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Annual Report 2000 - 2001

Autonomous Institutions

National Accreditation Board For Testing And Calibration Laboratories

Aims and Objectives

Some of the Aims & Objectives of NABL are:

  • To promote, coordinate, guide, implement and maintain a accreditation system for laboratories suitable for the country in accordance with the relevant national and international standards and guides.
  • To ensure that all measurements either during calibration or testing by accredited laboratories are traceable to appropriate national / international standards maintained at National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) through an unbroken chain of comparisons.
  • To encourage Proficiency Tests / Inter-laboratory comparisons in order to ensure accuracy, reliability and reproducibility of test results.
  • To ensure that the accredited laboratories adhere to all the conditions of accreditation, by periodic surveillance.
  • To organize Awareness Programmes on all aspects of laboratory accreditation for the laboratories by various means including seminars, workshops and laboratory-industry-accreditation body meets etc.
  • To acquire travelling standards and artifacts for conducting studies on measurements by the accredited laboratories and thereby to help improve reliability and reproducibility of results.
  • To establish and maintain strong linkages with international and regional for a such as International Laboratory Accreditation Conference (hitherto referred to as ILAC), European Accreditation Cooperation for Laboratories (hitherto referred to as EAL), Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (hitherto referred to as APLAC) etc. and to take active participation in Plenary Sessions, Committee Meetings etc. in order to keep pace with the latest developments and for promoting Bi-lateral.
  • To undertake all the activities which shall promote undertaking Bi-lateral / Multilateral Recognition Agreements between NABL and laboratory accreditation bodies in other countries so that test results of NABL accredited laboratories become acceptable in all countries.

Scope of Accreditation:

Accreditation is a formal recognition of the technical competence of a laboratory based on third party assessment and following ISO/IEC Guide 25 (1990). A new standard ISO/IEC 17025 has been published after years of deliberations by accreditation bodies all over the world under the umbrella of International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) and International Standard Organisation. This will be required to be implemented by all countries by December 2002. The assessment is carried out by trained Assessors taken from institutions all over India, with established credentials in testing and calibration activities. Currently, NABL Accreditation is limited to the following fields:

I. Testing Laboratories

Category A : General

  • Biological, Chemical, Electrical, Electronics, Fluid-Flow, Mechanical, Non-Destructive Testing, Optical and Photometry, Radiological, Thermal

Category B : Clinical

  • Blood Bank and Transfusion Services, Clinical biochemistry, Clinical pathology, Cytogenetics, Cytopathology, Haematology, Histopathology, Immunology, Microbiology and Serology, Nuclear Medicine

Category C: Forensic

  • Chemistry, Toxicology, Biology, Serology, Explosives, Physics, Ballistics, Questioned Documents, DNA Finger Printing, Forensic Psychology, Fingerprints, Narcotics

II Calibration Laboratories

Category A:

  • Electro-Technical Measurements, Mechanical Measurements, Radiological Measurements, Thermal and Optical Measurements, Fluid-Flow Measurements

Linkage with ILAC & APLAC:

India is a signatory to WTO. WTO recognizes that non-acceptance of test results and product certificates across the frontiers of the countries is a Technical Barrier to Trade. Laboratory accreditation is considered as the first essential steps to facilitate mutual acceptance of test results and product certificates. Besides, the laboratory Accreditation Bodies are also required to enter into Multilateral Recognition Agreement with other Accreditation Bodies based on peer review. Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) provide the platform for entering into such Multilateral Recognition Agreement. NABL became a full member of APLAC in 1996 and has been regularly taking part in APLAC programmes. Besides, NABL has recently acquired full membership status of International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC). NABL professionals have been taking part in the deliberations of Technical Committees of both ILAC and APLAC on various issues connected with laboratory accreditation. NABL has taken advantage of APLAC Proficiency Testing training programme by sending two professionals, one on testing and another on calibration held by APLAC at Chinese, Taipei. NABL accredited laboratories are being encouraged to take part in APLAC Proficiency Testing Programmes. ILAC and APLAC are constantly in touch with key organisations such as World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Standard Organisation (ISO) etc.

Status of NABL Accreditation, Surveillance and Re-assessment:

During the period 1st April 1999 till 31st March 2000, NABL has accredited 68 Testing and 13 Calibration Laboratories. An intensive campaign was taken to clear the backlog of surveillance and re-assessments after setting up a full time Secretariat of NABL. The intensity of activities is reflected from the number of assessments, surveillance, re-assessments carried out during this period for both Testing and Calibration Laboratories. Till 31st March 2000, NABL on cumulative basis has received 387 applications from Testing Laboratories (83 during year 1999-2000) and 151 from Calibration Laboratories (21 during the year 1999-2000).

Records of Accreditation - {1st April 1999 - 31st March 2000}

Testing Laboratories
DISCIPLINE Assessment Surveillance Re-Assessment New Accreditations Granted New Applications Received
Biological
05
08
02
06
10
Chemical
21
26
11
25
35
Clinical
--
--
--
07
03
Electrical
03
14
01
05
03
Electronics
01
02
03
03
01
Fluid Flow
01
02
01
--
--
Mechanical
12
20
06
15
22
NDT
04
03
02
05
04
Radiology
--
--
02
--
--
Photometry
--
--
--
02
--
Forensic
--
--
--
--
02
Thermal
--
--
--
--
03
TOTAL
47
75
28
68
83

Records of Accreditation (Cumulative Basis) - {as on 31st August 2000}

Testing Laboratories
DISCIPLINE 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 TOTAL
Biological
01
03
05
02
01
04
04
20
Chemical
04
03
12
06
18
17
24
84
Clinical
--
--
--
--
--
07
11
18
Electrical
--
--
--
04
09
01
08
25
Electronics
02
--
02
--
02
03
01
10
Fluid Flow
--
--
01
01
01
--
--
03
Mechanical
02
06
05
08
09
10
14
54
NDT
--
--
01
01
06
02
05
15
Radiology
--
--
01
01
--
--
--
02
Photometry
--
--
--
--
--
02
--
02
Forensic
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
Thermal
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
TOTAL
09
15
27
23
46
46
67
233

Records Of Accreditation - {1st April 1999 - 31st March 2000}

Calibration Laboratories
DISCIPLINE Assessment Surveillance Re-Assessment New Accreditations Granted New Applications Received
Electro-Technical
01
07
06
03
07
Fluid-Flow
--
--
--
--
--
Mechanical
11
07
09
10
11
Radiological
--
--
01
--
--
Thermal and Optical
01
--
04
--
03
TOTAL
13
14
20
13
21


Pre-Evaluation of NABL by APLAC Evaluators:

A 2-member team of APLAC MRA Evaluators, consisting of Ms Roxanne Robinson, Vice-President, A2LA, and Mr. C P Ramani, Vice-President, ICBO, conducted pre-evaluation of NABL during 12-14 July, 1999 prior to setting up of the full time Secretariat of NABL. As part of this pre-evaluation, the experts discussed the quality system of NABL and its conformance to ISO/IEC Guide-58 and APLAC MR001, the organizational structure of NABL, the NABL documents on accreditation, surveillance intervals, reassessment of laboratories, inter-laboratory proficiency testing, etc. Besides, the team also examined some of the files belonging to individual accredited laboratories. The team visited National Physical Laboratory on 12 July morning and also observed assessment of surveillance of a calibration laboratory accredited by NABL. On 14 July, the team presented their findings to NABL in the presence of Chairman, NABL. Conclusion of their report is summarized below:

"The team commends the Department of Science and Technology for their extraordinary vision in creating NABL. A strong laboratory accreditation program operating under internationally recognized standards is essentially to facilitate international trade as technical barriers to trade start replacing quotas and tariffs. A successful consummation of NABL's application to join the APLAC MRA will provide greater opportunities for acceptance of data generated by India's accredited testing and calibration laboratories. Much has been done by the NABL organization towards meeting the requirements of the APLAC MRA, and the team commends them for their efforts.

