PIB News 31st Aug, 2020

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)


Measurement and monitoring of water supply to be done under Jal Jeevan Mission
India is one of the most vibrant IoT eco-systems in the world, with various supporting enablers making it conducive for companies looking to serve global demand beyond national boundaries. Government of India has introduced different policies and initiativesto leverage the benefits of these disruptive IoTtechnologies in multiple sectors. To harness the initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, Digital India and Make in India, the Jal Jeevan Mission will be creating a smart rural water supply eco-system to measure and monitor the service delivery of the water suplly in rural areas.

Union Government’s flagship programme, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) being implmeneted in partnership with States aims at providing Functional Household Tap Connection (FHTC) to every rural household of the country by 2024. The programme focuses on service delivery at the household level, i.e.  supply of 55 lpcd of water of prescribed quality on a regular and long-term basis. The mission focuses on ‘service delivery’, rather only on infrastructure creation.

In accordance to 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, Gram Panchayats at village level are to manage drinking water supply. Thus, Gram Panchayat or its sub-committee, i.e. Village Water & Sanitation Committee/ PaaniSamiti are required to function as a ‘local public utility’ for drining water management, water service delivery, greywater treatment& reuse, and take care of operation and maintenance of in-village water supply infrastructure for assured drinking water supply on regular basis, collect user charges for delivery of water supply services. To facilitate States and Gram Panchayats or its sub-committee, i.e. PaaniSamiti, an automated system for measurement and monitoring of water service delivery is necessary. This necessitates the use of modern technology formeasurement and monitoring of the water service delivery and to capture and transmit service delivery data automatically for ensuring the quality of service.

It’s the endeavour of the Union Government to expand optic fibre network uptoall villages. Accordingly, Hon’ble Prime Minister announced that in next 1,000 days, all villages will be connected by fibre optic network. In almost whole country, telecom connectivity has reached. IoT strategies are increasingly used to monitor the water quantity and quality.Recent technological advancements (such as IoT, Big Data Analytics, AI/ML, Cloud) and declining costs of mobile data, hardware (sensors), and software provide an opportunity to digitise water supply infrastructure in rural India. Digitally enabled water supply infrastructure will help in near real-time monitoring and evidence-based policymaking. Digitisation of water supply infrastructure has the potential to help the Gram Panchayats as 'local public utility'. More importantly, it will help anticipate and address future challenges.

National Jal Jeevan Mission has constituted a Technical Expert Committee to prepare a road map for measurement and monitoring of water service delivery system in rural areas. The committee has eminent members from academia, administration, technology and specialists from water supply sector.

National Jal Jeevan Mission andMinistry of Electronics &Information Technology planning to conduct an ICT Grand Challenge. The purpose of the ICT grand challenge is to bring an innovative, modular, and cost-effective solution to develop a ‘Smart Water Supply Measurement and Monitoring System’ to be deployed at the village level. The ICT grand challenge will be inviting proposal from Indian Tech start-ups, MSMEs, Indian Companies, Indian LLPs.

The mission in partnership with State Governments and sector partners has started facilitating sensor-based water supply system on pilot basis in various villages. Gujarat has begun navigating the sensor-based rural water supply systems in 1,000 villages spread across five districts. Other States have also started pilot projects. The data collected from the field locations will be transmitted to the State and Central server and can be used to monitor the functionality (quantity, quality and regularity of water supply) at the State and Central level. This will ensure to minimize service delivery outage and water loss and monitor the quantity and quality on a long-term basis. The additional advantage of this data would be to analyze the demand pattern of the user groups over time and use this information for demand management at the aggregate level, minimize non-revenue water, ensure proper management and effective operation and maintenance of water supply systems in the villages.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)


Dr. Harsh Vardhan digitally inaugurates Super Speciality Trauma Centre of Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Ballari in Karnataka
Dr. Harsh Vardhan remembers former Prime Minister Sh. A B Vajpayee and former Health Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj on the occasion - “The people who would have been the happiest are not with us anymore”

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare along with Sh. B.S. Yediyurappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka digitally dedicated the Super Speciality Trauma Centre (SSTC) in Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Ballari to the nation. Afterwards, Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the Express Feeder Line, ICU wards and the 13KL Liquid Medical Oxygen Tank of the facility and Dr. K. Sudhakar, Minister of Medical Education, Government of Karnataka inaugurated the State-of-the-Art CT Scan that is capable of taking 128 cross section slices.

The SSTC is built with an investment of Rs 150 crores under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY). It has departments of Emergency and Trauma, Neurosurgery and Orthopedics. This new Block has 8 Operation Theaters including 6 Modular ones, 200 Super Specialty Beds, 72 ICU Beds, 20 Ventilators and the aforementioned state-of-the-art CT Scan and Digital x-ray machine. This facility will have a training capacity of 27 PG students.

