1. National Cadet Corps
National Cadet Corps (NCC) has observed the 73rd anniversary of its raising on 28th November.
In August 2020, the Ministry of Defence approved the proposal to Expand the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in border and coastal districts.
In March 2021, the Kerala High Court ordered the Central government to amend the National Cadet Corps Act (NCC Act) 1948 which excludes transgender persons from joining the National Cadet Corps (NCC).
- The NCC was formed in 1948 and has its roots in British-era uniformed youth entities like University Corps or University Officer Training Corps.
- It was formed on the recommendation of H. N. Kunzru Committee-1946.
- Its history can be traced back to the ‘University Corps’, which was created under the Indian Defence Act 1917 with an objective to make up for personnel shortage in the Indian Army.
- The NCC also expanded later on to include the Girls Division in 1949 to provide equal opportunities to women willing to serve the country’s defenses.
- Currently it has a strength of around 14 lakh cadets from Army, Navy and Air Force wings.
- NCC is the largest uniformed youth organisation in the world.
- It enrolls cadets at high school and college level and also awards certificates on completion of various phases.
- The NCC cadets receive basic military training at various levels and also have academic curriculum basics related to Armed forces and their functioning.
- The NCC falls under the purview of the Ministry of Defence and is headed by a Director-General of three-star military rank.
DBT-National Brain Research Centre (DBT-NBRC) has recently developed project SWADESH, a unique brain initiative focusing on certified neuroimaging, neurochemical, neuropsychological data, and analytics that are made accessible to researchers for managing brain disorders.
SWADESH is the first large-scale multimodal neuroimaging database designed specifically for the Indian population with big-data architecture and analytics for various disease categories under one platform.
- SWADESH was launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology on 19th November 2021.
- To strengthen Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research and help the scientific community come up with promising treatments.
- SWADESH proposes a big-data architecture that manages and analyzes six modules, namely neurodegenerative [AD, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Parkinson’s disease (PD)], neuropsychiatric (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), neurodevelopmental (autism and epilepsy), COVID-19-related disorders, other disorders, and healthy subjects.
- SWADESH is supported by a JAVA-based workflow environment and Python. Backed by a dedicated storage system, it provides quality control, data analysis reports, and data backups.
- Presently, SWADESH has data of 500 AD and MCI patients and 70 PD patients. It also includes data of 600 healthy old individuals and 800 healthy young individuals in the control group.
- GAURI system uses adaptive pattern recognition and learning schemes for predictive single or differential diagnosis, designed with MRI modalities and neuropsychological batteries.
- NINS-STAT is a high-performance state-of-the-art automated statistical test selection and execution software package with high applicability in clinical research.
- KALPANA is an integrative package for the visualization, preprocessing, and quantitation of MRS data.
- PRATEEK analyzes multimodal neuroimaging data that minimizes the need for expertise in handling different neuroimaging tools for processing and analyzing multimodal data.
- Stimulus Timing Integrated Module (STIM) includes a versatile paradigm design system, presentation system, and real-time participant response-collection system for functional MRI-related purposes, mapping brain activity non-invasively in normal healthy condition, and clinical evaluation of various brain disorders.
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3. BRICS Science & Technology Ministers Meeting
Recently, India’s Minister for Science & Technology chaired the 9th BRICS Science & Technology Ministers meeting.
Earlier, the Prime Minister chaired the annual summit of the BRICS which was held virtually. 2021 is an important landmark year in BRICS Cooperation as the grouping completed 15 years.
- The member countries should work towards a rightful place for BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in the Global Innovation Index.
- It can be achieved through further strengthening the cooperation in the field of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
- BRICS Ranking in Global Innovation Index, 2021: India (46), China (12), Russia (45), Brazil (57), and South Africa (61).
- Cooperation: BRICS countries must come together and innovate cost-effective, affordable, accessible, sustainable, and scalable scientific solutions, as they face many similar and unique challenges.
BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-24)
- BRICS member countries have agreed to a Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)-led BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-24) proposed by India during the 12th meeting of the grouping’s science & technology steering committee.
- It will facilitate sharing of experiences of each other’s innovation ecosystem and networking of innovators and entrepreneurs.
- In accordance with the plan, BRICS Ministers and their representatives endorsed the BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Calendar of Activities 2020-2021.
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