Current Science & Technology developments in India
- Science and Technology hold the key to the progress and development of any nation. Technology plays a Fundamental role in wealth creation, improvement of the quality of life and real economic growth and transformation in any society.
- The role of Science and Technology in our daily life is altering the way people live, behave, and communicate with profound effects on economic development. Science and Technology are now the key elements to development as the scientific revolutions reinforce economic progress, infrastructure and improve health and education system
- Innovation is the primary key to the technological growth and leads to better living standards. The degrees to which developing countries can emerge as economic powerhouse depends on their ability to apply insights from science and technology.
- The potential of Science and Technology for growth is endless. For example, the computing is unlocking infrastructure backlogs and handling integrated supply chains which can transform economic performances by enabling accessible and affordable services in healthcare and education. The emerging technology of internet and cloud-based solutions has transformed human experience.
New Science, Technology and Innovation Developments In India
- While it is the private sector that constitutes the engine of innovation, national policies create environments that can encourage or constrain the ability of firms to innovate.
- The more innovative firms are, the more they are profitable and the more value-added they create in a nation. It is, therefore, vital for countries to put in place policies to create an effective and efficient national innovation system (NIS).
- Four conditions need to be met for building an effective national innovation system.
- These are
- strong and competitive pressures on domestic firms;
- the presence of high quality human capital;
- well developed links between industry, institutions and academia; and
- openness and access to foreign technologies.
- These determinants of an NIS indicate that innovation involves far more than science and technology. It cannot be denied, however, that a forward-looking S&T policy can be developed to foster an appropriate mix of these determinants.
- Indeed, the first step towards, and the necessary pre-requisite to, any good NIS is an effective S&T policy. In recognition of this, all advanced and industrialising countries consciously foster an S&T policy.
- The pressures of international competition have made both knowledge creation and exploitation vital for business success. As a result, the internationalisation of R&D has increasing relevance for strategic management of companies and the strengthening of national innovation systems.
- The globalisation of R&D is establishing deep roots for several reasons.
- Firstly, changing geopolitical infrastructures are creating new opportunities for synergistic R&D activities across national frontiers.
- Secondly, rapidly changing technologies are no longer constrained by geographical boundaries.
- Thirdly, increasing complexities of technological systems are making it imperative to generate and implement knowledge in emerging fields quickly and collaboratively.
- Fourthly, the need for brainpower with an ever-increasing sophistication is being met by identifying and employing people with the appropriate skills at appropriate locations wherever they may be. International R&D strategy is thus emerging to meet these challenges.
- To this end, firms in developed countries and increasingly in some developing countries are being driven to take advantage of world-wide science and technology resources.
- These factors have spurred the growth of science and technology developments in those nations, which have conducive environments.
- Israel, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and, to a lesser extent, Ireland, have made substantial progress in upgrading their innovative capacity and, as a result, have become beneficiaries of foreign investments in science and technology ventures.
- Although countries such as India, China and Malaysia, have increased investments in areas related to science, technology and innovation at modest levels, there is little doubt that some of these, especially China and India, are potential scientific powerhouses
Trends in India’s Science and Technology Policy
- It has long been recognised that investment in science and technology makes substantial contribution to economic growth in terms of higher growth rates of an economy’s total factor productivity.
- In addition to direct returns, huge (positive) externalities have also been found to be associated with it.
- Taking cognisance of the importance of technology’s role in development, advanced countries nurture continuing development of science and technology and most developing countries adopt R&D policies in the early phases of their development. Science and Technology policy constitutes an integral part of a nation’s overall industrial policy
- While the former shapes the pace and direction of technology development, the latter determines the nature of demand.
- Science and Technology policy of any nation is carved within the background of overall industrial policy.
- If anything, S&T policy is supposed not only to give meaning to, but more importantly, to ensure achievement of the goals of industrial policy.
- It is therefore the thrust and direction of industrial policy that determines the tenets of any S&T policy, although it must be said that R&D may lead to results that may also change the course of industrial policy.
- Even so, S&T policy has almost always been driven by the goals of industrial development policy.
- Two strands of S&T policy have existed – policies related to technology transfer from abroad through formal modes such as FDI, technology licensing and capital goods imports and domestic technology generation policies.
Some of the recent developments in the field of science and technology in India are as follows:
- Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd launched its first-ever driverless tractor on developed at the Mahindra Research Valley hub in Chennai, which can be operated remotely via a tablet. The tractor is expected to be available commercially from early 2018.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has 21 rocket launches in the pipeline, along with testing of its heaviest rocket called the Geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV) MK-III.
- India’s space business to witness tremendous growth in the next five years, on the back of technology advancement, global space business opportunity and a sharp rise in Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) satellite launch capability.
