IIT-H develops oil-based drug delivery system to fight fungal infections
Jan 28, 2020 (Hyderabad)
IIT-H develops oil-based drug delivery system to fight fungal infections
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H) researchers have developed essential oil-based drug delivery systems to treat fungal infections without running the risk of inducing drug resistance. This medication can even counter fungi that have developed resistance to conventional antifungal drugs.
Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi have a remarkable capacity to evolve resistance to antimicrobial agents used to destroy them.
The research was led by Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT-H, and supported with funds by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Grants from the American multinational conglomerate AT&T.
The Research Paper, co-authored with her Ph D student Shivakalyani Adepu, was published in the international peer-reviewed journal Materialia.
With the results of this work, the researchers are developing prototype antifungal hygiene products with the financial support from the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), set up by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, as an Interface Agency to strengthen and empower emerging Biotech enterprises.
Highlighting the need for developing alternate, non-resistance inducing treatment options for fungal diseases, Dr Mudrika Khandelwal said, "Given the prevalence of fungal infections such as vaginal infections, diaper rash, athlete's foot, and nail fungus, caused by the Candida family of fungi, drug resistance can become life-threatening."
The IIT-H team turned to natural products to solve this problem. The idea of using carriers for controlled release of drugs has been around and various types of carriers including polymeric microcapsules, nanoemulsions/colloids and hydrogels have been developed for various drugs.
Elaborating on this research, Ms Shivakalyani Adepu, PhD student, Department of Materials Science And Metallurgical Engineering, IIT- Hyderabad, said, "Herbal essential oils and their ingredients are a promising class of effective antimicrobials Thymol found in oregano oils, carvacrol found in thyme and eugenol found in clove oil, have excellent antimicrobial action against all types of Candida fungi. The problem with essential oils and their components is that they are sensitive to temperature, light, and pH, and decompose easily."
A way to overcome this problem is to design a suitable carrier system that can protect the oils/active principles from these factors, and yet, release them in a controlled manner so that the antifungal action can be fully harnessed.
"Currently we are developing antifungal panty liners for mitigating vaginal candidiasis. The developed formulation can also be used as a transdermal patch /mucoadhesive patch to treat skin and mucocutaneous infections without inducing resistance in the fungal species," added Dr Khandelwal.
The IIT-H team chose polylactic acid microcapsules to encapsulate the essential oil ingredients. Polylactic acid polymers are biocompatible and biodegradable and are already widely used in the medical field. The researchers found that using the microcapsules alone as the carrier could cause uncontrolled, burst release of the ingredients.
To delay the release of the active principles, the researches designed another level of protection. The polylactic acid microcapsules that contained the active substances were further incorporated into a secondary barrier made of nanofibrous bacterial cellulose. In addition to designing the double-barrier carrier system, the researchers also enhanced the anti-fungal activity of their formulation by using synergistic mixtures of thymol, carvacrol, and eugenol.
The researchers compared their double-barrier, triple-ingredient formulation with simple colloids of the ingredients and found that the latter suffered from a far more rapid decrease in activity compared to their design. Furthermore, their controlled-release design achieved 99.9 per cent fungistatic action within 12 hours, with only half the concentration of thymol, carvacrol, and eugenol as the colloidal samples, thus enabling small dosages for treatment.
K Sivan and Shekhar Mande to receive HK Firodia awards
Jan 20, 2020 (Pune)
K Sivan and Shekhar Mande to receive HK Firodia awards
The 24th edition of H K Firodia awards will be conferred on Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation K Sivan and Shekhar Mande, Director General of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for their contribution in the field of science and technology.
The scientists will be felicitated in a ceremony held in Balgandharv auditorium on February 7 at 6 pm, informed the selection committee under eminent scientist R A Mashelkar and Arun Firodia, chairman of Kinetic group.
While K Sivan will receive the HK Firodia Vijnan Ratna award, H K Firodia Vijnan Bhushan will be received by Shekhar Mande.
K C Mohite, former dean of science and technology at Savitribai Phule Pune University said that youngsters interested in science and technology can also come for the interactive session that will be held before the award ceremony from 4 pm to 5:30 pm at the same venue. "The fourth edition of science quiz will be held and students can register online at http://hkfirodiaawards.org/ The winners will get a chance to interact with the dignitaries. Students who have showcased innovative projects at the Avishkar competition held in the university on Tuesday will also get a chance to interact with the scientists."
