Promoting Science and Technology – Missions,Policies & Schemes

Jan, 17, 2019

DD Science and India Science channels launched

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Developments & their applications and effects in everyday life

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: DD Science and DD India

Mains level: National Science channel for India and its implications


News

  • Two new science communication platforms DD Science and India Science were launched by Minister for Science and Technology.

DD Science

  1. DD Science is a joint initiative of Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and public broadcaster, Doordarshan.
  2. It is a one-hour slot on Doordarshan National channel, which will be telecast from Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm.
  3. DD Science service would be in Hindi in the beginning and efforts would be made to gradually expand its scope to have the programme telecast in other Indian languages as well.

India Science

  1. India Science is an Internet-based science Over-The-Top (OTT) TV channel.
  2. This 24×7 video platform is dedicated to science & technology knowledge dissemination, with a strong commitment to spreading scientific awareness.
  3. It will be available on all internet-enabled devices.
  4. It offers live, scheduled play and video-on-demand science programming.

Aims and Objectives

  1. The two channels will have science-based documentaries, studio-based discussions, virtual walkthroughs of scientific institutions, interviews and short films and will be free to access.
  2. The new initiatives are expected to be the first step in creating a national science channel for India.
  3. It would help people understand the benefits of science and integrate it in their daily lives.

About Vigyan Prasar

  1. Vigyan Prasar (VP) is an autonomous organization under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.
  2. The principal objective of VP is to serve India’s science popularization agenda.
  3. This is achieved through several strategically important two – way stakeholder specific approaches to communicate about principles and practice of science and technology and implications for development and quality of life.
  4. It publishes a magazine “Dream 2047”.
Dec, 26, 2018

Various achievements of Indian scientists in 2018

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievement of Indians in science & technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Read the attached story

Mains level: The attached story provides a quick recap of all significant developments which were less highlighted in news


News

  • The year 2018 is ending with spectacular success of Indian scientists and technologists in space and defence sectors, with a series of high impact missions.
  • But that’s not all Indian scientists achieved in 2018.

Here is a collection of such stories that gives a glimpse of important developments by Indian scientists during the year.

A gel that can protect farmers from toxic pesticides

  1. Most farmers do not wear any protective gear while spraying chemicals in fields, which often leads to pesticide exposure and toxicity.
  2. Scientists at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore have developed a protective gel – poly-Oxime.
  3. It can be applied on skin and can break down toxic chemicals into safe substances
  4. This will prevent them from going deep into the skin and organs like the brain and the lungs.

World’s thinnest material with novel technique

  1. Pushing the envelope in nanotechnology, researchers at the IIT Gandhinagar have developed a material that is 100,000 times thinner than a sheet of paper.
  2. They synthesized a two-dimensional material of just one-nanometer thickness (a human hair is about 80,000 nanometer wide) using Magnesium diboride – a compound of boron.
  3. This is said to be the world’s thinnest material.
  4. It can find a range of applications – from next-generation batteries to ultraviolet absorbing films.

Gene editing applied to banana genome

  1. Using the gene editing technique – CRISPR/Cas9 – researchers at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, Mohali have edited the banana genome.
  2. This is the first such work in any fruit crop in India.
  3. Banana is a the fourth most important food crop after wheat, rice and corn in terms of gross value of production.
  4. Gene editing could be deployed for improving nutritional quality, agronomical important traits as well as pathogen resistance in banana.

Discoveries to tackle Zika, dengue, JE and chikungunya

  1. The National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) at Manesar has figured out cellular and molecular mechanisms that show how Zika virus causes microcephaly or small head size in babies.
  2. Researchers discovered that envelop protein of Zika virus affects proliferation rates of human neural stem cells and promotes premature but faulty neuron formation.
  3. Another study led by scientist at the Regional Centre for Biotechnology, Faridabad has identified a key protein which helps dengue as well as Japanese Encephalitis viruses replication inside human body by inhibiting anti-viral cytokines.
  4. This finding could pave way for development of targeted drugs for dengue and JE.
  5. For detecting Chikungunya, a group of researchers have developed a biosensor using molybdenum disulphide nanosheets.

