Annual Report 1999-2000
for Young Scientists
With a view to motivate and encourage Young
Scientists to take R&D as career and retain them in science,
the Department has continued to play a catalytic role in attracting
young scientists towards science and technology by implementing
a number of programmes. The Young Scientists programme of
DST has the following specific objectives:
- To provide opportunities to Young Scientists for pursuing
exciting and innovative research ideas.
- To provide opportunities for interaction and exchange
of ideas with the scientific community both at the national
and international levels.
- To involve Young Scientists in national S&T development
- To encourage S&T institutions, professional bodies
and other agencies including State S&T Councils to develop
S&T programmes involving Young Scientists.
Some of the major activities and programmes
under this scheme involve supporting R&D projects, international
BOYSCAST Fellowships, Contact programmes, fellowships through
S&T Councils and Young Scientists' sessions at the annual
session of Indian Science Congress.
Two meetings of the Management Advisory Committee and one
Group Monitoring Workshop (GMW) were held. MAC recommended
20 projects for support. 41 young scientists for the award
of BOYSCAST Fellowship and 6 Contact Programs for Young Scientists
were also identified for support. The ongoing projects were
reviewed by the mechanism of Group Monitoring Workshop (GMW)
and peer review system and mid course corrections suggested
wherever necessary. Some of the major achievements in ongoing
projects during the year are as follows:
- The studies carried out under a project Immunochemical
diagnosis of myocardial infarction' has led in achieving
significant success in developing new technology for immunochemical
detection of serum LDH1 - an indigenous method for the diagnosis
of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). As compared to the
duration of other tests, the time taken to complete the
diagnosis is less than 10 Ministry under present trial system
on a strip. The cost of the test may also be many fold lesser
than the cost of cardiac troponin I (cTnI) measurement.
An attempt is being made to develop an indigenous Strip-ELISA
for the detection of LDH1 that may substitute for time and
cost-effective diagnosis of myocardial infarction at the
patient's bedside. These findings are useful in developing
Strip-ELISA kit for diagnosis of myocardial infarction in
emergency rooms of Coronary Care Units, particularly in
Indian conditions where patients are presented late in hospitals.
It will also be useful in smaller hospitals/dispensaries
having limited facilities.
- In an attempt to identify the water potential using remote
sensing and GIS overlaying techniques and to develop a computer
data base for water resources under a project entitled "Water
resources monitoring, exploration, and management for the
development of the rural areas in Srikakulam district of
Andhra Pradesh using remote sensing and GIS techniques",
a number of villages in eight mandals viz. Veeraghattam,
Seethampeta, Bhamini, Kotturu, Hiramandalam, Patapatnam,
Saravakota and Melipaputti were demarcated from the Survey
of India toposheets and Srikakulam district hand books.
Thematic maps like rainfall, land use/land cover, hydrogeomorphology,
soils, slope, and drainage, were prepared by visual interpretation
of IRS 1C LISS III data in the 1:50,000 scale. Locations
for drilling bore wells, tube wells and openwells were identified
and recommended. The socioeconomic data from various government
organizations has been collected and source and use pattern
of water for irrigation, drinking and livestock studied.
- Critical study in two key sectors of Attur Shear Zone
(ASZ) and Cauvery Shear Zone (CSZ) respectively under a
project to study Tectonic evolution of the Palghat-
Cauvery Shear Zones in southern India and its implication
for east Gondwana Reassembly' insight very interesting results.
Both the areas experience ductile shearing deformation with
both vertical and horizontal movements. Kinematic analysis
in these areas indicates dextral shearing for ASZ and sinistral
shearing for CSZ. The occurrence of augen gneiss along the
CSZ and their significance provides a new idea for the tectonic
interpretation. To corroborate the transpersonal tectonics
in the area needs detailed investigation in few more key
sectors. More significantly, the new results can be applied
for geodynamic evolution of South India and in correlation
with other Proterozoic shear zones of East Gondwanaland.
- In another project involving computer image processing
for microcirculation hemodynamics, studies were carried
out to measure changes in cerebral/mesentric microhemodynamic
parameters e.g. blood transfusion level, microvessel diameter
change etc. in rat mesentry microvascular network, in hypotension,
induced by acute hemorrhagic shock and to image microcirculatory
network and associated topological parameters. A very potent
mechanism demonstrating the close interrelation between
rheological behavior and microvascular hemodynamics has
been identified. The molecular mechanisms involved in white
cell sticking to the endothelial cell wall and its rolling
is receiving global attention.
