India's contribution to Science and Technology

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by A.V., Feb 17, 2009.

  1. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    ALLAHABAD: In a major breakthrough that could help in the fight against global warming, a team of five Indian scientists from four institutes of

    the country have discovered a naturally occurring bacteria which converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into a compound found in limestone and chalk.

    When used as an enzyme — biomolecules that speed up a chemical reaction — the bacteria has been found to transform CO2 into calcium carbonate (CaCO3), which can fetch minerals of economic value, said Dr Anjana Sharma from the biosciences department of RD University, Jabalpur, who was part of the Rs 98.6 lakh project sponsored by the department of biotechnology (DBT) under the Union science and technology ministry.

    CO2 is a greenhouse gas produced in the burning of fossil fuels and other industrial activities. The rising emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere is chiefly responsible for global warming. Reducing CO2 levels is the single most important strategy to fight global warming and the resulting effects of climate change.

    "The enzyme can be put to work in any situation, like in a chamber fitted inside a factory chimney through which CO2 would pass before being emitted into the atmosphere, and it would convert the greenhouse gas into calcium carbonate,’’ Dr Sadhana Rayalu, the project coordinator who is from the National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, told TOI on phone from Nagpur.

    This potentially means that the bacteria — extracted from a number of places including brick kilns in Satna, Madhya Pradesh — can be used to take out CO2 from its sources of emission itself.

    Rayalu said the chemical reactions involved in the process have been successfully established while its economic viability, cloning, expression and single-step purification are under study. The team has published its findings in the Indian Journal of Microbiology and its paper has been accepted for publication in the World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology.

    Sharma said the breakthrough was the result of marathon research work spanning more than three years. Other members of the team are Dr K Krishnamurty from NEERI, Dr T Satyanarayana from Delhi University and Dr A K Tripathi from Banaras Hindu University.

    "Interestingly, it is nature that has come to the rescue of the human race from harmful effects of global warming. Investigators of the team have discovered as many as seven such micro-organisms that have the tendency to convert carbon dioxide into calcium carbonate at different natural locations,’’ said Sharma, who was on a visit to Allahabad.
     
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  3. Blitz

    Blitz Founding Member

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    Good news indeed,
    "Interestingly, it is nature that has come to the rescue of the human race from harmful effects of global warming.---- this is so true.
     
    Indianboy likes this.
  4. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    India's contribution in Science and Technology

    Guys please put the related news here
     
  5. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Supercomputing in India

    A success story

    R. RAMACHANDRAN

    C-DAC’s efforts in the strategic and economically important area of HPC have put India on the supercomputing map of the world.


    [​IMG]
    PARAM Yuva is the latest in the series of C-DAC’s supercomputers.

    IN India, the name C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) has become synonymous with supercomputing, or High Performance Computing (HPC), though the phrase “Advanced Computing” could, in principle, denote any computing environment that makes use of advanced tools, both hardware and software, not necessarily for high-speed number crunching. The reason for that lies in the organisation’s history.

    The country, faced with a technology-denial regime that denied its scientific community access to supercomputers, in particular Cray systems, set up C-DAC in March 1988 with the clear mandate to develop an HPC system to meet high-speed computational needs in solving scientific and other developmental problems where fast number crunching is a major component. Following a specific recommendation of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (SAC-PM) to that effect, C-DAC was established as a scientific society of the then Department of Electronics (now the Department of Information Technology (DIT) under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology).

    Essentially an R&D organisation, C-DAC achieved its primary objective of developing a supercomputer with a capability of one giga, or one billion, floating point operations a second (1 Gflops) in the early 1990s. Christened PARAM 8000, it set the platform for a whole series of parallel computers, called the PARAM series, of HPC systems over the years, with PARAM 20000, or PARAM Padma, breaking the teraflop (thousand billion flops) barrier in 2002 with a peak speed of 1 Tflop.

    The latest in the series is called PARAM Yuva, which was developed last year and was ranked 68th in the TOP500 list released in November 2008 at the Supercomputing Conference in Austin, Texas, United States. “The system,” according to C-DAC scientists, “is an intermediate milestone of C-DAC’s HPC road map towards achieving petaflops (million billion flops) computing speed by 2012” (see chart).

    As part of this, C-DAC has also set up a National PARAM Supercomputing Facility (NPSF) in Pune, where C-DAC is headquartered, to allow researchers access to HPC systems to address their computer-intensive problems. C-DAC’s efforts in this strategically and economically important area have thus put India on the supercomputing map of the world along with select developed nations of the world. As of 2008, 52 PARAM systems have been deployed in the country and abroad, eight of them at locations in Russia, Singapore, Germany and Canada.

    The PARAM series of cluster computing systems is based on what is called OpenFrame Architecture. PARAM Yuva, in particular, uses a high-speed 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) system area network called PARAM Net-3, developed indigenously by C-DAC over the last three years, as the primary interconnect. This HPC cluster system is built with nodes designed around state-of-the-art architecture known as X-86 based on Quad Core processors. In all, PARAM Yuva, in its complete configuration, has 4,608 cores of Intel Xeon 73XX processors called Tigerton with a clock speed of 2.93 gigahertz (GHz). The system has a sustained performance of 37.8 Tflops and a peak speed of 54 Tflops.

