RAS Mains Exam Paper-2 Study Notes

Nanotechnology: – Concept and its application

Nanotechnology can enable sensors to detect very small amounts of chemical vapors. Various types of detecting elements, such as carbon Nanotube, zinc oxide nanowires or palladium nanoparticles can be used in nanotechnology-based sensors.

It also has a tiny probe on it that can be used to shift atoms and molecules around and rearrange them like tiny building blocks. There are lots of other ways of working with nanotechnology, including molecular beam epitaxial, which is a way of growing single crystals one layer of atoms at a time.

Nanotechnology relates to the technology of rearranging and processing of atoms and molecules to fabricate material to Nano specifications such as nano meters, the technology will enable scientist and engineers to see and manipulate matter at the molecular level atom by atom create new structure with fundamentally new molecular organic material and exploit the novel prospects at that scale

Scientific achievements of Nanotechnology the concept was first introduced in the year 1959 by an American scientist Richard Feynman who in his famous lectures there stated that there is a plenty of room left at the bottom indirectly mentioned about the techniques of manipulating matter at the bottom level including atoms and molecules the term nanotechnology was Defined by Tokyo scientist University professor in 1974 ,the main objective of Nanotechnology construction of new properties such as they are lighter smaller stronger and more precise

There are two approaches in nanotechnology top down approach and bottom up approach.

In Top down approach Nano objects are constructed from real entities but it is expensive and time consuming the bottom up approach bills larger structure by Linking atoms by atoms using special molecular assembler it is based on a novel of the self assembly technique which is seen in the biological principle of Cell to cell attachment in the tissue repairing process

RAS Mains Exam Paper-2 General Science & Technology




Nanomaterials can be organic Nanomaterials or inorganic

Carbon based Graphene and carbon Nanotube

Inorganic Nanomaterials include non particle nanoparticles of aluminium copper augur metal oxide like zinc oxide Nanomaterials, which are used to reduce to nanoscale can be of so different properties compared to word the exhibit on ARM and micro scale enabling unique application the vastly increased ratio of surface area to volume lead to all changes in physical thermal and catalytic properties of Nanomaterials.

Graphene: – the noble prize of Physics 2010 was awarded to to scientist for identification isolation and characterization of crossing which is a single layer of carbon put in a heads up configuration with Tuli crystalline structure it is composed of carbon atoms arranged in tightly bound structure just one attempt it is said that 3 million sheet of Graphene on top of each other would be 1 millimeter thick properties of Graphene are: – extreme strength high electrical conductivity

Application of Graphene: – it can be used to make super strong material which art in elastic and lightweight to be used in making satellite and airplane it is transparent conductive and can be used in making flexible ultra thin touch screen devices graphing chips work faster than those made out of silicon and also tightly packed and can help make efficient computer it also increases the heat resistant and mechanical strength

Carbon Nanotube is  Graphene sheet rolled to form a cylinder Nanotube it is hollow and its molecule discovered by Japanese researcher it is high strength strongest and is toughest material on earth in terms of tensile strength which is the ability to be distant stretching ,high electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity.

Nanosensors it is a device that make use of unique properties of Nanomaterials and nanoparticles to detect and new type of events in nanoscale

Chemical Nanosensors are used to measure the magnitudes such as the concentration of a given gas the presence of a specific type of molecule the function of the most common type of chemical Nanosensors is based on the fact that electronic properties of Carbon Nanotube changed when different type of Nanotube are observed on top of them which locally increases or decreases the number of electrons able to move through carbon Nanotube biological Nano sensor used to monitor bimolecular process for Jazz antibody antigen interaction it is usually composed of biological recognition system or bioreactor such as antibody protein and is able to detect cancer virus or bacteria

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Nanocomposite materials created by introducing nanoparticles on carbon Nanotube into the matrix of microscopic sample material and the resulting Nanocomposite may exhibit drastically enhanced properties

Application of Nanotechnology– information and technology and electronics textile industry

In the field of Information Technology nanotech can be used to make tiny transistors of carbon Nanotube that help in developing Nano circuit this will lead to further miniaturization of computers making even more faster and compact the use of carbon nano Tech builders strongly increase the data storage capacity of hard disc replacing CRT with CMD as an electron gun can increase the efficiency of LED including achieving ultra thin flat panels automobiles Network Technology will help in manufacturing is stronger yet lighter and trees Recruiter automobile components the increase in surface area and volume ratio of engine due to use of CNT will make them utilize fuel more efficiently and reduce the exhaust of pollutant the engine will also benefit by becoming more heat resistant textile industry nanofiber make clothes water and it rain repellent and wrinkle free the Lotus is that which give the self cleaning properties also indirectly imported Lotus effect is seen in the Lotus in the form of presence of numerous hydrophobic Nano components due to which the water droplet by taking the dirt Trickle down there by self cleaning the loaded

