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Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh going around after inaugurating India's first "Rock" Museum at Hyderabad on Thursday.

Union Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, inaugurated India's first Open Rock Museum, here on Thursday. The museum displays around 35 different varieties of rocks from different parts of India with ages ranging from 3.3 billion years to around 55 million years. These rocks also represent the deepest part of the Earth, up to 175 km of distance from the surface of the earth.

Addressed the scientists at the CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) later, Singh said that ‘Big Earth data' occupies the strategic high ground in the era of knowledge economies and India is fully exploiting this new frontier, contributing to the advancement of earth science. He added that geosciences contribute significantly towards self-reliance and national priorities in New India.

"Science blended with creative innovation brings ‘ease of living' for the common man, and scientists should adopt out of the box thinking to address the problems of the common public. The expectations of society from scientists are ever growing and scientists should continuously be involved in providing the best science and technology solutions," he said. Referring to CSIR-NGRI's future research efforts designed for Deep-Earth and Near-Surface explorations, which are critical to understand the processes responsible for shaping the Earth's structure and dynamics, Singh expressed hope that with its charted vision and mission, CSIR-NGRI will play a pivotal role in the coming years to fulfil the aspirations of the nation.

On the occasion, Director of CSIR-NGRI, V.M. Tiwari, presented a resume of the activities of the institute, while CSIR Director General, Shekhar C. Mande, also addressed the gathering. (IANS/ MBI)

(Keywords: India, Open rock museum, thursday, rocks, earth, CSIR, union minister, nation, science)



As the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic.

By Rohit Vaid
The Centre might bestow infrastructure as well as industry status to new sectors to boost several pandemic hit industries in the upcoming Union Budget. Industry insiders said that several sectors and sub-industries such as hospitality, automobile retail, specific diganotics facilities and companies engaged in installation of EV charging stations amongst others might get the status.
The infra tag will enable these sectors to avail tax breaks, incentives and credit on lower interest rates. "Sectors which are in greenfield or which would need capex augmentation to help them overcome the pandemic can be looked from the lens of an infrastructure sector," said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader, Transport & Logistics, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory. "Also many of the already identified sectors need a sustained policy push which will help them get visibility both in terms of quantum and the time period of applicability."

Till now, activities associated with laying of power and telecom transmission and distribution lines, roads, highways, railways and construction of facilities such as hospitals, affordable housing, power generation units, water treatment plants, SEZs and certain type of hotels amongst others were given such status.

Besides, these sectors are a part of harmonised master list for infrastructure sub-sectors. However, in April 2021, exhibition-cum-convention centre was included in the list. "Given the focus around electric vehicle, and need for significant investment in charging stations, if the government adds the sector in infrastructure list, the benefits arising out of it will be significant," said Vishal Kotecha, Director, India Ratings and Research. "Infra tag on sectors increases ability to raise funds, access to dedicated funds and lenders, foreign capital, lower interest rates among others."

Electric car Given the focus on electric vehicles, the advantages of including the industry in the infrastructure list will be enormous. Free SVG

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A team is working to produce safest medicine for covid treatment.

A team led by chief scientist Ravi Shankar, is working on two combinations to provide the safest medication to coronavirus patients. "Experts say that a combination of antivirals with different mechanisms can be more effective to counter the viral pandemic. We are working on two combinations - Umifenovir with Molnupiravir (an antiviral) and Umifenovir with Niclosamide (anti-parasitic)," he said.

Also read: Antiviral Remdesivir Receives FDA

Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India and abroad. Though its usage showed reduced hospitalisation during clinical trials, its biggest drawback are the side-effects, he added.

"Now, we are trying to keep a low dosage of Molnupiravir in its combination with Umifenovir which may weed out the side-effects such as the risk of cartilage and muscle damage. If successful, it will make Umifenovir more effective in Covid-19 treatment," said the chief scientist. The other combination is Umifenovir with Niclosamide.

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MEA Jaishankar instructed Indian envoys to Canada and the US, "to urgently respond to the situation."

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday instructed Indian envoys to Canada and the US, Ajay Bisaria and Taranjit Singh Sandhu, "to urgently respond to the situation" where four Indian nationals including an infant have lost their lives on the US-Canada border. The minister said this in a public tweet. Neither of the two missions have responded on the microblogging site till the time of filing of this report.

In a statement Thursday without identifying the victims, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stated that "on the morning of January 19, 2022, RCMP officers with the Integrated Border Enforcement Team received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States".

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) RCMP officers received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States.Wikipedia

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