very huge amount of thorium reserves.
  • Hence to attain independence in the energy domain it was conceived to develop a 3 stage nuclear power program utilising the abundant thorium reserves.

When was India’s Three-stage Nuclear Power Program devised?

•            India’s 3 stage Nuclear Power Program was devised in 1954.

Who devised India’s Three Stage Nuclear Power Program?

•            Homi J Bhabha, the father of India’s Nuclear program, devised India’s Three Stage Nuclear Power Program.

What was the objective behind formulating the Three Stages Nuclear Power Program?

  • India has only 2% of World’s Uranium reserves; on the other hand, India has 25% of the World’s Thorium reserves.
  • Since India was not part of some of the International Nuclear treaties, India was prevented from taking part in international trade in the nuclear field.
  • India has a huge population and growing economy, to meet the energy demands India had to rely heavily on imports of coal, and crude oil.
  • Hence India had to devise methodologies to be self-sufficient in meeting energy demands arising due to a burgeoning population and economy; the 3 stage Nuclear Power Program was one of the answers to it.

How is energy produced using Three Stages of the Nuclear Power Program?

•            India has approximately 400 thousand tonnes of thorium reserves, close to 25% of Global Thorium reserves.

•            Thorium is not a fissile material, but it can be converted into Uranium – 233, which can then undergo fission to produce energy.

What are the three different stages in the Nuclear Power Program?

•            The nuclear reactors used in different stages are different and the byproducts of one stage will be used in succeeding stages.

Stage 1

•            Use natural Uranium to fuel a Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR).

•            The by-product, Plutonium (Pu) – 239 is used in Stage 2.

Stage 2

•            Develop Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) to produce excess, Pu-239, which will then lead to the conversion of Thorium (Th – 232) to fissile Uranium U-233.

Stage 3

•            Develop Breeder Reactors, these are Thorium based Nuclear reactors.

Nuclear Power Plants in India

•            Presently, India has 22 operating nuclear power reactors, with an installed capacity of 6780 MegaWatt electric (MWe). Among these eighteen reactors are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and four are Light Water Reactors (LWRs).

•            Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) is being implemented by the Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam Limited (BHAVINI), a wholly owned Enterprise of the Government of India under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor

•            PHWR is a nuclear power reactor, commonly using unenriched natural uranium as its fuel. It uses heavy water (Deuterium oxide D2O) as its coolant and moderator.

•            The heavy water coolant is kept under pressure, allowing it to be heated to higher temperatures without boiling, much as in a typical pressurized water reactor.

•            While heavy water is significantly more expensive than ordinary light water, it yields greatly enhanced neutron economy, allowing the reactor to operate without fuel enrichment facilities.

Light Water Reactor

•            The light water reactor is a type of thermal- neutron reactor that utilizes normal water as opposed to heavy water.

•            It is fuelled by Low Enriched Uranium.

•            It uses water as both a coolant method and a neutron moderator.

•            It produces heat by controlled nuclear fission.

Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor

•            A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates more fissile material than it consumes. These are designed to extend the nuclear fuel supply for electric power generation.

•            Breeder reactors achieve this because their neutron economy is high enough to create more fissile fuel than they use, by irradiation of a fertile material, such as Uranium-238 or Thorium-232 that is loaded into the reactor along with fissile fuel.

•            PFBR is a 500 MWe fast breeder nuclear reactor presently being constructed at the Madras Atomic Power Station in Kalpakkam (Tamil Nadu).

•            It is fuelled by Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel.

Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel

•            MOX fuel is manufactured from plutonium recovered from used reactor fuel, mixed with depleted uranium.

•            Mixed oxide (MOX) fuel provides almost 5% of the new nuclear fuel used today.

•            MOX fuel also provides a means of burning weapons-grade plutonium (from military sources) to produce electricity.

Depleted Uranium

•            In order to produce fuel for certain types of nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons, uranium has to be “enriched” in the U-235 isotope, which is responsible for nuclear fission.

•            During the enrichment process the fraction of U-235 is increased from its natural level (0.72% by mass) to between 2% and 94% by mass.

•            The by-product uranium mixture (after the enriched uranium is removed) has reduced concentrations of U-235 and U-234. This by-product of the enrichment process is known as depleted uranium (DU).

Nuclear power in India

•            Nuclear power is the fifth-largest source of electricity in India after coal, gas, hydroelectricity and wind power.

•            India has 22 nuclear reactors in operation in 7 nuclear power plants, with a total installed capacity of 6,780 MW.

•            Nuclear power produced a total of 35 TWh and supplied 3.22% of Indian electricity in 2019.

•            7 more reactors are under construction with a combined generation capacity of 4,300 MW.

Locations of Uranium Resources in India

  • Tummalapalle (Kadapa District) – Andhra Pradesh
  • Nalgonda District – Telangana
  • East Singhbhum District – Jharkhand
  • West Khasi Hills District – Meghalaya
  • Udaipur, Sikar District – Rajasthan
  • Yadgir District – Karnataka
  • Rajnandgaon (District) – Chhattisgarh
  • Sonbhadra District – Uttar Pradesh
  • Rudraprayag District – Uttarakhand
  • Una District – Himachal Pradesh
  • Gondia District – Maharashtra

Radiation Technologies and Applications

Radiation Applications

•            India is a large producer of radioisotopes. The radioisotopes are produced in the research reactors at Trombay, accelerator at Kolkata and various nuclear power plants.

•            BARC, Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology (BRIT), Centre for Advanced Technology (CAT) and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) are the organizations of DAE which are engaged in the development of radiation technologies and their applications in the areas of health, agriculture, industry and research.

•            DAE is working in close co-operation with other organizations of the Government of India to widen the reach of these technologies for the benefit of the common man. Remarkable progress was achieved in applications of Radioisotopes and Radiation Technology in the areas of nuclear agriculture, food preservation and industry.

Research Reactors:

•            The research reactors APSARA, CIRUS and DHRUVA at Trombay are utilized for basic and applied research, isotope production, material testing and training for human resource development.

