Archive for April 2011
29 April 2011
VARANASI: At a time when weather experts and environmentalists around the world are worried about the repercussions of climate change due to global warming, a young scientist from National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi, contrarily believes that the world is gearing to face ice age conditions, may be after 500 years. And, he has strong reasons to justify his stand as he believed that more than natural disasters including climate change, it is the man-made disaster that would bring such conditions sooner than later.
“We are already witnessing one of the coldest April month in the last one decade this year and human interference and its continuous fight with nature is going to bring conditions that would promote situation like an ice age where icy winds would be common, said Alok Mukherjee, young scientist from NPL and scientific secretary, South Asian START committee, Centre on Global Change while talking to TOI on Friday. Ruling out the worries about glacier meltdown across the globe that threatens to increase sea level putting the existence of a number of island nations in the world including Bangladesh under risk, he emphasised that it is not the glacier melting but the tilting of Bangladesh due to continental drift making the sea level to rise from one side……
29 April 2011
NEW DELHI: Apart from giving you a comfortable, hassle-free ride, the Delhi Metro also does its bit to save the environment from harmful gases and reducing road accidents to a large extent. If there were no metro in the capital today, the city’s road congestion would have increased with nearly 1.60 lakh vehicles daily buring tyres on the roads. Aboutt 35 lakh vehicles run on city roads presently.
The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) has come out with the findings of a study on ‘Quantification of Benefits of Delhi Metro’ conducted in 2009. The survey projected certain benefits that Delhi would derive from the metro services after the completion of phase 2 in 2011…..
29 April 2011
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today directed National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to submits report on environmental norms compliance by Sterlite Industry’s copper smelting plant at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu by third week of July.
The court’s direction came over a petition filed by Sterlite, a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Group, against the Madras High Court order on September 28 for closure of the smelting plant for non-compliance of environmental norms….
29 April 2011
PANAJI:Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and China’s Zhejiang Ocean University (ZOU) have signed a memorandum of understanding for joint research projects in marine biology, ecology, biotechnology, mariculture and coastal zone management.
NIO officials said that the maiden understanding is for a period of five years with scope and intent for renewal.
NIO’s Dr N. Ramaiah and ZOU’s Prof. Wu Changwen will be coordinating under this MoU.
“The envisaged cooperation and consultation in the chosen areas will be accomplished through joint research proposals, researchers and information exchanges, access to research enabling instrumentation and an implementation committee comprising staff scientists and faculty from NIO and ZOU,” officials said…..
30 April 2011
Angela Saini is an award-winning independent journalist based in London. Before going freelance, she worked as a reporter for the BBC, but her very first journalism job was with The Hindu’s Frontline magazine in New Delhi. Later, in 2009, she took a trip to Mumbai to write a story about lie detectors and was amazed by the breadth of government science initiatives and the sudden burst of R&D centres all over the country. A book idea was born. For Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking over the World, she journeyed through India to find out whether the nation is all set to become the world’s next scientific superpower. Excerpts from an interview:
How do you define the word geek?
When I was a kid, calling someone a geek was a bit of an insult. But of course, that was before the Internet revolution. Today we treat people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg as cultural icons. The definition of the term “geek” has shifted from something a little negative — the kind of kid who has his or her head stuck in a book — to something positive. It’s a combination of intelligence and passion. I have been called a girl geek and that makes me so proud.
And is “Indian Science Taking over the World”?
The subtitle of my book is, I think, meant to be a cheeky play on the phrase, “The geek shall inherit the earth”. Of course, on its record of scientific publications and patents, India is no scientific superpower. But it has the ingredients of one in the making. There are hundreds of thousands of science and engineering graduates every year, a huge influx of foreign R&D investment, government commitment to new science and public support for big projects like the space programme. So the subtitle is less a statement of fact than a statement of ambition.
………….Where is all the innovation happening, then, if not at these prestigious research institutes?
There are shoots of Indian innovation all over the country. One example in my book is that of Open Source Drug Discovery, a revolutionary project to collect research into tuberculosis from small-scale researchers across India, pool it on an open-access website and use this to come up with a possible cure. Another is the Spoken Web — a technology being developed by a team of Indian researchers working for IBM in New Delhi — which is a way of building audio information networks that can be accessed through simple mobile phones and landlines…….
28 April 2011
W hen the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, one of the 37 labs under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), licensed its polycarbonates technology to General Electric in the early 1990s, its chief executive Jack Welch is said to have remarked, “If they are so good, why are we not there?” The conglomerate came soon after, setting up its largest research centre outside the US in Bangalore.
Since then, particularly under its former director R.A. Mashelkar, CSIR took to intellectual property (IP) protection rather aggressively. It closely followed Western university models, even drawing criticism along the way that it spent more on patent filing than earning from it. About two decades later, with a few hits and misses under its belt, CSIR says it has finally figured that the industry-centric IP licensing model of the West can’t be replicated in India.
“Everything is not commerce. I am asking [for] a new developmental model which is people-centric,” says CSIR’s current director general, Samir Brahmachari. In a globalised world, when IP is held in one country, the product is designed in another, and manufactured and sold in some other countries, it’s difficult to gauge the true value of IP that also includes public welfare, he says.
As a result, CSIR will now follow a three tiered licensing approach……
26 April 2011
Sourav Pal, director of National Chemical Laboratory, during an Idea Exchange with The Indian Express-Loksatta staffers at the Express office, delineates the role of the country’s prime lab and makes a pitch for scientists to take to teaching.
MANOJ MORE: Many of us don’t know what the National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL) is and what it does, so we were hoping to get some insights.
SOURAV PAL: The NCL is a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the apex policymaking body. Under CSIR, there are 37 laboratories across the country, each with a lot of autonomy and its own specialised areas of research. In the case of NCL, it is chemical science and engineering broadly. Of these laboratories, Pune has one — NCL. In addition, Pune has a Unit for Research and Development of Information Products (URDIP), located in Kothrud. URDIP is a unit of CSIR. CSIR is a wing of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), which in turn comes under the Ministry of Science and Technology. It is headed by the Director General (DG), who is also the Secretary to the Government of India. Each of the laboratories is headed by a director and has niche areas of research….