Science & Technology- An Introduction
India is making as much progress in the field of science and technology as it is making in socio-economic avenues. A favoured destination for foreign investments, the country showcases an immense potential in the fields of experimental research and development (R&D), be it for space technology, civil nuclear power or renewable resources. Vast pool of skilled manpower, natural resources and recessionary immunisation are major factors that are making India an attractive hub on the world map.
While Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation (Australia), believes that ‘India is a strong research nation in its own right and a rising scientific power’, Barack Obama, US President feels that his country is losing out ground to India in the fields of mathematics and science.
Space Technology- Key Developments
India has proved its mettle to the world in the field of space technology time and again. Major developments that occurred in the field of space technology are discussed below:
- In order to spread tele-education in more parts of the country, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is enhancing the capacity of EDUSAT. EDUSAT, India’s first thematic satellite, provides an array of educational delivery modes like one-way TV broadcast, interactive TV, video conferencing, computer conferencing, web-based instructions, etc.
- Given a substantial increase in the number of launch missions in India, ISRO has planned to outsource more work to industries which already contribute about 60 per cent to the country’s space programme. The initiative is expected to result in shorter turnaround time for missions as well as encourage wider participation of the industry.
- ISRO is also contemplating on manned space mission to be launched in future. The space agency will have to work over thermal protection; life support and crew escape systems for the same. But before that, the main mission for ISRO is to build a reliable Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) rocket for launching heavy satellites.
- Meanwhile, the space agency has successfully launched GSAT-12 onboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17) and placed it in the intended Geosynchronous Orbit. GSAT-12 is a communication satellite aimed at augmenting various communication services like tele-education, tele-medicine and Village Resource Centres.
Any technology entails application of scientific principles and chemical technology is exclusive in the cluster of technologies, thanks to its innumerable industrial applications. Chemicals are everywhere; fertilisers, petrochemicals, paints, polymers, ceramics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, insecticides, distilleries, water purification, cosmetics, metallurgy, mineral processing, waste management, pollution control et al. Support from chemical technology facilitates functional development of fuel cells, biomedical engineering, and nanotechnology as well.
Innovation in chemicals leads to innovation in products which further enhances the commercial, industrial and domestic efficiency. Eventually, it contributes to socio-economic development of any country.
Sharing common grounds with biology, and information & communications, chemical technology streamlines industrial processes and helps in cost reduction.
Wireless data transmission and sensor networks in process automation are up-coming dimensions in chemical technology.
Nuclear Science-Major Developments
- Scientists from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) have recently stated that Indian nuclear plants satisfy all the stipulated safety parameters. Scientist Dr S G Markandeya further revealed that nuclear energy is an eco-friendly option and India has the third largest thorium reserves in the world.
- India has drawn a nuclear power program wherein it aims to have 20,000 mega watt (MW) nuclear capacity (from the current 5,000 MW) on line by 2020 which would eventually boost up to 63,000 MW by 2032, getting considerable support from foreign technology and fuel. The plan intends to supply 25 per cent of electricity from nuclear power by 2050
- Meanwhile, Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) is planning to set up two nuclear power plants in Gujarat and Rajasthan with a total capacity of 2,800 MW. NPCIL is in discussions with state-run firm Power Finance Corporation (PFC) for a financial assistance of about Rs 12,000 crore (US$ 2.58 billion) for the same.