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Year-End- Review of DST

  • 29 Dec 2022
  • 9 min read

For Prelims: ARTPARK, NIDHI Programme, SVAMITVA Scheme

For Mains: Achievements of DST, Achievements of Indians in Science & Technology

Why in News?

Recently, the year-end-review of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science & Technology was released.

What are the Major Achievements of DST During 2022?

  • India’s Ranking in Global S&T Indices:
    • India is now placed at 40th position among the top innovative economies globally as per Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022.
    • The country remains among the top 3 countries in scientific publications as per the National Science Foundation (NSF) database and also in terms of no of PhDs, in size of the Higher Education System, as well as in terms of number of Start-ups.
  • Creating a Robust Start-up & Innovation Ecosystem:
    • DST has been a pioneer in establishing a network of Technology Business Incubators (TBI) and Science & Technology Entrepreneur’s Parks (STEP) across the country under the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) program.
    • New PRAYAS centres have been supported during 2022 along with support to other ongoing PRAYAS centres across the country that are supporting young innovators to turn their ideas into prototypes.
  • New Heights in Supercomputing Capacity:
    • New installations of high-performance computers at five institutes (IIT Kharagpur, NIT Trichy, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Guwahati, IIT Mandi).
  • Development in Cyberphysical Domains:
    • The Union Cabinet approved the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) in 2018 for a period of five years, to be implemented by the DST.
      • The Mission is being implemented through 25 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) created at reputed academic institutes across the country.
    • Some of the new innovations include:
      • XraySetu: AI researchers at ARTPARK developed an AI-driven platform called XraySetu that helped Chest X-ray interpretation of images.
      • RAKSHAK: A team of scientists from IIT Bombay has developed a tapestry method for screening Covid-19 under Remedial Action, Knowledge Skimming, and Holistic Analysis of Covid-19 (RAKSHAK), an effort supported by the Technology Innovation Hub (TIH) at IIT Jodhpur.
  • India’s Position on International S&T Engagement:
    • India assumes the G20 Presidency recently and will convene the G20 Leaders' Summit for the first time in the country in 2023.
      • As part of the same, DST takes the responsibility of coordinating the activities of Science-20 (S20) and Research Innovation Initiative Gathering (RIIG) Engagement Groups during India's G20 Presidency in 2023.
    • India joins hands with Finland to establish Virtual Network Centre in Quantum Computing to jointly develop 20 qubits superconducting-based Quantum Computer in 1st phase and further scale it up to 54 qubits in second phase.
  • Geospatial Data, Infrastructure & Technology:
  • Accessible Scientific Infrastructure for All Stakeholders:
  • Solutions for Energy & Environment Challenges:
    • A first-of-its-kind Distributor System Operator (DSO) report has been prepared that can help in transforming the operational and financial state of the Indian power sector and boost private sector's confidence attracting much-needed investment and innovation in the industry.
    • A real-time pollution monitoring photonic system, Air Unique Quality Monitoring System (AUM) has been developed which is capable of real-time remote monitoring of all air quality parameters, with high sensitivity and accuracy simultaneously, at a very high frequency of sampling.
    • The first Indigenously Designed High Ash Coal Gasification Based Methanol Production Plant has been opened in Hyderabad.
      • With this, Government owned engineering firm BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) has successfully demonstrated a facility to create methanol from high ash Indian coal.
  • Expansion to Newer Areas:
    • The Department has been implementing two National missions on Climate Change. Four new State Climate Change Cells (SCCCs) have been established in the States of Goa, UT of Chandigarh and Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Career Opportunities for Women Scientists:
    • DST is encouraging meritorious girls to pursue higher education and career in underrepresented Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas, through its major initiative ‘Vigyan Jyoti’.
    • Women scientists under the Women Scientists Scheme-A (WOS-A) pursue research after breaking into careers in 5 subject areas of Basic and Applied Sciences.
    • The SERB-POWER mobility grant was introduced to provide an opportunity for women scientists to visit leading institutions/universities across the globe for a period of 1-3 months
  • Conserving the Heritages:
    • Under the Science and Heritage Research Initiative (SHRI) programme of DST, the soundproofing qualities of the Pattamadai mat, a mat made by weaving or interlacing korai grass with cotton threads, has been explored for use in noise guarding classrooms as well as recording studios against external noise disturbances.
      • This can increase the demand for this traditional art of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.
  • Research Capabilities in State Universities & Colleges:
    • A dedicated scheme, State University Research Excellence (SERB-SURE) has been launched by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) to create a robust R&D ecosystem in state universities and colleges including the private ones.
  • Good Laboratory Practice (GLP):
  • Policy Formulation in Key Areas

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. How is science interwoven deeply with our lives? What are the striking changes in agriculture triggered off by science-based technologies? (2020)

Source: PIB

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