Noting Late Prime Minister Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Independence Day Address of 2003, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Vajpayee ji’s vision ensured that 56 years after independence, India was richer by another six AIIMS in addition to the existing one. Another 75 existing institutions were envisioned to be upgraded to provide AIIMS like service.” He also spoke of then Health Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj’s enormous contribution to the PMSSY scheme and her life long association with Ballari. “They would have been very pleased at the event today. The people who would have been the happiest are not with us anymore.”

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also recollected his own experience of how Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi invested his personal attention and energy to take the scheme forward, “Phase III of PMSSY was announced only after 2019 and Ballari got its Trauma Centre within the next year. Work for the 74 medical colleges to be opened in the aspirational districts are in full swing.” He informed everybody present that a new AIIMS for the State of Karnataka is under active consideration and of the four medical colleges that are being built, one each in the aspirational districts of Chikkamagaluru, Haveri, Yadgir and Chikkaballapur. He added that so far, 157 medical colleges have been opened with Central financing and local monitoring by the State administration.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the Government to operationalise 1.5 lakh Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centres by 31st December, 2020. He also spoke of the government’s commitment “to eradicate TB, like smallpox and polio, 5 years before the global deadline in 2025.” “Measles and Rubella will also be eliminated in due time,” he added. He spoke of the ‘Eat Right India’ and ‘Fit India’ movements launched by the government. “These will play a vital supplementary role in making the country healthy,” he stated. He requested the State authorities and elected representatives present to personally monitor these schemes so that Karnataka can be a leader in implementation of these programmes.

Congratulating the State of Karnataka for controlling the spread of COVID by breaking the chain of transmission, Sh. Ashwini Kumar Choubey expressed his admiration that "the determined leadership of Prime Minister Sh. Narendra Modi has taken forward the vision of Late Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee so that underserved regions like Ballari are able to witness the fruits of development.”

Sh. B.S. Yediyurappa thanked the Union Government for its proactive role in strengthening the health infrastructure in Karnataka. He requested the Health and Family Welfare Minister to consider upgrading the ESI Hospital in Gulbarga to AIIMS so that people of the region are better served.

Sh. Anand Singh, Cabinet Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology, Government of Karnataka and District-in-charge Minister, Ballari, Sh. B. Sreeramulu, Minister of Health and Family Welfare & Backward Classes Welfare, Government of Karnataka, Dr. B. Devanand, Director, VIMS, Ballari were also present at the event. The entire event was hosted by Sh. B. Nagendra, Member of Legislative Assembly, Karnataka for Ballari Rural Constituency.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)


CSIR-CMERI develops World’s Largest Solar Tree
CSIR-CMERI has developed the World’s Largest Solar Tree, which is installed at CSIR-CMERI Residential Colony, Durgapur. Prof.(Dr.) Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, while elaborating about the technology stated that, “The installed capacity of the Solar Tree is above 11.5 kWp. It has the annual capacity to generate 12,000-14,000 units of Clean and Green Power”.

The Solar Tree has been designed in a manner to ensure maximum exposure of each Solar PV Panel to Sunlight and also creation of the least amount of shadow area beneath. There are a total of 35 Solar PV Panels in each tree with a capacity of 330 wp each. The inclination of the arms holding the Solar PV Panels are flexible and can be adjusted as per requirement, this feature is not available in Roof-Mounted Solar facilities. The energy generation data can be monitored either real-time or on daily basis.

Prof.(Dr.) Harish Hirani explained, “The CSIR-CMERI developed Solar Tree besides being the World’s Largest Solar Tree also has certain customizable features for application at diverse sites. The Solar Trees were designed in a manner to ensure minimum Shadow Area, thus potentially making these Solar Trees available for widespread usage in Agricultural activities such as High Capacity Pumps, e-Tractors and e-Power Tillers.

These Solar Trees can be aligned with Agriculture for substituting price-volatile fossil fuels. Each Solar Tree has the potential to save 10-12 tons of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere as Greenhouse Gases when compared with fossil fuel fired energy generation. Besides, the surplus generated power can be fed into an Energy Grid.

This Agricultural Model can provide a consistent economic return and help the farmers counter the effects of the uncertain variations in Agriculture related activities, thus, making farming an Economic and Energy Sustainable practice.”

Each Solar Tree will cost Rs 7.5 lakhs and the interested MSMEs can align their Business Model with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evem Utthan Mahabhiyan (PM KUSUM) Scheme for farmers, for developing a Renewable Energy based Energy Grid.

The solar tree has the capability to incorporate IOT based features, i.e. round-the-clock CCTV surveillance in agricultural fields, real-time humidity, wind speed, rainfall prediction and soil analytics sensors.  The CSIR-CMERI developed solar powered e-Suvidha Kiosks may also be connected to the Solar Trees for real-time access to the vast majority of agricultural database as well as to the eNAM i.e. National Agricultural Marketplace for instant and real-time access to an unified online market. This Solar Tree is a Quantum Leap towards making an Energy Reliant and Carbon Negative India.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.) 