- In yet another project involving studies on transition
metal catalyzed reactions of alpha Diazoketone, it
has been shown that the cyclization and cycloaddition reaction
of diazo ketones 4,10,14 and 16 in tandem or cascade fashion.
The rhodium (II) metal catalyzed step is particularly attractive
as the formation of two C-C bond formations and on C-O bond
formation in a single step operation. Further, the intermolecular
trapping of carbonyl ylide dipoles has proven to be an effective
method for synthesizing complex polycyclic framework.
- Studies have been carried out on the effect of dbcA.MP
on gap junctional channels mediated communication in C6
cells, a rat glioma cell line. Quantitative assessment of
coupled cells under microscope after microinjection of a
fluorescent dye was taken as measure of junctional permeability.
This confirmed the spatial distribution of gap junctional
protein(s) in the processes and also showed an increase
in the density of the protein at the intercellular spaces
in dbcAMP induced differentiated C6 glioma cells.
- The course of assimilate movement in panicle branches
and individual spikelets were studied by using phloem specific
fluorochrome 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (CF) in rice. The dye
movement study indicate that the transport of assimilates
in to rice caryopsis may be through two overlapping pathway.
During the early phase, i.e. 1-5 days after flowering, the
nucellus below the pigment strand may be the major route
of transport to the developing endosperm. As the nucellar
tissue is crushed, the nucellar epidermis may be the major,
and at later stages, the only route of transport. The pattern
of transport in rice is also comparable with the known patterns
of transport in wheat and corn.
- Under yet another project related to Characterisation
of testes specific epitopes on testicular Yb2 GST and its
cDNA cloning for further characterisation Rat GSTs
from testicular source have been isolated. On comparison
of NH2- terminal sequencing of the various isoforms with
GSTs from somatic sources four isoforms were detected with
similarity to rat GST M1,M2,M3 and alpha. Further studies
with other GST isoforms M2, M3, and alpha revealed the absence
of binding to these steroids. Studies with apoptogenic agents
show that GSTs in the STF can be used as marker for damage
caused to germ cells by reproductive toxins. Identification
of Yb2 GST or GSTM2 gene by PCR has been standardized. The
germ cells express GSTM2. This fragment has also been isolated.
Swarnajayanti Fellowships programme was launched
on the ocassion of the 50th anniversary of our independence.
The objective is to encourage young scientists to undertake
basic research in frontier areas of science and technology
and achieve standards of excellence, which are comparable
to the best in the world. Outstanding young scientists in
the age group of 30-40 years with a proven track record are
eligible for these fellowships. The selcted candidates are
given an attractive fellowship amount of Rs. 25,000/- per
month and support to research programme in the frontier areas
of science, engineering or medicine for a maximum period of
five years. The support under the project covers grants for
equipment, manpower, contingencies, consumables, travel including
international travel and administrative and infrastructural
The programme has been widely disseminated to a large number
of scientists within the country and abroad. A stringent procedure
for screening the applications has been adopted. This includes
Expert Committees in six subject disciplines viz. Life Sciences,
Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences,
Mathematical Sciences and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences,
a National Core Committee and an Empowered Committee of Secretaries.
Every year felowships are advertised. The process established
for screening the applications received is followed. During
the current year, 285 applications were received in all the
areas. After due process of screening, six young scientists
were selected for award of Swarnajayanti Fellowships (1998-99).
Honble Minister for Science and Technology made a statement
in both the Houses of Parliament on October 26, 1999, announcing
the awards. These awards were given away by the Honble
Prime Minister on January 6, 2000 to the following young scientists
Opportunities For Young Scientists In Chosen Areas Of Science
& Technology (BOYSCAST)
- Dr. Debajyoti Choudhury, Mehta Research Institute of Mathematics
and Mathematical Physics, Allahabad.
- Dr. D.Prasad, Mehta Research Institute of Mathematics
and Mathematical Physics, Allahabad.
- Dr. V.V.Ranade, National Chemical Laboratory, Pune.
- Dr. N.Kumar Sivarajan, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- Dr. S.Umapathy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
- Dr. R.Vardarajan, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
The scheme provides opportunities of young scientists
for visiting international institutions in order to help them
participate and contribute in front line chosen areas of Science
and Technology. The duration of the fellowship is 3-12 months.
