About 3D printing technology

About 3D printing technology

  • 3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
  • The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes.
  • In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the object is created.
  • Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
  • 3D printing enables us to produce complex (functional) shapes using less material than traditional manufacturing methods.
  • The 3D printing industry encompasses many forms of technologies and materials. The 3D printing is being used in the following industrial sectors:
    • Consumer Goods
    • Industrial Goods
    • High Tech
    • Services
    • Healthcare sectors, etc.
  • 3D Printing in Medical field
    • The outlook for medical use of 3D printing is evolving at an extremely rapid pace as specialists are beginning to utilize 3D printing in more advanced ways.
    • Patients around the world are experiencing improved quality of care through 3D printed implants and prosthetics.
  • Bio-printing
    • 3D printing technology has been studied for possible use in tissue engineering applications where organs and body parts are built using inkjet techniques.
    • Layers of living cells are deposited onto a gel medium and slowly built up to form three dimensional structures.
    • This field of research is known as Bio-printing.
Section : Science & Tech

What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? What is Gross Value Added (GVA)? How is GDP calculated in India? Deficiencies in the current GDP calculation

What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?

  • The gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy.
  • It represents the total value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period, often referred to as the size of the economy.
  • Usually, GDP is expressed as a comparison to the previous quarter or year. For example, if the Q3 2017 GDP of a country is up 3%, the economy of that country has grown by 3% over the third quarter.
  • While quarterly growth rates are a periodic measure of how the economy is faring, annual GDP figures are often considered the benchmark for the size of the economy.

 

What is Gross Value Added (GVA)?

  • Gross value added (GVA) is defined as the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption.
  • Value added represents the contribution of labour and capital to the production process.
  • When the value of taxes on products (less subsidies on products) is added, the sum of value added for all resident units gives the value of gross domestic product (GDP).

GVA + taxes on products – subsidies on products = GDP

  • Thus, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any nation represents the sum total of gross value added (GVA) (i.e, without discounting for capital consumption or depreciation) in all the sectors of that economy during the said year after adjusting for taxes and subsidies.

 

How is GDP calculated in India?

  • GDP can be calculated in three different ways:
    • The product (or output) approach is the most direct one which calculates the total product output of each class.
    • The expenditure approach calculates the total value of the products like steel, coal, fridge, TV among many other bought by an individual or consumer like you and me which should be equal to the expenditure of the things bought.
    • The income approach calculates the sum of all the producers’ incomes where the incomes of the productive factors are equal to the value of their product.

 

  • The GDP in India is calculated using two different methods:

A. Based on economic activity (at factor cost):

  • The factor cost figure is calculated by collecting data for the net change in value for each sector during a particular time period. The following eight industry sectors are considered in this cost:
  1. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing
  2. Mining and quarrying
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Electricity, gas and water supply
  5. Construction
  6. Trade, hotels, transport and communication
  7. Financing, insurance, real estate and business services
  8. Community, social and personal services

B. Based on expenditure (at market prices):

  • The expenditure (at market prices) method involves summing the domestic expenditure on final goods and services across various streams during a particular time period.
    • It includes consideration of expenses towards household consumption, net investments (i.e., capital formation), government costs, and net trade (exports minus imports).
  • The expenditure approach offers a good insight into which parts contribute most to the Indian economy.
  • After the revision of National Accounts statistics done by Central Statistical Organization (CSO) in January 2015, Indian GDP is now  measured by using gross value added (GVA) at market price/base price, rather than factor cost.
  • The relationship between GVA at Factor Cost and GVA at Basic Prices and GDP at market prices and GVA at basic prices is shown below:

 

GVA  at factor cost + (Production taxes less Production subsidies) = GVA at basic  prices

GDP  at market prices = GVA at basic prices + Product taxes- Product subsidies

 

Deficiencies in the current GDP calculation

  • The GDP calculation does not measure the depletion of natural resources.
  • The current GDP measure, while accounting for increases in production, did not take into account other factors of economic activity such as the change in quality of the output due to improvements in technology, or how advances like artificial intelligence will impact employment.
  • It did not incorporate the economic contributions of women in running households and maintaining account.
  • It also did not have any measure of whether an increase in GDP resulted in an increase in happiness.