- ISRO’s lunar dust mining plan focuses on generating and transporting energy to the Earth from Helium-3 rich lunar dust from the Moon, as part of its 2030 goal of meeting India’s energy needs.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch 2 satellites in March and April 2017, which includes the satellite meant for the benefit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations. ISRO also targets launch of second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 in first quarter of 2018.
- ISRO has launched a record high of 104 satellites in one go on a single rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
Space Research and Discovery
- High-thrust cryogenic engine CE20 (ISRO, India)- To be used in heavy launch vehicle GSLV Mk-III.
- Galactoseismology (India) Method to detect dwarf galaxies dominated by dark matter. Also explains ripples on outer disk of galaxy.
- ASTROSAT(ISRO, India) India’s 1st dedicated multi wavelength space observatory.
In Defence and Combat Sector S&T Development
|INS Astradharini||India||1st indigenously-designed and built torpedo launch and recovery vessel.|
|INS Kochi||India||Indigenously built largest destroyer warship.|
|Akash Missile||India||Indigenously-built surface-to-air missile.
Strike range of 25km and can carry warheads up to 60kg.
|BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile||India||Successful 48th test firing of BrahMos.
Has a range of 290km and a Mach 2.8 speed.
|Akash Weapon System (AWS)||India||Indigenously developed and inducted into the Indian Army.|
In Health and Medicine Sector S&T Development
|ZikaVac||Bharat Biotech, India||World’s first vaccine for Zika Virus.|
|BGR-34||India||1st Ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug.
BGR is acronym for Blood Glucose Regulator.
|Artificial Liver Tissue||India||India’s 1st artificial liver tissue using 3-D printing technology.|
In Science and Technology Sector S&T Development
|NBeG 47||India||First machine harvestable chickpea variety.
To address labour shortage & reduce hard work.
|Pruthvi Chip||Saankhya Labs, India||Chip powers a system that can use TV White Space or wasted spectrum bandwidth to beam Internet to scores of households.|
|Leap Second 2015||India||30th June 2015 clocked 1 second longer as an extra second was added to the clocks world-wide at 23:59:59.|
|World’s first water-based computer||India-America||Synchronous computer that operates using the unique physics of moving water droplets.|
In Research and Discovery Sector S&T Development
|Tree frog Ghatixalus magnus||India||Discovered in the high ranges of Idukki district in the Western Ghats of Kerala.|
|Musa Indandamanensis||India||Sweet banana species. Bananas of this species are very sweet and are eaten by tribal people of the island.|
|4 new species of Fish; Puntius Nelsoni, Puntius Nigronotus, Systomus Chryseus and Systomus Rufus||India||Four new species of Fish discovered in Kerala.|
|Butterfly called Banded Tit||India||Tiny butterfly species discovered in forests of Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh.|
|Snow Leopard||India||Spotted the endangered snow leopards for the 1st time in the North Sikkim Plateau.|
|New tree frog genus||India||Discovered a new genus of tree hole-breeding frogs in the forests of northeast.|
|Dracula Ant||India||Discovered by a group of citizen scientists in the Western Ghats region of Kerala.|
|New fish species named Puntius Dolichopterus||India||Discovered from a small water stream in Kayamkulam city of Kerala.|
|Blue whales||India||1st time after 100 years Blue Whales were sighted off the coast of Maharashtra.|
|New species of fish called Pethia Striata||India||Discovered in the Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka.|
|New Catfish Species Glyptothorax Senapatiensis||India||New catfish species in the Chindwin river drainage in Senapati district of Manipur.|
|New species of Geckos, Cnemaspis Adii||India||Spotted at the ruins of the World Heritage Site of Hampi, Karnataka.|
|Grey Hypocolius||India||Small passerine bird species and sole member of the genus Hypocolius.|
|Rare Spiders Martensopoda Sanctor and Stenaelurillus Albus||India||The spiders belong to the Sparassidae and Salticidae families.|
|2 bloom-forming algal species, Ulva Paschima Bast and Cladophora Goensis Bast||India||Discovered off the west coast of India|
|Endangered forest owlet, Athene Blewitti)||India||Species belongs to the typical owls’ family, Strigidae that is on the verge of extinction.|
Major developments/ achievements of Department of Science and Technology
Major developments/ achievements/ Main highlights of the activities of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Ministry of Science & Technology during the Year 2016 are as following:
- National Initiative for Developing & Harnessing Innovation (NIDHI), a programme to address the complete chain of innovation ecosystem right from scouting to mentoring to scaling up innovations launched by DST. Establishment of a research park at IIT Gandhinagar has been supported at a cost of Rs.90 cr.
- Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) has initiated a new scheme viz. Visiting Advanced Joint Research (VAJRA) Faculty Scheme. The scheme envisages to associate distinguished international faculty as Adjunct/Visiting Faculty in Indian institutions for a period of 1-3 month in a year.