Nanomedicine Nanotechnology in area of Health and Science her giving rise to branch of medicine known as nanomedicine which is unique application which can be used in disease diagnosis Nanotechnology in able the development of nanoscale Diagnostic device in the form of leopard ship acting as bio Nano electromechanical devices through which when blood sample is made to pass through it can detect cancer bacterial and viral infection lab on chip deals with handling of small fluid volume less than equal in this low low fluid volume conception produces less waste and analyses is better faster

Drug Delivery Nano Technology can be used in formation of nanosized drugs which will help in lowering overall truck conduction and side effects by depositing active agent at specific places in body there by ensuring truck delivery with self precession this will improve bioavailability of drug which refer to rate and extent of absorption of drugs

Cancer diagnosis and treatment cancer diagnosis and treatment nanotechnology can locate and eliminate cancer cell using gold nanoshells Metro sales are targeted to bind cancerous cell by attaching antibodies to Nano self service bi irradiating area of the mall with an infrared laser which passed through breast feeding gold nanoshell significantly to cause death of Cancer cell

Tissue engineering nanotechnology can help to repair damaged tissue through tissue engineering making eating factor it includes use of a biodegradable Nanomaterials such as polycaprolactone coated with collagen to promote Cell to cell attachment it is repairing process

Medical nanorobots nanorobot is a technique of creating robot at microscopic scale of NM these nanosized robots can never get human body transport important molecules manipulate manual focus object and communicate with solution by way of miniature Centre this computer control nanorobots can be used in Cancer detection and treatment there is no dressed up as Radiation therapy and chemotherapy which open end up destroying Mohanlal fan control robot will be able to distinguish between different cell type cancerous and normal cell by checking their surface antigen medical nanorobots acting as artificial RBC are called the Spiro cried which can deliver hundred times of season than normal self Shimla Lee medical nanorobots acting as artificial white blood cell can destroy bacteria in process

Energy application nanotechnology not only use of renewable and environment friendly source of energy but increase efficiency of energy production by then the ideal fuel for future is said to be hydrogen due to its lightweight and environmental harmless is hydrogen fuel cells were used in automobiles air pollution would be reduced but it can be used only if hydrogen is stored and transported in safe efficient and economical be by using container is made up of Nanomaterials Nanomaterials can increase conversion efficiency of solar cell under photovoltaic effect by using nanoparticles of Indian selenide is solar LG into electrical energy when compared to present use of Silicon Solar cell smart Windows having Nano coating of vanadium dioxide mixed with tungsten metal act as heat reflective still alone all visible light to pass through window the smart Windows are designed to Z and Adobe to the environment by altering Nano thickness and mixture of coating this makes offices and home today mankol without excessive use of AC there by drastically reducing financial and environmental cost

Nanofiltration nanotechnology can be helpful for wastewater treatment producing safe and clean drinking water extremely small size of possible filtration of bacteria and other infection agent nanoparticles of iron oxide are extremely effective at binding and removing arsenic from groundwater there by preventing arsenic groundwater poisoning Santhanam nanoparticle absorb phosphates from aqueous environment applying these in bonds and tools effectively remove available for sides and brother and growth and multiplication of LT that is a lead role so this will benefit commercial fishponds with spend huge amount of money to the remove algae

Agriculture nanotechnology has potential to Revolution allies agriculture sector by becoming integral part of Precision farming it is the site specific form of Management using information technology to maximize output that is crop yield while minimising infoset fertilizers and pesticides through geographic information system this will increase the quality of decision making which in turn will make weed control pest control and fertilizer application site specific size and effective

Can customer goods smart packaging and food safety and Technology will help develop a smart packaging to optimise product sales like Nanocomposite coating process could improve food packaging by placing antimicrobial agent directly on sources of Kotak self Nanocomposite could modify the behaviour of files by increasing their barrier properties including mechanical chemical and microbial example silicate nanoparticle can reduce entrance of Oxygen and prevent exit of myself while silver nanoparticle import antimicrobial which include antibacterial and antifungal properties Nano Technology can help to detect contamination of food and prevent Biotech by using an infectious bacteria or virus.

Nuclear energy

Everything around us is made up of tiny objects called atoms. Most of the mass of each atom is concentrated in the center (which is called the nucleus), and the rest of the mass is in the cloud of electrons surrounding the nucleus. Protons and neutrons are subatomic particles that comprise the nucleus.

Under certain circumstances, the nucleus of a very large atom can split in two. In this process, a certain amount of the large atom’s mass is converted to pure energy following Einstein’s famous formula E = MC2, where M is the small amount of mass and C is the speed of light (a very large number). In the 1930s and ’40s, humans discovered this energy and recognized its potential as a weapon. Technology developed in the Manhattan Project successfully used this energy in a chain reaction to create nuclear bombs. Soon after World War II ended, the newfound energy source found a home in the propulsion of the nuclear navy, providing submarines with engines that could run for over a year without refueling. This technology was quickly transferred to the public sector, where commercial power plants were developed and deployed to produce electricity.

Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of an atom. Atoms are tiny particles that make up every object in the universe. There is enormous energy in the bonds that hold atoms together. Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity. But first the energy must be released. It can be released from atoms in two ways: nuclear fusion and nuclear fission. In nuclear fusion, energy is released when atoms are combined or fused together to form a larger atom. This is how the sun produces energy. In nuclear fission, atoms are split apart to form smaller atoms, releasing energy. Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to produce electricity.

Nuclear fission

Nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts (lighter nuclei). The fission process often produces free neutrons and photons (in the form of gamma rays), and releases a large amount of energy. In nuclear physics, nuclear fission is either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process.

In nuclear fission the nucleus of an atom breaks up into two lighter nuclei. The process may take place spontaneously in some cases or may be induced by the excitation of the nucleus with a variety of particles (e.g., neutrons, protons, deuterons, or alpha particles) or with electromagnetic radiation in the form of gamma rays. In the fission process, a large quantity of energy is released, radioactive products are formed, and several neutrons are emitted. These neutrons can induce fission in a nearby nucleus of fissionable material and release more neutrons that can repeat the sequence, causing a chain reaction in which a large number of nuclei undergo fission and an enormous amount of energy is released.

If controlled in a nuclear reactor, such a chain reaction can provide power for society’s benefit. If uncontrolled, as in the case of the so-called atomic bomb, it can lead to an explosion of awesome destructive force.

Nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion is the process of making a single heavy nucleus (part of an atom) from two lighter nuclei. This process is called a nuclear reaction. It releases a large amount of energy. The nucleus made by fusion is heavier than either of the starting nuclei. However, it is not as heavy as the combination of the original mass of the starting nuclei (atoms). This lost mass is changed into lots of energy. This is shown in Einstein’s famous E=mc2 equation.

Fusion happens in the middle of stars, like the Sun. Hydrogen atoms are fused together to make helium. This releases lots of energy. This energy powers the heat and light of the star. Not all elements can be joined. Heavier elements are less easily joined than lighter ones. Iron (a metal) cannot fuse with other atoms. This is what causes stars to die. Stars join all of their atoms together to make heavier atoms of different types, until they start to make iron. The iron nucleus cannot fuse with other nuclei. The reactions stop. The star eventually will cool down and die.

On Earth it is very difficult to start nuclear fusion reactions that release more energy than is needed to start the reaction. The reason is that fusion reactions only happen at high temperature and pressure, like in the Sun, because both nuclei have a positive charge, and positive repels positive. The only way to stop the repulsion is to make the nuclei hit each other at very high speeds. They only do that at high pressure and temperature. The only successful approach so far has been in nuclear weapons. The hydrogen bomb uses an atomic (fission) bomb to start fusion reactions. Scientists and engineers have been trying for decades to find a safe and working way of controlling and containing fusion reactions to generate electricity. They still have many challenges to overcome before fusion power can be used as a clean source of energy.

Chain reaction

A chain reaction refers to a process in which neutrons released in fission produce an additional fission in at least one further nucleus. This nucleus in turn produces neutrons, and the process repeats. The process may be controlled (nuclear power) or uncontrolled (nuclear weapons).

A nuclear chain reaction occurs when one single nuclear reaction causes an average of one or more subsequent nuclear reactions, thus leading to the possibility of a self-propagating series of these reactions. The specific nuclear reaction may be the fission of heavy isotopes (e.g., uranium-235, 235U). The nuclear chain reaction releases several million times more energy per reaction than any chemical reaction.

Fission chain reactions occur because of interactions between neutrons and fissile isotopes (such as 235U). The chain reaction requires both the release of neutrons from fissile isotopes undergoing nuclear fission and the subsequent absorption of some of these neutrons in fissile isotopes. When an atom undergoes nuclear fission, a few neutrons (the exact number depends on several factors) are ejected from the reaction. These free neutrons will then interact with the surrounding medium, and if more fissile fuel is present, some may be absorbed and cause more fission. Thus, the cycle repeats to give a reaction that is self-sustaining.

Nuclear power plants operate by precisely controlling the rate at which nuclear reactions occur, and that control is maintained through the use of several redundant layers of safety measures. Moreover, the materials in a nuclear reactor core and the uranium enrichment level make a nuclear explosion impossible, even if all safety measures failed. On the other hand, nuclear weapons are specifically engineered to produce a reaction that is so fast and intense it cannot be controlled after it has started. When properly designed, this uncontrolled reaction can lead to an explosive energy release.


