திங்கள், டிசம்பர் 29, 2008
Mysore, Dec.29- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G. Madhavan Nair, delivered a lecture on India’s achievements in space as part the Technical Lecture Series of Institution of Engineers, Mysore Chapter, here yesterday.
He said investment in space technology has paid rich dividends to the country and that ISRO has succeeded in taking its benefits from the confines of the laboratory to society at large.
The country cannot adopt the technologies developed by developed countries as it would not serve India’s purpose where 70 per cent of the people lived in rural areas and it called for addressing technological issues from the local angle, he said.
"Our home-grown technology is world class and the Chandrayaan mission was accomplished in four years from the time of project conception, which is remarkable for a maiden mission," Nair added.
Stating that there were critics who questioned the need for spending money on such programmes, the ISRO chief said the spin-off benefits of investment in space had provided rich dividends.
Madhavan Nair offered floral tributes to the bust of Sir MV at the Institution premises.
K.R. Sridhara Murthi, Executive Director, Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of ISRO, said Indian technology and know-how had global recognition. He said it was only last week that a state-of-the-art communication satellite – W2M, built by ISRO on a commercial basis for Eutelsat, was successfully launched by the European Ariane-5 launch vehicle from French Guiana.
"We had stiff competition from US and other European countries but ISRO outdid the rest and bagged the orders for the satellite," said Sridhara Murthi.
Institution of Engineers Chairman C.N. Babu, Hon. Secretary C.S. Rajashekargowda, former Chairman K.N. Subba Rao and others were present.
Coimbatore (PTI): Highlighting the importance of team effort, Chandrayaan-1 Project Director M Annadurai on Monday said the success of the country's maiden moon mission was symbolic of what India could be in future.
"It (Chandrayaan-1) demonstrated how India could get along and lead a team of technical and scientific experts from internationally reputed organisations to realise an ambitious mission," he said while delivering an address at the Amrita University here.
"Team spirit is the mantra for achieving something big," Annadurai told the students.
"Harmonising efforts of all team members towards a common goal and realising the objective with an allotted budget and schedule demonstrated how good the team has converted a very difficult situation into a historic opportunity," he said.
The International Lunar Exploration Working Group's International Cooperation Award was given to ISRO Chandrayaan-1 team, for the "challenging accommodation and tests" of the most international lunar payload ever -- from 20 countries -- with the successful launch on the PSLV on Oct 22 and for the successful lunar insertion on November 8, 2008, he said.
"If ISRO can achieve such a feat, why not other Indian teams. As a team we can do wonders. It can be accomplished as a team in all the fields, let it be in education, medicine, industry, trade, commerce, press, electronic media, sports, arts, service department and even in politics," Annadurai said.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has sanctioned Rs 1 crore to Calcutta University (CU) for space research.
“As part of a scheme to strengthen space research in the country, Isro has decided to provide funds to five universities in the country. CU has been selected as one of the universities,” said Tapan Mukherjee, the CU pro vice-chancellor (finance).
The radio physics department of CU will take up the research projects.
Nine institutes were shortlisted by Isro for the grant. Five institutes were selected after a final screening in Bangalore in May. The institutes that made the cut include the University of Pune, University of Hyderabad and Benaras Hindu University.
Four Isro-sponsored projects are in progress at CU. The quantum of grant varies between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 65 lakh. The new grant will enable advanced space research, said a teacher of the department. The first instalment of Rs 5 lakh has been released.
“The new projects will soon be underway,” said CU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das. The decision to start work was approved by the university syndicate last Tuesday. There is no deadline for the projects.
Five teaching posts will be created under the programme. Isro will pay the salaries for five years.“We will urge Isro to provide funds for continuing the posts after five years. But we may also have to approach the state government,” said a university official.
சனி, டிசம்பர் 27, 2008
He said that 'if we have aim in life and work hard with confidence' and has the confidence to defeat the problem then success is surely at hand".
Speaking as the chief guest at the 16th National Children's Science Congress at Dimapur today, Dr.
Kalam exhorted the children to have vision in life and work hard and also shared the story of three eminent scientists from India who struggled hard and achieved their goals thereby putting India on the scientific world map.
Touching on the theme of the programme 'Planet Earth � Our home : Explore, Share & Care', Dr Kalam urged the children to plant more trees so as to have a sound environment in their future days.
He also hoped that the National Childrens' Science Congress will be a forum to ignite the minds of the young children as far as scientific temperament is concerned.
Dr Kalam, later on, interacted with the child scientists and other participants.