Faster diagnostic tests for tuberculosis

  1. Scientists at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad and AIIMS, New Delhi have jointly developed highly sensitive and rapid tests for detection of TB infection.
  2. The current test uses antibodies for detection of bacterial proteins in sputum samples.
  3. New tests use Aptamer Linked Immobilized Sorbent Assay (ALISA) and Electrochemical Sensor (ECS) for detection of a bacterial protein in the sputum.

Space weather warning model rules out ‘mini ice age’

  1. A team of scientists from the IISER Kolkata have dismissed the speculation that the upcoming sunspot cycle is going to be stronger, based on calculations using a model developed by them.
  2. The near-Earth and inter-planetary space environmental conditions and solar radiative forcing of climate over the upcoming sunspot cycle 25 will likely be similar or marginally more extreme.
  3. The method makes it possible to make predictions almost a decade before the next sunspot cycle activity peaks in strength.

New tool developed for autism screening

  1. In many cases, autism is misdiagnosed as mental retardation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  2. Early identification and interventions may help children with autistic disorders.
  3. To help this process, scientists at the GMCH, Chandigarh, have developed an Indian tool for screening children for autism.
  4. The Chandigarh Autism Screening Instrument (CASI) is designed to help community health workers to carry out initial screening for autism.

Hope for Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s

  1. Scientists at the IISc Bengaluru, have figured out the way memory deficit develops in early stages, resulting in Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. They have found that early breaking down of a protein, fibrillar actin or F-actin, in the brain leads to disruption in communication among nerve cells and consequently memory deficits.
  3. This knowledge can be used to develop early diagnosis test in future.
  4. In another study done in fruit flies, researchers at Department of Genetics at Delhi University found that it was possible to restrict the progression of Huntington’s disease by increasing insulin signaling in the brain neuronal cells.

Green technique can address Plaster of Paris pollution

  1. A team of scientists at Pune-based CSIR-NCL has developed a technique that helps recycle Plaster of Paris waste from hospitals in an eco-friendly and economical way.
  2. The new technique disinfects waste and converts it into useful products like ammonium sulphate and calcium bicarbonate.
  3. The technique can also be used to disintegrate PoP waste from idols immersed in water bodies.

Stone Age tools, genetic studies throw new light on peopling of India

  1. The Stone Age tools discovered in a village near Chennai suggest that a Middle Palaeolithic culture was present in India around 385,000 years ago.
  2. It is roughly the same time that it is known to have developed in Africa and in Europe.
  3. The discovery pushes back the period when populations with a Middle Palaeolithic culture may have inhabited India.
  4. It challenges popular theory that the Middle Palaeolithic was brought to India by modern humans dispersing from Africa only around 125,000 years ago or later.
  5. In the North, a population genetic study has revealed that the Rors who inhabit modern Haryana came to the Indus Valley when it was flourishing during the Bronze Age and inducted West Eurasian genetic ancestry.

Computing capacity for weather forecasting gets a boost

  1. During the year, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) upgraded its computing capacity for weather forecasting and climate monitoring.
  2. It took its total high performance computing (HPC) power to as high as 6.8 Petaflop.
  3. With this, India rose to the fourth position, next only to United Kingdom, Japan and USA in terms of dedicated capacity for HPC resources for weather and climate proposes.

Scientists use silk polymer to develop artificial vertebral disc

  1. Scientists at IIT, Guwahati developed a silk-based bioartificial disc that may find use in disc replacement therapy in future.
  2. The group has developed a fabrication procedure for a silk-based bioartificial disc adopting a “directional freezing technique”.
  3. The disc mimics internal intricacy of human disc and its mechanical properties too are similar to those of the native ones.
  4. The use of a silk biopolymer to fabricate a biocompatible disc can reduce the cost of artificial discs in future.

Transgenic rice with reduced arsenic accumulation, flowering mustard

  1. To address the problem of arsenic accumulation in rice grains, researchers at Lucknow- based CSIR-NBRI developed transgenic rice.
  2. They inserted a novel fungal gene, which results in reduced arsenic accumulation in rice grain.
  3. They cloned Arsenic methyltransferase (WaarsM) gene from a soil fungus and inserted it into rice genome.
  4. In another study, TERI School of Advanced Studies has developed an early flowering transgenic variety of mustard.
Dec, 18, 2018

[op-ed snap] Raja Mandala: Time for Techplomacy

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Telecommunication Union

Mains level: The trend of techplomacy and changes required in India’s foreign policy


