Upgraded Vikas engine will soon boost ISRO?s rockets
July 17, 2018 (Bengaluru)
All three satellite launch vehicles of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are set to add muscle to their spacecraft lifting power in upcoming missions this year. The space agency has improved the thrust of the Vikas engine that powers all of them. The agency said the high-thrust engine qualified on Sunday after a ground test lasting 195 seconds (over three minutes).
The main beneficiary of the high-thrust Vikas engine is said to be the heavy-lifting GSLV-Mark III launcher, which ISRO expects will now put 4,000-kg satellites to space. This would be the third Mk-III and the first working one to be designated MkIII Mission-1 or M1.
The first MkIII of June 2017 started with a 3,200-kg satellite and the second one is being readied for lifting a 3,500-kg spacecraft.
The Vikas engine "will improve the payload capability of PSLV, GSLV and GSLVMk-III launch vehicles," ISRO said. The improvement effort, the second such since December 2001, was conducted at ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.
S. Somanath, Director, Launch Vehicles Centre, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said the incremental benefit of the upgraded engine should be seen in the PSLV and GSLV missions over the coming months. MkIII-D2, the second test flight of the heavy-lifter, is being assembled. The new engine will be used in the subsequent mission - M1.
The Vikas engine is used in the second stage of the light lifting PSLV; the second stage and the four add-on stages of the medium-lift GSLV; and the twin-engine core liquid stage of Mk-III.
Mr. Somanath said that, eventually, ISRO will phase out Vikas by replacing it first in Mk-III with a cleaner and safer semi-cryogenic engine. The semi-cryo engine is ready for trial; its stage has just been approved. "I cannot predict when it [the replacement] can happen," he said.
Exhorting scientists to indulge in research that would make a difference to the society, director of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) Jitendra J Jadhav on Friday said that paper publication alone was not the 'be all and end all of research.
Jadhav, who was attending the CFTRI's symposium on 'Advances in Biological Research', said, "Although research is extensive in India, when it comes to to its impact on society, the nation is lagging behind."
Lamenting the failure of research institutes in India to to solve some of the country's basic problems, he added, ?Various institutes are working for the development of the country, and the people. However, we fail to solve the basic faced by the common man."
Urging young researchers to locate problem areas crying for a solution, Jadhav said "There are a lot of simple problems such as animals venturing into human habitats, waste management, and sea waste management."
Pointing to the broad scope of research in the life sciences, he added, "India is gearing up to make an impact the world the world over in life sciences. Biotechnology and life sciences. Biotechnology and life science researchers play a key role in the growth of the country."
Calling on researchers to seek out entrepreneurial opportunities, chief scientist and advisor at CSIR-CFTRI R Subramanian pointed out that both the central and state governments were working towards ensuring a conducive environment for startups in the country.
"Many individuals have obtained required material from CFTRI, and other research institutes, through Transfer Of Technology (TOT) and have established successful businesses," Subramanian said.
Chairman of the department of studies in biochemistry at University of Mysore (UoM) Prof. K Kemparaju, who delivered the plenary lecture on 'Exploring Neutrophils: The Sentinels of Innate Immunity', said, "Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, gangrene, cancer and cardiovascular disorders can be kept at bay through one's food habits."
Endorsing the observation, superintendent of Apollo Hospital Dr Anjali Arun, who spoke on 'Research in human subjects, ethical aspects, limitations and opportunities', said, "Lifestyle diseases are alarmingly high nowadays. Youngsters aged between 20 and 30 are being diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension and cancer, which is a disturbing trend."
Referring patients of today as 'Google Patients', Dr Anjali added, "They are well informed because of the access to information related to all ailments on Google. On the other hand, we also have patients who repose faith in the doctor, and expect the latter to take a call."
ISRO tests crew escape system for human spaceflight
July 05, 2018 (Bengaluru)
In its aim towards human spaceflight, Indian space agency ISRO on Thursday carried out the first in a series of tests to qualify a crew escape system.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a statement said the crew escape system is a critical technology for human spaceflight.
The crew escape system is an emergency escape measure designed to quickly pull the crew module along with the astronauts to a safe distance from the launch vehicle in the event of a launch abort.
"The first test (Pad Abort Test) demonstrated the safe recovery of the crew module in case of any exigency at the launch pad," ISRO said.
