Today is the National Science Day which is celebrated every year on this day to commemorate findings of Raman Effects by our great physicist Shri Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman on 28 Feb 1928.He was honoured with Nobel Prize in 1932 and later, after independence Bharat Ratan in 1954. I was looking for some science programmes online and suddenly came across a video of Indigo flight cabin crew taking selfie with Mr K. Sivan, Chairman Indian Space Research Organisation ,after Chandrayan 2 Mission.This video went viral,was a pleasant surprise for me. it compelled  me to think, can non TV, non cricket personality in India become celebrity? I feel, recognising Mr  K. Sivan  by cabin crew and gathering around him for  selfie  and cheering  by passengers was a welcome change towards unsung Heroes of India.

  Chandrayaan 2 Mission was an important mission at global level and millions of people throughout the world   glued to their TVs,  laptops and mobile phones to see India’s first moon landing mission post midnight intervening  September 6 / 7 this year. Though  the mission was not a complete success but it made Mr K.Sivan  hero of billions of people globally and household name in India. Even our enemies evoked unprecedented interest in the event.

 This event  had made Mr K.Sivan a role model for aspiring youth of our nation , which i feel is a step in right direction and a need of the hour.We must create role models in form of scientists and technologists through a well thought out  national strategy and make  young generation aware about its  impact  on  future of the nation. Unfortunately we are far behind to do so. Because of TRP hungry commercial chanels and unbridled media policy, lot of  Babas, Sadhus, Moulvis and ambitious  people with selfish motives serve  half baked , unverified and distorted facts to the public through 24*7 TV channels and other social media plateforms making them popular  over  night. This is  polarising our Secular nation on religious lines and radicalising thought process of AAM ADMI.

We are a nation of hyper-religiosity . We believe in zodiacs and luck factor more than our hard work. We donate tons of gold to the temples every year but see dieying people on our next door slums without any remorse. Number of temples, mosques, churches and  other religious places are manifold in comparison to all schools and hospitals put together. Our secular country is slowly being polarized on religious lines. We are moving away from our original religious scriptures and interpretations are being done to suit  ambitions of power hungry and selfish people. Grip of such  radical elements in all religious teachings  and functioning is ever tightening.

Have you ever thought how much superstitions, black magic,witch hunting and orthodoxical practices costing us in terms of precious lives of the people every day. Our ignorant people in absence of spirit of inquiry and questioning are so gullible and become toys in the hands of quacks. Another point to be considered seriously is national security. Our country is surrounded by enemies and social media is a potent weapon in  their hands. We know social media is being used by enemy in continuous psychological war against india. Population without scientific attitude and reasoning mind becomes easy target for them to carry out  their agenda of creating tensions amongst various sections of society through spreading rumours and false informations. This leads to lowering  national morale by inciting riots , fueling anti-national sentiments, creating anarchy like situations and ultimately weakening the country.

 In  such a scenario, it is our national duty to arrest this trend and  counter spread of this environment through creating scientific attitude in our youth and general public through well thought out National education policy and action plan.

We are living in an era of Science and Technology. science and technology has become part and parcel of a daily lives.Ringing of alarm bell early in the morning to switching off good night light are  best example to say so. All the  worldly luxuries  that we are enjoying today are resultant of Science and Technology.

I am not aware of any Nation on earth that has progressed and  prospired  without utilisation of expertise of strong cadre  of scientists  and technologists.

Last 50 years has seen unimaginable  development in Science and technology which had not happened in 5000 years preceding that.The future is going to see even more intense use of this scientific knowledge and unthinkable wonders. If we are serious about our future, we have to ever increase and expand platform for science and technology by aligning the attitude of the youth in this incredibly scientific knowledge centric era.

 Question arises, what is scientific temper  and how do we develop  it? What seems obvious  to me is making our  scientists and technologists CELEBRITIES  and developing country’s techno-social attitude through our education system. 