Young Scientists and Technologists up to the age of 35 years
are eligible for the fellowships and once trained in the chosen
areas are able to generate and spread expertise at the national
S&T laboratories. During the current year, 41 brilliant
young scientists have been chosen for the BOYSCAST fellowships
in various disciplines of science such as Earth and Atmospheric
Sciences, Paleaoclimatology, Organometallics , Supramolecular
Chemistry, Manufacturing Engineering, Computer and Information
Sciences, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics,
Plant Microbe Interactions , Plant Genetic Resources, Agricultural
Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Transplant
Biology, Industrial Microbiology, Semiconductor Physics, Mathematical
Sciences, Electronic Materials and processing, etc. Reports
of foreign guides of fellows who have now returned have graded
them very highly and their work at foreign laboratories was
considered of a very high standard.
Of The Scientific Expertise Of Retired Scientists (USERS)
The Department during the seventh five-year
plan introduced the scheme Utilisation of the Scientific
Expertise of Retired Scientists (USERS). The main objective
of the scheme is to utilise expertise and potential of large
number of eminent scientists in the country who remain active
and deeply motivated to participate in S&T development
activities even after their retirement. The scheme has continued
to play a significant role in involving a large number of
retired scientists in S&T developmental activities. The
main activity under the programme is preparation of books/monographs/state-of-the-art
reports. During the year, 17 new projects were identified
for support. Final reports on a few projects were also received.
Intensification of Research in High Priority Areas
In order to strengthen research in high priority
areas, a new initiative called "Intensification of Research
in High Priority Areas (IRHPA)", was launched during
the beginning of 6th Five Year Plan. This programme has made
a real impact at national and international scientific scene
in terms of quality and quantity of work in important fields
such as Neurobiology, Solid State Chemistry, Nano-materials,
Materials Science, Surface Science, Plasma Physics, Macromolecular
Crystallography, Ultrafast Process etc.
During the year, the focus of the programme
was to generate more national facilities in frontline and
emerging fields of Science & Engineering. Some of the
new programmes sanctioned are as follows:
- International Collaboration for the study of Quark-Gluon
Plasma at the Large Hadron Collider (Indian participation
of ALICE experiment) (Jammu, Aligarh, Punjab, Rajasthan
- Fabrication of large area multi-junction Amorphous Silicon
Solar Modules (IACS, Calcutta).
- Unit on Social Insect Biology (IISc., Bangalore)
- National Facility for Photolabelling & Peptide Sequencing
in Biomolecular System (Phase II) (IIT, Mumbai)
- National Facility on Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
- R&D using Variable Energy Microtron : Establishment
of National Facility (Mangalore University)
- 300 MHz High Resolution NMR Spectrophotometer (Kurukshetra
Some of the new initiatives are as follows:
- Research support facility for Ferromagnetic Fluids (Ferro-Fluids)
-- Bhavnagar University
- National Facility for Geotechnical Centrifuge Studies
- National Facility for Structural Biology (IISc., Bangalore)
- Confocal Microscope Facility (BHU, Varanasi)
- High Resolution X-ray Powder Diffractometer (IIT, Delhi)
- National Facility for Isotope Discrimination Studies for
Water Use Efficiency ( University of Agricultural Sciences,
- National Centre for Experimental & Theoretical Studies
in Non-accelerator Particle Physics, Atomic Physics and
Cavity QED (IIA, Bangalore)
In addition, the progress of the ongoing programmes
was also reviewed by the respective Management Advisory Committees.
Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY)
The Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana programme
made its beginning this year. This programme aims to encourage
young students after Class X, XII and II year of B. Tech.
and MBBS to take up a research career. They are offered attractive
fellowships, contingencies grant and opportunities for academic
consultation, summer training etc. with the help of leading
research institutions in the country.
Science Stream selections are being handled by
IISc, Bangalore whereas the Engineering and Medicine
Stream selections are being handled by IIT, Bombay and
ICMR, New Delhi (with the active participation of PGIMER,
Chandigarh and AIIMS, New Delhi) respectively. After rigorous
screening and interviews, about 75 students received these
fellowships this year.
IISc, Bangalore will be coordinating this
programme on behalf of DST.
& Biology Olympiad Programmes
DST joined hands with the DAE and MHRD to start
national olympiads in Biology and Chemistry also and subsequent
participation of Indian teams in the corresponding International
Olympiads. We now have a National Science Olympiad Programme
covering Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology with
the active support of DST, DAE and MHRD.
The Chemistry Olympiad team participated for
the first time in 1999 in the International Chemistry Olympiad
at Bangkok, Thailand and won 2 silver and 2 bronze medals.
It was quite heartening to see each of the four participants
receiving a medal in this maiden attempt.
The Biology team will participate for the first time in the
International Biology Olympiad next year. This year, as per
International Olympiad rules, India sent an Observer to the