According to the ISRO, the five-hour countdown was smooth. The crew escape system along with the simulated crew module with a mass of 12.6 tonne, lifted off at 7 a.m. at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
The test was over in 259 seconds, during which the crew escape system along with crew module soared skyward, then arced out over the Bay of Bengal and floated back to Earth under its parachutes about 2.9 km from Sriharikota.
The crew module reached an altitude of nearly 2.7 km under the power of its seven specifically designed quick acting solid motors to take away the crew module to a safe distance without exceeding the safe g-levels.
Nearly 300 sensors recorded various mission performance parameters during the test flight.
Three recovery boats are being exercised to retrieve the module as part of the recovery protocol.
India To Host International Union Of Food Science And Technology 2018
July 03, 2018
The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), the global voice of food science and technology in association with Indian National Science Academy (INSA) as adhering body, announced the 19th edition of its prestigious global event to be held in Navi Mumbai, India in October 2018.
The five-day event will bring together researchers, academicians, professionals, policymakers and industry leaders from across the globe to showcase innovation, exchange breakthrough ideas and drive policy issues. The focal theme for this edition of the prestigious congress is 25 Billion Meals a Day by 2025 with Healthy, Nutritious, Safe and Diverse Foods.
Fleet Space Technologies says Centauri I will fly to space on a PSLV later this year
The Indian PSLV launcher has broken into a rising Australian space market and bagged its first small but promising order from Down Under. Fleet Space Technologies, an IoT (Internet of Things) startup, disclosed last week that its first 10-kg nanosatellite Centauri I would fly to space on a PSLV later this year.
The prospect for the PSLV is in the fact that Adelaide-based Fleet plans to put up a constellation of an unstated number of tiny satellites ? all of which will need a suitable, timely launch vehicle to take them to space.
Australia is in the throes of setting up its space agency and an industry around it. Adelaide in South Australia is the current hub of this activity. The second nanosat, Centauri II, is to be launched on the U.S. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket later this year.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has planned a part-commercial PSLV flight around August. Neither Fleet nor Antrix Corporation, ISRO's business arm, could immediately say if Centauri I would go on it.
For lighter payloads
The PSLV's three versions can lift satellites of 1,000-1,750 kg to distances of around 600 km in pole-to-pole orbits. A neat launch record has made the booster a trusted and affordable space vehicle for small satellites. Big rocket players are focussed on taking heavy, multi-tonne satellites to space.
Since its first commercial launch in 1999, the PSLV has put in orbit 237 small satellites of 28 countries, About half of them are from the US. Antrix recently said it has many more orders confirmed or under discussion.
A news release from the Australian company quoted its co-founder and CEO Flavia Tata Nardini and said it is developing a series of 10-kg nanosatellites about the size of a shoebox to enable low-cost connectivity for agriculture, logistics, mining and other industries.
"The first satellite," it said, "will establish a global network that will connect [75 billion] sensors and devices, for free." A single nanosat can apparently cover 90% of the globe.
India's first robotic telescope opens its eyes to the universe
June 20, 2018 (New Delhi)
The telescope located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) at Hanle in Ladakh is the country's first robotic telescope and the first one designed to observe dynamic or transient events in the universe.
"The telescope saw its first light on the night of June 12," G C Anupama, in-charge of IAO and the Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST) at Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) Bangalore, told India Science Wire.
Young astronomers who were in Hanle are excited over the development. "For the first light, targets were chosen from the Messier catalog - a catalog of nearby, bright astronomical sources accessible from the northern hemisphere. These chosen regions are not only rich in stars, thereby allowing for various image quality tests but are also visually stunning," recalled Atharva Patil, a project student and Shubham Srivastav, a postdoctoral fellow - both from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay- while speaking to India Science Wire. Both were involved with the installation of the telescope.
Called GROWTH-India, the facility at Hanle is part of a multi-country collaborative initiative known as 'Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen' (GROWTH) to observe transient events in the universe. The fully robotic optical research telescope is designed to capture cosmic events occurring in timescales much shorter than light years - years, days and even hours.
Universities and research institutes from the US, the UK, Japan, India, Germany, Taiwan and Israel are part of the initiative. The primary research objective of the project is time domain astronomy, which entails the study of explosive transients and variable sources in the universe.
