SSC General Science & Technology Science and Technology Notes - Information and CommunicationTechnology

Notes - Information and CommunicationTechnology

Category : SSC


Information and Communication Technology



·         Information Technology (IT) has its roots in the strategic infection propagated by the success of India's export-led software industry. The Information Technology industry in India has gained its brand identity.

·         The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is a premier organisation in the field of Information Technology (IT) in India. It provides state-of-the-art solutions to the information management and decision support requirements of the government and corporate sectors.



It was established on the basis of database and network organization by the Department of Biotechnology. BTISNET is headquartered in New Delhi.


NICNET (NIC Network)

·         NICNET was designed and implemented by NIC using state-of-the- art satellite-based computer communication technology. It ensures extremely cost effective and reliable implementation.

·         The National Internet Exchange of India (Nixi) is the official meeting point of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in India to provide neutral ISP services. Its main aim is to facilitate exchange of domestic Internet traffic between the peering ISP members. This enables more efficient use of international bandwidth, saving foreign exchange.



·         It is a society established in 1991 by the Government of India, under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Its objective is to setup and manage infrastructure facilities and provide services like technology assessment and professional training.



·      NeGP is a plan of the Government of India to make all the government services available to the citizens of India via electronic media.

v  E-Learning: It includes all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching, including education technology.

v  E-Government: The provision of government services available on the Internet is known as e-Government.

v  E-Parliament: It is a non-profit organisation that links together the world's democratic members of Parliament and Congress on a single forum.



·         It is an autonomous Inter University Centre (IUC) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India. It is involved in modernizing university libraries in India and connecting them.


Digital Library

·         It is a library in which collections are stored in digital formats and are accessible via computers. A digital library is a type of information retrieval system.



·         It is a media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. This contrasts with media that uses only rudimentary computer displays such as text-only or traditional forms of printed or hand-produced material.


Fuzzy Logic

·         It is a form of many-valued logic or probabilistic logic that deals with reasoning which is more approximate fixed or exact.


Virtual Reality (VR)

·         It is an artificial environment created with software and presented to the user such that the user perceives it as a real environment.



The Internet is a global and publicly accessible network of interconnected computer networks. It transmits data using packets switching procedure based on the standardized Internet Protocol (IP). It is a network of networks that consists of millions of smaller networks viz. academic, business, institutional and governmental networks. Such networks carry various information and services including electronic mail, online chat, file transfer, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.

People use the terms Internet and World Wide Web i.e., Web interchangeably, however they are not synonymous. The Internet and the Web are two separate but related things. The Internet is a massive network of networks, i.e., a networking infrastructure that connects millions of computers globally and thus forming an interconnected network where different computers can communicate with each other. The information over the Internet travels via a variety of data exchange methods known as protocols.

The Web uses the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), the protocol that is meant for communication and transmission of data over the Internet. Other web services also use HTTP to facilitate applications to communicate and exchange business logic. The browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape facilitate access to web documents. These documents are also called web pages. They are linked to each other via hyperlinks. Web documents also contain multimedia content with sounds, text and video.

The Web is an important way to disseminate information over the Internet. The Internet is also used for communication over e-mail. It relies on Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Usenet news groups, instant messaging, file sharing (text, image, video, mp3, etc.) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Therefore, the Web is a series of interconnected servers which should not be confused with Internet.


Internet in India

·         The history of Internet in India started with the launch of Internet services by Videsh Sanchaar Nigam Limited (VSNL) on 15 August 1995.

·         In 2004, the Indian Government formulated its broadband policy. According to this policy broadband has been defined as "an always-on Internet connection with a download speed of 256 kbit/s or above." From 2005 onwards, broadband sector is attained acceleration and is still progressing India daily.


Digital India

·         Approved by the Government of India, Digital India is an umbrella programme that covers multiple government ministries and department

The vision of Digital India is to cover three key areas:

(i)  Infrastructure

(ii) Governance and service

(iii) Digital empowerment of citizens

Date of Launch   


1 July 2015



Mission statement


?Power to Empower'


Internet Protocol

·         Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP): It is the basic communication language or protocol of the Internet.


·         Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): It is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web.


·         Gopher Protocol: It is a TCP/IP application layer protocol designed for distributing, searching, and retrieving documents over the Internet.