This evaluation resulted in a number of major concerns (staffing, surveillance intervals and accommodations at NPL) that need attention prior to the full APLAC evaluation. Tentatively the team and NABL management agreed that the full evaluation could take place in six to eight months. NABL will provide a progress report before the end of this year so plans for the final evaluation can commence. The team feels that a four-person evaluation team will be required for the full evaluation, thus adding two evaluators to concentrate on the calibration and electrical / electronic fields. The full evaluation should require one week's time.

The team wishes to thank the NABL staff for their cooperation and hospitality. Their openness and transparency made the evaluators' task most pleasant."

Concerns expressed by the Pre-evaluation team were addressed during 1999-2000 and final evaluation by a four member team was conducted in July 2000, which is reported later.

APLAC 99:

National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) is a full member of the Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC) organised the 5th General Assembly of APLAC and the Annual Committee Meeting in Delhi during 29th November to 4th December 1999. Hon'ble Minister of Science and Technology, Human Resource Development and Ocean Development inaugurated the event.

Two pre-conference seminars were also held during this period, with wide participation of Indian and Foreign Speakers and delegates. Some of the important subjects covered were:

Seminar I: Importance of Laboratory Accreditation and Multilateral Recognition Arrangement in Global Trade

  • Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Multilateral Recognition Agreements - their importance in international trade
  • India's preparedness to Technical Barriers to Trade
  • Concepts and implications of an ILAC MRA
  • The Quest for a World Accreditation Mark
  • Road Map of Quality Council of India
  • NABL - The changing scenario

Seminar II: Preparing the Laboratories for Accreditation to ISO - 17025 Standard

  • ISO/IEC 17025 - the newly Emerging Criteria for laboratory accreditation - its implications and interpretations
  • Importance of Inter-Laboratory Proficiency Testing
  • The role of National Physical Laboratory in the National Measurement System
  • Inter-Laboratory Proficiency Testing - A study on Clinical Laboratories
  • Transition from ISO/IEC Guide 25 to ISO 17025 - Challenges and issues
  • Calibration and uncertainty of measurements with particular emphasis on chemical and microbiological laboratories etc.
  • Implications of ISO Guide on Uncertainty of Measurements for Calibration Laboratories.

APLAC Newsletter (February 2000) and ILAC Newsletter (March 2000) have acclaimed APLAC'99 as a highly successful event for which they have congratulated NABL.

Status of Proficiency Testing Programme:

APLAC MRA has a strong dependence on an effective Inter-Laboratory Proficiency Testing Programme both for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

In accordance with ISO/IEC Guide 58, NABL is required to conduct inter-laboratory proficiency testing. Besides, as per provisions for ISO/IEC Guide 25 (1990) the accredited laboratories are required to take part in Inter-laboratory proficiency testing specially those conducted by APLAC and EA. NABL has initiated this activity recently and has selected nodal laboratories to conduct inter-laboratory proficiency testing following NABL Guidelines based on ISO/IEC Guide 43. Till date NABL has completed 25 inter-laboratory proficiency Testing programmes while 5 others are in progress. This enables the laboratory to know confidentially from NABL its performance in terms of Z score, which is an indication of closeness of the result from the assigned value. Therefore, laboratory scoring high Z scores (high Z score >3 indicates deficiency in competence of a laboratory in specific proficiency testing) gets a chance to improve its performance in subsequent studies.

NABL has signed a MoU with National Physical Laboratory (NPL) for conducting Inter-Laboratory Proficiency Testing of Calibration Laboratories. This will cover different disciplines such as Electro-technical, Mechanical, Thermal, Optical etc. so that each accredited laboratory is fully covered by Proficiency Testing for each major scope over a 4-yr. cycle as per requirement of APLAC MRA. ISO/IEC Guide 43 will provide the basic guidelines for such Proficiency Testing Programmes.

APLAC had entrusted NABL to conduct Inter-Laboratory Proficiency Testing on Tensile Testing of Steel. This has now been completed. More than 100 laboratories from India and abroad have taken part in this Proficiency Testing Programme for Testing Laboratories in different disciplines.

Status of Assessors Training & Training of Laboratory Personnel on Quality System Management:

In accordance with the requirements of ISO/IEC Guide 58, NABL is expected to have a training and qualifying system for the Assessors, who are later engaged for third Party assessment of the laboratories for the purpose of accreditation.

To be able to commence the assessment of laboratory, NABL designed a two days crash course for those experts who had undergone lead auditors training course on quality system (ISO-9000) but were working in laboratories. In two such courses NABL - trained about 39 experts whose services were utilized as lead assessors and by giving them the support of experts working in laboratories.

Thereafter, NABL had embarked upon Five-day Residential Assessors Training with an MoU with Indian Institute of Quality Management (IIQM), Jaipur, under Department of Electronics a few years back. The course material was developed by NABL following ELA G7 European Guidelines. Till date, 348 Assessors have been trained by NABL. The training programme was initially conducted at IIQM, Jaipur, currently this is held at different regions of the country. Each training capsule is meant for 20 Assessors. Faculty members are from NABL as well as other institutions. They have received Assessors training as well Trainers training conducted by UK Accreditation Services, organised by National Physical Laboratory. Besides, one of the faculty member was sent for Trainers training programme conducted by APLAC in Australia.

As on date on Cumulative Basis NABL has completed 18 Assessors Training, 52 Quality System Management Training for Laboratories, 10 courses on Internal Audit for the Laboratory Personnel were conducted.

Setting up a full time Secretariat for NABL:

Keeping in mind the requirements of ISO/IEC Guide 58, APLAC MR001 which calls for a full time Secretariat for NABL, a fully computerized office has been set up in Qutab Hotel with Local Area Networking. 8 Programme Associates from different technical disciplines have been appointed for working on laboratory accreditation. Activities of accreditation of calibration laboratories has been shifted from National Physical Laboratory (NPL) to the new Secretariat of NABL at Qutab Hotel. There has been a strong upswing in the accreditation activity after setting up the new Secretariat, as will be evident from the accreditation data over the years, presented earlier in the report.