"Together with partner telescopes strategically located around the world, we can continuously monitor any interesting object in the sky - uninterrupted by daylight," explained Anupama.Secretary, MHRD; Shri N. Balagopala, Vice-Chairman, P.N Panicker Foundation, Kerala were also present on the occasion.
The Rs 3.5 crore telescope is a joint project of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB). The project is fully funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the PIRE project, administered by Indo US Science and Technology Forum. Anupama of IIA and Varun Bhalerao of IIT Bombay are the principal investigators of the project in India.
The 70 cm robotic telescope joins other larger facilities at IAO in Hanle - the Himalayan Chandra Telescope, the gamma-ray array telescope (HAGAR), and the imaging Cherenkov telescope (MACE). The telescope is expected to generate enormous amounts of data - over one thousand gigabytes in a year.
The telescope has a sensitive camera capable of detecting even the faintest transients found by partner survey telescopes such as the Zwicky Transient Facility at Palomar, California. It is also is programmed to directly communicate with different ground-based and space-based surveys searching for transient sources.
Transients often leave signatures in various electromagnetic wavelength bands, which astronomers try to capture using telescopes that are sensitive to a variety of wavelengths - from gamma-rays to infra-red. Transient surveys involve scanning a part of the sky, moving on to other areas, returning to the first part repeatedly and comparing images to see changes such as increase or decrease in brightness of a source. Telescopes dedicated for transient surveys are usually small, wide-field instruments.
"Our primary science goals are studying electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources, young supernovae and near earth asteroids," Anupama added.
Isro ropes in pvt firms, inks pact with a consortium to assemble satellites
July 20, 2018 (New Delhi)
The Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro's) satellite centre, the Isro Satellite Centre (ISAC), has signed an agreement with a consortium led by Alpha Design Technologies Pvt Ltd, Bharat Electronics Limited and the Tatas to assemble satellites.
This will be the first set of agreements signed by Isro, which is trying to rope in private partners to overcome its own constraints. The space agency is encouraging private players to form a small consortium to undertake satellite and rocket manufacturing work so that it can remain focused on research and development.
After signing the agreement, Alpha Design Technologies chairman and managing director H S Shankar said that his company is the only organisation that has, under guidance from Isro, already assembled, integrated and tested the high-end 1.65 tonne IRNSS-1i successfully. The satellite was launched on April 12, 2018, and is functioning excellently in outer space.
The Alpha Design-led consortium consists of six small and medium-sized enterprises, including Newtech, Aidin, Aniera, DCX, Vinyas, and Exseed Speed.
Sources in the Isro said that the Alpha-led consortium, Tata, and BEL will work independently.
They are expected to build at least 7-9 satellites - divided equally between Alpha, BEL and Tata - per year. The agreement is for three years and is extendable for 2 more years.
The value of the satellites to be built was not shared by Isro or its new partners.
The satellites that are going to be built are between 1.5-3 tonnes and are meant for imaging, communication, and weather forecasting.
Sources said that all these satellites will be assembled at ISITE facilities - separate enclosures for all the companies under ISAC/ISRO.
Earlier, Alpha Design had said that it had plans to build its own facilities in the next 3-5 years. It is also scouting for investors and planning for an initial public offering to mobilise funds to back the plan.
Industry representatives have said that for medium and big satellites, the present requirements projected by Isro are that 7-9 per year might be sufficient for the next 3 years.
However, this requirement is expected to increase to 12 per year. To address this, each of these organisations would require around 500 engineers/diploma holders/skilled technicians during the 3 years.
Urban and wealthier households at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases in India, finds study
July 20, 2018 (New Delhi)
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) - diseases related to the heart and blood vessels are the number one cause of death in the world. In India, CVDs account for close to 25% of the total deaths - higher than tuberculosis and respiratory diseases combined, which are second and the third cause of death. Health officials predict that the risk of CVDs is only going to increase with changing lifestyle, higher levels of obesity, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, and overuse of tobacco and alcohol. So, who is at a higher risk of having a cardiovascular disease in their lifetime?
A recent study by researchers at the Harvard University and Harvard Medical School (USA), University of Goettingen (Germany) and the Indian Institute of Public Health (India) have examined the risk of CVDs across India based on the geographical and sociodemographic information. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, has analysed data of over 7,97,540 adults between the ages of 30 and 47, from 27 states and five union territories in India.