Nuclear Agriculture:

•            The nuclear agriculture programme of BARC covers development of high yielding crop seeds using nuclear techniques, fertilizer and pesticide related studies, radiation processing of food items and other areas.

•            Recently, two varieties of groundnut namely TG-37A and TPG-41 developed by BARC were notified for commercial cultivation. So far, a total of 24 varieties of high yielding crops were developed, released and notified for commercial cultivation by Government of India.

Preservation of Food and Hygienization:

•            Preservation of food by radiation processing involves controlled application of energy of ionizing radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays and accelerated electrons to agricultural commodities and food products.

•            KRUSHAK (Krushi Utpadan Sanrakshan Kendra), a technology demonstration unit of BARC, set up for low dose applications of radiation for food preservation became operational at Lasalgaon near Nashik. The plant radiation processed onion, pulses, rawa and turmeric.

•            Radiation Processing Plant, Vashi operating since January 2000 is performing very well with an enlarged scope of processing of products.

•            The major thrust given to the area of setting up of new radiation processing plants for medical, food related and allied products has shown very encouraging results in the recent times and about eight private parties signed the MoU with BRIT for setting up new plants.

•            BRIT also developed an install-and-operate type irradiator for radiation processing of food items. The plant was undergoing evaluation tests.

•            DAE is working with the Ministry of Health for notifying items for radiation processing for approval of additional items and other related issues.

Nuclear & Biotechnological Tools:

•            At Trombay, tissue culture and recombinant DNA technology (transgenic plants) were employed for plant improvement. Important contributions were also made in the micro-propagation of banana, pineapple and other economically useful plants.

•            Several pesticides were extensively evaluated for their degradation in the environment using labelled compounds.

Water Desalination:

•            As a part of health care programme, BARC’s 1800 m3/day Reverse Osmosis (RO) Desalination Plant coupled with Nuclear Power Plant at Kalpakkam is doing extremely well. The construction of the adjoining desalination plant based on Multi-Stage Flash (MSF) evaporation process made progress.

•            A 30 m3/day desalination unit based on low temperature evaporation (LTE) process was integrated with CIRUS research reactor to demonstrate sea water desalination using waste heat from the research reactor.

•            BARC built a 30 m3/day RO plant in Satlana Village of Jodhpur for producing drinking water from bore well brackish water source. The technology for online domestic water purifier based on ultrafiltration polysulfone membrane for producing bacteria free safe drinking water was transferred to eight parties, out of which two have already launched their products in the market.

Health Care:

•            Radioisotopes and their formulations find wide applications in diagnosis, therapy and healthcare. BARC supplies reactor produced radioisotopes to BRIT which processes them and produces various products for use in healthcare and industry.

•            BRIT produces and supplies a large number of radioisotope products including radiopharmaceuticals, immunoassay kits, technetium-99m generators, radiochemicals, labeled compounds, labeled nucleotides and luminous compounds.

•            A method for the preparation of potassium 32P-phosphonate was developed, procedure standardized and the product was supplied to Central Water Resources Development Institute, Calicut.

•            JONAKI laboratory at Hyderabad continued synthesis and supply of phosphorous-32 and phosphorous-33 labelled nucleotides to research institutions.

•            Iodine-125 based miniature brachy therapy source developed by BARC was tried for the first time for treatment of eye cancer at Sankara Netralaya, Chennai.

•            To provide a low cost alternative teletherapy unit for the expensive teletherapy unit being imported, the development of cobalt-60 Teletherapy Machine was completed at BARC.

•            The Medical Cyclotron with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning facility at Radiation Medicine Centre of BARC continues to produce F-18 labelled FDG molecules for diagnosis of cancer as well as cardiac disorders.

Sterilization of Medical Products:

•            Radiation sterilization is a highly effective technology for sterilization of medical products. BRIT’s ISOMED plant at Trombay, has been operating for over three decades, providing radiation processing service of medical products to pharmaceutical industry.

Industrial Applications of Radioisotopes:

•            Radiation technology covers a range of industrial applications including radiography, gamma scanning of process equipment, use of tracers to study sediment transport at ports and harbours, flow measurements, pigging of buried pipelines, water hydrology, water resource management and many more.

•            Radiation processing services, consultancy and facilitation services on setting up gamma irradiation plants by private agencies, design and fabrication of radiation technology equipment are the main industrial and engineering objectives of BRIT.

•            BRIT provided radiation sources for industrial applications, industrial irradiators, and research institutions.

Industrial Accelerators:

•            Electron Beam accelerators are a source of high energy ionizing radiation for industrial radiation processing. The DAE organisations contributing to these fields are BARC and CAT.

•            A 750 kV, 20 kW DC electron accelerator designed and built at CAT was in use to develop various types of processes relating to radiation processing involving electron beams. The processes studied include surface irradiation of potatoes to prevent sprouting, disinfestations of seeds, de-polymerisation of paper pulp sheets, curing of coatings on wood and paints for value addition.

Industrial Applications of Lasers:

•            CAT has been pursuing the programme for development of lasers for industrial and medical applications.

•            Three industrial Nd:YAG lasers made at CAT were supplied to other DAE units. Two of these lasers were in use for decanning of irradiated fuel bundles in hot cells in BARC. Indigenously developed high power continuous wave carbon-dioxide (CW CO2) laser was utilized at CAT for profile cutting of steel sheets for Indus-2 and DC accelerator magnets.

Laser Technology Development:

•            CAT also developed and designed a fibre optic distributed temperature sensor for use in multipoint temperature monitoring of systems. Various types of large size non-linear crystals (such as KDP, DKDP) were grown for various applications.

•            Single crystals of lead-zinc niobate, capable of producing ultra high piezo-strain were also successfully grown.

•            A new technique for transport, acceleration and sorting of microscopic objects using laser light was developed. CAT also demonstrated controlled, continuous rotation of intracellular objects using optical tweezers.


•            The communication system is a system which describes the information exchange between two points. The process of transmission and reception of information is called communication.

•            The major elements of communication are the Transmitter of information, Channel or medium of communication and the Receiver of information.

