Q.1) Can man-made robots have skills for “natural selection”? If so, how is it a useful next-level evolution in robotics?
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Adityaka
Ans) Natural selection, proposed by Charles Darwin, suggests that evolution in species is determined by the survival of the fittest member of that species in terms of adaptability to the prevalent environment.
Robotics engineers of the Cambridge University have designed a mother robot that is capable of creating successive generations of robots that outperform the previous generation. The science is as follows:
– The mother robot is given instructions to create baby bots and is armed with a ‘genome’ consisting of 5 genes.
– Each baby bot’s performance, in a given task, is analysed and the mistakes are recognized through a feedback mechanism.
– The necessary mutations in the 5 genes are undertaken so as to enhance performance of these baby bots.
– The new genome is used as a base to create the successive generation of baby bots and the cycle is repeated.
Evolutionary robotics offers exciting prospects;
– It can infuse creativity and efficiency in industrial production processes especially in heavy machinery and automobiles, making each succession more adaptable to human needs.
– Environment concerns could be factored in the mother bot software, taking care of sustainable woes.
– On a bigger scale it would boost Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human understanding regarding how intelligence evolved in human beings.
However, as Stephen Hawking has pointed out, there are distopian possibilities with untrammeled evolution of AI. Furthermore, a country like India pitching for manufacturing growth to create jobs cannot afford creative robotic disruption. Care needs to be taken as to the place evolutionary robotics can take in the economy.
Q.2) Egg freezing can help women who have certain medical problems in having a baby. Explain the process and the science behind it.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Ishaan
Ans) Oocyte cryo-preservation means extraction of eggs from ovary and then its preservation under cryogenic(very low temperature) condition until the woman is ready to become pregnant .
It involve three stages which are:
– Several weak of hormone injection is given to ripen multiple follicles(structure capable to change as eggs in ovary). Since it provides more chances even one egg is damaged
– Matured eggs are extracted by providing optimal pregnancy conditions and avoid problems in multiple ovulation by Final maturation induction.
– Egg is dehydrated to avoid damage to cell particles and structure when it is frozen since egg contains water
– It then preserved under cryogenic condition either slow, fast or flash rate of cooling
It is being adopted in women having cancer in uterus , in Assistive Reproductive Technology and those who need children in future life, especially working women’s western world. Not only eggs , but semen are too preserved under this technology.
Q.3) Graphene is termed as the “next wonder material.” Substantiate.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Ashish Agrawal
Ans) Graphene is pure carbon with unique physical and chemical properties. This differs with other pure carbon forms like diamond and graphite (used in pencil) in terms of arrangement of molecules. It shows honeycomb lattice type pattern, which accounts for its huge technological applications. Following points will justify why it is termed as ‘wonder material’ :
> Its 2 dimensional lattice structure can be converted (rolled) into cylinderical and spherical shape. Having vacant space, it can efficiently carry and deliver nanoparticles to specified target. A wide area of application awaits to be opened in public health. Graphene tube is expected to be used in agriculture to deliver nano-fertilisers. Benefits of judicious use of chemical in agri sector needs no explanation.
> It can be used in water-filtration systems and desalination systems. With just 1 atom thick it can efficiently filter liquid. Most importantly, it can filter radioactive waste, industial effluents in our water bodies. Rivers like Ganga, Yamuna will be once again clean with minimal cost.
> Important component of our Digital India campaign is to connect every Indian with internet with optimum speed. Here use of graphene can do wonders. Small nanotubes antennas made of graphene is known for transferring data at very high speed. Further infrastructure cost will be also be less. It also has vast application in telecommnication and electronical industry.
Above list can go very long. There is a need to develop scientific temper in government’s view. Aligning this with our national requirement can definitely do wonders. Also it applies to every developing country.
Q.4) ‘One of India’s biggest challenges is to boost its science to help drive national development’. Substantiate.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Vardan Maheshwari
Ans) Science and technology is the panacea for the growth and development of a nation. There are several examples which prove this fact for e.g. it was due to RENAISSANCE AND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, which made Britain a super-power, and it was GREEN REVOLUTION which made INDIA SELF-RELIANT IN FOOD PRODUCTION.
-India needs to boost its science and R&D as it will help India achieve competitiveness in various sectors. But there are various challenges lying in front of India like:
a)Less financial allocation to science and R&D sector.
b)Lack of world-class infrastructure for research.
c)In agriculture sector, lack of popularization of techniques developed by ICAR and KRISHI VIGYAN KENDRAS.
d)Poor-Student faculty ratio.
e)Various outdated and complex laws which make it difficult for foreign companies to invest in India which will bring modern technology.
-The current government has taken various initiatives to boost science like:
a)Make in India to attract foreign companies to bring modern technology and capital to India
b)Raashtriya Aavsihkar Abhiyaan launched to develop scientific temper among the students.
c)Opening of IITs at the remote areas of the country.
d)DIGITIZATION in various fields to ensure better quality of services as well as boosting economic growth.
f)Various initiatives launched to promote tech-based START-UPS like INSTITUTIONAL TRADING PLATFORM, formation of incubation centres etc.