    A novel feature of PARAM Yuva is its reconfigurable computing (RC) capability, which is an innovative way of speeding up HPC applications by dynamically configuring hardware to a suite of algorithms or applications run on PARAM Yuva for the first time. The RC hardware essentially uses acceleration cards as external add-ons to boost speed significantly while saving on power and space. C-DAC is one of the first organisations to bring the concept of reconfigurable hardware resources to the country. C-DAC has not only implemented the latest RC hardware, it has also developed system software and hardware libraries to achieve appropriate accelerations in performance.

    As C-DAC has been scaling different milestones in HPC hardware, it has also been developing HPC application software, providing end-to-end solutions in an HPC environment to different end-users on mission mode. Only in early January, C-DAC set up a supercomputing facility around a scaled-down version of PARAM Yuva at North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong complete with all allied C-DAC technology components and application software.

    Diverse ventures

    But not so well known to the general public is that C-DAC’s activities are not restricted to the domain of HPC alone. In fact, having fulfilled its primary goal, C-DAC broadened its spectrum of activities to give true meaning to the phrase Advanced Computing embedded in its name. Over the years, the centre has diversified into a host of IT-enabled technologies, products and services. It has, in fact, been a pioneer in some of the areas which, by their very nature of a national developmental perspective, were unlikely to have been taken up by any private player in the IT market.

    While its core or cutting-edge technology areas include besides HPC, grid computing, language technologies and multilingual computing, software technologies including free and open software solutions (FOSS), very large system integration (VLSI) and embedded and real-time systems (RTS), these two decades of innovation have also seen C-DAC venture into such areas as e-governance, cyber security and cyber forensics, professional electronics, Area Traffic Control System (ATCS) and health informatics. Grid computing and bundled open source operating systems for use in the Indian context are the most recent of C-DAC’s successful initiatives. In addition, education and training form an important component of C-DAC’s activities.

    C-DAC’s foray into these diverse fields has resulted in several enabling technologies and related products and services, which have been transferred and deployed in key sectors of the economy such as science and engineering, power, defence, health care, agriculture, industrial control, broadcasting, entertainment, education and democratic governance.

    Today, its vision is “to emerge as the premier R&D institution for the design, development and deployment of world-class IT solutions for economic and human advancement”. C-DAC is already in discussion with the government to set up a separate commercialisation and marketing arm for its diverse products, solutions and services even as it is exploring the possibility of spawning a company.

    [​IMG]

    As C-DAC evolved and developed in-house skills and expertise in diverse fields, several institutions under the Ministry across the country, which are carrying out some niche tasks, have been merged with C-DAC to create a mega R&D institution with synergies across several IT-related disciplines. As C-DAC Director General S. Ramakrishnan says, this enlarged portfolio of institutions has resulted in a much broader skill base and a large geographic footprint for the organisation. C-DAC now has 11 R&D centres, which are located in Pune, Bangalore (Bangalore Knowledge Park, Bangalore Electronics City), Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai, New Delhi, Noida and Thiruvananthapuram, and the skill base consists of over 2,500 members.

    Important among HPC-related developments in C-DAC is the national computing grid initiative called Garuda, which is a collaboration of science researchers and experimenters on a nationwide grid of computational nodes, mass storage and scientific instruments that aims to provide technological advances required to enable data- and computation-intensive research. The Garuda grid has already completed its proof of concept (PoC) phase, and in the foundation phase more applications and new technology and architecture such as service-oriented architecture (SOA) in grid computing will be tested and validated.

    Garuda connects 45 institutions across 17 cities, with a peak capacity of 2.43 Gbps. This network is seen as the precursor to the next generation gigabit speed nation-wide area network with HPC resources and scientific instruments for seamless collaborative research and experimentation.

    One of the major challenges in Garuda has been the deployment of appropriate tools and middleware to enable applications to run seamlessly across the grid. Towards this and related requirements, C-DAC has initiated research in Semantic Grid Services, Mobile Agents, Integrated Development Environments, Network Simulation and Grid File Systems. These initiatives are being carried out both internally and in collaboration with institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology Madras; the Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad; and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. C-DAC is also collaborating in the European Union-India grid project, which will allow researchers in the E.U. and India to carry out research over the European Enabling Grids for E-SciencE (EGEE) and Garuda.

    continued in next post..............
     
  6. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Garuda initiative

    The Garuda initiative is a demonstration of future directions in adopting front-line grid technologies in the country. For instance, overlaying Garuda over the multi-gigabit National Knowledge Network (NKN) will have a tremendous impact on collaborative research between educational institutions, particularly universities, across the country. A significant development was the recent launch of the Indian Grid Certification Authority (IGCA), a certification authority for computational grids under the aegis of C-DAC, which has now been accredited by the Asia-Pacific Grid Policy Management Authority (APGrid PMA). This enables Indian researchers to access worldwide grids, not just the bilaterally enabled EGEE. The IGCA will address security issues of Indian grids and the interoperability between Indian and international grids.

