PIB – 11th Dec 2020

BSNL, in partnership with Skylo, to introduce worlds’ first, satellite-based narrowband-IoT network in India

  • BSNL, in partnership with Skylotech India, announced a breakthrough in satellite-based NB-IoT (Narrow Band-Internet of Things), in pursuance of the vision of a truly Digital India  starting with fishermen, farmers, construction, mining and logistics enterprises. 
  • With this solution, India will now have access to a ubiquitous fabric of connectivity for millions of yet unconnected machines, sensors and industrial IoT devices.
  • This new ‘Made in India’ Solution, which is indigenously developed by Skylo, will connect with BSNLs satellite- ground infrastructure and provide PAN-India coverage, including Indian seas. 
  • The coverage will be so vast that it will not leave any dark patch within the boundary of India, from Kashmir &Ladakh to Kanyakumari, and from Gujarat to the North East, including the Indian seas.
  • This is the world’s first satellite-based NB-IoT network to transform lives and domestic industries.
  • This new technology supports the Department of Telecom and NITI Aayog’s plan of bringing indigenous IoT connectivity to India’s core sectors. Examples of where this technology has already been tested successfully include, Indian Railways, fishing vessels, and enabling connected vehicles across India.
  • A small, smart, incredibly rugged box, the Skylo ‘User Terminal’ interfaces with sensors and transmits data to the Skylo Network and into peoples hands. The accompanying Data Platform provides an immersive, visual, experience for industry-specific applications on mobile or desktop. 
  • It gives users the ability to take immediate and appropriate action, no matter where they are. This new digital machine connectivity layer will serve as a complement to smartphone-centric mobile & Wi-Fi networks, and covers India’s full geography to bring online new applications for the first time.

Successful Trials of 5.56 x 30 mm Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC)

  • Defence Research and Development Organsiation (DRDO) designed 5.56×30 mm Protective Carbine has successfully undergone the final phase of User trials on meeting all the GSQR parameters.  This has paved the way for induction into the services.
  •  This was the last leg of trials in a series of User trials which have been carried out in extreme temperature conditions in summer and high altitudes in winter. JVPC has successfully met the stringent performance criteria of reliability and accuracy in addition to quality trials conducted by DGQA.
  • JVPC is a Gas Operated Semi Bull-pup automatic weapon having more than 700 rpm rate of fire. The effective range of the carbine is more than 100 m and weighs about 3.0 kg with key features like high reliability, low recoil, retractable Butt, ergonomic design, single hand firing capability, and multiple Picatinny rails etc. 
  • These features make it a very potent weapon for Counter Insurgency /Counter Terrorism operations by security agencies.
  • The carbine has been designed as per Indian Army’s GSQR, by Armament Research and Development Establishment (ARDE), a Pune based laboratory of DRDO. The Weapon is manufactured at Small Arms Factory, Kanpur while the Ammunition is manufactured at ammunition Factory, Kirkee Pune.

A tough novel species of Muraingrass identified by scientists in the plateaus of Western Ghats of Goa

  • A new species of Indian Muraingrasses known for their ecological and economic importance, such as fodder, have been spotted by scientists in Goa in the Western Ghats, one of the four global biodiversity hotspots of India. The species has adapted to survive harsh conditions, low nutrient availability, and blossoms every monsoon.
  • Globally 85 species are known from Ischaemum, of which 61 species are exclusively found in India. The Western Ghats have 40 species with the highest concentration of the genus.
  • Agharkar Research Institute (ARI), Pune, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, has been exploring the biodiversity of the Western Ghats for the last few decades.
  • The research team discovered a novel species named Ischaemum Janarthanam From plateaus of Western Ghats of Goa.
  • The species was named Ischaemum Janarthanam In honour of Prof. M. K. Janarthanam, Professor of Botany, Goa University, for his contribution to the Indian grass taxonomy and documentation of the floristic diversity of Goa state.
  • The first collection of this new species was made in the 2017 monsoon. The population was kept under observation for the next two years to confirm the consistency of its characters. Morphological and molecular data of the species were used to confirm the novelty of the species.
  • Ischaemum Janarthanam grows on low altitude lateritic plateaus in the outskirts of Bhagwan Mahavir National Park, Goa. The vegetation is exposed to extreme climatic conditions like desiccation in drier months and soils with low nutrient availability. However, withstanding these, the species has adapted to survive harsh conditions and blossom every monsoon.

Aerosols in Indo-Gangetic Plain have led to increased incidents of high rainfall in the Himalayan foothills

  • Scientists have found that aerosols like black carbon and dust, which makes the Indo-Gangetic Plain one of the most polluted regions of the world, have led to increased incidents of high rainfall events in the foothills of the Himalayan Region.
  • The Indo-Gangetic Plain is located South and upwind of the Himalayan foothills. The region is associated with high aerosol loading, much of which is black carbon and dust, and thus provides an opportunity for studying how aerosol  affects extreme rainfall events, particularly when air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain technically called orographic forcing.
  • Study showed that particulate emissions can alter the physical and dynamical properties of cloud systems and, in turn, amplify rainfall events over orographic regions downwind of highly polluted urban areas.
  • The team found clear associations between high precipitation events, high aerosol loading, and high moist static energy (MSE) values (Moist static energy of an air mass includes the potential energy due to its height above the ground and the latent heat due to its moisture content). The findings also highlight the crucial role of the radiative effect of aerosol on high precipitation events over the Himalayan region.
  • The results of the study indicate that aerosols can play a vital role in exciting high precipitation (HP) events over the Himalayas during the monsoon season. Thus, aerosols, including chemistry, are essential to consider when forecasting HP events over the Himalayan region in regional modelling studies.