3D Printed Patient Specific Medical Implants technology transferred to the Industry: CSIR-CSIO
Jan 17, 2020 (New Delhi)
3D Printed Patient Specific Medical Implants technology
transferred to the Industry: CSIR-CSIO
CSIR-Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO)
has transferred the knowhow of "3D Printed Patient Specific
Medical Implants" to the industry. The requirement of such
implants may arise due to trauma, diseases like cancer or fungal
infection, revision surgeries etc.
Patient Specific Implant (PSI) are required when current
commercially available implant for the site are either not
available or doesn't fulfill the anatomical requirement. In
those cases PSI are designed for one particular patient from the
CT-Scan data and then manufactured using 3D printing technology
in Titanium or other biocompatible materials. The technology has
been developed by CSIR-CSIO.
PSI are also beneficial for joint salvaging surgeries e.g.
when human joints are good but bone near joints area is infected
or traumatized. CSIR-CSIO has developed the know-how & expertise
of PSI development for load bearing & non-load bearing
The PSI were developed at "Innovative Additive Research &
Manufacturing (iARM) Lab" of the CSIR-CSIO. The lab is having
all the facilities related to design, manufacturing and testing
of standards as well as patient specific orthopaedic/
maxillofacial implants, in addition to surgical models, surgical
tools, custom-made prosthetics, tissues engineering, organ
Prof. R K Sinha, Director CSIR-CSIO said that to work in this
direction, CSIR-CSIO has also established a state of the art lab
namely "Innovative Additive Research & Manufacturing (iARM)
Lab", having all the facilities related to design, manufacturing
and testing of standard as well as patient specific
orthopaedic/maxillofacial implants. The implants developed in
iARM Lab are successfully implanted in various patients at
Sh. Vijay Kumar Meena, Principal Scientist, CSIR-CSIO who has
developed the knowhow of PSI said that he and his team are
working on development of technologically advanced 3D printed
implants in India. Patient Specific Implants are one of them.
The patient specific implants developed in iARM Lab were
successfully implanted to the patients at prestigious government
and private institutes. The medical applications of 3D printing
are continuously increasing day by day. Digital Healthcare from
imaging based technologies (CT, MRI, and ultrasound) to medical
implant and organs will sooner or later become a routine.
Dr. Surender Singh Saini, Head, Business Initiative Group
said in this way CSIO contributing to the "Swasth Bharat"
Mission of Govt. of India and by transferring the knowhow it is
step towards the "Make-in-India" program.
WHO includes an Indian diagnostic test in its global TB programme
Jan 16, 2020 (New Delhi)
WHO includes an Indian diagnostic test in its global TB
In a significant development, WHO Global Tuberculosis
Programme has included an Indian molecular assay as initial test
for detecting the disease and for identifying resistant strains
of the TB bacteria.
The assay named TrueNet has been included in the rapid
communication document on Molecular Assays released by WHO's
Global TB Programme. It is a new molecular test that diagnosed
TB as well as tests for resistance to the drug rifampicin in
about 90 minutes.
The development is a fruition of efforts on the part of
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to promote indigenous
technologies for diagnosis of TB and multi-drug and extensively
drug resistant TB (MDR/ XDR TB).
A team of experts reviewed various technologies developed by
Indian scientists and companies for detection of MDR/XDR TB,
with support from Department of Health Research in Union
Ministry of Health and Family welfare, and Department of
Biotechnology in Union Ministry of Science and Technology. The
expert shortlisted most promising kits and conducted double
blind validation in comparison to standard tests at four
national reference laboratories of the country.
After a stringent review and a series of validation and
subsequent feasibility studies and continuous follow-up, the
TrueNat assay was found to be on par with internationally
recognized molecular assay Gene Xpert in terms of sensitivity
and specificity and detection of rifampicin resistance.
Subsequently, National TB Elimination Programme took it up,
after recommendations from ICMR.
In another major effort, as part of WHO pre-qualification
process, a multi-central, prospective field evaluation study was
conducted in four countries - India, Ethiopia, Peru, and Papua-
New Guinea. It was coordinated by Foundation for Innovative New
Diagnostics (FIND), a global non-profit organisation driving
innovation in the development and delivery of diagnostics to
combat major diseases affecting the world's poorest population.
ICMR funded the Indian centres of the study.
Based on the interim analysis of the data, WHO included
TrueNat as test to diagnose TB, replacing sputum smear
microscopy, and to sequentially detect rifampicin resistance.
The study has completed enrolment at all sites and the final
analysis would be undertaken soon.
Announcing the development, a press release from Indian
Council of Medical Research said that the TrueNat assay kit is
highly cost effective as compared to the globally accepted
GeneXpert test and can be used in peripheral centres without an
air-conditioned laboratory. It also runs on battery, which can
be solar powered.
Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director
General, Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Balram
Bhargava, said, "Endorsement of TrueNat by WHO would enable
other low and middle income countries to procure it for TB and
Rifampicin resistance thus supporting TB elimination in
India's communication satellite GSAT-30 launched successfully
Jan 17, 2020 (New Delhi)
India's communication satellite GSAT-30 launched
India's latest communication satellite GSAT-30 was
successfully launched from the Spaceport in French Guiana
during the early hours today. The launch vehicle Ariane
5 VA-251 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French
Guiana at 2:35 am IST carrying India's GSAT-30 and
EUTELSAT KONNECT for Eutelsat, as scheduled.
After a flight lasting 38 minutes 25 seconds, GSAT-30
separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage in an elliptical
Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
With a lift-off mass of 3357 kg, GSAT-30 will provide
continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit
satellites.GSAT-30 derives its heritage from ISRO's earlier
INSAT/GSAT satellite series and will replace INSAT-4A in
"GSAT-30 has a unique configuration of providing
flexible frequency segments and flexible coverage.The
satellite will provide communication services to Indian
mainland and islands through Ku-band and wide coverage
covering Gulf countries, a large number of Asian countries
and Australia through C-band" ISRO Chairman Dr K Sivan
said. Dr. Sivan also said that ?GSAT-30 will provide DTH
Television Services, connectivity to VSATs for ATM,
Stock-exchange, Television uplinking and Teleport Services,
Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance
applications. The satellite will also be used for bulk
data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication
ISRO's Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in
Karnataka took over the command and control of GSAT-30
immediately after its separation from the launch vehicle.
Preliminary health checks of the satellite revealed its
In the days ahead, orbit-raising manoeuvres will be
performed to place the satellite in Geostationary Orbit
(36,000 km above the equator) by using its onboard
propulsion system. During the final stages of its orbit
raising operations, the two solar arrays and the antenna
reflectors of GSAT-30 will be deployed.Following this,
the satellite will be put in its final orbital
configuration. The satellite will be operational after
the successful completion of all in-orbit tests.
CSIR-IMTECH partners Merck to open a high-tech skill development centre
Jan 11, 2020 (chandigarh)
CSIR-IMTECH partners Merck to open a high-tech skill
In a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, CSIR-
Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) in collaboration with
Merck inaugurated the High-Tech Skill Development Centre in the
area of life sciences. This academia-industry-led, High-Tech
Skill Development Centre in Chandigarh has been established to
augment Government of India's initiative for "Skill India" and
increase employability opportunities for students in the
country. Equipped with next-generation technologies, like
single-molecule biomarker detection, the centre will help
accelerate healthcare research and train Indian students and
researchers in latest life science technologies.
Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director General CSIR & Secretary DSIR,
who inaugurated the centre, emphasized that this collaboration
resonates with the government of India's mission of Skill India
and would be a new benchmark for up scaling employability skills
for graduates and post graduates who are aspiring to make a
career in the life science sector. Speaking at the occasion, Dr
Mande said "India is a country today with 65 percent of its
youth in the working age group (15-59 years) and more than 54
percent of its total population below 25 years of age. If ever
there is a way to reap this demographic advantage, it has to be
through skill development of the youth and I am happy that
CSIR-IMTECH and Merck have a role to play in building Skill
The centre established in IMTECH and spread across 1500 sq.ft
would focus on research, development and training in the areas
of drug discovery, affordable healthcare, diagnostics, cancer
and agriculture biotechnology. The curriculum shall enable users
to get real-time analysis of samples as part of workshop and
training modules and shall be useful for the graduates aspiring
to work in pharma, biotech, food and fermentation
Merck, a leading science and technology multinational
company, has joined hands with IMTECH to establish this unique
centre in order to strengthen the industry-academia ties. This
would also help to develop a high-quality skilled workforce
relevant to current and emerging employment market needs and
will help support drive R&D and manufacturing activities in
"With the rapidly growing biopharmaceutical industry in India
and demand for therapies, researchers who collaborate with us
will benefit from our expertise to enhance their scientific
competency and develop advanced technologies to accelerate
development and production of new therapies," said Sunil
Punjabi, Country Speaker and Head of Research Solutions, Life
Science, India. "They will gain hands-on experience and enhance
their skills in areas such as cancer research and novel drug
development, conducting real-time analysis on their samples as
part of workshops here."
Equipped with instruments like SMCx Pro Platform for
detection of biomolecules at single molecule level and Luminex
200 system which provides detection of biomarkers in a very high
throughput manner are some of the high-end equipment installed
by Merck that are going to be part of the centre.