Types of Communication Systems

•            Depending on Signal specification or technology, the communication system is classified as follows:

(1) Analog

•            Analog technology communicates data as electronic signals of varying frequency or amplitude.

•            Broadcast and telephone transmission are common examples of analog technology.

(2) Digital

•            In digital technology, the data are generated and processed in two states: High (represented as 1) and Low (represented as 0). Digital technology stores and transmits data in the form of 1s and 0s.

•            Depending on the communication channel, the communication system is categorized as follows:

1. Wired (Line communication)

  • Parallel wire communication
  • Twisted wire communication
  • Coaxial cable communication
  • Optical fibre communication

2. Wireless (Space communication)

  • Ground wave communication
  • Skywave communication
  • Space wave communication
  • Satellite communication

Examples of Communication Systems

The following are a few examples of communication systems:

1. Internet

2. Public Switched Telephone network

3. Intranet and Extranet

4. Television

Elements of Communication Systems

The definitions of the terms used in the communication system are discussed below.


•            Message or information is the entity that is to be transmitted. It can be in the form of audio, video, temperature, picture, pressure, etc.


•            The single-valued function of time that carries the information. The information is converted into an electrical form for transmission.


•            A device or an arrangement that converts one form of energy to the other. An electrical transducer converts physical variables such as pressure, force, temperature into corresponding electrical signal variations.

•            Example: Microphone – converts audio signals into electrical signals. Photodetector – converts light signals into electrical signals.


•            The electronic circuit or device that increases the amplitude or the strength of the transmitted signal is called an amplifier.

•            When the signal strength becomes less than the required value, amplification can be done anywhere in between transmitter and receiver. A DC power source will provide for the amplification.


•            As the original message signal cannot be transmitted over a large distance because of their low frequency and amplitude, they are superimposed with high frequency and amplitude wave called carrier wave.

•            This phenomenon of superimposing of message signal with a carrier wave is called modulation. And the resultant wave is a modulated wave which is to be transmitted.

Again there are different types of Modulation.

i. Amplitude Modulation (AM)

•            The process of changing the amplitude of the signal wave by impressing or superimposing it on a high-frequency carrier wave, keeping its frequency constant is called amplitude modulation.

ii. Frequency Modulation (FM)

•            Frequency modulation is a technique in which the frequency of the message signal is varied by modulating with a carrier wave. It is better than deficient than amplitude modulation because it eliminates noise from various sources.

iii. Phase Modulation (PM)

•            The phase of the carrier wave changes the phase of the signal wave. The phase shift after modulation is dependent on the frequency of the carrier wave as well. Phase modulated waves are immune to noise to a greater extent.


•            It is the arrangement that processes the message signal into a suitable form for transmission and subsequently reception.


•            An Antenna is a structure or a device that radiates and receives electromagnetic waves. So, they are used in both transmitters and receivers.

•            An antenna is basically a metallic object, often a collection of wires. The electromagnetic waves are polarised according to the position of the antenna.


•            A channel refers to a physical medium such as wire, cables, space through which the signal is passed from transmitter to the receiver.

•            There are many channel impairments that affect the channel performance to a pronounced level. Noise, Attenuation and distortion are the major impairments.


•            Noise is one of the channel imperfection or impairment in the received signal at the destination. There are external and internal sources that cause noise. External sources include interference, i.e. interference from nearby transmitted signals (cross talk), interference generated by natural source such as lightning, solar or cosmic radiation, from automobile generated radiation, etc.

•            The external noise can be minimised and eliminated by appropriate design of the channel, shielding of cables. Also by digital transmission external noise can be much minimised.


•            Attenuation is a problem caused by the medium. When the signal is propagating for a longer distance through a medium, depending on the length of the medium the initial power decreases. The loss in initial power is directly proportional to the length of the medium.

•            Using amplifiers, the signal power is strengthened or amplified so as to reduce attenuation. Also, digital signals are comparatively less prone to attenuation than analogue signals.


•            It is also another type of channel problem. When the signal is distorted, the distorted signal may have frequency and bandwidth different from the transmitted signal. The variation in the signal frequency can be linear or non-linear.


•            An arrangement that extracts the message or information from the transmitted signal at the output end of the channel and reproduces it in a suitable form as the original message signal is a receiver.


•            It is the inverse phenomenon of modulation. The process of separation of message signal from the carrier wave takes place in the demodulator. The information is retrieved from the modulated wave.


•            Repeaters are placed at different locations in between the transmitter and receiver. A repeater receives the transmitted signal, amplifies it and send it to the next repeater without distorting the original signal.

Block Diagram of Communication Systems

•            The block diagram given below represents the flow of the signal from the source to the destination.


•            The Union Cabinet has approved the new telecom policy now named National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 and also re-designation of the Telecom Commission as the “Digital Communications Commission“.

•            The new National Digital Communications Policy -2018 will replace the existing National Telecom Policy-2012, to cater to the modern technological advancements such as 5G, IoT, M2M etc. in the Telecom Sector.

•            Machine-to-machine, or M2M, is a broad label that can be used to describe any technology that enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions without the manual assistance of humans.

•            The Internet of Things (IoT) is a seamlessly connected network system of embedded objects/devices, in which communication without any human intervention is possible using standard and interoperable communication protocols. E.g.: An IoT-enabled air conditioning system can report whether its air filter is clean and functioning properly.

Need for new Telecom Policy

•            Having significant capabilities in both telecommunications and software, India stands poised to benefit from harnessing new digital technologies and platforms to unlock productivity, as well as to reach unserved and underserved markets.

•            The rapid and unprecedented proliferation of the mobile phone, the internet, social media platforms, and the rapid expansion of digital payments, data consumption and generation across India indicate that the data economy and digital technologies and services are widespread instruments of access and empowerment for more than a billion Indian.

•            It has been broadly estimated that a 10% increase in broadband penetration in a country could potentially lead to an over 1% increase in GDP. Therefore, a consistent policy and principles framework is required to create a vibrant competitive telecom market to strengthen India’s long term competitiveness.

