Important Topics: Science & Technology in Sustainable Development

Introduction


S&TThe recent instance of deteriorating air quality of country and capital after festive season led to use the metaphor of gas chamber for atmosphere with low and stagnant wind, refusing to dilute the noxious pollutants.

Threats, in even forms, thus loom large, challenging our ambitions programmes on Swachh Bharat, breathable air, clean flowing waters in are rivers and streams, healthy terrestrial & aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, progress of science can be utilized for well being of humans of which environment protection and sustainable development is an integral part.

S. No. Area Issues Technology Status/Requirement
Technology expected by 2025 Technology expected by 2035
1 Urban Environment (a) Quality of a water air in cities
  • Clear coal technology
  • Alternate fuel based transportation
  • Real time aquifer monitoring
  • real time dense spatial quality monitoring
  • Insitu water purification in pipeline
  • Self healing pipeline
(b) Municipal Solid Waste Management Plasma technology proper design of collection segregation, transportation and compacting system. Development of more efficient biological processes Treatment of waste at source
(c) Electronic Waste Cost effective recovery of precious metal Technology to reuse 100 per cent waste
(d) Biomedical Waste Re-designing of biomedical equipment to facilitate segregation and reuse
(e) Sustainable building Space conditioning technology software for designing of buildings Research and development for mobile building (modular and portable structure technology)
2 Green House Gas Minitation & Air Pollution (a) Clean Energy Technology
  • Using Thorium for power generation
  • Carbon capture by using algae from flowgas.
  • Advanced fossil fuel extraction
  • hydrogen energy Bio refineries
  • Advanced fossil fuel interaction.
  • Microbial fuel cells
  • Zero energy artificial lightening
(b) Vehicular Pollution
  • Development of high power to weight ratio
  • Storage batteries with fast recharge and long life time.
(c) Mining & Processing technique
  • Polymers need to be non-toxic & biodegradable
  • Grouping it with solid waste management we need to advance in science for biological remediation
3 Natural Resource Management (a) Water conservation
(b) Soil conservation and reclamation
  • Cultivation technology in problem soils (acid, saline & salt effected)
  • Development of crop varieties (including genetic engineering) resistant to high pH values
(c) Forestry
(d) Sustainable use of Biodiversity and traditional knowledge
  • Using capture recapture modeling through usage of camera traps & software PRESENCE and MARK.
Molecular biology can be tool for de-extinction
4 Industrial Environment (a) Industrial waste water Low cost treatment at source to make it a resource material No generation of waste, all to be recycled
(b) Industrial solid waste Immobilization technology (biological and chemical for leachable solid waste)
(c) Oil contamination Remediation through nano material for bio and non bio components.
5 Agricultural Environment (a) Agricultural waste
  • Research and Development in biomass boilers/ gasification using rice and straw husk waste with high silicon content
  • Various pathways for conversion of cellulosic biomass in combustible (liquid fuel) form.
(b) Contamination of food/drinking water chain
  • Research on faster biodegradation of pesticides.
  • Lowering/shortening half life of pesticides
  • Development of paste/disease resistant crop varieties
  • Biological disruption of pest cycle
Development of cereals/ crop variety with nitrogen fixation properties.

All these benefits of science and development will also help in fulfilling the goals of SDG (sustainable development goals) such as:
1) targets on thriving lives & livelihood
2) sustainable food security
3) sustainable water security
4) universal clean energy
5) Healthy & productive ecosystem – which have to be achieved by 2030.

  • Science research will also play in important role in meeting other international commitment like the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity), Ramsar convention (for wetland conservation), UNCCD (United Nation Convention on Combating decertification), CMS (Convention or Migratory Species) etc.
  • For example, Camera traps and software PRESENCE and MARK helped in improving the tiger census techniques.
  • For making all this come in line, so that science and development also leads towards sustainable development, TERI (The energy research institute) have been organising the Delhi sustainable development summit since 2001. In 2016, the world sustainable development summit was organised in New Delhi.
  • Also DST (Department of Science & Technology) which organises the biannual National Children's Science Congress (NCSC) has declared "Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable development" as the theme for year 2017.

Conclusion / Way Forward


Advancement in S&T is a double edged sword and the solution provided by it must not be counterproductive. Global apprehension in Gene therapy and usage of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) needs to be addressed. This is pertinent in the context of the spate of suicides by Indian farmers using GMO.
Also certain factors such as dismal investment in R & D, less than 1% of GDP contribution and bureaucracy – scientific community divide needs to be improved and taken case off.
The time has arrived where we need to move from technology dependence, technology import and technology adoption to technology reliance. This necessitates a deeper analysis of the technology constraints we are going through and upgrade our skills.


POSSIBLE QUESTION FROM EXAM POINT OF VIEW


"Science progresses not for the progress of science per se but for progress of well being of which environment protection and sustainable development is an integral part". Examine the development of science in various fields, also there benefits for nation.(200 words).