Context

Technology usage in diplomacy

  1. As a far more sweeping technological revolution envelops the world today, governments are finding new ways to adapt
  2. Whether it is in using social media to influence public opinion at home and abroad, conducting espionage on other states, securing one’s critical infrastructure against foreign interference, setting terms for cross-border data flows, governing the internet, countering terrorism, or preventing the militarization of Artificial Intelligence, all major governments are reorganising their diplomatic mechanisms
  3. To enhance the effectiveness of its voice in the new domain, France appointed a full time “digital ambassador” in 2017
  4. Denmark has set up offices of “TechPlomacy” in Silicon Valley, Copenhagen and Beijing
  5. A major part of their mandate is to deal with technology giants like Google, Facebook and Alibaba and Huawei
  6. India too needs to review and reorganise its technology diplomacy

History of technology usage in foreign policy

  1. The slow pace of long-distance communication until the 19th century meant that ambassadors acted on their own
  2. Because they had no way to get frequent instructions from the sovereign, they were conferred with the title “ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary” and given the full authority to negotiate with the sovereigns to whom they were accredited
  3. The communications revolution ended the age of the aristocrat diplomat and turned the envoy and his staff into professional bureaucracies run from the governments at home
  4. Beyond the process of diplomacy, the envoys had to deal with the substantive impact of new communications technologies on international affairs
  5. In finding ways to facilitate wireless communication across territorial borders, major nations negotiated the establishment of the International Telegraph Union in 1865 that would later become the International Telecommunication Union
  6. The ITU is one of the oldest international organisations

Changing roles 

  1. As the impact of science and technology on the world expanded, diplomats had to go beyond their traditional focus on negotiating peace pacts and territorial settlements
  2. Over the last century, the diplomatic mandate on science and technology has ranged from chemical weapons to climate change and naval arms limitation to nuclear proliferation

India’s journey in technological adoption

  1. Due to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s deep commitment to the creation of national technical capabilities through international cooperation, technology diplomacy became an important priority for independent India’s foreign policy
  2. But Delhi’s so-called “peaceful nuclear explosion” in 1974 resulted in an expanding regime of technology sanctions against India
  3. As Delhi reconnected to the world and embarked on a high growth path in the 1990s, options opened up for ending the international technology blockade against India
  4. In two decades of productive diplomacy, built around the historic civil nuclear initiative with the US, Delhi has largely completed India’s integration with the international non-proliferation regime
  5. From being a major target of technology sanctions, it is now part of the community that sets the rules for international transfers of sensitive technologies

Way forward

  1. The nuclear problem that Delhi had to address through the second half of the 20th century might pale into insignificance with the kind of challenges that the new technological revolution presents
  2. The nuclear revolution affected only a small fraction of India’s economy and security
  3. The current technological transformations, especially in the digital and genetic domains, will have far-reaching consequences for India’s economy, society, politics and international relations
  4. The challenges and opportunities presented by the unfolding technological revolution are too important to be left to individual departments and ministries
  5. What India needs is a “whole-of-government” approach to technology diplomacy led by the Prime Minister’s Office
Dec, 08, 2018

IISER team develops method to simulate Sunspot Cycle

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Geography | Salient features of World’s Physical Geography

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Sunspots, Maunder minimum

Mains level: Impact of Sunspots on mankind as a whole


News

  • IISER Kolkata have developed a way of predicting the intensity of activity in the next solar cycle (approximately from 2020 to 2031) using data spread over the last 100 years.

What are Sunspots?

  1. Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the Sun’s photosphere that appear as spots darker than the surrounding areas.
  2. They are regions of reduced surface temperature caused by concentrations of magnetic field flux that inhibit convection.
  3. Sunspots usually appear in pairs of opposite magnetic polarity

Observing Sunspots

  1. Astronomers have observed sunspots on the surface of the sun for nearly 400 years.
  2. It is known that sunspots follow a cyclic pattern of growing in number and disappearing in approximately 11 years, known as the sunspot cycle or the sun’s activity cycle.
  3. We are currently in the 24th sunspot cycle since the observation began in 1755.

