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Josy Joseph’s Feast of Vultures

An award-winning journalist draws up on the stories of anonymous poor and famous Indians to weave together the challenges facing the nation.
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Mahasweta : Life And Legacy

Mahasweta Devi's ideas and writing will continue to be the guiding principle for generations of writers, activists, academics and journalists.
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IIT Kharagpur develops software to detect diabetic retinopathy

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur has developed software that will be beneficial in detecting diabetic retinopathy, a disease that can lead to loss of eyesight, in a patient in the early stages, reports PTI.

According to IIT-K's Assistant Professor (Medical Science & Technology) Chandan Chakraborty, the disease, whose root cause is diabetes, can be detected as well as categorised by just scanning the retina and taking multiple frames of it. Read more...

Electrifying India with rice husk

The use of biomass gasification technology to convert rice husk into combustible gases and drive a generator to produce clean electricity at affordable rates, has been attracting considerable interest in the energy sector, reports Business Standard.

This technology is being promoted by Husk Power Systems, founded in 2007 by a US-trained engineering graduate Gyanesh Pandey and his friend Ratnesh Yadav

According to Pandey, for more than 125,000 villages in India, access to electricity is a distant dream. Further, more than 25,000 villages have been declared economically impossible to reach via conventional methods. Read more...

ISRO’s ocean study spacecraft will be first launch this year

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has slated its first launch for 2013 on February 14 with the ocean study spacecraft SARAL, reports The Hindu. This will be the first of the 8 to 10 missions, including satellites and launch vehicles, which ISRO has planned this year.

Along with the 450-kg Indo-French SARAL, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will put into orbit six small experimental satellites built by western universities for a fee. SARAL would be one of the very few such ocean-centric satellites and a vital cog in studying sea surface heights and other aspects, an ISRO official said. Read more...

After cancer, India starts stroke registry

After its successful operation of cancer registries for the last 20 years, the government has taken the plunge to start a stroke registry at Bangalore — National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research, reports The Hindu.

According to Dr. A. Nanda Kumar, the Director of the Centre, registries for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes would be started in the future. Chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are growing at an alarming rate in India, and the number of people who either die or suffer from morbidity is quite high. Despite knowing that a number of people suffer from stroke, precise information on prevalence and incidence is lacking. The registry has been started with the sole intent of providing this vital informationRead more....

Scientists develop device for image compression

Using a new class of artificial materials, scientists at Duke University have designed a sensor that compresses images far more efficiently than existing technologies like JPEG. The materials, called metamaterials, have exotic qualities that bend light, X-rays and radio waves in unusual ways, says a report in The New York Times.

These materials can be expected to be commercially available within two years for a wide array of applications, including radio communications, security and automotive safety.Read more...

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