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State of art circular dome with 360o video-immersive experience at Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat:

  • Union Minister for Science & Technology inaugurated the 360o video-immersive experience in circular dome and Digital Exhibits on Mahatma Gandhi installed at Gandhi Darshan, Rajghat.
  • This was part of two-year long commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Harsh Vardhan said that Gandhiji’s persona was such that it continues to inspire the entire humanity even today. Stating that Gandhian philosophy touches all aspects of life.
  • Mahatma Gandhi  always stressed upon sustainable development. He highlighted the efforts of Science & Technology Ministry for developing digital tools to spread the values of Gandhiji. He called upon youth to imbibe Gandhiji’s teachings to create a better and just society.
  • DST felt that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are very powerful technology tools that could be used to disseminate the message of Gandhiji to the youth of India and therefore proposed setting up of a 360° video-immersive experience based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi in a circular dome at Gandhi Darshan as part of conclusion of the Commemoration.
  • Content from Gandhi archives such as photos, videos, audio interviews were processed into digital formats and used wherever possible. The 360o dome project has been implemented by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

DST selects 2020 Swarna Jayanti Fellowship:

  • A total of 21 scientists associated with innovative research ideas in the areas of life sciences, chemical sciences, mathematics, earth and atmospheric, physical sciences, and engineering and the potential of making an impact on R&D have been selected for the Swarna Jayanti fellowship.
  • Scientists selected for the award will be allowed to pursue unfettered research with freedom and flexibility in terms of expenditure as approved in the research plan.
  • The Swarna Jayanti Fellowships scheme was instituted by Govt. of India to commemorate India’s fiftieth year of Independence, provides special assistance and support to a selected number of young scientists with a proven track record to enable them to pursue basic research in frontier areas of science and technology.
  • Under the scheme, the awardees are given support by the Department of Science & Technology, GOI, which will cover all the requirements for performing the research and will include a fellowship of Rs. 25,000/- per month for five years.
  • In addition to this, DST supports the awardees by giving them a research grant of 5 lakh Rupees for 5 years. The fellowship is provided in addition to the salary they draw from their parent Institution. In addition to fellowship, grants for equipments, computational facilities, consumables, contingencies, national and international travel, and other special requirements, if any, is covered based on merit.
  • The fellowships are scientist specific and not institution-specific, very selective, and have close academic monitoring.

CSIR’s Aroma Mission benefitting the farmers:

  • Farmers of the remote regions in hills are taking to cultivation of aromatic crops to revive agriculture as they are facing problems of non-remunerative returns and increasing incidences of crop losses owing to wild animals, monkeys and stray animal menace.
  • CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur near Dharamshala in Himachal, is supporting the farmers by making efforts to revive the economy of the farming community and doubling their income through introduction of high value aromatic crops such as wild marigold, damask rose, lavender, rosemary, lemongrass and mushkbala under CSIR Aroma mission.
  • These crops are good for cultivation in marginal and wasteland and are not being affected by wild and stray animals.
  • That aromatic crops are widely cultivated around the world due to its high-revenue earning essential oil which is utilized in agrochemical, food, flavoring, perfumery and pharmaceutical industry.
  • To promote cultivation of these aromatic crops among the farmers, a complete package of agro and processing technologies has been developed and executed in the farmers’ fields to help them realize the profits.
  • The essential oil extracted from aromatic crops have huge demand in perfumery, flavour and fragrance industry in India and abroad.
  • To uplift the cultivation of aromatic crops in order to double farmers’ income different small societies of progressive farmers have been formed in different states by CSIR-IHBT.
  • With the efforts of CSIR-IHBT, Himachal Pradesh has become the largest producer of high quality wild marigold essential oil (4 t per annum) in India to meet the demand of perfume, flavouring, and condiment industries.

First Fast Radio Burst detected in the milky way:

  • Intense pulses of radio waves known as fast radio bursts (FRB) that have been frequently detected in other galaxies, have now been found in the Milky Way, new studies have shown.
  • FRBs were first discovered in 2007 and there are still many gaps in information regarding them. A number of theories have been suggested about the causes of FRBs including alien starships and colliding black holes.
  • Many theories have also suggested that FRBs are caused by neutron stars, that are the corpses of stars which died in explosions called supernovas.
  • The latest studies, have now confirmed that FRBs are in fact generated by a rare type of neutron star known as a ‘magnetar’.
  • Magnetars are the most powerful magnets in the cosmos. Their magnetic fields are 5,000 trillion times more powerful than that of the Earth.
  • The source of the FRB was traced to a magnetar known as SGR 1935+2154, located about 30,000 light-years from the earth. It lies in the centre of the Milky Way, in the constellation Vulpecula.
  • The FRB generated by this magnetar was so powerful that it emitted as much energy in one millisecond as the sun does in 30 seconds, according to the scientists.
  • The FRB was not only the closest such signal ever recorded near the Earth. It was also 3,000 times brighter than any other magnetar radio signal detected till now.
  • The scientists also concluded that most FRBs in other galaxies also were generated by magnetars.