•            In order to expand mobile and broadband connectivity across the country, it is necessary to explore and utilise the opportunities presented by next generation-networks like 5G and satellite communications.

•            As the world prepares for the fourth industrial revolution, India needs to be readied to embrace this opportunity through the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies including 5G, the cloud, IOT and data analytics.

Features of National Digital Communications Policy

It envisages three Missions:

I.            Connect India: Creating Robust Digital Communications Infrastructure

National Broadband Mission (Rashtriya Broadband Abhiyan)- Provide Universal broadband connectivity at 50Mbps to every citizen by 2022.

BharatNet– Provide 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022

GramNet – Connecting all key rural development institutions with 10 Mbps upgradeable to 100 Mbps.

NagarNet – Establishing 1 Million public Wi-Fi Hotspots in urban areas.

JanWiFi – Establishing 2 Million Wi-Fi Hotspots in rural areas.

Enable 100 Mbps broadband on demand to all key development institutions including all educational institutions by 2022.

Fibre First Initiative to take fibre to the home, to enterprises and to key development institutions in Tier I, II and III towns and to rural clusters.

Establishment of a National Digital Grid by National Fibre Authority

Strengthening Satellite Communication Technologies in India by reviewing SATCOM policy, making available new spectrum bands, streamlining administrative processes for assignment and allocations, clearances and permissions related to satellite communication systems, etc.

Ensuring Customer Satisfaction, Quality of Service and effective Grievance Redressal by establishing Telecom Ombudsman, framing a comprehensive policy to encourage the adoption of environmental and safety standards and incentivising the use of renewable energy technologies in the communications sector.

II.           Propel India: Enabling Next Generation Technologies and Services through Investments, Innovation and IPR generation.

•            Attract investments of USD 100 Billion in the Digital Communications Sector, expand IoT ecosystem to 5 Billion connected devices, accelerate transition to Industry 4.0 by 2022

•            Creation of innovation led Start-ups in Digital Communications sector

•            Creation of Globally recognized IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) in India

•            Development of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) in the field of digital communication technologies

•            Train/ Re-skill 1 Million manpower for building New Age Skills

III.          Secure India:   Ensuring Sovereignty, Safety and Security of Digital Communications.

•            Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals and facilitates India’s effective participation in the global digital economy.

•            Ensure that net neutrality principles are upheld and aligned with service requirements, bandwidth availability and network capabilities including next generation access technologies.

•            Develop and deploy robust digital communication network security frameworks.

•            Build capacity for security testing and establish appropriate security standards.

•            Address security issues relating to encryption and security clearances.

•            Enforce accountability through appropriate institutional mechanisms to assure citizens of safe and secure digital communications infrastructure and services.


•            The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is a statutory body set up by the Government of India under section 3 of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997.

•            It was set up in order to have a suitable environment for the growth of the telecommunications industry in the country and be a part of the global information society. It is a statutory body and regulates the telecommunications sector in the country.

TRAI Structure

•            TRAI shall have, in addition to its chairman, at least two full-time members and not more than two-part members, all appointed by the Central Government.

•            The members should have special knowledge of, or professional experience in telecom, industry, finance, accountancy, law, management and consumer affairs.

•            Only those senior or retired Government officers can be appointed as members who have served for at least three years as secretary/additional secretary to the Union or State Governments.

Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)

•            The powers of the TRAI have been considerably diluted by the TRAI (Amendment) Ordinance, 2000. Now the regulation of telecom services is to be done by TRAI and the newly set up Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT).

•            They will also adjudicate disputes, dispose of appeals, protect interests of service providers and consumers, to promote and ensure orderly growth of the telecom sector.

•            The TDSAT has been given the mandate to adjudicate disputes:-

  • between a licensor and a licensee;
  • between two or more service providers;
  • between a service provider and a group of consumers.

•     The Union Government, State Government, any local authority or any individual can approach the TDSAT for adjudication on issues related to disputes between parties mentioned above.

•     The chairperson and members of this tribunal are to be appointed by the Government of India in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.

Powers and Functions of TRAI

The powers and functions of TRAI are mainly:

  • To recommend the need for and timing of introduction of new service providers and terms and conditions of the license to a service provider
  • To ensure technical compatibility and inter-connect between different service providers and regulate their revenue-sharing arrangements
  • To ensure compliance with terms of license and revaluation of the same for non-compliance
  • To lay down and ensure a time period for providing long-distance and local distance circuits
  • To facilitate competition and promote efficiency in operations to promote the growth of telecom services
  • To protect consumers’ interest, monitor quality of services, inspect equipment used in networks and make recommendations about such equipment.


•            World Bank explained the e-governance as the use by government agencies of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the Internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government.

•            These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management.

•            The resulting benefits can be less corruption, increased transparency, greater convenience, revenue growth, and or cost reductions.

E governance:

E-governance evolution in India

•            The notion of e-governance evolved in India during the seventies with a focus on development of in-house government applications in the areas of defence, economic monitoring, planning and the deployment of information technology to manage data intensive functions related to elections, census, and tax administration.

•            In Indian scenario, there was great efforts of the National Informatics Center (NIC) to join all the district headquarters during the eighties. In the beginning of nineties, IT technologies were improved by ICT technologies to extend its use for broader sectorial applications with policy emphasis on reaching out to rural areas and taking in greater inputs from NGOs and private sector as well.

•            There has been an increasing involvement of international donor agencies under the framework of e-governance for development to catalyse the expansion of e-governance laws and technologies in developing nations.

Stages of e-Governance:

•            It is apparent in various research studies that e-Governance is fundamentally linked with the development of computer technology, networking of computers and communication systems.

•           In developing nations such technologies and systems became available with observable time lag as compared to developed nations. When appraising the e governance model in India, it is established that with the liberalization of the economy from the early 1990s onwards, there has been a convergence in the availability of progressive technologies and opportunities in this field.

•           The inception of e-Governance proceeded through four stages in India.


