11 April 2017

Silk Road journey

  • Started from Britain to China  along a modern-day “Silk Road” trade route.
  • Left from London Gateway container port on the River Thames estuary for Yiwu on the Chinese east coast.
  • It will take 18-day, 12,000-kilometre journey and will cement a new golden age of trade between the two countries as the U.K. leaves the European Union.

From China

  • The first train from China to Britain arrived on January 18
  • Filled with clothes and other retail goods,

How it Helpful

  • The rail route is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight,
  • It will offer logistics companies a new middle option.
  • Third kind of connectivity after Air and Sea

Journey Through 

The train will go through the Channel Tunnel before travelling across France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan before heading into China.

The Modern Silk Route


Technical Changes

The containers will be taken off and put on different wagons at the Belarus border, as the former Soviet Union countries use a wider rail gauge.

The containers switch back to standard gauge rails at the Chinese border, an operation that typically takes around two hours.

Source : The Hindu 

Wireless cameras to monitor newborns’ vital signs

About Developers

  • Swiss researchers have developed a wireless camera system to monitor vital signs in premature babies.
  • Contactless system created by researchers at the EPFL polytechnical university in Lausanne and at the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology, CSEM, in Neuchatel,
  • It could replace uncomfortable and highly inaccurate skin sensors.

Current Technique issues

  • Skin sensors are used for monitoring.
  • The skin sensors currently used to monitor vital signs in babies born prematurely generate false alarms in up to 90% of cases, mainly set off by the baby’s movement.


  • It will avoid the discomfort made by the sensors
  • Also a significant stress factor for nurses and a poor use of their time – it distracts them from managing real emergencies and can affect quality of care

How it works

  • The system should allow premature babies kept warm in neonatal incubators to be medically monitored using highly sensitive cameras.
  • These cameras detect the newborn’s pulse by detecting and analysing its skin colour, which changes ever so slightly every time its heart beats.
  • Breathing is monitored by measuring movements of its thorax and shoulders.
  • At night, infrared cameras take over, which means that monitoring can be carried out non-stop
  • The optical system was designed by CSEM researchers, who chose cameras sensitive enough to detect minute changes in skin colour.
  • The EPFL researchers designed algorithms to process the data in real time.

The cameras developed is under testing which gives similar output asa the conventional snesors

Source : Science Daily

Aadhaar must for web-access to Survey of India maps

Survey of India Portal Nakshe

  • The country’s oldest scientific organisation and official maker of maps.
  • It set up a web portal called Nakshe (http://soinakshe.uk.gov.in/)
  • The portal allows 3,000 of its 7,000 maps to be downloaded for free.
  • The one would require an Aadhaar number for such access.

Why Aadhaar made mandatory

  • The Aadhaar is to ensure that only Indians are able to access this portal.

SoI maps

  • Prepared for defence and civilian purposes — are considered a standard reference for the shape, extent and geographic features of the country.
  • It will make it easier for residents of villagers and panchayats to readily access information which meant only for citizens.

 How the portal helps

  • Currently, organisations and people who want specific maps need to fill forms and sometimes visit the SoI.
  • Ministries themselves had to pay to get certain maps.
  • The new Aadhaar linked portal made all Indians be able to get these maps for free

The Aadhaar War

The government has moved to making several services available through Aadhaar. This too is a major step forward. The government has passed orders to route a variety of citizen services — from scholarships to subsidies — to possessing an Aadhaar or Aadhaar enrolment number.

Source : The Hindu

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