Responding to a question posed by a student as how the country should respond if it is attacked by nuclear weapons, India's missile man asked the students not to worry about the country's capability to face with such an eventuality and suggested the students to concentrate on studies.
Replying to another question on terrorism, Dr.
Kalam said "In my opinion the terrorism is now a global problem, so a UN mechanism should be set up to deal with this challenge, but at the same time the country should also adopt proper strategy to face this problem".
He also expressed hope that the Science Congress would be a launching pad for the students to grapple with the environmental problems facing by the planet earth.
He pointed out that the young people coming from different parts of the country can learn a lot from Nagaland where the environment and nature has been protected by the Naga warriors with their wisdom.
Secretary, DST, Govt.
of India, Dr.T.Ramasami said that science and technology holds the key for global economy and we have a large number of talented people in the country.
He said that to ignite the young minds, the Govt.
of India has introduced a number of schemes and scholarships so that those children who are interested in the field of science can avail the opportunities.
President, NCSTC-Network, Prof Yash Pal expressed happiness over the huge turnout of children for the programme and hoped that more children will participate in the future.
He said that children should be encouraged to engage themselves on the projects on environment and also learn to communicate and cultivate true spirit of scientific temper through discipline.
He said that children should not imprison themselves with different subjects in Schools but connect with the land, the people and other humanitarian subjects.
He further exhorted the children to go forward to the future and not to go back to the past.
Welcome address was given by Honorary Director, NIHESW, Dr Inakhe Sumi.
Vote of thanks was delivered by State Co-ordinator NCSC Nagaland & Co-convenor cum Co-org Secy, 16th NCSC, Andrew Ahoto Sema.
Cidco managing director G S Gill, along with senior planner Ramesh Dengle, called on Kalam at his New Delhi residence to apprise him of the project's outline.
"It is an honour for the Cidco and the entire region to have a science park there. Kalam has responded positively to our request to act as the project's patron,'' said Cidco spokesperson Mohan Ninave.
The project, which is being developed over 20 acres of land along a plateau in Kharghar, will include a golf course, a film and fun city and nature parks. Since the park is mainly meant for the youngsters, Cidco decided to include them in the planning. Through an essay competition, the agency invited suggestions from schoolstudents in Navi Mumbai on how the park should be developed. "We informed Kalam about the children's opinion and he advised us accordingly,'' Ninave said. The project will cost around Rs 80 crore.
Besides asking the Cidco team to study the science parks in Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Kalam has also given a rough idea of what needs to be done to attract the younger generation.
The evening session was graced by eminent scientist and former President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam who was received here with great enthusiasm and affection by a hysteric crowd of child scientists from across India. Against the spectrum of colorful welcome given to the former President, Kalam said Nagaland is the right platform to discuss the future of innovation of a beautiful environment. He appreciated the vibrant beauty of the state and said the 16th ICSC theme could not have been more appropriate than in a place like Nagaland. “Innovation is enabled by beautiful environment and there couldn’t be a better place to discuss a bright future than the pristine Nagaland,” Dr. Kalam said.
He expressed hope that the science congress would be a launching pad for the students to grapple with the environmental problems being faced by planet Earth. He pointed out that young people coming from different parts of the country can learn a lot from Nagaland where the environment and nature has been protected by the Naga warriors with their wisdom.
Profound words of encouragement from Dr. Kalam urged child scientists to work hard to defeat problems and with a righteous heart, to succeed in their mission. “It does not matter who I am as long as I am armed with a goal,” he pledged together with the children and encouraged them to work hard and garner more knowledge.
Dr. Kalam in his very eloquent speech enlightened the child scientists, with success stories of award winning noble laureates, who through their perseverance and hard work have revolutionized the world with their works. Envisaging “Vision 2020” for India, Dr. Kalam also said India must look ahead for a bright future. He said economic progress will bring down societal differences and peace will eventually usher in. “Economic progress and peace go hand in hand,” he said while answering a question posed by a child scientist at the programme. Taking more queries from children, Dr. Kalam pointed out that India’s 4 million unemployed people will in the course of time be employed as India’s potential grows. He also vigorously encouraged a young aspiring politician to entertain “development politics and not political politics.”
‘Terrorism is of evil minds’
On the volatile political situation in India and across the world, the former President also said terrorism is the collective work of evil minds and the good minds must overcome it. Replying to a host of questions from child scientists at the inaugural function Dr. Kalam said perpetrators of terrorism must be punished. He dismissed the apprehension of children over nuclear attacks and such. He said India is well-equipped to take care of its people and that her strength is better than any other nation. “You concentrate on your studies…we are here to take care of the rest,” he said heartily.
