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Science Monitor: 23 January, 2021

Science Monitor: 23 January, 2021




To provide quick medical assistance to CRPF personnel who served in the remote and inaccessible areas of the country, DRDO’s Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences has developed a bike ambulance called RAKSHITA. The ambulance has been developed indigenously by modifying a Royal Enfield Classic 350cc bike aid in the timely evaluation of sick and injured security personnel.

DRDO Developes 'Rakshita' Motorcycle Ambulance for CRPF in Naxal Areas,  Based on RE Classic 350

About the Ambulance:

  • Recently, this well-equipped bike ambulance was handed over to the CRPF at the CRPF headquarters in Delhi. Soon, this Make in India emergency vehicles will be deployed in states like Chhattisgarh.
  • RAKSHITA has been developed by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a premier Delhi based laboratory of the DRDO. It is fitted with customized recalling casualty evacuation seat on the rear of the bike to carry the injured comfortably without disturbing the balance of the rider.
  • This seat can be fitted in and taken out as and when required. The bike is loaded with many safety features and is equipped with Air Splint medical and oxygen kit to provide on the spot medical care. It also incorporates physiological parameters measuring equipment with wireless monitoring capability.
  • Vital parameters of the patient can be monitored on the dashboard mounted LCD. This facility also aids in providing advanced status report to the nearby hospital or medical facility.
  • RAKSHITA can also be used for civil applications, it can access narrow lanes, congested streets, remote areas or any other area where access to regular ambulance is difficult and time consuming. Due to its functionality and integrated emergency medical support system, it can be used effectively at many places to provide quick medical support to the needy.



Recently, Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan dedicated National Innovation Portal to the nation and hoped that it will act as a bridge between people who are looking for innovative solutions and those who had been at the helm of their evolution.

About the Innovation:

  • Grassroot innovations play a decisive role in the sustainable development of any country. These innovations have the potential to make a nation self-reliant in every field. Therefore, to provide easy accessibility to such innovations, the National Innovation Portal was dedicated to the nation.
  • Developed by National Innovation Foundation, India, an autonomous institute of Department of Science & Technology. This portal has a collection of over one lakh innovations scouted from the common people of the country.
  • These innovations include ideas pertaining to domains like engineering, agriculture, veterinary medicine, human health, medicine and various others. This portal will act as a resource center for students, researchers, micro to middle class entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life.
  • National Innovation Foundation, India aims to strengthen the grassroots technological innovations and the outstanding traditional knowledge of India. To realize these objectives, this autonomous body of DST has pulled a database of over three lakh technological ideas, innovations, traditional knowledge practices from across the country.
  • These innovations prove that Indian innovators can match anyone in the world. When it come to solving problems creatively and they perform exceptionally well by generating greater sustainable alternatives using local resources frugally.
  • NIF, India’s motto is to encourage and promote such innovations by provide them a platform to proliferate. India continues to be a country that encourages SMEs startups and job creation and for this an underlying technology with an innovation is a prerequisite.
  • The innovation portal developed by NIF, India presents an ocean of technologies for supply to budding entrepreneurs and can be an important vehicle for initiatives like self-reliant India.



The National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways & Coasts (NTCPWC) was established at IIT Madras in 2008 to modernize India’s ports and fast track waterways. To meet this goal, centre has designed, developed and built state-of-the art 360-degree full bridge simulator using the latest marine simulator technology. This simulator will contribute immensely to the Indian maritime industry by conducting complex navigation feasibility studies for port development projects.