Expanding on the contours of the inauguration of the centre,
acting director of IMTECH, Dr. Manoj Raje, said that
collaboration with companies like Merck will bring a paradigm
shift in the way knowledge alliances like these are created in
public-private partnership mode.
CSIR Institute of Microbial Technology is a national centre
for excellence in microbial sciences established in 1984.
IMTECH's vision is to discover and develop translational
products and new drugs to address key unmet medical and societal
OPPO signs MOU with IIT Hyderabad, to promote collaborative research in the field of science and technology
Jan 27, 2020 (New Delhi)
OPPO signs MOU with IIT Hyderabad, to promote collaborative research in the field of science and technology
Earlier this month, Chinese smartphone company OPPO has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) to promote collaborative research in the field of science and technology. As per the statement issued by the company, joint R&D projects will be taken up in camera and image processing, battery, networks (5G), system performance and Artificial Intelligence, among other areas for the period of two years. This MoU will facilitate the exchange of ideas and carry out state of the art research in the development of advanced and emerging technologies.
The MoU signed between Tasleem Arif, Vice President and Head R&D, OPPO India and Professor Sumohana S. Channappayya, Dean - Research and Development, IIT Hyderabad is aimed at developing solutions and bridge the gap between academic excellence and business requirements and help create an industry-ready workforce
Tasleem Arif, Vice President and Head R&D, OPPO India said, "IIT Hyderabad is an institute is renowned for excellent work in the field of science and technology. Our collaboration with IIT Hyderabad is in line with our vision to enhance R&D and innovation capabilities at OPPO India as we continue our endeavour to build localized solutions for the Indian market. This collaboration aims to pave the way to carry out quality research and promote the rapid integration of cutting-edge technology, particularly in the areas of 5G and AI."
Sumohana S. Channappayya, Dean - Research and Development, IIT Hyderabad, said, "We are happy to collaborate with OPPO India through the expertise of our researchers, to further support and strengthen their R&D efforts in bringing technological breakthroughs for the Indian market. This collaboration with OPPO will help in the development of indigenous solutions to cater to the dynamic needs of the Indian consumers." Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH) is one of the six new Indian Institutes of Technology established by the Government of India in 2008. IIT Hyderabad has close to 210 full-time faculty, 2,855 students of whom 20 per cent are women, nearly 200 state-of-the-art laboratories and five research and entrepreneurship centres. The Institute has a strong research focus with more than Rs 500 crore of sanctioned research funding while PhD scholars account for about 30 per cent of total student strength.
According to the latest research by Counterpoint, OPPO is amongst the top five smartphone players in the Indian market. With 9 per cent market share, OPPO has registered a 28 per cent year on year growth in CY2019.
This MOU is expected to help both OPPO and IIT Hyderabad conduct research in core areas of software, hardware and Internet services to ensure integrated user experience for the Indian audience.
UGC adds 1,000 'quality academic journals' to its list
Jan 27, 2020 (Coimbatore)
UGC adds 1,000 'quality academic journals' to its list
The University Grants Commission (UGC)'s 'Consortium of Academic and Research Ethics (Care)' has so far added around 1,000 Indian academic journals to its list since it was formed last November, and the list is growing, said Bhushan Patwardhan, vice-chairman of UGC. He said the UGC was seeking to add more 'credible Indian journals' to its list under Care.Patwardhan, who was in the city recently, said Care has stakeholders from across fields such as statutory bodies, academies and councils to review the journals every quarter.
Last November, the UGC had formed Care to 'prepare a list of credible quality journals' in the fields of social sciences, humanities, languages, arts, culture, Indian knowledge systems etc. The move came after bogus journals, predatory and paid academic journals started mushrooming across the country.
"Studies showed that 88% of journals in the UGC approved list were dubious. India has earned a very bad reputation because of this in the past 15 years. So we wanted to create a credible database of reputed journals to stop the practice of pay and publish," he said.
Pointing out that the consortium has bodies such as the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Indian Council of Social Science Research, he said the members together decide which journals are good to be included in the list.
He said the databases such as Scopus and Web of Science could not be followed blindly in the process, as there were many journals in Indian languages and Indian knowledge systems which cannot go into those databases. "For that we need to have system like Care," he said.
Department of Biotechnology's Bengaluru-based Institute for
Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) is
conducting a 10-day laboratory workshop on 'Reprogramming human
somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells' from January 15
The workshop is part of an effort to train and build capacity
in stem cell research in the country.
