Daily PIB News: October 21-22, 2020

CSIR-CDRI Scientist Dr Saman Habib elected as fellow of Indian National Science Academy

  • Dr. Saman Habib, Chief Scientist and Professor (AcSIR) in Molecular Biology Division, CSIR-CDRI, Lucknow brought the laurels to the Institute again through her outstanding work for understanding the malaria parasite.
  • She is elected as fellow of Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi.

Her research group’s interest in the malaria parasite is driven by the desire to understand

  • the molecular workings and functions of the relict plastid (apicoplast) of Plasmodium,
  • mechanisms of protein translation employed by Plasmodium organelles and
  • human genetic factors and susceptibility to severe P. falciparum malaria in endemic and non-endemic regions of India

The Indian National Science Academy

The Indian National Science Academy was established in January 1935 with the object of promoting science in India and harnessing scientific knowledge for the cause of humanity and national welfare. Promotion of scientific knowledge in India including its practical application to problems of national welfare.

The major objectives of Indian National Science Academy are:

  • Coordination among Scientific Academies, Societies, Institutions, Government Scientific Departments and Services.
  • To act as a body of scientists of eminence for the promotion and safeguarding of the interests of scientists in India and to present internationally the scientific work done in the country.
  • To act through properly constituted National Committees, in which other learned academies and societies may be associated, for undertaking scientific work of national and international importance which the Academy may be called upon to perform by the public and by the Government.

Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR)

  • The Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik on October 22 inaugurated the Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) at All India Institute of Ayurveda.
  • This RRDR is the second in the series of repositories proposed by National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH and will be dedicated to the Trans-Ganga Plain Region.
  • There is an increased demand for the natural healing and herbal products across the globe. COVID has further pushed the demand and many of the key herbs like Asvagandha, Giloi, Tulsi, Kalmegh, Mulethi are on high demand.
  • With the increasing demand for the herbal medicines, the NMPB which is already engaged in the development of a mechanism to ensure supply of quality raw material to the AYUSH industry as well as consumers expedited the process of establishing the Raw Drug Repositories.
  • NMPB is already involved in the process of developing policies in this direction and for attaining speedy development in the areas of making sustainable availability of authentic raw material of medicinal plants for the AYUSH industries.
  • RRDR for Trans- Ganga Plain Region covers four states -Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Punjab. This region has a huge potential for medicinal raw materials.

National Super Computing Mission (NSM)

  • India is fast expanding its supercomputer facilities and developing the capacity to manufacture its own supercomputers in the country.
  • The National Super Computing Mission (NSM) is rapidly boosting high power computing in the country through its various phases to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups in areas like oil exploration, flood prediction as also genomics, and drug discovery.
  • With the infrastructure planned in NSM Phase-I already installed and much of Phase-II in place, the network of supercomputers through the country will soon reach to around 16 Petaflops (PF). Phase-III, to be initiated in January 2021, will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops.
  • NSM is jointly steered by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
  • Param Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by Param Shakti and Param Brahma at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, respectively.
  • Thereafter supercomputing facilities were set up in two more institutions, and one is being set up in Phase-I, ramping up high power computing speed to 6.6 PF under Phase-1.
  • In Phase-II, 8 more institutions will be equipped with supercomputing facilities by April 2021, with a total of 10 PF compute capacity.
  • MoUs have been signed with total 14 premier institutions of India for establishing Supercomputing Infrastructure with Assembly and Manufacturing in India. These include IITs, NITs, National Labs, and IISERs.
  • The three phases will provide access to High-Performance Computing (HPC) Facilities to around 75 institutions and more than thousands of active researchers, academicians working through Nation Knowledge Network (NKN) – the backbone for supercomputing systems.
  • HPC and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have converged together. A 100 AI PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system is being created and installed in C-DAC, which can handle incredibly large-scale AI workloads increasing the speed of computing-related to AI several times.

“Aditi Urja Sanch” Unit

The Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on October 21 inaugurated the DME fired “Aditi Urja Sanch” unit along with the DME-LPG blended fuel cylinders and handed them over for common public and CSIR-NCL (National Chemical Laboratory) canteen use on a trial basis at CSIR-NCL premises.

Dimethyl ether (DME) is an ultra-clean fuel.

  • CSIR-NCL has developed nation’s first kind of DME pilot plant with 20-24Kg/day capacity.
  • The conventional LPG burner is not suitable for DME combustion as DME density is different than LPG.
  • To address this issue, CSIR- NCL’s “ADITI URJA SANCH” has come up with a helpful, innovative setup.
  • The new Burner is fully designed and fabricated by NCL for DME, DME -LPG blended mixtures and LPG combustion.

Salient features of newly designed Burner are:

  • The new design is efficient for both DME and the blend of DME and LPG.
  • Novel design and flexible air ingress.
  • The new nozzle design allows optimum oxygen ingress for combustion
  • The angles at which nozzles are placed maximize the heat transfer area across the utensils.
  • Optimum flame velocity can be obtained.
  • The length of the flame (high, low, and medium) can be adjusted by altering the oxygen ingress.
  • The experiment shows that it increases the heat transfer rate as well.

A clean cooking fuel combination of DME-LPG also safeguards the well-being of women and children. The DME process technology is economical, cost-effective, and scalable with in-situ product purification as well as a heat integration unit that produces pure DME.

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