Although Solar energy has been often hailed as a green source of energy, shortcomings in conventional silicon based solar cells and the environmental damage caused during mining and manufacturing of such cells raises questions on the green nature of the energy. In a breakthrough, scientists have developed organic solar cells, developed from indigenously developed discotic liquid crystal, that could provide an alternative.
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Everyone Indian eagerly waits for the arrival of the monsoon rains. Some to just get relief from the sweltering heat while others, like farmers are dependent on the monsoon for their crops. Even though the arrival of the monsoon in Kerala is predicted accurately every year, the monsoon predictions for the other parts of the country have not been dependable. Now, scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have devised a new mechanism to predict the arrival of the monsoon in central India up to one month in advance.
Across many countries in the world, people from an economically backward background struggle to get adequate medical care. As a part of its Sustainability and development goals for 2015 the United Nations has declared ensuring “healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. This target of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to ensure accessibility to quality health care services by the year 2030. With 13 years to go, an international team of scientists explores how this goal can be achieved in five South Asian countries.
In 2015, the well-known social media platform Facebook partnered with other companies, like Samsung, Ericsson, and Nokia to introduce internet.org. It was introduced to provide limited internet access to areas with otherwise no connectivity. In many rural and economically weak parts of the country, mobile users could, using internet.org, connect to Facebook and few websites chosen by the social media giant at a minimal cost. On February 11, Facebook withdrew internet.org, which later came to be known as free basics, from India.
Flooding in urban areas in a major threat to life and property. While there is a focus on immediate relief to the victims after the flood, long term effects of the flood need to be explored in more depth. In a recent study, an international team of scientists explores the aftermath of the floods in Chennai in 2015 with regards to the potability of groundwater. The team shows that even five months after the floods the groundwater is still unsafe for human consumption due to heavy metal and microbial contamination.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) has been revolutionized with the arrival of smart devices and applications. Whether it is taking a video call, working from home, ordering food or arranging transportation, a smart device like our smart phones and computers, along with smart applications like Uber and Swiggy has made many of our daily chores much more efficient and simple.
Transistors are the backbone of the zillion electronic devices that we use today. While development of these semiconductor devices dates back to four decades, it's applications are ever increasing. Internet of Things is the new application that is transforming the development of transistors. In view of this, scientists at IIT Bombay and SCL ISRO have developed a new kind of Bipolar Junction Transistor that is completely indigenous. The researchers believe a home made technology can see its application in strategic sectors like space and defence.
India is gifted with lush green tropical forests and an annual monsoon that revives life in most parts of the country. Yet, the country is reeling from a persistent drought, while many of our forests are losing ground to rapid development. In the midst of this change, let us look at the state of environmental education in the country. In this story, Shaurya Rahul Naralanka, a lecturer of environmental science at Manipal University reminds us of the challenges and opportunities in teaching about nature.
Human beings, in their brief history, started off as hunter–gatherers hunting animals and birds, or collecting fruits and nuts to eat. They then invented agriculture, a revolutionary transformation from ‘collecting’ food to ‘growing’ it. Suddenly, acquiring food, which was one of the most important task of the early man, became a breeze. Today, in the era of technology, food production has reached new levels and so have our ways of handling the produce.
The Indian subcontinent is prone to a large number of natural disasters. The 58% of the landmass is prone to earthquakes and 12 % to floods. 68% of country’s agricultural land is prone to droughts. Apart from these, bad policy making and unplanned development has also contributed to man-made disasters in the country. On the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction, learn about the the measures the country has already taken and what more can be done, to reduce the devastation caused by disasters.