‘Strategic Policy Research in Social Sciences’ (Impress)

Why in the discussion?
Recently, the Supreme Court banned the sale and registration of motor vehicles in accordance with the emission standard BS-4 in the country from 1st April, 2020. The Supreme Court while announcing the judgment said that pollution has reached a ‘dangerous and critical’ level throughout India.
key points
  • In the country, the use of BS-6 fuel will be started from April 1, 2020, which is more clean than BS-4 fuel. Bharat Stage (BS) emission norms are standard set by the government to control the production of air pollution from motor vehicles.
  • BS-4 standards were implemented throughout the country in April 2017.
  • In order to reduce the level of air pollution, the Government of India took a significant step in 2016, instead of BS-5, decided to implement BS-6 emission standards across the country till April 2020.
What is BS standard?
  • BS standards are based on European regulations. These standards are different in different countries, such as those in Tier-1, Tier-2, in the US, they are used as Euro Standards in Europe.
  • The first emission rules in India were started in 1991 and then these rules were applicable only to vehicles running petrol engines.
  • In the year 2000, the Central Government started BS, ie Bharat Stage Vehicle Emissions Standards. Subsequently, BS-2 and BS-3 standards were introduced to control air pollution around 2005 and 2006. But compliance with BS-3 standards could be started in 2010.
  • Growth of vehicle number 2, 3 or 4 and now 6 ahead of the BS standard of emissions means the better standards of emissions which are environmentally friendly. That is, the larger the number of the next to BS, the less pollution caused by that vehicle will be less.
  • With the introduction of BS-6 fuel, India has also joined the list of Asia-Pacific nations such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and China. But only heavy vehicles in China use BS-6 fuel.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is the nodal agency to monitor and issue these standards in the country.
Benefits from BS-6 standard
  • According to experts, BS-4 against BS-6 polluting diesel hazardous substances are reduced from 70 to 75%.  
  • By implementing the BS-6 standard, pollution will decrease significantly, especially due to the reduction of pollution by diesel vehicles.  
  • Nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and diesel BS-6 level in terms of particulate matter would be much better. 
  • The maximum level of PM2.5 in the air should be 60 mgcm. In BS-6, this quantity is 20 to 40 mgcm, while BS-4 has 120 mgcm .
Why in the discussion?
Recently scientists have developed a 3D printing technology that can re-create complex geometry of blood vessels. Possibly it  can be used in the construction of tissues of artificial arteries and organs in the near future  .
Important point
  • The purpose of 3D bioprinting was to add an independent mechanical property in 3D structures that could mimic the body’s natural tissue. This technique facilitates the creation of microscopic structures that can be used in the treatment of various diseases.
  • This is an encouraging step in the form of a healthy cell-like structure. 
  • As a demonstration, researchers printed the small statue of a Chinese warrior. When printing, such techniques were used to make outer layers solid, while internal layers remain soft.
  • Researchers are hopeful that future studies will be helpful in improving its capabilities. The findings of such studies can prove to be better for the treatment of people suffering from hypertension and vascular related diseases.
blood vessel
  • The blood vessel, the human or animal body, contains a vascular in which the blood is transmitted. The main components of blood circulation system in the body are blood vessels. There are three types of blood vessels in the human body- 
  1. Artery

  3. Vein (vein)

  5. Capillary
What is 3D printing?
  • 3D printing or additive manufacturing is  a manufacturing process by which three-dimensional (3) solid objects are made.
  • Cars and aircraft manufacturers are playing a leading role in 3D manufacturing using technology to change the format of their production. 
  • For example, using the titanium parts printed by the 3D printer in Boeing’s construction of its 787 Dreamliner airliner. American and Israeli air forces are already using 3D printers to create spare parts etc.
  • 3D printing is being used to optimize transplantation in medical science and this technology can revolutionize dental treatment soon. In the future, body parts can be constructed using 3D printing techniques.
  • Why in the discussion?
    The Union Human Resource Development Ministry launched the web portal of ‘Impactful Policy Research in Social Science – IMPRESS’ program in New Delhi.
    Key features
    • Under this scheme 1500 research projects will be run in two years to support social science research in the higher education institutions and to make policy.
    • The scheme will be operational by March, 2021 at a total cost of 414 crores and work will begin in this regard from January next year.
    • Research in social science is essential for the advancement of society and the research done under this program will be used to solve the problems which the society has to face.
    • In order to implement the program till 31.03.2021 in August, 2018, the government approved the program “Strategic Research in Social Sciences” with a total cost of 414 crores and the Council of Indian Social Science and Research was created as the Project Implementation Agency.
    Main goals of the program
    • Identifying and providing funding for research proposals in social science that has maximum impact on governance and society.
    • Focusing on research in 11 major subject areas such as- 
    • State and democracy
    • Urban conversion
    • Media
    • Culture and society
    • Employment
    • Skill and Rural Conversion
    • Governance
    • Innovation and public policy
    • development
    • Large business and economic policy
    • Agricultural and rural development
    • Health and environment
    • Science and education
    • Social media and technology
    • Politics, law and economics
    • Selection of projects through transparent, competitive process through online method.
    • All universities (Central and State), Provide opportunities for social science researchers in any institution of the country including Private Institutions provided by the University Grants Commission, 12 (B) status.
    • ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science and Research) funded / accredited research institutes will also be eligible to present research proposals in specified subjects and sub-subjects.

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