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Year-in-Review 2019: Indian Ministry of Science and Technology

Ministry of Science and Technology Initiatives Schemes Policies and Events in 2019

The government recently published a press release that outlined the Ministry of Science and Technology initiatives, schemes, agreements, policies and events in 2019.

The DNA Technology Regulation Bill

In January last year, the Lok Sabha (House of the People) passed the DNA Technology Regulation Bill. The bill was designed to regulate the use and application of DNA technology to identify missing persons, victims, and offenders under trial or unknown deceased persons.

Inter-ministerial MoU inked to promote agricultural biotechnology research and education

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January.

Under the MoU, five to ten focus programmes would be developed. Major facilities and technology platforms would be made accessible to the national systems and a joint working group would be constituted to enhance cooperation.

IIT-Delhi set up a centre of excellence for ‘waste to wealth technologies’

In May, the government and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi) signed an MoU to set up a centre of excellence for waste to wealth technologies.

The centre would develop and implement sustainable, scientific, and technology-based solutions for waste management through the validation and deployment of available technologies.

Cabinet approved an inter-institutional agreement between India and the US in medicine

The Cabinet approved the inter-institutional agreement between India and the USA in the areas of regenerative medicine, 3D bioprinting, and new technologies. The two sides exchanged scientific ideas, information, and technologies and will jointly use scientific infrastructure.

Government launched a drone-based mapping project in Maharashtra

The Survey of India, the national mapping agency of the country, signed an MoU with the Department of Revenue and Land Records to carry out the large-scale mapping of village areas in the state of Maharashtra using drone technology.

India-Netherlands Technology Summit

In October, the 25th edition of the DST-CII India Netherlands Technology Summit was inaugurated. ‘NEXUS’ was its central theme and participants discussed how to co-create innovative solutions for global challenges related to water, food, and healthcare for all.

Proposal agreement on science and technology cooperation between India and the US

The Union Cabinet approved a proposal for an agreement on science and technology cooperation between India and the US. It would provide opportunities to promote high-quality, high-impact research and innovation partnerships and broaden relationships between the extensive scientific and technological communities.

Next-generation sequencing facility inaugurated

A next-generation sequencing (NGS) facility was launched at the centre for cellular and molecular biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad. The facility includes technology for high genome sequencing and the diagnostic sequencing of clinical samples. The machine can sequence 18,000 samples in 8 minutes.

The NGS facility helps prenatal genetic screening and counselling, thereby generating large-scale genomic data critical for diagnosis and therapy.

First indigenous fuel cell system developed

The first indigenous high-temperature fuel cell system was developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in partnership with Indian industries, under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMITLI).

‘Green crackers’ developed to curb air pollution

CSIR developed several environment-friendly fireworks like sound-emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, and sparklers. A green logo and QR coding system were also launched to track the production and sale of counterfeit crackers.

CSIR inked MoU with Indian Navy for advanced tech

The Indian Navy and CSIR signed an MoU to undertake joint research in electronics, communication, computer science, propulsion systems, metallurgy, and nanotechnology.

Some of the immediate projects under MoU were the development of alternative desalination technologies, the installation of wireless MEMS-based sensors for remote operation, residual life assessment studies of gas turbine generator blades to improve reliability.

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