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Science Monitor: 6 February 2021

Science Monitor: 6 February 2021

                 

1. S&T allocation in UNION BUDGET-2021-22

Context:

Union Budget for the financial year 2021-22 was presented in the Lok Sabha on February 1st. This year, in view of the covid-19 pandemic, capacity building in the health sector has been given a big place in the Union Budget. Apart from this, several allocations have been made under different heads to strengthen S&T growth in the country.

Image result for S&T allocation in UNION BUDGET-2021-22

About the allocation:

  • Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented her third budget in Parliament on February 1st. This was also the first ever paperless digital budget of India. Under the proposed budget of about Rs 34,83,236 crore, provisions have been made to strengthen various sectors in the country.

  • Including those, that have played a key role in combating the pandemic through their research, development and innovation. In the proposed budget, the Ministry of S&T has been allocated budget of Rs 14,793.66 crore. Displaying an increase of about 20 percent from the current fiscal.

    • DST has been allocated a budget of Rs 6,067.39 crore.

    • Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has been given Rs 3,052.37 crore.

    • Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) has received a share of Rs 5,224.27 crore.

    • The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has been allocated Rs 1897.13 crore.

  • To accelerate science and technology development in country, the Union Budget 2021-22 has made allocations under several heads. This also includes an assistance of RS 1488 crore to the autonomous body that fall under DST.

  • Apart from this, an outlay of Rs 50,000 crore spread over 5 years has been proposed for the creation of the National Research Foundation, which will strengthen the overall research ecosystem in the country.

  • The Department of Space has been allocated a sum of Rs 13, 949.9 crore. Space Mission planned for this year includes PSLV-CS51 launch, that will be executed by the newly formed New Space India Ltd. (NSIL) and the first unmanned launch of the Gaganyaan Mission slated for December 2021.

  • To strengthen India’s Blue Economy Mission, a provision of Rs 4000 crore for over 5 years has been made for the deep ocean mission, which will cover the deep ocean survey exploration and projects for the conservation of deep-sea biodiversity.

  • The Budget outlay for health and well being is Rs 2,23,846 crore, denoting an increase of 137 percent as against the earlier allocation. A provision of Rs 35,000 crore has been made for covid-19 vaccination. Pneumococcal vaccine will also be rolled out across the country to reduce child mortality.

2. IIT Kanpur software for Autism detection

Context:

Autism is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins in early childhood. The disorder in incurable and early diagnosis can help in introducing right intervention to live with this condition. Now, researchers at IIT, Kanpur have developed a machine learning based software which can be used by parents to check early sign of autism in their children.

Image result for Autism

 

About the software:

  • Autism refers to a host of complex neurodevelopment disorders that effect the overall cognitive, emotional, social as well as physical development of the child. According to experts, sign of this condition appears much before the age of 3, but it goes undetected in many cases.

  • If the disorder is detected at right age, then it becomes a lot easier to train the child for day-to-day activities. Therefore, scientists from IIT Kanpur developed a software that can identify the possibility of autism at an early age.

  • Researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Department of Humanity and Social Sciences at IIT Kanpur studied the behaviour of 3 to 7 years old children and designed a model software. Parents can upload video of their child in the software and the software analyses various muscle movements of the child to identify the possibility of autism.

  • Though, autism cannot be cured yet, early detection can help in introducing appropriate intervention in the right time. Therefore, the software developed by IIT Kanpur is an important step in this direction.

 3.  AERO INDIA SHOW 2021

Context:

The 13th edition of Aero India International Air show concluded on the 5th of February. The biennial event is organised at the Yelahanka Air Force station in Bengaluru. This year, the event was inaugurated on the 3rd of February by the Dfence Minister Rajnath Singh, who also released the DRDO export compendium. Apart from displaying the vast potential of India and related sector, the event also made news for being the world’s first hybrid aero space show as it had physical as well as virtual elements.

Image result for AERO INDIA SHOW 2021

About the show:

  • On the first day of the show, GoI formally shield the Rs 48,000 crore deal to procure 88 LCA Tejas from the state-run aerospace giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), making it the biggest ever defence procurement program. With this deal, the strength of the IAF will also increase manifold.

  • This year more than 600 exhibitors participated in the event and among them about 80 represented other countries. During the air show, Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) and Sarang helicopter team hit the sky together.

  • Apart from this, Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter also demonstrated its strength. The event showcased the growth of defence and aerospace technology in Indian Armed Services. The DRDO also exhibited high level of indigenous content in defence forces.

  • The first India aero show was organised in 1996 by the Ministry of Defence to give the global platform to aerospace and defence industries. Over the years, the show has become Asia’s largest defence and aerospace show.

4.  SCIENCE EXPRESS

1. NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins conduct spacewalk:Image result for NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins conduct spacewalk

  • On February 1st, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr. conducted a spacewalk to complete the battery upgradation project of the International Space Station. This project was started 4 years ago. After making the initial preparation, both the astronauts exited the quest airlock at 7 in the morning according to the International standard time.

  • During this spacewalk the astronauts installed the lithium-ion battery adapter plates and also upgraded3 external cameras. The entire operation was completed within 5 hours and 20 minutes.

2. President Kovind Launches Nationwide Pulse Polio Programme For 2021:

Image result for Pulse Polio Programme For 2021

  • President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Polio National Immunization Day on the 30th January by administering polio drops to some children at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The three-day immunization drive kickstarted on the 31st January and immunised about 17 crore children. About 12 lakh vaccinators and 1.8 lakh observers were deployed for this work.

  • Addressing the program organised in this context, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted India’s achievement of maintaining the status of polio free nation for the last 10 years. In India, the last case of polio was reported in January 2011.

  • Polio National Immunization Day will be observed on January 31, also popularly known as Polio Ravivar. Polio drops are administered to children in the age group of 0 to 5 years.

3. CSIR-CMERI Demonstrates three Variants of advanced indigenous design and featured Mob Control Vehicle prototypes:

Image result for CSIR-CMERI Demonstrates three Variants of advanced indigenous design and featured Mob Control Vehicle prototypes

  • CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute demonstrated recently 3 variants of indigenous mob control vehicles. These vehicles have height adjustable front panel, protective front shield and all kinds of spray and tear gas systems.

  • The vehicle equipped with state-of-the-art technology like GPS tracker and GPS navigator. Vehicles will help the para military forces to maintain law and order in the country.

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