Re: India's Contribution to Science & Technology
Posted: 08 Jul 2011 03:35
Shaping Indian Science 1914-1947
Shaping Indian Science 1914-1947
Consortium of Indian Defence Websites
“This agreement is the latest step in the deepening cooperation between the U.S. and India on a range of clean energy and scientific fronts,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “Working together, we will be able to further our collective understanding of accelerators and high energy particles, pursue new technologies and scientific discoveries, and advance our shared clean energy goals.”
As part of the collaboration to develop a high-intensity proton accelerator, Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory is working with Indian institutions on radio-frequency power technology. The new agreement also provides the legal framework to expand research collaboration in accelerator and particle detector research and development at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and Brookhaven National Laboratory.
...That is because whether it is colliding particles in the 27-kilometre-long Large Hadron Collider (as part of Alice Experiment) or discovering neutrons that travel faster than the speed of light, Indian scientists are at the forefront of research happening inside those massive steel and concrete structures at CERN, nestled 40 minutes from Geneva...
sum wrote:^^ Amber ( madam?),
Are you saying that the Indian contribution is exaggerated and we actually have nothing much to be happy about?
Genuine Q onlee...
gakakkad wrote:CERN does have Indian contributors ... I ll let Amber G do the talking about them...
Amber G. wrote:As I said above, one of the respected contributors at CERN was lathi-charged, and banned from BRF.
And there are so many wonderful stories. I’m sure many of you could tell your own, but I want to end with this one because it really hits close to home in an area that I care deeply about.
A few years ago, a small group of American and Indian classmates at Stanford University decided to work together to build a better baby incubator. Four hundred and fifty premature and low-weight babies die every hour, and traditional baby incubators can cost as much as $20,000. So the students developed the Embrace baby warmer, a portable incubator for use in poor and rural areas that doesn’t require electricity and only costs around $100.
After graduating from Stanford, this Indian and American team moved to Bangalore to continue working on their idea and launched their project. And it’s now in use in hospitals in India and saving babies’ lives. Their goal is to save 100,000 babies by 2013.
The IIT Kanpur Alumni Association takes pride in sharing with all that a nanosatellite 'Jugnu' designed and fabricated by the students of IIT Kanpur was launched with the latest version of India's indigenous Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on October 12, 2011. 'Jugnu' has started communicating from 12:48 hrs onward. Its signal has been tracked at ISTRAC ISRO, Bangalore. HAM operators all over the wor! ld sensed its presence by listening to the 'Beacon' signal from it.
The details of Jugnu can be read at:
The prime minister’s lament at the 99th Indian Science Congress that China has overtaken India in the field of science should not surprise anyone.
China has always been ahead of India in the spread and standards of science education, measured by the number of scientific personnel and research work force, institutions of education and research, published papers and patents.
It also has an effective system in which the fruits of education and research are made use of by the industry. India has not fared well even against some less developed countries and so comparisons with China, Japan and others do not make sense. This is when the country has the world’s largest young population and when many Indians have proved that they can match the best scientific talent in the world, but only when they go abroad.
India’s R&D expenditure is a fraction of a per cent while it is 2.5 per cent in developed countries. The hope to raise it to at least 2 per cent was always there and was set as a target in Plan documents. The prime minister has again mentioned it. The entire science education and research system will have to be overhauled for this. Infrastructure and facilities are poor, the system is bureaucratic and hierarchical and there is no fruitful connection between teaching and research and between research and industry.
Even when industry has done research it is mostly, as in the case of drug manufacturing, reverse engineering or re-engineering. Original research has been scarce and the temptation to buy products ready made has prevailed, for various reasons. Crucial areas like defence have also suffered because of this.
The best students should be attracted to research and they should be incentivised and encouraged. A recent report said 60 per cent of Indian women with a doctorate in science are unemployed. Universities and industry should be encouraged to undertake more research and the government’s research institutes should be made more accountable. Science education and research and industry should have an umbilical relationship and they should complement each other.
The prime minister rightly pointed out that western corporates have set up world class technology hubs in India, using Indian talent, while Indian industry has not. Allocation of more funds, their proper utilisation and accent on original research are the keys to getting ahead in science.
Centuries ago, in India, inoculation to prevent smallpox with cowpox virus was practiced by the Hindoos, and an accurate description of the procedure is given in an ancient Hindoo medical work.* The art, however, like many another practiced by the ancients (erroneously termed barbarians), became lost to the world until revived many centuries later in England by Jenner, whose name will possess lasting renown so long as the present medical records endure. Jenner's discovery, the result partly of accident, but also of close observation, laid the corner stone for preventive vaccination and serum therapy as practiced to-day.
*"Take the liquid of the pustules of the cow's teat, or from the area of a human being between the shoulder and the elbow; place it upon the point of a lancet and introduce it in the area at the same place, mixing the fluid with the blood; the fever of variola will be produced. This disease will be mild like the animal from which it is derived. It need not cause fear and requires no remedies; the patient may be given the food he desires."—Sacteya Grautham (a Hindoo Book of Medicine).
Varoon Shekhar wrote:^^^
But when did India develop a peta scale computer? That's good news! Last I read, India was in the
giga and tera flop capability. Which computer reached peta scale?
Chikilidae, Legless Amphibian Family, Discovered In India
NEW DELHI (AP) — Since before the age of dinosaurs it has burrowed unbothered beneath the monsoon-soaked soils of remote northeast India — unknown to science and mistaken by villagers as a deadly, miniature snake.