·         Broadband: It commonly refers to high speed Internet because it usually has a high rate of data transmission relative to dial-up access over a modem. In general, any connection of 256 kbps or more is considered broadband Internet.


·         Wi-fi (Wireless Fidelity): It is a technology that enables an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly (using radio waves), over a computer network including high-speed Internet connections.

Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6): It is the latest version of Internet Protocol, the primary communication protocol upon which the entire Internet is built.


·         WiMAX (World Wide Interoperability for Microwave Access): It is a wireless communication standard designed to provide 3CM-0 Mbps data rates up to 1 Gbps for fixed stations. It is a part of 4G wireless communication technology. WiMAX far surpasses the 30 metre wireless range of a conventional Wi-Fi local area network (LAN), offering a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) with a signal radius of about 50 km.

Internet Telephony or VOIP

·         It is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls.

·         Internet telephony products are sometimes called IP telephony, Voice Over Internet (VOI) or Voice Over IP (VOIP) products.

Wireless (Mobile) Internet

·         Wireless Internet protocols are the suite of wireless protocols after Wireless Application Protocol 2.0 (WAP).


Remote Area Business Message Network (RABMN)

·         It provides instant data communication between computers and data terminals. It is satellite based network that provides communication to any remote part of India.



·         It combines the main educational institutions and research centers of the country.


Cloud Computing

·         Cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive.


Service Models of Cloud Computing

·         Infrastructure as a Service (laas)

·         Platform as a Service (PaaS)

·         Software as a Service (SaaS)

·         Desktop Virtualisation

·         Storage as a Service (STaaS)

·         Data as a Service (DaaS)


Project Loon

·         Project Loon is a research and development project being developed by X (formerly Google X) with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas. Projects LOON uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 km to create an aerial wireless network.




E-mail (Electronic mail)

·         It is a method of exchanging digital messages from one person to another. It is a part of the standard TCP/IP set of protocols.



·         Place commerce is a specialized form of mobile commerce that uses mobile Internet access, Global Positioning System (GPS) information and Bluetooth to assist and enhance the retail shopping experience of customers based on their location and individual shopping behavior.


Video Conferencing or Video Tele Conference

·         This is a system that allows to conduct meetings or trainings at different places simultaneously. It incorporates audio and video so that one can interact and send data visually.


Social Networking Sites

·         A social networking service is an online service, platform or site which focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who share interests, activities, backgrounds or real-life connections.

Some social networking sites are as follows:

·         Facebook: It is a social networking service launched in February 2004, owned and operated by the Facebook Corporation. It was established by Mark Zuckerberg.

·         LinkedIn; It is a social networking website for people in professional occupations.

·         MYSPACE: It is a social networking site that allows its users to create webpages to interact with other users.

·         Twitter: It is an online social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to communicate in the form of text-based messages of up to 140 characters known as tweets.

·         Tumbler: It is a microblogging platform and social networking website founded by David Karp.


Cyber Crimes

·         Cyber Crimes involves criminal activities that are traditional in nature. It includes theft, forgery, defamation and mischief, all of which are subject to the Indian penal code. Following examples are worth noting.

v  The computer can be used as a target using another computer to attack in the following form e.g., hacking, virus/worm attacks, Denial of Service (DOS) attack, etc.

v  The computer can be used as a tool to commit real world crimes, i.e., cyber terrorism, IPR recognitions, credit card frauds, electronic transfer frauds, pornography, etc.


Computer Virus

·         A computer virus is a malware program. It is executed at the target computer or network by replicating or inserting copies of itself into other computer programs, data files or the boot sector of the hard drive itself. The affected target systems or network areas are then said to be infected.


Famous Computer Viruses


·         It is a Microsoft Windows computer worm discovered in June 2010, which targets industrial control systems.



·         It is a malicious software designed to infiltrate a computer system without the owner's informed consent. A malware's most common pathway from criminals to users is through the Internet, primarily by e-mail and the World Wide Web.


Important Malwares

·         Botnets

·         Nag ware/Beware/Annoy ware/Nagscrum

·         Trojan Horse

·         WebCrawler/Spider

·         Gray ware

·         Flame/Flamer/Sky wiper/sky Wiper

·         Rootkits

·         Firewall: The primary objective of a firewall is to control the incoming and outgoing network traffic by analyzing the data packets and determining whether it should be allowed through or not base on a predetermined rule set.


