CSIR-NPL Current Affairs

BND-4201: India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard launched

India Government Mint (IGM), a unit of Security Printing and Minting Corp of India Ltd has launched India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard –Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND-4201).

The BND-4201 is reference material for gold of ‘9999’ fineness (gold that is 99.99% pure with impurities of only 100 parts-per-million). It will be beneficial to the consumers and public at large to ensure purity of gold.

Key Facts

BND-4201, the high purity gold reference standard has been developed through collaboration between IGM, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) — Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (New Delhi) and National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (Hyderabad).

The gold reference standard is indispensable in gold and jewellery hall marking. This reference will also be useful for Collection and Purity Testing Centres to certify purity of gold deposits under gold monetization scheme.

Significance

India despites being second largest markets for gold after China, goldsmiths in the country were depended on imported reference gold bars (mostly imported was sourced from Canada and Switzerland) to check purity of their biscuits, coins and jewellery. BND-4201 standard reference material will help to minimise dependency on foreign countries and add to Make in India campaign, saving foreign exchange.

The BND-4201 standard gold bar are 25% cheaper than the imported version. It will also help jewellers to move towards more instrumental methods rather than conventional fire assay methods for testing purity of gold, which time consuming and non-environment friendly as poisonous gases are released.

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ISRO and CSIR-NPL sign MoU for time and frequency traceability services

The ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have signed MoU to make indigenous regional positioning system-NavIC independent from the US clock system.

Until now, the satellites on NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) managed by the ISRO relied on the US GPS to ensure that the clocks aboard were working at the high-precision required in satellite-based communication.

Significance of MoU

The MoU will help the NAVIC to get formally synchronized with the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is being maintained by the Delhi-based NPL – the timekeeper of India. It will also help in making NAVIC to get fully operational in the market for commercial purposes as time synchronisation is essential for all kinds of services such as financial transactions, digital archiving, stock handling, time stamping, national security or prevention of cyber-crimes etc.

NavIC

Formally called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary. NavIC System consists of constellation of seven satellites (namely IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G) of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary.

National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

The NPL is part of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CISR). It is the measurement standards laboratory of India. It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures. It is only agency in India authorised to maintain Indian Standard Time (IST) and hosts most accurate clocks in the country with accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds through the Primary Time Scale (PTS), an ensemble of five caesium clocks and one hydrogen maser.

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