Department of Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2020

HCARD: Robot to assist COVID-19 frontline warriors

On April 29, 2020, the robotic device HCARD, Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device was launched to help frontline health care workers. The robot will help them in maintaining physical distance from the COVID-19 infected persons.


The HCARD was developed by CSIR laboratory located in Durgapur. The device is capable of working in both automatic and manual mode. It can be monitored and controlled using a control station or a nursing booth. The cost of the device is Rs 5 lakhs and it weighs 80 kilograms.


The HCARD works on war footing mechanism to reduce the impact of COVID-19 through technological interventions. The device has drawers that will provide food to patients. The device will also collect samples from patients.


The device is important to save the public and help in optimal use of Personal Protective Equipment. With the robot being employed at hospitals, the chances of medical professionals such as lab technicians, nurses or doctors meeting or interacting with the patients decreases and so does the usage of PPEs. Also, the medical professionals working in the frontline, with direct contact with the COVID-19 infected patients shall remain safe.

The device also helps in maintaining social distancing with the patients.

Technology Summit, 2019

The 25th Technology Summit is a bilateral platform that provides opportunities to industries, government agencies and institutes from India and other countries to interact with each other. In 2017, Canada participated in the Summit and in 2018 it was Italy. This year Netherlands has been invited. The summit acts as a forum to forge partnerships, explore new avenues and to create joint ventures to explore new avenues of collaborations to boost trade and investment. The summit is to be held in New Delhi between 15 and 16 October, 2019. It is being organised by Ministry of Science and Technology.

Next year, India has planned to take the summit globally. It intends to invite participants from different countries.

Theme: Young entrepreneurship

The 2019 India – Netherlands technology summit is being organized by DST and CII, DST-Department of Science and Technology and CII-Confederation of India Industry.


  • To profile the Netherlands–India technologies
  • Showcase opportunities for Netherlands and India on technology and scientific research across key areas, especially in the fields of water, agriculture and Health
  • To increase the visibility of Dutch and Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • To highlight the cooperation between India and Netherlands.

Significance in choosing Netherlands

The bilateral research cooperation between India and Netherlands in fields like Internet of Things, medical devices, big data, urban water system would be enhanced through the summit. There are great scopes for closer partnership between the countries to leverage emerging digital technologies.


According to the Ministry of External Affairs, there are over 200 Indian companies operating in Netherlands. It is the third largest investor in India in 2017 – 18 with investments valued at 2.67 billion USD. The top 5 sectors that are attracting FDI equity flows from Netherlands include computer, hardware, software, automobile industry, trading and fermentation industries.


The bilateral trade between India and Netherlands between April 2017 and March 2018 was around 6.28 billion USD. Netherlands is the fourth largest trading partner of India after EU, UK, Germany and Belgium.

Indian Diaspora

There are around 2,35,000 Indian living in Netherlands. Of which, 2 lakh are Suriname-Hindustani community that are well integrated to the Dutch society. Apart from this there are 3,000 Indian students pursuing their masters, bachelors and research courses in various universities in Netherlands.

Outcomes of the summit

  • The Indian and the Netherlands governments are to sign MoUs based on the summit and the requirements identified by it.
  • New public-private partnerships between India and Netherlands
  • New opportunities for fast tracked market entry for existing Dutch and Indian stakeholders.
  • Solutions for societal challenges
  • Deepening the ties between India and Netherlands in multiple verticals of knowledge.