The researchers used data from the Annual Health Survey and District-level Household Survey from 2010-2014 to collect information about a person's health and sociodemographic information. Factors like body-mass index (BMI), high blood glucose level, blood pressure and smoking habits, which contribute to the risk of CVDs were collected along with their residence location. The risk factors helped the researchers calculate the risk of an individual developing a fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease in the next ten years.
The study found that at a national level, the prevalence of a high CVD risk of greater than 30% in the next ten years, was twice as higher in men as compared to women. Based on the geography, it varied from 10.2% among females in Assam to 24.2% among males in Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh. The average 10-year risk of a fatal or nonfatal CVD event varied widely among states in India, ranging from 13.2% in Jharkhand to 19.5% in Kerala. The risk of CVD was highest in North India, Northeast, and South India.
The study also found that adults living in urban areas, as well as those with a higher household wealth or education, tended to have a higher CVD risk. It found that smoking was more prevalent in poorer households and rural areas, whereas body mass index, high blood glucose, and systolic blood pressure - risk factors for CVD - were higher among wealthier families in urban areas. In fact, men had a substantially higher smoking prevalence (26.2%) compared to women (1.8%) and also higher systolic blood pressure than women.
With India's rapid economic growth leading to higher standards of living, and with it, increasing prevalence unhealthy lifestyles, there could be many more who are 'urbanised' and have a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Come this October, drones for civilian purposes may turn into a reality
July 18, 2018
Airplanes and birds are soon to be joined by unmanned aerial vehicles over Indian skies. With the Civil Aviation Ministry working to put in place a regulatory framework, drones for civilian purposes may soon be a reality .
The sale and purchase of drones in currently restricted by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India.
Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey, told PTI, the ministry is working on putting in place a system wherein registration and flying permission for civilian drones are done online.
In November 2017, the ministry came out with draft norms for operating drones for civilian purposes.
According to the draft regulations, drones would require unique identification numbers while nano drones - those weighing below 250 grams - would be exempt from seeking one time approval.
Various restrictions have been proposed to ensure that the drones are used only for valid purposes. There would be 'no drone zones' that includes 50 kilometres from the international border.
A 13-member task force, headed by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, is in the process of preparing a road map for the implementation of unmanned aerial vehicle technology.
The task force would prepare a road map, including "outcomes, time lines, implementation & review mechanism and measurable metrics" for the implementation of UAV technology. Besides, the role of the industry would be clearly delineated, the ministry had said in a release in April.
IIT Delhi and AIIA to give 'scientific validation' to Ayurveda, MoU signed
July 17, 2018 (New Delhi)
An agreement was today signed between IIT Delhi and the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under which projects would be launched that would aim to give "scientific validation" to the ancient medical science and integrate it with technology.
The projects would be funded by the Ayush Ministry.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the faculties of IIT Delhi and AIIA will work together in the projects to look at ways to integrate technology with Ayurveda.
The MoU is an attempt to give scientific validation to Ayurveda, said V R Rao, IIT Delhi Director , who signed the agreement along with Tanuja Nesari, AIIA Director .
<>"Ayurveda is often associated with religion, where in reality, they have nothing to do with it. Ayurveda is a science and the agreement signed with IIT Delhi is an attempt to integrate it with technology," he said.
Shripad Yesso Naik, Ayush Minister, underlined the need to work towards promoting the benefits of Ayurveda to a worldwide audience.
He also expressed hope that the agreement would integrate technology in the Ayurveda sector.
The agreement was signed at a conference of the heads of National Ayush Institutes who would brainstorm on ways to induce modernity in Ayurveda.
Representatives of IIT and IIM Ahmedabad and AIIMS would also look at ways to improve the Ayurveda education.
Science experience centre for students in Hyderabad
July 17, 2018 (Hyderabad)
Agastya International Foundation (Agastya) and Honeywell India's Science Experience Centre have been now expanded to Hyderabad wherein students and teachers from government schools will do experimental science programmes. This programme is being run in Bengaluru, Gurugram and Pune which will foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education which has expanded in Chennai, Madurai, and Mysore, apart from Hyderabad.