Note While NITI Aayog had acknowledged that efforts must be made to ensure that GDP growth is combined with sustainability, it had so far not suggested any ways to achieve this.

 

Way ahead

  • It is therefore strongly recommended to evolve indicators/parameters to gauge the environmental resource decay and replenishment efforts made to compensate the loss and also to capture these aspects in measuring GDP and other economic parameters.

 

Section : Economics

Water desalination plants harm environment: UN

Headline : Water desalination plants harm environment: UN

Details :

The News

  • According to a study backed by UN, though desalinization is a necessity to manage water scarcity globally, it is fraught with ecological challenges mainly due to discharge of Brine.

Background

Desalination

  • Globally around 1.5 to 2 billion people live in areas of physical water scarcity.
  • To tackle the problem of global water scarcity, desalinization plants are on the rise with about 15,906 operational plants in 177 countries.
  • Almost half of the global desalination capacity is located in the Middle East and North Africa region which lack renewable water resources.
  • However the main issue with desalinization plants is that for every litre of freshwater it produces, desalination plants also produce about 1.5 litres of brine.
  • The brine so produced has severe ecological effects on the marine environment according to a study by UN University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

Brine and Desalinization plants

  • Brine refers to all concentrate discharged from desalination plants.
  • It is highly concentrated salt water ‘hyper-salty water’, comprising of about 5% salt compared to 3.5% salt in global sea water.
  • As shown above for every litre of freshwater it produces, desalination plants also produce about 1.5 litres of brine.
  • The anti-scalants and anti-foulants in the desalination process use toxic chemicals like copper and chlorine which are of major concern.
  • Globally about 80% of brine is produced within 10 km of a coastline.

Harmful Effects of Brine

  • As 80% of brine is produced within 10 km of a coastline, desalination plants near the ocean most often discharge untreated waste brine directly back into the marine environment.
  • This greatly raises the salinity of the receiving seawater.
  • Further the oceans are polluted with toxic chemicals used as anti-scalants and anti-foulants in the desalination process including copper and chlorine.
  • This depletes dissolved oxygen in the receiving waters
  • High salinity and depleted dissolved oxygen levels severely impact benthic organisms including shellfish, crabs and other creatures throughout the food chain.

 

Way Forward

  • Alternative sources of water such as fog harvesting to aquifers below the seabed should be explored to deal with water scarcity
  • Further brine discharged into sea water can be alternately used in aquaculture with increases in fish biomass of 300%.
  • Brine can also be used to irrigate salt tolerant species such as Spirulina.
  • Brine can also be used to generate electricity.
  • Further large amount of salts and metals contained in brine can be mined.

About UNU-INWEH

  • The Canada-based UN University Institute for Water, Environment and Health is a member of the United Nations University family of organisations.
  • It is the UN think tank on water, created by the UNU Governing Council in 1996.
  • Its mission is to help resolve pressing water challenges of concern to the UN through knowledge-based research to generate scalable solutions.

In focus: Multi-drug resistant fungus, Candida auris

In focus: Multi-drug resistant fungus, Candida auris

Introduction

  • Candida auris is a fungus discovered in 2009 that has developed resistance to commonly used anti-fungal drugs.
  • ‘Candida auris’ is spreading across the globe adding a new dimension to anti-microbial drug resistance.
  • WHO recognizes anti-microbial multidrug-resistance as one of the top 10 global public health threats in 2019.
  • Thus, in addition to anti-biotic resistance, anti-fungal resistance is also emerging as a major global health threat.

Harmful effects of Candida auris

  • The harmful effects of Candida auris is 2 fold
  • Direct Infections
  • It commonly causes infections in wounds, bloodstreams, and ears.
  • In case of patients with weak immune systems it can cause invasive infections in blood, heart, brain, urinary tract and respiratory tract in which cases I can cause deaths in 1 in 3 patients.
  • Spread of antifungal resistance
  • While it is not life-threatening for healthy population, its spread is a serious public health concern due to multiple drug resistance it can develop.
  • Thus rendering various anti-fungal drugs ineffective.

