December 10, 2023

Science and Technology

General Studies Paper 3 Introduction: Emerging technologies, an euphemism for capabilities that rely on a combination of cyber technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), unmanned systems, and advanced computing, is in vogue among most militaries. Emerging technologies for Indian armed forces: Recently, the Chief of the Army Staff said that the Army had identified 45 niche technologies in the field of military applications. Similarly, under ‘UDAAN’, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is using AI, cyber and virtual reality to address its operational, logistical, and training needs. Indian Air Force (IAF) Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence (CoE for AI) under the aegis....Read More

General Studies Paper 3 Context: Recently, the world’s first vaccine for chikungunya was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. The vaccine has been manufactured by Valneva under the brand name Ixchiq. It has been approved for administration in people who are 18 years or older, and are at increased risk of exposure to the virus. Ixchiq is administered as a single dose by injection into the muscle. It contains a live, weakened version of the chikungunya virus and may cause symptoms in the vaccine recipient similar to those experienced by people who have the disease.....Read More

General Studies Paper 3 Introduction Energy exists in many forms, like light, sound, heat, etc., power and power transmission also exist in many forms. However, electric power transmission is more complicated because of the multiple phases of electric current, and factors like voltage, impedance, frequency, etc. Power supply Any power supply system has three broad components: generation, transmission, and distribution. Electricity is generated at power plants as well as at smaller renewable-energy installations. Then it is transmitted using a distributed network of stations, substations, switches, overhead and underground cables, and transformers, among other elements. Finally, it is distributed to consumers....Read More

General Studies Paper 2 Context Textbooks have said for decades that haemoglobin is found in the red blood cells (RBCs), that it makes blood red, carries oxygen, and is essential for our survival. ‘Haemoglobin bodies’ A new and serendipitous discovery has revealed that haemoglobin isn’t used by RBCs alone. In a study published in Nature, scientists from China have reported that chondrocytes – cells that make cartilage, the connecting tissue between bones – also make haemoglobin and seem to depend on it for their survival. Feng Zhang, a pathologist in China, had been working on bone development since 2010. In....Read More

Introduction Recent advances in Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) have captured the imagination of the public, businesses and governments alike. The Government of India has also, very recently, released a comprehensive report on the opportunities afforded by this current wave of AI. Types of Artificial Intelligence (AI): Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines or software, as opposed to the intelligence of humans or animals. It is also the field of study in computer science that develops and studies intelligent machines. "AI" may also refer to the machines themselves. Traditional AI, often called Narrow or Weak AI, focuses on performing....Read More

General Studies Paper 3 Context: Risk is a dynamic and ever- ­evolving concept, susceptible to shifts in societal values, technological advancements and scientific discoveries. For instance, before the digital age, sharing one’s personal details openly was relatively risk free. Yet, in the age of cyberattacks and data breaches, the same act is fraught with dangers. Risks associated with AI: Our understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-related risk can drastically change as the technology’s capabilities become clearer. This underscores the importance of identifying the short­ and long term risks. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the intelligence of machines or software, as opposed to....Read More

General Studies Paper 3 Context A malaria vaccine —R21/MatrixM —developed by the University of Oxford, manufactured by the Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) and tested in a phase 3 trial at five sites in Africa, was recommended by the WHO on October 2. Three countries — Nigeria, Ghana, and Burkina Faso — have already approved the use of the vaccine to immunise children aged less than 36 months. The threat of Malaria: Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other vertebrates. Symptoms usually begin 10 to 15 days after being bitten by an infected Anopheles....Read More

General Studies Paper 3 Context The 2023 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for developing the mRNA vaccine technology that became the foundation for history’s fastest vaccine development programme during the COVID19 pandemic. mRNA vaccine An mRNA vaccine is a type of vaccine that uses a copy of a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) to produce an immune response. The vaccine delivers molecules of antigen-encoding mRNA into immune cells, which use the designed mRNA as a blueprint to build foreign protein that would normally be produced by a pathogen (such as....Read More

General Studies Paper 3 Context India is to host the first-ever global summit on Artificial Intelligence (AI) this October. Additionally, as the Chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), India will also be hosting the GPAI global summit in December. These events suggest the strategic importance of AI, as it is projected to add $500 billion to India’s economy by 2025, accounting for 10% of the country’s target GDP. The issue One area where India can assume leadership is how regulators address children and adolescents who are a critical (yet less understood) demographic in this context. The nature....Read More

A win-win for all

General Studies Paper 3 Context The Digital India Programme had three main vision areas: Connectivity, Software and services on demand and Digital empowerment of citizens. Fortunately, the connectivity landscape has been transformed in the last seven years due to multiple factors like the boom in mobile telephony, 4G coverage, significant reduction in tariffs and increased smartphone penetration. Recent rise in digitisation across different sector and concern Along with significant rise in digital connectivity and technologies, government’s enabling policies like Net Neutrality and focus on building Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), particularly Digital ID and UPI, have further contributed to the Digital....Read More

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