IISER Model of Sunspot

  1. The researchers has simulated the behaviour of the sun using magnetic field evolution models and observational data.
  2. They simulate solar activity, and using inputs from observed data from one cycle, predict the behaviour of the sun over the next cycle, about ten years in advance.
  3. Comparing their simulations with recorded data from 1913 to present, they show a remarkable agreement in most cases.
  4. Using the same method, they predict solar activity over the next cycle, about ten years into the future.
  5. IISER’s sunspot simulation states that the sun’s activity would not dip during the next cycle, but it would be similar to the current cycle, perhaps even stronger.
  6. They expect the cycle to peak around 2024.

Impact of Sunspots

I. Solar missions

  1. This kind of work will be very important for the understanding of the long-term variations of the sun and its impact on our climate which is one of the science objectives of Aditya mission.
  2. The forecast will be also useful for scientific operational planning of the Aditya mission.

II. Space Weather

  1. This refers to the effect of radiation, particle flux and magnetic flux in the region around the sun.
  2. During extreme events, space weather can affect electronics-driven satellite controls, communications systems, air traffic over polar routes and even power grids.

III. Earth’s Climate

  1. The other reason sunspots are interesting is the belief that they are correlated with climate on earth.
  2. A lot of the research in this area focuses on predicting the way the next sunspot cycle will shape up – whether the sun will be extremely active and produce many sunspots or not.

IV. El-Nino

  1. ENSO occurs at irregular interval between 3 and 7 years causing global climate system variation.
  2. Considering this event occurs periodically, it might be triggered by the 11-years of solar cycle as an energy source.
  3. In this case, the solar activity is represented by the variability of the periodical Sunspot.
  4. Changes in the rate of heating and the amount of solar energy package is presumed to be the cause of the ENSO phenomenon.

Upcoming Sunspot  and expected impacts

  1. There have been predictions that the next cycle (cycle 25) will show reduced sunspot activity.
  2. There have even been speculations that the sun may be heading towards a period of prolonged low activity – what solar physicists describe as a ‘Maunder-like minimum’.
  3. The Maunder minimum refers to a period from 1645 to 1715 where observers reported minimal Sunspot activity — the number of sunspots reduced by a factor of nearly 1,000, over a period of 28 years.
  4. This has led to speculation of an imminent Maunder-like grand minimum and cooling global climate.
  5. During this and other such periods of low activity, some parts of Europe and North America experienced lower-than-average temperatures.
Dec, 07, 2018

[pib] National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: NM-ICPS

Mains level: Particulars of the NM-ICPS


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the launching of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by Department of Science &Technology for a period of five years.

Background

  1. CPS and its associated technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of Things (loT), Machine Learning (ML),  Deep Learning (DP),  Big Data Analytics,  Robotics, Quantum Computing etc. have pervaded and is playing a transformative role in almost every field of human endeavour all most in all sectors.
  2. It has become imperative for government and industries to be prepared to adopt these emerging and disruptive technologies in order to remain competitive, drive societal progress, generate employment, foster economic growth and to improve the overall quality of life and sustainability of the environment.

National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS)

  1. The NM-ICPS is a comprehensive Mission which would address technology development, application development, human resource development & skill enhancement, entrepreneurship and start-up development in CPS and associated technologies.
  2. The Mission addresses the ever increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies.
  3. It would be a Pan India Mission and covers entire gamut of India that includes Central Ministries, State Governments, Industry and Academia.
  4. The Mission will feed the Central Ministries/ Departments and State Govts and also the Industry to effectively use the CPS technologies in their projects and schemes for the benefit of the society.
  5. The mission implementation would develop and bring:
  • Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) and associated technologies within reach in the country,
  • adoption of CPS technologies to address India specific National / Regional issues,
  • produce Next Generation skilled manpower in CPS,
  • catalyze Translational Research,
  • accelerate entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem development in CPS etc.

Implementation strategy

  1. The Mission aims at establishment of 15 numbers of Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six numbers of Application Innovation Hubs (AIH) and four numbers of Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
  2. These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to Academics, Industry, Central Ministries and State Government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across the country in a hub and spoke model.
  3. A strategic approach involving a suitable mix of Academic, Industry and Government is proposed to be adopted.
  4. Strong Steering and Monitoring Mechanisms in the form of Mission Governing Board (MGB), Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee (IMCC), Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and other Sub-Committees will guide and monitor the Mission implementation.

