Boost To Transform Domestic Nuclear Industry

In a significant decision to fast-track India’s domestic nuclear power program, and give a push to country’s nuclear industry, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)The total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW. The 10 PHWR project will result in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity.

Focus – Cabinet approves construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR)


  • India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
  • Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come on-stream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.
  • In a first of its kind project for India’s nuclear power sector, the ten new units will come up in the fleet mode as a fully home-grown initiative. It would be one of the flagship “Make in India” projects in this sector.


  • With likely manufacturing orders of close to 70,000 crores to the domestic industry, the project will help transform Indian nuclear industry by linking our goal of a strong nuclear power sector with our indigenous industrial capacities in high-end technologies.
  • This Project will bring about substantial economies of scale and maximize cost and time efficiencies by adopting fleet mode for execution. It is expected to generate more than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment. With manufacturing orders to domestic industry, it will be a major step towards strengthening India’s credentials as a major nuclear manufacturing powerhouse.
  • The ten reactors will be part of India’s latest design of 700 MW PHWR fleet with state-of-art technology meeting the highest standards of safety.
  • The approval also marks a statement of strong belief in the capability of India’s scientific community to build our technological capacities. The design and development of this project is a testament to the rapid advances achieved by India’s nuclear scientific community and industry. It underscores the mastery our nuclear scientists have attained over all aspects of indigenous PHWR technology. India’s record of building and operating PHWR reactors over the last nearly forty years is globally acclaimed.  
  • The Cabinet’s decision reflects the Government’s commitment to prioritize the use of clean power in India’s energy mix, as part of low-carbon growth strategy and to ensure long-term base load requirement for the nation’s industrialization.
  • It also supports India’s commitment to sustainable development, energy self-sufficiency and bolsters global efforts to combat climate change.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Technology is improving at a rapid pace, as many things are possible today that were not possible 10 years ago even if we tried our best to make it happen. Today, some of the impossible things are rising to the occasion in the form of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. But what are they exactly? Let’s find out.
Back in the 1990s, virtual reality was on the lips of everyone as multiple companies tried and failed to make it happen. The most notable device back then was the Nintendo Virtual Boy, though it failed miserably, and was discontinued a year after going on sale. Since then, Nintendo has never attempted improve on the technology, which could set the company behind its competition as virtual reality is slowly creeping back into our lives.
When it comes to augmented reality, we’re looking at something that has found more success in the consumer space when compared to virtual reality. We’ve seen several applications with AR, along with video game and hardware devices such as the Google Glass. It is clear that the way things are right now, AR has the upper hand against VR, and that might not be changing anytime soon.
What is Augmented Reality-
Augmented reality is the blending of virtual reality and real life, as developers can create images within applications that blend in with contents in the real world. With AR, users are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world, and are able to distinguish between the two. The best example of AR can be – ‘Pokemon Go’.
What is Virtual Reality-
Virtual reality is all about the creation of a virtual world that users can interact with. This virtual world should be designed in such a way that users would find it difficult to tell the difference from what is real and what is not. Furthermore, VR is usually achieved by the wearing of a VR helmet or goggles similar to the Oculus Rift.
Difference and similarities-
Both virtual reality and augmented reality are similar in the goal of immersing the user, though both systems to this in different ways. With AR, users continue to be in touch with the real world while interacting with virtual objects around them. With VR, the user is isolated from the real world while immersed in a world that is completely fabricated. As it stands, VR might work better for video games and social networking in a virtual environment, such as Second Life, or even PlayStation Home.
Which technology will succeed?
As it stands, augmented reality is ahead of virtual reality, as there are several products already on the market. We are witnessing the rise of AR hardware devices from Google in the form of Glass, and also plans from Microsoft to launch something similar with its $150 million purchase for wearable computing assets.
On the matter of VR, the technology is just stepping up to the plate. It’s still far away from being this great thing for social encounters in a virtual world, but with the rise of the Oculus Rift, it is getting there.
It can be believed that both AR and VR will succeed; however, AR might have more commercial success though, because it does not completely take people out of the real world.
NOTE-: This topic and Air Defence System are two of the most expected questions for Science and Technology section in UPSC Mains this year.

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