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Pune’s institutes ensure Science Day stays alive wwith online sessions

PUNE Astronomy aims at finding the origin of the Universe,” said Neeraj Gupta, who spoke on “Science with Square Kilometre Array”, during the Science day celebrations held online by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA)
By Namrata Devikar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 06:36 PM IST

PUNE Astronomy aims at finding the origin of the Universe,” said Neeraj Gupta, who spoke on “Science with Square Kilometre Array”, during the Science day celebrations held online by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA).

“The Square kilometre Array is the world’s largest radio telescope. It requires all the intelligence and resources from all countries across the globe. It will be built in two places in Australia and South Africa. All the radio astronomers are a part of this,” said Gupta.

He further added that radio astronomy is the emission that comes from celestial objects like the sun, stars, and clouds, among other objects.

“Radio astronomy studies celestial objects at radio wavelength. The radiations that we study come to us due to different events. It is like we map one object through different ways to understand its origin, age and composition. Scientists have won the Nobel Prize by contributing on various interesting aspects of the subject,” added Gupta.

In another session on the platform of Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune, Dr SG Srivatsan, associate dean of research and development at IISER Pune, spoke about “Making smart probes for the detection of Covid-19”.

“If we develop diagnostics kits in India, the cost of testing kits will be much, much lower and its reach will also be more as compared to others. The Centre for cellular and molecular biology, Bengaluru, has recently launched a project of Indigenous diagnostics called Index. This project is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, USA. IISER is also part of the project,” said Srivatsan

He added that IISER is dealing with the chemistry aspect of the project.

“Index aims at the supply chain of Indian companies to make reagents and enzymes for diagnostic kits for Covid-19. We help companies maintain a high standard of diagnostic kit development so that problems can be avoided. Problems like false negatives and false positives can be completely avoided,” said Srivatsan.

Along with this, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Cell Sciences (NCCS), and National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL) also conducted their Science Day programs online.

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