Dr. Kalam and a host of dignitaries were later entertained by cultural presentations organized by North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC). Dr. Kalam will also be interacting with child scientist at Delhi Public School on December 28.
Also addressing the event, Secretary, DST, Government of India, Dr.T Ramasami said science and technology holds the key for global economy and to ignite the young minds, the Government of India has introduced a number of schemes and scholarships. This way, he said, children who are interested in the field of science can avail of the opportunities.
President of NCSTC-Network, Prof Yash Pal expressed happiness at the huge turnout of children for the programme and hoped that more children will participate in the future. He said children should be encouraged to engage themselves in projects of environment and also learn to communicate and cultivate true scientific temper through discipline. Prof. Pal also said children should not imprison themselves with different subjects in schools but connect with the land, the people and humanitarian subjects. He further exhorted the children to step forward into the future and not to retract to the past.
வெள்ளி, டிசம்பர் 26, 2008
"Obviously many missions before have found iron, but Chandrayaan-1 has reiterated the presence. We believe it is very significant because the mission has already fulfilled one of its objectives, which was to sight minerals. More is to come and it should be exciting if we can confirm the presence of uranium and other minerals,'' said an ISRO official.
Within two months of its launch, Chandrayaan-1 has found iron on the moon through a Nasa instrument, moon mineralogy mapper (M3).
M3 principal investigator and NASA scientist Carle Pieters also confirmed the instrument's finding. Speaking on behalf of Nasa, Pieters said: "The mapper spectrometer has beamed images of the Orientale Basin region of the moon, indicating of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. Using different wavelengths of light, the instrument has also revealed, for the first time, changes in rock and mineral composition.''
Isro officials said M3 would help in characterising and mapping lunar minerals to ultimately understand the moon's early geological . "The compositional map that will come out of M3 will have fantastic data on geological formation of the moon,'' the official said.
Researchers said the relative abundance of magnesium and iron in lunar rocks could help confirm whether the moon was covered by a molten, magma ocean early on in its history. Iron and magnesium will also indicate melting of the moon, if it happened and how it formed later. This metallic element has been found in lunar meteorites, but scientists know little about its distribution in the lunar crust.
After Luna 24 returned samples of lunar soil to Earth in August 1976, no other went to the moon until January 1994, when the US sent the orbiter Clementine. Then, the US probe Lunar Prospector orbited the moon from January 1998 to July 1999. The craft mapped the concentrations of elements in the moon and surveyed the moon's magnetic fields.
Interestingly, Chandrayaan's findings come after the last probe in 2003 -- SMART-1 spacecraft launched by the European Space Agency in 2003, went into orbit around the moon in 2004. The craft's instruments were designed to investigate the moon's origin and conduct a detailed survey of the chemical elements on the lunar surface.
COLOUR IS THE KEY
Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) is the first instrument to provide highly uniform imaging of the lunar surface. M3 provides scientists their first opportunity to examine lunar mineralogy at high spatial and spectral resolution. The Orientale Basin of moon, mapped by the Nasa instrument, is located on its western limb. Along with the length and width dimensions across a typical image, the instrument analyzes a third dimension — colour. The image showing blue to red tones reveal changes in rock and mineral composition, and the green colour is an indication of the abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. The image strip on the right is from a single wavelength of light that contains thermal emission, providing a new level of detail on the form and structure of the region's surface.
Dimapur, December 26 (MExN): As the curtain rises on the 16th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC), Nagaland is set be exposed to a spectrum of scientific excellence. With the primary attraction on child scientists from all corners of the country, ICSC will also see the participation of children from grass-root levels and presentations in local dialects. Interacting with media persons a day ahead of the inauguration, Dr. BK Pandey, scientist with the department of Information & Technology, New Delhi, Dr. AK Goswami, Network Chairman of NCSC, Dr. RN Rai, physicist, and organizers of the NCSC highlighted the importance of the programme and the seriousness with which the state government must now accept and foster them.
With so much scientific knowledge and research going into producing the projects to be showcased at the event, the state government has a lot to learn from it. However, it is lamented that the state’s response is slow; apparent from the go-ahead only last month. The support of the state government is essential, Dr. Goswami said, and suggested there should be allocation of a budget for science and technological research in the annual state budget. He also said that the government should supplement what the organizers are unable to meet. With the governor of Nagaland as Chief Patron, the chief minister as Patron and a host of top state-level bureaucrats included in the programme, this should be an opportunity for the state to learn and prioritize solutions to local problems, a media analyst said.
