Science and Technology Current Affairs

Government launches Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

The Ministry of Science & Technology has launched Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana to formulate and implement appropriate S&T interventions for sustainable development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.

Key Facts

Under the scheme, Department of Science and Technology (DST) will adopt few clusters of villages in Uttarakhand and transform them to become self-sustainable in time bound manner through tools of S&T. Local resources and locally available skill sets will be utilised using S&T under the scheme for substantial value addition for local produce and services which can sustain rural population.

The areas selected under these clusters will process and add value to milk, honey, horticulture and local crops, herbal tea, mushroom, forest produce, medicinal & aromatic plants and traditional craft and handloom. This project will also ensure, stringent product and process control interventions for energy and water conservation.

The project will also give emphasis to practice of agriculture, agro-based cottage industries and animal husbandry in an eco-friendly manner. It will mainly undertake post-harvest processing of Kiwi, Cherry, Strawberry, Tulsi, Adrak, Badi Elaichi through solar drying technology, extraction of apricot oil using cold press technology.

Benefits

It will directly or indirectly about a lakh of people in four identified clusters of 60 villages in Uttarakhand. It will help in creating models that are appropriate for different altitudes and could be replicated in other hill states. It will promote sustainable employment and livelihood options within the clusters such as eco-tourism, naturopathy and yoga, are also planned to be promoted. Further, it will ensure that local communities are not compelled to migrate from their native places in search of jobs and livelihoods.

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Scientists create world’s first molecular robot

Scientists from University of Manchester have created world’s first ‘molecular robot’ — millionth of a millimetre in size. It can be used to build molecules and may help discover novel drugs.

Key Facts

The molecular robot is millionth of millimetre in size. It is made up of just 150 carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms which are basic building blocks required to form molecules. It can be programmed to move and build molecular cargo using a tiny robotic arm.

The molecular robot operates by carrying out chemical reactions in special solutions which can then be controlled and programmed by scientists to perform the basic tasks. It responds to series of simple commands that are programmed with chemical inputs.

Each individual robot is capable of manipulating single molecule. In terms of size context, billion of these molecular robots piled on top of each other will be only same size as a single grain of salt.

Significance: The molecular robot is so small, that it massively reduces demand for materials, dramatically reduce power requirements and can accelerate and improve drug discovery and rapidly increase the miniaturisation of other products.

Potential applications: Such molecular robots can be used for medical purposes, advanced manufacturing processes and even building molecular factories and assembly lines.

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