Expected Questions in Science and Technology 2019 – IAS/NET (Part-1) - (Set 3) (Download PDF)

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Please find below the most important expected topics for the upcoming UPSC Prelims exam 2019. Subscribe@Examrace YouTube Channel to get the complete series of expected questions. For practice and solutions visit - doorsteptutor. com. You can download the pdf by clicking the option “Download PDF”.

“Digi Yatra” facility

Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has released policy on biometric based digital processing of passengers at airports called Digi Yatra. It seeks to promote paperless & hassle-free air travel. Airports Authority of India (AAI) had roll out this initiative at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune & Vijayawada airports.

Digi Yatra

  • There will be one-time verification at departure airport while travelling for first time using ID.
  • Facial recognition biometric will be captured & stored in Digi Yatra ID.
  • With this, ticket booking, airport entry & boarding pass security check-in will be made digital.
  • For this system, passengers will be registered thru centralized system & will be given Digi Travel ID. This ID will include details such as names of passengers, their e-mail id, mobile number & any other identity card in case of non-basis. Travelers can use this ID when booking tickets.
  • This initiative will bring benefits to passengers & all stakeholders involved in process including airport operator who will be having travel information in advance for better resource planning & real-time data of passengers within terminal. This will enable operator to take proactive action to avoid congestion.

New skin gel protects Farmers from some pesticides

  • Indian researchers have developed gel which, when applied on skin, can prevent some pesticides from getting absorbed into body, thus averting serious adverse effects & even death.
  • Organophosphate-based pesticides, which are commonly used by farmers in India, are toxic to nervous system & heart & can cause cognitive dysfunction.
  • Majority of organophosphate-based pesticides are absorbed thru skin.
  • Esters, which are present in organophosphate-based pesticides, when enters body can cause neurological disorders, suffocation, paralysis & even death.
  • Team led by Dr. Praveen Kumar Vemula from Institute for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine (in Stem), Bengaluru, autonomous institute under Department of Biotechnology, used chemical reaction to convert ester into acid by using a catalyst to make pesticide inactive.
  • Tests conducted successfully on rats; human trials soon

ISRO’s GSAT-29

ISRO is set to launch its communication satellite GSAT-29 on its heavy-lift vehicle, GSLV-MkIII.

GSAT-29

  • Weight - 3,423 kg
  • It is a multiband & multi-beam satellite. Mission life will be 10 years.
  • Satellite’s Ku-band & Ka-band payloads will cater to communication needs of people residing in remote parts of country especially those from J&K & NE regions.
  • Satellite’s Q/V-Band communication payload will help in demonstrating future high thru put satellite system technologies.
  • Onboard Geo High Resolution Camera will help in carrying out high resolution imaging.
  • Onboard Optical Communication Payload will showcase a very high rate data transmission thru optical communication link.
  • This unique laser based optical communication is being tested for the first time by the ISRO.
  • Launch of GSAT-29 communication satellite will pave for bridging digital divide in country. Launch of satellite is expected to aid Digital India Programme.
  • GSAT-29 is 33rd communication satellite of India.
  • Successful flight of GSAT-29 will constitute series of experimental flights that will help in developing heaviest rocket for manned space missions of ISRO.
  • ISRO’s manned mission Gaganyaan is expected to lift of 3 Indian astronauts into space for a 7 days trip to Low-Earth Orbit. Mission is slated for 2022.

GSAT-29 and GSLV-MkIII-D2 rocket

GSAT-29

  • Weight 3,423 kg. It is a multiband & multi-beam satellite. Mission life will be 10 years.
  • Satellite’s Ku-band & Ka-band payloads will cater to communication needs of people residing in remote parts of country especially those from J&K & NE regions.
  • Satellite’s Q/V-Band communication payload will help in demonstrating future high thru put satellite system technologies. Onboard Geo High Resolution Camera will help in carrying out high resolution imaging. Onboard Optical Communication Payload will showcase a very high rate data transmission thru optical communication link. This unique laser based optical communication is being tested for 1st time by ISRO.

GSLV MKIII

ISRO’s 5th generation 3 stage heavy lift launch vehicle. Capable of placing satellites weighing 4000 kg in GTO. 1st stage constitutes 2 massive boosters w/solid propellants. Core w/liquid propellant & cryogenic engine constitutes 2nd & 3rd stages respectively. Weight - 641 tons roughly equals weight of 5 fully loaded passenger aircrafts. Heaviest among India’s operational launch vehicles. With only 43 meters tall, it is shortest launch vehicles. It will be used to launch Chandrayaan-2 & Gaganyaan missions.

SpiNNaker: world’s largest brain-mimicking supercomputer

Spiking Neural Network Architecture (SpiNNaker) machine designed to work in same way as human brain was switched on for 1st time.