Nine researchers from different institutions across the
country are receiving hands-on training at the workshop. It
focused on techniques involved in the generation and maintenance
of high-quality human induced pluripotent stem cells from human
somatic cells. The course combines hands-on laboratory training
sessions and lectures from experts in the field.
The training has been organised under the aegis of the
Accelerator program for Discovery in Brain disorders using Stem
cells (ADBS), which aims to promote research in the area of
mental illness by harnessing the power of sophisticated clinical
investigations, modern human genetics, and stem cell
The programme was launched in 2016 under the joint
stewardship of Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative
Medicine, National Centre for Biological Sciences and National
Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences. It is supported
by Department of Biotechnology and Pratiksha Trust founded by
Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan and Mrs. Sudha Gopalakrishnan.
Turmeric-based tech to kill cancer cells gets US patent
Jan 14, 2020 (Thiruvanathapuram)
Turmeric-based tech to kill cancer cells gets US
A potentially breakthrough cancer-fighting technology
involving a molecule extracted from turmeric has won
Thiruvananthapuram's Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical
Sciences a US patent.
According to Lissy Krishnan, head of Sree Chitra's research
team, delivery of "curcumin" directly to the affected tissues
rather than through conventional oral or intravenous methods
enables it to target malignant cancer cells while sparing the
healthy ones around them.
Turmeric has proven anti-cancer properties and curcumin, a
molecule extracted from it, is easily absorbed by the body and
aids blood clotting, Krishnan said. At Sree Chitra, research
funded by the Indian Council for Medical Research focused on
processing curcumin to form a easy-to-use wafer configuration.
When applied to body tissues, the curcumin present in the wafer
is released into tissue fluids.
Human albumin, or rich proteins present in the fibrin clot
produced from heavy bleeding, binds albumin receptors to cancer
cells, thereby permitting its entry into the cells.
Simultaneously, the fibrin clot is removed by the body's natural
clot breakdown mechanism without any adverse effect.
"The fibrin wafer is targeted for implantation into the
affected site after surgical removal of cancer tissue for
killing any remaining malignant cells that have the potential to
cause recurrence of cancer or spread to other parts of the body.
In addition to drug delivery, the fibrin wafer can promote blood
clotting at the surgical site," said Asha Kishore, director of
The institute is ready to transfer the technology for future
development of curcumin as an anti-cancer treatment through
animal and clinical trials. "The US patent adds value to our
efforts to transfer technology and boosts the industry's
confidence in exploring validation and trials with international
markets in mind," Kishore said.
Future of the country depends on Science and Technology: Prof. C.N.R. Rao
Jan 04, 2020 (New Delhi)
Future of the country depends on Science and Technology:
Prof. C.N.R. Rao
Children's Science Congress urges Students to be
determined in their pursuit of science
Infosys ISCA Travel Awards 2020 presented to 10
Bharat Ratna, Professor C.N.R. Rao has said that the future
of the country depended on science and technology and the future
of science lay on the children who with their hard work and
sincerity can work wonders in science. He was addressing the
inaugural session of the Rashtriya Kishore Vaigyanik Sammelan
(Children's Science Congress), a part of the ongoing 107th
Indian Science Congress being held at the University of
Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru today. Eminent Scientists from
India and abroad called on the numerous children gathered at the
event to be determined, believe in themselves and be prepared
for unexpected results in their pursuit of science.
Professor, Ada Yonath from Israel, who was awarded the Nobel
Prize in Chemistry in 2009 advised the young children that in
science everything would not go the way they want and that they
should be prepared for the unexpected. "Even if things do not go
your way, believe in yourselves and do not look for advice from
others" she added.
She recalled that as a child she wanted to pursue science as
a hobby and had set up her experiment to measure the height of
the ceiling of her balcony.
She referred to the inspiration which she received from
Professor G.N. Ramachandran, FRS who was known for the
formulation of the Ramachandran plot for understanding peptide
structure and for proposing the triple-helical model for the
structure of collagen. "I had thought that I had lost the first
experiment as a scientist, but that experiment was later
presented by my guide at a conference in India and appreciated
by Professor Ramachandran.
He stressed that science does not require degrees but
dedication, doggedness and tenacity and mentioned that many of
the great scientists like Michael Faraday, had made phenomenal
contributions without degrees.
