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Science Monitor: 3 October 2020

Science Monitor: 3 October 2020


1. VAIBHAV 2020 Summit Inauguration


VaishwikBharatiyaVaigyanikor VAIBHAV Summit was inaugurated by the PM Narendra Modi, on the 2nd of October. The first of its kind virtual summit is ambitious initiative of the GoI to create a better ecosystem of knowledge and innovation in the country by bringing together on one platform Indian scientists and scholars working across the globe. Overseas Indian scientists and scholars from at least 40 countries are participating in the month-long summit, that will conclude on Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary.

Vaibhav Summit (@SummitVaibhav) | Twitter

About theSummit:

  • On 2nd October, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated and launched the Vaishwik Bharatiya Vaigyanik Summit or VAIBHAV through a virtual ceremony. The ceremony was attended by scientists, scholars and academics from across the globe along with the premier science and technology and academics organizations of the country.
  • The VAIBHAV Summit is an ambitious initiative of the GoI that will provide an unprecedented opportunity to the overseas as well as resident Indian experts to collaborate seamlessly over a variety of verticals to arrive at scientific solutions.
  • It is a joint initiative of all the science and technology research institute and academic organizations of the country. From 3rd to 25th October, the virtual conference will see brainstorming of experts on the horizontals of each identified verticals.
  • Around 1500 panellists will participate in virtual deliberations which will have nearly 200 sessions. The outcomes of summit will be presented on 28th October and the concluding session will take place on 31st October which is also the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
  • 1000 of participants representing nearly 200 Indian science and technology and academic organizations will also take part in the summit and gain from the knowledge and expertise of the panellists. Through such deliberations and by promoting active collaboration between overseas and resident Indian experts, VAIBHAV Summit aims to strengthen the ecosystem of knowledge and innovation in the country, which will contribute significantly in the building of self-reliant India.

2. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards 2020


26th September, 2020 marked the 79th foundation day of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). To celebrate the occasion amid covid-19, a function was organized with limited gathering in New Delhi while all other office holders joined the event online. Union Minister Dr. Harshvardhan presided over the function and appreciated the work done by CSIR to deal with the ongoing corona crisis. The day also saw the announcement of various CSIR Awards in addition to the coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards for the year 2020.

About the Awards:

  • The CSIR is a contemporary R & D organization which is known for its cutting-edge R & D knowledge base in diverse areas of science and technology, established in 1942, today it has a dynamic network of 38 National Laboratories, 39 outreach centres, 3 innovation complexes and 5 units which are working to fulfil the aspirations of modern India.
  • On 26 Sept, 2020, CSIR celebrated its 79th foundation day. In view of the covid-19 adhering to all the SOPs, a program was organized at the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Auditorium of CSIR in Delhi. Officials and researchers representing all the laboratories of CSIR joined the program virtually.
  • To fight against the pandemic, CSIR laboratories have played an important role in developing diagnostic tests, treatments, medical devices and are also involved in vaccine development. Showcasing these achievements, short film was screened on the occasion and the booklet was released by the Union minister that highlighted the people behind the various initiatives of CSIR in its fight against covid-19.
  • On this occasion, the winners of the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Awards were also announced for the year 2020 in various fields of science and technology. The occasion also saw the announcement of many other CSIR awards in different categories.

3. NDRI Karnal’s new Cloning Calf ‘TEJAS’


National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal is a premier research organisation under the ages of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR). The institute is pioneering in cloning technology and makes consistent efforts to produce a better breed of cattle in the country. Recently, the institute has developed a buffalo calf named TEJAS using hand guided cloning technology.

NDRI uses clone technology to develop buffalo calf 'Tejas' for high milk  yieldAbout the technology:

  • Karnal based National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) is India’s premier research organisation that has been serving the nation over decades through its commendable research in the field of dairy production, processing and management. It is the first institute in the world to clone buffaloes with the hand guided clone technology.
  • In June 2020, the institute successfully cloned its 16th buffalo calf which has been named TEJAS. This calf of the Murra breed was developed using an ear cell of a male buffalo. According to the NDRI scientists, high yielding female buffaloes can be obtained by using the semen of this clone. Such buffalo can give 10 to 12 litres of milk every day.
  • Modern cloning technology uses somatic cells from a donor animal that usually belongs to a better breed thereafter, an egg cell or oocyte is taken from another animal and its nucleus is removed by a needle. The nucleus of the somatic cell is then transferred to the e-nucleated egg cell and donor nuclei are then fused using electricity and cultured. The embryo is then implanted in the womb of an adult female. This process produces a clone of the donor animal retaining all its hereditary qualities.
  • The prime focus of the NDRI has been on improving the quality of the animal breed. This is vital in order to achieve better milk production in the country in view of the growing population.
  • According to the institute by 2021-22, there would be a requirement of 140 million doses of semen in the country for artificial insemination whereas, the present availability is only 85 million doses, cloning technology can help in decreasing this gap as male cattle developed from this technique can produce about 5000 semen doses per year which are enough to breed 1250 female calves. This is quite a large number than the normal male cattle which can breed only 100 to 150 females per year.
  • At present, buffaloes of the murrah breed produce on an average of 6 to 8 litres of milk while the female born by using the semen of TEJAS will produce 10 to 12 litres of milk per day. NDRI developed its first clone named “Garima” in 2009 and since then the institute is working consistently to produce a better breed of cattle.

4.  CSIR-CEERI developed Sunflower type Solar tracking system


Sunflowers follow the sun during the day, now inspired with this unique behaviour of the sunflowers, the scientists of CSIR’s Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI), Pilani, have developed a unique system for solar panels. The scientists have developed a dual access solar tracking system that will help the panels to harness maximum solar energy during the day by controlling and guiding their movement towards tCentral Electronics Engineering Research Institute | CSIR Madras Complex -  Goverment of Indiahe sun. The researchers of SEERI claim that this technology will increase the production capacity of solar panels by 100 percent.

About the system:

  • Solar energy is considered to be the best form of renewable energy and in a country like India, it can be harnessed widely to overcome the dependence on fossil fuels. Therefore, scientists are making numerous efforts to capture this energy more efficiently.
  • In this series, CSIR’s Durgapur based Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, developed a rotatable solar tree which is proving to be very helpful as it generates more power while occupying very less space.
  • To make the solar power sector more efficient and popular, there is a great need of such innovations as generally the solar panels are fixed, facing only one direction. Therefore, immaculate planning is needed to harness maximum solar energy before installing them as the sun keep moving so such installations are able to capture only a fraction of the sunlight.
  • Now to overcome this, Pilani based Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI) of CSIR has developed a dual access solar tracking system that can make solar panels flexible and more efficient by enabling them to capture maximum sunlight all through the day.
  • The engineers have used a special sensing unit in the system which tracks the direction of the sun. The circuitry of the system gets the signal and the flexible neck of the system moved in such a way so that the panel faces the sun at all times. This system can be used at homes, street lights, solar tress or solar energy based vehicles.


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