The Nagaland Institute of Health, Environment & Social Welfare (NIHESW) has tried intervention programmes on science and technology in schools but the response has been very poor especially from government schools. It is also apparent that the state government is weak, in the field of science and technology, an officer pointed out. However, it is hoped that the 16th NCSC will be a booster and eye-opener for the government and the people in general. NCSC is considered a revolutionary programme which has gone into finding solutions to local area problems basing on the response of local people. But how far the NCSC will attract the people of Nagaland will only be known during the course of the event and after.
Meanwhile, the 16th NCSC which will be inaugurated by former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam on December 27, will see quality projects from children between ages 10 to 17. There will also be an interactive session with DR. Kalam on December 28 at Delhi Public School.
Come, all ye science teachers!
On a right platform provided at the 16th National Children Science Congress for children and resource persons in the guise of science teachers’ workshop, the following persons will demonstrate in a workshop the reality of earth science – Samar Bagchi, former director of Birla Industrial & Technological Museum, Dr. Sudip Mitra, disaster management specialist, Dr. Sultan Ismail, Life Scientist, Dr. Janaki Rajan, Education Scientist, Dr. Dinesh Goswami, Physicist, RRL Horhat, Professor Khiradhar Baruah, Chemistry Science Communicator and Nripen Saikia, Low cost teaching aid specialist. Teachers have been specially invited to take part in the opportunity in the workshop from December 27 to 9 at Delhi Public School, Dimapur. Meanwhile, with the theme “Planet Earth, Our Home, Explore, Share and Care,” the National Children Science & Technology- Network, Government of Nagaland and Nagaland Institute of Health and Science are sending out the message to all citizens to “save ourselves from destroying the earth”.
The AITA has a tragic track record in running 'academies'. The much-hyped National Tennis Academy (NTA) in the boondocks beyond Gurgaon has a state-of-the-art textile factory of Indian tennis' ruling family - the Khannas - hulking over it but decidedly primitive training facilities. So much so that our best players have regularly refused to turn up to practice at the place which was billed as the breeding ground for future champions. In the past either sponsors gave up in disgust - like the Hinduja academy situated in Delhi - or largesse was distributed to the influential in the form of grants for five zonal tennis centres which proved to be just as much of a farce as the NTA is now.
The present issue of denying players minus Indian passports the opportunity to represent the country has met with widespread support within the tennis community. Not because Prakash Amritraj, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao are not considered our own but rather because there is an overwhelming feeling that these players come back to represent India as they are nowhere near getting a chance to play for the United States.
The issue of them not being eligible for government grants is anyway not much of a factor in tennis given the clandestine way in which they are handled by the AITA. Other pertinent bit that rears rampant is as to whether the government would have done any such thing if Amritraj would have been a Leander Paes or Mahesh Bhupathi. At the same time, glorifying and claiming as our own foreign citizens like Sunitha Williams and V.S. Naipaul send out confusing signals in light of the new policy. We are willing to celebrate the famous as our own but not the fringe players?
As to just how the government intends to justify the present stand vis-a-vis plans of providing dual citizenship is of course a puzzle that will only unravel when policy for the same is unveiled. The other pertinent ask is as to just why these players have been cleared in the past for events as prestigious as the Olympics and the Asian Games. Ministry babus only seem to wake up to issues when they are forced to confront them through judicial activism instead of using plain common sense.
However, the two rockets that were "launched successfully'' were not assembled in a big workshop, but in the office of Piyush Pandey, the planetarium's director.
ISRO official B R Guruprasad said it was a simple device made of two pressurised soft drink bottles, thick plastic sheets, scotch tapes and various stationery items. "It takes about 90 minutes to make a water rocket,'' he said, adding that the cost of making a rocket was less than Rs 100.
Each rocket was filled with , which was pressurised using a pump. For a moment, the small group of spectators was as anxious as it would have been at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota before a rocket launch. Guruprasad began the countdown: "5-4-3-2-1 and now!''
The first rocket achieved an altitude of 50 ft and covered a distance of 100 ft in a parabolic path. During the third attempt, the rocket flew 300 ft at a height of 50 ft.
ISRO chief spokesperson S Satish said the event would encourage people to pursue a career in space .