He also mentioned the timeless work of great Indian
scientists like Sir C.V. Raman, Srinivasa Ramanujan and
Professor J.C. Bose who went out of their way and carried out
scientific research despite constraints of time, finance and
The Rashtriya Kishore Vaigyanik Sammelan (Children's Science
Congress) prominent event of the Indian Science Congress, was
inaugurated by the Nobel Laureate Prof. Ada Yonath, Bharat Ratna
Prof C.N.R. Rao in the presence of Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Head,
NCSTS, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and other
Children Science Congress is financially supported by NCSTC,
DST. The main objective is to provide a unique opportunity to
children of the age group of 10-17 years to use their scientific
temperament and knowledge and to quench their thirst for
creativity by conducting scientific experiments to solve
problems identified by them. The students also get an
opportunity to interact with scientists and subject experts.
Every year about 7-8 lakhs school children in the age group
of 10-17 years participate at various levels from the districts,
states & union territories. Around 2 to 3 best projects from
each state are exhibited in the Indian Science Congress. Several
projects made by students are being showcased in the University
of Agricultural Science campus and students had the opportunity
to listen and interact with the Young Scientists and Nobel
During the event, Infosys ISCA Travel Award 2020 was also
given to top 10 students for their best write ups for
innovations in the field of Science & Technology.
107th Indian Science Congress begins on 3rd January
Jan 02, 2020 (New Delhi)
107th Indian Science Congress begins on 3rd
Prime Minister to inaugurate India's largest scientific
Main Focuss will be on Rural Development;
A Farmers Science Congress will be held for the first
India's largest annual gathering of scientific luminaries
from countries across the world, the '107th Indian Science
Congress', will be held from January 3 to 7, 2020 at University
of Agricultural Sciences (UASB), GKVK Campus, Bangalore,
Karnataka focusing on 'Science & Technology: Rural
The Science Congress will be inaugurated by the Prime
Minister Shri Narendra Modi on January 03, 2020 at UASB, GKVK
Campus. The Congress is a major focal point for scientists,
researchers and academicians interested in various aspects of
science discoveries and technologies. The five-day long event
aims to bring together science fraternity across the world to
discuss scientific innovation and research.
The Nobel Laureates who will be participating include German
Physicist, Prof. Stefan Hell who is one of the directors of the
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen,
Germany. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014 'for
the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy' and
Prof. Ada E. Yonath from Israel. She is a protein
crystallographer who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for
Apart from this, several senior Scientists from India and
abroad along with several government officials will be
participating in this event to exchange their views on a range
of scientific issues, both at the national and international
There are 28 Plenary Sessions on areas ranging from Climate
Smart Agriculture for Food Security, Crop Improvement Towards
Food & Nutrition Security, Materials Science And Technology For
Rural Development, Challenges and Opportunities In Cancer Drug
Discovery, Artificial Intelligence And Medical Technology,
Advances In Basic Medical And Clinical Interactions, Non-
Communicable Diseases In Rural Population as well as Cancer
Research - Therapeutic Applications. The areas also include Nano
Materials for Energy, Environment and Health Care, Novel
Solutions for Oil and Gas Industry Problems and so on in which
senior scientists and officials will discuss on the status,
challenges, opportunities and scope in these research areas.
Four Public lectures by eminent personalities like Nobel
laureate Prof. Stefan Hell, Dr. Subra Suresh among others,
covering topics like Ultrasharp Fluorescence Microscopy, science
across disciplines ranging from basic science to applications in
the industry, acute problem of modern medicine, life style
diseases to recent advances in cardiac sciences will be
organized in the Science Congress.
Sectional Sessions: Fourteen Sectional Sessions covering
different disciplines of science will be organised in the
Farmers Science Congress
With focus on Rural Development through Science and
Technology, for the first time in the history of Indian Science
Congress, a Farmers Science Congress is being held. It will
cover themes ranging from farmers innovation on integrated
agriculture and entrepreneurship for doubling farmers income,
climate change, bio-diversity, conservation, ecosystem services
& farmers empowerment to agrarian distress, rural bio-
entrepreneurship, policy issues.
The event will have the presence of experts and scientists
from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and
University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) along with farmers
whose innovative approaches have led to significant
A two day event 'Rashtriya Kishore Vaigyanik Sammelana' will
be held at UASB, GKVK as part of the 107th Indian Science
Congress on 4th and 5th January 2020. The aim is to provide a
unique opportunity for children to view selected projects and
interact with the student delegates and children will also have
the opportunity to listen, interact with eminent scientists and
Nobel Laureates. Events like one minute video competition,
Infosys Foundation - ISCA Travel Awards for School Children,
visit to exhibitions, live science demonstrations and science
magic show will be organized as a part of the Science
Women Science Congress
The women's science congress aims to provide single platform
for women working in different arena of science and technology
to showcase their achievements and experiences. It will also
prepare a vision document or a road map for women in science and
technology and recommend policies to enhance the role and
utilize the full potential of women in science and technology.
