Archive for December 2009
By C H Unnikrishnan
28 December 2009
MUMBAI: Faced with criticism for a slow and not-so-efficient mechanism for recruiting patent examiners, India’s patent office is engaging the country’s largest public sector scientific research organization to step up the hiring. It plans to use the expertise of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, or CSIR, to recruit 260 patent examiners.
They will scrutinize applications filed by scientists, industrial houses and companies claiming new discoveries and inventions and seeking to maintain exclusive commercial rights for a maximum of 20 years. Since such rights effectively permit the monopoly of a product or service in the market, the skilful scrutiny of such scientific claims is essential.
India’s controller general of patents, designs and trade marks P.H. Kurian said in an interview last week that the department will soon sign a agreement with CSIR in this regard. “This is the first time in the history of the Indian patent office that it has decided to engage such a scientifically competent agency to recruit patent examiners,” he said.
CSIR will charge around Rs4 crore for the assignment.
……..Samir Brahmachari, director general, CSIR, said on Monday that his organization has agreed to take up the project. “The patent office had written to us a while ago seeking our expertise in this area, and our recruitment assessment board has already accepted the proposal,” he said……..Read complete news item……
24 December 2009
VARANASI: “The understanding of basic sciences is essential to excel in application sciences, whether it is electronics or photonics,” said Prof SK Kak, vice-chancellor, Choudhary Charan Singh Meerut University during the valedictory function of the three-day international conference on emerging trends in electronics and photonic devices and systems (Electro-2009) that concluded at Banaras Hindu University on Thursday.
As a chief guest of the function, Prof Kak stressed on the need for collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach in physical and basic sciences. While emphasising on stem cell revolution and use of nano technology, he said: “A number of emerging fields in science demand connectivity and integration of system, development biology and synergy of various streams of science can do wonders in this direction.”
Focussing on the fundamentals of basic sciences, scientist Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) Pilani (Rajasthan) Dr SN Joshi said the future of electronic and photonic devices lie in synergy of semi conductors and vacuum technology that demand strong knowledge of basic sciences…...Read complete article…….
23 December 2009
MANGALORE: The waters off the Mangalore coast are now more polluted than before, according to a scientific study conducted by the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).
P.V. Shirodkar, a researcher at the NIO who studied the phenomenon, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the present cadmium and phenol levels off the Mangalore coast were higher than those recorded in the past. Describing them as toxic contaminants, he said the studies had showed that there had been a gradual increase in their concentration because of the entry of untreated sewage and industrial effluents and man-made factors.
He, however, stressed that the situation was not alarming and cautioned that the rising levels of some contaminants called for precautions. “I am presenting the scenario. It is not alarming. But hereafter precautions are needed,” he said……Read complete article……..
22 December 2009
NEW DELHI: The Union Urban Development ministry has given ‘in-principle’ approval to a road project that proposes to ease traffic congestion between West Delhi and IGI Airport.
On Monday, Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel, along with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, chaired a meeting of representatives from all involved agencies. The meeting discussed the issue of lack of connectivity for airport-bound commuters coming from West Delhi. Dikshit and Patel jointly gave the ‘in-principle’ approval for construction of a road for an exit through the airport’s Dwarka side.
……..A high-level committee has been set up under chairmanship of the Civil Aviation Secretary to look into the technical feasibility, cost-sharing, design and other aspects of the project. The Delhi government had last year identified five airport-bound road projects after a survey by the Central Road Research Institute. While the Dwarka circle and northern access road projects come under the project’s first phase — to be completed before 2010 Games — no deadline has been fixed for the northern underpass, Mahipalpur underpass and the southern entry road projects, officials said. Read complete news item……..
22 December 2009
India’s biotech industry is expected to grow into a $15 billion industry in the next five years and the city’s young researchers can play an important role in the boom, concluded a three-day meet organised by the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI).
“The city had been a nursery of Indian science and it’s the time to recreate that era,” said scientist M.G.K. Menon, an honorary fellow of the academy, at its 79th annual symposium held at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Gol Park.
…….“Modified crops with enhanced nutrients or vaccines in the midday meal schemes can solve the problem of malnutrition,” said Datta. “Genetics can also prevent post-harvest spoilage and increase food productivity,” added Rakesh Tuli, the director of the National Botanical Research Institute in Lucknow……..Read complete news item….
21 December 2009
By Snehlata Shrivastav
NAGPUR: Once Katol and Kalmeshwar talukas in Nagpur district had enough groundwater to irrigate their orange orchards. But in the past decade or so, the water table has gone down to 700-900 feet in almost the entire belt and digging of bore wells has become totally uneconomical. Farmers here have now switched to conventional dry land farming of cotton and soyabean, with the area under orange cultivation reduced almost to half.
The Hyderbad-based National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has brought new hope to the farmers here by locating water trapped in aquifers in the Gondwana geological formations made up of sand stone. These have water retaining capacity, detected using the known ‘electrical sounding’ technique. After surveying 45 sites, the NGRI team led by SN Rai, head groundwater division, was able to locate water in 30 sites. Of these 30 places the institute has drilled bore wells at three places free of cost for farmers, to demonstrate the efficacy of the technology. They have plans to dig another 2-3 wells in the area.
“NGRI is doing this work as part of a societal mission of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which being funded by the Planning Commission under the 11th five year plan (from 2007-2012). It is part of the national network project on groundwater prospecting, development and management in problematic areas in the country, and is directed towards helping farmers in water distress areas,” said VP Dimri, director NGRI.
Rai told TOI that CSIR has chosen NGRI as the nodal agency for the project and five other CSIR institutes; National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri), Indian Institute of Toxicological Research, Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Advanced Material and Processes Research Institute and Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology are co-partners with different roles. However, unfortunately, as the information spread that the NGRI has found good sources of water from about 150 ft in Raulgaon village of Katol taluka to 460 feet in Ubali village in Kalmeshwar taluka, farmers in these areas are expecting the institute to also drill borewells free of cost…..Read complete news item….
21 December 2009
LUCKNOW: To carry out a study on seismic activities in the Indo-Gangetic plains, the Hyderbad-based National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) has set up six seismic observatories in the region over the last 15 days.
They are located at Aligarh, Narora, Agra, Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and Dholpur in Rajasthan.
NGRI scientists will record changes in the thickness of earth sediments on parameters of time and distance, amplifications of shakes in the earth layers during earthquakes and its impact on life in the region over the next three years…..Read complete news item…..