Archive for December 2010
27 December 2010
Popularization of science and technology among all sections of the society and states is a major focus area of National Science and Technology Communication Council (NCSTC), Vigyan Prasar and many laboratories of Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR). Some of these activities address the general community. However, dedicated programmes have been organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for people belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST). These programmes are delivered through community based organizations with a focus on application of science and technology for adding value to locally available natural resources. Training workshops and science awareness activities are conducted for social groups belonging to these communities. Popularization of science among the SC/ST population is coupled also to skill development, technology information, capacity enhancement and knowledge about value addition to locally available natural resources. On an average, 20 programmes per year are being organised to address exclusively the science and technology initiatives for SC/ST population.
North Eastern Region has gained special attention from the Ministry of Science and Technology for special interventions. DST has developed a special package for promoting science education in colleges in the North Eastern Region. Support has been extended to 58 colleges for the upgradation of laboratory facilities for science education. The ministry has been organising and supporting several flagship programmes in the NE region such as National Children Science Congress; Regional Orientation Programme on “Understanding Planet Earth”; National Science Day programmes; Motivational programmes for talented students; Training courses on science writing/ journalism, etc. During 2009-10, more than 40 projects on science popularization for NE region have been supported. CSIR has been conducting a CSIR- Programme on Youth for Leadership in Science (CPYLS) for the students of NE states through North-East Institute of Science and Technology, Jorhat. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has implemented programmes for supporting education in life sciences and biotechnology areas. Special programmes for adding values to natural resources from the region have been conducted by DBT.
29 December 2010
HYDERABAD:The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) is on a unique job this time around! Evaluating whether the Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup (for cricket) is made completely of gold or it is only gold-plated.
With the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) officials handing over this critical job to the institute, the report is expected in a day or two. “They have taken five minute samples of the cup, relevant photographs to make the assessment and the report is expected by next Monday,” Naresh Sharma, HCA Treasurer, disclosed.
“There are serious doubts about the existing cup being made completely of gold or not. A clear picture will emerge whether the original cup is made of gold or the existing cup is tampered with,” he said.
Controversy broke out in September last during the prize distribution on whether the cup was completely made of gold or was it just gold-plated….
26 December 2010
Having withstood extreme weather conditions in the lap of the Himalayas, the wild rose is set to test its mettle yet again. Root stocks of four of the 26 varieties, identified by Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur, are being planted in the plains as part of a pilot project.
Horticulturists are using T-budding (grafting) of local hybrid roses on the root stock (plant) of the wild varieties to come up with a unique type that lives longer and blooms better and more.
25 December 2010
The possibility of taking short-distance flights from places such as Bangalore to Mangalore or Hubli or Mysore is now just a step closer.
A government-appointed 16-member high-power committee entrusted with the task of preparing a feasibility report for the development of the 90-seater regional transport aircraft (RTA-70) found a significant market potential for an indigenously developed passenger aircraft.
The committee gave its approval for the development of the aircraft. The feasibility report, to be submitted to the government by April next year, said the market potential for RTA-70 was huge that 500 aircrafts could be manufactured over the next 10 years.
Former Isro chairman Dr G Madhavan Nair (pictured), who is heading the committee comprising experts from the government, industry, financial institutions and regulatory authority, told DNA that the feasibility report foresaw a growing demand for civil aircraft in India and abroad.
“The committee’s task was to study the market for the civilian aircraft for the next 10 years. From an optimist point of view, there is scope for manufacturing 500 aircraft over the next 10 years in India alone. The global market forecasts a market potential for 1,000 aircraft for which countries like China, Japan, Russia are also undertaking similar projects. Besides, there are existing players such as Bombardier and Embraer,eyeing this market. So we would also like to explore the vast market,” he said.
The committee, part of the national civil aircraft development project, was also entrusted with working out details on the configuration design, airframe, subsystems engine etc in the feasibility report. Nair said the committee is looking for private partnership and also collaboration with foreign companies.
“We are looking at participation of private players and also foreign collaboration for the development of the engine as it was found that it would be more economical and will save a lot of time,” said Nair.
Bangalore-based National Aerospace Laboratories, which will be responsible for undertaking detailed engineering design for the new aircraft, has already established a design bureau, addressing various engineering issues related to aircraft configuration, sub-system definition, test and qualification programmes.
Design and development of the prototype is estimated to be about `5,000 crore and is expected to roll out for trials by 2016.
23 December 2010
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Director General Samir K Brahmachari today said the interest of the intellectual property inventors should be protected and not that of investors.
“The interest of the inventor should be awarded and not the interest of the investor,” he said at a CII function here.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) should lead to creation of wealth for the larger sections of the society and not just for a handful of people, Brahmachari said, who is also the Secretary in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (Ministry of Science & Technology).
Emphasising on the need to encourage more IPR filings, he said, India has a huge potential for growth so there is a need for more and more filings.
On the occasion, industry chamber CII has launched an Indian Intellectual Property Owners Forum aimed at the growth of IPR and making the country at par with developed economies like the US and Japan.
P H Kurian, Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks stressed on the benefits of intellectual property, especially for the corporates as this could lead to huge increase in their profits.
24 December 2010
LUCKNOW: People from states like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bihar and UP are learning entrepreneurial skills at the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP).
The institute has organised a three-day hands on training workshop for budding entrepreneurs in setting up of processing units for processing of aloe vera for juice, sap and gel.
Aloe vera is one of the oldest known medicinal plants. At the introductory session of the entrepreneurial training of aloe vera processing technologies (AVPT-2010), AK Singh, head of technology and business development, emphasised the need of developing skill and expertise in aloe vera processing.
21 December 2010
The team of scientists, led by Joydeep Mukherjee, director of School of Environmental Studies at Jadavpur University, and Parasuraman Jaisankar, senior scientist at the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, used cutting-edge science to identify the bacterial species Streptomyces sundarbansensis isolated from the mud flats of Lothian Island in the Namkhana block of the Sunderbans biosphere reserve. Meyyappan Arumugam, Anindita Mitra, Arnab Pramanik, Malay Saha and Ratan Gachhui are the other scientists who participated in the project.
Scientists and pharma companies all over the world are interested in Streptomyces as it is the single-biggest source of clinically-useful antibiotics of natural origin. Streptomyces sundarbansensis produces a natural compound (2-allyloxyphenol) that is a key intermediate in manufacturing drugs like anti-depressants and chemicals like epoxy adhesives. At present, 2-allyloxyphenol is prepared through a synthetic process that isn’t environment friendly…….