    C-DAC’s language technology mission was initiated to create a framework to support various living languages with diverse scripts on standard computers. C-DAC’s innovation in language technologies began with its widely acclaimed Graphics and Intelligence based Script Technology (GIST), whose inventor initiated its development at IIT Kanpur and later joined the ranks of C-DAC in the early 1990s. In fact, this led to the creation of a GIST group within C-DAC, which developed several applications using GIST. The technology was extended to include multimedia and multilingual computing solutions, covering applications such as publishing and printing, word processing, office automation suites with language interfaces for popular third party software on various operating platforms, electronic mail, natural language processing and artificial intelligence-based machine-aided language learning and translation. C-DAC’s continuing efforts in this field have resulted in appropriate tools for today’s context. The most significant among them is perhaps a cross-language search engine called G-CLASS (GIST cross language search plug-ins suite).

    Search engines are mainly statistical in nature and suffer from certain lacunae because of which multiple querying is often needed. In the case of Indian languages, the problem is even more acute. G-CLASS addresses these problems successfully. Apart from providing search engine developers with behind-the-scenes solutions such as conversion of legacy data to Unicode and also identifying languages that use the same script, such as Hindi and Marathi, G-CLASS enhances search capabilities by providing a suite of linguistic tools, such as multilingual searches and synonymic search.

    [​IMG]


    At present, the searches that G-CLASS enables are restricted to Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Oriya. Bengali, Malayalam and Punjabi are under development. Tamil, Konkani and Kannada and the remaining official languages are expected to follow.
    C-DAC has also developed Indian language tools and solutions, which are free and can be downloaded and are available on CDs, for almost all platforms including desktops, mobile, television, websites and e-governance applications. These have been launched for 11 languages and already about 6 lakh CDs have been distributed and nearly 30 lakh users have downloaded them.

    The platform set by earlier language technology activities has led to the Applied Artificial Intelligence (AAI) group at C-DAC developing some fundamental and innovative applications in the field of natural language processing, including machine translation, information extraction/retrieval, text summarisation, automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech synthesis, intelligent language teaching and natural language-based document management with Decision Support Systems.

    The MANTRA Rajya Sabha tool is one of its major achievements. Using it, immediate translations of the English text in the domain of the Rajya Sabha’s list of business, papers laid on the Table, bulletins and debate synopses can be obtained. The translation strategy adopted in MANTRA Rajya Sabha is neither “word to word” nor “rule to rule” but “lexical tree to lexical tree”.

    Following MANTRA’s successful demonstration, the Department of Official Languages has sponsored a project named “Computer Assisted Translation System for Administrative Purposes” for the specific domain of gazette notifications. This package has been named MANTRA-Rajbhasha.

    Recent initiatives in the area of open source software, another of C-DAC’s areas of proven competence, have resulted in the successful development of Bharat Operating Systems Solutions (BOSS). To develop open source software in the country and to address issues in the Indian context, the DIT has launched the National Resource Centre for Free and Open Source Software (NRCFOSS). One of its main objectives was to develop an Indian version of the GNU/Linux operating system. BOSS Linux is simpler to install than many of the normal Linux packages.

    The first edition of BOSS took about five months to be packaged and released. C-DAC proposes to release new versions once or twice a year. A BOSS development repository is being prepared to make it easier for developers to build other specialised Linux distributions based on BOSS Linux.

    C-DAC is playing a front-line role in developing appropriate tools and software for use by medical professionals and for day-to-day home remedies. Its R&D efforts in these areas have resulted in many deployable systems and solutions for telemedicine (Mercury and Sanjeevani) and tele-education, hospital information systems, tele-oncology, a decision support system for Ayurveda and software development kits for international health care standards.

    Among C-DAC’s health care initiatives, ONCONET, the first implementation of a tele-oncology system in India, in Kerala, deserves particular mention. It is a comprehensive telemedicine solution, which has established a knowledge-enabled oncology network connecting the speciality hospital at the Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, with remote hospitals at various other places (Kannur, Kollam, Kochi, Palakkad and Kozhenchery) in Kerala. A web-enabled hospital information system called TEJHAS was also developed and integrated with ONCONET.

    C-DAC also provides an appropriate environment for research and academic pursuits. For instance, C-DAC has in-house research expertise in the complex discipline of climate and weather modelling and forecasting. It has developed a Real Time Weather System (RTWS) called Anuman, a fully automated flexible, portable, web-based software for simulations of weather. Anuman’s SOA is capable of predicting high-impact events.
     
  7. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://deccanherald.com/Content/Feb182009/scroll20090218119197.asp?section=updatenews

    IISc-Nimhans scientists locate new brain disorder gene

    From Kalyan Ray,DH News Service,New Delhi:
    Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have discovered a new gene that plays a dominant role in causing microcephaly, a brain disorder that leads to tiny brain and life-long reduced mental faculty, particularly in India.

    The finding by the IISc scientists may help develop a regular clinical screening tool to detect this severe disorder at the foetal stage itself. Reputed US scientific journal, American Journal of Human Genetics, has reported the discovery of the gene, named STIL, last week.

