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Indo-U.S. Virtual Networks for COVID-19:

  • The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) announced the awards to eight binational teams, consisting of leading researchers from India and U.S for COVID-19 Indo-U.S. Virtual Networks in support of the efforts of the medical and scientific community to find solutions to the COVID 19 pandemic and emerging global challenges.
  • Eight binational teams consisting of researchers from India and the US have received awards to pursue cutting-edge research in pathogenesis and disease management of COVID-19 through Indo-US virtual networks.
  • The areas of research they will pursue include antiviral coatings, immune modulation, tracking SARS CoV-2 in wastewater, disease detection mechanisms, reverse genetics strategies, and drug repurposing.
  • The IUSSTF is an autonomous bilateral organization jointly funded by the Governments of India and the US that promotes Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry. The Department of Science & Technology, Governments of India and the U.S. Department of States are respective nodal departments.
  • The eight teams are among the best few who had submitted proposals in response to an invitation of proposals to harness the combined expertise of the Indian and U.S. Science & Technology communities, facilitate partnerships between teams of Indian and U.S. scientists and engineers currently engaged in COVID-related research, and leverage existing infrastructure from both countries to further advance the research and accelerate progress.
  • Following a rigorous binational peer-review process, these eight teams will be pursuing cutting-edge research in areas that include studies on pathogenesis and disease management in COVID-19, antiviral coatings, immune modulation, tracking SARS CoV-2 in wastewater, disease detection mechanisms, reverse genetics strategies, and drug repurposing.
  • The mission of the binational Indo-US Science and Technology Forum is to act as a catalyst to promote long-term scientific collaborations between India and the United States through partnerships amongst individual scientists, scientific institutions, and the scientific community at large.

Portable Hospital- SCTISCT:

  • The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the need to set up systems to improve health infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. Portable hospitals for detecting, screening, identifying, isolating, and treating COVID-19 patients in local communities could soon be a solution to tackle the increasing demands for health infrastructure.
  • Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India in collaboration with ‘Modulus Housing’ a start-up incubated by IIT Madras has come up with a solution using decentralised approach to detect, manage and treat COVID-19 patients in local communities through portable microstructures.
  • It comes equipped with a prefabrication modular technology and a telescopic frame that allows the model to be shrunk to 1/5th of its original size, which makes it convenient for storage and transportation
  • Foldable, portable, pre-fab hospitals that are easy to assemble on-site quickly provide a compelling solution to effectively addressing the needs of pandemics, disasters, and other contingencies
  • As of now, a 30 bedded hospital at a cost of 34 lakhs (INR) at  Chengalpet, Chennai at SugaHhealthcorp Private Corporation, and another 12 bedded hospital in Waynad, Kerala at a cost of Rs 16 Lakh at Primary Health Care, Varadoor- Govt. Organisation have been successfully installed as four-zone hospitals
  • Researchers have developed the portable microstructure named as “MediCAB”, which is modular, portable, durable, easy to set up and can be customised as per the requirements of the customer.
  • It is foldable and is composed of four zones – a doctor’s room, an isolation room, a medical room/ward, and a twin-bed ICU, maintained at negative pressure.
  • It can be easily transported and installed anywhere in geographic locations and can be erected in just two hours with the help of four persons.
  • It comes equipped with a prefabrication modular technology and a telescopic frame that allows the model to be shrunk to 1/5th of its original size, which makes it convenient for storage and transportation.
  • These portable units come in three sizes – 200, 400, and 800 sqft. The units can be installed at the car parking or at the terrace of the hospital according to the needs or availability of space at the facility.

Silicosis- CSIR- CEERI- Dust Precipitator:

  • Silicosis is a major occupational health problem among people engaged in stone work. The lung disease occurs due to exposure to stone dust like silica among workers who do not use any protective gear.
  • Silica is a tiny crystal found in sand, rock and mineral ores like quartz. Now researchers from CSIR-CEERI, Pilani have developed a stone dust precipitator system that can help stone workers breathe easy.
  • Researchers have developed two variants of dust precipitator system – one for single artisan and another that can be used by four persons simultaneously.
  • The precipitator for single artisan collects tiny dust particles with its high suction power. This suction is about 10 times more than that of the inhaling power of human beings, it separates all the dust particles from the air and finally dissolve it in water. The sediment of this stone dust is drained through drain pot from time to time. The stone dust can then be reused. The system for four workers has some modifications as it has four suction branches around the system chamber. Each branch has individual control unit.
  • The precipitator can suck maximum dust particles and prevents pollution and exposure. It has self-filter cleaning technique makes it suitable for non-technical persons also and it is based on power saving technique.
  • During stone carving, the production of PM 2.5 and PM 10 is very high. The PM 2.5 is mainly responsible for silicosis. When the dust precipitator system is used, all the dust particles produced at the time of stone carving is sucked out by the system. Thus dust particles can not reach the mouth of the stone artisans and it can help in saving the person from inhaling it.
  • In India, the prevalence of silicosis ranges widely from 3.5% in ordnance factory to 54.6% in the slate-pencil industry. This variation in prevalence is due to the silica concentrations in different work environment, the job demands and duration of exposure. It is prevalent in Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Pondicherry, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal among the workers of construction and mining.
  • Silicosis is an incurable condition with its potential to cause permanent physical disability. As there is no effective specific treatment of silicosis is available the only way to protect workers’ health is control of exposure to silica-containing dusts.

Akshay Urja Diwas 2020:

  • Akshay Urja diwas is an awareness campaign about the developments of renewable energy in India, celebrated on August 20 every year since 2004.
  • The Indian Ministry for New & Renewable Energy Sources initiated Akshay Urja Day (Diwas) in 2004.
  • The day commemorates the birthday of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • The Ministry for New & Renewable Energy Sources, Govt. of India promotes innovation to adopt renewable energy sources to produce power for the electricity grid and for several standalone applications and decentralised power production.
  • The energy such as Biogas, Solar Energy, Wind energy, hydroelectrical power are few example of Akshay Urja. It is essential to develop way to use akshay urja or renewable energy more efficiently.
  • The main motive of Akshya urja Diwas is to make people aware that they have to think about the renewable energy (Akshya Urja) apart from tradition energy, The energy which we are getting naturally doesn’t have any side effect on environment, and by using this energy we can use the traditional energy for more long time