- Overseas Doctoral Fellowship scheme aimed to impart research training of Ph.D. Scholars in Indian institutions for collaborative research abroad was launched by SERB. Fellowship would be for a period upto 12 months.
- ‘Technology Vision 2035’ document was released by Hon’ble Prime Minister, on 3rd January 2016 during 103rd session of Indian Science Congress, held at Mysore University, Mysuru.
- Devasthal Optical Telescope, an Indo-Belgian venture, successfully established by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital was technically activated by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble Prime Minister of Belgium, Mr. Charles Michel, remotely from Brussels.
- Surya Jyoti: Photovoltaic integrated Micro Solar Dome, is the simple innovative technology developed to meet the lighting need for people who do not have access to reliable supply of electricity. The product has been included for subsidy under Off Grid and decentralized solar application scheme of Ministry of New and Renewable energy. The Ministry of Rural Development has informed to all States and Union Territories to explore the possibility of adopting this innovative technology of Surya Jyoti for the houses constructed under Prime Minister Awas Yojana-Gramin.
- The National Award for the successful commercialization of indigenous technology was presented to SMITA Research Lab, IIT Delhi for the commercialization of N9 Pure Silver by , the Hon’ble President of India, during the Technology Day function on 11th May 2016. Technology was jointly developed by M/s RESIL Chemicals Private Limited and ARCI, Hyderabad under Nano Mission of DST.
- Deployment of a mobile RO unit: DST has supported quick deployment and demonstration of a mobile water purification unit developed by CSIR-CSMCRI for producing portable water for drinking. It was demonstrated in Latur, Marathwada region which was facing severe scarcity of drinking water during this year’s drought period.
- Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) based plasma system for portable water purification: A technology developed at CEERI Pilani through support by DST’s Water Technology Initiative (WTI) for Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) based plasma system for disinfection has been successfully transferred for commercialization to Turners Pvt. Ltd. Jaipur.
- The Water Quality Laboratory at Kohima, Nagaland: The Referral Water Laboratory, fully equipped with the in house sophisticated analytical equipments for Water Quality analysis was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan at NASTEC, Kohima, Nagaland,
- Solar Energy Research Institute for India and the United States (SERIIUS): The Indo-US consortium has developed the crucial prototype test loop that demonstrate the multiscale aspects of the supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle (s-CO2) at IISc Bangalore for development of high temperature concentrated solar power in the country.
- BRICS STI Cooperation: To further strengthen the collaboration amongst the BRICS countries in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), the 4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting was convened on 8 October, 2016 at Jaipur.
- DST and RC-UK have agreed to launch India-UK Clean Energy R&D Centre on solar energy, storage and integration with an investment of £ 5 million from each side.
- Building upon the Thames-Ganga Partnership and recognising the importance of clean and portable water, DST and RCUK have agreed to launch a new collaborative programme on Improving Water Quality and Reusing Waste Water.
- DST-Intel Collaborative Research for Real-Time River Water and Air Quality Monitoring: Recognizing the importance of developing the online River Water and Air Quality Monitoring systems, DST and Intel has initiated a joint programme at a cost of Rs.33 cr on a 50:50 cost sharing basis in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode.
- A new programme on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (ICPS) to foster and promote R&D in this emerging field of research has been launched. A Cyber Physical System (CPS) is a mechanism controlled or monitored by computer-based algorithms, tightly integrated with internet and its users. It is an engineered system that are built from and depend upon, the seamless integration of computational algorithms and physical components
- Collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), UK: Initiated to access its neutron facility for carrying out research in Nano Science and Technology.
- DST constituted ‘Standing Committee for Promoting Women in Science’ to address a low representation of women in Science & Technology (S&T) domain. To provide opportunities to women scientists and technologists for pursuing research in basic or applied sciences, 227 projects were recommended for support. Twenty nine projects to women scientist were supported for finding out solutions to challenges/issues at the grassroots level for social benefit. To create opportunity of self employment and/or also sustainable career for the women scientists, one year internship in the domain of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to 111 women was provided during the year.
- Technology demonstrated for cyber-digital-physical reconstruction of Hampi heritage Plans for covering 100 monuments are under formulation.
- DST-STI Policy Fellowship at post-doctoral level was initiated to generate a critical mass of policy researchers.
- In the context of Start-up India initiative of the Government, INSPIRE Awards scheme has been revamped to foster culture of innovation among school children of class VI to class X. The scheme has been rechristened as INSPIRE Awards-MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge). The 6th National Level Exhibition & Project Competition was organized during December 10-11, 2016 along with India International Science Festival (IISF) at CSIR-NPL, New Delhi.
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