100 Days Achievements and Initiatives in the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences

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Dr. Jitendra Singh Announces New Innovative Initiatives 

Scientists Have Been Asked to Formally Hold Teaching Classes for Students at Undergraduate College Level as Well as at School Level 

Special Promotion Scheme “Kiran” for Women Scientists 


The Science and Technology Ministry today announced a new innovative initiative to formally enter the area of teaching at undergraduate and school level by making it mandatory for all publicly funded National Research Institutions under the Ministry to involve themselves in active academic work. 

Announcing this at a press conference held at “Anusandhan Bhawan” here today, Union Minister of Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh said that for the first time in the history of independent India, Scientists had been asked to formally hold teaching classes for students at undergraduate college level as well as at school level. 

Elaborating further on this new idea, Dr Jitendra Singh said that in order to institutionalise this practice, it will be mandatory for every member of the Science staff engaged in this teaching process to take at least 12 hours of lecture classes per academic year. This will be in addition to the already assigned responsibilities of the scientists and will not entitle them to any extra remuneration or honorarium, he added. In order to make the initiative result-oriented, the teaching programme by the scientists will be reviewed for implementation at the end of one year and evaluated for performance at the end of three years, he said. 

The modalities for structuring this scientist-teaching programme shall be worked out and structured by each institution subject to ratification by its governing body, said Dr Jitendra Singh, and added that this will enable the scientific community to get involved with students at all levels whereas in the past, the various National Scientific Research Institutions under his Ministry have had little to do by way of systematic teaching beyond pre-Ph.D. or Ph.D. courses and none at the undergraduate or school level. 

Dr Jitendra Singh said that this initiative will on the one hand bring the scientific community out of the confines of their laboratories to serve the society in a wider capacity and at the same time, this will also help in overcoming the paucity of teaching resources at the level of school or higher education. 

The Minister announced a special promotion scheme for women Scientists “KIRAN”. He said this will facilitate and smoothen the working conditions of women force engaged in the field of scientific research. Dr. Singh also spelt out KIRAN. He said K means Knowledge, R stands for Initiative, R is for Research and N for Nurturing. He said this will further the gender parity too.

Giving a detailed account of the initiatives and achievements during the 100 days period after the formation of New Government the minister said that even in this short span of time, the Ministries under his charge had been able to scale-up scientific research to address several key socio-economic problems by collaborating with other Ministries while making concerted efforts to build scientific temper amongst the youth. He said that the government is committed to create state-of-the-art R&D in addition to building effective public-private partnership in R&D infrastructure to facilitate reverse brain-drain and also in creating an eco-system to encourage innovation. 

Highlighting specific achievements, he said that DST got approval of EFC for India’s Participation in Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Project involving astronomy research institutes in India, USA, Canada, Japan and China. TMT will be the world’s largest telescope when it becomes operational in 2023, capable of peeping into the farthest corners of the Universe and address some of the most fundamental scientific problems of this century. While lauding the Indian students who bagged prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, held annually in the U.S., he added that 20 young researchers from India in the fields of Medicine and Physiology participated in the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting 2014 where they interacted with 37 Nobel Laureates. DST also launched Newton-Bhabha Fund which aims to promote science & innovation partnership between UK and India in 3 grand societal challenges- Sustainable Cities and Urbanisation, Public Health and Well Being, Energy-Water-Food Nexus. India will also organize Commonwealth Science Conference after 50 Years in Bangalore during 25-28 November 2014 which will be attended by scientists from across the Commonwealth. Major collaborations with Japan in Biotechnology, Physics, Materials Science and Ocean Development were also announced at meeting with Japan Science Minister. Science Express as "Biodiversity Special" was launched on its 7th tour around India on 28 July 2014 which has already attracted over 5 lakh people at 10 halts. 

