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Science and Technology

December, 2011

Science and Technology- Brief Introduction

The Indian science and technology space has been very instrumental in bringing-in social and economic changes. The country has not only endeavoured to upgrade traditional skills to make them relevant and competitive, but has also been on a spur to develop advanced technologies on the fronts of science and technology, which has eventually played a pivotal role in transforming the nation into a modern, industrialised society. Scientific knowledge and expertise, innovation, high technology, industrial infrastructure and skilled workforce are the key factors that have driven the progress of the country to a major extent.

India is also one of the top-ranking countries in the field of basic research. Certain developments that took place on this front in the recent past have been discussed hereafter.

Space Technology

Indian space technology has come a long way in terms of infrastructure as well as investments. Major developments that took place on the space technology canvas are-

  • K Narayana, Adviser and former Director of the Sathish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has told that the Geo-Synchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) - Mark (Mk)-III will be launched by ISRO for experimental purposes in 2012 under which it would place a communication satellite in the orbit.
  • Further, ISRO is said to have developed a launch base that is at par with international standards. It has recently launched Mega-tropiques satellite to measure the weather in tropics. This satellite is expected to provide substantial aid in tropical meteorology.
  • IIT-Kanpur-designed nano satellite 'Jugnu' has been recently placed into orbit by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C18 (PSLV-C18) of ISRO. The loaf-sized satellite, that has marked a turning-point in Indian space technology for miniaturisation, entails communication capabilities, power source and a control system along with the basic functions of a much bigger satellite.

Nuclear Technology

Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India willresume talks on nuclear power pacts with Russia and Japan soon. Papers are being prepared to ink a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Japan to import nuclear technologies. After two reactors at Koodankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu, Dr Singh is keen to sign deals for third and fourth reactors on the same site with Russia during the talks. Hike in number of nuclear power plants is on his priority list as he believes it would help India meet its future energy demands to a great extent.

Renewable Energy

India is the fifth largest consumer of energy globally and is anticipated to become the world's third biggest energy consumer by 2030, leaving Japan and Russia behind. In the wake of such projections, investments in renewable energy sector are on a high.

Currently, India's renewable energy base is 18,455 mega watt (MW).

  • In order to reduce carbon emissions, Department of Telecom has decided to make it compulsory for mobile companies to power their towers by renewable sources of energy. According to new rules, they would be required to power at least 50 per cent of towers and 20 per cent of the urban towers by hybrid energy sources. Further, this would be scaled up to 75 per cent of rural towers and 33 per cent in urban areas by 2020
  • Moser Baer India's renewable energy division Moser Baer Clean Energy will invest US$ 1 billion, for setting up solar projects with a combined capacity of 300 MW in India and abroad by 2012. The company has ambitious plans for further supplementing its solar power generation capacity to 1,000 MW by 2015.
  • While addressing the Bio Energy Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Mr Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), has revealed that a National Bio Energy Mission is under progress to accelerate sustainable development of the renewable energy sector. K Krishnan, Chairman, CII Task Force on Bio-Energy, also recommended alignment of bio-energy with solar, wind and hydro for development of sustainable technologies in the field.