    Four genes were so far known to cause this disease, which is hereditary. The IISc team located a fifth gene, which plays a key role behind this disorder in India.

    “ASPM (one of the four already known genes) and STIL are important for Indian microcephaly patients,” IISc geneticist Arun Kumar told Deccan Herald.

    Another gene, MCPH2, has been also found in a handful of Indian patients but other three genes have never been reported from India. During the course of their investigation research, the IISc scientists and their colleagues from the National Institute on Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) had examined a large number of families in Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore and places in Tamil Nadu. While doctors at the Nimhans collected the blood, the analysis was carried out at the IISc.

    The incidence of microcephaly in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are attributed, among others, to the prevalence of consanguineous marriage.

    Typically, the brain of a microcephaly patient weighs 430 gm, whereas that of a normal person is 1,459 gm. Because of a smaller brain, the intelligent quotient for microcephaly patients ranges from mild (IQ 50-70) to severely (IQ 20-35) low. Though it is not fatal, patients remain mentally-challenged throughout their lives. Interestingly, a large number of microcephaly patients are found in Pakistan where they are dubbed “rat people,” ostensibly due to their small brain.

    Though there is no database, Kumar said the prevalence of the disorder could be one child per every 50,000 to 100,000 live births.

    So far, though microcephaly can be diagnosed in the embryo, the results are not reliable until the third trimester. The problem is at such a late stage, even if a mother knows that her foetus is having microcephaly, she cannot abort because it is illegal and dangerous.

    Besides its clinical significance, the discovery bears significance in the study of human brain evolution from the days of early hominids like Australopithecus.

    Mutations in STIL (and in other four known genes) may help researchers understand evolution in the human brain. Primitive man like Australopithecus had small brain (450 gm), which is similar to the brains of microcephaly patients.

    The genes could provide hints to how the cerebral cortex – the core of human brain – evolved faster to reach the present level, the geneticist said.
     
  8. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/02/13/stories/2009021351841600.htm

    First cloned buffalo calf developed, but tragedy strikes

    ‘No complications at birth’; second one expected in May.

    M.R. Subramani

    Chennai, Feb.12 A week ago, Dr S.K. Singla and his team of scientists had everything to be happy about. They had succeeded in developing the country’s first cloned buffalo. The calf, born on February 6, was developed through a “cost-effective” technology — Handguided Cloning Technique. It is the first calf to be born in the world through this technique.
    Cold weather

    The happiness, however, was short-lived as the calf died on Wednesday. “It died because it was unable to bear the cold weather. There were no birth complications for it,” said Dr Singla, Principal Investigator of the project, at the Animal Biotechnology Centre of the National Dairy Research Institute in Karnal, Haryana.

    “If a rocket falls it does not mean the technology is dead. We have achieved a breakthrough in getting a live progeny through cloning. It may be a personal setback but definitely, the experiment has given us a technology that we can carry forward for further experiments,” Dr Singla told Business Line.

    True to his word, the scientists are now expecting the second cloned calf in May.
    Less demanding method

    The uniqueness in developing the clone is that it is said to be less demanding in terms of equipment, time and skill. The method has been evolved by picking up a cell from which the ovary develops from an abattoir. It is then matured in vitro, denuded, treated with an enzyme to digest the zona and then enucleated with the help of handheld fine blade.

    Then, a donor buffalo it selected and a somatic cell (any cell that forms the body of an organism) is picked from its ear, propagated for use as nuclei. Then, these both cells are fused, cultured and grown in the laboratory as an embryo before being transferred to the recipient buffalo.

    One of the advantages of this technique is that a calf of desired sex can be derived.

    The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said the technique is an advanced modification of the “Conventional Cloning Technique” used for the production of the cloned sheep “Dolly”.

    Asked how cost-effective the technique would be, Dr Singla said: “It will be much-more cost effective. How much, we will have to see. Right now, we have done on a limited scale but when 30-40 embryos are involved, it will surely be very cost-effective.”

    With the country facing shortage of bulls, this technology can ensure supply of elite bulls in the shortest possible time, according to ICAR.

    India has the largest population of buffaloes. This technology could well help increase the number of efficient buffaloes in the country.

    The world’s first cloned buffalo was born in 2005 in China. Though Thailand claimed in 2002 that the first cloned buffalo would be born soon, nothing more was heard of it after.
     
  9. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070906/asp/frontpage/story_8282926.asp

    Bose-Einstein feat in India
    G.S. MUDUR

    New Delhi, Sept. 5: Ten days before they got married, physicists Sanjukta Roy and Saptarishi Chaudhuri gave themselves what they consider was their best wedding gift — and physicists across India may have reason to celebrate.

    The researchers at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, led by physicist C.S. Unnikrishnan, have produced for the first time in India an exotic state of matter, first predicted 82 years ago by Albert Einstein and Satyendra Nath Bose.

    The TIFR scientists used magnetic fields and lasers to cool atoms to an extremely low temperature — a whisker above minus 273.15 C, or absolute zero — and created a Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC), sometimes called the fifth state of matter.