But this legless amphibian's time in obscurity has ended, thanks to an intrepid team of biologists led by University of Delhi professor Sathyabhama Das Biju. Over five years of digging through forest beds in the rain, the team has identified an entirely new family of amphibians — called chikilidae — endemic to the region but with ancient links to Africa.
Their discovery, published Wednesday in a journal of the Royal Society of London, gives yet more evidence that India is a hotbed of amphibian life with habitats worth protecting against the country's industry-heavy development agenda.
It also gives exciting new evidence in the study of prehistoric species migration, as well as evolutionary paths influenced by continental shift.
"This is a major hotspot of biological diversity, but one of the least explored," Biju said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We hope this new family will show the importance of funding research in the area. We need to know what we have, so we can know what to save."
His first effort in conserving the chikilidae was to give it a scientific name mirroring what the locals use in their Garo language. The chikilidae is a caecilian, the most primitive of three amphibian groups that also include frogs and salamanders.
"We hope when the locals see the name, and their language, being used across the world, they will understand this animal's importance and join in trying to save it," Biju said. "India's biodiversity is fast depleting. We are destroying these habitats without mercy."
The chikilidae's home in long-ignored tropical forests now faces drastic change under programs to cut trees, plant rice paddy, build roads and generate industry as India's economic growth fuels a breakneck drive in development. More industrial pollutants, more pesticides and more people occupying more land may mean a world of trouble for a creature that can be traced to the earliest vertebrates to creep across land.
Biju — a botanist-turned-herpetologist now celebrated as India's "Frogman" — has made it his life work to find and catalog new species. There are too many cases of "nameless extinction," with animals disappearing before they are ever known, he said. "We don't even know what we're losing."
Amphibians are particularly vulnerable, and have drastically declined in recent decades. The same sensitivity to climate and water quality that makes them perfect environmental barometers also puts them at the greatest risk when ecological systems go awry.
Biju, however, is working the reverse trend. Since 2001, he has discovered 76 new species of plants, caecilians and frogs — vastly more than any other scientist in India — and estimates 30-40 percent of the country's amphibians are yet to be found.
Within the chikilidae family, the team has already identified three species, and is on its way to classing three more, he said.
The chikilidae's discovery, made along with co-researchers from London's Natural History Museum and Vrije University in Brussels, brings the number of known caecilian families in the world to 10. Three are in India and others are spread across the tropics in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America. There is debate about the classifications, however, and some scientists count even fewer caecilian families.
Because they live hidden underground, and race off at the slightest vibration, much less is known about them than their more famous — and vocal — amphibious cousins, the frogs. Only 186 of the world's known amphibious species are caecilians, compared with more than 6,000 frog species — a third of which are considered endangered or threatened.
Even people living in northeast Indians misunderstand the caecilians, and rare sightings can inspire terror and revulsion, with farmers and villagers chopping them in half out of the mistaken belief that they are poisonous snakes.
In fact, the chikilidae is harmless, and may even be the farmer's best friend — feasting on worms and insects that might harm crops, and churning the soil as it moves underground.
Much remains to be discovered in further study, Biju said, as many questions remain about how the creatures live.
So far, Biju's team has determined that an adult chikilidae will remain with its eggs until they hatch, forgoing food for some 50 days. When the eggs hatch, the young emerge as tiny adults and squirm away.
They grow to about 4 inches (10 centimeters), and can ram their hard skulls through some of the region's tougher soils, shooting off quickly at the slightest vibration. "It's like a rocket," Biju said. "If you miss it the first try, you'll never catch it again."
A possibly superfluous set of eyes is shielded under a layer of skin, and may help the chikilidae gauge light from dark as in other caecilian species.
DNA testing suggests the chikilidae's closest relative is in Africa — with the two evolutionary paths splitting some 140 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed what was then a southern supercontinent called Gondwana, since separated into today's continents of Africa, Antarctica, Australia, South America and the Indian subcontinent.
Biju's team worked best during monsoon season, when the digging is easier and chikilidae lay eggs in waterlogged soils. Gripping garden spades with blistered hands, the researchers along with locals they hired spent about 2,600 man hours digging for the elusive squigglers, usually found about 16 inches (40 centimeters) deep.
"It was backbreaking work," said research fellow Rachunliu Kamei, who even passed out in the forest once, and some days found not even one specimen.
"But there is motivation in knowing this is an uncharted frontier," said Kamei, lead researcher and main author of the study paper.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/2 ... lp00000003
Rahul M wrote:krisna ji, I read somewhere that as recently as 17th-18th century, every year just before the usual epidemic time a group of vaidyas would set out from the cities and travel all over bengal to carry out variolation.
you will find this article interesting. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC546339/
Instead, he invented something that joined two sister disciplines: Electronics engineering and electrical engineering. That device was the IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor), a switch just like the ones in any house. It is just that the one Baliga invented is super-small, can switch on and off 100,000 times a second and handle really high voltage power.
Baliga's invention has resulted in cost savings of over $15 trillion for consumers. "Because of the IGBT the world has not had to build at least 600 hydroelectric dams of the size [of the] Hoover Dam!" says Baliga.
The device was considered such a breakthrough for GE that Baliga personally briefed Jack Welch. "It wasn't a very usual practice for a scientist to brief the chairman. He came down from Connecticut to Schenectady," says Baliga. Welch decided that the discovery should be kept a secret.
"I wanted to publish about the invention, but that was embargoed for several years. But GE also rewarded me by making me a Coolidge fellow, the youngest ever in the history of GE," says Baliga.
The extent of Baliga's contribution to the world and the US Economy was recognised in 2011 when US President Barack Obama presented him with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. This is the highest form of recognition given by the US government to an engineer.