•            In the first stage, with the availability of personal computers, majority of Government offices are well equipped with computers. The use of computers began with word processing, quickly followed by data processing.


•            In this stage, some units of a few government organizations are connected through a hub leading to sharing of information and flow of data between different government entities.

Online presence:

•            In the third stage, with increasing internet connectivity, a need was felt for maintaining a presence on the web. This resulted in maintenance of websites by government departments and other entities. Generally, these web-pages/ web-sites contained information about the organizational structure, contact details, reports and publications, objectives and vision statements of the respective government entities.

On-line interactivity:

•            A natural significance of on-line presence was opening up of communication channels between government entities and the citizens, civil society organizations etc.

•           The main objective of this stage was to lessen the scope of personal interface with government entities by providing downloadable Forms, Instructions, Acts, Rules.

•           E-Governance enables interaction between different stake holders in governance.

G2G (Government to Government):

•            In this interaction, Information and Communications Technology is used to reorganize the governmental processes involved in the functioning of government entities as well as to increase the flow of information and services within and between different entities.

•            G2G is the online communications between government organizations, departments and agencies based on a super-government database. This kind of interaction happen horizontally such as between different government agencies as well as between different functional areas within an organisation, or vertical such as between national, provincial and local government agencies as well as between different levels within an organisation. Main intent of this interaction is to increase efficiency, performance and output.

G2C (Government to Citizens):

•            G2C maintains the relationship between government and citizens. It allows citizens to access government information and services promptly, conveniently, from everywhere, by use of multiple channels. Government-to-Citizens (G2C) model have been designed to facilitate citizen interaction with the government. In this situation, an interface is generated between the government and peoples which enables the citizens to benefit from efficient delivery of array of public services.

•            This expands the availability and accessibility of public services on the one hand and improves the quality of services on the other. In G2C model, clienteles have instant and convenient access to government information and services from everywhere anytime, via the use of multiple channels.

•            Additionally, to make certain transactions, such as certifications, paying governmental fees, and applying for benefits, the ability of G2C initiatives to overcome possible time and geographic obstacles may connect citizens who may not otherwise come into contact with one another and may in turn facilitate and increase citizen participation in government.

G2B (Government to Business):

•            In this type of interaction, e-Governance tools are used to help the business organizations that provide goods and services to seamlessly interact with the government. G2B can bring significant efficiencies to both governments and businesses. G2B include various services exchanged between government and the business sectors that include distribution of policies, memos, rules and regulations.

•            Business services offered include obtaining current business information, new regulations, downloading application forms, lodging taxes , renewing licenses, registering businesses, obtaining permits, and many others. The major aim of this interaction is to cut red tape, save time, reduce operational costs and to create a more transparent business environment when dealing with the government.

G2E (Government to Employees):

•            G2E denotes to the relationship between government and its employees only. The aim of this relationship is to serve employees and offer some online services such as applying online for an annual leave, checking the balance of leave, and reviewing salary payment records, among other things.

•            In this case, Government is major employer and it has to interact with its employees on a regular basis. This interaction is a two-way process between the organisation and the employee. Use of ICT tools helps in making these interactions fast and efficient on the one hand and increase satisfaction levels of employees on the other.

Different Connotations of e-Governance


•            The use of ICTs to modernize the state; the creation of data repositories for Management Information System (MIS) and computerization of records (land, health etc).


•            The emphasis here is to bring the state closer to the citizens.

•            For Examples: Provision of online services.

•            e-administration and e-services together constitute what is largely termed as e-government.


•            The use of IT to improve the ability of the government to address the needs of society.

•            It includes the publishing of policy and program-related information to transact with citizens.

•            It extends beyond the provision of online services and covers the use of IT for strategic planning and reaching the development goals of the government.


•            The use of IT to facilitate the ability of all sections of society to participate in the governance of the state.

•            Emphasis is on bringing transparency, accountability, and participation of people.

•            It includes online disclosures of policies, online grievance redressal, e-referendums etc.

Some initiatives Taken for e-Governance in India

1.           Bhoomi Project (Karnataka): Online Delivery of Land Records         

•            Bhoomi is a self-sustainable e-Governance project for the computerized delivery of 20 million rural land records to 6.7 million farmers of Karnataka.

2.           KHAJANE (Karnataka): End-to-end automation of Government Treasury System          

•            Government-to-Government (G2G) e-Governance initiative of Karnataka State Government.

•            It has been implemented mainly to eliminate systemic deficiencies in the manual treasury system and for the efficient management of state finances.

3.           e-Seva (Andhra Pradesh)        

•            Designed to provide ‘Government to Citizen’ and ‘e-Business to Citizen’ services

•            All the services are delivered online to consumers /citizens by connecting them to the respective government departments and providing online information at the point of service delivery.

•            The project has become very popular among the citizens especially for the payment of utility bills.

4.           e-Courts           

•            Launched by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice.

•            The Mission Mode Project (MMP) aims at utilizing technology for improved provisioning of judicial services to citizens.

5.           e-District          

•            Launched by the Department of Information Technology.

•            The MMP aims at delivery of high volume, citizen-centric services at the District level such as the issue of birth/death certificate, income and caste certificates, old age and widow pension, etc.

6.           MCA21             

•            Launched by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

•            The project aims to provide electronic services to the Companies registered under the Companies Act.

•            Various online facilities offered includes allocation and change of name, incorporation, online payment of registration charges, change in address of registered office, viewing of public records and other related services.

7.           e-Office            

•            Launched by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances.

•            The MMP aims at significantly improving the operational efficiency of the Government by transitioning to a “Less Paper Office”.

Digital India Initiatives

•            It is an umbrella program to prepare India for a knowledge-based transformation.

•            It weaves together a large number of ideas and thoughts into a single comprehensive vision so that each of them is seen as part of a larger goal.

•            It has been launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity).

Vision Areas

•            Digital infrastructure as Utility to Every Citizen

•            Governance and services on demand

•            Digital empowerment of citizens

Various Initiatives under Digital India Initiatives


•            It aims to establish a link between Government and Citizens towards meeting the goal of good governance.