Progress on setting up GLP Compliance Monitoring Authority:

A two-day workshop on "Preparing the Laboratories towards GLP Compliance Monitoring" was held on the 27th and 28th of February 2000 at CCMB, Hyderabad. The workshop was co-sponsored by CSIR, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hindustan Lever Ltd., Jai Research Foundation and Ranbaxy Laboratory.

Three Experts from Europe including OECD Senior Official Dr. Robert Visser delivered special lecture during the workshop, besides speakers from GLP Laboratories in India. Dr. Visser welcomed the decision of setting up GLP Compliance Monitoring Authority under DST/NABL.

Dr. Visser stated that one of the essential pre-requisites for the recognition of the National Monitoring Authority by OECD is India's acceptance of OECD Test Guidelines. NABL expects to discuss these issues with regulatory bodies in the coming months.

NABL Awareness Programme:

  • NABL participated in the Annual Conference of Association of Clinical Biochemists of India (ACBI) held at Christian Medical College, Vellore during 9-12 February 2000.
  • NABL participated in a Health Care Meeting organised by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad on March 17, 2000 - the programme being sponsored by the World Bank.
  • An Awareness programme on Key Technical Issues such as Uncertainty of Measurements, Calibration Intervals, Validation of Test Methods, Inter-Laboratory Proficiency Testing and ISO/IEC 17025 Standard was held at CLRI, Chennai. 125 participants attended this meeting. 80% of which were from private industries.

NABL - NEWS LETTER:

NABL brings a quarterly 'NABL - NEWS' so far 18 issues have come out and are being sent to accredited laboratories, Assessors, expert of the committees and all those who have received NABL training of any kind. It is a policy of NABL to mail this book to accredited laboratories, applicant laboratories, members of technical committees, assessors, NABL personnels and all other concerned persons. This document is a free document without any subscription.

Governing Body Meetings:

NABL Governing Body under the Chairmanship of Prof. V.S. Ramamurthy, Secretary DST met twice during the financial year (1st April 2000 - 31st March 2000) during which NABL activities were reviewed and policy decisions were taken.

Evaluation of NABL by a Four Member APLAC Evaluation Team during July 2000 - a special note on International Recognition of NABL:

A four member team under the leadership of Mrs. Roxanne Robinson, Vice President, A2LA, USA and members consisting of Mr. C.P. Ramani, Vice President, ICBO Evaluation, USA, Mr. Max Purss, NATA, Australia and Mr. Yoshinobu Uematsu, JNLA, Japan visited NABL Secretariat to assess the implementation of accreditation system in accordance with ISO/IEC Guide 58, APLAC MR001 of the Accreditation Body and ISO/IEC Guide 25 for the laboratories. The four-member team was split by the Lead Assessor enabling them to witness the assessment/surveillance/re-assessment of 8 testing and calibration laboratories in different disciplines. Besides, they also visited National Physical Laboratory (NPL) for studying metrology standards in India and the Quality System being adopted by NPL in accordance with agreement signed with BIPM. At the end, the team in their summary report submitted to Secretary, Department of Science and Technology recommended NABL for the APLAC MRA (Mutual Recognition Arrangement). They particularly appreciated that NABL has taken all corrective actions against the concerns expressed during pre-evaluation. They were also happy at the progress made by NPL towards meeting its commitments as the National Metrology Institute. Further, they appreciated that NABL:

  • has a highly technical, qualified staff who demonstrated exceptional knowledge, commitment and energy in performing their job responsibilities;
  • has a very effective LANs database system to support their accreditation activities;
  • has developed a very efficient record keeping system:
  • has access to high levels of expertise from within the country for recruitment of assessors and
  • enjoys an exceptionally supportive and cooperative relationship with their national measurement institute.

On the basis of the witness visits, the team considers that the NABL assessments are consistent with those performed by the accrediting bodies represented by the evaluation team and that confidence in the data generated by NABL- accredited laboratories may be realized. The team has recommended recognition of NABL under APLAC MRA subject to satisfactory responses to the concerns expressed. These concerns included the need for a database on Approved Signatories of the accredited laboratories, further scope for improvement in Quality System, Documentation and Control, need for a greater thrust on Proficiency Testing for Calibration Laboratories, the need for some clarifications in the NABL document on Uncertainty in Measurements. Such concerns have been already attended to and a follow up response report has been sent to the APLAC evaluators, attending to the concerns expressed by the team.

(Subsequently, NABL signed APLAC MRA in October 2000 at Pasadena, USA and ILAC MRA in November 2000 at Washington D.C. This implies equivalence of tests and measurements between NABL accredited laboratories and those for 36 other signatories (Accreditation Bodies for laboratories) in 28 countries. WTO recognises this as important step to remove Technical Barriers to Trade - because this will eliminate re-testing by the importing country and reduce the waiting period of cargo at the port).

Technolgy Information, Forecsting & Assessment Council (TIFAC)

Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), a registered society under Department of Science and Technology, was set up in 1988 to look ahead in Technologies and energize actions in the select areas.

The main objectives of TIFAC include generation of Technology Forecasting (TF)/Technology Assessment (TA)/Techno-Market Surveys (TMS) reports, providing technology related information, promotion of technology and evolving suitable mechanism for testing of technology, technology transfer and commercialization as well as patent information system.

1.Technology Forecasting (TF), Technology Assessment (TA) and Techno Market Survey (TMS) Studies

TIFAC has brought out over 250 well-researched, specialized reports - both in breadth of technologies covered (Agriculture to Advanced Sensors) as well as depth (Technology Assessment and Status in India / Abroad, recent / potential markets, R & D opportunities etc.)

TIFAC reports have covered all the major sectors, which are of relevance to India. The reports have also focused on specific products, processes & on their applications.

In order to cater to the fast changing technological scenario in India and abroad, TIFAC reports also address the cutting edge and frontier technologies, technologies that may take 5-6 years to mature.

Updation of selected earlier reports have been taken up. Several have been completed while a few others are in progress.

The progress during the year is as follows:

Reports finalized :

Two reports commissioned earlier, finalized during 99-2000 are:

1. Waste Utilisation from Construction Industry. TMS: 150
2. Industrial Pumps and Motor Systems. TMS: 152

In addition six reports have been finalized during this year (2000-2001):

1. Non Conventional Fertilizers and Conditioners to enhance Agricultural Productivity. TMS: 155
2. Technology for Production of Lactic Acid, Itaconic Acid, Gluconic Acid, GlutamicAcid & L-Lysine from Molasses." TMS: 157
3. Nicotine & its Derivatives from Tobacco Waste TMS: 158
4. Bauxite Beneficiation for Removal of Iron Oxide. TMS: 159
5. Technologies for utilisation of low grade phosphate as Fertiliser TMS: 161
6. Utilization Of slaughterhouse Waste Material for the Preparation of Animal Feed. TMS: 162

Studies under finalization

The following studies are under finalization:

  • Multimodal Transport System for NorthEast Region. TMS: 156
  • Technologies for agricultural application of Glauconite - a potash mineral TMS: 160
  • Technologies to improve Energy Efficiency of State Transport Units
  • Electronic Controllers for Power Sector

TMS updates

In addition to the above, selected TIFAC reports have been taken up for updating. During this year following eight reports have been updated:

1. Focus on Indian Foundry Industry
2. Demand Survey of Titanium & Downstream Products.
3. Automated Production in Textile Machinery
4. Safety Management in Aluminum Industry
5. Safety Management in Copper Industry
6. Safety Management in Zinc Industry
7. Safety Management in Lead Industry
8. Jute Bags vs Poly Sacks

A few others are in progress.