Scientific temper or attitude  is basically a spirit of inquiry wherein  rigorous pursuit of knowledge is being done  by reasoning, analysis, objectivity and precision. This should become essential and  indispensable   element for good policy making

It is  not that we have not done anything so far.We are  right on the track but need boosting it up further with  missionary zeal  as sweeping changes are taking place all around us. Options are, either we keep pace with the changing scientific environment or we will be swept away.i am very sure we have all wherewithal to choose first option and go ahead with it strongly

 Our  first Prime Minister, Mr Jawaharlal Nehru was true supporter of scientific knowledge.He had written in his book, Discovery Of India that do not believe in anything unless you have scientific evidences for the same.Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee further invigourated it  by adding Jay vigyan in Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Jai Jawan -Jai Kisan slogan.Former UGC chairman, professor Yashpal,,a scientist educationist has also contributed immensely in  advancing scientific attitude through policy making and his program SAMAJ KA CHASHMA 

When it comes to rights we Indians are well aware about it.. HAME HAMARA HAQ CHAHIYE, but what about duties, no body cares.One must realise that rights consists in performance of our  duties. As per article 51 A(h )  of our constitution, it is fundamental duty of every citizen to develop scientific temper, Humanism, spirit of Inquiry  and Reforms.The term scientific temper is uniquely Indian as it was formulated by our first Prime Minister, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru.

Abiding by this fundamental duty, we become more patriotic  as it is in the national interest that we embark upon spreading and  encouraging  scientific attitude in all walks of life. It will also  help us in long run to have a large pool of scientists and technocrats to  use  our depleting  resources judiciously and keep  the nation on  fast track  development to  ensure better future for teeming Millions.


Launched PSLVC51

ISRO first mission in this year. #Amazonia1 satellite of Brazil successfully injected into the intended orbit: ISRO #Amazonia1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited, a Govt of India company under Dept of space.

Amazonia1 successfully separated from fourth stage of #PSLVC51 and injected into orbit.

Fourth stage performance normal.

Third stage is normal and completed now is at fourth stage is normal.

#PSLVC51 lifts off successfully from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota

The launch is fired as tentatively scheduled at 10.24 am on February 28, subject to weather conditions.

The countdown began at 08.54 am.

Countdown for the launch of PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 mission commenced on Saturday from Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

PSLV-C51 rocket, which is the 53rd mission of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, will launch Amazonia-1 of Brazil as primary satellite and 18 co-passenger satellites from Sriharikota, about 100 km from Chennai, Bengaluru-headquartered Indian Space Research Organisation said in a statement.

The launch is tentatively scheduled at 10.24 am on February 28, subject to weather conditions. PSLV-C51/Amazonia-1 is the first dedicated commercial mission of NewSpace India Limited, Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm.

NSIL is undertaking this mission under a commercial arrangement with Seattle, United States-based satellite rideshare and mission management provider, Spaceflight Inc. “This satellite would further strengthen the existing structure by providing remote sensing data to users for monitoring deforestation in the Amazon region and analysis of diversified agriculture across the Brazilian territory”, the statement said.

The 18 co-passenger satellites are — four from Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (three UNITYsats from consortium of three Indian academic institutes and one Satish Dhawan Sat from Space Kidz India) and 14 from NSIL.


Countering Disinformation

Countering disinformation to defend human rights

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 26.2.21

The fight against disinformation is important also from the perspective of the realisation of human rights. Disinformation is a challenging issue, because it has not been defined in international law, and there is not a straightforward way to distinguish misleading information from correct information. The Finnish Coalition Chair will pay special attention to the introduction of normative instruments for internet stakeholders.

The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) is a partnership of governments that are committed to the promotion of an open and safe internet. In February, a public online event was organised to discuss the FOC Joint Statement on the spread of disinformation. The event was part of Finland’s Chairship of the FOC in 2021.

At the end of 2020, the FOC issued a Joint Statement on Spread of Disinformation OnlineOpens in a new tab, prepared under the leadership of Finland and the UK. Its aim is to counter the use of disinformation for undermining human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

Statements adopted by the 32 member states of the FOC are important normative instruments for developing global internet practices. During its Chairship, Finland will call special attention to the implementation and monitoring of FOC statements.