As part of the programme, Honeywell's not-for-profit entity Honeywell Hometown Solutions India Foundation (HHSIF) is supporting 25 science centres, 35 mobile science labs, and 3,000 student mentors, benefitting more than 1,35,000 students and 783 teachers across all these cities as well as Bengaluru, Gurugram, Delhi, and Pune. Honeywell Science Experience targets middle and high school students and teachers in government schools.
Speaking at the programme expansion on Tuesday, Jayesh Ranjan, IT Secretary said: "We are living in the fourth industrial era where application-based education will have a more profound impact on students, making them skilled citizens of tomorrow. Experiential learning improves critical thinking and helps students apply classroom concepts to real-world challenges." The programme aims to foster child and teacher participation in experiential learning, and boost science education through its uniquely scalable, hands-on teaching-learning methods.
K Thiagarajan, Chief Operating Officer, Agastya International Foundation said: "Telangana has been an important area in delivering Agastya?s vision and mission. The Government institutions have been encouraging and endorsing our outreach programmes in several locations. Today, we are reaching out to more than 200 schools through our diverse set of programmes. We are aspiring to set up a Creativity Campus in Telangana in the next two to three years."
2018 end to be busy for ISRO with several rocket launches
July 16, 2018(Chennai)
The Indian space agency will have a busy year-end with several rocket launches planned from its rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, said a top official.
The GSAT-11 satellite, which had been recalled from Arianespace's rocket port in French Guiana for further tests, is also expected to be put into orbit by Arianespace's rocket Ariane by the year end, the official said.
"The calendar year end will be a busy one for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), launching satellites with our three rockets - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk II and Mk III).
"Starting September there will be rocket launches with Indian as well as foreign satellites," K. Sivan, ISRO Chairman said on Monday.
According to Sivan, in September ISRO will fly a PSLV rocket with two foreign satellites, earning revenue for the country.
In October, another PSLV rocket will fly with an Indian remote sensing satellite and several foreign satellites.
October will also see India's heaviest rocket 640-ton GSLV Mk III flying up with GSAT-29 with Ka x Ku multi-beam and optical communication payloads. The mission targets Village Resource Centres (VRC) in rural areas to bridge the digital divide.
In November, ISRO will fly a GSLV Mk II rocket to put into orbit GSAT-7A, to be used by the Indian Air Force (IAF). Earlier, ISRO had launched GSAT-7 or Rukmini satellite for the Indian Navy.
Queried about the 5.8-ton GSAT-11, a communication satellite that was recalled from French Guiana this April, Sivan said: "We expect the satellite to be launched before the end of this year. Discussions with Arianespace are on regarding the time and date of the satellite launch."
The missile was fired from a mobile autonomous launcher at 10.17 a.m. from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha.
The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test-fired on Monday, under extreme weather conditions, as part of the service life extension programme for the Army.
"The missile followed the designated trajectory and the key components functioned perfectly. BrahMos has again proved its all-weather capability, flying in sea state 7, with waves as high as nine metres," the Defence Ministry said in a statement. (Sea state is the degree of turbulence at sea, generally measured on a scale of 0 to 9 according to average wave height).
The missile was fired from a mobile autonomous launcher at 10.17 a.m. from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore, Odisha.
BrahMos, a joint venture between India and Russia, has been demonstrated in various configurations in land-attack, anti-ship and from the air. The Army and the Navy have already inducted the missile, while the air launched variant is undergoing trials.
It has a strike range of around 290 km and is described as the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman congratulated the scientists, officials of Brahmos and the Army for the successful test firing of the missile. Senior Army officials and scientists from DRDO and Brahmos witnessed the trial.
"Brahmos missile has established itself as a major force multiplier in modern-day complex battlefields with its impeccable land-attack, anti-ship capabilities with multi-role and multi-platform abilities," the Ministry said.
How Indian museums can harness power of technology for art authenticity
July 11, 2018(Mumbai)
Indian museums house an enviable range of collections of art and cultural objects spanning the vast history of India. Such collections, however, are poorly documented making them vulnerable to possibilities of theft or illicit culture trafficking. The recent case of the Chola Bronze of dancing Shiva which was stolen and smuggled out of India, and then sold to the National Gallery of Australia is a case in point. The statue has since been returned after India established its provenance and requested the government of Australia. Application of new technological tools to document museum collections can help a great deal in establishing art authenticity.
