Science and Technology
The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) has given green signal for controlled fission process or “First Approach to Criticality” (FAC) for the first unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu.
The FAC is a significant step towards the starting of power generation. The approval was given after a thorough review of associated safety aspects. This clearance for the FAC, however, does not mean the commissioning of the plant. Many low-power tests will have to be done to verify the conformance of the reactor’s characteristics to design objectives. The AERB would review the results of the tests before giving a go-ahead for the next stage of commissioning, which would follow a phased increase in the power level of the reactor.
The Election Commission (EC) is cogitating on the option of deploying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in some constituencies as it will deal with the herculean task of conducting Legislative Assembly polls in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram before the end of 2013. To implement this, the EC will have to amend the rules relating to EVMs and this has to be done by the Law and Justice Ministry based on the recommendations of the Commission.
What is Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) or Verified Paper Record (VPR)?
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) or Verified Paper Record (VPR) is a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballotless voting system. A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly, to detect possible election fraud or malfunction, and to provide a means to audit the stored electronic results. VVPAT was jointly developed by Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the model had already undergone field trials twice. After the improvement made in the VVPAT, a voter who exercises his vote through the ballot unit of the EVM can physically see the printout of the vote cast by him. The name of the candidate, his/her election symbol and his/her serial number in the ballot will be displayed in the printout, although this cannot be taken home by the voter.
July 14, 2013 was the last day for the legendary 163-year old Telegram service in India. BSNL who had been providing this service terminated it on the account of losses in sustaining the service which had become redundant in the age of mobile phones and internet.
Important point in the history of Telegram:
It was Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, a physician at the Calcutta Medical College, who went to Lord Dalhousie and spoke about the necessity of telegram services in 1848. The work to lay telegraph lines began in November 1850 b/w Alipore Telecom Factory in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and the Diamond Harbour Post Office. The service was declared open for general public in February 1955.
A study conducted in the U.K. throws light over the suspicion those marriages b/w blood relations might lead to health issues for the child. The study, in a detailed analysis of the issue involving over 11,000 children, born out of consanguineous marriages, revealed congenital anomalies in 386 of them. This figure of 3% is in contrasts with the 1.6% in children born of out of non-blood-relations unions. The researchers termed the babies analyzed under the study as “Born in Bradford” to obtain these results. Bradford is a small area in the UK where Pakistani Muslims constitute 16.8 per cent of the population. A close knit group, they practice consanguinity; 75% of them marry first cousins.
What can be the possible defects in babies born through consanguine marriages?
These babies could have a multiplicity of congenital problems. Heart problems top the list, followed by nervous disorders, limb anomalies and so forth.
Why problems occur in babies born through consanguine marriages ?
The problem in such close relative marriages surfaces when one of the partners carries a defect in any of the genes associated with some form of illness. When a person marries within the community with one who may also have such a family defect, the child inherits two copies of this faulty gene, and thus has the defect. But when a person marries outside the community, he/she bring in genes from a much larger gene pool, and the odds that the child will inherit the problem reduce remarkably.