Security Management

·         Facial Recognition: A facial recognition system is a computer Application for automatically identifying or verifying a person from a Digital image or a video frame from a video source.

·         Biometric Passport: A biometric passport, also known as an E-passport or a digital passport is a combined paper and electronic Passport that contains biometric information to authenticate the Identity of travelers.

·         Iris Recognition: It is an automated method of biometric identification Mathematical pattern-recognition techniques on video images of the iris of an individual's eye, whose complex random patterns are Unique and can be seen from a distance.

·         Smart Card: A smart card, chip card, or integrated circuit card (ICC), is any pocket-sized card with embedded integrated circuits. Smart Cards are made of plastic, generally polyvinyl chloride.


Computer Worm

It is a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself to spread to other computers. Often, it uses a computer network to spread itself, relying on security failures on the target computer to access it.



3G and 4G Technology


General Introduction

3G is a term used to refer to the third generation of standards for mobile Phones and mobile telecommunication services. According to the standards Set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a 3G system must Allow simultaneous use of speech and data services, and provide peak data Rates of at least 200 kbit/s.


Background (Evolution)

The first wireless mobile telecommunications technologies are referred to as 1G.These technologies originated in the 1980s. They were predominantly analog and provided only voice services.

2G refers to the second generation of mobile telecommunications technologies. These have been the most     predominant mobile phone technologies in the last two decades. Currently, the majority of mobile phones in India use 2G technology.

The well-known 2G technology is Global Systems for Mobile Communications (GSM). The first CDMA standard (cdmaOne) was also based on 2G technology. Being digital, 2G technologies not only provide voice services also provide data transfer by Short Messaging Service (SMS). These provide greater security to the users as these communications are


There are certain intermediate technologies between 2G and 3G that are referred to as 2.5G and 2.75G. The main intermediate technologies are GPRS and EDGE. Both provide high speed data transfer on existing 2G networks, enabling Internet access on mobile phones.

General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a mobile data service available to all users of GSM technology. GPRS provides data rates of 56-114 kbps. It enables use of Internet on mobile phones and multimedia messaging service


Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) is also known as Enhanced GPRS or EGPRS. It is a mobile data service available to all users of GSM technology. It is considered a 3G technology. It is more sophisticated than the earlier GPRS and provides more than three-fold increase in both the capacity and performance of GPRS. It can provide data rates of up to 384 kbps, allowing Internet access at higher speeds. The existing GSM Infrastructure does not require to be changed.



The two main 3G standards are:

(i)   Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS): It is an evolution of the 2G GSM standard and was introduced in 2001. It is used primarily in Europe, Japan, China and other regions predominated by GSM 2G system infrastructure. The fastest 3G-based standard in the UMTS family is the HSPA + standard, which is commercially available since 2009.

(ii)   CDMA 2000: It was introduced in 2002. It is used mainly in North America and South Korea and other regions predominated by CDMA (cdmaOne) infrastructure.


Features of 3G

(1) Like 2G, 3G provides voice, SMS and data transfer.

(2) 3G offers data transfer at speeds much higher than GRPS and EDGE, enabling users to access internet at broadband speeds, on mobile phones.

(3) The well-known 3G feature is video telephony, i.e., simultaneous voice and non-voice data transfer.

(4) 3G's high speed opens scope for high-data transfer services such as mobile, TV, video-on-demand, video telephony, video conferencing, all from mobile handsets.

(5) 3G networks offer greater security than their 2G predecessors.

(6) The scope of applications is virtually unlimited for 3G because of the high-speed and flexibility it inherits from 2G.

(7) From the development point of view, 3G can be an immensely important tool. It can be a great booster in areas such as telemedicine, mobile banking, inclusive banking such as providing banking and financial services to remote villages, updating weather and market price information to farmers, and TV and entertainment services. It can also be used in disaster management, as a cheap and effective means of coordinating rescue and relief efforts with the use of live   I images. It can also be put to good use by police, for example traffic management, riot control, etc.