Uses and harms of nuclear energy

Pros of Nuclear Energy

Low Pollution: Nuclear power also has a lot fewer greenhouse emissions. It has been determined that the amount of greenhouse gases have decreased by almost half because of the prevalence in the utilization of nuclear power. Nuclear energy has the least effect on nature since it doesn’t discharge any gasses like methane and carbon dioxide, which are the primary “greenhouse gasses.” There is no unfavorable impact on water, land or any territories because of the utilization of nuclear power, except in times where transportation is utilized.

Low Operating Costs: Nuclear power produces very inexpensive electricity. The cost of the uranium, which is utilized as a fuel in this process, is low. Also, even though the expense of setting up nuclear power plants is moderately high, the expense of running them is quite low. The normal life of nuclear reactor is anywhere from 40-60 years, depending on how often it is used and how it is being used. These variables, when consolidated, make the expense of delivering power low. Even if the cost of uranium goes up, the impact on the cost of power will be that much lower.

Reliability: It is estimated that with the current rate of consumption of uranium, we have enough uranium for another 70-80 years. A nuclear power plant when in the mode of producing energy can run uninterrupted for even a year. As solar and wind energy are dependent upon weather conditions, nuclear power plant has no such constraints and can run without disruption in any climatic condition.

More Proficient than Fossil Fuels: The other primary point of interest of utilizing nuclear energy is that it is more compelling and more proficient than other energy sources. A number of nuclear energy innovations have made it a much more feasible choice than others. They have high energy density as compared to fossil fuels. The amount of fuel required by nuclear power plant is comparatively less than what is required by other power plants as energy released by nuclear fission is approximately ten million times greater than the amount of energy released by fossil fuel atom.

Renewable: Nuclear energy is not renewable resource. Uranium, the nuclear fuel that is used to produce nuclear energy is limited and cannot be produced again and again on demand. On the other hand, by using breeder and fusion reactors, we can produce other fissionable element. One such element is called plutonium that is produced by the by-products of chain-reaction. Also, if we know how to control atomic fusion, the same reactions that fuel the sun, we can have almost unlimited energy.

Cons of Nuclear Energy

Environmental Impact: One of the biggest issues is environmental impact in relation to uranium. The process of mining and refining uranium hasn’t been a clean process. Actually transporting nuclear fuel to and from plants represents a pollution hazard. Also, once the fuel is used, you can’t simply take it to the landfill – it’s radioactive and dangerous.

Radioactive Waste Disposal: As a rule, a nuclear power plant creates 20 metric tons of nuclear fuel per year, and with that comes a lot of nuclear waste. When you consider each nuclear plant on Earth, you will find that that number jumps to approximately 2,000 metric tons a year.

Nuclear Accidents: The radioactive waste produced can pose serious health effects on the lives of people as well as the environment. The Chernobyl accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine was the worst nuclear accident in the history. Its harmful effects on humans and ecology can still be seen today. Then there was another accident that happened in Fukushima in Japan. Although the casualties were not that high, but it caused serious environmental concerns.

High Cost: At present, the nuclear business let waste cool for a considerable length of time before blending it with glass and putting away it in enormous cooled, solid structures. This waste must be kept up, observed and watched to keep the materials from falling into the wrong hands and causing problems.

Hot Target for Militants: Nuclear energy has immense power. Today, nuclear energy is used to make weapons. If these weapons go into the wrong hands, that could be the end of this world. Nuclear power plants are prime target for terrorism activities. Little lax in security can be brutal for humankind.

Nuclear reactors

A nuclear reactor, formerly known as an atomic pile, is a device used to initiate and control a self-sustained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity generation and in propulsion of ships. Heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid (water or gas), which in turn runs through steam turbines. These either drive a ship’s propellers or turn electrical generators’ shafts. Nuclear generated steam in principle can be used for industrial process heat or for district heating. Some reactors are used to produce isotopes for medical and industrial use, or for production of weapons-grade plutonium. Some are run only for research. As of April 2014, the IAEA reports there are 435 nuclear power reactors in operation, in 31 countries around the world. By 2017, this increased to 447 operable reactors according to the World Nuclear Association.

Main components

The core of the reactor contains all of the nuclear fuel and generates all of the heat. It contains low-enriched uranium (<5% U-235), control systems, and structural materials. The core can contain hundreds of thousands of individual fuel pins.

The coolant is the material that passes through the core, transferring the heat from the fuel to a turbine. It could be water, heavy-water, liquid sodium, helium, or something else. In the US fleet of power reactors, water is the standard.

The turbine transfers the heat from the coolant to electricity, just like in a fossil-fuel plant.

The containment is the structure that separates the reactor from the environment. These are usually dome-shaped, made of high-density, steel-reinforced concrete. Chernobyl did not have a containment to speak of.

Cooling towers are needed by some plants to dump the excess heat that cannot be converted to energy due to the laws of thermodynamics. These are the hyperbolic icons of nuclear energy. They emit only clean water vapor.

Types of Reactors

There are many different kinds of nuclear fuel forms and cooling materials can be used in a nuclear Reactor. As a result, there are thousands of different possible nuclear reactor designs.

