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Government of India
Ministry of Science & Technology
21-December-2010 17:01 IST
530 New Projects Sanctioned under Science & Engineering

5 New Technology Business incubators Launched
Proforma I

 

Ministry of Science & Technology with a mandate to strengthen the foundation of science and technology (S&T) and research and development (R&D) in India during the eleventh plan period has embarked upon multi pronged approach to further strengthen its service to the S&T sector.

 

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL (SERC)

 

The SERC in Indian S&T system has enhanced the Indian capability and global visibility in research and has driven level of funding support system per scientist to critical levels. It has created and nurtured competency in frontier areas of global standards especially in areas like Plasma Physics; Structural Biology; Neuroscience, Organic Synthesis; Robotics & Manufacturing, Biomedical Engineering and so on etc. SERC has emerged as a national model for a transparent & rigorous peer review mechanism. International S&T cooperation for joint funding through bottom-up models is based on SERC peer view mechanism which demonstrates cultural similarities with many developed countries in Europe. Under the SERC/PAC mechanism a total of about 530 new projects costing about Rs.160.3 crores were sanctioned under broad areas of Science & Engineering in 2009-10. In addition, releases for about 1250 ongoing projects were made.

 

THE DRUGS AND PHARMACEUTICALS RESEARCH PROGRAMME (DPRP)

 

A total of 24 R&D projects including collaborative and loan projects have been initiated during 2009-2010. Efforts  would also be  made   to financially support industries as well  as   publicly funded institutions by providing projects for  development of  drugs for  diseases pertinent  to our  country and certain lifestyle diseases like Leprosy, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Japanese Encephalitis, Syphilis, Leishmaniasis, Filariasis, HIV/AIDS, Tetanus, Measles, drug resistant Enteric Fever, Hepatitis B, Skin disorders like Leucoderma and Psoriasis, Gastrointestinal  disorders  like Diarrhoea & Cholera besides infections leading to Trypansomiasis and Ascariasis. Efforts would also be made to come up with more product patents, leveraging the Indian Pharma industry to take newer molecules for clinical trial phases. It will be also be attempted to study the diseases prevalent among the captive as well as in restricted geographical area of endangered animals and birds.

 

NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP

 

National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), which aims to foster knowledge-based and technology-driven entrepreneurship among S&T persons, launched five new Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) in 2009-10. A status report on “Technology Business Incubation in India” was prepared and brought out which would help all relevant organizations, stakeholders and concerned people to shape their offerings for better overall effectiveness of the incubator program and help and build the desired ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.

 

 

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION

The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC) has the  mandate to communicate science & technology & stimulate scientific and technological temper.

National Science Day celebrations are supported, catalyzed and coordinated through out the country with  activities like Exhibitions, Popular Lectures, Debates, Quiz & Essay Competitions, Seminars in various states.

Annual National Science Communication awards have now doubled in award amount and new awards instituted in the area of S&T in Print & Electronic Media taking the total to six awards                                                                             

 National Children’s Science Congress-2010 (18th)  is going to be  held at Chennai during 27-31 December 2010 with  focal theme as Land Resources: Use for Prosperity & Save for Posterity.                                     

  ‘Science Express’ is a unique 16 coach custom-built AC train owned by DST, showcasing state-of-the-art Indo-German science exhibits primarily developed by several Noble laureates from Max Planck Society, Germany. Since launch in 2007, it has enthralled over 51 lakh persons/students, at over 160 cities in three phases. During the Phase-III (2 October 2009 - 27 April 2010), this iconic mobile classroom halted at 50 new    destinations. Phase-IV was inaugurated on 4th Dec. 2010.                                                               

11th International Conference on Public Communication on Science & Technology  (PCST-2010) was organized at the National Agricultural Science Centre Complex, New Delhi during December 06-10, 2010. Attracting over 600 national and international delegates.

Rashtriya Kishore Vaigyanik Sammelan (RKVS), organized annually  along with the Indian Science Congress,  to stimulate creativity and inventiveness in science in the young minds, was inaugurated by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, and hosted by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, from 4th January to 6th January 2010. About 3500 delegates including students in the age group of 10-17 years  participated along with their science teachers.

