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Fact Box: Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS II)

Science Express

The Science Express is 16 coach AC mobile train science exhibition of Department of Science & Technology (DST). The objective of the Express is to arouse interest of the young people in the field of science and technology. Since its inception, the programme is being managed by Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC). The Science Express was launched from Delhi Safdarjung Railway station on October 30, 2007. The Express has so far completed 8 phases by travelling 1,41,800 km, with 455 halts, and 1602 exhibition days. Thus, it is has become the largest, longest running and the most visited mobile science exhibition with six entries in the Limca Book of Records. Since its inception, over 1.61 crore people had visited Science Express.

The 8 phases completed by the train includes 4 phases of ‘Science Express’, which had showcased cutting edge research in science and technology being carried worldwide; 3 phases of ‘Biodiversity Special’ (SEBS) which had showcased the rich biodiversity of India; and one phase of ‘Climate Action Special’ (SECAS) that highlighted the global challenge of climate change.

SECAS II

The Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS II) constitutes 9th Phase and will stop at 68 stations for science popularisation across the country till September covering a total distance of 19,000 km. The current ninth phase of the Science Express was flagged off on February 17 this year. The SECAS is a collaborative initiative of DST, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Railways, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC). 

The Broad themes covered by SECAS-II are: Underlying reasons for climate change; impact of climate change and ways to reduce it; adaptation strategies and adaptation measures undertaken by India; mitigation and various programmes implemented; international negotiations for climate change etc.

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May 11: National Technology Day

National Technology Day is being observed across India on May 11 to mark India’s technological advancements.

2017 National Technology Day Theme: ‘Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth’.

Significance

The day is being commemorated to celebrate the anniversary of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) nuclear test, held on 11 May 1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan.  The operation was led by the former President APJ Abdul Kalam. After conducting two more tests as a part of the Pokhran-II/Operation Shakti initiative, India was declared as a nuclear state by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

On this same day country’s first indigenous aircraft Hansa-3 was test flown at Bangalore.

India also conducted successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day. The Trishul missile was developed as a part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The Trishul Missile got inducted by the Indian Army and Indian Airforce.

Considering all these technical achievements, 11 May was chosen to be commemorated as National Technology Day. To commemorate this day, Technology Development Board (TDB) has instituted a National Award. This award is conferred on to various individuals and industries by the President for their successful achievement in commercialization of Indigenous Technology.

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Indian Origin Scientists Elected Fellows of UK Royal Society

Three Indian Scientist have been elected as the Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, for their “outstanding contributions to science“. Eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the UK and the Commonwealth are elected every year as the Fellows of The Royal Society.

Krishna Chatterjee from Cambridge University has been recognised for his discoveries of genetic disorders of thyroid gland formation, regulation of hormone synthesis and hormone action. He was responsible for the development of Clinical Research Facilities at the University of Cambridge.

Subhash Khot from New York University is a theoretical computer scientist who is known for his definition of the “Unique Games” problem. He has been credited for throwing insight into unresolved problems in the field of computational complexity.

Yadvinder Malhi from Oxford University is an ecosystem ecologist who is recognised for his works on understanding the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems and its response to the pressures of global change, including climate change, degradation and loss of large animals.

The Royal Society

The Royal Society is a self-governing fellowship society of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering. It is world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence and was established in 1660. Its mission is to recognise, support and promote excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. The Royal Society elects new Fellows and Foreign Members every year who have made substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including engineering science, mathematics and medical science. Since its foundation, about 8,000 Fellows have been elected. First Indian fellow to get elected was Ardaseer Cursetjee, an engineer, in 1841 and the second one was Srinivasa Ramanujan, autodidact mathematician in 1918.

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