PIB News Synopsis 18-19th April 2020

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1. CeNS’s gold nanostructure substrate can detect interaction between bio-molecules & chemicals in the lab

  • Scientists from Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), have developed a substrate (the surface or material on which an organism lives, grows) for optical sensing applications using a gold nanostructure.
  • Such substrates are sensitive to change in the refractive index of the surrounding medium and can detect biologically important molecules and chemicals in the laboratory.
  • It was first discovered by Michael Faraday that on reducing the size of the gold particle to the nanometer, its colour changes to red from its familiar metallic yellow. When light interacts with free electrons in a metal, it generates collective oscillation of free electrons known as surface plasmons

2. Stable material for organic pseudocapacitor can offer a low-cost scalable energy storage solution

  • Scientists at the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India, have developed a stable material for pseudocapacitors or supercapacitors which store electrical energy by electron charge transfer.
  • The material can offer a low-cost scalable energy storage solution as an alternative to batteries.
  • The team has developed the pseudocapacitive material, a hybrid xerogel structure (a solid formed from a gel by drying with unhindered shrinkage), for the very first time.
  • The hybrid material was fabricated by the integration of a well-known organic molecule, dopamine onto a conductive matrix, like graphene.
  • This class of xerogel architectures, although reported in the literature as alternatives to conventional pseudocapacitors, lack sufficient cycling stability to replace batteries in the consumer market.

3. DRDO Introduces two new products to enable COVID-19 disinfection process

i)Automatic Mist Based Sanitiser Dispensing Unit

  • Centre for Fire Explosive & Environment Safety (CFEES), Delhi along with HPO 1, using its expertise in mist technology for fire suppression, has developed automatic mist based sanitiser dispensing unit.
  • It is a contactless sanitiser dispenser which sprays alcohol based hand rub sanitiser solution for sanitisation of hands while entering the buildings/office complexes, etc.
  • It is based on water mist aerator technology, which was developed for water conservation.
  • The unit operates without contact and is activated through an ultrasonic sensor.
  • A single fluid nozzle with low flow rate is used to generate aerated mist to dispense the hand rub sanitiser.
  • As an indication of operation an LED illuminates the spray.

ii) UV Sanitisation Box and Hand-held UV device

  • Defence Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS) and Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS), DRDO laboratories in Delhi have designed & developed Ultraviolet C Light based sanitisation box and hand held UV-C (ultraviolet light with wavelength 254 nanometres) device.
  • The UV-C consists of a shorter, more energetic wavelength of light. It is particularly good at destroying genetic material in COVID-19.
  • The UV-C kills microbes quickly. Sanitisation of the items by employing UV-C light avoids the harmful effects of the chemicals used for the disinfection.
  • This is environment friendly and is a contact free effective sanitisation method.
  • The UV-C box is designed for disinfecting personal belongings like mobile phone, tablets, purse, currency, cover of office files, etc.

4. “Kisan Rath”Mobile App

  • It is developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to facilitate farmers & traders in searching transport vehicles for Primary and Secondary transportation for movement of Agriculture & Horticulture produce.
  • Primary transportation would include movement from Farm to Mandis, FPO Collection Centre and Warehouses etc.
  • Secondary Transportation would include movement from Mandis to Intra-state & Inter-state mandis, Processing units, Railway station, Warehouses and Wholesalers etc.

5. Masks that use electrostatics of materials to protect healthy individuals from COVID 19

  • CeNS develops TriboE masks that can hold electric charges to restrict the entry of infections but interestingly, without any external power
  • The mask is three-layered –a layer of nylon cloth sandwiched between polypropylene layers, the latter sourced from commonly used non woven grocery bags.
  • In place of nylon, silk fabric from an old saree or shawl may also be cut and used.
  • When layers are rubbed against each other, the outer layers develop negative charges, while nylon will hold the positive charges.
  • This will act as double electric wall protection against the infectious entities crossing.
  • As the mask is made out of commonly available fabrics, it can be washed just like any other cloth and can be reused.

6. Demo-2 mission: NASA to launch Astronauts to space first time in 11 years

  • The mission is to use Falcon-9 rocket. The astronauts are to be sent for an extended stay at the international space station.
  • The mission is to be launch of the Elon Musk space company.
  • The Demo-1 Mission of NASA was launched by SpaceX. Demo-1 was the first uncrewed test flight to be launched to the International Space Station.
  • Currently, SpaceX and Boeing are the space taxi providers of NASA.

7. GoI amends Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy

  • This has been done to prevent opportunistic acquisitions of Indian companies due to COVID-19 economic crisis.
  • Under the current rule, any non-resident entity from countries sharing borders with India are allowed to make investments in India.
  • However, entities in Bangladesh and Pakistan are required to obtain government permission.
  • Now, every investor from a neighbouring country is required to invest through Government route. Also, investments through Government route by the Pakistan can now be made only in sectors such as space, defence and atomic energy.
  • The step mainly targets the Chinese companies. With the world entering lock down and China returning to normalcy, China is now investing and acquiring companies all over the world. With the amendment, any (especially Chinese) firm will now have to get Indian Government permission in order to make an acquisition in India or acquire an Indian firm.

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