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Science Monitor: 5 December, 2020

Science Monitor: 5 December 2020

  

1. National Science Film Festival of India:

Context: The Sixth India International Science Festival is just around the corner and preparations for the festival are on in full swing. This program being coordinated by the council of scientific and industrial research (CSIR). Government of India is soon going to be the largest online science festival in the world.

About  

  • It will be organized from the 22nd to the 25th of December. Recently CSIR's north east institute of science and technology on east organized a curtain raiser program of IISF 2020.
  • The program discussed the incorporation of technologies developed by NIST into IISF 2020 programs. The demonstration of these technologies during the IISF 2020 will make people aware of the developments in the northeast.
  • Council of scientific and industrial research is coordinating IISF 2020 so all the institutes of CSIR are partners in the event various institutes and labs of CSIR have organized curtain razor ceremonies to attract and engage more and more people.
  • Other institutes under the concerned ministries like India meteorological department are also cooperating in this endeavour.  
  • IISF 2020 being organized in virtual platform will help in connecting to the science loving people from the remotest corner of the country in a single click, thereby increasing the digital footprint.
  • Central mechanical engineering research institute organized a series of pre-event activities covering diverse topics ranging from
    • Urban solid waste
    • Air and water purification
    • Solar energy technology
    • Smart grids mini grids
    • Aggro mechanics
    • Amphibian robots etc
  • The festival will begin on the birth anniversary of world renowned indian mathematician srinivasa ramanujan and conclude on the birth anniversary of the late prime minister atal bihari Vajpayee.

2. National Pollution Control Day

Context: National pollution control day is observed every year on the 2nd of December in memory of the people who lost their lives due to the Bhopal gas tragedy. it is a day to instil awareness among people about environmental pollution and its disastrous consequences.

All You Need to Know About National Pollution Control Day

About:

  • The ruins of the union carbide chemical plant in Bhopal are a testimony to the biggest industrial disaster in India.
  • On the intervening night of December 2nd and 3rd the accidental leak of poisonous methyl isocyanate gas from the same plant took away the lives of thousands within a few.
  • Taking lessons from this incident December the 2nd was marked as the national pollution control day. The day has become even more relevant today due to the ever-increasing pollution in the country.
  • It aims to create awareness about the pollution of water air soil and environment in general besides creating awareness about the industrial disasters.
  • The problem of air pollution and water pollution have worsened in the past few years in cities like Delhi. The smog appears as soon as the winters start and affects routine activities in many ways.
  • The combined effect of industrial emissions vehicular pollution and stubble burning transform the cities into a gas chamber.
  • Urban waste and industrial effluents are also affecting precious water resources as a result the graph of diseases like heart disease diabetes, lung cancer is rising consistently.
  • According to the state of global air 2020 report, in the year 2019 there have been more than one and a half million annual deaths in India due to such diseases across every age group.
  • The covet 19 pandemic has also highlighted the urgency to address the chronic problem of air pollution as the severity of the air pollution is also a reason behind the recent rise in the covet 19 cases in cities like Delhi.
  • There is significant impact both on mortality and morbidity and particularly several diseases are linked to air pollution for example
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
    • Lung cancer,
    • Stroke ischemic,
    • Heart disease,
    • Diabetes mellitus and
    • Lower respiratory infections.
  • We need to really be serious and take adjacent you know actions to reduce air pollutions to protect only our health and just to summarize that means that we need to consider air pollution as a health problem.
  • Many acts and rules are in place to control pollution at different levels and many programs are also being run under the central pollution control board but the effective implementation of these acts and rules calls for public participation people have to be aware of the impacts of the pollution 

3.  IIT Kanpur- New hourglass-shaped meta-structure

Context:  According to the religious beliefs of Hindus, the very first sound in the universe was produced by the Damru of Lord Shiva. Now inspired by the shape of the Damru of Lord Shiva, scientists at IIT Kanpur have developed a new hourglass shaped meta structure that can be used in the lattice unit for controlling sound wave propagation.

IIT Kanpur Researchers develop 'Damaru' Inspired Lattice that finds  applications in stealth submarines,high speed trains

About:

  • The micro structured hourglass shaped structures have been developed in the smart materials laboratory of IIT Kanpur using additive manufacturing.
  • These structures were found to absorb and control different frequencies of sound waves during lab testing.
  • If you look at this structure this is an hourglass structure. what is unique in this particular case is that the entire structure is actually micro structured inside and if you look at this microstructure in a bigger scale what you would find is that it is going to have some such structures which are like honeycomb structures.
  • We have prepared this as the lattices so you can imagine that in a real-life system once we scale it down to a very very small scale these situations will be something like this that is there are there will be many many units of these types of systems which will be there and it will work like a waveguide such that we can control the transmission of waves at our will to them.
  • Applications:
    • Defence sector like in developing stealth helicopters and submarines to go undetected by radars  
    • To control the vibrations generated by high-speed vehicles like bullet trains future hyperloops etc as vibrations generated by vehicles are known to damage the constructions
    • To protect structures like bridges and buildings built along the tracks of high-speed vehicles by controlling the frequencies.
    • Effective in detecting the smallest tumor present in the body  
  • This work of IIT Kanpur is sponsored by a SPARC project of the ministry of education government of India.