General Introduction

4G is the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology standard. A 4G telecommunication system is more advanced and provides enriched services including broadband Internet access with wireless modems, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Potential and current applications include cloud computing, video conferencing, amended mobile web access,

IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, etc.

Two 4G systems that are commercially deployed are the Mobile WiMAX standard. It was first used in South Korea in 2007. The first-released Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard has been in use in Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden since 2009. However, there is a debate whether these first-release versions should be considered 4G versions or not.


Technical Specifications

The International Telecommunications Union-Radio communications sector (ITU-R) specified a set of requirements for 4G standards in March 2008. It was termed as International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced (IMT- Advanced) specification, setting peak speed requirements for 4G services at 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 gigabit per second (Gbit/s) for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).

As opposed to earlier generations, a 4G system does not support traditional circuit-switched telephony service, but all-Internet Protocol (IP) based communication such as IP telephony.



·         Bluetooth technology is a short-range, low power and low cost wireless technology that provides strong security, robustness and ease of use in the wireless personal area network space, providing access and applications to single or paired users within a mobile personal environment with ad hoc network connections.

·         The technology being used for high-speed data transfers, through phones and a host of other applications would soon add a whole new dimension to itself for saving lives. The developers of this technology, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), are planning to extend the services of this technology to the noble task of saving lives.


Major Applications

·         Another application of this high-range Bluetooth would be in the field of transmitting heavy data content like video-streaming.

·         High-speed Bluetooth technology will enable wireless video image sharing from mobile phone video clip to PC or TV, or from a handheld camcorder to a TV, printing files from a mobile phone, synchronizing all the songs on an MP3 player with a PC, sending a Power Point presentation wirelessly from a PC to a projector or from one note book to another, or transferring movies from PC to home theatre or stereo surround sound system to become hassle free.


The Background

·         The development of Bluetooth is as fascinating as the technology itself. It is amazing to know that rights to this technology are not held by a single company but by a special interest group consisting of around 6,000 companies, hence the name Bluetooth SIG. These 6,000 companies use Bluetooth technology in various big and small applications.

·         The Bluetooth logo is a trademark of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The Bluetooth trademarks (word mark, figure mark and combination mark) are wholly owned by the Bluetooth SIG.


Three Versions

·         The current versions of Bluetooth operate in three different ranges which depends on the device class. Class 3 radios have a range of up to 1 meter (3 feet), class 2 radios; most commonly found in mobile devices - have a range of 10 meters (30 feet) and class 1 radios; used primarily in industrial use cases - have a range of 100 meters (300 feet).

·         The technology scores in a number of ways when compared to other data transfer technologies like infrared. It used the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz and is not directional. It works in three-dimensional space and transfers data in real time and this is its major advantage over other technologies.


Blue jacking

Blue jacking does not relate to hijacking of any sorts. The blue jacker may just send only unsolicited messages. The attacker never has the control of the victim's device. It is another form of annoyance. Blue jacking can be avoided by setting a computer or related device to hidden, invisible or non- discoverable mode.

Blue jacking has been used in guerrilla marketing campaigns to promote advergames (advertising using games).


Wi-Fi and Li-Fi

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi means 'wireless fidelity'. It refers to a local area network which uses high frequency radio signals to send and receive data over short distances approximately 100 meters.

As opposed to LAN (Local Area Network) or computers that are networked together with wires, ULAN or wireless local area networks use Wi-Fi technology for networking. Wi-Fi refers to communicating without cords or cables and using radio frequencies and/or infrared waves.


What are Wi-Fi hotspots?

Wi-Fi hotspots are places where we have access to Wi-Fi for free such as book stores, cafes, institutes, bars, etc. Travelers with laptops, personal digital assistants (PDAs) can connect to Internet via Wi-Fi and can find I hotel, check e-mail, download music and everything else one can do with computer connected to the Internet at home.


Working of Wi-Fi

(1) Wi-Fi uses antennas around which Wi-Fi "hotspots" are created. The hotspots are outlets equipped to receive radio waves that enable wireless networking. Until recently, Wi-Fi has been confined to more than 10,000 hotspots in cafes, bars and airport lounges. But various projects are under way to set up citywide zones, where a series of antennas are installed in the streets, on lamp posts or street signs. The hotspots around them together provide wider area of coverage.