New Studies Commissioned

Four studies have been commissioned during this year:

  • Transgenic Seeds
  • Management of Solid Wastes in Steel Industry
  • R-DNA Therapeutic Products
  • Biodegradable plastics.

CDROMs of TIFAC reports

Two highly interactive CDROMs on Health and Food & Agriculture Sectors were released by the Hon'ble Minister of Science & Technology Dr. M.M.Joshi on Feb 10, 2000 during the TIFAC's Twelfth Annual Day. The CDROMs contain a comprehensive knowledge base of TIFAC reports on the Health (more than 3000 pages) and Food & Agriculture (more than 10,000 pages ) sectors. The information includes Techno-Market Surveys, Technology Forecasting & Technology Assessment reports, Vision 2020, Industrial Safety, Comprehensive Picture of Science & Technology, Core Strengths. These TIFAC CDs give competitive technologies and business opportunities for Industries, for R&D Institutions they give the areas of great demand and for the Strategic Planners they provide a roadmap.

The work has now begun for the production of a CDROM on the Biotechnology sector.

Techno-Info Services (TIS)

TIS of TIFAC offers an single window facility for queries on technology sourcing, specialized reports on specific technologies (technology sources, business opportunity, demand analysis etc.) desired or information related to technology transfer. TIS provide customized information on chargeable basis (depending on the depth and coverage). TIS have furnished around 125 queries giving information to users.

TIFAC Website

The number of visitors to the TIFAC website (www.tifac.org.in) has increased steeply during the recent months. The hit rate as of October'2000 is 80,000 and as of November it has further increased to above 1,000,00. The site is being enriched with added new sections like technologies available for transfer, invitations for proposals etc. Regular updates are also being carried out with latest and current information. It has emerged for Technology Information and Access. There is also an exclusive Website on IPR (see section 2.5)

TIFAC Library

To facilitate and foster the flow of the scientific/ technical information through formal channel, TIFAC Library continued to support the enhanced requirement of scientists and users. During thre period (April 2000-Nov 2000), 30 books/reports have been added raising the total holding of TIFAC Library to 1710. In addition 56 journals including serials have been subscribed. Books and reports are being classified according to the subject areas and entered in to the computer.

TIFAC News

In order to disseminate information on activities of TIFAC under various programmes, four issues of this news letter were brought out and distributed to around 5,000 organisations, involved in technology development, both in India and abroad.

Patent Facilitating Centre (PFC)

The PFC continued its efforts towards meeting its objectives and the achievements during the period are given below.

IPR Bulletins

Six issues of the IPR bulletin are brought out till 20th November 2000. These bulletins interalia covered the Geographic Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999, patenting by recognised in-house R&D units in India, trade secrets and employment market, an update on neem related patents, analysis of patent applications filed in the areas of materials, electronics, patenting by public sector undertakings in India, case laws in the area of software, domain name, and fair use in copyright and case studies on patents granted in the area of software, application packages and other inventions. The bulletins continued to be covered by the press. For targeting a wider audience, online access to the bulletins was provided through the exclusive website of PFC, namely, www.indianpatents.org. Six (6) more issues will be brought out during the year.

Patent Awareness Workshops:

Fourteen (14) workshops were conducted sensitising about 1,400 scientists and technologists. This includes two workshops conducted in the North-eastern region as well. The details of the workshops are given below:

  • Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar, April 24, 2000
  • Rare Earth Complex (OSCOM), Chattarpur, Orissa, May 2, 2000
  • Agarkar Research Institute, Pune, May 17, 2000
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, June 8, 2000
  • Dr. A. R. Abmbedkar Marathawada University, Aurangabad, June 23, 2000
  • Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur July 14, 2000
  • Harcourt Butler Technological Institute (HBTI), Kanpur, July 19, 2000
  • Calcutta University, Calcutta, August 14, 2000
  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL), Haridwar, September 5,6, 2000
  • Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering & Technology, Longowal , Punjab,
    September 11, 2000
  • Gyani Zail Singh College of Engineering & Technology, Bhatinda, Punjab,
    September 12, 2000
  • Jamia Milia Islamia University, October 11, 2000
  • Arunachal University, October 16, 2000
  • North Eastern Regional University of Science & Technology Itanagar,
    October 17, 2000

More are planned during the remaining period of the year.

Patenting/IPR protection Activity:

PFC facilitated filing of twenty three (23) patent applications during the period, to make the total filings to 104 patent applications. This includes three applications filed abroad and two Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) applications. Out of these, one patent has been granted in Sri Lanka and seven patent applications have been accepted for grant. One copyright application was also filed. Some more patent and copyright applications are in the pipeline.

An interactive video module on patent awareness

A video programme on patent awareness tilted "Patents Made Easy" has been brought out. The thirty minute programme is in the form of a chat show in which audience seek answers to their queries on patents from the experts. The video is of benefit to universitites, colleges, schools and also R&D institutes and industry. Basics of patents like the meaning of novelty and obviousness, difference between discovery and invention and many others have been explained by the expert faculty. A programme was telecast countrywide by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in the month of October 2000 and is to be repeated in December and February. The cassette is available for Rs. 700/- per copy. A revenue of Rs. 42,700/- has been generated by the sale of the cassette to 61 institutions / clients.

Exclusive website on PFC

An exclusive web-site www.indianpatents.org on PFC, was formally launched by Dr. M. M. Joshi, Hon'able Minister for Science & Technology, Government of India, on February 10, 2000. The website provides comprehensive details of the services and facilities provided by PFC and also serves as a gateway for online access of the Ekaswa-A and Ekaswa-B databases on Indian patents. This is the first ever online gateway to a database of patent applications filed in India since 1995.

The website had a total number of 45,915 hits from visitors from across the world for the six month period (from February to September, 2000). A sample monthly analysis showed that about 45 % visitors are from US followed by India, UK, Canada & Australia.

Ekaswa-A and Ekaswa-B databases:

A total of 146 agencies and organisations subscribed to the Ekaswa-A and Ekaswa-B databases; 93 of these are regular members, including six online members. A revenue of 2.59 lakhs was generated during the period from the subscriptions.

Training:

A three day training programme on patents & IPR was organised from April 18-20, at India International Centre, New Delhi, for the officials of the Patent Information Centres (PICs) set up by the PFC. The programme covered various aspects of management of protection of IPR in general and patents in particular. An exercise on drafting of patent claims and on-hand training on patent searches were other major features of the programme. The programme was attended by 17 officials, including 12 officials from the PICs, two from ISRO, one each from DAE, UP Council for S&T and APTDC.