    Physicists Eric Cornell, Carl Wieman, and Wolfgang Ketterle in the US beat the world to a BEC in 1995 — for which they got the Nobel Prize in 2001. Since then, dozens of laboratories across the world have produced BECs. None in India.

    “It’s nice to — finally — have a BEC in the land of Bose,” said N. Kumar, a senior physicist and Homi Bhabha distinguished scientist at the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, who was not associated with the project.

    “This is a very challenging experiment to carry out. And the challenge is not diminished by the fact that it’s been done elsewhere earlier,” Kumar told The Telegraph.

    Unnikrishnan and his students cooled atoms of a gas called rubidium to such a low temperature that a cluster of some 100,000 atoms behaves as a single “superatom”. And each atom dances in synchrony with every other atom -- the hallmark of BEC.

    The BEC concept was proposed by Einstein in 1925, drawing heavily on ideas that Bose had sent him in a research paper. “We were strongly motivated to have a BEC in the land where the idea originated — we didn’t want to delay this further,” said Unnikrishnan.

    “But a BEC is also an object of desire for the physics community. Interest in this field has grown enormously,” he told The Telegraph.

    A BEC has only a fleeting existence — barely a few seconds. The ultra-cold atoms need to be confined in special “traps” created by either magnetic fields or lasers and maintained in ultra-high vacuum. Any contact with air will destroy a BEC.

    Unnikrishnan — an experimental physicist at the TIFR for two decades — managed to infect both Roy and Chaudhuri with his enthusiasm for the possibilities of experiments with lasers and super-cooled atoms.

    They spent a year, struggling to cool the atoms in just the right way to realise a BEC. It finally happened on the night of January 18 this year — only ten days before Roy and Chaudhuri got married on the 28th.

    “We were to keen to get the (BEC) signal before we left,” Roy told The Telegraph. In recent weeks, the researchers have repeated the feat, each time trying to get a cleaner and more reliable signal than before.

    “A BEC is an excellent tool to test physics theories and do interesting experiments,” said Unnikrishnan. The TIFR work on BEC will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Physics Atomic and Molecular Physics.

    “This will open up opportunities in India to manipulate this state of matter,” said Vasant Natarajan, a physicist at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, who specialises in cold atom physics.

    But Natarajan cautioned that meaningful experiments with BEC might be difficult. The easiest experiments — the low-hanging fruits on the BEC tree as one physicist had put it — are already taken. “But this will help India plunge into the race.”

    The four common states of matter are solid, liquid, gas and plasma — the hot material found in the sun. Some scientists have called BEC a fifth state of matter — a state in which atoms are at their lowest energy state possible.

    While most BECs in the world are confined within magnetic fields, the TIFR team used lasers to create and trap the BEC in a high vacuum stainless steel-glass chamber. The first optically-trapped BEC was produced by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US in 2001. But only five or six other laboratories have used this strategy since then.
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  10. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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  11. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    an-aerobic bio toilets

    Very soon, the sight of dirty railway tracks at platforms may become a thing of the past.

    The Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Lucknow, has developed “aerobic bio-toilets” which will use bacteria to biodegrade human waste into gas and water, which may be released later on.

    One thousand of these “eco-friendly, zero-discharge” toilets will be installed on trains this financial year.

    The RDSO is the only body of its kind in the country and the biggest in Asia, which looks after preparation of designs, standards and specifications for materials used by the railways.

    Praveen Kumar Tiwary, director of the Carriage Unit (RDSO), said: “The technology was imported from a US-based company, Microphor, and Aikon Industries of Delhi has Indianised it. These toilets have been tried out in one rake of Delhi-Rewa Express and the results have been encouraging.”

    While the RDSO and the IIT-Kanpur are responsible for the design of these toilets, Urbane Industries of Chennai will do the manufacturing part.

    “Biodegraded material can be stored for 15 days in a tank to be emptied at the destination point. The odorless solid waste could also yield revenue as it can be turned into excellent manure after being dried up,” said an official.

    According to Tiwary, the Defense Research and Design Establishment, Gwalior, has also developed a similar technology called “anaerobic bio-toilets” for stationary use. He said, “The technology, being tried out for its suitability in mobile use, is in the initial stages of development.” The Railways have planned to fit 20 rakes with bio-toilets in 2009-10.

    IIT-Kanpur has also designed a similar toilet system, which works on solid-liquid separation. “Water is recycled for flushing purpose and the solid is taken out from toilet tanks periodically for composting in pits,” said an IIT-Kanpur official. He said prototype toilets had been installed in Chennai- Lucknow Express.


    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Story...Railways+to+use+bacteria+to+treat+human+waste
     
  12. A.V.

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    IIT-K students develop nano satellite

    PUNE: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has embarked on a mission to become the first academic institution in the country to design
    and develop a nano satellite. The launch of this nano satellite, Jugnu', is scheduled for the end of this year.

    Speaking to ToI here on Thursday, IIT-K's dean (resource, planning and generation) Sanjeev K Aggarwal said, "The Indian Space and Research Organisation (Isro) is assisting in the project, which forms part of the run-up activity for a bigger contributory role we (IIT-K) expect to play in Chandrayaan-II."