In this session, women are invited to share ideas and
experiences to motivate the younger women to actively
participate in science to identify and find simpler solutions
through Science and Technology.
Former VC's Science Congress
The former VC's Science Congress addresses the urgent need in
Indian higher education institutions today is to establish
quality internalisation pathways through quality culture in
academic, administrative and financial spheres of institutional
management. Several eminent Vice Chancellors like Prof. S.P.
Thyagarajan, Former Vice Chancellor, University of Madas,
Chennai and Prof N. Prabhudev, VC Bangalore University will be
attending the event.
"Vigyan Sancharak Sammelan" is an initiative for Science
communicators' for professional growth. This programme will
focus on the theme "Science & Technology: Rural Development ".
Science Communicators' role is to facilitate public engagement
with scientific issues. Science communication plays an integral
part in one's scientific career. Being able to effectively
disseminate research findings within the community and to
consider collective opinions in prioritizing research needs is
an important attribute of scientific maturity. Thus,
dissemination of scientific information and inculcation of
scientific attitude among masses at large is the need of the
With this broad goal, Science Communicators' Meet will be
held to bring together experts in the field of science
communication with particular reference to rural development. It
will provide an opportunity to academicians, science
journalists, activists, filmmakers, scientists and other
communicators from all over the world to meet, deliberate and
exchange their views on how to develop science
Mega Science Exhibition - PRIDE OF INDIA ISC EXPO
Pride of India (PIO) ISC Expo is a unique platform for
organizations from government, private and public sector to
showcase their achievements in the field of science and
technology. The POI Expo brings together and displays hundreds
of new ideas, innovations and products covering the entire
canvas of scientific world. The five days will witness a large
number of visitors from the corporate sector, scientific
fraternity and academia, R&D institutes, defense, government,
PSUs and so on.
Strategic reasons do not allow dual time zones in India
Jan 01, 2020 (New Delhi)
Strategic reasons do not allow dual time zones in
Northeastern states of India Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland,
Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura - and Andaman and
Nicobar Islands was demanding different time zone as theses face
difficulty in managing their routine work schedule. But this
long standing demand of dual times zones in India is not
possible because of strategic reasons said Dr Harsh Vardhan,
Minster of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and
Earth Sciences while replying to a parliamentary question.
He has been asked is there any plan of considering a dual
time zone in the country in view of the time gap between Eastern
States and Western States. In the reply he said "Council of
Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - National Physical
Laboratory (NPL) has published certain reports in science
journals on this issue, referring to saving of electricity. The
matter was examined by a High Level Committee (HLC). This
committee comprising Secretary, Department of Science and
Technology, Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial
Research-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) and Chief
Secretary, government of Tripura. The HLC after considering the
issue recommended not to have two time zones for India for
In Northeastern states the sun rises and sets earlier than
the official working hours. This natural phenomenon gives birth
to some practical problems like it affects the productivity and
makes electric consumption much higher. Early sunrise leads to
loss of daylight hours by the time offices or educational
institutions open. In winter, this problem gets even more severe
as the sun sets much early and therefore, more consumption of
electricity is required. To deal with this tea gardens of Assam
have been following 'Chaibagaan time' which is one hour ahead of
India Standard Time (IST).
Recently, a study done by team of researchers from CSIR-NPL
has been published in the journal Current Science that supported
the demand of dual time zones for these states and said it is
feasible to have dual time zones for them. The study said that
technically it is feasible to have two time zones and two ISTs
in India. It recommended that IST-I for most of India and IST-
II for the Northeastern region, this would be separated by
difference of one hour. At present, the country observes a
single time zone based on the longitude passing through
Interestingly, before independence the country was following
three major time zones- Bombay, Calcutta and Madras Time. India
had no official time zone till 1906 there were three
presidencies: Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, and three local times
for the three cities, depending on where they fell on the
longitude. The three time zones, thus created, were followed by
all the states or cities around and near it. Calcutta was set at
UTC+05.54, making it +00:24 of the current IST. Madras was set
at UTC+05:21 making it -00:09 of the current IST. Bombay was at
UTC+04:51, making it -01:19 of the current IST. Bagan Time was
at around UTC+06:30, making it +1:00 of the current IST.