Patent Searches:

The search services were extended to about 70 universities, research institutions, industry, etc. Some of these are IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, University of Delhi, Saurashtra University (Rajkot), Delhi College of Pharmacy, New Delhi, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, University Department of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, Anna University, Chennai, Elgi Equipment, Cimaco Chemicals, Delhi, M/. Singhania & Co., New Delhi, M/s. Anand & Anand, New Delhi and M/s. Groser & Groser, Guregaon. Total revenue generated from the services stand at Rs. 3.68 lakhs, including Rs. 26,313/- generated during the period

Hardware other facilities for patent search:

CD-ROM databases for bibliographic/abstract searches on patents issued by US Patent Office, European patent Office and the PCT applications were updated. Subscription to STN International online databases was obtained during the period.

Special Reports / Publications:

The Ministry of Environment and Forests sponsored report on "Patenting of Micro-organism" was submitted to the MEF and was formally released by the Hon'able Minister (S&T) on February 10, 2000. The study was based on the laws of 34 countries and their practices in implementing the laws, court decisions, study of international treaties and study of patents issued in USA and Europe in the last 20 years with detailed study of 70 patents. The report has since then been printed and is available as a TIFAC publication. More such special reports envisaged.

Establishment of Patent Information Centres (PICs):

One Patent Information Centres (PIC) set up in Lucknow. With this PFC has set up eight PICs in various parts of the country. The PICs are now providing guidance on filing of patent applications, patent search services and organising patent awareness workshops in the respective states. A three day training programme for the officials for the PIC was conducted during the period.

Role of a watchdog

PFC has been looking at patents issued in different areas from time to time. Software related patent which has been granted by the Indian Patent Office is brought to the public notice by the PFC. An update of neem related patents was also published through the IPR bulletin.

Counselling and advisory role:

PFC has become a national referral point for industry, universities, government agencies, NGOs, foreign embassies and individual scientists, innovators and consultants, for information and advice on IPR related matters, especially upto date patent information. PFC was instrumental in generating critical inputs including conceptual framework, actual patent data, analysis, etc., for decision making, policy formulation and future planning at the national level in the area of IPR and related matters. Many of the government agencies namely DAE, ISRO, ICAR, ICMR and BHEL approached PFC for specific inputs and organising patent awareness workshops. PFC advised the Madhya Pradesh Government for obtaining a Geographical Indication (GI) for "Chaderi Sarees" and in the process also informed the weavers about the GI law.

Special Initiatives:

Strategy cum Source Books on Non-Ferrous Metals: TIFAC-Indian Institute of Metals (IIM) Joint Project

TIFAC & IIM to prepare ten techno - commercial reports on all-important Non Ferous metals. The reports would cover raw material scenario, technology status & new trends, production statistics, demand projection etc.

During the year one report on Refractory metals has been released. Thus a total of five such reports have been finalized and released (Aluminum, Copper, Magnesium, Titanium, Refractory metals). The other five reports on Rare Earth, Nuclear metals etc are underway.

Surface Engineering

There have been several 'spin offs' from the major programme on Surface Engineering (SE) taken up earlier. Quite a few new ' Job shops' have been set up in India by entrepreneurs on technologies like the D-Gun (at Chennai and Hyderabad under the Home Grown Technology activity) and Electro-spark coatings. Industries have also diversified into Surface Engineering e.g Plasma Ion Nitriding by Multi Arc Ltd, Diamond Like Coatings by ACC Ltd.

Steel

Major initiatives taken in Steel sector by TIFAC earlier have led to the formulation of a large number of R&D projects, which are now being considered by Ministry of Steel for funding. TIFAC is a part of the three-member evaluation group constituted by the Empowered Committee under the Research & Technology Mission, Ministry of Steel. An official from TIFAC is also a member of the Empowered Board for monitoring the approved projects related to technology development in Iron and Steel sector.

During the year, the evaluation group has reviewed around 22 proposals, out of these, the Empowered Committee of the Ministry of Steel has approved 1 proposal, thus .bringing the total no of approved proposals to 21 during the past two years.

Interaction with International Agencies

International S&T Cooperation with ASEAN

The third ASEAN-India Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting was held on 21-22 March 2000 in Delhi. The meeting acknowledged the progress made in the S&T cooperation in the earlier identified three areas namely, Advanced Materials, Information Technology and Biotechnology and future action by India and ASEAN partner countries, in these areas. It was also mentioned about India's interest in contributing to some of the areas set out in the Hanoi Plan of Action and in new areas in S&T such as bio-informatics and food security, remote sensing and space technology.

Workshop on NdFeB Magnets and Materials - Advancements, Applications and Market Growth was held on August 21-23, 2000 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The successful implementation of R&D activities under the ASEAN-India Cooperation Programme on Materials Science: R&D of NdFeB High Energy Rare Earth Magnet and Materials has reached a stage where the results achieved by participating countries in ASEAN and India were shared among ASEAN and Indian scientists involved in the project. The workshop provided a forum where ASEAN and Indian scientists and also industry representatives could interact closely and exchange views on the issues related to R&D on rare earth magnets and their application engineering in the field of high energy rare earth magnets and their market potential in ASEAN and India.

The project on " Wear Resistant Coatings" in the area of Surface Engineering under Advanced Materials is progressing very well with exchange of experimental results on Coatings as well as their characterisation.

In the area of Information Technology, Phase-I of the project on 'ASEAN-India Digital archive' has been completed. Under this project, over 6000 Multimedia elements have been developed in different ASEAN languages. These elements consist of common words, phrases, pictures and are accessible over the world wide web. In view of the success of this project, Phase II of the project is being taken up.

Activities under three approved Biotechnology projects have initiated this year.

  • Meeting of the project on Embryo Transfer Technology has been scheduled in Thailand in the 1st week of February, 2001.
  • Meeting of the project on Plant Biotechnology for Crop Improvement and Better Utilization of Natural Resources( Plant Culture) have been scheduled in New Delhi in the 1st week of March, 2001.
  • The project proposal on Bioinformatics has been approved and implementation details are being worked out.

Utilization of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

The first commercial scale plant for processing of Municipal solid waste to produce fuel pellets / fluffs has been commissioned at Gandamguda, Hyderabad with the DST Technology by TIFAC through Andhra Pradesh Technology Development & Promotion Center (APTDC), a joint project of TIFAC, CII & Govt. of Andhra Pradesh started/commissioned earlier. Initially the plant is commissioned with a capacity of processing 500 tonnes of garbage per day, which will later be doubled. In the second phase of the project, a power plant will be set up to produce about 10 MW of electricity through combustion of these fuel fluffs / pellets, which is now undergoing.

Hydrogen Technology Programme (HTP)

Under the Hydrogen Technology Programme, six project proposals in the field of generation, storage and application of hydrogen were considered by the Hydrogen Technology Core Group and five of these cutting edge R&D works have been approved for commissioning with the financial support fromDST and initiative of Hydrogen Technology Cell (HTC) of TIFAC. One project on the Development of Polymer Membrane Water Electrolyser for generation of hydrogen and its initial field trial at Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Balloon launching station has been initiated by HTC of TIFAC in collaboration with SPIC Science Foundation, Chennai and IMD, Delhi.