Pressurized Water Reactor The most common type of reactor

The PWR uses regular old water as a coolant. The primary cooling water is kept at very high pressure so it does not boil. It goes through a heat exchanger, transferring heat to a secondary coolant loop, which then spins the turbine. These use oxide fuel pellets stacked in zirconium tubes. They could possibly burn thorium or plutonium fuel as well.


The Pros of having pressurized water reactor are as follows:

Strong negative void coefficient — reactor cools down if water starts bubbling because the coolant is the moderator, which is required to sustain the chain reaction.

Secondary loop keeps radioactive stuff away from turbines, making maintenance easy.

Very much operating experience has been accumulated and the designs and procedures have been largely optimized.

Boiling Water Reactor Second most common, the BWR is similar to the PWR in many ways. However, they only have one coolant loop. The hot nuclear fuel boils water as it goes out the top of the reactor, where the steam heads over to the turbine to spin it.


The pros of boiling water reactor are as follows:

 Simpler plumbing reduces costs

Power levels can be increased simply by speeding up the jet pumps, giving less boiled water and more moderation. Thus, load-following is simple and easy.

Very much operating experience has been accumulated and the designs and procedures have been largely optimized.


Nuclear fuel cycle

Thermal reactors generally depend on refined and enriched uranium. Some nuclear reactors can operate with a mixture of plutonium and uranium. The process by which uranium ore is mined, processed, enriched, used, possibly reprocessed and disposed of is known as the nuclear fuel cycle.

Under 1% of the uranium found in nature is the easily fissionable U-235 isotope and as a result most reactor designs require enriched fuel. Enrichment involves increasing the percentage of U-235 and is usually done by means of gaseous diffusion or gas centrifuge. The enriched result is then converted into uranium dioxide powder, which is pressed and fired into pellet form. These pellets are stacked into tubes which are then sealed and called fuel rods. Many of these fuel rods are used in each nuclear reactor.

Most BWR and PWR commercial reactors use uranium enriched to about 4% U-235, and some commercial reactors with a high neutron economy do not require the fuel to be enriched at all (that is, they can use natural uranium). According to the International Atomic Energy Agency there are at least 100 research reactors in the world fueled by highly enriched (weapons-grade/90% enrichment uranium). Theft risk of this fuel (potentially used in the production of a nuclear weapon) has led to campaigns advocating conversion of this type of reactor to low-enrichment uranium (which poses less threat of proliferation).


Fissile U-235 and non-fissile but fissionable and fertile U-238 are both used in the fission process. U-235 is fissionable by thermal (i.e. slow-moving) neutrons. A thermal neutron is one which is moving about the same speed as the atoms around it. Since all atoms vibrate proportionally to their absolute temperature, a thermal neutron has the best opportunity to fission U-235 when it is moving at this same vibration speed. On the other hand, U-238 is more likely to capture a neutron when the neutron is moving very fast. This U-239 atom will soon decay into plutonium-239, which is another fuel. Pu-239 is a viable fuel and must be accounted for even when a highly enriched uranium fuel is used. Plutonium fissions will dominate the U-235 fissions in some reactors, especially after the initial loading of U-235 is spent. Plutonium is fissionable with both fast and thermal neutrons, which make it ideal for either nuclear reactors or nuclear bombs.


Most reactor designs in existence are thermal reactors and typically use water as a neutron moderator (moderator means that it slows down the neutron to a thermal speed) and as a coolant. But in a fast breeder reactor, some other kind of coolant is used which will not moderate or slow the neutrons down much. This enables fast neutrons to dominate, which can effectively be used to constantly replenish the fuel supply. By merely placing cheap unenriched uranium into such a core, the non-fissionable U-238 will be turned into Pu-239, “breeding” fuel.

In thorium fuel cycle thorium-232 absorbs a neutron in either a fast or thermal reactor. The thorium-233 beta decays to protactinium-233 and then to uranium-233, which in turn is used as fuel. Hence, like uranium-238, thorium-232 is a fertile material.


Institutional structure for development of nuclear technology in India

  • The huge potential of the atom had been envisioned in India in the ancient times and references to the same can be found in some of the ancient scriptures.
  • Such references provide us a tantalizing glimpse into the ancient Indian history and, indeed, into the level of advanced thinking that these civilizations had reached in those times.
  • In the modern times, it was Homi Bhabha, who foresaw, as early as in 1944, the potential of harnessing nuclear power in improving the quality of life of the millions of people stated:

“Any substantial rise in the standard of living in this region – that can be sustained in the long term – will only be possible on the basis of very large imports of fuel or on the basis of atomic energy.”