4.  ISR, Gandhinagar

Context:  With the devastation caused by the 2001 Bhuj earthquake an acute need was felt for dedicated seismological research in the state of Gujarat to enable the sustained accelerated development that was envisaged across the state as a result the institute of seismological research was established by the Gujarat government as a centre of excellence in modern seismological research today we'll visit this institute to see how it is pursuing dedicated research in the field of seismology to minimize damage due to earthquakes.

 About:

  • Institute of seismological research situated in Gandhinagar Gujarat is a premier research center dedicated exclusively to earthquake studies run under the department of science and technology government of Gujarat.  
  • After the devastating 2001 earthquake and budge the establishment of the institute was approved by the state government in 2003 and ISR was established in 2006 as a center of excellence and modern seismological research.
  • Since its inception the institute has made unprecedented progress in its facilities to conduct R&D in near
    • Real time seismology
    • Seismic hazard assessment and micro zonation
    • Solid earth geophysics
    • Earthquake precursory research
    • Active tectonics and
    • Commercial research and development
  • The seismic data analysis center of the institute monitors the geological activity in the state round the clock through a dense network of broadband seismographs and motion accelerographs and earthquake information is sent immediately to the concerned agencies as well as the general public this data is also used for different studies.   
  • Gujarat is considered a highly sensitive region in terms of seismicity scientists and researchers at ISR geotechnical laboratory test the soil and rock samples of areas like budge and study the changes in structures caused by earthquakes and establish other causes of structural damage.
  • State-of-the-art equipment is available for these studies the geophysical laboratory of the institute has a number of field surveying systems to conduct micro zonation and other soil tests these include techniques such as
    • Massvar testing
    • Micro tremor survey
    • Magno electric surveys etc
  • These tests play a crucial role in the construction of high-rise buildings and critical structures cite specific seismic hazard studies for the 182-meter sardar Patel statue in Gujarat.
  • The institute is providing seismic hazard assessment and micro zonation services to private organizations on a commercial basis.
  • Institute of seismological research has different groups but one of that is commercial research and development group where we are providing a solution to real problems like seismic hazard assessment or seismic resistant parameters for spatial buildings.
  • Under geochemical studies the institute's x-ray fluorescence laboratory pursues research related to paleo seismology paleo tsunami climate change and sea water level which are helpful in determining the future hazards.
  • One need to understand what are the signatures that you need to look for in feed so for that our wing mostly works on the paleo tsunami and sea level research climate change research of ISR or of the Gujarat region.
  • ISR also has an optically stimulated luminescence laboratory for determining the age of the geological sediments and to know about the process behind their formation.

5. Science Express

INFOSYS PRIZE FOR THE YEAR 2020:

  • On December 2nd Infosys science foundation announced the winners of the Infosys prize for the year 2020 recognizing their outstanding contribution to science and research.
  • Winners were awarded under six categories during a virtual function.

Winners:

Field

Winner

Engineering and Computer Science

PROFESSOR HARI BALAKRISHNAN, MIT Massachusetts

Humanities

DR PRACHI DESH PANDEY, From the Center For Studies and Social Sciences Kolkata

Life Sciences

DR RAJAN SHANKAR NARAYANAN From the Center For Cellular and Molecular Biology Hyderabad

Mathematical Sciences

PROFESSOR SAURAV CHATTERJEE From the Stanford University

Physical Sciences

PROFESSOR ARUNDHAM GHOSH From the Indian Institute of Science Bangaluru

Social Sciences

PROFESSOR RAJ CHETTY From the Harvard University

The prize for each category includes a pure gold medal, a citation and prize money of hundred thousand U.S. dollars.

CURTAIN RAISER PROGRAM:

  • The curtain raiser program of the 26th DST-CII technology summit 2020 was organized recently on a virtual platform in which Portugal is the partner country.
  • This year officials of the department of science and technology confederation of Indian industry and the equivalent departments of Portugal participated in this online event.
  • There has been a long association between India and Portugal and during the last four years 20 new agreements have been signed in marine research robotics waterway management cleantech.

DRY SWAB DIRECT RT PCR METHOD:

  • The dry swab direct RT PCR method developed by CSIR center for cellular and molecular biology for CoviD-19 testing has been approved by the Indian council of medical research. This method of CCMB is a simple version of the existing RT PCR method that can easily double or triple the testing capacity without any new investment.
  • The Hyderabad-based laboratory of the council of scientific and industrial research has developed this test after understanding the problems faced by the health workers.
  • It does not need viral transport medium and RNA extraction process for detecting COBID 19 and can be conducted directly with the samples this is helpful in reducing the cost as well as the time of the testing by 40 to 50 percent.

THREE HOTTEST YEARS:

  • United Nations has described the year 2020 as one of the three hottest years ever recorded according to the state of climate report 2020 released by the united nations world meteorological organization the last six years from 2015 to 2020 have been the hottest year since modern recording began in 1850.
  • Of these 2020 has been the second warmest year so far in 2020 the average global temperature was 1.2 degrees above normal according to experts this increase can reach 1.5 degrees by the year 2024 giving rise to a climate tragedy.
  • The rising temperature has increased the incidence of floods cyclones and wildfires calling for a curb on the use of fossil fuels as such incidents can reduce the food production drastically well.

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