SpiNNaker

  • It designed & built at University of Manchester in UK.
  • It can model more biological neurons in real time than any other machine on planet. Biological neurons are basic brain cells present in nervous system that communicate by emitting ‘spikes’ of pure electro-chemical energy.
  • It is neuromorphic computing that uses large scale computer systems containing electronic circuits to mimic these spikes in a machine.
  • It is capable of completing more than 200 million actions per second, w/each of its chips having 100 million transistors.
  • It is unique as it mimics massively parallel communication architecture of brain, sending billions of small amounts of information simultaneously to thousands of different destinations. It unique because, unlike traditional computers, it does not communicate by sending large amounts of information from point A to B via standard network.

Potential Applications

  • It has massive potential for neurological breakthroughs in science like pharmaceutical testing. It can be used to harnessed to control robot which can interpret real-time visual information & navigate towards certain objects while ignoring others.
  • It can help to unlock some of secrets of how human brain works by running unprecedentedly large scale simulations.
  • It will allow roboticists to design large scale neural networks into mobile robots so they can walk, talk & move with flexibility & low power.

Chandrayaan-2 lunar lander

  • ISRO has postponed Chandrayaan-2, India’s 2nd mission to moon to January 2019.
  • Chandrayaan-2 is India’s most challenging & India’s 2nd mission to Moon. It is advanced version of previous Chandrayaan-1 mission (launched in 2008) which only involved orbiting around moon, Chandrayaan-2 is much complicated mission as it involves an orbiter, lander & rover.
  • Lunar lander faces crucial test – Chandrayaan-2’s landing sensors will be tested at a special site in Karnataka.
  • Lander Sensor Performance Test or LSPT will be conducted at ISRO’s new R&D campus in Chitradurga dist. , Karnataka.
  • Lander is being developed & tested by U. R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru

Litmus Test

  • Chandrayaan-2 lander’s sensors are all set to be tested at Challakere, Karnataka

How will Sensors help Lander?

  • Assess height from landing spot
  • Decide speed of Lander
  • Help lander navigate boulders or uneven surfaces

HysIS - Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite

ISRO to launch its HysIS imaging satellite & 30 other satellites w/PSLV-C43 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Satellite will be put into a polar synchronous orbit, which sets it in motion along axis that runs along Earth’s geographic North & South Pole.

Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HysIS)

  • India’s 1st hyperspectral imaging satellite for advanced earth observation developed indigenously by ISRO.
  • It was placed in 636 km-polar sun synchronous orbit w/inclination of 97.957 degree. Mission life is 5 years. Primary goal is to study earth’s surface in visible near infrared & shortwave infrared regions of electromagnetic spectrum w/I bandwidth of 400nm-2500nm wavelength. Optical imaging detector chip is heart of this satellite which is designed by Space Application Centre of ISRO & fabricated at its semi-conductor lab at Chandigarh.

Applications of HysIS

HysIS technology will be added advantage in watching over India from space across sectors including defence, agriculture, land use & mineral exploration. Primarily used in Agriculture, Forestry, Soil Survey, Geology, Coastal Zone Studies, Inland water Studies, Environmental monitoring, Pollution Detection from Industries.

ISRO PSLV-C43 mission: HysIS satellite objectives

  • Mission is to study earth’s surface near infrared & shortwave infrared regions of electromagnetic spectrum.
  • To provide observations w/I visible, near infrared & shortwave infrared bands of electromagnetic spectrum
  • To monitor atmospheric activity & climate change
  • To assist studies of Earth’s magnetic field

PCSK-9 gene mutation

  • Use of PCSK9 inhibitors (PCSK9) helps in lowering cholesterol levels & reduce risk of heart attacks.
  • PCSK9 are new class of injectable drugs that reportedly reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by up to 60 % when combined w/statin (another class of drugs prescribed to help lower cholesterol levels).
  • Discovery of cholesterol-lowering mutations in a human gene called PCSK9 led to development of most promising new drugs against heart disease since statins.
  • Geneticist Helen Hobbs & her colleague Geneticist Jonathan Cohen, found that when people had a mutation in PCSK9, they ended up w/lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol.
  • Through this mechanism, mutation protected people against heart disease, seemingly w/o side effects.
  • In 2016, Ms. Hobbs was awarded Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for her work.
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, abbreviated as LDL-c, is considered ‘bad’ variant of cholesterol as it contributes to plaque deposition, leading to hardening & narrowing of arteries or ‘atherosclerosis’ (thickening of artery walls owing to accumulation of white blood cells).

- Published/Last Modified on: June 1, 2019

Science/Technology

Monthy-updated, fully-solved, large current affairs-2019 question bank(more than 2000 problems): Quickly cover most-important current-affairs questions with pointwise explanations especially designed for IAS, NTA-NET, Bank-PO and other competetive exams.