Monday, 6 January 2014

Achievements of The Ministry Of Science & Technology During 2013

Following are the salient features of the initiatives taken by the Unnion Ministry of Science & Technology during the year 2013:

PM Unveils New Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at Centenary Session of Indian Science Congress The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, unveiled the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STI) 2013 by presenting its first copy to the President of India ShriPranab Mukerjee  at the inaugural session of the Centenary session of the Indian Science Congress at Kolkatta on 3rd January, 2013.
The STI Policy sought to send a signal to the Indian scientific community, both in the private and public domain, that science, technology and innovation should focus on faster, sustainable and inclusive development of the people. The policy seeks to focus on both STI for people and people for STI. It aims to bring all the benefits of Science, Technology & Innovation to the national development and sustainable and more inclusive growth. It seeks the right sizing of the gross expenditure on research and development by encouraging and incentivizing private sector participation in R & D, technology and innovation activities.
The policy also sought to trigger an ecosystem for innovative abilities to flourish by leveraging partnerships among diverse stakeholders and by encouraging and facilitating enterprises to invest in innovations. It also seeks to bring in mechanisms for achieving gender parity in STI activities and gaining global competitiveness in select technological areas through international cooperation and alliances. The policy goal is to accelerate the pace of discovery, diffusion and delivery of science led solutions for serving theaspirational goals of India for faster, sustainable and inclusive growth.   A Strong and viable Science, Research and Innovation system for High Technology led path for India (SRISHTI) are the goal for the STI policy.

CSIR-OSDD Collaborates with the Royal Society of Chemistry  in  “Advancing Cheminformatics for Novel Drugs” 

In pursuit of common aims and to raise awareness of the importance of Cheminformatics to accelerate the discovery of novel therapies for neglected diseases like TB and Malaria, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which provides scientific and industrial R&D that maximises the economic, environmental and societal benefits for the people of India today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between its Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the largest European organisation for advancing chemical sciences in its headquarter 0n 29th January, 2013.. 

The MoU, spanning three years, aims to address the objective of finding novel, faster-acting, and more effective regimens for TB and Malaria by advancing the discipline of Cheminformatics. The collaboration envisions conducting workshops and conferences to build links between experts and leaders in the coming years and will focus on jointly building an online repository of real and virtual molecular structures along with developing free-to -use software tools for drug discovery and development. The partnership also aims at exploring the possibility of advancing OSDD’s e-learning program for students. 

Union Budget Highlights Department of Science & Technology gets Rs. 6,275 Crore 

The Department of Atomic Energy got  Rs. .6,275 crore for the financial year 2013-14. This was announced by the Union Finance Minister Shri P.Chidambaram in the Union Budget proposals tabled in the Lok Sabha on 28th February, 2013.. He said With the help of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government, a few amazing S&T innovations have been identified.He proposed to set apart Rs.200 crore to fund organisations that will scale up and make these products available to the people. He also proposed to ask the National Innovation Council to formulate a scheme for the management and application of the fund. 

Measures for High Level Research Promote Science and Technology Government has taken several measures to promote high level research in science and technology in Indian Universities and Institutes. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has engaged in high end research and has made significant contributions in many fields including aerospace, health care drugs & pharmaceuticals, food & food processing, energy etc. Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has implemented several integrated research programmes related to applications of biotechnology in agriculture, health care, environment and industrial development. Department of Science & Technology (DST) has supported frontier areas of research in several areas including nanoscience and nanotechnology, structural biology, computational and particle physics, green chemistry, mining and mineral engineering, molecular materials, solar energy, water etc. The infrastructural support programmes of DST such as Fund for Infrastructure Strengthening of S&T (FIST) and Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE), Consolidation of University Research, Innovation and Excellence (CURIE) for women only universities, special packages for regional balancing of R&D infrastructure ( for North East, J&K, Bihar etc) have helped several universities and institutes to augment their research capability and engage in high end research . National share of university sector in scientific publications has increased form 15% to 31% during the last 7 years. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has supported several high potential areas of research in polar science & cryosphere, climate change, ocean technology etc. 

Development of critical technologies in space sector such as indigenous cryogenic engine, air breathing propulsion, microwave remote sensing, deep space tracking antenna system etc. and reactor technology have demonstrated the focused directions of Indian research taking place in universities and institutes. The Government has several plans to boost high quality scientific research in future. The priorities set for the XII Plan include stimulation of private sector engagement for investment into R&D; public-private partnerships for promotion of R&D and clean energy; enlarging research in the university sector. Steps are being taken to launch grand challenge mission mode programmes for application in biotechnology, healthcare, agriculture and other areas of national priorities including supercomputing facilities to enlarge the scope of quality research. Budgetary allocation for the S&T sector have increased from Rs. 25,301 crores in X plan to Rs.75,304 crores in XI Plan and Rs.1,20,430 crores in XII Plan. 