RRI Scientists find a new way for quantum state estimation that can make crucial quantum operations simpler
Scientists experimenting with new ways to manipulate quantum states so that they can be harnessed for computing, communication, and metrology, has found a novel way to characterize and estimate such states. This method of characterization called Quantum State Interferography, can help make such manipulations simpler so that several crucial operations in quantum technologies become less cumbersome.

Scientists from Raman Research Institute, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have found a new way of inferring the state of a system (two-dimensional qubits, the simplest quantum system as well as higher-dimensional “qubits”) from an interference pattern, which they term ‘Quantum State Interferography’. This work, partially supported by the QuEST network programme of the DST, has been accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters.

The determination of an unknown quantum state is usually done by a method known as Quantum State Tomography (QST). This involves measuring projection of the quantum state on various directions in state space and reconstructing the quantum state from the information obtained. However, in particular, scenarios where the dimensions are large, the operations needed to perform tomography increase quadratically. The experimental settings often need to be changed many times, thus making the process very cumbersome.

The RRI team showed that without changing any settings in the experimental setup, it is possible to infer the unknown quantum state of a higher dimensional system. The setup requires only two interferometers from which many interferograms can be obtained to reconstruct the state.  This provides a ‘black box’ approach to quantum state estimation -- between the incidence of the photon and extraction of state information, conditions within the set-up are not changed, thus providing a true single-shot estimation of the quantum state.

A qubit is a 2-dimensional quantum system and requires usually 2 complex numbers to be determined towards state estimation. However, various constraints and physical assumptions leave only two real numbers, finally to be determined. Instead of finding these two real numbers from various projections, in this work, they were determined from the intensity and phase shift of the interference pattern. Also, when many such quantum states are incoherently mixed, the amount of mixedness can be determined from the visibility of the interference pattern. This can be used to characterize the state of a two-particle system, which in turn can be used to quantify entanglement, also in a single-shot method. This idea can be further extended to find parameters describing higher-dimensional quantum states from a set of interference patterns.

This work gives a single-shot black-box approach to quantum state estimation as well as quantifying quantum entanglement.  Manipulation of quantum states is the most crucial operation in any quantum technology protocol, be it quantum computing, quantum communication, or quantum metrology. Similarly, quantum entanglement is a ubiquitous resource in quantum technology. The new technique for quantum state estimation developed and experimentally demonstrated by Urbasi Sinha and her group members at the Quantum Information and Computing Lab at RRI is a handy and effective tool in comparison to conventional techniques with a tremendous scaling gain involving the use of interferometry. Theoretical support for this development was provided by a collaborator from HRI. Moreover, the work also indicates how this technique could lead to miniaturized devices in the long run, which could be used for quantum state estimation at a commercial scale.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)


One-step laser-based fabrication of self-cleaning metallic surfaces can help prevent rusting
Eco-friendly self-cleaning surfaces that can protect biomedical and other applications from rusting and bacterial growth may soon be a reality with an ultrafast laser-based process that scientists have developed for fabrication of surfaces without use of coatings or additional surface treatment.

Scientists from International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India, at its Centre for Laser Processing of Materials, have brought out a single-step method to develop super-hydrophobic functional surfaces that have ability to repel water. Such surfaces do not allow water to cling long enough to evaporate and leave behind residue.

This indigenous laser processing, which has been published in the journal ‘Materials Performance and Characterization’, allows the fabrication of fast and flexible super-hydrophobic surfaces on a wide range of materials. By adjusting the laser processing parameters, in this method, it is possible to accurately control the structure pattern and precisely tailor the contact angle and the wetting properties of a variety of substrates. It is a robust, simple, fast, precise, and eco-friendly process and can be used to effectively fabricate robust super-hydrophobic surfaces and has high potential for large-scale application.

Currently, super-hydrophobic properties are achieved by developing rough surfaces and low surface free energy chemical coatings which are mostly two-step processes. The first step is to construct a rough surface by physical or chemical methods, and the second step involves chemical coatings of low surface free energy chemicals. However, these super-hydrophobic coating surfaces have many limitations, such as the use of fluorinated toxic reagent and poor mechanical stability.

In contrast, the single-step process developed by ARCI scientists comprises surface modification using a femtosecond laser (lasers emitting light pulses with durations between a few femtoseconds and hundreds of femtoseconds, i.e. 10-15 of a second), non-thermal, and eco-friendly. The efficient and straightforward strategy will encourage the scalability of the process both in terms of reducing the cycle time and applying the developed hierarchical micro-scale and nano-scale structures over large areas for practical applications in the prevention of corrosion, bacterial growth, and avoidance of repeated cleaning.




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