The following two developmental projects related to generation and storage of hydrogen have been supported by TIFAC under the Technopreneur Promotion Programme (TePP) of TIFAC:

  • Development of the first indigenous prototype of AQUA Flame Unit called "Hydrogen-Oxygen Gas Generator" to electrolyse water into a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen under controlled condition. This pollution free, cost effective torch burner can be used for welding, brazing, flame cutting, jewelry workshops etc. and could be a good replacement for oxy-acetylene flame.
  • Development of a process for coating of sodium hydride (Power Ball) with a suitable polymeric material and a cutting mechanism to remove this coating before feeding it into hydrogen generator to produce hydrogen by reaction with water. It would overcome the problem of handling and storage of metallic hydrides in ambient to store hydrogen as high-density metallic hydride for large-scale applications.

Energy Tower Project

This Eco-friendly concept of generating clean electrical energy from the atmospheric wind by artificially manipulating its humidity and thermal gradients is relatively a new concept. The principal concept is to cool the hot and dry air of desert by a fine spray of water within a tall and large diameter shaft where the denser cooled downward airflow reaches high velocity and actuates turbine to generate electricity. This new technology promises producing low cost electric power day and night without burning any fuel and low cost desalinated fresh water thereby creating a river in the heart of a desert. To visualize the future potential of the "Energy Tower" concept in India, a weeklong presentation by a team of Israeli experts was organized by TIFAC at various places in the country during February- March 2000. About 100 experts from leading national institutes, R&D centres and industries participated in the presentation and discussions. The project is being persued.

Assessment of Innovation Potential of Students Practical Projects from Professional Colleges

TIFAC earlier signed a MoU with Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), New Delhi for carrying out a Pilot Study and collection of data on students projects. INAE collected data from several Engineering colleges and gave a presentation to DST / TIFAC in October 1999. INAE is now expected to widen its reach for further collection of data and assess innovation potential of students' practical projects. INAE has also created its website which is being used to offer interactive communication and contacting colleges / institutions by e-mail.

Interactive S&T promotion

In order to promote Science & Technology awareness in schools and colleges, along with IT based learning at homes, schools and colleges, TIFAC and Vigyan Prasar have taken up a joint project to develop an IT based model. The model uses CHOIS Server technology developed by M/s Innomedia Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Bangalore.

Innomedia is continuing to evolve the CHOIS Server technology, which places a CHOIS server at the cable head-end and allows distribution of interactive TV services over the Cable TV Network. The software of the CHOIS server in the field runs on Windows 98 and Innomedia is changing this to LINUX platform in the future. A few CHOIS servers at cable-head ends are offering services to schools and home users on a single CHOIS channel with some limited S&T content on experimental basis.

Preservation of Text and Graphic Manuscripts - A technological approach

TIFAC has commissioned a focussed study for a technological approach for preservation of text and graphic manuscripts. The study is to cover the status of preservation in developed countries as well as in India. It is to bring out the techniques and technologies used for preservation including the use of Information Technology for preservation, reformatting and dissemination of knowledge contained in documents and manuscripts.

Technology Vision for India up to 2020: Follow-up Action Teams.

Follow up of Technology Vision 2020 Mission Projects identified in six different sectors namely: a) Agriculture and Agro Food Sector, b) Road Construction and Transportation Equipment, c) Upgradation of Textile Machinery, d) Services and Maintenance of Health care Equipment e) Upgradation of Science & Engineering Colleges and f) Targeted Programs in Other Important Areas, have been the main thrust during this year. The progress in respect of Technology Vision 2020 Mission Projects in the above areas is briefly highlighted below:

Technology Vision 2020 Mission Projects

Bihar Agricultural Project

Based on the enthusiastic welcome and participation by the farmers, the project is now being implemented at Seven Son command distributories. About 200 villages have been covered in the current Kharif 2000 season. Pusa 834, MTU 7029 paddy varieties are being cultivated this time. Technical guidance, supervision and monitoring & training are being provided by TIFAC.

Eastern U.P. Agricultural Project, Deoria District, U.P.

The Systems Approach Technology, aimed towards increasing agricultural productivity, is being implemented over larger areas. At present it is being implemented over 27 acres of land in 3 blocks (Pathardeva, Baitalpur and Rudarpur) in the Deoria District (which is about 55km away from Gorakhpur in South-East direction). Three villages of each block and three farmers of each village have been selected for demonstration trial. Pusa 834 and Soryu 52 have been selected as paddy varieties.

New Projects

National Agro Foundation, Chennai which was established under the Chairmanship of Late Shri C Subramaniam, has requested TIFAC for assistance and guidance for their project 'Agro Services for Rural Development'. Officials of TIFAC along with Prof S K Sinha, Agriculture Vision 2020 Mision Leader, held discussions with the concerned project officials at Chennai and the project has been undertaken. The project, interalia, envisages studying the impact of micronutrients to enhance the productivity of various crops. A baseline study has been conducted and few farmers have been selected to demonstrate crop management to increase productivity during the current season.

Kancheepuram Agricultural Project

Around Kancheepuram, initial baseline data from ten villages collected. About 20 farmers each having an average holding of land less than 5 acres have been select for survey. Generally only Paddy crops are grown (barring a few farmers who also take up some other crops like groundnut). The average yield of the paddy is low. It is now planned to hold demonstration trial with improved practices in about one acre each in farmers field to get higher productivity.

Electric Power

The project on Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) in a mission mode has been discussed in a group of representatives from TIFAC, NTPC, BHEL, IICT and CSIR under Chairmanship of Shri V Raghuraman, Sr. Adviser-Energy-CII. The project has been sent to Minister of Power by Chairman-TIFAC with the request to provide part funding for preparing a technology assessment study report before taking further actions. A study for evaluation of technology choice to be carried out by the international experts.

Projects on (a) Static Compensator and (b) Phase Shifting Transformer have been launched aimed at improving the efficiency of electric power sector including transmission and distribution networks. The project envisages designing and developing of prototypes for commercial production.


Upgradation of Science & Engineering Colleges

Upgradation of Science & Engineering Colleges is one of the key sectors of Technology Vision 2020 Mission Projects. Mission REACH, aimed at creating centers of excellence in selected departments at par with worlds best to attract industries to solve targeted problem in time bound manner has been launched. Agreements have been signed with eight institutions aimed towards this objective.

Other proposals are being evaluated.

Upgradation of Road Construction and Transportation Equipment & Textile machinery

Two meetings were held under the Chairmanship of Chairman, TIFAC on 10th and 11th July 2000 and discussed the aspects of development of equipment or component(s) for testing, standardization and commercial production on Road Construction and Transportation Equipment & Textiles Machinery respectively. Selected Equipment Manufacturers, Leading Industries & Industry Associations, R&D Institutions and Experts participated in these meetings. A few project proposals have been received. These have been discussed in the meeting of Apex Committee for "Road Construction and Transportation Equipment" and "Upgradation of Textile Machinery". A few projects have been identified in both the sectors for evaluation and assessment of technologies for consideration. Based on field visits the projects will be fine tuned for funding.