Vulnerable population

  • People with weak immune system like old aged, neo-natal groups, patients of diabetes mellitus.
  • Doctors and other Health care workers etc

Possible reasons for the spread

  • Anti-fungals are usually used to prevent agricultural plants from rotting.
  • Rampant use of anti-fungicides on crops could exacerbate the spread and infect healthy population.
  • Since they are easily spread in the environment it can travel by way of farm products like vegetables, meat etc.
  • It could be transported across borders by travelers (similar to traveler’s diarrhea) and on exports and imports.
  • Transferred by infected patients from hospitals and back.

Spread of Candida Auris

  • Candida Auris was 1st discovered in Japan in 2009.
  • Now it has spread to almost all regions including South Korea, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Challenges

  • Difficult to identify
  • It can be misidentified for other types of fungi leading to wrong methods to arrest the spread.
  • Low knowledge
  • Current knowledge of the fungus is low
  • Its origin,
  • its spread,
  • the way it affects,
  • mechanism it adopts to develop resistance
  • Rapid contamination of environment
  • The fungus is so invasive that it spreads very rapidly in the hospitals and environment in general.
  • Drug-resistance
  • The fungus is known to be resistant to 90% of the anti-fungal drugs
  • Besides it is also 30% effective in case of multiple-drug therapies.
  • Low attention
  • Most of the attention among anti-microbial resistance is currently focused towards anti-biotic resistance.

Note on Traveler’s Diarrhea

  • Traveler’s diarrhea is the other disease vulnerable to be transported across borders.
  • The main reasons for traveler’s diarrhea are
  • Changes in circadian rhythm
  • Travelers moving across border witness changes in diet cycles, sleep cycles etc and thus affecting the life cycles of bacteria and viruses in the intestine.
  • Contaminated environment
  • Consumption of contaminated food and water in new destinations especially tropical countries like India is the main cause of diarrhea for travelers.
  • The most common microbe causing diarrhea is E.coli bacteria.
  • Delhi Belly is a case of traveler’s diarrhea caused by an infection in the intestine.
  • Spread of infectious microbes
  • Giardia is a common parasite vulnerable to spread across borders very easily through the travelers.
  • Viruses also cause diarrhea and due to complexity in their lifecycles spread very fast across border through travelers.
Section : Science & Tech

In focus: Multi-drug resistant fungus, Candida auris

In focus: Multi-drug resistant fungus, Candida auris

Introduction

  • Candida auris is a fungus discovered in 2009 that has developed resistance to commonly used anti-fungal drugs.
  • ‘Candida auris’ is spreading across the globe adding a new dimension to anti-microbial drug resistance.
  • WHO recognizes anti-microbial multidrug-resistance as one of the top 10 global public health threats in 2019.
  • Thus, in addition to anti-biotic resistance, anti-fungal resistance is also emerging as a major global health threat.

Harmful effects of Candida auris

  • The harmful effects of Candida auris is 2 fold
  • Direct Infections
  • It commonly causes infections in wounds, bloodstreams, and ears.
  • In case of patients with weak immune systems it can cause invasive infections in blood, heart, brain, urinary tract and respiratory tract in which cases I can cause deaths in 1 in 3 patients.
  • Spread of antifungal resistance
  • While it is not life-threatening for healthy population, its spread is a serious public health concern due to multiple drug resistance it can develop.
  • Thus rendering various anti-fungal drugs ineffective.

Vulnerable population

  • People with weak immune system like old aged, neo-natal groups, patients of diabetes mellitus.
  • Doctors and other Health care workers etc

Possible reasons for the spread

  • Anti-fungals are usually used to prevent agricultural plants from rotting.
  • Rampant use of anti-fungicides on crops could exacerbate the spread and infect healthy population.
  • Since they are easily spread in the environment it can travel by way of farm products like vegetables, meat etc.
  • It could be transported across borders by travelers (similar to traveler’s diarrhea) and on exports and imports.
  • Transferred by infected patients from hospitals and back.

