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MARCH 19, 2018 (Imphal)
Science and technology communication can help spread scientific way of thinking among people and make science accessible to them. Establishing science centres in villages can help achieve this, said Y. Joykumar Singh, Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, while addressing the 11 th Science Communicator's Meet at the Indian Science Congress here on Monday.
He said science communicators play a vital role in communicating the basic understanding of science. "Virtual museums and interactive programmes are tools in the arsenal of science communication. Television, radio, web casting, use of satellites, blogging are gifts of technology that aid S&T communication. They can be used in innovative ways so that people get hooked to science" observed Dr CM Nautiyal while speaking with India Science Wire. Dr Nautiyal is former head of radiocarbon laboratory at Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobotany, Lucknow.
As digital communication tools and media are making their presence felt in small towns and villages also, they can prove good tools to spread science and technology. Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, Vice Chancellor, Manipur University said, "using innovations in science and technology as an instrument of socio-economic change will have an impact in making sure that efforts in science and technology are not limited to scientific laboratories and academic institutions but are reaching to common people."
There were different presentations in the meet on various topics like science and technology in rural area in Indian society, technological advancement in agriculture and medical sciences of society, key role of bio-informatics in science and technology, role of communication media in revamping science education.
Ever since its inception a decade ago, Science Communicator's Meet is held every year at the Indian Science Congress. It provides opportunity to academicians, science journalists, activists, film makers, scientists and communicators to deliberate and exchange their views on science communication.
There were sixteen oral presentations and five special invited lectures. Among the keynote speakers were Dr. CM Nautiyal, Prof. A. Surjalal Sharma, Maryland University, USA;Dr. D.C. Goswami, former scientist with NEIST;Dr. Arup Kumar Misra, Director, Assam, Science, Technology & Environment Council, Guwahati; and Dr. Manoj Kumar Patairiya, Director, NISCAIR.The meeting was supported by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication of the Department of Science and Technology.
March 16, 2018 (Imphal)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today exhorted scientists to extend their research from "labs to the land" for the greater benefit of the people and said time was ripe to redefine 'R&D' as research for development of the nation.
Addressing the inaugural session of the 105th Indian Science Congress here, he said India has a rich tradition and a long history of both discovery and use of science and technology.
"It is time to reclaim our rightful place among the front-line nations in this field," he said, calling upon the scientific community to extend its research from "the labs to the land".
Modi said the country has to be "future ready" in implementing technologies vital for the growth and prosperity of the nation.
"Technology will allow far greater penetration of services such as education, health care and banking to our citizens," he said. Modi said the theme of the meet, 'Reaching the unreached through science and technology', was most appropriate as science should help to solve the socio- economic problems of common people.
There is need, the prime minister added, to communicate our scientific achievements to society.
This, he said, will help inculcate scientific temper among the youth.
"We have to throw open our institutions and laboratories to our children. I call upon scientists to develop a mechanism for interaction with school-children," he said.
He said it was his "personal request" that scientists spend 100 hours per annum with 100 students of classes 9 to 12 to discuss science and technology as it could help nurture scientific temperament among the youth.
The government has set a target of 100 GW (giga watt) of installed solar power by 2022, Modi told the gathering.
He also said the government is committed to increasing the share of non-fossil fuel based capacity in the electricity mix above 40 per cent by 2030.
India is a leader in the multi-country Solar Alliance and in Mission Innovation. These groupings are providing a thrust to R and D for clean energy, the prime minister pointed out.
Referring to renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, who passed away this week at the age of 76, he said the common person knows him not just for his work on the black hole but also for being a great motivator.
Discussing the progress made by the country, he said tuberculosis would be eradicated in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the deadline set by WHO.
MARCH 13, 2018 (New Delhi)
Greatest of advances, discoveries, inventions and innovations in science rarely follow a linear logic. A number of scientists and technologists in several spheres have beautified the landscape of science and technology-led development in India. These people personified excellence along with dedication and wisdom.
What was their moment of inspiration? What made them achieve what they did?
A new book, Indian Scientists: The Saga of Inspired Minds, released on Monday seeks to reveal important facets of development of science and technology from the perspective of inspiration and tenacity of purpose demonstrated by 54 of the top scientific minds of the past. The book, published by Vigyan Prasar, was formally released by Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan. Family members and associates of a few of the scientists featured in the book were also present in the function.
The initiative is unique as the book seeks to bring out moments of inspiration of scientists. While biographies of several scientists have been published over the years, few have solely focused on inspiring moments. The scientists featured in the book include Vikram Sarabhai, Homi Baba, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar, Jagadish Chandra Bose, Satyendra Nath Bose, S. Chandrasekhar, Satish Dhawan, Salim Ali, Harish Chandra, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, Hargobind Khurana, T.R.Seshadri, Vainu Bappu, Anna Mani and Y.Subbarow.
While releasing the book, Dr Harsh Vardhan said he would request Ministry for Human Resource Development to include the book in school curriculum or ensure that it was made available to students all over the country.
"The lives of the scientists figuring in the book are glowing examples of triumph over adversity which will enthuse Indian youth who aspire to embark on the path painstakingly laid by them.Citizens from all walks of life too will be inspired by the leadership and vision of the scientists covered in this publication, for inclusive development," the minister said.
"This publication also serves a very important purpose of science communication. It is designed to create awareness about the wealth of insights on the forms and functions of science and technology as tools for inclusive growth", he added while reading out a few passages from the book.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also interacted with associates and relatives of some of the scientists featured in the book. Those present included Mr. Kartikay V. Sarabhai, founder director of Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environment Education and son of Vikram Sarabhai; Dr Krishna Mishra, honorary professor, Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad, who was a research scholar of Dr. T. R. Seshadri; Dr. Tushar Purushottam Prabhu from Indian Institute of Astrophysics, a student of astronomer Dr Vainu Bappu; Arun Bhatnagar, former IAS officer and grandson of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar; and S.P.K Gupta, biographer of Y Subbarow.
On this occasion, the minister also released a compendium of science news articles syndicated by India Science Wire (ISW) during 2017. The compendium included 425 original news stories in English and Hindi produced by India Science Wire and published in Indian media outlets. These news articles highlight some of research work done in Indian research laboratories, academic institutions and universities. Another compendium of research highlights of winners of Ramanujam Fellowship awarded by the Department of Science and Technology was also released.
The book on scientists has been co-authored by Biman Basu, Subodh Mahanti, Dinesh C Sharma, Hasan Jwaid Khan, Sukanya Datta, T V Jayan, T V Venkateswaran and Rintu Nath.
March 08, 2018 (Jammu)
CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine Jammu organised National Workshop on the theme 'CSIR-Aroma Mission: Value Addition of High Value Aroma Ingredients for Socio-Economic Upliftment and Rural Prosperity' to do a brainstorming for devising the strategies for value addition of aromatic plants that can empower farmers and promote entrepreneurship in rural areas.
The delegates, industrialists and entrepreneurs drawn from all over India attended this workshop. This workshop was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Ram Vishwakarma, Director, IIIM and President of Workshop, Rajneesh Anand, Chief Scientist and Chairman and Dr. Tasduq Abdullah, Organising Secretary.
Dr S.V Shukla from Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre (FFDC) Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India, Nivedita Assar M/s Mohini Agency Industrial Fragrances (I) Pvt. Ltd Navi Mumbai, Ajay K. Jain, MD Virat Exports Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi, Dr. Ramakant Harlalka, Nishant Aromas, Mumbai, Dr. R.L. Gupta from Menthol and Allied, Ghaziabad, Dr. Sumit Gairola and Dr. Perwaiz Hassan were among the main speakers.
Rajneesh Anand presented vote of thanks while Dr. Deepika Singh conducted the proceedings of the workshop.
March 08, 2018 (Lucknow)
Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CSIR-CIMAP) will facilitate meetings and training programmes and promote trade and scientific exchanges on medicinal plants among members of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). An arm of IORA, an inter-governmental organization aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development comprising 21 countries and 7 dialogue partners, has signed an MoU with CSIR.
"CIMAP will coordinate preparation of a database on important medicinal plants, value-added products, experts and industries and organize meetings to promote trade by member states," said director Anil Kumar Tripathi.
March 9, 2018 (Jamshedpur)
The two day Skill Training programme on Energy efficient Brass melting furnace for Production of Brass artifacts, 2018 was organized by CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur.
Brassware industry is one of the oldest sectors in India dating centuries. It shares approximately 24% of the metalware industry and has a very high employment ratio.
It is used in sectors stretching from utensils, figuring, musical instruments to industrial tools. This industry is facing tough competition in present economic environment. It continues to use the conventional and indigenously developed technologies with limited improvements in production processes.
No change in the product range has been seen in the last three to four decades. The technology in use is inefficient and leads to lower productivity, excessive wastage, poor/inconsistent quality, high degree of pollution and is also hazardous to the health of the artisans.
The interventions made by now for the development of artisans/artisan enterprises need to be spread in different areas. With this thought entrepreneurs and artisans from all over India were encouraged to participate in this programme.
The objective of the programme was to create awareness among the people about the new technologies used so far for achieving quality product. This training program was organized under the CSIR Integrated Skill Initiative Program for development of Entrepreneurship. CSIR-NML has several technologies benefiting Brassware industry and intends to mentor entrepreneurs who would like to work in the field of Brass.
The programme was formally inaugurated by Dr. Indranil Chattoraj, Director CSIR-NML, Jamshedpur. He highlighted about technologies developed by CSIR-NML. He mentioned that CSIR-NML has developed very high efficient energy furnace and Anti-Tarnishing Lacquer. He also mentioned about the Moradabad Brass cluster firstly using CSIR-NML technology in India.
Dr. Amitava Mitra, Head of RPBD Division discussed about the importance of CSIR Skill Training Programme which was aligned to National Skill Mission. He spoke about the CSIR skill training programme which was started in 2016 which aims at spreading the new technologies to the artisan of different rural areas.
He highlighted about the Energy efficiency furnaces which CSIR-NML is using for achieving better product quality. He mentioned that this training programme is a small initiative of CSIR-NML, for aspiring entrepreneurs in the field of Brass making and to aware the artisans about the new technologies developed so far.
Dr. K L Sahoo, Senior Principal Scientist of MTE Division discussed about the issues related to Brassware industry. He mentioned that technologies used by the artisan are very old and lags behind in product quality. Through this training programme they will get to know about new technologies, ways to detect the defects and to eliminate those defects.
Dr. Mita Tarafder, Senior Principal Scientist of RPBD and the Co-ordinator of this programme firstly wished International Women's Day to all. She highlighted about the importance of this training programme. She mentioned that the motive behind this training programme is to make the livelihood of the artisans better and to create entrepreneurs in this field. The Inaugural programme was concluded after the introduction of participants. Each participant shared their thoughts about the training program.
Around twenty four participants including Entrepreneurs from various organization all over the country such as Shilpkari(Jamshedpur), Nehru Yuva Kendra sanstha(Jamshedpur), TTI (Bahanaga),BVG Ind. Ltd.(Jamshedpur ), MNPS(Parsudih), Adityapur Auto cluster(Jamshedpur) and artisan from West Bengal, Orissa participated in the programme.
This training programme included various technical sessions, lectures, demonstrations and hands-on sessions followed by laboratory visit. Around four lectures were given by the renowned Scientists of CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory.
The lectures delivered in the two sessions were ?Entrepreneurship development opportunities for brass artisans", "Talk on Scope on brassware activity & traditional activity", "Energy efficient coke based brass melting furnace & Gas based furnace", and ?Alternative cleaning process of artifacts & application of lacquer".
March 12, 2018 (Hyderabad)
'Government emphasising on early detection and prevention of glaucoma'
Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy has launched a public health campaign to fight glaucoma, recognised as the major cause of preventable blindness, to mark the World Glaucoma Week which began on Sunday.
The campaign is being organised by Centre for Sight and Hyderabad Ophthalmologists? Association. Detailing the State?s plans to combat the eye condition, Dr. Reddy called for more public awareness about glaucoma.
"The thrust of this government has been on creating awareness, prevention, early detection and treatment. As part of several initiatives being taken by the government, the CM has thought of the eye check-up for everyone in the State," he said.
"The plan will be ready in three months and people of the State will have eye screening, treatment and spectacles provided as well," Dr. Reddy added.
A video which is a part of the campaign, was made to create awareness. The organisers also informed that eye-care experts in Telangana have pledged their time to the government to help combat the condition. Their assistance will be provided to patients remotely. As part of the campaign, a questionnaire has been devised that will help Asha workers detect the condition.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that eventually results in damage to optic nerve and blindness. The organisers also said around 68 million people world-over have glaucoma and in India around 1.2 crore people are affected. They also estimated that 80,000 people in Hyderabad alone could be suffering from the condition.
On Sunday, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute organised an awareness walk flagged off by Tollywood actor Sumanth. The walk from LVPEI to Jubilee Hills Checkpost and back, was aimed at creating public awareness.
LVPEI experts said most people do not exhibit symptoms until advanced stage of the condition, where the damage is irreversible. They recommended regular eye-checks to diagnose it early.
March 11, 2018 (Chennai)
Giving thrust to the Centre?s ambitious e-vehicle project with the objective of reducing air pollution and crude oil import, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is in the process of transferring the technology of the cheaper version of space batteries developed by it to the automobile industry for commercial use in e-vehicles. In another development promoting outsourcing of space components, Isro has given Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHELBSE 0.70 %), a PSU, the contract to manufacture 10,000 space cells per year for space applications.
Talking to TOI, Isro chairman Dr K Sivan said, "We have identified (developed) the technology to reduce the cost of space batteries to be used for e-vehicle production. Now, we are in the process of transferring the technology on low-cost batteries to the (automobile) industry for its commercial use with the help of NITI Aayog."
Isro's move comes as a huge relief for the industry as Li-ion batteries are currently not manufactured commercially in the country but are imported from Japan or China.
In its objective to involve the industry in space projects, the Isro chairman said, "BHEL is ready to mass-produce indigenous 10,000 space cells per year for our space applications. In one rocket like GSLV or PSLV, 500 to 700 space cells are used. These cells are also used in satellites as well. In fact, Isro's heaviest rocket GSLV MkIII-D1 launched on June 5 last year and the heaviest satellite Gsat-19 carried by it used indigenous space batteries."
In January this year, the committee of secretaries led by cabinet secretary P K Sinha recommended that the power ministry should initiate "requisite power tariff and access policies" for enabling development of charging infrastructure, in consultation with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission and other agencies, official sources said. The committee also firmed up the strategy for increasing use of zero-emission vehicles to lower India?s dependence on oil imports and improve the air quality.
Currently, India shells out Rs 7 lakh crore annually in crude oil imports.
The panel had also advised that "Isro may consider transferring" its lithium-ion battery technology used in electric vehicles to interested parties on a "non-discriminatory basis for commercialisation with Make in India condition", after obtaining approval of the Space Commission and other authorities.
March 09, 2018 (New Delhi)
Hoping to use private pathology labs to reach out to people, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Thursday licensed a private lab for 27 genetic tests it has developed over years.
Officials said that the CSIR's Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) has entered into partnership with Dr Lal PathLabs, a private chain of labs, and licensed it with technology.
These tests are expected to be launched over the period of one year.
"Genetic diseases, though are individually rare, cumulatively affect a large number of individuals - an estimated 70 million Indians".
"It is anticipated that the wide network of Dr Lal PathLabs would enable easy access to the genetic tests to large number of patients across the country and potentially enable wide utility of genetic tests by clinicians," said a statement from the CSIR.
According to the CSIR, mostly an appropriate diagnosis is not arrived at due to lack of general awareness on genetic diseases, lack of access and high cost of appropriate genetic diagnostic services.
"It is estimated that an average patient with rare disease has to go through multiple healthcare visits and diagnostic tests and takes approximately seven years to arrive at a precise diagnosis," the CSIR said.
It added that so far through the CSIR-IGIB's previous efforts, over 14,000 genetic tests have been carried out, benefiting over 4,000 needy patients from across the country through a clinical network encompassing over 25 major medical centres spanning the length and breadth of the country.
CSIR has a major focus on R&D pertaining to Affordable Health Care... The tests developed and licensed to Dr Lal PathLabs would provide a much needed support system to the doctors in diagnosing the identified genetic disorders," said Dr Girish Sahni, Director General, CSIR.