Observances Current Affairs

Earth Hour 2018 observed across the world

The twelfth edition of Earth Hour was observed across the world on 24 March 2018 to take a global call on climate change. To mark this day, cities worldwide turned their lights off for one hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time.

Give Up to Give Back Initiative

On the occasion of Earth Hour, World Wide Fund (WWF)-India made strong pitch for “Give Up to Give Back”. This initiative aims to inspire organisations, institutions and individuals to make choice to curb some habits, practices and lifestyles that burden our lives and environment. It includes taking steps like giving up giving up fossil fuels, single-use plastics, giving up lonely car rides for your employees, give up e-waste.

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is people’s movement inspiring individuals to take stand against climate change. It is organised by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) with an aim to enable harmonious existence of human and wildlife. It aims at encouraging people to turn off their non-essential equipments to promote conservation and sustainable energy. Its goal is to raise awareness for sustainable energy use and create a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. The first Earth Hour was held on March 31, 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Now it has become world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature.


BIRAC celebrates its 6th Foundation Day

The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) celebrated its sixth Foundation Day. The observance of the day was themed around ‘Sustaining Innovation – A Market Driven Pathway’.  The event was attended by large number of dignitaries from scientific and industry sectors both from within country and overseas.

Key Facts

Since its inception, BIRAC has supported over 650 projects, more than 500 start-ups and entrepreneurs and 30 incubators across the country. It has resulted in development of over 100 products and technologies and 150 Intellectual property (IP) rights being generated.

It has launched over 10 flagship schemes that are supported by funding from Department of Biotechnology (DBT), and manages 7 collaboratively funded programs with international partners. It tries to galvanize social impact by piloting research and extension services within series of thematic calls and other global definite initiatives to improve public health and beyond.

Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC)

BIRAC is not-for-profit Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) set up by DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology to empower emerging biotech industry to undertake strategic research and innovation. It is basically industry academia interface.

It implements its mandate through wide range of impact initiatives like providing access to risk capital through targeted funding, technology transfer, IP management and handholding schemes that help bring innovation excellence to Indian biotech firms and make them globally competitive.

BIRAC has initiated several schemes, networks and platforms to bridge existing gap between industry-academia research and facilitate novel, high quality and cost-effective affordable technologies. It has initiated partnerships with several national and global partners to collaborate and deliver its mandate.


  • Foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Enable commercialization of discovery.
  • Promote affordable innovation in key social sectors.
  • Ensure global competitiveness of Indian enterprises.
  • Empowerment of start-ups & small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • Contribute through partners for capability enhancement and diffusion of innovation.