Targeted Programmes in Other Important Areas

In the Rural Connectivity Program under the targetted programmes, plans are being drawn to provide about ten villages around Kanchepuram at Tamil Nadu with electricity and connected with high quality roads, telephones etc. Similar action plan is also being drawn up for Tirucharapalli.

Vision 2020 for Uttarakhand

A three days workshop on 'Application of Science and Technology in the Integrated Development of Uttarakhand' was organised by Department of Science & Technology at Almora during 21-23rd July 2000. The workshop aimed at working out action plan for the application of Science & Technology for the integrated development of Uttarakhand. TIFAC was the nodal coordinating agency for working Group II on Technological and Infrastructural Interventions. Detailed action plans are being drawn for the application of Science and Technology for the integrated development of Uttarakhand. Preparation of detailed project/and program implementation for Uttarakhand region is under progress

Goa

Under the Technology Vision 2020 Mission program, action items are being drawn up to assist the Govt. of Goa with an aim to provide an impetus for information technology development in the state.

Home Grown Technology Project (HGT)

Home Grown Technology Programme

Home Grown Technology (HGT) Programme of TIFAC provides financial assistance technology management support to innovative SME companies and research laboratories as soft-loan to scale up their technologies from bench scale to pilot production level. TIFAC is helping Indian companies to develop technology strengths by commercialization of technologies developed at R&D labs through this program. The programme was initiated in 1992. Usually in HGT projects, the Pilot Plants are set up and run at Industry sites, and in some cases, in the R&D lab campuses also. The participation of the industry has increased over the years and presently there are many projects, which involve technology totally developed in-house by industry (with no formal participation of laboratory institutes, other than consultancy).

With a view of a faster processing, the project evaluation and selection mechanism of HGT was restructured during the year and a single HGT Apex Board was formed for guiding the programme and to recommend new projects to TIFAC.

So far, 49 projects have been supported under the HGT Programme, out of which 14 have been completed and 35 projects are under various stages of implementation (of which one was initiated and another 3 are being initiated during the current year). Five patent applications were also filed during the year, based on the technologies developed under the HGT Programme. Further, six projects have been commercialized this year, namely: Ceramic crucible for carbon/ sulphur analysis for steel plants, Two Detonation Gun, Pilot plant for production of vinyl ester resin, Improved process for Chlorpyriphos insecticide, and. Bio-adhesive for sutureless surgery.

Technopreneur Promotion Program (TePP)

The Technopreneur Promotion Progamme (TePP) started in 1998, is a joint activity between TIFAC and the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR). TePP support is available to any citizen of the country, having an original idea/ invention/ know how. The proposal can be made by an individual or jointly with/ through any sponsoring/ collaborating organization involved in technology development and promotion.

The TePP support is mainly as project grants to implement a prototype or working model. This support could include scientific/ technical consultancy, fabrication assistance, trials, patent support and guidance, market information and networking with related research labs/ institutes.

TePP also provides "Technopreneurship" (TS) as award, given to selected innovators to pursue their activities to convert their original idea/ invention into working models/ processes.

Eleven projects have been supported under TePP by TIFAC during this year. Some of the projects supported by TIFAC under TePP are for low cost molecular biology lab kits, testing a baldness cure, microfine pulverizing of Red Sandus wood, autodistractor for orthopedic use, Plant root growth without soil, Energy Efficient air heater thermocomb, Cattle driven pump sets etc.

Integration of Computational Facilities for Scientific Research (ICOSER)

High Performance Computation (HPC) and Computer Communication networks are playing a pivotal role in imparting education and facilitating research and developmental work over the globe in the various Universities and research institutions. In addition, supercomputers are being used for practical applications like drug design, imaging (medical as well as space based terrestrial), weather modelling, seismic data processing etc.

Recognising this, TIFAC under took Project on "Integration of Computational Facilities for Scientific Research (ICOSER) with an objective to develop high performance computing facility centres in a few of the universities, research and engineering institutions in the country and to network these centres. The ICOSER was taken up with an endeavour for improving the environment for scientific computing in the country through establishing interconnected and integrated compute resources.

The Phase-I of the ICOSER project is complete with development of 7 level-III centres in different locations in the country covering north, south, east and west. The seven High Performance Computation ICOSER centres are the following institutions/universities in the country, namely:

1. Punjab University, Chandigarh
2. Indian Association Cultivation of Science (IACS), Calcutta
3. Cochin University of Science & Technology, Cochin
4. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati
5. Indian Institute of Physics (IOP), Bhubhneswar
6. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras, Chennai
7. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay, Mumbai

With HPC facility and network developed at seven locations in India under the TIFAC's ICOSER project,it has been possible to reach and provide at the door steps of our universities/institutions the much needed access to high-end computing and latest methodologies and literature to the faculty and students/researchers of engineering, science colleges and research institutions in these regions in the country. Prior, these high performance computation machines/systems were only available in institutions like some IITs and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

A few more application softwares, which could be run on the existing hardware, thus increase the utility of these valuable machines/systems.

Proposal for Phase-II of ICOSER. is under consideration. Under the Phase-II of the ICOSER project, proposal is to develop more Higher level Computing centres. Some of these new centres will have computing power higher to that of the already developed 7 ICOSER centres in terms of performance, speed and applications.

TIFAC Building (Proudyogiki Purwanuman Niketan)

The construction of TIFAC-IIT building has started. The earth breaking ceremony was done on 13th June, 2000 by Hon'ble Minister of State for Science & Technology Shri Bachi Singh Rawat.

The construction period of the building has been estimated as 24 months at an estimated cost of rupees 9 crores.

Vigyan Prasar

Vigyan Prasar was set up by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India as an autonomous organisation under the Societies' Registration Act in 1989 for taking up large-scale science popularization tasks in the country. The primary objective of Vigyan Prasar (VP) is to promote and propagate-as widely as possible scientific and rational outlook in the society. To achieve these, its efforts go beyond mere dissemination of information to a conscious attempt at inculcating scientific temper among the people.

Vigyan PRasar Information System(VIPRIS)

VIPRIS is a repository of background information on various aspects of Science & Technology. It deals with processing, collecting, collating and disseminating vast amounts of scientific and technological information from a variety of sources.

VIPRIS intends to maintain anything and everything of Science in India and cater to the needs of different groups of science communicators, teachers, students and the general public. Accordingly, VP has initiated a number of activities under VIPRIS as described below:

  • Vigyan Prasar Homepage (http//www.vigyanprasar.com) was launched in September 1996. The homepage provides information on the activities of Vigyan Prasar and includes features like: Daily science news, Online popular science magazine called "ComCom" covering feature article, development stories on S & T subjects, Online Chat, World of Science, Ham Radio, Children's Corner and S & T Systems in India. The design and content of the homepage are periodically upgraded.
  • Databases on comprehensive, wide and useful ranges of subjects like scientific institutions, eminent scientists, S & T awards etc. have been completed and are continuously updated. A search engine and data loading software has been acquired for building up of these databases. The first phase of the environment database has been loaded on the search engine.
  • The CD-ROM on eclipses and related phenomena, titled "Celestial Shadow Play" developed on the occasion of total solar eclipse on August 11, 1999, is being revised for use during similar events in future in other parts of the world.
  • VIPRIS Clipset is a compilation of news items/articles both in Hindi and English on science and technology, collected from 125 major newspapers/news magazines from around the country and circulated fortnightly on subscription basis. It is a compilation of articles/news items covering a wide array of scientific subjects and of relevance to teachers, students and the general public.
  • Dream 2047', the in-house newsletter of Vigyan Prasar, covers the activities of VP, S & T heritage of India, life and works of scientists, scientific institutions in the country and articles on topics of general interest. The editorials have evoked good response from readers on various issues with bearing on science and science communication.