Rajat Jayanti Fellowship in Science Communication, instituted in 2007 on the occasion of silver jubilee celebrations of NCSTC   for candidates below 35 years (relaxable by 5 years for women) possessing a graduation or higher degree in science, engineering, medical science, agriculture, information technology, mass communication etc. from a recognized university. This year eight candidates have been selected to support innovative Science Communication efforts in selected scientific institutions under the guidance of a senior science communicator.                                                                      

India Innovation initiative – i3 by  CII, DST & Agilent Technologies Ltd, aims at promoting innovators above 18 years of age. Out of a total of 890 entries  the top 52 innovations were selected for  i3 National Fair in November 2010 and  final 5 innovations were selected  for the i3 Awards.                                                      

 International Year of Astronomy (2009-10) had many activities organized by NCSTC and  state S&T Councils organized Astronomy popularization camps for the college students.                                                     

Eco-Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WaSH) Awareness & Literacy programme continued to support pan-India field interventions during 2010 in  Development Science Communication, Technology &  Demonstrative Communication, Communicative Action & Participatory Learning.

 

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION IN S&T

International Collaboration in S&T helps in opening dialogues and developing further relations both at bilateral and multilateral levels. These are inevitable to maintain pace of progress and growth of S&T. About 300 Joint R&D projects and 20 Joint workshops/seminars were supported. More than 600 exchange visits took place for joint research, information exchange and joint use of facilities. 10 joint industrial R&D projects were approved under collaboration with Israel, Canada and Switzerland. Support to Indo-French Centre for Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR), Indo-US S&T Forum (IUSSTF) and Indo-German S&T Centre (IGSTC) was continued.

           

NATIONAL MISSION ON NANO SCIENCE AND NANO TECHNOLOGY

 

The National Mission on Nano Science and Nano Technology (Nano Mission) is an umbrella programme to promote R&D in this emerging and active area of research. In 2009-10, 32 R&D projects, 2 new Units on Nano Science at IISER, Pune and IIT, Madras, Chennai and one   M. Tech. programme in Nano Technology at JNTU, Hyderabad were supported in addition to extending support to the ongoing programmes. A major initiative to take off on 2011-12 will be grant of loans to industries for product-specific projects.

 

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, (ARIES) is one of the leading research Institutes which specializes in observational Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. The Institute provides observing facilities in the optical wavelength, although multi-wavelength observations are also encouraged in the form of active collaborations with scientists and using facilities outside. The Atmospheric division investigates various phenomena like study of aerosols, trace gases etc. Moreover, to strengthen the scientific contribution the Institute has extended its horizon to theoretical and numerical studies in Relativistic Astrophysics. During 2009-10, 45 research papers were published, 2 Ph.D Theses were awarded and 2 submitted.

 

The Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow is carrying out researches with a commitment to ensure growth in fundamental and applied aspects of Palaeobotany and allied Earth System Sciences, especially focusing on past plant life and palaeoclimate, under 6 Thrust Area Programmes. Various research groups contributed important data on identified mandates in the frontier research themes.  . During 2009-10, 72 research papers in various international and national journals of repute published along with 70 scientific abstracts in different conferences. In addition, 44 papers have been accepted for publication.

 

The Bose Institute, Kolkata, founded by Acharya Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose in 1917, is devoted to research in the fields of Plant Sciences, Molecular Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Biotechnology, Radiophysics, Quantum Mechanics, Astrophysics and Condensed Matter Physics. The process of imparting insect resistance to economically important plants/crops is under trial, in cooperation with the industry. Developing Salt tolerance / insect tolerance in plants. In the rural biotechnology programme, rural people living below poverty level were trained on mushroom cultivation, preservation and spawn production for additional income generation.    During 2009-10, 171 research papers were published. 4 new patent filed & granted, 23 Ph.D were awarded..

 

Centre   for   Soft   Matter   Research: The Centre focuses on popularizing science among school / college students. Students are trained in research work leading to award of Ph.D. degree. Total number of publications during 2009-2010 : 43  (5 papers in press)

Impact factor of the above publications during 2009-2010 :  118.12

Number of Ph.Ds awarded during 2009-2010 : One

       

            For popularization of science, the faculty of the Centre has given 35 lectures at various schools/colleges during 2009-2010.