”The application of the Joint Statement on disinformation is one of the Finnish Chairship’s priorities,” says Ambassador for Human Rights Rauno Merisaari, who was responsible for the preparation of the statement.

Fact-based information is important for well-functioning democracies

The phenomenon of disinformation has been around for a long time, but what is new is how rapidly it is now proliferating. At the event in February, Director General of Communications at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Elina Ravantti raised her concern about attacks against journalists and human rights defenders as well as about the spread of disinformation supported by authoritarian regimes, which undermines trust in democratic institutions and independent media.

Director for Security and Online Harms Sarah Connolly from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the UK, emphasised the significance of factual information for well-functioning democracies. She said that the Cabinet Office has established a Rapid Response Unit, which concentrates on countering disinformation. The unit has worked with online platforms to remove false coronavirus information online, which violates their rules.

Motunrayo Joel, who represents a Nigerian non-profit organisation, Africa Check, said that disinformation about COVID-19 has spread in Nigeria, causing much harm. She said that the organisation is tackling disinformation by publishing research-based information, conducting fact-checking, and investing in the development of young people’s fact-checking skills. 

Finland has strengths that can be used to counter disinformation

From the perspective countering disinformation, Finland’s strength lies in high public trust in institutions and the media.  Teaching media literacy is an essential aspect in the development of critical thinking. The Government’s role is important.

Both companies and governments are needed to counter disinformation

 An important approach in the fight against disinformation is cooperation between different actors. Emilar Gandhi, who represents Facebook, said that both companies and governments are needed, neither can respond to the challenge on their own.

One example of Finnish cooperation is Combating coronavirus together by sharing reliable information, a project launched by the Prime Minister’s Office and Media Pool, where social media influencers shared reliable information on coronavirus with population groups that may otherwise not be reached. 

What should the FOC do now that the statement has been published? Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression, urged member governments to look at the important messages conveyed in the statement and compare them with their own actions to counter disinformation. She also highlighted the importance of disseminating the FOC’s message to wider global audiences


Quake 5.5 M Peru

Prelim M5.5 Earthquake Near the coast of southern Peru Feb-28 02:16 UTC, updates

M5.5 Earthquake – Near the coast of southern Peru Preliminary Report Magnitude5.5

Date-Time28 Feb 2021 02:16:03 UTC27 Feb 2021 21:16:03 near epicenter

27 Feb 2021 18:16:03 standard time in your timezone

Location17.568S, 72.583W

Depth9 km



Auckland on Lockdown


Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, will begin a week-long lockdown from early Sunday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Saturday, following the detection of a new COVID-19 case.

From Sunday, two million people will only be allowed to leave their home for essential shopping and essential work, Jacinda Ardernsaid, and all public venues will remain closed.

The patient developed symptoms on Tuesday and is regarded as having been potentially infectious since Sunday, officials said. The person had visited several public venues during that period.

“Based on this, we are in the unfortunate but necessary position to protect Aucklanders again,” Ms Ardern said, announcing the lockdown.


Private Innoculation

A list of all these private hospitals has been uploaded on the website of the Ministry of Health and the National Health Authority.

Private Hospitals can charge up to 250 rupees per dose for the COVID-19 vaccine during the Vaccination drive.

Private hospitals can charge up to Rs 250 per dose of COVID-19 vaccine, official sources said on Saturday as India prepares to vaccinate people aged above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities from March 1.

The Health Ministry has said, the States has been given the freedom to use all private hospitals empanelled under State Government Health Insurance Schemes as COVID Vaccination Centres. The states can also use health facilities of all PSUs and all government health facilities as COVID Vaccination Centres.  

Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan interacted with Health Secretaries and Mission Directors of National Health Mission of States and Union Territories on the vaccination of age-appropriate groups through a video conference.

