DST Current Affairs - 2020

NSTMIS report: India placed 3rd in scientific publication

The National Science and Technology Management Information (NSTMIS) has conducted a survey on Research and Development Statistics and Indicators 2019-20.

Highlights

The report says that India ranks 3rd globally in the scientific publication. The first two ranks were occupied by USA and China. The gross expenditure on Research and Development in the country has tripled between 2008 and 2018. It was Rs 39,437 crores in 2008 and increased to Rs 1,13,825 crores in 2018.

Key Findings of the report

  • The report says that the two main contributors were Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology. The DST contributes 63% of R and D support and the DBT contributes 14%.
  • The women participation in the R&D field has increased from 13% to 24%.
  • Around 5.52 lakh personnel are working in R&D establishments as on April 2018.
  • In terms of Resident Patent Filing India was ranked 9th in the world. India’s Patent Office ranked seventh in the world.
  • The number of researchers per million has doubled in India since 2000.
  • According to the report, India is currently spending 185 USD per researcher and is ahead of Russia, Hungary, Israel, UK and Spain in this spending.

Significance

The report is important for policy making, planning higher education, industrial competitiveness and intellectual property.

Funding approved by DST to develop Nasal Passage Gel for COVID-19

The Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering and IIT Madras have developed a nasal passage gel that will inactivate COVID1-9. The funding to support the technology is to be provided by SERB (Science and Engineering Research Board), a statutory body operating under Department of Science and Technology.

What is the plan?

The team formed from the two institutes will work on two approaches. They are as follows

Plan I

Under one approach, the plan is to create a causative agent that will prevent the virus from binding to the host cells. This method will reduce the probability of the host cells being infected. Later the viruses are inactivated using a drug or other technology. This technology will only support prevention of binding.

Plan II

Another approach is to inactivate the virus by trapping them. This method traps the virus similar to that of detergents. Through the method, the team intends to develop gels that can be applied in the nasal cavity.

The technologies are to be completed in 9 months-time.