  • The issues of energy sustainability and inevitability of nuclear power, which are only now receiving global attention, was foreseen by him over half a century ago. When the rest of the world was working on the military applications of atomic energy, he focused on harnessing atomic energy for the improving the quality of life.
  • In the 1950s, nuclear power in the world was still in its infancy and India had just gained independence. The nascent nation was essential a rural economy, with practically no technology or industrial base.
  • Therefore, realizing such a technology-intensive vision, which involved complex reactor and fuel cycle technologies must have seemed like a fantasy. However, with his clear vision, Dr Bhabha went ahead, building institutions – R&D facilities, research reactors, industrial units – to develop technologies and to deploy them.

Building Institutions to Ensure Linkages Just before India attained independence, Dr. Bhabha, in 1944, approached the Sir Dorabji Tata charitable trust for funding to set up an institute for atomic research in India. The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) was thus established in 1945. After India’s independence in 1947, the framework for the programme was put in place. The Atomic Energy Act was enacted and the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the policy-making body, was set up in 1948. The Department of Atomic Energy, under the Prime Minister, was set up in 1954 to administer the programmes of atomic energy.

  • R&D Facilities Considering the need to develop an R&D base for the programme, the Atomic Energy Establishment was set up in the 1950s at Trombay, Mumbai (later renamed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre – BARC).
  • The Centre housed laboratories and facilities for carrying out multi-disciplinary R&D in basic nuclear sciences and for various applications of nuclear energy, like energy/power and several other societal applications health & medicine, industry, agriculture, etc. Research reactors – examples of which are APSARA (1956), CIRUS (1960) – were set up for production of isotopes and experiments for perfecting the technologies.
  • Facilities at the Centre were also set up for production of uranium ingots, fabrication of fuel and a reprocessing plant for production of plutonium. R&D carried out at the Centre helped develop key materials, technology, tools and equipment, for the nuclear power programme.

Facilities for Production of Nuclear Materials and Backend Facilities for production of fuel, heavy water and other materials for the nuclear power programme were set up under the aegis of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). Indian Rare Earth Limited was incorporated for mining and processing of rare earths like zircon and thorium for the programme. Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) was set up to mine and process uranium ore. The company now has mines in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh and an entire PHWR reactor fleet till recently was fuelled by the fuel mined by UCIL in the country. Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) was set up for fabrication of fuel bundles/ assemblies. Given the special requirements of instrumentation for nuclear plants, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) was set up to develop and manufacture the special instrumentation. Heavy Water Plants were set up for production of heavy water for the PHWRs at various locations in the country.

Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay

A series of ‘research’ reactors and critical facilities was built here. Reprocessing of used fuel was first undertaken at Trombay in 1964. BARC is also responsible for the transition to thorium-based systems. BARC is responsible for India’s uranium enrichment projects, the pilot Rare Materials Plant (RMP) at Ratnahalli near Mysore.


Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR)

  • IGCAR at Kalpakkam was set up in 1971. Two civil research reactors here are preparing for stage two of the thorium cycle. BHAVINI is located here and draws upon the centre’s expertise and that of NPCIL in establishing the fast reactor program, including the Fast Reactor Fuel Cycle Facility.


The Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT)

  • Multi-purpose research reactor (MPRR) for radioisotope production, testing nuclear fuel and reactor materials, and basic research

Atomic Minerals Directorate

  • The DAE’s Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) is focused on mineral exploration for uranium and thorium. It was set up in 1949, and is based in Hyderabad, with over 2700 staff.

Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre

Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre is a premier R & D unit of the Department of Atomic Energy. This Centre is dedicated to carry out frontier research and development in the fields of Accelerator Science & Technology, Nuclear Science (Theoretical and Experimental), Material Science and Computer Science & Technology and in other relevant areas.


Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership

It will be the DAE’s sixth R & D facility. It is being built near Bhudargarh in Haryana state and designed to strengthen India’s collaboration internationally. It will house five schools to conduct research into advanced nuclear energy systems, nuclear security, radiological safety, as well as applications for radioisotopes and radiation technologies. Russia is to help set up four of the GCNEP schools.

Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics

  • The Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics is an institution of basic research and training in physical and biophysical sciences located in Bidhan nagar, Kolkata, India.
  • The institute is named after the famous Indian physicist Meghnad Saha.

Institute of Physics

  • Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar is an autonomous research institution of the (DAE), Government of India.

Institute for Plasma Research

  • Research and development in fusion technology continued at the Institute for Plasma Research.


Harish Chandra Research Institute

  • The Harish-Chandra Research Institute is an institution dedicated to research in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, located in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh in India



Telecommunications, also known as telecom, is the exchange of information over significant distances by electronic means and refers to all types of voice, data and video transmission. This is a broad term that includes a wide range of information transmitting technologies such as telephones (wired and wireless), microwave communications, fiber optics, satellites, radio and television broadcasting, the internet and telegraphs.