During the meeting, states were explained about the three methods of registration which are Advance Self-Registration, Onsite Registration and Facilitated Cohort Registration. States have been explained that the private hospitals functioning as COVID Vaccination Centres can charge subject to a ceiling of 250 rupees per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism.

User Names and Passwords to be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of CoWIN 2.0, were also discussed during the meeting. In addition, the states were explained about mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure seamless flow of vaccines.

During the meeting, the simplified system of certifying people with 20 co-morbidities within the 45-59 years age group was also explained to the states.

The simplified one-page certificate will be signed by any Registered Medical Practitioner. The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN 2.0 by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the COVID Vaccination Centres.

The government has also released the list containing 20 specified Comorbidities that will prioritized the individuals for the COVID-19 vaccination.

They include Heart failure with hospital admission in past one year, Post-Cardiac transplant, Kidney and Liver transplant recipient or on wait-list, Leukaemia, Lymphoma, HIV infection, Diabetes and Hypertension on treatment and severe respiratory disease with hospitalization in the last two years. 

COVID-19 vaccine will be given free of cost at government hospitals, while people will need to pay for it at private facilities.

To ramp up the vaccination capacity manifold, a significantly large number of private facilities are being involved, the ministry said.

“Rs 250 will be the ceiling — Rs 150 cost of vaccine plus Rs 100 service charge. This arrangement will remain effective till further orders,” a source said.

“Around 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals empanelled under CGHS and other private hospitals empanelled under State Governments Health Insurance Schemes can participate as COVID vaccination centres (CVCs),” it said.

“Health Departments of state governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in this drive as CVCs,” the ministry said.


India China to Establish Hotline

India, China review status of disengagement, agree to establish hotline for better communication.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar discussed with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and also issues related to India-China relations. They had a phone conversation yesterday which lasted 75 minutes.

Dr Jaishankar referred to the meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister in September last year in Moscow where Indian side had expressed its concern on provocative behavior and unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter status quo. He noted that the bilateral relations have been impacted severely over last year. The Minister said that Boundary Question may take time to resolve but disturbance of peace and tranquility including by violence, will inevitably have a damaging impact on the relationship.

He said that during their meeting in Moscow last year, both Ministers had agreed that the situation in the border areas was not in the interest of either side and decided that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage and ease tensions. The Minister noted that the two sides had maintained continuous communication since then through both the diplomatic and military channels. This had led to progress as both sides had successfully disengaged in the Pangong Tso Lake area earlier this month.

Noting the completion of disengagement in Pangong Lake area, the Minister emphasized that both sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. He said that once disengagement is completed at all friction points, then the two sides could also look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards restoration of peace and tranquility.

The Chinese Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction at the progress made so far. It was an important step forward for restoration of peace and tranquility in border areas. It was also necessary to sincerely implement the common understanding reached at various levels. Foreign Minister Wang Yi also noted that the Indian side had proposed ‘three mutuals’ – mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests – as the approach to the relationship. He also agreed on the importance of taking the long view of India China ties.

Dr Jaishankar highlighted that both sides had always agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas was essential basis for development of bilateral relations. A prolongation of the existing situation was not in the interest of either side. He said it was necessary to disengage at all friction points in order to contemplate de-escalation of forces in this sector.  The two Ministers agreed to remain in touch and establish a hotline.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement today said that the recent disengagement of front-line Chinese and Indian forces in the Pangong Lake area has clearly eased the situation on the ground.   The statement over the telephonic conversation between External Affairs Minister Dr.S. Jaishankar and his Chinese Counterpart Wang Yi also said that both sides have agreed to establish a hotline for better communication and to exchange opinions in a timely manner.

The statement said, it is necessary to uphold the strategic consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, firmly follow the path of mutual trust and cooperation between neighboring powers. It added that border disputes are an objective reality and should be given sufficient attention and taken seriously. However, border issues are not the whole of China-India relations and should be placed in an appropriate position in bilateral relations.

