Question 1. Why should the alternative communications systems be installed?
Answer : At the time of any major disaster or emergency situation, it is extremely necessary to have the communication links operational between Government authorities at various levels and the people/volunteers working in the disaster affected areas to help the affected population. It becomes imperative to ensure that the critical needs of search and rescue operations, relief and response measures are communicated among the authorities of Government, local administration, voluntary organizations and the affected population. This situation calls for reliable alternate communication links, which ensure the rapid movement of the right resources to the right place at the right time. It may also happen that some severely affected areas get completely disconnected from other parts of the world.
In such situations, the urgent needs of the disaster-affected population are not known or communicated to the responsible Government authorities, voluntary organizations and unaffected populations in the vicinity. This may lead to severe losses in terms of human lives, livestock and property.
Question 2. Name two prime communication networks of Government of India and explain their functions.
Answer : The two prime communication networks of Government of India are
(i) NIC National Informatics Centre (NIC) is a premier Science & Technology organization of the Government of India in this field. It functions through a nationwide information and communication technology (ICT) network called NICNET.
(ii) BSNL The Department of Telephone Operations, Government of India, became a corporation on 1st October, 2000 and was renamed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Today, BSNL is a leading telecommunication company and the largest public sector undertaking of India. It has a network of over 45 million line s covering 5000 towns with over 35 million telephone connections. Its responsibilities include improvement of the quality of telecom services, expansion of telecom network, introduction of new telecom services in all villages and instilling confidence among it s customers.
Question 3. How is Amateur (Ham) radio different from the common radio communication?
Answer : Amateur radio, also known as ‘Ham radio’, does not refer to a special kind of radio but to a special set of rules which apply to certain frequencies as defined by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and regulated in India by the Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing, Ministry of Communications, Government of India. The laid down rules allow these frequencies to be used only for research, education and personal purpose. The word Amateur implies the use of radio communications for non-commercial purposes.
Amateur Radio operation does not use the ground based infrastructure, and has limited power requirements which can be easily met by batteries and generators and thus works successfully in emergencies.
Question 4. What makes the Satellite based communication systems more reliable in case of large-scale Natural/manmade emergencies?
Answer : Satellite based communication systems are more reliable because Communications satellites are in space and not at all vulnerable to any natural disasters on the earth, while global communications links can be established with very small, portable and easy to install satellite antennas.