  • A complete, single telecommunications circuit consists of two stations, each equipped with a transmitter and a receiver
  • The transmitter and receiver at any station may be combined into a single device called a transceiver
  • The medium of signal transmission can be via electrical wire or cable (also known as “copper”), optical fiber, electromagnetic fields or light
  • The free space transmission and reception of data by means of electromagnetic fields is called wireless communications


Types of telecommunications networks

  • The simplest form of telecommunications takes place between two stations, but it is common for multiple transmitting and receiving stations to exchange data among them.
  • Such an arrangement is called a telecommunications network. The internet is the largest example of a telecommunications network.


  • Corporate and academic wide-area networks (WANs)
  • Telephone networks
  • Cellular networks
  • Police and fire communications systems
  • Taxi dispatch networks
  • Groups of amateur (ham)
  • Radio operators
  • Broadcast networks


Data is transmitted in a telecommunications circuit by means of an electrical signal called the carrier or the carrier wave. In order for a carrier to convey information, some form of modulation is required. The mode of modulation can be broadly categorized as either analog or digital.


In analog modulation, some aspect of the carrier is varied in a continuous fashion. The oldest form of analog modulation is amplitude modulation (AM), which is still used in radio broadcasting at some frequencies. Digital modulation actually predates analog modulation; the earliest form was Morse code. Modern telecommunications use IPs (internet protocols) to carry data across underlying physical transmissions.

Role of telecommunications and socio-economic development

  • Telecommunication has very significant role to play in development of various sectors of the economy. In the 21st century, telecommunication sector has become pivotal to a country’s socio-economic development.
  • It is one of the prime support services needed to promote growth and modernization of various sectors of an economy. Enormous growth of information and communication technology and its role in development of various sectors including services like finance, insurance, trade, hotel and business services as well as industry, agriculture and governance is commendable.
  • Telecommunication infrastructure is somewhat different from other forms of infrastructure because of existence of network externalities, a phenomenon that increases the value of services with the increasing number of users.
  • Thus the impact of telecommunication infrastructure on economic development is more pronounced as compared to other traditional infrastructure.


A modem network contributes to economic growth in four ways20

Business attraction Business retention

  • A sophisticated low cost telecommunications infrastructure makes information flow efficiently to and from more remote areas and is a factor when information- intensive corporations relocate.
  • The same argument is extended by Boyle when he contends that the quality of telecommunications and mail services is the factors most often mentioned by the decision makers in case of corporate head quarter’s location or relocation.

Diversification of Economic Base

  • Most economists agree that diversity is the key to growth and stability.
  • The less dependent a local economy is on one particular industry, the more likely it is to withstand cyclical downturns.
  • Enhanced telecommunications services supported by a sophisticated network will allow small businesses/entrepreneurs to compete with large corporations that often have installed sophisticated private networks.

Indian telecom industry with brief history

India’s telecommunication network is the second largest in the world by number of telephone users (both fixed and mobile phone) with 1.153 billion subscribers as on 31 May 2018. It has one of the lowest call tariffs in the world enabled by mega telecom operators and hyper-competition among them. As on 31 May 2018, India has the world’s second-largest Internet user-base with 432 million internet subscribers in the country.

  • India’s telecom industry has been through a paradigm shift over the last three decades.
  • A brief overview of the telecommunications market structure reveals there are some dominant market players with their associated competition.
  • The industry has also undergone significant policy and regulatory changes through the years, in essence, leading to a control of market share of services by a few players. But it was not always so.
  • The early 1990s saw the Telecom sector dominated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which was the sole service provider.
  • The first whiff of reform came about in 1994 when the sector began a transition from a monopoly to a competitive structure.
  • During this period, beginning with the deregulation of the sector and followed by the issuance of two major policy instruments — the National Telecom Policy, 1994 (NTP94) and the New Telecom Policy 1999 (NTP99) — the transition to a competitive market based structure was successfully accomplished.
  • The dominance of DoT, as the sole operator subsided with the entry of a number of private operators in various services such as fixed line, mobile telephony and international long distance and internet service providers.
  • Telecom licenses were allocated by the DoT through auctions at a circle level with the country divided into 23 circles (in most cases each circle represented a state). Each circle was allotted two licensed operators.

The market for fixed telecom services was highly concentrated in all the telecom circles, although in seven of them the H. Herfindahl Index had a value less than 0.8000. Apart from competition, the existence of a telecom regulator in the form of TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) too has acted as a check on service providers abusing their dominant position. BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) made substantial progress; reduced tariffs, improved efficiency and it can be argued that this was entirely due to the force of competition leading to efficiency gains.

The transition for BSNL from a monopolistic firm which had a previous history of being impervious to consumer demands to a firm that adapts and responds to market competition ultimately led to providing a surplus to its consumers. At a national level, after privatization the market for fixed telephone services was much more concentrated than the one for mobile services.


