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Bickering stalls formation of R&D authority

Author(s): Manoj Gairola
Issue Date: Mar 15, 1993
MINISTER of state for science and technology P R Kumaramangalam's announcement of the formation of a body to select and finance industrially useful projects is caught in a contention over its funding and scope. Hectic meetings are under way in New Delhi's Technology Bhawan to finalise the shape of the proposed Indian Research and Development Authority (IRDA), which will consist of industrialists and scientists.

The JNU way out

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1993
The dons of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have devised a way to get around cuts imposed by the University Grants Commission's in fund allocations that threaten teaching and research programmes in several of the country's universities and colleges. After six months of negotiations, senior economics professors at JNU struck a deal with the Export-Import Bank for a Rs 50 lakh grant to build an economics library equipped with ultra modern facilities for documentation and information retrieval.

Cosmic killings

Issue Date: Feb 28, 1993
The full moon is said to drive people loony. Now, a scientist says the sun makes them murderous. V S Venkatavardhan, director of the Nehru Planetarium in Bombay, asserts major disturbances on earth occur during solar flares, which are increased eruptions of nuclear protons, electron particles and gamma rays oii the sun's surface. Revolutions, wars, stock collapses and even the

Bridging the gaps in R & D policy

Issue Date: Feb 15, 1993
The 80th session of the Indian Science Congress ended in the first week of January in Goa without adding to anyone's knowledge or wisdom. The importance of the theme of the conference -- Science and the Quality of Life -- did not get the attention it deserves in a country that has made large investments in science, but still has the world's largest population of illiterates and poverty-stricken. Now, with the deterioration of the environment, even the rich in India are beginning to suffer the side-effects of development just as much as they suffer from medicine-induced diseases.

Birds of a feather

Issue Date: Feb 15, 1993
KAREN Perremans and her colleagues at the Zoological Institute at Leuven in Belgium have discovered that birds have unique "featherprints," which may make it possible to identify bird species by analysing a small piece of feather (BBC Wildlife, Vol 10, No 12).

USA, Japan trade research roles

Issue Date: Feb 15, 1993
PRESIDENT Bill Clinton wants American research to adopt the Japanese stress on industrial applications. But his call may have come too late as Japanese scientists are switching their thrust to basic research, in which the Americans have hitherto been pre-eminent.

Super panel proposed to promote research

Author(s): Manoj Gairola
Issue Date: Feb 15, 1993
SETTING up of an Indian Research and Development Authority (IRDA) and reviving the cabinet committee on science and technology are among the steps expected to be taken soon to boost science research, Union minister of state for science and technology P R Kumaramangalam has told Down To Earth. The minister said the government wants to ensure the nation's scientific and technological progress keeps pace with the requirements and advances in other fields.

Fighting for a safer workplace

Issue Date: Jan 31, 1993
EVERY year, thousands of industrial workers all over the country fall prey to various occupational diseases. Most of the cases go undiagnosed or fail to get proper treatment, until it is too late. For instance, agricultural workers are susceptible to diseases caused by contact with chemical pesticides, whereas, illnesses such as silicosis, pneumoconiosis, byssinosis and asbestosis, claim the lives of workers in mines and industrial units.

Biological rhythms pose problems for night workers

Issue Date: Jan 31, 1993
MOST OF us at some point of time have stayed up all night. The next day finds us slightly under the weather. Why does this happen? Why do some people cope better with night shifts, while other find it easier to work early in the morning?

Sticky relations

Issue Date: Jan 31, 1993
WASPS from the same nest recognise each other by smearing wax from the outside of the nest onto themselves, discovered scientists at the University of Georgia in the US. If the wax is removed, nest-mates fail to recognise a member and drive it out.
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