•            It encourages citizens as well as people abroad to participate in various activities i.e. ‘Do’, ‘Discuss’, ‘Poll’, ‘Talk’, ‘Blog’, etc.


•            It serves as a platform to enable citizens to securely store and share their documents with service providers who can directly access them electronically.

e-Hospital-Online Registration Framework (ORF):

•            It is an initiative to facilitate the patients to take online OPD appointments with government hospitals. This framework also covers patient care, laboratory services and medical record management.

National Scholarships Portal (NSP):

•            It provides a centralized platform for application and disbursement of scholarship to students under any scholarship scheme.


•            It is an online tool that can be used to monitor and analyze the implementation of critical and high priority projects of the State.

•            It facilitates presentation of real time data on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of selected schemes/projects to the senior functionaries of the State Government as well as district administration.

PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation):

•            It has been aimed at starting a culture of Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

•            It is also a robust system for bringing e-transparency and e-accountability with real-time presence and exchange among the key stakeholders.

•            It was launched in 2015.

Common Services Centres 2.0 (CSC 2.0):

•            It is being implemented to develop and provide support to the use of information technology in rural areas of the country.

•            The CSCs are Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enabled kiosks with broadband connectivity to provide various Governments, private and social services at the doorstep of the citizen.

Mobile Seva:

•            It provides government services to the people through mobile phones and tablets.

Jeevan Pramaan:

•            It is an Aadhaar based Biometric Authentication System for Pensioners.

•            The system provides authenticity to Digital Life Certificate without the necessity of the pensioner being present in person before his/ her Pension Dispensing Authority (PDA).

National Centre of Geo-informatics (NCoG):

•            Under this project, Geographic Information System (GIS) platform for sharing, collaboration, location based analytics and decision support system for Departments has been developed.

National e-Governance Plan (NeGP):

•            It takes a holistic view of e-Governance initiatives across the country, integrating them into a collective vision and a shared cause.

•            It comprises of 31 Mission Mode Projects, approved in 2006, but later it was integrated into Digital India Program.

e-Kranti: National e-Governance Plan 2.0

•            It is an essential pillar of the Digital India initiative.

•            It was approved in 2015 with the vision of “Transforming e-Governance for Transforming Governance”.

•            There are 44 Mission Mode Projects under e-Kranti, which are at various stages of implementation.

Thrust Areas of e-Kranti

e-Education: All schools will be connected to broadband. Free WiFi will be provided in all secondary and higher secondary schools (coverage would be around 250,000 schools).

PMGDISHA: Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyaan aims to make six crore people in rural India digitally literate.

SWAYAM: It includes Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for leveraging e-Education. It provides for a platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from Class 9 till post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time.

e-Healthcare: e-Healthcare would cover online medical consultation, online medical records, online medicine supply, pan-India exchange for patient information, etc.

Farmers: This would facilitate farmers to get real-time price information, online ordering of inputs and online cash, loan, and relief payment with mobile banking.

Security: Mobile-based emergency services and disaster-related services would be provided to citizens on a real-time basis so as to take precautionary measures well in time and minimize loss of lives and properties.

Financial Inclusion: Financial inclusion shall be strengthened using mobile banking, Micro-ATM program, and CSCs/ Post Offices.

Justice: Interoperable Criminal Justice System shall be strengthened by leveraging several related applications, i.e. e-Courts, e-Police, e-Jails, and e-Prosecution.

Planning: National GIS Mission Mode Project would be implemented to facilitate GIS-based decision making for project planning, conceptualization, design, and development.

Cyber Security: National Cyber Security Co-ordination Centre has been set up to ensure a safe and secure cyber-space within the country.

Benefits/ Outcomes of E-Governance:

Challenges to E-Governance


•            A hybrid approach needs to be adopted for enhancing interoperability among e-governance applications which will encompass a centralized approach for document management, knowledge management, file management, grievance management etc.

•            The e-governance initiatives in rural areas should be taken by identifying and analyzing the grassroots realities.

•            The government should also focus on devising appropriate, feasible, distinct and effective capacity building mechanisms for various stakeholders viz bureaucrats, rural masses, urban masses, elected representatives, etc.

•            Cloud computing is also becoming a big force to enhance the delivery of services related to e-governance. Cloud computing is not only a tool for cost reduction but also helps in enabling new services, improving the education system and creating new jobs/ opportunities.

•            Meghraj– GI Cloud is a step in the right direction. The focus of this initiative is to accelerate the delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing ICT spending of the Government.

•            e-Governance through regional languages is appreciable for the nations like India where people from several linguistic backgrounds are the participants.


•            The electromagnetic spectrum is a range of frequencies, wavelengths and photon energies covering frequencies from below 1 hertz to above 1025 Hz corresponding to wavelengths which are a few kilometres to a fraction of the size of an atomic nucleus in the spectrum of electromagnetic waves.

•            Generally, in vacuum electromagnetic waves tend to travel at speeds which is similar to that of light. However, they do so at a wide range of wavelengths, frequencies, and photon energies.

•            The electromagnetic spectrum consists of a span of all electromagnetic radiation which further contains many subranges which are commonly referred to as portions. These can be further classified as infra-red radiation, visible light or ultraviolet radiation.

Electromagnetic Waves in Electromagnetic Spectrum

•            The entire range (electromagnetic spectrum) is given by radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultra-violet radiation, X-rays, gamma rays and cosmic rays in the increasing order of frequency and decreasing order of wavelength.

•            The type of radiation and their frequency and wavelength ranges are as follows:

Uses of the electromagnetic waves in our daily life:

•            Radio: A radio basically captures radio waves that are transmitted by radio stations. Radio waves can also be emitted by gases and stars in space. Radio waves are mainly used for TV/mobile communication.

•            Microwave: This type of radiation is found in microwaves and helps in cooking at home/office. It is also used by astronomers to determine and understand the structure of nearby galaxies and stars.

•            Infrared: It is used widely in night vision goggles. These devices can read and capture the infrared light emitted by our skin and objects with heat. In space, infrared light helps to map the interstellar dust.