(2) The source Internet connection is provided by a PC or server to which the antennas are connected either wirelessly or via a cable.

(3) Some mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDA) now have installed Wi-Fi chips in them. It means conventional networks can be bypassed and expensive long-distance calls made over the Web (using Voice over Internet Protocol, VOIP).

(4) Many laptops and handheld computers now come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity; it is also possible to add Wi-Fi to your computer with a special card that plugs into a port on your laptop.

Wi-Fi has a lot of advantages. Wireless networks are easy to set up and are inexpensive. They are also unobtrusive?unless you are on the lookout for a place to use your laptop, you may not even notice when you are present at hotspot. Many people refer to Wi-Fi as 802.11 networking. The 802.11 designation comes from the IEEE. The IEEE sets certain standards for a range of technological protocols and it uses a numbering system to classify these standards.






IEEE 802.11

IEEE 802.15


100 meters

Based on LED area

Primary Application

Wireless local area networking

Wireless local area networking

Data transfer rate

800 Kbps ? 11 Mbps

> 1 Gbps

Power consumption






The radios used for Wi-Fi communication are very similar to the radios used for walkie-talkies, cell phones and other devices. They can transmit and receive radio waves, and they can convert binary digits (Os and Is) into radio waves and convert the radio waves back into their original binary forms. However Wi-Fi radios have a few notable differences from other radios.

They transmit at frequencies of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. This frequency is considerably higher than the frequencies used for cell phones, walkie-talkies and televisions. The higher frequency allows the signal to carry more data.

Wi-Fi radios can transmit on any of three frequency bands or, they can "frequency hop" rapidly between the different bands. Frequency hopping helps reduce interference and lets multiple devices use the same wireless connection simultaneously.

Multiple devices can use one router to connect to the Internet as long as they have wireless adapters. Such connection is convenient, virtually invisible and reliable. However, if the router fails or if too many people try to use high- bandwidth applications at the same time, users can experience interference or lose their connections.


Wi-Fi Hotspots

For utilizing public Wi-Fi hotspots or start a wireless network at your home, one needs desktop computers with built-in wireless transmitters. Once the wireless adapter and its drivers needed for its operation have been installed the computer should automatically be able to discover existing Wi-Fi hotspots. Connecting to the Internet through public hotspot is extremely convenient. Wireless home networks are convenient too. They facilitate easy access to multiple computer without disconnecting and reconnecting wires. Wireless networks are convenient and inexpensive to set up.




Li-Fi, or light fidelity is a new way to establish wireless communication links using the LED lighting networks. It is a bidirectional, high speed and fully networked wireless communication similar to Wi-Fi. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are used as a medium to deliver networked, mobile, high- speed communication in a manner similar to Wi-Fi.

The term Li-Fi was coined by Herald Hass from the University of Edinburgh in the UK.


Li-Fi vs. Wi-Fi

·         Both Wi-Fi and Li-Fi transmit data over the electromagnetic spectrum, where Wi-Fi utilizes radio waves, whereas Li-Fi uses visible light.

·         There is a potential spectrum crisis as Wi-Fi is close to full capacity but Li-Fi has almost no limitations on capacity because the visible light spectrum is 10,000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum.

·         Li-Fi has the advantage of being useful in electromagnetic sensitive areas such as in aircraft cabins, hospitals and nuclear power plants without causing electromagnetic interference.

·         Li-Pi is expected to be ten times cheaper than Wi-Fi.

·         Like Wi-Fi, Li-Fi is wireless and uses similar 802.11 protocols.

·         Short range, low reliability and high installation costs are the potential downsides of the Li-Fi.



The Li-Fi Consortium has several purposes:

·         To promote optical wireless communications up to the multi-gigabit range in all their implementations;

·         To inform potential implementers and investors of the companies and resources available to help them achieve their product or investment goals;

·         To create whole solutions in anticipation of customer needs; and

·         To coordinate with standardization groups and other industry organizations to provide original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers with a complete ensemble of technical and marketing support.



What is IMAX?

