India @ 75: How Science Helped India Solve These 10 Problems
“When India became independent in 1947, there were only a few scientific institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Science and the Center for Scientific and Industrial Research, and only 17 universities. The new country had many problems,” said CSIR. Former Executive Director Shekhar Mande said.
When celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, it is only natural to look at the story of India’s development from a scientific perspective. “Our priority was to identify areas of research and develop places where these studies could be conducted. he says.
Mr. Mande has compiled in THE WEEK some of the best solutions Indian scientists have found to specific Indian challenges.
When India went to polls for the first time, the Electoral Commission was baffled. For each voter he can only vote one vote, how can we prevent people from going to multiple booths to vote?
CSIR’s National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi has come up with a solution. It has developed an indelible ink that is put on every voter’s finger after voting. Ink, silver nitrate stains the skin and remains on the skin for several days. The technology he transferred to Mysore Ink and Varnish Limited, which still manufactures ink for each election in India. This ink is also exported to other countries.
By the 1990s, paper ballots became unwieldy as the population grew in size. We needed a system to record votes and count them quickly and efficiently. Two of his scientists at IIT Bombay, AG Rao and Ravi Poovaiah, have developed an electronic voting machine or EVM that has transformed the electoral process. These machines are also exported.
India’s national calendar
In a country of such diversity, there must have been diversity in determining the dates of festivals. Almost every community had its own local calendar. Although the Gregorian calendar is used, India needed an accurate calendar to fix the dates of festivals such as Diwali and Holi. The Calendar Reform Commission, headed by his astrophysicist Meghnad Saha, after studying about 30 local calendars, has scientifically updated the Saka calendar and integrated countless local sentiments. It was officially put into use in 1879, during the Saka period, on March 22, 1957, on Chaitra 1st.
Most of us know that the Green Revolution, which began in the 1960s under the scientific leadership of MS Swaminathan, finally made India food-sufficient. Developing high-yielding cultivars is one of the challenges of getting enough food. But agriculture was also revolutionized by two of his other inputs.
India needed low cost tractors to mechanize agriculture. Until now, such farm equipment has been imported from the UK. CSIR’s Central Mechanical Engineering Laboratory developed these tractors. These tractors were called the famous Swaraj tractors.
At the same time, Hindustan Insecticide Ltd started manufacturing a number of agricultural pesticides. Without this, the Green Revolution might not have happened.
Of course, we know that the two big explosions at Pokhran let the world know that there was an N-bomb. It is his one aspect of our nuclear energy. Another is to meet the needs of India. From power generation to the development of nuclear medicine therapies, Indian nuclear scientists have achieved much following the path blazed by Homi Baba.
save the children
At the time of independence, infant and child mortality rates were very high (164 and 258 per 1,000 live births, respectively). The main cause was malnutrition. Indian children needed milk. Milk production was gradually increasing, but the problem was maintaining a cold chain for transportation. The best way was to provide baby formula. However, top scientists in major dairy countries such as Switzerland and New Zealand say that buffalo milk (the main source of milk in India) is so high in fat that it is impossible to powder it. An Indian scientist has tried. Scientists at the Central Institute of Food Technology in Mysore were leaders in developing technology to separate the fat from milk and convert the rest into powder, an excellent baby food. Technology was transferred to Amur. This breakthrough happened a few years before Operation Flood started and went a long way in adding value to milk collection through cooperatives.
When India became independent, there was no leather industry. Only raw hides were produced, most of which were exported to England, where they became raw materials for a thriving leather industry. In 1947, 25,000 Indians worked in the leather sector. Chennai’s Central Leather Research Institute has been passionate about developing unique techniques for processing leather and expanding production in the Value He chain. Today, the Indian leather industry employs her 45 million people and exports $6 billion annually.
India needed cheap medicine to save its people. It was a poor country with a high need and costly supply of medicines. The chemical industry and pharmaceutical sector began to function, with a focus on generic drugs. India is now at the stage of exporting generic medicines to the whole world, including developed countries such as the United States. The speed with which India has developed a low-cost rapid antigen Covid test, or Feluda test, has been a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19.
Vaccines in the world
This was also a developmental necessity in a country with so many preventable diseases that children died or were debilitated. The need for vaccines has greatly increased as the disease has become the target of universal immunization programs. The pharmaceutical sector has outdone itself and now over 60% of her children around the world have the Indian-made vaccine. Covaxin is the latest example of a proprietary vaccine that is saving lives.
India needs to utilize space technology for myriad development needs and this outlook, created by Vikram Sarabhai, remains central to India’s space missions. The list of space applications, such as weather observation, railway gates, and traffic monitoring, continues to grow. Funding has never been an issue for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), but scientists have started developing low-cost technology. Isolated after nuclear tests, India developed many of its own space technologies. Its workhorse, her PSLV, sent the rover into the orbit of distant Mars. India continues to be a leader in frugal space technology and is the go-to country for launching small satellites.
bio jet fuel
In August 2018, Spicejet completed the country’s first bio-jet fueled flight from Dehradun to Delhi. Bio-jet fuel is a green aviation fuel developed from plant sources such as biomass, jatropha and other non-edible vegetable oils. It is the fuel of the future and India is one of the few countries that has developed this technology. The technology was developed at the Indian Petroleum Institute based in Dehradun. The Indian Air Force is also likely to use this fuel in its flights.
So, as India steps towards its 100th anniversary, what are the challenges for the next 25 years?
We need to digitize healthcare. Healthcare services and automation must be synchronized. To reduce the cost of healthcare delivery, low-cost biomedical instruments (such as surgical robotic arms) need to be developed.
Ready for Industry 4.0
A new industrial revolution is underway. India needs to align its industry with new technologies such as automated manufacturing, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.
Indian science must come up with affordable and mass urban mobility solutions that make commuting easier and reduce pollution and traffic congestion.
Mitigation of climate change
As climate change events occur rapidly and have devastating impacts, scientists must focus on mitigating and managing these events.
return to village
Technological solutions are needed to improve rural lives and livelihoods. It can delay migration to urban areas, but it cannot reverse it.