- Hydro-Meteorological Hazard Risk Reduction
- MyGov Citizen Engagement Platform
- Shadesmart & Radiant Cooling technologies
- Fluoride ion detection and quantification kit
HYDRO-METEOROLOGICAL HAZARD RISK REDUCTION
Focus: GS-III Disaster Management
Why in news?
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with India Meteorological Department organised a webinar series on “Hydro-Meteorological Hazards Risk Reduction”.
- The webinar series included four webinars focusing on issues apropos of Thunderstorms and Lightning, Cloudburst and Floods, Cyclones and Storm Surges and Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events.
- The webinar series is focussed on enhancing human capacity in terms of better understanding of Hydro-Meteorological Hazards Risk and effective collaborative actions.
- The webinar includes Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, for reducing risk and enhancing the resilience of affected communities and surroundings.
- The key take away from the webinar series consists of the fact that at present occurrences of Hydro-Meteorological events are quite predictable in terms of time and space through the technological capacity of nodal agencies.
- IMD and NIDM will further enhance the forecasting abilities that will help to acquaint the occurrence of Hydro-Meteorological events in advance with more precision and will aid the relevant stakeholders and communities to take the appropriate prevention and mitigation measures.
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)
- The NIDM is a premier institute for training and capacity development programs for managing natural disasters in India, on a national as well as regional basis.
- The National Centre of Disaster Management (NCDM), constituted under an Act of Parliament in 1995; was re-designated to give the present name of National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) by the Disaster Management Act 2005 passed in 2006. – Hence NIDM is a Statutory Body.
- The NDMA, 2006, act holds the Institute responsible for “planning and promoting training and research in the area of disaster management, documentation and development of national level information base relating to disaster management policies, prevention mechanisms and mitigation measures”.
- The NIDM has been mandated by the Govt. of India to be a deemed University and institute of excellence on higher learning and capacity building.
MYGOV CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM
Focus: GS-II Governance
Why in news?
Chief Minister of Goa,launched the MyGov Goa portal, making Goa join the MyGov Citizen Engagement Platform for enabling participative governance.
- Since its launch in 2014, MyGov has adopted multiple engagement methodologies like discussions, tasks, innovation challenges, polls, surveys, blogs, talks, quizzes and on-ground activities by innovatively using internet, mobile apps, IVRS, SMS and outbound dialing (OBD) technologies.
- In order to engage with citizens at the State level, MyGov has enabled state instances to crowdsource ideas and creative content for state specific initiatives in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) mode.
- 12 states had already launched their MyGov platforms.
- With consistent efforts of MyGov Team and respective state government’s support, the initiative has been a great success and is able to efficiently achieve its objective.
- MyGov is a citizen engagement platform founded by the Government of India to promote the active participation of Indian citizens in their country’s governance and development.
- It is aimed at creating a common platform for Indian citizens to “crowdsource governance ideas from citizens”.
- Its users discuss and contribute to various government projects and plans, users can also upload documents in various formats.
- The website is hosted and managed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
- The aim is to reduce the long gap developed between the electorate and the Executive after being elected.
- Google became the first multinational firm to collaborate with MyGov.
SHADESMART & RADIANT COOLING TECHNOLOGIES
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology, Environment and Ecology
Why in news?
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in partnership with the Department of Science & Technology has developed novel external shading solution for windows in residential and commercial buildings under the project Habitat Model for Efficiency and Comfort.
- The shading system named as “ShadeSmart” has been developed as an innovative and cost-effective solution for achieving indoor comfort with reduced electricity consumption in air conditioning and lighting.
- ShadeSmart changes its configuration depending upon the Sun’s position.
- ShadeSmart is being commercialized, and efforts are being made to make ShadeSmart more affordable than air conditioning in small thermal zones next to external windows, especially in the residential sector.
- This technology will help to bring inside the buildings more daylight with less heat, thus making occupants comfortable and also more productive and healthier.
- ShadeSmart is locally produced in India, hence, it becomes an economically viable energy-efficient solution compared to the ones available in the international market, which every building may integrate in order to achieve energy efficiency.
Why is this needed?
- Indian building sector has realized the importance of energy efficiency but it is yet to be effectively integrated in the construction industry.
- Smart, dynamic shading devices to keep rooms cool in climate zones and latitudes of India and low energy technologies for air-conditioning can help progress towards energy efficiency in the country, a large part of which experiences high-temperature conditions.
- External shading devices are not common in modern buildings, which are mostly glazed or buildings with curtain walls.
- They are usually permanent structures, posing challenges such as maintenance, obstruction of views etc.
- The second technology, Radiant Cooling, where cooling is achieved through radiant heat transfer which is more efficient and gives better quality of thermal comfort than the regular convective air-conditioning.
- Radiant cooled buildings have an extremely high potential of energy-saving.
- Low energy hybrid cooling technologies and control mechanisms in radiant cooled buildings is being demonstrated along with the industry partners.
- The availability of such technology at an affordable cost will help reduce our dependency on imported products.
Conventional Air-conditioning and COVID
- Due to the COVID 2019 Pandemic, conventional air cooling, which involves re-circulation on return air, is being perceived as harmful to the health of occupants.
- Hence, Due to the COVID 2019 Pandemic, conventional air cooling, which involves re-circulation on return air, is being perceived as harmful to the health of occupants.
Habitat Model for Efficiency and Comfort
The project aims to provide Indian building market with external shading products that can reduce direct solar heat gain inside a building by more than 75%, while allowing natural daylight; and to design and demonstrate the potential of low energy radiant slab cooling, integrated with natural heat sinks and establish their operational mechanism for optimum comfort and energy efficiency.
FLUORIDE ION DETECTION AND QUANTIFICATION KIT
Focus: GS-III Science and Technology
Why in news?
Scientists have developed an equipment-free fluoride ion detection and quantification in drinking water with the naked-eye.
- The fluoride ion detection paper-strip can be operated by non-experts for household use to evade Fluorosis-based disorders.
- The mechanism involves a push-pull chromophore that changes color upon exposure to fluoride ion.
- The design and synthesis can be slightly modulated to increase the sensitivity from 3 ppm to less than 1 ppm.
- The major cost involves only the synthesis of the chromophore, making it affordable and accessible.
- Ingestion of excess fluoride, most commonly in drinking-water, can cause fluorosis which affects the teeth and bones.
- Moderate amounts lead to dental effects, but long-term ingestion of large amounts can lead to potentially severe skeletal problems.
- The dental effects of fluorosis develop much earlier than the skeletal effects in people exposed to large amounts of fluoride.
- The early symptoms of skeletal fluorosis, include stiffness and pain in the joints, and in severe cases, the bone structure may change and ligaments may calcify, with resulting impairment of muscles and pain.
- Acute high-level exposure to fluoride causes immediate effects of abdominal pain, excessive saliva, nausea and vomiting; seizures and muscle spasms may also occur.
- Paradoxically, low levels of fluoride intake help to prevent dental caries.
- The control of drinking-water quality is therefore critical in preventing fluorosis.