•            X-ray: X-rays can be used in many instances. For example, a doctor can use an x-ray machine to take an image of our bone or teeth. Airport security personnel use it to see through and check bags. X-rays are also given out by hot gases in the universe.

•            Gamma-ray: It has a wide application in the medical field. Gamma-ray imaging is used to see inside our bodies. Interestingly, the universe is the biggest gamma-ray generator of all.

•            Ultraviolet: Sun is the main source of ultraviolet radiation. It causes skin tanning and burns. Hot materials that are in space also emit UV radiations.

•            Visible: Visible light can be detected by our eyes. Light bulbs, stars, etc. emit visible light.

Practical Applications of Electromagnetic Waves

•            The radio waves and microwaves discovered by Hertz paved the way for wireless television and radio and mobile communication.

•            The visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum is the reason for all visual aids in daily life. This is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum which helps us to see all the objects, including the colours.

•            The X-rays discovered by Roentgen proved to be useful in medicine for detecting many ailments or deformities in bones.

•            The high ultraviolet radiation has energies to ionize the atoms causing chemical reactions.

•            The gamma rays discovered by Paul Villard are useful for ionization purposes, and for nuclear medicine.


•            It is the application of science in which we study the use of organisms, biological processes, or systems to manufacture products aims to improve the quality of human life.

Types of Biotechnology

Green Biotechnology

•            Applied to agricultural processes.

•            Three main areas of application are Plant tissue culture; Plant genetic engineering and plant molecular marker-assisted breeding.

•            Biotech is used to make plants pest and drought tolerant.

•            BT Cotton is an example of bollworm tolerant plant. It is also a transgenic plant.

Red Biotechnology

•            Concerned with medical sciences, development of innovative drugs and treatment.

•            Application: Productions of vaccines and antibiotics, regenerative therapies, gene therapy, stem cell therapy etc. are few applications of Red biotech.

Blue Biotechnology

•            Use of sea resources marine and freshwater organisms to create products and industrial applications.

White Biotechnology

•            Applied to industrial processes.

•            Using enzymes as industrial catalysts, usage of moulds, bacteria, yeast etc to produce various goods are few examples of White biotechnology.

Yellow Biotechnology

•            Biotechnology with insects.

•            It also refers to the use of biotechnology in food production.

Grey Biotechnology

•            Application of Biotechnology to environmental applications, maintenance of biodiversity and removal of pollutants.

Brown Biotechnology

•            Related to the management of Arid Zone and Deserts

•            Creation of drought-resistant seeds, natural resources management, the creation of agricultural techniques suited to arid landscape etc. are few examples of Brown biotech.

Violet Biotechnology

•            Related to law, ethical and philosophical issues around biotechnology

Dark Biotechnology

•            Related to bioterrorism, biological weapons and biowarfare which use microorganisms and toxins to cause diseases, death and disability.

Application of Biotechnology

•            Medicine

1.           Biopharmaceuticals

2.           Gene Therapy

3.           Pharmacogenomics

4.           Genetic testing

•            Agriculture

1.           Genetically modified crops

2.           Biofuels

3.           Plant and animal reproduction

4.           Biofortification

5.           Antibiotics

6.           Abiotic Stress Resistance

•            Environment

1.           Biomarker

2.           Bioenergy

3.           Bioremediation

a.           Mycoremediation

b.           Phytoremediation

c.           Microbial remediation

4.           Biotransformation

•            Industry

•            Food Processing

1.           Fermentation process

2.           Protein engineering

Recent Developments

•            Human Genome Project

•            Three parents’ baby

•            GM Mustard

•            Gene Therapy

•            Stem Cell Therapy

Government Policies

•            National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020 (NBDS)

•            National Biopharma Mission


1)           Medicine

a.           Biopharmaceuticals: A biopharmaceutical, also known as a biologic(al) medical product, biological, or biologic, is any pharmaceutical drug product manufactured extracted from, or semi-synthesized from biological sources

b.           Gene Therapy: Gene therapy is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient’s cells as a drug to treat disease.

c.           Pharmacogenomics: Pharmacogenomics is the technology that analyses how genetic makeup affects an individual’s response to drugs. It deals with the influence of genetic variation on drug responses in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug’s efficacy or toxicity

d.           Genetic testing: Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases, and can also be used to determine a child’s parentage (genetic mother and father) or in general a person’s ancestry.

2)           Agriculture

a.           Genetically modified crops: Genetically modified crops are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified with genetic engineering techniques. A new trait is introduced in such crop which does not occur naturally in the species. For example in BT Cotton the gene of Bacillus thuringiensis is introduced in Cotton to make it pest resistant.

b.           Biofuels: One of the biggest applications of biotechnology is in the energy production sector. These fuels are environment friendly as well as have a higher efficiency when mixed with the conventional fuel. In India Jatropa crop is used to manufacture Biodiesel.

c.           Plant and animal reproduction: Biotech advance let for specific changes to be made rapidly, on a molecular level through over-expression or removal of genes, or the introduction of foreign genes since traditional methods such as cross-pollination, grafting and cross-breeding are time consuming.

d.           Biofortification: Enhancement of nutritional quantity in food crops through biotechnology techniques. Golden rice is fortified with Beta-carotene and supplements the Vitamin A needs.

e.           Antibiotics: Plants are used to create antibiotics for both human and animal use. Antibiotic protein can be expressed through livestock feed thereby reducing the expenditure. Using plants to create antibiotics has several merits such as mass production, economies of scale and ease of purification.

f.            Abiotic Stress Resistance: Since there is very little available of arable land on the face of increasing population and urbanization, there is a need to develop crops that can handle these abiotic stresses such as salinity, drought and frost from cold. Israel has successfully developed such crops which could grow under water-stress conditions.