IMAX (for Image Maximum) is a film format created by IMAX Corporation having the capacity to display images much greater in size and resolution than the conventional film displays. A standard IMAX screen is 22 m wide and 16m high, but can be larger than this. Thus, the images seen in IMAX theatres are about twice the size of the images seen in conventional theatres. A larger film stock (or film reels) is used to dramatically increase the resolution to levels of 10000 \[\times \] 7000 pixels. The film stock is run sideways through camera rather than upside down as in academy format.


What is the Status of IMAX?

Currently, IMAX is the most widely used system for large formats, special venue film presentations, e.g., Cannes Film Festival.

India has around seven IMAX theatres.

(1) Ahmedabad - Gujarat science city IMAX 3-D theatre

(2) New Delhi - Akshardham Nilkantha Darshan Theatre

(3) Mumbai - IMAX Adlabs Multiplex

(4) Hyderabad - Prasad's IMAX theatre

(5) Pune - Gold Adlabs Multiplex

Kurukshetra and Ghaziabad also have IMAX theatres.


What are the variants of IMAX?

Two other variants of IMAX are:

(1) IMAX Dome (OMNIMAX) is designed for image projection on titled dome screens.

(2) IMAX 3-Din which films can be projected in 3-dimensions, e.g., IMAX theatre in Ahmedabad.



What is GPRS?

GPRS or General Packet Radio Service is a standard for wireless communication which runs at speeds up to 115 kilobits per second (compared with GSM at 9.6 kbps.). GPRS has been developed because of the inability of GSM standard to cater to Internet services.

 Second Generation (GSM) cellular systems combined with GPRS are often described as 2.SG, i.e., a technology between the second (2G) and third (3G) generations of mobile telephony.


What are the services provided by GPRS?

GPRS can be utilized for services such as WAP access, SMS, MMS and Internet Communication Service such as e-mail and web access.

It utilizes unused time division multiple access (TDMA) channels in GSM standard and supports a wide range of bandwidth. That is why it is particularly suited for sending and receiving small bursts of data such as e-mail and colour web browsing.



IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) is an advanced technological system for provisioning digital television service. It is delivered using Internet protocol over the network infrastructure. This may include delivery using a broadband connection. A general definition for IPTV can be ascribed to television content received by the viewer through the technologies used for computer networks. It is not delivered through traditional broadcast and cable formats but delivered on smart television through high speed Internet (broadband) connection. It requires encoding of channels in IP format which is delivered to the TV through a set top box. IPTV service also includes multiple services like video on demand. For residential users, IPTV is often bundled in conjunction with video on demand including Internet services such as web access and VolP. The IPTV, VolP and Internet access is commercially clubbed and bundled as "Triple Play" service and when these three features are offered with mobility, the service is referred to as "Quadruple Play".



A television signal in an IPTV is transformed into small packets of data like any other form of online traffic such as those found in e-mail or a webpage. Three main components of IPTV include the TV and content head end, where the TV channels are received and encoded and content like videos are stored followed by a delivery network, which is a broadband landline network provided by telecom operators such as MTNL. The third component includes set top box, which is required at the receiving end of the customer. The packets are reassembled into programming by software in the set top box. This box forms the connecting medium between the operator's broadband modem and TV at the customer's end. IPTV streams both live TV as well as stored videos such as video on demand, VOD service. Personal computer or a set top box should be connected to a TV for the playback feature of IPTV. Video content compression is done using either an MPEG-2 or an MPEG-4 codec technique. The new version (MPEG-4) H.264 codec has replaced the older MPEG-2 codec version.

The primary underlying protocols used in a standard IPTV systems are:

·         Live TV uses internet group management protocol (IGMP) version 2 or version 3 for IPv4. It is required for                    connection to a multicast stream (TV channel) and for switching from one multicast stream to another.

·         Real time streaming protocol (RTSP) for video on demand (VOD) service.


Advantages of IPTV

The significant advantages offered by IP-based platform include the ability to integrate television with other IP-based services like high speed Internet access and VoIP. The quality of digital video and audio is enhanced in comparison to traditional analogue TV. It can become interactive with additional features. For example, a viewer could find player's history while watching a game and schedule a recording of their favorite programme when away from home. Online movie catalogue can be browsed using video on demand service for their instant availability. Because IPTV promises lower costs both for operators and users since it uses standard networking protocols. Videos can be streamed to households more efficiently using set top boxes. Only the requested channels are transmitted to the user in contrast to cable where all channels are transmitted to the user who needs to select at his end.

