A group of scientists at the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials (ARCI), an autonomous R&D center of the Department of Science & Technology (DST) have developed a process for size-selective deposition of nanocomposite coatings.
Nanocomposite coatings are formed by mixing two or more dissimilar materials at nanoscale to improve the physical, chemical and physicochemical properties of the new materials.
The scientists have found that nickel tungsten-based coatings with infusion of particular sized Silicon Carbide (SiC) submicron particles using a pulsed electroplating can provide an excellent combination of wear and corrosion resistance.
Advantages of the Process:
The nanocomposite coating demonstrated excellent tribological behavior (science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion, which includes principles of friction, lubrication, and wear) compared to other wear-resistant coatings.
The coatings withstood 1000 hours of salt spray (corrosion) without degradation when compared to conventional wear-resistant coatings.
The process is highly economical without environmental constraints.
Starch-based Materials to Stop Blood Loss
Recently, scientists from the Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST) have developed a starch-based ‘hemostat’ material that concentrates the natural clotting factors in blood by physically absorbing excess fluid.
Hemostat materials absorb excess fluid by concentrating the natural clotting factors in the blood that are critical for stopping the blood flow.
The product is made by microparticles known as ‘calcium-modified carboxymethyl-starch’.
When the microparticles combine, they create an adherent gel that can remain on the wound until slowly dissipating as healing proceeds.
These microparticles are prepared by modifying some of the chemical hydroxyl groups on starch to carboxymethyl groups while also incorporating the beneficial calcium ions, which encourages the aggregation of red blood cells and platelets and their activation to generate the fibrin protein network that forms a stable blood clot.
This modification increases the ability of the molecules to interact with water. This is the basis of its impressive ability to absorb fluid from the blood and hence concentrate the clotting factors.
The product has increased absorption capacity and adhesion, it is inexpensive, non-toxic, biocompatible as well as biodegradable.
Presently, no single hemostatic agent exists that can work in all situations and current hemostat materials are very expensive and available mostly in developed countries.
Clotting is a necessary process that can prevent too much loss of blood when there is cut or injury.
A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state.
Blood clots are healthy and lifesaving when they stop bleeding. But unnecessary clotting causes serious medical problems which include a heart attack, stroke, etc.
E.g If a clot formed inside one of veins breaks free and travels through veins to heart and lungs, it can get stuck and prevent blood flow.
An injury or a trauma stimulates the platelets (also called thrombocytes) in the blood to release certain factors which activate the mechanism of clotting.
Calcium ions, Fibrinogens, a protein and Vitamin K are also needed for clotting.
ISRO’s Assistance in Fishing
Recently, the Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying replied in Lok Sabha on ISRO’s Assistance in finding Rich Fishing Areas.
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has developed the methodology for the generation of fishery advisories and transfer to Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) since 2002 as an operational service for providing Potential Fishing Zone (PFZ) advisories.
This INCOIS utilizes data on chlorophyll concentration (Chl) obtained from ISRO’s Oceansat-2 satellite and the sea surface temperature from National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA / USA satellites).
The INCOIS uses these satellite datas to prepare the PFZ advisories on the potential rich fishing areas and provide to the sea faring fishermen in all states.
PFZ advisories helped fishermans in avoiding the unwanted search for fish shoals. This reduces their fuel consumption.
Reduction in fuel consumption reduces carbon emission and hence pollution.
OceanSat-2 provides service continuity for the operational services of Oceansat-1 with enhanced application potential. It was launched in 2009.
It’s main objectives are to study surface winds and ocean surface strata, observation of chlorophyll concentrations, monitoring of phytoplankton blooms, study of atmospheric aerosols and suspended sediments in the water.
Indira Gandhi Matritva Poshan Yojana
The scheme was recently announced by the Rajasthan Government on pilot basis in 4 districts.
The scheme will be implemented in Udaipur, Pratapgath, Banswara and Dungarpur, where nutrition indicators among children and anaemia levels among mothers are worse than the average for the State.
Key features of the scheme:
It is a maternity benefit scheme.
Under the scheme ₹6,000 will be offered for the birth of the second child.
The government aims to reach out to 75,000 beneficiaries annually. It estimates an expenditure of ₹45 crore per year.
The State scheme will complement the Central government’s Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana which offers ₹5,000 for the birth of the first child.
Why focus on second child?
The government feels that the second child doesn’t receive as much attention as the first child and, therefore, it is important to extend this cash benefit to ensure adequate nutrition for the second child.
It is a maternity benefit rechristened from erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
The scheme is a conditional cash transfer scheme for pregnant and lactating women.
It provides a partial wage compensation to women for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and to provide conditions for safe delivery and good nutrition and feeding practices.
National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM)
The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Bill, 2019 (NCIM) was recently passed in Rajya Sabha.
The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.
Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments have to establish State Medical Councils for Indian System of Medicine at the state level.
Key features of the Bill include:
Constitution of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine:
The NCISM will consist of 29 members, appointed by the central government.
These posts will have a maximum term of four years.
They will be recommended by a search committee.
The Search Committee will consist of five members including the Cabinet Secretary and three experts nominated by the central government (of which two should have experience in any of the fields of Indian System of Medicine).
Functions of the NCISM include:
Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals of Indian System of Medicine.
Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure.
Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of Indian System of Medicine of the regulations made under the Bill.
Ensuring coordination among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.
Autonomous boards to be set up:
Board of Ayurveda and the Board of Unani, Siddha, and Sowa-Rigpa.
Medical Assessment and Rating Board for Indian System of Medicine.
Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate education in each of the disciplines of the Indian System of Medicine in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.
The Bill also proposes a National Teachers’ Eligibility Test for postgraduates of each discipline of Indian System of Medicine who wish to take up teaching that particular discipline as a profession.