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  • Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a new instituteo f Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) i.e. CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (CSIR-NIScPR), in New Delhi.
  • The new institute has been established consequent to the merger of two prestigious institutes of CSIR namely, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (CSIR-NISCAIR)and CSIR-National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (CSIR-NISTADS) which work at the interface of S&T and Society; and Science Communication and Policy Research.
  • The purpose of this merger is to combine the strength of the two institutes in a synergistic way with a VISION to become a globally respected Think Tank and Resource Centre for understanding Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) Policy Research and Communication.
  • CSIR-NIScPR will serve the society with its core areas of science communication and policy research which has proved to be so important during the Covid19 pandemic. Evidence driven policy will play a crucial role in making ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ a reality driven by S&T and Innovation.
  • The merge of these two great institutions is a turning point in their history as now the repository of knowledge vested in the two institutes will combine to make the new entity an even larger and more prestigious institute in the global scientific arena.
  • The mission of the institute is to promote STI policy studies and science communication among diverse stakeholders and act as a bridge at the interface of science, technology, industry and society which is essential to a robust S&T ecosystem in the country.

IIT Guwahati- Neutrino and Supernovae:

  • IIT Guwahati researchers find key clues about the death of stars.
  • Moreover, they have also been able to point out the problems that existing models had.
  • The team of researchers has revealed that the clue to the death of these stars lies in tiny subatomic particles called neutrinos in the supernovae, and have said that all the three species of neutrinos are important, instead of commonly believed two.
  • Supernovae are super explosions that occur when large massive stars die, and they are believed to be the origin of the synthesis of nature’s heavy elements and of new stars. When the life of a massive star ends, they collapse, which leads to a great shock wave causing it to explode. This explosion is so bright that it outshines, for a brief period of time, any other star present in the galaxy.
  • It is important to study such an explosion, called supernova, and the particles released during the event, because the matter making up the universe is almost entirely a result of such massive explosions.
  • The mystery behind the core collapse mechanism, however, can be solved with the help of neutrinos, the tiny subatomic particles.
  • A core collapse supernova leads to several particle processes, resulting in the creation of neutrinos. The neutrinos are neutral, however, and have an extremely weak interaction with stellar matter, and thus, are able to escape, while carrying a whopping 99% of the collapsing star’s energy.
  • Therefore, neutrinos are the only matter holding the information from the stars’ deepest interiors.

Best managed protected areas in the country to be ranked and awarded every year:

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change released Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of 146 National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in the Country.
  • At present, India has a network of 903 Protected Areas in the country covering about 5% of the total geographic area of the country. In order to assess the efficacy of Protected Areas, evaluation of management effectiveness is required.
  • India has achieved and today has a thriving biodiversity. “70% of the global tiger population, 70% of asiatic lions and more than 60% of leopards population in India is a certificate of India’s thriving biodiversity ,as these big cats sit at the top of food chain and their growing numbers shows the well being of the whole ecosystem.
  • From this year onwards 10 best National Parks, 5 coastal and Marine parks and top five Zoos in the country will be ranked and awarded every year.
  • Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Protected Areas (PAs) has emerged as a key tool for PA managers and is increasingly being used by governments and international bodies to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the protected area management systems.
  • The results of present assessment are encouraging with overall mean MEE score of 62.01% which is higher than the global mean of 56%. With this round of evaluation, the Ministry of Environment,Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) successfully completed one full cycle of evaluating all terrestrial National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of the country from 2006 to 2019.
  • MEE is a very important document that provides valuable guidance on various aspects of wildlife and protected area expand MEE of Marine Protected Areas. A new framework for MEE of Marine Protected Areas has been also jointly prepared by WII and MoEF&CC and it will be very useful document to implement.
  • Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Indian Zoos (MEE-ZOO) framework which proposes guidelines, criteria and indicators for evaluation of zoos of the country through Management Effectiveness Evaluation Process (MEE-ZOO) in a manner which is discrete, holistic and independent was also launched
  • The assessment criteria and indicators look beyond the traditional concepts, include issues of animal welfare, husbandry and sustainability of resources and finance.
  • The MEE-ZOO exercise is moving towards developing highest standards in Zoos across India and adhering to core values of accountability, transparency, innovation, use of technology, collaboration and integrity to achieve the mandate of conservation of endangered species.