 

The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata has been continuing its efforts for excellence in scientific research.  During the year 2009-10, 415 publications were published.

 

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore : During the period 2009-10, the institute  Initiated steps towards testing and calibration of the  engineering model of the Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) system was carried out at the new laboratory viz. M.G.K. Menon Laboratory for Space Sciences; this  payload will be deployed by ISRO on its ASTROSAT Mission. Design and fabrication of precision instruments, Characterization of potential sites  and  formulation of  Critical Design Review Report for setting up the National Large  Solar Telescope;

 

During the period 2009-10, the members of the Institute have published scientific results in 76  papers in leading journals, 54 papers in the Proceedings; in addition, they have brought out two books, edited three books, contributed to 4 Books.   

 

International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI), Hyderabad has been set up with a mission to develop unique, novel and techno-commercially viable technologies in the area of advanced materials and their processing and subsequently transfer them to the industries. New Technologies developed by the Centre include Industrial production of nanosilver-coated candle filters for disinfection of drinking water has commenced and is in the market with the brand name of PURITECH, Process know-how for production of low and high calcium aluminate cements and high temperature furnace sealants has been transferred to Sharada Ceramics Pvt. Ltd., Chennai, Micro Arc Oxidation  Coating Technology commissioned at 3 companies.   During 2009-10, 41, important collaborations were made, 83 research papers were published and 43 new patents applications were submitted.

 

The Jawaharlal Nehru Centre For Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore has grown to become one of the leading institutions in the country for higher learning and research in frontier areas of science and engineering and is actively pursuing interaction with academic institutions and universities globally. The activities are in the following broad areas of Chemistry and Physics of Materials, Chemical Biology, Condensed Matter Theory, Soft Condensed Matter, Non-equilibrium Statistical Physics, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology, Engineering Mechanics, Molecular Biology and Genetics.

 

During 2009-10, 250 Publications have published reputed international journals, some of them with very high impact factor.  The average impact factor is 3.75. Patents/Know-how:  During the year 2010, the faculty filed 18  applications  for   15  inventions  and  3 patents were granted  (India 1, USA 1, South Africa 1).         

 

The Faculty of the Centre received many awards/distinctions :  Prof C N R Rao the August-Wilhelm-von-Hoffmann-Denkmunze Medal (Highest International Medal in Chemistry) by German Chemical Society,  invited to be the Arthur D. Little lecturer  of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA),  D Sc (Honoris Causa) from Punjab University and  offered the KFUPM Chair Professorship by the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia. Prof M R S Rao received Padma Shri Award  of Government of India  and has been appointed as Senior Editor, American Journal of  Cancer Research. Prof Swapan K Pati and and Prof Umesh V Waghmare have been selected for the award of Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2010 (Chemical Sciences) & (Physical Sciences), Prof Swapan Pati has been elected as a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Prof Tapas Kumar Kundu has been awarded the J C Bose Fellowship of DST and elected to INSA, New Delhi. Prof  Meheboob Alam has been selected as DAE-SRC Outstanding Research Investigator,  Dr Ganesh Subramanian has been chosen for the Young Engineer award. Dr Ranjan Datta,  Dr Rajesh Ganapathy   Dr Santosh Ansumali   have been selected as Associates of Indian Academy of Science for the year 2010. In addition, many faculty members received other awards and distinctions.     

 

Postgraduates and Ph. Ds trained: Beginning the academic year an  Integrated Ph D programme in Biology has been started.     With the admission of 49 students for various programmes (Ph D, MS, and Diploma),   the students  strength at the Centre reached   208.  During the year 2010, 30 degrees (Ph D: 17, M S (Engg.) : 4, M S (by research) :1 and M S (Materials Science (Int. Ph D) : 8) were  awarded.