Benefits of the mission

  1. CPS is an integrated system of upcoming technology, which in turn is being taken up on priority basis by countries in the race for development.
  2. CPS will indeed bring a paradigm shift in entire skill sets requirement.
  3. The proposed Mission would act as an engine of growth that would benefit national initiatives in health, education, energy, environment, agriculture, strategic cum security, and industrial sectors, Industry 4.0, SMART Cities, SDGs etc.
  4. The job opportunities will be enhanced through the Mission by imparting advanced skills and generating skilled manpower as per the requirement of the industry/ society.
  5. As Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Start-up Ecosystem is an integral part of the proposed NM-ICPS, the start-ups will also create a number of technology driven job opportunities in CPS and allied areas.
Aug, 10, 2018

Explained: Thermal Battery

Image Source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Thermal Battery working

Mains level: Alternative source of clean energy and storage.


News

Context

  1. India became home to the world’s first-ever thermal battery plant that was inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh.
  2. This plant aims to create a new energy storage form that is expected to have commercial applications, while also maintaining a low carbon footprint, and being less dependent on external factors like weather.
  3. The thermal battery facility is to be owned by Bharat Energy Storage Technology Private Limited (BEST) could provide energy solutions for electrical grids, transport and telecom services.
  4. At the initial stage of commercial operations, set for May 2019, BEST plans to create a battery capacity of 1000MW. This is expected to be upgraded to a 10GW capacity by 2025.

Thermal battery technology

  1. Thermal battery technology was patented in India by Dr Patrick Glynn in 2016.
  2. Conventional battery technology is based on the system of charging/discharging cycles that are driven by electricity. Ex: Lithium-ion battery.
  3. Thermal batteries use thermal energy to operate, i.e., the energy created by temperature differences.
  4. The energy transfer in thermal batteries helps store heat when heat travels from one part of the battery setup to the other.
  5. For that to happen, a thermal battery consists of two parts: a cool zone known as sink, and a hot source called source.
  6. Both these sides consist of compounds known as phase-changing materials (PCMs), which can change their state of matter on the basis of a physical/chemical reaction.
  7. When the sink of a thermal battery receives heat, it transforms physically or chemically, thereby storing energy, while the source cools down.
  8. During operation, the sink is cooled down, so it releases the stored energy, while the source heats up.
  9. Depending on the nature of the battery, the system can derive heat from any source, which makes a thermal battery very versatile.

Integration with power grids

  1. Given the positives from thermal battery technology, its main application lies in the possible integration with power grids, that can help industrial demand, while also supporting public transport systems and telecom grids.
  2. In the field of power transmission, thermal batteries will be able to function as long as there is a heat source to drive their operation.
  3. This could help solve power issues in remote areas, and also address rising energy requirements from regional or national grids.
  4. Power-intensive industries will also be major beneficiaries, and the transformation will mean reduced dependence on fossil fuels for energy.
  5. Telecom infrastructure is also a target area, as thermal batteries will help maintain signal strength and network connectivity.
  6. This, in turn, could also improve internet penetration and ultra-fast mobile services.

Easing roadmap for E-vehicle manufacturing

  1. Another area that could receive impetus from thermal batteries is that of electric vehicles.
  2. Currently, Tata and Mahindra are the only domestic firms working on such transport systems.
  3. With thermal battery technology, car makers could consider going green, and deploy clean energy at minimal maintenance costs.
  4. At the same time, e-vehicles could also derive charging power from stations that run on thermal batteries.
  5. In AP plant, BEST aims to setup an electric truck that can run up to 800kms on a single charge.
Jan, 09, 2018

India unveils Pratyush, its fastest supercomputer yet

Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievements of Indians in science & technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Pratyush, Top500 list, petaflops

Mains level: India’s technological advancement in recent years


News

Fourth fastest dedicated supercomputer in the world 

  1. India unveiled Pratyush, an array of computers that will be used for weather and climate research
  2. Pratyush is the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world dedicated to weather and climate research and follows machines in Japan, USA and the United Kingdom
  3. It will also move an Indian supercomputer from the 300s to the 30s in the Top500 list, a respected international tracker of the world’s fastest supercomputers

Pratyush’s prowess

  1. Pratyush is an array of computers that can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops
  2. One petaflop is a million billion floating point operations per second and is a reflection of the computing capacity of a system

