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RSTV: SCIENCE MONITOR 17.10. 2020

RSTV


MoUs for establishment of supercomputing infrastructure in India:

  • Centre for Development of Advanced Computing(C-DAC) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeITY) signed a total of 13 MoUs with the premier academic and R& D institutions of India for establishing Supercomputing Infrastructure with Assembly and Manufacturing in India and Critical Components of National Supercomputing Mission in a virtual ceremony held on 12th October 2020.
  • Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, stressed that the MoU signing with the premier institutes marks the being of  ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and expressed his satisfaction over the progress made in the National Supercomputing Mission initiated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) through Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.
  • Secretary Department of Science & Technology, mentioned that the signing of 13 MoUs shows the speed that the mission has picked up, and it is a major boost to computing facility.
  • In the last 5 years, major changes took place in the mission where the emphasis was given on design and fabrication of hardware and software of the supercomputers in India.
  • The mission envisages empowering our national academic and R& D institutions to spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
  • The mission also includes the development of highly professional High-Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting the challenges of development of these applications.
  • The mission implementation would bring supercomputing within the reach of the large scientific & technology community in the country and enable the country with a capacity to solve multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems.
  • The mission is implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) at an estimated cost of Rs.4500 crore over a period of seven years to make India one of the world leaders in Supercomputing

TIFR scientists discovered a distinctive signature of black hole event horizon:

  • A team of international scientists, led by those from India, have found a distinctive signature of cosmic X-rays to identify the boundary around black holes, which “unmistakably separate them” from other objects in the cosmos such as neutron stars that are comparable in mass and size.
  • According to the astrophysicists, including Sudip Bhattacharyya from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, the current discovery is by far the strongest steady signature of the smaller, but more extreme stellar-mass black holes to date, from the cosmic X-rays observed with a satellite.
  • Although black holes does not have a surface, it is confined within an invisible boundary, called an event horizon, from within which nothing, not even light, can escape, the scientists said.
  • While definitive proof of the existence of such objects is a holy grail of modern physics and astronomy, they said only one supermassive black hole with the mass more than six billion times the mass of the Sun has so far been imaged using the surrounding radiation in radio wavelengths.
  • But according to the study, accepted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, understanding stellar-mass black holes, which have masses about ten times that of the Sun, is indispensable to probe some of the extreme aspects of the cosmos.
  • In order to prove the existence of these stellar-mass black holes, the researchers said these need to be distinguished from neutron stars which are the densest known objects in the universe with a hard surface.
  • While the stable stellar-mass black holes shine mainly in X-rays by devouring material from a companion star, the study noted that neutron stars can also shine in X-rays by accreting matter from a companion star in a similar way.
  • In the current study, the scientists analysed archival data from the now decommissioned astronomy satellite Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer, and have identified the effect of the lack of hard surface in black holes on their observed X-ray emission.
  • From this analyses, they have found an extremely strong signature of accreting stellar-mass black holes.

Indian researchers developed NANOCEMENT:

  • The Patent Office of the Government of India has granted a patent to an invention titled “High-Strength Cementitious Nanocomposite Compositions and the methods of making the same” by Dr Ibadur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Jamia Millia Islamia(JMI).
  • The main objective of the invention is to bring together nanotechnology and construction technology in order to produce nano-modified, cement-based materials so as to achieve enhanced mechanical performance, reduced weight and most efficient utilisation of the material resources, said the University.
  • A number of compositions having nano additives were used to make high-strength cementitious composites.
  • The influence of additive components such as nano cement, silica fume, nano silica fume, fly ash and nano fly ash in cement matrix was studied with reference to normal-size cement matrix. With the addition of the nano-particles, a significant improvement in the properties of the cementitious matrix was observed.
  • The modified nano composites will be useful in strategically important structures requiring a high strength like Nuclear Power Plant, Airport Runways, and Bridges etc. These materials will also be beneficial in constructing high-rise buildings, particularly in the Government of India projects on “Smart City”.