 

The National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is a third party voluntary accreditation body providing formal recognition for technical competence of testing, calibration and medical laboratories. NABL accreditation system complies with ISO/IEC 17011:2004 and Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) MR001.  The laboratory accreditation is primarily based on ISO/IEC 17025:2005 for testing and calibration laboratories and ISO 15189:2007 for medical laboratories thereby contributing to the economic growth of the country.  The accreditation helps the industry to standardize and enhance the quality of products and services both for domestic market and exports. NABL had a total of 1180 accredited laboratories in 2408 fields/sub-fields. Out of these 212 laboratories in 430 fields / sub-fields were added during the financial year 2009-2010.

 

Raman Research Institute, Bangalore is engaged to carry out research in fundamental sciences. The Astronomy and Astrophysics Group continued to work in areas like: Cosmology and Structure Formation, Extragalactic Astronomy, Neutron Stars and Pulsars, the Galaxy and Interstellar Medium, Surveys, Topological Phase, Instrumentation and Signal Processing, etc. This group  pursued existing collaborative programmes, and also initiated a new one with the Indian Space Research Organisation.  The other  important international projects on which considerable further progress achieved were:  the Murchison Wide-field Array (MWA). This  project is led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  with several other partner institutions in the USA and Australia. The goal of MWA is to develop powerful new capabilities for Radio Astronomy in the frequency range 80 – 330 MHz, optimized for extremely wide fields of view and unprecedented sensitivity for a few key science goals.  During 2009-10, 149 research papers were published. 4 Indian and 4 International patent applications were filed, 5 Ph.D Thesis were submitted and 5 Ph.D Degrees were awarded.

 

S. N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences, Kolkata is particularly poised to develop Optics related work, both at the research and instructional levels. This includes basic experiments in Geometrical and Physical Optics, Nonlinear Optics, Opto-electronics and Quantum Optics, etc. The major results obtained are in the areas of Physics of nanomaterials including application-specific materials development. The center has acquired the capability to undertake design and synthesis of functional and nanomaterials and carrying out experimentation to study exotic physical properties. In particular, the centre has achieved the capability to do high precision nanolithography combining various tools.  During 2009-10, 26 research papers were published,  Faculty strength: 8 (including a Visiting Faculty Fellow); Number of Ph. D.  Students: 25; Number of Post-doctoral Researchers: 1

 

The Wadia Institute Of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun : The Institute has acclaimed reputation of internationally known center of excellence for research aimed to unravel the orogeny of the world’s youngest and loftiest mountain system.  Its research activities are grouped into five mission mode projects that are implemented through long-term and short-term projects of the Institute. During 2010-11 (till October 2010), 74 research papers with impact factor of 56 have been published and 3 Ph.D Degrees have been awarded.

 

The main objectives of Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), New Delhi include generation of Technology Forecasting (TF)/ Technology Assessment (TA)/ Technology-Market Survey (TMS) reports providing technology related information, promotion of technology and evolving suitable mechanism for testing of technology, technology transfer and commercialization as well as patent information system. It has emerged as a model builder for technology development and diffusion at various levels across the country with a clear role as analyzer and disseminator of information, diffuser of technology and facilitator of patents.

 

The primary objective of Vigyan Prasar (VP) is to promote and propagate scientific and rational outlook in the society by acting as resource agency for science communication and popularisation. Over the years, the activities of VP has ranged from development of a variety of software for S&T communication and popularization to resource contribution to national campaigns – such as Total Solar Eclipse 1995, 1999, 2009, Transit of Venus 2004, Vigyan Rail, World Year of Physics – 2005, International Year of Planet Earth – 2008, International Year of Astronomy – 2009, the use of various media and providing information services on various aspects of S&T.  A unique effort has been to establish a network of science clubs in the schools of different parts of the country.  This has laid the foundation of a national science club movement in rural areas. VP strives to create impact on the society by  developing resource persons for S&T communication, reaching rural and tribal areas through  dissemination of VP’s software and  networking with other organizations.   Various outreach programmes of NCSTC, DST in the form of campaigns, awareness programmes and training were  supported by Vigyan Prasar with its software through out the country during International Year of Earth – 2008 and International Year of Astronomy – 2009 that has helped in creating impact in the society.

RJ/SKK