The Central Government has taken a no. of measures for strengthening S&T and Innovation Infrastructure in the country. The Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research Bill, 2011 was passed by both Houses of the Parliament during the winter session and received assent of the President of India on 6th February, 2012. The Academy will focus on research and training in areas not ordinarily provided by the existing universities in the country. The curricula, pedagogy and evaluation will be innovative and directed towards creating highest quality personnel in trans-disciplinary areas.
The Government has approved the setting up of the Bio-technology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in order to stimulate and enhance the innovation capacity of the industry and to promote and sustain Public Private Partnership. Established as a section 25 company, BIRAC will provide end-to-end services to the industry, mainly startups and SMEs. The National Data Sharing and Access Policy (NDSAP), was approved and notified by the Government. It aims at promoting a technology-based culture of data management as well as data sharing and access between government departments and the civil society. The policy reflects the Government’s commitment to transparency and efficiency in governance. 6.2 lakh school students in the 10-15 age group have been given Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) awards. Over 1 lakh interns in the 16-17 age group have been supported under the INSPIRE scheme while more than 10,000 scholarships in the 17-22 age group, 1,200 doctoral fellowships in the 22-27 age groupand nearly 50 faculty awards in the 27-32 age group have been provided. Nearly half of the total recipients of the awards were female, while about three quarters of these awards were given to weaker sections of the society.
New products & services
Through a public-private partnerhsip,CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories has designed and developed the CNM5, a 5- seater all-metal aircraft, capable of carrying two stretchers. The aircraft was test flown in the first week of September, 2011. The CNM5 is designed to meet the latest global standards, while operating in environments with limited infrastructure at extremely low costs per seat mile. A district-level agro-meteorological advisory service covering 560 districts has been made operational for farmers encompassing a 5-day weather forecast and advisory on agricultural practices. About 30 lakh farmers have subscribed to the services for receiving the information through mobile phones. A fishing zone advisory system has also been set up to provide timely information to the coastal fisherman community on the fish abundance locations and local weather conditions. The Indian Tsunami Warning System has been made capable of issuing tsunami warning for India and the Indian Ocean Rim countries within 8 minutes of occurrence of the earthquake in the Indian Ocean, and has been recognized as Regional Tsunami Service Provider for the Indian Ocean Region. CSIR-CSMCRI has developed a defect free high flux hollow fibre membrane based technology for water disinfection and purification at affordable cost using polymers and their blends. The technology has been transferred for commercial exploitation.
A totally indigenous and environmental friendly technology, for conversion of seawater into potable drinking water has been developed, demonstrated and commissioned at select island territories and coastal power plants. During the year 2011, two more desalination plants of 1 lakh litre capacity were established one each in Minicoy and Agatti, in March, 2011 and August
2011, respectively. Space programme
There were four successful launches of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the year. A number of satellites were placed in orbit during these launches, including Resourcesat-2, GSAT-12, RISAT-1, the Indo-French satellite Megha-Tropiques, the Indo-Russian satellite Youthsat, two satellites for Indian educational institutions and two satellites for international customers. In addition, the advanced communication satellite GSAT-8 was launched from French Guyana using a foreign launch vehicle. The development of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) for launch of satellites into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit made a major breakthrough with the successful test of the indigenous cryogenic engine. The development of the GSLV Mark III, for launch of larger satellites, also achieved significant progress with the successful static tests of the solid booster and the liquid core stage. The President of India inaugurated a new Mission Control Centre and Launch Control Centre at Sriharikota on January 2, 2012. The Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Thiruvananthapuram was fabricated for solving complex aerospace problems. This is considered to be India’s fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance of 220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second.