    The second phase of India's unmanned moon mission is scheduled for launch by Isro in 2011 or 2012.

    He said, "The entire exercise is aimed at familiarising students with system building; the nano satellite is a full integration project."

    Referring to Jugnu', Aggarwal said, "The nano satellite will weigh around 7 to 9 kg and is currently being designed and fabricated by students and faculty in the IIT-K labs."

    "The launch is intended to put the nano satellite in the polar orbit, between 700 and 800 km distance from earth," he added.

    The polar orbit is an orbit in which a satellite travels from north-to-south direction and passes above or nearly above both the poles of the earth. Polar orbit is normally used for purposes like earth mapping, earth observation and reconnaissance.

    Jugnu will carry high resolution cameras to puck up images meant for data analysis. It is also intended to aide collection of information for flood, drought and disaster management.

    Aggarwal said, "While ISRO will launch the nano satellite for us, the control earth station for the purpose of communication and reconnaissance images, will be located on the premises of IIT-K."

    Meanwhile, Aggarwal said that the IIT-K has launched a thorough review of the curriculum for its undergraduate degree programmes. "The review is part of an exercise that is taken every 10 years to see that the curriculum remains in tune with what the industry wants from our product, ie the students."

    Also, he said, the idea is to sustain the distinct differentiating edge, which IIT graduates enjoy over their counterparts from other institutes in the country. There would be focus on emerging areas of study in fields related energy and nano-materials, among others, he said.


    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...evelop-nano-satellite/articleshow/4202791.cms
     
  13. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    To those of you who are confused..this picture will better help you understand. These are three separate satellites mind you

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    India launches Pan-African e-network project

    India's ambitious e-network project, linking leading universities and hospitals in this country with their counterparts in 11 African nations via satellite, was inaugurated Thursday evening by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who termed it a "shining example of South-South cooperation".

    Mukherjee inaugurated the Pan-African e-network with a brief video-conference call with his counterparts in 11 African countries - Ethiopia, Senegal, Seychelles, Benin, Gabon, The Gambia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

    These countries are part of the first phase of the project, which is likely to be expanded to interlink the offices of the heads of state of the 53 African countries. The second and third phase will see the addition of 18 more countries by the end of June.

    Describing the project as a "shining example of South-South Cooperation", Mukherjee said India has gifted a dedicated satellite for e-connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa to help bridge the digital divide.

    He said as part of the pilot project, 34 Ethiopian students will graduate in June with an MBA degree from the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), without even leaving their country's borders.

    The seven Indian educational institutions associated with the project are Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore, Amity University, University of Madras, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, University of Delhi and IIT Kanpur.

    Online medical consultation will be also provided for one hour every day to each participating African country for a period of five years in various medical disciplines.

    Twelve leading Indian Super Specialty Hospitals are enlisted in the project. They include AIIMS, Escorts Heart institute, Care Hospital, Hyderabad and Narayan Hrudayaylaya, Bangalore.

    The project, being implemented by state-run Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. has a target of providing tele-education services to 10,00 African students in different courses.

    Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam had first offered the proposal five years ago when he addressed the inaugural session of the Pan-African Parliament in Johanessburg.

    Since then, India has invested over $125 million in the project.


    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Story...=India+launches+Pan-African+e-network+project
     
  15. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    IIT Kanpur develops anti-hacking system

    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has developed a technology to secure wi-fi networks and prevent hacking incidents like terrorists intruding into the wireless internet system of an American based in Mumbai to send terror mails.

    The technology, Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS), completely secures your wi-fi systems and data from hackers, IIT-Kanpur director Sanjay Govind Dhande said.

    A team of teachers and former students of the institute developed WIPS, he added.

    Pravin Bhagwat, a member of the team that developed the technology, said that after the Ahmedabad bomb blasts where terrorists hacked the wi-fi system of an American in Mumbai, security agencies did not think of securing government and business organisations where a large number of wi-fi systems were installed.

    A terror email claiming responsibility for the Ahmedabad bomb blasts was sent to some private new channels on July 27 from US national Haywood's computer.

    Haywood denied his involvement and police suspect that his Internet Protocol was misused by someone to send the mail.


    http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090084561&ch=2/23/2009 7:34:00 PM
     
  16. A.V.

    A.V. New Member

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    Eco-friendly polythene bags to be available soon

    CHANDIGARH: There is good news for people who are protesting the use of polythene bags for their negative effect on the environment. A Chandigarh
    NGO has tied up with a South Korean scientist who has developed the technology of manufacturing eco-friendly poly-bags from corn to produce them in India.

    "We have manufactured corn polymers that are made from chemicals called PLAs (polylactides). These corn polymer products look and feel just like regular plastics and polythene but they are 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable," Khang Sung, a scientist based in Seoul, told mediapersons here Thursday.

    "They are very safe for environment and even if one eats them by mistake, then there would be no harm as it is easily digestible. This polymer can be used for making cups, cutlery, food containers, trash bags and carry bags. We have worked for nearly 10 years to invent this product," said Sung.