3)           Environment

a.           Biomarker: A biomarker gives response to a chemical that helps to measure the level of damage caused or the exposure of the toxic or the pollution effect caused.

b.           Bioenerergy: The collective purport of Biogas, biomass, fuels, and hydrogen are called the Bioenergy. One of the pioneer examples of green energy are the wastes collected from the organic and biomass wastes; these wastes help use to over the pollution issues caused in the environment.

c.           Bioremediation: The process of cleaning up the hazardous substances into non-toxic compounds is called the Bioremediation process. This process is majorly used for any kind of technology clean up that uses the natural microorganisms.

i.            Mycoremediation

ii.           Phytoremediation

iii.          Microbial remediation

d.           Biotransformation: The changes that take place in the biology of the environment which are changes of the complex compound to simple non-toxic to toxic or the other way round is called the biotransformation process. It is used in the Manufacturing sector where toxic substances are converted to Bi-products.

4)           Industry:

a.           Industrial Fermentation: It is the process of using cells such as micro-organisms, or components of cells like enzymes, to generate industrially useful products in sectors such as chemicals, food and feed, detergents, paper and pulp, textiles and biofuels.

b.           Significant developments in moving away from greenhouse gases production towards sustainable production has also been achieved.

5)           Food Processing:

a.           Fermentation process

b.           Protein engineering – Favorable enzymes of microorganisms, which are responsible for the improved fermentation, are produced commercially at a large scale by culturing microorganisms in tanks etc

Recent Developments

1)           Human Genome Project – Write:        The objective of the HGP is to produce a blueprint of the sequence of genes and spaces between genes that make up a typical human genome. The objective of the HGP-W is to write or build an artificial human genome with sophisticated Bioengineering tools.

•            The potential benefits of HGP-write to India include providing new solutions to diseases like Malaria, Dengue and Chikungunya. Another area where HGP-write revolutionized health care is vaccine development.

•            The traditional way to developing vaccines is time consuming and expensive. One can accelerate the process tremendously by producing viruses synthetically and then use those for vaccine development.

2)           Earth Genome Project:           

•            It is an international consortium of scientists which will undertake the project that aims to sequence, catalogue, and characterize the genomes of every eukaryotic biodiversity on Earth over a period of 10 years to sequence 1.5 million species in three phases.

•            The EGP project will help to create a detailed genetic sequence and reveal evolutionary connections among genus, orders and families that will make up the Digital Library of life.

3)           Three parents baby:  

•            Three-parent baby, human offspring produced from the genetic material of one man and two women through the use of assisted reproductive technologies, specifically mitochondrial manipulation (or replacement) technologies and three-person in vitro fertilization (IVF).

4)           GM Mustard:

•            Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 is a Genetically Modified (GM) mustard hybrid. Hybrids are normally obtained by crossing 2 genetically diverse plants from the same species. The 1st-generation offspring resulting from it has higher yields than what either of the parents is individually capable of giving.

•            But there is no natural hybridization system in mustard, unlike in, say, cotton, maize or tomato. This is because its flowers contain both the female (pistil) and male (stamen) reproductive organs, making the plant naturally self- pollinating.

•            What scientist has done is to create a viable hybridization system in mustard using GM technology. The resulting GM mustard hybrid, it is claimed, gives 25-30% more yield than the best varieties such as ‘Varuna’ currently grown in the country.

•            This technology is developed by the Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP) in Delhi University.

5)           Gene Therapy

•            Gene therapy is designed to introduce genetic material into cells to compensate for abnormal genes or to make a beneficial protein.

•            Through this technique doctors can treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, sickle cell anaemia, large B-cell lymphoma etc.

6)           Stem Cell Therapy

•            Stem cells have the ability to build every tissue in the human body, hence have great potential for future therapeutic uses in tissue regeneration and repair. They are broadly classified as pluripotent stem cells and multipotent stem cells.

•            Pluripotent stem cells are so named because they have the ability to differentiate into all cell types in the body while multipotent stem cells can become only cells of a particular germ line or only cells of a particular tissue.

Government Policies

National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020 (NBDS)

•            DBT had earlier announced the First National Biotechnology Development strategy in September 2007which provided an insight into the enormous opportunities.

•            After this, NBDS was launched on December 2015 with an aim to establish India as a world class biomanufacturing hub.

•            It intends to launch a major mission, backed with significant investments for the creation of new biotechproducts, create a strong infrastructure for R&D and commercialization and empower India’s human.

•            The Mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). The mission entails an investment of over 1500 crore by Government of India for five years with 50% cost forthe program coming the World Bank loan.

•            Key Elements of NDBS are to revitalize the knowledge environment at par with the growing bioeconomy, focus of biotechnology tools for inclusive development etc.


•            To build a skilled workforce and improve research facilities in basic, disciplinary and interdisciplinary streams of scientific studies.

•            Nurturing innovation, translational capacity and entrepreneurship.

•            Ensuring a transparent, efficient and globally best Regulatory system and communication strategy

•            Creating a technology development and translation network across the country with global partnership.

 •           Making India ready to meet the challenge of achieving US$100bn by 2025

•            Launching Four Major Missions – Healthcare, Food and Nutrition, Clean Energy and Education

•            Strategic and focused investment in building the human capital by creating a Life Sciences and Biotechnology Education Council.

National Biopharma Mission

•            It is an Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for accelerating discovery research to early development for biopharmaceuticals.

•            The World Bank assisted INNOVATE IN INDIA (i3) program under this mission aims to create an enabling ecosystem to promote entrepreneurship and indigenous manufacturing in the sector.

The focus of the mission is to:

•            Develop new vaccines, bio-therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices to address the rising burden of diseases.

•            Bring isolated centers of excellence (Academia) together, enhance regional capabilities and strengthen the current bio-dusters network in terms of capacities as well as quantity and quality of output.

•            Deliver 6-10 new products in the next five years and create several dedicated facilities for next generation skills.

•            Develop platform technologies for product validation, link institutions to strengthen clinical trial networks, promote partial de-risking for novel products, and build capacities in emerging areas such as bioethics, bioinformatics etc.

•            The initial focus will be on Vaccines for HPV, Dengue and biosimilars for cancer, diabetics and rheumatoid arthritis and medical devices and diagnostics.