Publications Programme

Publications Programme has established itself on a firm footing. By now, about 60 titles in English, Hindi and other major Indian languages have been brought that include important series on varied topics/themes, say, Pioneer Science Popularisers in pre-independence India, Re-prints of popular science classics, Health series, Science and Technology Heritage of India, Total Solar Eclipse series, Do-it-yourself series, and the Natural History series.

The following titles were published during the year:

  • Uncharted Terrains: Essays on science popularisation in Pre-independence India
  • Grahan-Mithak aur Yatharth(Hindi);
  • Gujrati, Oriya and Assamese versions of Total Solar Eclipse: Answers to all your questions;
  • Assamese version of Myths and Legends ;related to eclipses
  • Square Pegs in Round Holes -- a book on learning/teaching Mathematics through Origamy (Paper Folding);
  • Where Gods Come Alive: A monograph on Bronze Icons of South India;
  • Iodine Sainik (Hindi);

The following titles are under printing:

  • Gilas se Khelkar Dekho (Hindi);
  • Chamatkar ka Rahasya (Hindi);
  • Hindi version of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and AIDS

Vigyan Prasar is in the process of preparing Paribhashik Shabdakosh (Scientific Dictionary in Hindi). Fifteen thousand entries for the proposed dictionary have been finalized by Vigyan Parishad, Prayag.

Work is on to bring out edited volumes on 100 years of science writing both in Hindi & Bengali.

VIPNET (VIgan Prasar NETwork of Science Clubs in India)

VIPNET (Vigyan Prasar Network) is a network of science clubs spread across the country. Through this programme, Vigyan Prasar assists schools and institutions to establish science clubs and affiliate them to VIPNET which acts as a catalyst to inspire innovative scientific activities and participation, with emphasis on school children. Established science clubs and NGOs are also affiliating their clubs with VIPNET.The major achievements under this programme are described below.

  • Till date, about three thousand science clubs around the country have secured affiliation to the network, and many more are expected to follow in near future.
  • The monthly newsletter 'VIPNET NEWS' being published since December 1998 provides wide range of news, views, articles and activities of the clubs.
  • About 40 exclusive VIPNET meets, workshops, trainings, programmes, and competitions have been organised in different zones of the country.

Ham Radio Popularisation

Vigyan Prasar runs a ham radio club station (VU2NCT) located at Technology Bhawan and a VHF ham repeater station VU2DLR for the ham radio operators. Ham Radio is a two way wireless communication network/system practised as a hobby.

  • VU2NCT, a web site on ham radio(www.vigyanprasar.com/ham), has been designed and hosted by VP, and is exclusively meant for the Indian wireless enthusiasts in general and radio amateurs in particular. This web site can also be accessed through VP home page.
  • VP has brought out a book entitled "A Guide to Amateur Radio" that describes the basics of wireless communication, rules and regulations, and operating procedures for a maintaining a ham station.
  • VP has been organising ham radio demonstration programmes, workshops and training programmes as part of its ham radio popularization activities.

Audio Visual programme

  • Vigyan Prasar's Audio Visual programme has generated massive listenership through innovative programmes on All India Radio like Bipanna Basudha (broadcast in Assamese from Guwahati) and Paryavaran Calling( broadcast in Hindi from Bhopal) and Choo Mantar (broadcast in Hindi from Delhi).
  • Vigyan Prasar has been disseminating the audio cassettes of the NCSTC Radio serials Vigyan Vidhi and Manav Ka Vikas. The video cassettes of, Bharat Ki Chaap and Kyon aur Kaise also produced by NCSTC earlier are being disseminated by Vigyan Prasar.
  • National Repository Science Technology Videos: Vigyan Prasar's initiative to set-up a National Repository of Science & Technology (S & T) videos has received excellent response. Till now 51 Videos have already been received from 12 research Institutions from all over India that include introductory programmes on those institutions, R&D activities, products and techniques developed. All these videos have been contributed by the concerned institutions free of cost.
  • Science Video Feature Service: Science Video Feature Service programme launched by Vigyan Prasar (VP) has gained momentum in recent months. Ten more stories have been produced based on research and development (R&D) activities going on the in country.
  • Emergence of Modern Science, a three-part video progamme has been completed describing important discoveries/developments in science that took place during 1895-1905, known as the Golden Decade of Science.

Toys and Kits

  • VP has developed science teaching aids and kits based on opto electronics technology in the form of "Visual Books" on topics like Basic Electricity, Wave motion, Basics of Batteries, Semiconductors and so on. A Brochure on the Visual Books has been prepared and efforts are on to replicate and market these books. A patent application has been filed with Indian Patents Office for the same.
  • A CD-ROM on multimedia Games on Living Space & Structure design, has been developed.

Vigyan Prasar in Print Media

Vigyan Prasar launched a regular column on Thursdays entitled "Vigyan Prasar Gyan Paheli" in HINDUSTAN (a leading Hindi Daily published simultaneously from Delhi, Lucknow & Patna).

Two regular columns were started in 'Bal Bharti' a children's magazine, published by the Publication Division, Government of India: Bal Bharti-"Vigyan Prasar- Vigyan Jigyasa" and "Vigyan Prasar--Vigyan Varg Paheli ".

Vigyan Prasar started a S & T quiz page in a competition magazine -"Civil Services CHRONICLE". The column entitled: "Chronicle-Vigyan Prasar--Vigyan Gyan Pratiyogita" intends to cater to queries related to S & T from those who are appearing in different competitive examinations.

Vigyan Prasar sends articles on various aspects of S & T (including those which are published in "Dream 2047") to various newspapers/magazines published from remote areas of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, U.P. etc., Some of the newspapers/magazines that regularly publish our material are: Rajasthan Patrika' (Jaipur), 'Rajasthan Time' (Alwar) 'Tribune' (Chandigarh), 'Pratap Kesari' (Shriganganagar_, 'Dainik Nav Jyoti' (Jaipur-Ajmer), 'Mahakaushal' (Raipur), 'Amrit Sandesh' (Raipur), 'Bastarya' (Bastar), 'Dandakarany Samacher' (Bastar), 'Swadesh' (Indore), 'Chautha Sanar (Indore), 'Nai Duniya' (Indore), 'Avishkar' (Delhi) Vigyan (Allahabad). Articles on various aspects of S & T brought out by Vigyan Prasar are regularly published in several newspapers of Tripura.

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