EChO Network launched to catalyze cross-disciplinary leadership in India
Dec 20, 2019 (New Delhi)
EChO Network launched to catalyze cross-disciplinary
leadership in India; will train educators and students in
Preparing Indian education for post-technological world:
Prof. Vijay Raghavan
EChO Network, a national program to provide a template for
cross-disciplinary leadership in India with the specific focus
of increasing research, knowledge, and awareness of Indian
ecology and the environment was launched yesterday in New Delhi
by Prof. K Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the
Government of India.
Speaking at the launch programme, Prof. Vijay Raghavan said
India has recently embarked on a number of national-level
efforts to promote ecological and environmental research on the
subcontinent; however, there remains a lacuna of trained
scientists with interdisciplinary skills and collaborative
mindset. We need to train a new generation of educators and
students who can identify and solve problems in an
interdisciplinary manner and who can listen to our natural world
and tackle real-world problems in medicine, agriculture,
ecology, and technology and I am convinced this network will
inspire an entirely new approach to Indian education and
exploration necessary for the post-technological world said
India faces unprecedented threats to its human environmental
and ecosystems, solving which requires a confluence of India's
strong technological expertise and knowledge of the natural
world itself. EChO Network would develop a national network to
catalyse a new generation of Indians who can synthesize
interdisciplinary concepts and tackle real-world problems in
medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology. With no
precedent for such a network anywhere in the world, EChO Network
establishes a new platform to change how science is embedded in
our modern society.
Through interactive sessions with citizens, industry,
academia, and the government, the Network will identify gaps in
knowledge regarding selected topics in human and environmental
ecosystems. The program will then train postdoctoral leaders in
research and outreach on these topics, while also incorporating
current public and private efforts into a national network. It
would then go on to establishing nation-wide awareness in these
issues through public discourse and education for citizens,
industry, and government with information exchange at all
educational levels. Over time EChO Network intends to create an
international distributed institute comprising individuals
housed within industry, government, private, and academic
sectors, combining their expertise and resources collectively to
tackle large scale problems.
The initiative has drawn in partners from Government,
industry and academia, with the Office of the Principal
Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India steering the program
under the guidance of Prof. Shannon Olsson, Director, EChO
Network. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hindustan Unilever
Limited, RoundGlass, India Climate Collaborative, Ashoka Trust
for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), and Centre
for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) are the founding
partners of the EChO Network.
This is a mission of hope remarked Prof. Olsson at the launch
programme. He further said that throughout his career in India,
he has met countless individuals working hard to make a positive
difference for Indian ecosystems. The purpose of this Network he
informed is to bring all those together to share knowledge and
synergize efforts under the umbrella of science. In order to do
this, we need leaders who are trained to communicate across
different sectors of society, this is the goal of the EChO
Network said Prof. Olsson.
Do you know how molecules complete their journey to become a
medicine? This and many other questions were answered by Council
of Scientific and Industrial Research- Central Drug Research
Institute, Lucknow (CSIR-CDRI) scientists and research scholars
in JIGYASA program under the aegis of Scientific Social
Responsibility (SSR) of the Institute.
A batch of 50 students along with their four faculties from
Students of Kendriya Vidyalaya No. 2, Shahjahanpur (UP) visited
CSIR-Central Drug Research Centre, Lucknow and interacted with
scientists. Scientists from diverse fields interacted with these
students where they learnt more about science and
Students made lab visits where scientists explained the
actual working on the various molecular aspects of drug
discovery and development. Researchers demonstrated some tools
and techniques of molecular biology in the lab. Students also
visited the Laboratory Animal facility. The scientists
explained the role of Animal Models in drug discovery and also
showed them various animal models and demonstrated their
Mr Vinay Tripathi, Chief Scientist, welcome the students and
teachers and briefed about the programme, discussed an overview
of CSIR and CDRI, its contributions in different branches of
Science & Technology. He defined science, science & technology,
development of science & technology in Indian perspectives.
Dr. Sanjeev Yadav, Scientist, discussed in detail about how
the teamwork of scientists and researchers from various
disciplines like chemistry, biology and pharmaceutical sciences
come together to convert a new chemical entity into potential
candidate drug and then finally a drug.
Students gained working knowledge of different kinds of
machine such as Real time PCR, various microscopes,
cryopreservation technics. There was an interactive session too,
where students asked questions on molecular techniques, animal
models and other aspects of drug discovery and development.
JIGYASA is one of the major initiatives taken up by CSIR at
the national level, during its Platinum Jubilee Celebration
Year. CSIR is widening and deepening its Scientific Social
Responsibility further with the programme. Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research (CSIR), has joined hands with Kendriya
Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) to implement this programme. The focus
of this scheme is on connecting school students and scientists
so as to extend students classroom learning with well-planned
research laboratory based learning.