Spread of Candida Auris

  • Candida Auris was 1st discovered in Japan in 2009.
  • Now it has spread to almost all regions including South Korea, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Colombia, Venezuela, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Challenges

  • Difficult to identify
  • It can be misidentified for other types of fungi leading to wrong methods to arrest the spread.
  • Low knowledge
  • Current knowledge of the fungus is low
  • Its origin,
  • its spread,
  • the way it affects,
  • mechanism it adopts to develop resistance
  • Rapid contamination of environment
  • The fungus is so invasive that it spreads very rapidly in the hospitals and environment in general.
  • Drug-resistance
  • The fungus is known to be resistant to 90% of the anti-fungal drugs
  • Besides it is also 30% effective in case of multiple-drug therapies.
  • Low attention
  • Most of the attention among anti-microbial resistance is currently focused towards anti-biotic resistance.

Note on Traveler’s Diarrhea

  • Traveler’s diarrhea is the other disease vulnerable to be transported across borders.
  • The main reasons for traveler’s diarrhea are
  • Changes in circadian rhythm
  • Travelers moving across border witness changes in diet cycles, sleep cycles etc and thus affecting the life cycles of bacteria and viruses in the intestine.
  • Contaminated environment
  • Consumption of contaminated food and water in new destinations especially tropical countries like India is the main cause of diarrhea for travelers.
  • The most common microbe causing diarrhea is E.coli bacteria.
  • Delhi Belly is a case of traveler’s diarrhea caused by an infection in the intestine.
  • Spread of infectious microbes
  • Giardia is a common parasite vulnerable to spread across borders very easily through the travelers.
  • Viruses also cause diarrhea and due to complexity in their lifecycles spread very fast across border through travelers.
Section : Science & Tech

National Policy on Software Product 2019

National Policy on Software Product 2019

  • National Policy on Software Product 2019 is a basic roadmap for formulation of initiatives, schemes and other measures for the development of software products sector in India

 

Funding

  • It involves an initial outlay of Rs.1500 crore for various schemes till 2025.
  • Software Product Development Fund: of Rs 5000 crore with contribution from private sector to promote emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big Data and robotics.
  • Research & Innovation fund

 

Five Main Missions

  • Increase share in global software products market
    • Create Indian Software products Industry of $ 70-80 billion at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate of 40% by 2025.
    • Increase India’s share in global software product market by ten times.
  • Develop Software Product Eco-system
    • Nurturing of 10,000 technology start-ups in software product industry, including 1,000 in tier-II and tier-III towns.
    • Cluster-based innovation driven ecosystem by developing 20 sectoral and strategically located software product development clusters
  • Employment Generation
    • It aims create direct & indirect employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
  • Talent Pool Creation
    • Skilling of 10 lakh IT professionals.
    • Developing 10,000 leadership professionals.
  • National Software Products Mission
    • Aimed at monitoring and evaluating scheme & programmes with participation from Government, Academia and Industry.

 

Impact

  • Boost export income
  • Create employment and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Leverage opportunities available under the Digital India Programme leading inclusive and sustainable growth.
Section : Science & Tech

About Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme

About Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme

  • In 2015, Government introduced the Sovereign Gold Bonds as substitutes of expensive gold imports that impact the current account deficit (CAD).
  • The main objective of the scheme was to develop a financial asset as an alternative to purchasing metal gold, thus also aimed at changing the habits of Indians from saving in physical form of gold to a paper form with Sovereign backing.

 

What are Sovereign Gold Bonds?

  • Sovereign Gold Bonds is government securities denominated in grams of gold.
  • They are substitutes for holding physical gold.
  • Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity.
  • The Bond is issued by Reserve Bank on behalf of Government of India.
  • The sovereign gold bond, gold monetisation scheme and Indian gold coin were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.

Alternative to physical gold:

  • The SGB offers a superior alternative to holding gold in physical form as the risks and costs of storage are eliminated.
  • SGB is free from issues like making charges and purity in the case of gold in jewellery form.
  • The bonds are held in the books of the RBI or in demat form eliminating risk of loss of scrip etc.
  • The quantity of gold for which the investor pays is protected, since the investor receives the ongoing market price at the time of redemption/ premature redemption.