Competition in the mobile services industry

  • The growth of the mobile services industry was also phenomenal; it started from 1997 as one dominated by private sector enterprises.
  • The government followed a policy of “managed competition” by licensing more than one service provider in a telecom circle.
  • In fact, a majority of the 28 Telecom circles that were present at that time had at least four to six services providers.
  • The private mobile operators grew on new and latest state-of-the art technologies. Entry of a new player Reliance Infocomm Ltd. in 2002 saw introduction of CDMA (Code Division Multiple Services) services across 17 circles on a countrywide basis. CDMA has since been growing faster than GSM.
  • The existences of the two standards have made both the markets for GSM and CDMA services very competitive. This is especially so when the market for CDMA services was highly concentrated with just two service providers accounting for almost the entire output.


Exploring the ‘Spectrum’

Every telecom operator has been assigned certain portions of spectrum to use in India through auctions and administrative allocations. Essentially, the spectrum “bands”, and frequencies around a particular band are then auctioned off.

The years of 1998 and 2004 saw 2 rounds of spectrum auctions with major share being grabbed by the existing players. Later in 2008 the government’s policy bypassed the spectrum auction process leading to controversies. The Government’s move of selling spectrum by way of a first come first serve basis rather than by auction and fixing of prices based on 2001 prices was alleged to be an outcome of the nexus between a few dominant players and government representatives. The result was that major frequencies was captured and held by a very few operators and in some cases even by few non-serious telecom players leading to hoarding of spectrum.

These controversial auctions lead to legal suits, investment pullbacks and eventually the cancellation of spectrum licenses. There was distrust leading to huge losses and stagnation in the sector for a while. All these led to upward revision of prices, consolidation and smaller players exiting from the industry.

National Telecom Policy


To provide secure, reliable, affordable and high quality converged telecommunication services anytime, anywhere for an accelerated inclusive socio-economic development.


To develop a robust and secure state-of-the-art telecommunication network providing seamless coverage with special focus on rural and remote areas for bridging the digital divide and thereby facilitate socio-economic development.

  • To create an inclusive knowledge society through proliferation of affordable and high quality broadband services across the nation
  • To reposition the mobile device as an instrument of socio-economic empowerment of citizens
  • To make India a global hub for telecom equipment manufacturing and a centre for converged communication services.
  • To promote Research and Development, Design in cutting edge ICTE technologies, products and services for meeting the infrastructure needs of domestic and global markets with focus on security and green technologies.

To promote development of new standards to meet national requirements, generation of IPRs and participation in international standardization bodies to contribute in formation of global standards, thereby making India a leading nation in the area of telecom standardization.



  • Provide secure, affordable and high quality telecommunication services to all citizens.
  • Increase rural teledensity from the current level of around 39 to 70 by the year 2017 and 100 by the year 2020.
  • Provide affordable and reliable broadband-on-demand by the year 2015 and to achieve 175 million broadband connections by the year 2017 and 600 million by the year 2020 at minimum 2 Mbps download speed and making available higher speeds of at least 100 Mbps on demand.
  • Enable citizens to participate in and contribute to e-governance in key sectors like health, education, skill development, employment, governance, banking etc. to ensure equitable and inclusive growth.
  • Provide high speed and high quality broadband access to all village panchayats through a combination of technologies by the year 2014 and progressively to all villages and habitations by 2020.
  • Promote innovation, indigenous R&D and manufacturing to serve domestic and global markets, by increasing skills and competencies.

Create a corpus to promote indigenous R&D, IPR creation, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, commercialization and deployment of state-of-the-art telecom products and services during the 12th five year plan period.

Promote the ecosystem for design, Research and Development, IPR creation, testing, standardization and manufacturing i.e. complete value chain for domestic production of telecommunication equipment to meet Indian telecom sector demand to the extent of 60% and 80% with a minimum value addition of 45% and 65% by the year 2017 and 2020 respectively.


TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India)

The entry of private service providers brought with it the inevitable need for independent regulation. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was, thus, established with effect from 20th February 1997 by an Act of Parliament, called the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including fixation/revision of tariffs for telecom services which were earlier vested in the Central Government.

TRAI’s mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role in emerging global information society.

One of the main objectives of TRAI is to provide a fair and transparent policy environment which promotes a level playing field and facilitates fair competition.

In pursuance of above objective TRAI has issued from time to time a large number of regulations, orders and directives to deal with issues coming before it and provided the required direction to the evolution of Indian telecom market from a Government owned monopoly to a multi operator multi service open competitive market.

The directions, orders and regulations issued cover a wide range of subjects including tariff, interconnection and quality of service as well as governance of the Authority.

The TRAI Act was amended by an ordinance, effective from 24 January 2000, establishing a Telecommunications Dispute Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) to take over the adjudicatory and disputes functions from TRAI. TDSAT was set up to adjudicate any dispute between a licensor and a licensee, between two or more service providers, between a service provider and a group of consumers, and to hear and dispose of appeals against any direction, decision or order of TRAI.

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