On DBT front, he said that 3 new vaccines including indigenously developed Rotavirus vaccine will be provided to all Indian children as part of India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP). Fourth vaccine for adults to protect against Japanese Encephalitis will be introduced in high-priority districts. The new vaccines against rotavirus, rubella and inactivated polio will collectively expedite India’s progress on meeting the targets under Millennium Development Goals to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by the year 2015 and meet global polio eradication targets. Along with the recent introduction of the pentavalent vaccine, this decision represents the most significant policy leap in thirty years in public health. With these new vaccines, India’s UIP will now provide free vaccines against 13 life threatening diseases, to 27 million children annually, the largest birth cohort in the world. Many of these vaccines are already available through private practitioners to those who can afford them. The government will now ensure that the benefits of vaccination reach all sections of the society, regardless of social and economic status. The recommendation to introduce new vaccines has been made after numerous scientific studies and deliberations by the National Technical Advisory Group of India (NTAGI), the country’s apex scientific advisory body on immunization. He added that proposal for Clinical Development Services Agency (CDSA), set up for providing low cost & high quality clinical development and services as an extramural unit of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) – an autonomous institution of DBT - has been cleared. This will greatly enhance the safety and quality of clinical research and trials in the public sector. Also, new phase of Indo-Swiss collaborative projects in agriculture and climate change through major networks around Ragi and Pigeon pea crops was launched with the aim to improve productivity and nutrition. In addition, Genetic blueprint for wheat genome was decoded. DNA markers generated can help produce wheat variety of better quality, he added. 

DSIR, and Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) - an autonomous society under DSIR which has 38 constituent labs in different parts of the country engaged in wide variety of research areas - too made giant strides. Sindhu Sadhana, an indigenously built Oceanographic Research Vessel was dedicated to the nation on July 12, 2014. After sea trials, the vessel sailed for its first oceanographic research cruise from Visakhapatnam. The multi-disciplinary research vessel addressing R&D in the domains of food, energy, minerals, climate and environment will expand the reach of Indian oceanographers to understand the oceanographic process in the seas around India and to translate this knowledge to benefit the Indian nation. Towards catalysing upgradation, promotion & development of MSMEs, a directory of CSIR technologies (642 in number) has been created. Further technology/product demonstration and awareness raising events have been organised on Medicinal & Aromatic plants, Leather and Food at several location across north India. A State-of-art Clean Room Facility at CSIR-NPL has been made operational to boost R&D efforts on solar energy. A non-toxic solar heat reflecting inorganic blue pigment has been developed by CSIR-NIIST. Following a technology transfer, further scale-up has been planned jointly with industry. Two formulations of vaccine against Johne’s disease for cattle namely JD Oil and JD Gel have been developed under CSIR-NMITLI Scheme with M/s Biovet Pvt. Ltd. Towards providing affordable onsite diagnostic systems for neglected diseases, a soft launch of the TB diagnostic kit, ReaSLR CSM Kit Ver 1.0 developed under CSIR-NMITLI Scheme with M/s ReaMetrix India Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru has been made. Optical Time Division Reflectometery (OTDR) field technique has been developed by CSIR-CBRI which is an inexpensive technology for monitoring onsite landslide activity at multiple locations. CSIR-NEERI, focusing on significant efforts for addressing environmental pollution, developed technologies that include emission monitoring and control mobile laboratory which enables real time air sampling and analysis for timely protection from the impact of air pollution. The lab is also involved in clean water mission; wastewater treatment, recycle and reuse. 

Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), not only issued Agro meteorological advisories to 605 districts and increased dissemination to 5.2 million farmers but also Completed the City Weather Forecast to 310 cities besides commissioning a heliport Aviation Weather Operating System (AWOS) at Vaishnodevi. It has also set up 1.1 petaflop High Performance Computing system for weather and climate forecasts. Further, an International Training Centre in Operational Oceanography at ESSO-INCOIS, Hyderabad is being operationalized. Long-term shoreline changes maps for the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coasts and Coastal Zone Management Plans (CZMP) for 3 districts of Kerala too have been completed. First Arctic Mooring system off the Norway coast too has been established and first Indo-US joint oceanographic expedition in the Bay of Bengal for conducting Ocean Mixing and Monsoon experiments undertaken. 

On this occasion Dr. K.Vijayaraghvan, Secretary DST and DBT, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary in the M/o Earth Sciences and Dr. P.S.Ahuja, DG CSIR was also present. 



Press Information Bureau, September 08, 2014