Q.5) What are digital weapons? How can they cause physical damage? Elaborate.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Rahul Agrawal
Ans) Digital weapons are the computer programs in the form of viruses or worms, generally used to sabotage a critical infrastructure of a nation. Since, more critical infrastructure like nuclear reactors, power stations, oil pipelines are increasingly being integrated on cyber platforms, digital weapons possess a grave danger.
Some of the examples are :
A. Stuxnet, alleged to be designed by US and Israel, was a worm to spy on the Iran’s nuclear program and sabotage it
B. In 2008, control systems of Turkish oil pipeline were disabled by viruses, before exploding it
C. Heartbleed , a cyber tool, was used to spy on the confidential information exchanged over the internet.
As mentioned above, since critical infrastructures are being migrated on digital platforms, physical harm caused due to digital weapons is a huge risk. It may cause radioactive leakage, launching of missile, oil spiils etc. Thus, global partnership is required to make our information systems more robust from the digital weapons.
High Order Thinking
Q.1) Do you think pragmatism has taken over our core values with regards to our foreign policy? Critically examine the issue in light of the relations being cultivated with Israel and India’s approach towards the Palestinian cause.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Jimboomba
Ans) India’s foreign policy since the Nehruvian Era ,has given substantial attention to idealism ,ethics and morality. Non alignment , opposition of decolonization, unwavering support for Palestinian cause reflect the idealistic leanings of India’s foreign policy.
But the recent years witnessed , a scaling up of India’s ties with Israel and a corresponding dilution of its advocacy for the Palestinian cause.The trust element has significantly increased in India Israel relations. The fact that Israel has one of the best intelligence sharing system with ultra modern defense equipments and terrorism is a shared concern of both countries has led to a substantial increase in defense ties. The relationship has acquired multifaceted dimensions covering agriculture, biotechnology, irrigation, pharmaceuticals ,ports etc.
India’s decision to abstain from voting on a UNHRC decision to abstain from voting against Israel needs to be seen against this backdrop.Such incidents of pragmatism taking precedence over idealism needs to be dealt carefully. The goodwill India enjoy before the International community is a foreign policy asset, which has yielded us many tangible benefits . India’s concern for the Palestinian cause has enhanced it’s goodwill among the Islamic middle east nations over the years, where India has many strategic interests. If India Israel relationship is not handled deftly ,it runs the risk of alienating these nations as well as inviting a domestic backlash among Indian muslim’s.
Thus India needs to formulate a coherent foreign policy towards Isreal and Palestine by striking a careful balance between pragmatism and idealism.
Q.2) Diplomacy is the pursuit of national interests in one’s interaction with the world. Do you agree? Is this understanding fundamentally opposed to the notion of ethics in international relations? Critically examine the issue.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – Amit
Ans) National interests have always found primacy in one’s diplomatic engagements with the world.In fact,examples are abound where ,at times,based on national interests ,time tested diplomatic principles of engagements have been tweaked-
1.India’s current drift towards U.S and relatively cold relations with Russia is a testament to the fact – prominence of U.S on global stage and relatively weaker position of Russia.
2 P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran is again a case in point where Iran’s support to stabilize the region deemed absolutely essential for the Western world.
3.India’s unfavorable stand towards Bhutan during last regime was clearly due to regime’s tilt towards China.
Having said that usually the founding principles of foreign policy remain intact rendering diplomacy a mix bag of flexibility and constancy – U.S incessant emphasis on democracy,India’s stand against NPT to name a few.
It is also seen that the pursuit of diplomacy sometimes militates against the principles of international ethics –
1.U.S’s focus on regime change to install democracy in Syria and other countries in the region has left the region largely un- stabilized.
2.Recent case of India’s blockade for supplies in Nepal for an inclusive constitution can also be taken as using unethical means for achieving an ethical cause.
3.Russia’s belligerence in East Ukraine to safeguard its interests and causing almost a civil war is a case in point.
Thus,we see,diplomacy is more of an art which nation -states have used based on their certain core principles and changing geo-economical and geo-political circumstances.However,caution must be exercise to ensure that the human values and basic rights of people are safeguarded.
Q.3) In pushing the economy on the forward trajectory, the troika of monetary policy, fiscal measures and structural reforms must go together to ensure sustainability in the long run. Discuss.
The Top Answer for this Question is written by – 100Days
Ans) The troika monetary policy run by Reserve bank, Fiscal measures taken by Finance minister and structural reforms by legislators – all three are interdependent and interrelated. Any one’s under performance impedes the development of others. For long run, all three must move together for sustainability.
The troika are linked with back-end and front-end connectivity with each other. If RBI liquidates money by lowering rates, then there should be enough resources in market to consume it. On the other hand if more welfare programmes are deployed under fiscal plan, the there is chance of CAD and fiscal deficit, that should be balanced by RBI’s enough liquidity or curbing inflation in case of high expenditure by government.
But balance of these two can again be sustained only if structural reforms are aligned with the need of the time, alongwith aligning with global economy. Implementation of FSLRC, Urjit patel’s monetary reform, SEBI reform, RBI reform and bringing GST soon are some benificial strcutural reforms for long run sustainability of economy.
Overall, if economic structure is sustainable then economic trouble either domestic or affected by foreign can be sustained easily. Though Indian economy has sustained in recent global recession,it’s said that it’s our domestic not global integration of economy that saved it. But plugging economy to complete global market needs more structural reform, then our economy can reap the global benefit into domestic usage.
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