Improper documentation is a major concern for safety and security of cultural objects. There is an urgent need to document all the collections in multifaceted forms including the use of appropriate scientific and technological tools, so that it helps in provenance establishment. A range of technological tools which harvest the entire electromagnetic spectrum, are available to document museum objects. This is necessary because forgeries have become a menace for museums.
In India, most museums rely on domain experts for authenticity of art objects. No one is infallible. Experts can go wrong. Therefore, relying exclusively on an expert?s knowledge (mostly restricted to the physicality of what human eyes can see) in art authenticity may not be the best practice.
Multidisciplinary studies involving collaboration between art and natural sciences are helping curators, archaeologists and scientists to establish cooperation between museums, archaeology, art history and conservation-restoration on one hand and physics, chemistry and biology on the other. Scientific developments are helping to both accurately date objects and analyse their material composition and in art authentication. The Rembrandt Research Project of the Netherlands is an example of such multidisciplinary approach.
Material analysis is increasingly becoming important with the ever improving analytical tools and techniques that have resulted in introduction of new instruments for micro analysis of objects without taking original sample material and in-situ applicability for artefacts. X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) is non-destructive and non- invasive. Miniaturisation is making x-ray tubes and detectors slimmer and lighter. These small devices can be transported to museums or archaeological sites or art galleries for analytical investigations of objects.
Scientific analysis of data relating objects and their documentation can come handy if and when an investigation is necessitated. A museum curator is required to identify which properties of an artefact might yield clues to its origin and this can be done using non-destructive techniques. Many materials characterization techniques like X-ray radiography, optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) are highly useful in museum laboratory during such investigations.
The surface of an object often gives an indication of how it was made. An investigator can relate this information to when and where an artefact was made, since the technical processes available to various civilizations are well documented. The fabrication processes of an object provide tell-tale marks such as casting, forging, smelting or turning by lathe, which leaves concentric lines, as does a pottery wheel. If sheet metal was starting material, there may still be marks from the hammer used to beat it into shape. The surface details of objects not visible to the naked eye can be seen through optical microscope or SEM for proper attribution.
The Smithsonian Institution, which most museum professionals admire for its canonical stature, uses scientific tools in its analytical laboratories. For example, they are using the Nanoscale Scanning Electron Microscope (NanoSEM) for evaluating mineral composition of rocks and meteorites and also in determining authenticity of ancient Mesoamerican artefacts. NanoSEM has the ability to function over a range of pressures, allowing analysis of samples without the coating of electrically conductive materials like carbon, which would be impossible to remove from the specimen.
Another new technology that has made its debut in art authenticity is ?Space and Art Technology?, which is based on a technique that NASA uses for radiation detection on the International Space Station (ISS). It combines a new imaging and measuring technology with the accuracy that only robots can offer. It gives unique and unprecedented flexibility in changing between viewing and measuring at the same time, thus bringing precision to working on basis of scientific standardised repeatable protocol for condition and authentication research of art objects.
Museums across the developed world are networking with scientists and harvesting technological tools in establishing art authenticity. Most museum professionals in India do not fully subscribe to the idea of using technological tools for establishing authenticity. They feel that experts alone can handle this task. While no one can advocate replacing human experts with technological tools, it is also true that technology can very well be used to supplement and aid experts. It is just like the role diagnostic tools in aiding doctors to accurately diagnose and prove effective in improving health. Diagnostic tools have certainly not replaced doctors.
The author is Director, Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai and Director, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.
India,South Korea sign five MoUs in Science & Technology
July 9, 2018 (New Delhi)
India and South Korea on Monday signed five Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in the field of Science and Technology, an official release said here.
The MoUs were signed by the Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan and his South Korean counterpart Mr You Young Min.
Three MoUs are for Programme of Cooperation 2018-21, Establishment of Future Strategy Group, and Cooperation in Biotechnology and Bio-economy.
The MoU on Establishment of Future Strategy Group was signed by Science & Technology and Commerce Ministers, while on the Korean side, it was signed by Science and ICT and Trade Ministers.
Two other MoUs were signed between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and South Korean National Research Council for Science and Technology and IIT Mumbai and Korea Institute of Science and Technology,to further accelerate future-oriented cooperation in their respective sectors.
These MoUs were signed at the conclusion of the 4th India-Korea Science and Technology Ministers Steering Committee Meeting.
Mr You Young Min is part of the official delegation accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-in who arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on a three-day visit.