Better monsoon forecast

  1. A key function of the machine’s computing power would be monsoon forecasting using a dynamical model
  2. This requires simulating the weather for a given month — say March — and letting a custom-built model calculate how the actual weather will play out over June, July, August and September
  3. With the new system, it would be possible to map regions in India at a resolution of 3 km and the globe at 12 km
Dec, 29, 2017

More scientists coming back now

Image source

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | indigenization of technology & developing new technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme, INSPIRE Faculty Scheme, Ramalingaswami re-entry fellowship scheme

Mains level: Steps being taken to promote scientific R&D in India


News

Indian origin scientists returning back

  1. The number of Indian-origin scientists working internationally and returning to India between 2012 and 2017 has jumped 70% from that from 2007 to 2012
  2. This was revealed by figures from the Department of Science and Technology

Why this trend?

  1. Long plagued by “brain drain”, India has over the last decade ramped up schemes to attract Indian- origin scientists
  2. This trend is primarily due to schemes such as the Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme and the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme and the Ramalingaswami re-entry fellowship scheme coordinated by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT)
  3. These schemes allow “high-caliber” Indian researchers working abroad to relocate to Indian institutes and universities of their respective interest and domain

All scientists don’t get desired institutions

  1. Of the 373 scientists, who got these scholarships between 2014 and 2016, only 125 were absorbed into their host institutions
  2. The lack of absorption is often due to returning researchers not always getting their choice of institutions
  3. This is due to limited institutional capacity to absorb all of them

Back2Basics

Ramanujan Fellowship Scheme

  1. The fellowship is meant for brilliant scientists and engineers from all over the world to take up scientific research positions in India, i.e. for those scientists who want to return to India from abroad
  2. Ramanujan Fellowship are only for those candidates who are doing Post Doctoral abroad and not for the people who already have permanent position in a scientific organization in the country
  3. The fellowships are scientist-specific and very selective
  4. All Areas of Science (in the broadest terms) are covered by this Fellowship
  5. The Ramanujan Fellowship duration is for 5 years only
  6. The Ramanujan Fellows could work in any of the scientific institutions and universities in the country
  7. They would be eligible for receiving regular research grants through the extramural funding schemes of various S&T agencies of the Government of India
  8. This scheme is managed by Science and Engineering Research Board under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India

Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) Faculty Scheme

  1. INSPIRE is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to Science
  2. The basic objective of INSPIRE is to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base
  3. A striking feature of the programme is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level
  4. It believes in and relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for identification of talent
  5. INSPIRE has three components:

    i. Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)

    ii. Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)

    iii. Assured Opportunity for Research Careers (AORC)

Dec, 21, 2017

Indian Science Congress ‘indefinitely postponed’

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Achievements of Indians in science & technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Indian Science Congress, pseudoscience

Mains level: Organizations dedicated to promotion of science in India


News

Security problems cited

  1. For the first time in its 105-year history, the Indian Science Congress(ISC) — the largest congregation of Indian scientists — has been indefinitely postponed
  2. This is due to “security problems” at the Osmania University, Hyderabad where the event was to be organized between the January 3 and 7 next year

Other controversies associated

  1. In recent years, the Science Congress has also got flak for being a forum that promoted pseudoscience
  2. Especially in 2014, when a session on mythology and Vedic-era airplanes was a highlight of the event

Back2Basics

Indian Science Congress

  1. Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) is a premier scientific organization of India
  2. The Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) owes its origin to the foresight and initiative of two British Chemists, namely, Professor J. L. Simonsen and Professor P.S. MacMahon
  3. It occurred to them that scientific research in India might be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers somewhat on the lines of the British Association for the Advancement of Science could be arranged
  4. The Association was formed with the following objectives :

     

     

     

  • To advance and promote the cause of science in India;
  • To hold an annual congress at a suitable place in India;
  • To publish such proceedings, journals, transactions and other publications as may be considered desirable;
  • To secure and manage funds and endowments for the promotion of Science including the rights of disposing of or selling all or any portion of the properties of the Association
May, 12, 2016