    Sung has come here with his team of scientists from South Korea on the invitation of the city-based NGO International Society for Cooperation and Development (ISCD). The ISCD has taken up the responsibility to market this polymer in India and to start its production in the coming months.

    Naveen Sharma, president of ISCD said: "PLA is a versatile polymer that is made from corn starch. PLA will compost in approximately 30-45 days depending on varied conditions."

    "At present, more than 5,000 cities in Europe and few Asian and American countries are using similar technology. However, our focus is on minimising the manufacturing cost of the final product," said Sharma, who is himself a chemical engineer.

    He said they would seek government approval in few days and after getting clearance, start their commercial business in next six months. "Initially we will import pellets made of corn starch from South Korea but gradually establish our own manufacturing unit here," he added.
     
  17. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    India makes stem cell breakthrough

    Read this one guys... I didn't even know India was doing any stem cell research until I read this today morning... Kudos !!!
     
  18. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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  19. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/87/i10/8710news1.html

    Graphene Via Arc Discharge
    Electrical method yields sheets of carbon a few atoms thick
    Mitch Jacoby

    A simple electrical method provides an alternative way to prepare graphene samples, according to researchers in India. Graphene—one-atom-thick sheets of carbon packed in a honeycomb structure—has recently attracted considerable attention for its outstanding electronic and mechanical properties (C&EN, March 2, page 14). Single- and few-layer forms of the material have been made by peeling apart graphite, by multistep chemical methods, and by other laborious and complex techniques.

    Now, Chintamani N. R. Rao and coworkers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research, in Bangalore, have demonstrated that a simple arc-discharge procedure yields graphene samples that are two to four layers thick (J. Phys. Chem. C, DOI: 10.1021/jp900791y). After maintaining a high-current, high-voltage arc between graphite electrodes in the presence of hydrogen, the team collected graphene flakes from one part of the interior of the apparatus. In contrast, they found multiwalled nanotubes, "onions," and other carbon materials specifically in the vicinity of the cathode.

    The group also showed that the technique can be used to dope graphene with boron and nitrogen when the electrical discharge is formed in the presence of diborane and pyridine, respectively. By terminating dangling bonds (unsatisfied valencies) on carbon, hydrogen appears to play a key role in preventing the graphene sheets from rolling into nanotubes and graphitic particles, the team says.
    Flakes In the presence of hydrogen (red, left image), an arc-discharge method produces graphene flakes two to four layers thick.
    Fitted with graphite electrodes, arc-discharge instruments , which previously have been used to make nanotubes and other helical carbon structures, can be operated in a way that yields graphene (right image).


    [​IMG]
     
  20. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031755620900.htm

    Celebrating an Indian’s breakthrough science

    Ashok Parthasarathi

    Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose finally gets his due around his 150th birth anniversary.


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    Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose made seminal scientific discoveries and technological inventions in electromagnetism and plant physiology.


    Despite being free people for more than 60 years now, Indians are yet to develop the tradition of remembering and honouring their great savants of pre-Independence times. One example of such neglect relates to Jagadis Chandra Bose (1858-1937), arguably the first ‘modern’ scientist to have emerged from India. This year marks the 150th birth anniversary of J.C. Bose, who made seminal scientific discoveries and technological inventions at the world level, in two s eemingly unconnected areas of science and technology — electromagnetism and plant physiology. This was unique for a modern scientist.

    In 1895, Bose successfully demonstrated in public in colonial Calcutta the wireless transmission of electromagnetic waves. Generating waves using a self-designed and built transmitter at one end of a link and sending them to a similarly built detector located 75 feet away, through intervening obstacles such as the body of Lieutenant General Mackenzie who commanded the British troops in the Calcutta garrison, he set off an explosion in a cache of gunpowder at the other end.

    That Bose built all the equipment in the abysmal conditions that existed at the University of Calcutta then, and the country as a whole, in the 1890s makes the achievement even more mind-boggling and creditworthy. Over the next decade, Bose obtained four U.S. and U.K. patents for his invention with the aid of friends.

    It took some five years more for a technician of mixed Italian-Irish parentage, Guglielmo Marconi, to make a similar public demonstration. In the heyday of imperialism, the Nobel Prize for physics was awarded to 35-year-old Marconi and a 59-year old German physicist from Strasbourg, Karl Ferdinand Braun, “in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.”

    Bose was not given the prize although he had published his results in leading international journals and lectured at the Royal Institution in London in 1897 at the invitation of his teacher, Lord Rayleigh, one of the most distinguished British scientists of the time. In 1899 Bose read a paper at the Royal Society in London, ‘On a Self-Recovering Coherer and the Study of the Cohering Action of Different Metals,’ on his invention of the coherer which used conductors separated by mercury. In the paper, which was published in April 1899, he wrote: “For very delicate adjustments of pressure, I used in some of the following experiments an U-tube filled with mercury, with a plunger in one of the limbs; various substances were adjusted to touch barely the mercury in the other limb. ... I then interposed a telephone in the circuit; each time a flash of radiation fell on the receiver the telephone sounded.” Performing a series of experiments, Bose concluded that“there can be no doubt that the action was entirely due to electric radiation.”