IIT-Madras set to launch ship simulator - The Hindu BusinessLine

About the Technology:

  • India is blessed with the long coastline. Therefore, our ports and waterways contribute exceptionally to international trade as well as our economic development. This makes research om port development, waterways and navigation necessary.
  • The state-of-the art ship handling simulator will conduct complex navigation feasibility studies for port development projects including inland waterways. The installation is amongst the largest of its kind in the region which will provide to the mariners, the facility to practice navigation with procedures such as ship manoeuvring, berthing and unberthing, etc. by simulating various marine environments.
  • Department of Ocean Engineering at the IIT Madras has long been involved in navigational and coastal management studies. In 2018, NTCPWC was established under the aegis of this department. The centre is focusing on technological innovations and evolution of new ideas and breakthroughs for the port, waterways and maritime sector to provide effective solutions to an extensive range of problems being faced in the industry.
  • The state-of-the art ship handling simulator complex is one such solution in which detail modelling of operating conditions in port areas and environmental conditions like Bathymetry, Tidal, Wind along with CAD data and Current Field Data are simulated to provide all the necessary tools for conducting feasibility studies in this area.
  • The indigenously developed simulator will reduce India’s dependency on other nations for maritime training. Apart from this, the simulator can also help in conduction studies on new ports and ship interaction in inland and shallow waters. Such studies can open many new ways for the development of the nation.


1. NITI Aayog announces India Innovation Index 2020:Karnataka tops in innovation, shows NITI Aayog index - The Hindu

  • In the recently released second Innovation Index of the NITI Aayog, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have grabbed the top three positions in the country. The Telangana and Kerala are placed at the fourth and fifth position.
  • The India Innovation Index is designed by NITI Aayog along the lines of the Global Innovation Index. It ranks states and UTs on the basis of their efforts to promote innovation and their performance in doing so. The purpose of the index is to highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the states to empower them to improve upon their innovation policies.
  • Karnataka retained its number position in the list due to its strong number of venture capital deals, registered geographical indications and information and communication technology exports.

2. IHBT study on developing heat-tolerant wheat varieties:IHBT study on developing heat-tolerant wheat varieties that will improve  grain yield

  • Indian scientists are working to develop heat tolerant verities of wheat and inspire faculty fellow of the Department of Science & Technology, Dr. Vijay Gehlot who is currently serving at the biotechnology division of the IHBT Palampur is working on variety of wheat that does not lose its productivity under heat stress.
  • For this, Dr. Gehlot is studying the role of DNA methylation pattern as it plays a significant role in plant development and also in heat tolerance during different stages of grain filling. Methylation is a biological process by which methyl groups are added to the DNA molecules. The research work has been published in the journal GENOMICS.

3. Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin launches New Shepard NS-14 flight:

  • Space tourism may begin from April 2021. Jeff Bezos’s space company Blue Origin has completed the 14th test flight of its New Shepard rocket booster and capsule. The company is now speculating to send tourists to space from April this year. But before that the company will conduct another test flight in February.
  • Blue Origin’s New Shepard is a fully autonomous system which is designed to carry people on rides past the edge of space reaching an altitude of more than 100 kms. The capsule will provide to the onboard passengers an unforgettable experience of micro gravity. Blue Origin is currently using NASA facilities for the launch and aims to make space tourism affordable in a big way.

4. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments may reverse aging process:

  • A new study by Tel Aviv University and Shamir Medical Center in Israel has inStudy finds hyperbaric oxygen treatments reverse aging processdicated that hyperbaric oxygen treatment can reverse the process of ageing in health ageing adults. Researchers observed during the study that the unique method of treatment with high pressure oxygen in a controlled pressure chamber can reverse the two major processes associated with ageing.
    • Shortening of telomeres which are located at both ends of every chromosome
    • Accumulation of old and malfunctioning cells in the body
  • The study found that taking the treatment resulted in 38 percent increase in telomeres length and a 37 percent decrease in ageing cells. The researchers blood samples of the participants to arrive at the conclusions of the study.

5. Expert Panel Recommends Phase 1 Trial of Nasal COVID-19:Bharat Biotech denied permission for simultaneous Phase I, II trials of  COVID-19 intranasal vaccine

  • Bharat Biotech may soon succeed in developing another vaccine against covid-19. Recently, an expert panel of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) gave a green signal to Bharat Biotech to conduct phase-1 clinical trial of its intranasal vaccine.
  • This vaccine is being developed in collaboration with the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and according to Bharat Biotech only a drop of vaccine in each of the nostrils will provide protection against the infection. Phase 1 trials of the intranasal vaccine may begin as soon as February or March.


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