Eligibility:

  • Persons resident in India as defined under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 are eligible to invest in SGB.
  • Eligible investors include individuals, trusts, universities and charitable institutions.

Investment:

  • The sovereign gold bond is denominated in multiples of one gram of gold, which is the minimum permissible investment limit.
  • A subscriber is allowed a maximum limit of 4 kilograms in case of individuals and HUFs in a financial year.
  • The upper limit of investment in case of trusts and similar entities per fiscal year is 20 kilograms.
  • The annual ceiling includes bonds subscribed under different tranches in the initial issuance and those purchased from the secondary market.

Interest rate:

  • The bonds carry a 2.5 per cent annual interest for investors and investors will get the interest payable semi-annually on the nominal value of investment.

Income tax benefit:

  • The interest on SGB investment is taxable under the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961). However, any capital gains tax arising on redemption of the SGB to an individual has been exempted.

Maturity period:

  • Gold bonds come with a maturity period of eight years.
  • The investor gets an opportunity to exit the bond in the fifth, sixth and seventh year on the interest payment dates.

 

Section : Economics

Paikas

News Summary:
  • From the next academic session, the Paika rebellion of 1817 will be placed in the history books as ‘the First War of Independence’.
  • So far, Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 has been regarded as the First War of Indian Independence.
  • The Paika Bidroha (Paika Rebellion) of 1817 in Odisha briefly shook the foundations of British rule in the eastern part of India.
Who were Paikas?
  • They were the peasant militias of the Gajapati rulers of Odisha.
  • During the times of war, they used to render military services to the king and during the peace time they used to perform cultivation.
Khurda region:
  • Khurda is the region at Odhisha’s coast which was capital of the rulers there for a long time. The current capital city of Bhubaneswar is located in this district.
  • Rulers of Khurda were traditionally the custodians of Jagannath Temple and ruled as the deputy of Lord Jagannath on earth.
  • They symbolised the political and cultural freedom of the people of Odisha.
  • British occupation and Paika rebellion:
  • The British occupied Odisha in 1803.
  • The Paikas were alienated by the British regime, who took over the hereditary rent-free lands granted to them, after the conquest of Khurda.
  • They were also subjected to extortion and oppression at the hands of the company government and its servants.
  • Thus, Paikas rebelled against the British.
Leader of the Rebellion:
  • The Gajapati King of Odisha, Mukunda Deva-ll was a minor then.
  • The initial resistance to the British was given by Jai Rajguru (the custodian of Mukunda Deva-II) but he was brutally killed.
  • A few years later, it was the Paikas under Baxi Jagabandhu (the hereditary chief of the militia army of the Gajapati King) who rose in rebellion, taking support of tribals and other sections of society. The rebellion started in March 1817 and spread quickly.
Large Participation:
  • Though Paikas played a larger role in the rebellion against the British, it was by no means a rebellion by a small group of people belonging to a particular class.
  • The tribals of Ghumusar (part of present day Ganjam and Kandhmal Districts) and other sections of the population actively took part in it.
  • In fact, the Paika Bidroha got the opportune moment to spread when 400 tribals of Ghumsar entered Khurda protesting against the British rule.
  • The Paikas attacked British symbols of power, setting ablaze police stations, administrative offices and the treasury during their march towards Khurda, from where the British fled.
  • The Paikas were supported by the rajas of Kanika, Kujang, Nayagarh and Ghumusar and zamindars, village heads and ordinary peasants.
  • The rebellion quickly spread to Purl, Pipli Cuttack and other parts of the province.
British response:
  • The British were initially taken aback and then tried to regain lost ground but faced stiff resistance from the rebelling Paikas.
  • In many battles rebellions were victories but the British finally managed to defeat them within three months.
  • There was a widespread suppression followed by many killings and imprisonments.
  • Some rebels fought the guerilla war till 1819 but later they were captured and killed.
  • Baxi Jagabandhu was finally arrested in 1825 and died in captivity in 1829.
Section : History & Culture

Headline : Prelims Program: Map- Middle East

Headline : Prelims Program: Map- Middle East

Details :

Middle East

  • The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey (both Asian and European), and Egypt (which is mostly in North Africa).
  • Arabian peninsula is the largest in the world. In the eastern parts there is salt desert, western parts there is sandy desert.

