“In 1947, when India gained independence, there have been only some scientific establishments just like the Indian Institute of Science and the Heart for Scientific and Industrial Analysis and 17 universities. There have been many issues within the new nation,” says Shekhar Mande, former director basic of CSIR.
As we rejoice the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, it’s pertinent that we have a look at the story of India’s growth from the perspective of science. “Our precedence was to establish analysis areas and develop locations the place these researches could possibly be performed. The federal government began by organising an Indian Institute of Expertise and a string of nationwide laboratories,” he says.
Monday offered for The Week a number of the prime options Indian scientists discovered for uniquely Indian challenges, the place Western scientists usually gave up.
When elections had been held for the primary time in India, the Election Fee was shocked. How can it guarantee that there’s just one vote per voter, and other people don’t go to a number of cubicles to vote?
CSIR’s Nationwide Bodily Laboratory in New Delhi got here up with the answer. It developed indelible ink, which is utilized on each voter’s finger after casting their vote. The ink, silver nitrate, stains the pores and skin and stays on it for a number of days. The expertise was transferred to Mysore Ink and Varnish Restricted, and it nonetheless manufactures inks for each election in India. This ink can also be exported to different international locations.
By the Nineteen Nineties, as the scale of the inhabitants elevated, paper ballots grew to become cumbersome. There was a necessity for a system that might document the votes and depend them faster and extra effectively. AG Rao and Ravi Poovaiya, two scientists from IIT Bombay, developed the Digital Voting Machine or EVM, which has modified the electoral course of. These machines have additionally been exported.
Indian Nationwide Calendar
In a rustic with such range, there’s sure to be range in deciding the dates of festivals. Virtually each neighborhood had its personal native calendar. Whereas Gregorian calendar is used, India wants an correct calendar to repair the dates of festivals like Diwali and Holi. The Calendar Reform Committee led by astrophysicist Meghnad Saha studied about 30 regional calendars after which they scientifically up to date the Saka calendar by integrating myriad native sentiments. The use formally started in 1 Chaitra 1879, the Saka period, or March 22, 1957. The Indian Nationwide Calendar symbolizes a nationwide id just like the Indian nationwide chook (peacock), nationwide animal (tiger) and flower (lotus).
To satiate the starvation
Most of us know that the Inexperienced Revolution that started within the Sixties beneath the scientific management of MS Swaminathan lastly made India meals sufficient. Growing high-yielding sorts of crops was a part of the problem of getting sufficient meals. Nonetheless, agriculture was additionally revolutionized by two different inputs.
India wanted low price tractors to mechanize agriculture. Until now, it was importing such agricultural equipment from UK. CSIR’s Central Mechanical Engineering Analysis Institute developed these tractors, which had been referred to as Swaraj Tractors.
On the similar time, Hindustan Pesticides Restricted began manufacturing many agricultural pesticides, with out which the Inexperienced Revolution couldn’t have began.
After all, we all know of two huge blasts in Pokhran that advised the world we had N-bombs. That is one side of our nuclear power; The second is assembly the wants of India. From producing electrical energy to growing nuclear drugs therapies, Indian nuclear scientists have achieved a lot by following the trail ignited by Homi Bhabha.
On the time of independence, toddler and youngster mortality charges had been very excessive (164 and 258 per 1,000 reside births respectively). One of many main causes for this was malnutrition. Indian youngsters wanted milk. Whereas milk manufacturing was step by step growing, the issue was sustaining a chilly chain for transportation, with out which the milk would spoil. One of the simplest ways was to serve powdered milk. Nonetheless, prime scientists from main dairy international locations comparable to Switzerland and New Zealand stated that it was inconceivable to transform buffalo milk (the first milk supply in India) into powder type because of its excessive fats content material. Indian scientists accepted this problem. Scientists on the Central Meals Technological Analysis Institute in Mysore had been pioneers in growing expertise to separate the fats from milk and convert the remainder into powder, a superb child meals. Fats transformed into butter. The expertise was transferred to Amul. This breakthrough occurred just a few years earlier than Operation Flood was launched and it went a good distance in including worth to exploit assortment by way of cooperatives.
extra to cover
When India grew to become impartial, it didn’t have a leather-based trade. All it produced was uncooked hides and skins, virtually all of which was exported to the UK, the place it was the uncooked materials for a thriving leather-based trade. In 1947, 25,000 Indians had been working within the skins and skins sector. The Central Leather-based Analysis Institute in Chennai has labored diligently in growing indigenous expertise for leather-based processing and growing manufacturing alongside the worth chain. Immediately, the leather-based trade in India employs 4.5 million individuals, and exports $6 billion yearly.
pharmacy of the world
India wanted low cost medicines to avoid wasting its individuals. It was a poor nation, the place medicines had been in nice want and provides had been restricted by price. The chemical trade and pharma sector had been working, and the main focus was on generic medicine. Immediately India has reached the purpose the place it exports generic medicines to the entire world together with developed international locations like America. The velocity with which India developed the low-cost fast antigen COVID check, or Feluda check, was once more a gamechanger within the battle towards Covid-19.
Vaccinators of the world
This, once more, was a developmental necessity in a rustic the place preventable ailments had been rampant, leaving youngsters lifeless or infirm. BCG was the primary program for mass vaccination towards TB, and as extra ailments got here beneath the Common Immunization Program, the necessity for vaccines elevated considerably. The pharma sector has outdone itself, and now, greater than 60 per cent of youngsters the world over are vaccinated with the Made in India vaccine. Covaxin is the newest instance of an indigenously developed vaccine that’s saving lives.
off to area
India wants to make use of area expertise for its myriad developmental wants, and this method, formulated by Vikram Sarabhai, stays on the coronary heart of India’s area mission. Be it climate watching, railway gates or site visitors monitoring, the checklist of area functions is just rising. Though funding was by no means an issue for the Indian House Analysis Group (ISRO), scientists started growing low-cost expertise. Having been left remoted after its nuclear exams, India developed most of its area expertise by itself. Its workhorse, PSLV, carried a probe into distant Martian orbit. India continues to be a pacesetter in frugal area expertise, and is now the primary nation to launch small satellites.
In August 2018, SpiceJet flew the nation’s first biojet fueled flight from Dehradun to Delhi. Biojet gas is a inexperienced aviation gas, developed from plant sources comparable to biomass, jatropha and different inedible plant oils. It’s the gas of the long run and India is likely one of the few who’ve developed this expertise. The expertise was developed on the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. The Indian Air Power is probably going to make use of this gas in its flight as properly.
Now, as India approaches its centenary, what are the challenges for the subsequent 25 years? Monday lists these as properly.
change in healthcare
We have to digitize healthcare. We have to combine well being companies with automation. We have to develop low-cost biomedical instrumentation (comparable to robotic arms for surgical procedure) to scale back the price of offering healthcare.
Aligning with Business 4.0
A brand new industrial revolution is underway. India has to hyperlink its industries with new applied sciences like automated manufacturing, superior robotics and synthetic intelligence.
Indian science has to give you inexpensive, large-scale city mobility options that make commuting simpler, cut back air pollution and site visitors congestion.
local weather change mitigation
With local weather change occasions occurring quickly and with devastating results, scientists need to concentrate on mitigation and administration of those occasions.
again to the villages
We’d like technological options to enhance rural life and livelihoods, in order that city migration may be slowed, if not reversed.