Both the leaders spoke over phone yesterday for about  75 minutes. This was the first formal contact between both the foreign ministers since they met on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Moscow on September 10 last year, and it came days after India and China completed first phase of troops disengagement around Pangong Lake. Both the sides have completed 10th round of Corps Commander level talks on 20th February but no breakthrough has yet been announced on the disengagement in other areas as agreed in the Moscow agreement.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his telephonic conversation with India’s counterpart has said that India and China should jointly consolidate the existing outcomes, maintain the momentum of consultation and improve the border control mechanism. They should also advance the border negotiation process, continue to accumulate and enhance mutual trust, further ease the situation and achieve peace and tranquility in the border area.


Moody revised India GDP 13.7%

Global rating agency Moody’s today upped India’s growth projection for the financial year 2021-22 to 13.7 per cent from 10.8 per cent estimated earlier Moody’s today upped India’s growth projection for the financial year 2021-22 to 13.7 per cent from 10.8 per cent estimated earlier. 

In its ‘Global Macro Outlook 2021-22, Moody’s said, India’s Economy has rebounded quickly from one of the world’s longest and most stringent lockdowns, which also came with the steepest fall in GDP in the second quarter of 2020. 

For the current fiscal year, the agency expects the Indian economy to contract by 7 per cent, lower than its previous estimate of 10.6 per cent contraction. The revised numbers came on the back of normalisation of activity and growing confidence in the market with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

Global rating agency #Moody’s has upped India’s growth projection for the financial year 2021-22 to 13.7% from 10.8% estimated earlier

The revised numbers came on the back of normalisation of activity and growing confidence in the market with the rollout of #COVID19vaccines

Moody’s said the government’s fiscal deficit for FY21 and FY22 should be lower than projected. This is on the back of stronger revenue generation in the fourth quarter of FY21 and higher nominal GDP growth in FY22


Finland Project Rescue Services

New project aims to reform national guidance system for rescue services

Ministry of the Interior 26.2.2021 12.12PRESS RELEASE 25/2021

Rescuers in the tunnel.

The Ministry of the Interior has set up a project to reform the administration of rescue services. The project will prepare for the implementation of the rescue services reform by developing the national guidance system to meet the requirements of the reform. The goal is to transfer the responsibility for organising rescue services from municipalities to wellbeing services counties in a controlled manner.

The project has been set up to prepare the organisation of the national management and guidance system for rescue services. In addition, it will support regional preparation and provide a basis for work related to developing the operations and funding of the wellbeing services counties.

The objective is to create a guidance system that is effective enough to ensure the smooth functioning of the national and regional rescue services system once the rescue services reform enters into force. 

Project set up to prepare for implementation of rescue services reform.

Currently, the responsibility for organising rescue services lies with municipalities and joint municipal authorities. After the reform, the new wellbeing services counties and the City of Helsinki would be responsible for organising both rescue services and health and social services in their respective areas. Rescue services would, however, continue to be a separate sector working in parallel with healthcare and social welfare.

The reform would make it possible to provide more harmonised and thus more equal rescue services in all parts of the country. Rescue services could also better prepare for unforeseen threats, exceptional major accidents, emergencies and natural disasters.

The government proposal for the reform is currently being discussed by Parliament. In line with the proposal, the welfare services counties and the City of Helsinki would be responsible for organising rescue services in their respective areas from the beginning of 2023.


No International Commercial Flights till 31 March

Government extends ban on commercial international flights till March 31

Aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)   has extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flight services till March 31st, according to a circular issued yesterday.

Scheduled international flight operations were suspended from March 23rd last year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. However, international scheduled flights may be allowed on select routes by the competent authority on a case-to-case basis, said the circular.

The restriction will not apply to cargo flights and flights specifically approved by DGCA, it added. Amid the suspension, special international flights have been allowed under the Vande Bharat Mission since May last year and under bilateral “air bubble” arrangements with select countries since July.

India has formed air bubble pacts with several countries including the US, the UK, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan and France, among others. Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international flights can be operated by their airlines between their territories.