Note: Egypt is often considered a part of the Middle East, as the Sinai is geologically a part of Asia. Sometimes Azerbaijan is considered a part of the Middle East, as a border region between Europe and Asia.

  • Largest Country: Saudi Arabia
  • Smallest Country: Bahrain
  • Largest Ethnic groups: Arabs, Turks, Persians, Kurds, and Azeris
  • Climate: The Middle East generally has a hot, arid climate.
  • Fertile Cresent: Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds of Mesopotamia
  • Crude Oil: Most of the countries bordering Persian Gulf have vast reserves of crude oil. More than ½ of World’s oil reserve and 40% of worlds natural gas reserve is found in this region.
  • Major rivers:

  • Lifeline of Egypt: River Nile
  • Lifelines of Iraq: River Tigris and Euphrates
  • Boundary between Israel and Jordan: Jordan river
  • Strait of Hormuz: Between Iran and UAE connects Persian gulf with Gulf of Oman and then Arabian sea.

  • Gulf of Aqaba: It connects Red Sea with Israel
  • Gulf of Suez : It connects Red sea with Mediterranean sea.

 

Section : Miscellaneous

About National Stem Cell Registry

About National Stem Cell Registry

  • It will be a government managed database of unrelated bone-marrow donors.
  • The database will be created by linking 5 existing stem cell registries in India.
  • It is being set up primarily to find matching donors for treating patients with blood-related disorders such as
  • blood cancers (lymphoma, leukemia)
  • thalassaemia,
  • sickle-cell anaemia,
  • haemophilia
  • The database will not contain stem cells but only buccal swab samples from cheek. (See HLA Match below)
  • The registration to the database is voluntary.

 

Need for National Stem Cell Registry

  • Some diseases cured only using stem-cells
    • Blood-related disorders like thalassaemia require frequent blood transfusions.
    • The only cure for blood related disorders is bone-marrow transplantation.
  • Demand-Supply mismatch
    • According to estimates, about 3.5-5.0 lakh people in India suffer from life-threatening blood-related disorders.
    • As a result, there is a demand of more than 2.5 lakh stem cell transplantations in India.
    • However, the number of matching donors is extremely low.
    • Only 30% of the patients are being treated because of sibling match. (sibling match is a perfect match)
    • Only 10-12% of the patients find donors through private registries in India.
  • High Cost
    • The global stem cell registries have very few Indians registered.
    • Thus, even if an unrelated match is found in a foreign country, the cost of transplantation becomes very high.

Conclusion

  • As a result a national level registry will increase the probability of finding unrelated matching donors.

 

Basics

Matching Donors: HLA Match

  • For bone-marrow transplantation, human leukocyte antigen match must be established between donor and patient. In simple words, the donor and patient should have exactly the same white blood cell type.
  • Siblings usually have the exact HLA match and thus suitable for bone-marrow transplantations.

Basics on Blood-Related Disorders

  • Blood-related disorders are classified under rare-diseases in India.
  • Major life-threatening blood related disorder are given below.

 

Thalassaemia

  • Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that reduces the production of haemoglobin (oxygen carriers) in the RBCs of the blood.
  • Effects
    • Excessive destruction of red blood cells leading to anaemia.

 

Haemophilia

  • Haemophilia is a blood-related inherited disorder that restricts the ability of blood to clot.
  • Males are most likely to be affected by Haemophilia.
  • Effects
    • Prolonged bleeding

 

About Sickle-cell anaemia

A detailed note on Sickle-cell amaemia was provided in an earlier post:

https://edgelms.vajiramandravi.com/current-affairs/new-hope-for-sickle-cell-patients/5c4ec54a4c45574ce8c3142d/