வியாழன், டிசம்பர் 25, 2008
Bangalore (IANS): The moon mineralogy mapper (M3), a scientific instrument of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) onboard India's first lunar mission Chandrayaan-1, found iron-bearing minerals on the lunar surface, the US space agency said on Thursday.
"The mapper spectrometer has beamed images of the Orientale Basin region of the moon, indicating abundance of iron-bearing minerals such as pyroxene. Using different wavelengths of light, the instrument has also revealed for the first time changes in rock and mineral composition," M3 principal investigator Carle Pieters said in a statement hosted on NASA Website.
Data from the 7-kg mapper provides space scientists first opportunity to examine lunar mineralogy at high spatial and spectral resolution.
The Orientale Basin is located on the moon's western limb. M3 captured the data last week when Chandrayaan was orbiting the moon at an altitude of 100 km.
"The imaging spectrometer provides us with compositional information across the moon that we have never had access to before. Our ability to identify and map the composition of the surface in geologic context provides a new level of detail needed to explore and understand the earth's nearest celestial neighbour," affirmed Pieters, who teaches at Brown University in Rhode Island.
The mapper was selected as a mission of opportunity through the NASA discovery programme. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory designed and built the instrument at Pasadena in California.
"M3 will also help in characterising and mapping lunar minerals for knowing the moon's early geological evolution. Its compositional maps will improve our understanding of the early evolution of a differentiated planetary body and provide a high-resolution assessment of lunar resources," Chandrayaan project director M. Annadurai averred.
M3 is one of the 10 instruments onboard the unmanned Chandrayaan, conducting experiments while the spacecraft orbits over the moon next two years.
Five instruments were indigenously built by the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), while the remaining six payloads are of foreign origin, including three from the European Space Agency, two from NASA and one from Bulgaria.
Chandrayaan was launched on October 22 onboard the 316-tonne polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV-C11) from ISRO's Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota spaceport, about 80 km north of Chennai.
After traversing 3,84,000 km through the deep space for 18 days, the spacecraft entered the lunar orbit on November 8 and its moon impact probe was lowered on the moon's surface on November 14.
புதன், டிசம்பர் 24, 2008
But the truth about meetings is they are largely a waste of time if not organised well or not planned in advance. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of these congregations.
The initiator of the meeting must take up the task of sending out meeting requests to all parties who are required to attend, specifying the date, time and venue. If the meeting is a teleconference or a videoconference with participants from multiple locations, it is essential that the meeting request contain the date and time of the various time zones.
This is a common mistake, as a colleague in Tokyo found out when she forgot to specify the time zone in her e-mail, which meant that disparate groups of people were waiting for her to teleconference them at different times of the day!
The initiator must ensure a discussion room or conference room large enough to hold the requisite number of attendees is booked for the scheduled time.
It is also up to the initiator to arrange for any materials such as a projector, computer, slides, handouts, or even just a whiteboard and markers. A manager at a telecommunications firm narrates how a meeting he was invited to was delayed by 45 minutes because the computer and projectors were not set up, leading to senior managers walking out and requesting a reschedule.
If you are invited to a meeting for which handouts are distributed, make sure you read those notes before attending. It will keep you in tune with the discussions once you are part of the meeting, and will demonstrate your preparedness with ideas and thoughts on the topic at hand.
Once the time and venue of the meeting is fixed, it is vital that the initiator of the meeting decide the points on the agenda. Each of these points must be covered in detail and decisions taken on them before the meeting wraps up.
Preferably, these points can even be enumerated in brief on the whiteboard in the room, allowing everyone to be aware of the agenda and helping the initiator keep an eye on it at all times.
In the duration of the meeting, several points and ideas will be thrown up which, if not documented, will evaporate into thin air well before the end. It will be impossible for anyone to retain all the discussed points in memory. Therefore, it is best for the initiator or the meeting-in-charge to appoint one person to jot down notes during the meeting. It is better still if two or three people take notes just in case one misses out something important.
At the culmination of the meeting, it is the duty of the person assigned to note down the minutes to create a document and circulate it amongst all attendees. Such a document typically contains the date and time of the meeting, number and names of attendees, the agenda and, against each of the points on the agenda, the action items.
Often, despite maintaining an agenda and adhering strictly to time and schedule on a few points, the discussion deteriorates into heated debates. At this point, it is the prerogative of the meeting-in-charge or the initiator to ensure an objective discussion. Also, if a member starts rambling for hours without any end in sight, he must be brought back on track. It should be made clear that although brainstorming is acceptable, digression into irrelevant territory is entirely unwelcome.