There is an advantage of integration and convergence in an IP-based network using IMS-based solutions. Convergence of services can be done to provide interactivity in a seamless manner. Interactive features such as the on- screen caller ID, voice mail, etc. make it even more useful. IP-based services will provide facilities to consumers to access content over their televisions, PCs and cell phones. It will help integrate services and content irrespective of the time and place. IPTV removes the need to run a parallel infrastructure to deliver live and stored video services within businesses and institutions.


Limitations of IPTV

Since IPTV is based on Internet protocol, it is sensitive to packet loss and delays if the IPTV connection is not fast enough. It uses a two-way digital broadcast signal sent through a switched telephone or cable network through a broadband connection and a set top box programmed with a software (like a cable or DSS box) that can handle viewer requests to access to multiple available media sources. It needs new hardware in the form of set top box, which is a onetime investment. There are associated privacy issues which need to be resolved as the service provider knows the channels viewed by the end-user. Since IPTV is delivered through landline connection, telecoms like Hutchison Assar and Idea Cellular are unable to offer the service currently, since they do not have fixed line networks. Public sector operator, Mahan agar. Telephone Nigam (MTNL) is the first and only TELCO in India providing IPTV services. It recently rolled out IPTV in Mumbai and Delhi.



Interactive TV is a convergence technology that converts the one-way passive TV viewing into a two-way interactive experience. This technology would enable television viewers to access remote servers and Internet through their TV and digital set top device. In other words, interactive TV is a television with a 'return path', i.e., information flows not only from the broadcaster to the viewer, but also back from the viewer to the broadcaster. This return path can be through telephone, mobile SMS or cable lines.


Different forms/configurations of ITV

ITV has been conceived in several different forms and configurations amongst which following three are very important:

(1) Interactivity with a TV set: It is the most basic level of interaction where the viewer can interact with the broadcaster and can control the viewing of television content.

Example: VCR-like functions, e.g., pause, rewind, fast forward. Commercial skipping and video on demand (VOD)

(2) Interactivity with TV programme content: Here, the programme might change based on the viewer?s input.


(i)   Home shopping channels

(ii)   Opinion polls

(iii) SMS voting

(iv) Choosing angle to watch football match

(3) Interactivity with content related to what is on TV: It is also known as coactivity. It includes getting more information about what is on the TV, be it sports, movies, news, etc.

Example: While watching a movie, just pressing a button can get all the details of the movie, the title, the star cast, the director, the story, the duration in minutes, the number of minutes you have missed and the upcoming movie. In a nutshell, viewer can get more information about what is being advertised, along with ability to buy it.


Smart Card

A smart card resembles a credit card in size and shape but inside it is completely different. A normal credit card is a simple piece of plastic but a smart card contains an embedded microprocessor. The microprocessor is under a gold contact pad on one side of the card.

The microprocessor on the smart card is to ensure security. The host computer and card reader actually 'talk' to the microprocessor. The microprocessor enforces access to the data on the card.

Smart card can be used with a smart card reader attachment to a personal computer to authenticate a user. Web browsers can also use smart card technology to supplement secure sockets layers (SSL) for improved security of Internet transactions.


Most common smart card applications are:

·         Credit cards

·         Electronic cash

·         Computer security systems

·         Wireless communication

·         Loyalty systems

·         Banking

·         Government identification


Instrument Landing System

Instrument landing system is a ground based radio system designed to provide an airplane pilot with precise guidance for the final approach in landing. It facilitates take offs and landings of aircrafts in very low visibility conditions.

e.g., dense fog.


How does ILS prescribe course to the pilot?

Instrument landing system utilizes radio beams to delineate course. The path is delineated by the intersection of two radio beams.

Localizer beam

·         The localizer beam provides guidance in the horizontal direction.

·         The intersection of the radio beams helps the pilot to know the location of the runway on the ground. Inside the aircraft, the needle sensitive to deviations from the localizer helps the pilot to guide the aircraft.


The glide slope (GS) beam

·         The GS beam provides guidance in the vertical plane.

·         The GS beam indicates the slope and path that a pilot needs to follow while landing the aircraft. The needle sensitive to deviations from glide slope helps the pilot in landing.