House panel for early enactment of Space Law

  1. Context: Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee dealing with the Department of Space
  2. Early: Govt should take all necessary action for the enactment of the National Space Act at the earliest
  3. Why? As it would benefit the overall growth of activities and services in the sector
  4. Dept. of Space has also been urged to speed up its decision on an internal committee report relating to supporting start-ups in the Space sector
  5. Background: The law comes at a time the DoS is increasing its engagement with public and private sector industries
  6. It will cover licensing, authorisation, regulation and supervision of activities by other players in the sector
Feb, 29, 2016

March to mark National Science Day

  1. Context: In India February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas every year
  2. Significance: Aims to impart scientific temper in the minds of people of all age groups
  3. Theme: “Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation” that aims at raising public appreciation
  4. This day is celebrated as science festival in the entire nation by organising science exhibitions, seminars, workshops, symposiums and many other activities
Feb, 06, 2016

India Signs an Agreement for European Molecular Biology Organisation

  1. India through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology has signed a Cooperation Agreement
  2. To acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
  3. After Singapore, India will now become second such country outside the European region to sign this agreement.
  4. This would strengthen scientific interaction and collaborative research between India and Europe in this field.
  5. With this, researchers working in India are now eligible to participate in all EMBO programmes and activities.
Feb, 04, 2016

Global Biotechnology Summit on “Destination India”

The Summit would help attract investors and other key partners to invest in the biotech sector in India.

  1. A 2-day Global Biotechnology Summit on “Destination India” will be held on 5th & 6th February 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  2. The event would showcase India’s Biotechnology strength and capacity.
  3. It would provide an opportunity to bring together all stakeholders.
  4. To discuss opportunities, collaborations and to prepare a joint action plan for achieving the target of 100 billion US dollars for the Biotech sector by 2020.
  5. The Summit will be held as a run up to the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) celebrating its 30th Foundation Day on 26th February, 2016.
  6. It would broadly focus on the priority themes – Make in India, Nurturing Bio entrepreneurship, Skill India, and Swasth Bharat.
Jan, 06, 2016

Cloud Computing Would be a Solution for BIG Data Problem : Experts

With over 2.5 quintillion bytes created every day, data storage and analysis has become a great challenge.

  1. Addressing “Big Data and Cloud Computing in Agri-Bioinformatics” in the plenary talk session of 103rd Indian Science Congress at the University of Mysore.
  2. Cloud computing is very important in BIG data analytics due to its application sharing and cost effective properties.
  3. To head towards sustainable livelihood and development, such analyses with respect to agriculture including plants and animals are crucial.
  4. Hundreds of Agricultural institutions across the country should be connected and for this CLOUD is a good option.
Dec, 04, 2015

Introduction of Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2015

It is currently operational at the NCR Biotech Science Cluster, Faridabad.

  1. Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of Regional Center for Biotechnology Bill, 2015.
  2. To provide a legal status to the Regional Centre for Biotechnology, so as to function independently as an autonomous body.
  3. Also an ‘institution of national importance’ for education, training and research in the areas of biotechnology.
  4. Centre would offer training in the related areas of biotechnology including bio-drug discovery science, nano-science and medicine, designer crops, intellectual property.
Aug, 06, 2015

ROTOVAC - Desi Rotaviral vaccine


 

  1. Rotovac will boost efforts to combat infant mortality due to diarrhoea.
  2. It is an oral vaccine, administered to infants at the ages of 6,10 and 14 weeks.
  3. Rotovirus affects populations in all socio-economic groups, which makes it equally prevalent in industrialized and developing countries.
  4. It is an infection of stomach and bowel and spreads by contact/airborne route.
  5. The first infection tends to be mostly severe as later body develops immunity to the virus.

 

What is Rotavirus infection and what do you know more about it?

Aug, 06, 2015

Tulsi - Genome sequencing completed

  1. CSIR along with Central Institute for Medicinal & Aromatic Plants carried complete genome sequencing of tulsi, also known as ‘Holy Basil’.
  2. The complete genome sequence of a traditional plant carried out for first time.
  3. Tulsi is full of organic compounds and can cure large number of ailments.

 

Jul, 19, 2015

Experts bat for space law. What is the need?

  1. With growing space programmes and objects in space orbits, such a law is needed to ensure that space assets and applications are used for the right causes.
  2. Space laws could include a regulator for compensation for harm caused by space objects, registration & licensing of private firms, insurance, investor disputes, environmental damage, IPR issues etc.

     

     

  • Subscribe

    Do not miss important study material

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *