CSIR in the news..

An aggregation of news on the web about CSIR and its laboratories

Archive for October 2009

BMC shops for road repair tech

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28 October 2009

MUMBAI: After a rap from the Bombay high court, the BMC is trying hard to ensure better roads for Mumbaikars. For starters, it has issued a new road

improvement tender welcoming all new road technologies instead of banking on a single technology like in the past.

This, said sources, follows the Bombay high court’s August 2009 directive quashing a two-year Rs 20 crore road improvement contract which “smacked of bias and favouritism”.

The BMC had, in its tenders, mentioned that an expertise in Carboncor technology was the basic requisite for acquiring the contract. Later, following representation by certain contractors, it deleted this requirement. The contract was finally awarded to Chirag Constructions, RPS Infraprojects and Tarla Shah who did not have the requisite expertise.

A division bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Ajay Khanwilkar castigated the corporation and the then municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak for their failure to safeguard public interest while awarding the contract. It had directed the BMC to invite fresh tenders, clearly state the terms and conditions without any ambiguity while keeping in mind the economic interests of the civic body.

“We have asked for all new technologies that conform to the norms laid down by the Central Road Research Institute and the Indian Road Congress. We have not asked for Carboncor specifically because we then become very selective about one technology and when there is only one supplier, it creates a monopoly,” said R A Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner-incharge of roads……Read complete news item….


Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Posted in CRRI

Interview: DR. V Prakash, Director, CFTRI

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By Nandita Vijay

28 October 2009

Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI), today, stands out among the largest and most diversified technology laboratories in the world. The institute is one of the constituent of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and till now, has built a network with these laboratories for further utilizing the infrastructure.

CFTRI plays a very major role in opening its doors to the outside world to see how people across the globe can synergise with the institute for their advantage and for the advantage of the institute in cross-ventilating the knowledge power which is tomorrow’s wealth. With the 5th nutraceutical summit all set to take off at The Lalit, New Delhi from 28-30 October, 2009 and CFTRI being part of the organisers team, CFTRI Director V Prakash tells Nandita Vijay about the trends in nutraceuticals market, latest developments and events like the Nutraceuticals summit playing an important role in accelerating the industry…..Read interview…….

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Posted in CFTRI

Pune’s Venture center to launch seed fund

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By Sarimul Islam Choudhury

28 October 2009

It targets sub-Rs 15 lakh category start-ups in chemical, material and biological sciences space.

Venture Center, a Pune-based technology business incubator, has submitted a proposal to the Technology Development Board (TDB) to launch a mini-sized seed fund of around Rs 1 crore.

While the amount may appear very negligible, technology entrepreneurs will tell you that sums of Rs15 lakh is what most of them typically need to kick-start their work. And, it is this petty cash that is hard to come by.

Speaking to VCCircle, Kaushik Gala, business development manager, Venture Center said, “not many VC funds are interested in the sub-Rs 15 lakh category. We are trying to fill the gap. It makes sense to compliment VCs and angel networks.”

Venture Center has also launched its flagship programme called ‘Lab2Mkt’ to help commercialise the technology portfolio of different R&D labs.

Venture Center, an initiative of CSIR, is a not-for-profit company hosted by the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune and funded by Department of Science and Technology. It offers a range of services to knowledge-based technology start ups in chemical, material and biological sciences space…..Read complete news item…

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Posted in NCL

Fruit from Kashmir’s sweet waters

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By Haroon Mirani

30 October 2009

Famed for its apples, cherries, peaches and plums, Kashmir is now turning into a major producer of the less-known water chestnut.

As the name indicates, this small rectangular fruit grows wild in the sweet-water lakes of Kashmir. But a large chunk of it, an estimated 4-5 million kg a year, comes from the Wullar lake, providing livelihood to nearly 40,000. The sweet and aromatic fruit grows under the floating leaves and drops off when ripe; it is then scooped out using a net.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the erstwhile British rulers had leased out several lakes in Kashmir for water chestnut cultivation.

……..Agro Food Processing Emporium (AFPE) in collaboration with the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore, and the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow, has manufactured biscuits from water chestnuts that are suited for diabetics……Read complete news item……

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Posted in CDRI, CFTRI

Convective systems cause of abrupt rains

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29 October 2009

PANJIM: Researchers have attributed the unusual monsoon pattern and decreased rainfall to the lesser low pressure system in the north west Pacific ocean.

“This year the monsoon rainfall was 23 per cent below normal. We feel that the convective systems (low pressure system) in the northwest Pacific Ocean played a major role in decreasing the monsoon rainfall over the Indian subcontinent,” Dr M R Ramesh Kumar, deputy director of National Institute of Oceanography, told Herald.

Kumar, who led the team which studied monsoon behaviour, contended that there were only three convective systems in the Bay of Bengal as compared to eighteen which formed in the northwest Pacific Ocean region….Read complete news item…..

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Posted in NIO

NCL to showcase technologies, woo biz

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30 October 2009

PUNE: The National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Innovation Park, along with Venture Centre, will soon showcase technologies from the areas of polymer science and engineering to highlight their commercial potential.

“The event is targeted at entrepreneurs, MSMEs, corporations and technology commercialisation professionals who wish to leverage our competencies and know-how and identify specific opportunities to take these technologies to the market,” P K Ingle, head of the publication and science communication unit of the NCL, said.

The session, to be held on November 13 at the NCL Innovation Park, will display techniques related to membranes, microspheres, microcapsules and silicones, among others.

These technologies are applicable to a wide variety of large and growing markets both in India and abroad in the fields of health-care, consumer goods, industrial equipment, construction materials and military applications, among others.

The day-long event will start off with an introduction to NCL innovations followed by examples of commercial applications for each of these technologies. Participants will also get an opportunity to interact with some of the scientists behind the technologies.

The afternoon session will focus on explaining the technology commercialisation process, how technology transfer/licensing works at the NCL, and insights into various sources of funding for entrepreneurs who wish to commercialise these technologies.

The NCL is a research, development and consulting organisation with a focus on chemistry and chemical engineering. It has been involved in research partnership with industry. This is the first of a series of such events to be organised by the organisation in the future.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/NCL-to-showcase-technologies-woo-biz/articleshow/5178064.cms

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Posted in NCL

Railways to make GPS-info stringent

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31 October 2009

CHANDIGARH: Known as the largest public sector employer in the country, the Indian Railways have responded generously to security measures over the years. Continuing on this track, it recently amended its cutting edge technology designed for hassle-free service of knowing the exact location of locomotives via global positioning system (GPS). The urge for change was prompted by apprehensions of terrorist threats.

…..CSIO, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, Durgapur and IIT-Kanpur have collaborated in all these automation projects of railways. An MoU was signed between CSIO and RDSO on Friday, to widen the ambit of instrumentation……….Read complete news item…..

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Posted in CMERI, CSIO

CSIR lifts quality of life

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31 October 2009

BANGALORE: If you are a heart patient, you would know streptokinase, the inexpensive clot-dissolving drug. Another drug, called the anti-cancer drug has turned out to be a relief for cancer patients. And Sonalika tractor, a boon to farmers. How are these products, ranging from medicines to daily essentials, available at affordable rates? All thanks to the efforts of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

In order to make these products available to the common man, CSIR is ready to forgo its profits. CSIR spends, on an average, Rs 33 crore per annum on securing patents. However, at the end of the day, what it earns from these products is Rs 3 crore annually. That is, India spends a fortune on acquiring patents for products and ideas that are of Indian origin. But, we earn mere pennies in return as royalties. Or so show statistics of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research. However, the irony is that CSIR is still an organization which is doing well in acquiring patents in the world, apart from the loss it bears.

Blame this discrepancy on the lack of necessary climate in the industry, say officials from the Intellectual Property Management division of CSIR. “The process of acquiring patents is not easy. It takes at least five years for the formalities to be completed. The money is spent on filing, defending, suing and so on. However, turning it into a commercialized product calls for bigger investment. It is the job of industry to pick up the new technology. That sort of climate is absent not only in India, but everywhere,” an official said.

However, CSIR authorities assure that there is nothing alarming about the statistics. “The world average of commercialization of patents in similarly placed organisations is just 3-5%. India, thus, is doing much better when compared to other countries,” Samir K Brahmachari, director-general, CSIR, told TOI.

CSIR ranks number eight among public-funded organizations doing patenting.

CSIR is getting such low royalties only for public interest, says Samir. For higher the royalty, steeper the price. CSIR tries to provide low-cost licensing so that Indian companies can afford it and foreign companies do not make the product at a lower rate.

“CSIR might not have earned any money, but millions of Indians have saved their earnings because of our policy,” he said. “If the royalties are placed at a higher cost, it would be only multi-national companies and not indigenous ones who will market it. Due to our policy, facilities like medical care have become affordable in our country,” Samir added.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/CSIR-lifts-quality-of-life/articleshow/5181918.cms

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Posted in CSIR

Cadila launches first indigenously prepared TB drug news

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31 October 2009

Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd today launched Risorine, the first indigenously prepared drug for the treatment of tuberculosis in India.

“The launch of Risorine, which is the world’s first boosted Rifampicin-containing fixed dose combination, promises to alter the way tuberculosis is treated at a global level,” said Cadila Pharma chairman Indravada Modi.

“Tuberculosis is a major cause of many illnesses and deaths worldwide. Globally, 9.2 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths from TB occurred in 2006. India is home to over 3.4 million tuberculosis patients, which is about one-fifth of the global figure, which makes it the most TB-prevalent country,” added Modi.

In a multi-centric trial conducted across the country in patients with radiologically confirmed diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis, more than 90 per cent of the patients treated with Risorine were found to have been cured of tuberculosis with comparatively lesser side effects and a better safety profile, Dr Naresh Patel, a consultant scientist of Cadila, added.

Risorine, he said, offers a cost-effective solution for treating the huge number of tuberculosis cases detected annually in the country, he added.

The drug is the result of a public-private partnership between the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, a Jammu-based unit of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and Cadila Pharma.

Source: http://www.domain-b.com/industry/pharma/20091031_cadila.html

Written by csirindia

October 31, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Posted in IIIM

For whom does the Government toll?

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By Mamuni Das and T. C. A. Srinivasa-Raghavan

27 October 2009

Marxist economics has a basic principle, that “prices are formed in the commodity markets”. Since Marxists don’t regard services as being of any real value, they don’t have a theory about where prices are ‘formed’ for services. Nor, it would seem, does the Road Transport and Highways Ministry.

It has been tying up itself into all kinds of knots over toll rates. The latest confection has been served up at the Allahabad bypass on the National Highways network.

If the new toll policy is implemented there, heavy vehicles will have to pay at least Rs 8/km for the 90 km stretch. Car users will have to shell out Rs 185, buses up to Rs 555 and heavy vehicles about Rs 1,100, according to the local district administration estimates.

Stunned, the new Highways Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, is reviewing the policy, which was finalised about a year ago after nearly three years of detailed, high-level, inter-Ministerial discussion. India is thus back to square one: it has no clue as to how much to charge by way of toll. But as William Shakespeare might have said, the fault, dear Minister, lies in our intentions, not our policies.

The policymakers, in their zeal to ensure the maximum return on investment for the concessionaires, linked the toll rates to cost of construction of structures.

This was a departure from the earlier practice of charging 40 per cent of the savings in vehicle operating cost resulting from a highway as toll. In the process, they forgot all about the users.

In any highway that is tolled, there are either two or three key stakeholders — Government and users in government-funded projects; and Government, concessionaires, and road users in build-operate-transfer projects. While deciding the toll rates, a delicate balance between these stakeholders has to be struck to maximise the welfare of all the three.

A basic question in this context is whether India should treat highways as a luxury or a necessity? In spite of almost 60 years of economic analysis, no one has come up with a sensible answer.

Many developed countries like France, for instance, treat highways as a necessity and charge tolls only for “expressways/superhighways”.

Expressways are divided highways with controlled access and no intersections, thus allowing higher speeds. In effect, for driving down between two points, users have an option — to use a highway with no tolls (and lower traffic speeds); or an alternative route or expressway which is tolled (with higher speeds).

In India, until 1997, only standalone bridges on national highways were tolled. The Central Government then came up with a toll policy in 1996 based on a detailed Road User Cost Study (RUCS) by the Central Road Research Institute.

RUCS had estimated the savings in vehicle operating cost (VOC) due to wider roads. The study tracked savings on account of fuel, depreciation, tyres, lubricants, spare parts and time……Read complete news item…….


Written by csirindia

October 27, 2009 at 5:43 am

Posted in CRRI