·         The pilot can guide the aircraft down to the end of the landing runway aligned with the runway centre line by keeping both the sensitive needles centered.


What are the limitations of ILS?

(1) The distortion of the radio beams from the nearby buildings and I mountains can lead to false guidance due to which newer systems use microwaves which are not easily distorted.                    

(2) It cannot be used safely at locations where the land beyond the end of runway is not level. In this case, radio marker beacons are installed at several locations along the approach path to direct the pilot on the distance from the end of runway.


Virtual Water                                           

Virtual water is the amount of water that is embedded in food or other products needed for their production. For example, to produce 1 kg of wheat, 1,000 liters water is needed, i.e., the virtual water of wheat is 1,000 liters.

The per capita consumption of virtual water contained in bur diet varies According to the type of diets, i.e;

·         \[\text{1}\,\,{{\text{m}}^{\text{3}}}\text{/day}\]- survival diet

·         \[2.5\,\,{{m}^{3}}/day\] - vegetable diet

·         \[5\,\,{{m}^{3}}/day\] -  meat based diet

It implements that moderating our diets could make water available for other purposes.


What is Virtual Water Trade and its significance?

The virtual flow of water that arises with the trade of any commodity or food crops that involves their production and export within various countries that consume and import, those commodities is called virtual water trade.

A water scarce country can import products that require a lot of water for their production rather than producing them domestically. This allows real water savings, relieving the pressure on their water resources or availing water for other purposes.

            At the global level, virtual water trade has geopolitical implications. It induces dependencies between the countries. Therefore, it can be both a stimulant for cooperation and peace and a reason for potential conflict.

The third World Water Forum held in Kyoto emphasized on the need to popularize the concepts of virtual water and water footprints to improve; water availability in water-stressed countries.


Natural Disaster Information System

Natural Disaster Information System developed by Geneva Software Technologies informs people about an impending disaster in their local language over mobile phones and specially set up Wireless Public Address System in their locality in less than a minute.


How NDIS warns people about an impending disaster?

·         Any disaster detected by the Indian Meteorological Department puts the whole machinery into action.

·         The IMD uses its web interface to send message to Geneva Software Technologies (GSTL's) server.

·         The message is translated and streamed or sent as multilingual message.

·         The Location Based Language Message Service (LBLMS) maps the location and identifies the subscriber in the area which faces impending disaster.

·         The Dynamic Voice Translation System (DVTS) translates this alert, converts it to voice and sends it as voice calls.

·         The voice message is broadcasted to specially installed wireless public address system (WPAS). Consequently, the public  receives alert messages in 5 essential forms:

(1) SMS in regional language, e.g., Tamil

(2) SMS in Hindi

(3) SMS in English

(4) Voice message on mobile phone

(5) Voice message through WPAS for the ones who do not own mobile phones

The entire process takes around 33 seconds.


Convergence of Technologies

What is convergence of technologies?

It is the symbiotic application of technological advancement in different fields such as

(a) Nano Technology

(b) Biotechnology and Biomedicine

(c)   ICT and Advanced Computing

(d) Cognitive Neurosciences: It studies the process of human thinking, decision making, reasoning, etc., by the human brain.

New developments in each of these technologies will have significant impact on the society but most amazing innovations will occur at their intersection.


Examples of convergence of technology

·         Information technology (IT) and communication technology (CT) have already converged to form ICT. This convergence has led to conception of world as a global village where interaction and communication are no longer hindered by distance.

·         Application of IT in the field of biotechnology has yielded bioinformatics.


What are the prerequisites for convergence of technology?

·         State-of-the-art R & D facilities

·         Trained and motivated manpower (i.e., scientists)

·         Huge funding


What are its prospects?

The synergy of the combination is expected to lead to capabilities such as:

·         Expanded human cognition and communication - enabled by brain impact, new drugs, rapid learning, direct brain to machine interface.

·         Improved human health and physical capabilities enabled by nano biosensors to monitor and repair bodily functions and to enhance human senses.

·         Autonomous intelligence systems to support decision making and reasoning.

·         Nano robots for environment surveillance and medical applications.

·         Integrated silicon electronics and photonics by convergence of nanotechnology and electronics, etc.


Notes - Information and CommunicationTechnology

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