DBT Announces Phase III Clinical Trial Results of Rotavirus Vaccine Developed in India Say Vaccine Demonstrates Strong Efficacy 
Dr. K.Vijayraghavan, Secretary in the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India today announced positive results from a Phase III clinical trial of a rotavirus vaccine developed and manufactured in India. Addressing media persons on 14th May, 2013  he said Data from the trial, showed ROTAVAC to have an excellent safety and efficacy profile. 

The clinical study demonstrates for the first time that the India-developed rotavirus vaccine ROTAVAC in collaboration with Bharat Biotech under the Public-Private Partnership mode is efficacious in preventing severe rotavirus diarrhoea in low-resource settings in India. ROTAVAC significantly reduced severe rotavirus diarrhoea by more than half—56 percent during the first year of life, with protection continuing into the second year of life. Moreover, the vaccine also showed impact against severe diarrhoea of any cause
Branch Laboratory of CSIR-IIIM at Srinagar Re-Dedicated to the Nation 
Union Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Shri S.Jaipal Reddy on 29th July, 2013 rededicated the branch Laboratory of CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (CSIR-IIIM) today at Srinagar. Mr. Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Feroz Ahmad Khan, Minister of Science & Technology, Govt. of J&K and Senior Officers from the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and IIIM were present on this occasion. 

DST-CII White Paper on Stimulation of Private Sector’s Investment Into R&D Developed by a Joint Committee of Industry & Government 

The Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) today released a white paper on Stimulation of Private Sector’s investment into Research & Development. Union Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Shri S.Jaipal Reddy was present on this occasion. 

Speaking on the occasion Shri Jaipal Reddy said business enterprises are one of the main source of innovation. They play a significant role in funding and performing R&D in most countries and, more than ever, governments seek to increase business investment in R&D and innovation. Global competition has led countries to seek to boost the innovative capacity of the business sector. 

The minister said Government of India has laid high emphasis on attracting investment of private sector into R&D to match public investments (that is 1% of GDP each by Government and Industry) before the end of 12th Five year plan. The minister referred Prime Ministers’ appeal to the Private Sector to invest into R&D and match the public investments into R&D in this regard. He said Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013 enunciated by the Prime Minister during the Indian Science Congress this year also gives emphasis on attracting private sector investment in R&D. The minister further called upon the private sector to work together with public sector in PPP mode for the public good and happiness of the people of India. 

Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India And Riken, Japan Signs MoU to Launch Joint Research Initiatives 

The Ministry of Science & Technology(DBT & DST) ,Govt. of India and RIKEN, Japan’s largest research organization have signied MOUs on 14th September, 2013  for Launching joint Research programs in the fields of Biology, Life sciences and material sciences. (Genome–related research including systems Biology, Computational science including development of bioinformatics tools, Detection tools (e.g. spectroscopy) for security and other areas of mutual interest)

The Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed by Prof. NOYORI, President of RIKEN and Dr. T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science& Technology (DST) and Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Bio-Technology (DBT). This will formally launch the RIKEN- DBT&DST Joint Research activities.

The cooperation will facilitate exchange and foster collaborations between Japan and India, in these fields. They extend a long history of collaboration between India and Japan, two powerhouses of Asian research and innovation.
Ministry of Science & Technology Launches E-Management of Inspire Award Scheme 

The Ministry of Science & Technology has launched its new project of E-MIAS for the future Inspire Awards. It was launched during the ongoing 3rd  National level Exhibition and Project Competitions (NLEPC) being held under the INSPIRE Awards Scheme of the Ministry of Science & Technology 0n 10th October, 2013 by Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences. ).  The application software is ready for use by all the States / UTs, Districts and Schools and the 3 Central organizations viz. Kendriya Vidyalaya, NavodayaVidyalaya Schools and Sainik Society School.  All the concerned  authorities are requested to start using  the new application software and send future proposals for awards and funds for conducting competitions at various levels online. 

What is E-MIAS
Under the INSPIRE Award Scheme, large number of nominations, running into lakhs, have to be processed for selection of the students for INSPIRE Award.  DST plans to e-manage the entire INSPIRE Award Scheme by using State-of-Art latest Information Technology which would enable e-filing of nominations by the schools across the country, its processing by the District and State authorities as well as DST in accordance with the norms of the scheme, transmission of data of selected students to the banks, credit of Award amount to the bank accounts of selected Awardees (wherever notified) or preparation of INSPIRE Award Warrants by the bank and their dispatch to the selected Awardees and all such related actitivities.

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