    More than two years later, Marconi transmitted radio waves across the Atlantic, using Bose’s coherer — with nary a mention of Bose.
    Academic honours such as a D.Sc. by research from London University, a knighthood in 1917 and a membership of the Royal Society of London in 1920 that were conferred on Bose did little to affirm his pioneering status as the father of wireless. Ironically, in a book by Orrin Dunlap, which Marconi personally edited, a page and a half is devoted to Bose, who is acknowledged by Marconi to have provided crucial support at a critical juncture when he needed it most.

    Partial amends were made in 1998 when the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), New York, a global professional academy in the field, announced: “Our investigative research into the origin and first major use of solid state diode detector devices led to the discovery that the first transatlantic wireless signal in Marconi’s world-famous experiment was received by Marconi using the iron-mercury-iron-coherer with a telephone detector invented by Sir J.C. Bose in 1898.”

    With these revelations, belated though they are, we may safely say that Bose, and not Marconi, was the discoverer and demonstrator of wireless radio propagation through free space and thus the father of radio, television and all other forms of radio communication including the Internet. The IEEE inducted Bose into its Wireless Hall of Fame.

    Against this background, the Centre for the Philosophy and Foundations of Science, New Delhi, led by its Director Ranjit Nair, teamed up with Christ’s College Cambridge (of which Dr. Nair is an alumnus) to organise at the college a symposium titled “Beyond Frontiers: From Physics to Plant Sciences,” on December 6, 2008 to mark Bose’s 150th birth anniversary. At the symposium, Cambridge scientists expressed their appreciation of Bose’s pioneering contributions. The physicist E.C.G. Sudarshan spoke on Bose’s work in electromagnetism, while distinguished plant geneticist M.S. Swaminathan (also a Cambridge alumnus), spoke on green genes to combat global warming.

    A bust of Bose made by a Kolkata sculptor was unveiled by India’s High Commissioner in London, Shiv Shankar Mukherjee. Two Kolkata physicists, Bikash Sinha and Sibaji Raha, respectively Directors of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Bose Institute (founded by Bose in 1917), spoke.The Master of Christ’s College, Frank Kelly, welcomed the gathering and Dr. Ranjit Nair proposed a vote of thanks. Leading scientists from the U.K. such as David King, former Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government; Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Master of Trinity College Cambridge; and Partha Dasgupta, Professor of Economics at Cambridge, were present. (So was this writer.)

    In a curious twist to the tale, Marconi’s grandson, the space physicist Francesco Paresce Marconi, while on a visit to Kolkata in 2006, expressed his astonishment on finding at the Bose Institute the coherer that his grandfather had used to receive the trans-Atlantic wireless signal. “The instrument was critical to radio communication,” he said. On another visit to Kolkata some weeks ago, the grandson is reported to have said that while Bose was a Professor of Physics of international repute, his grandfather was a technician, who nonetheless deserved credit for turning Bose’s discovery and the equipment he invented into an industrial innovation. He admitted it was unfair that Bose was overlooked by the Nobel Committee.

    By crossing the boundaries of physics into plant physiology, Bose seemed to some of his dogmatic contemporaries a dangerous heretic. But the more perceptive among them saw him to be a visionary. One must not forget that the distinction between living and lifeless matter was by and large taken for granted among his scientific and lay contemporaries. It required courage and belief in oneself to demonstrate similarities in the electrical responses of living matter and lifeless matter. His theory of the ascent of sap as being due to electromechanical processes involving pumping within living plant cells took six decades to be verified experimentally.

    The symposium, and the unveiling of a bust of Jagadis Chandra Bose in his Cambridge alma mater, mark a milestone in the way Indian scientific capabilities are perceived worldwide. It is perhaps the only case so far when an iconic British institution like Cambridge University saw it fit to commemorate an outstanding Indian scientist of colonial times 150 years after his birth in British India. Can we say that at long last, the prowess and international image of our country are changing among scientific circles? We have every reason for cautious optimism.

    (Ashok Parthasarathi is a former scientific adviser to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and was Secretary to various scientific departments of the Government of India. He acknowledges the contribution made to this article by Dr. Ranjit Nair, Director, Centre for the Philosophy and Foundations of Sciences, New Delhi.)
     
  21. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    ISRO discovers new species of bacteria

    Indian scientists have discovered three new species of bacteria in the upper stratosphere that they claim to be not found on the earth. The micro-organisms — resistant to ultra-violet (UV) radiation — were detected 40 km from the earth’s surface during a joint experiment.

    A balloon, carrying a 459 kg payload made by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), was flown from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) facility in Hyderabad on April 20, 2005 to gather samples of air at 20 km to 40 km heights.

    A three-year-long study of the samples at National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) led to the detection of these new species, and nine other bacterial and six fungal colonies.

    “Next we should probe the stratosphere to clinch the answer on how such organisms exist at such heights,” says former ISRO chairman U.V. Rao, who was one of the mentors of this experiment.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/Story...adline=ISRO+discovers+new+species+of+bacteria
     

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