India and Maternal Mortality

Context: The country’s maternal mortality ratio had come down from 167 per 100,000 live births in 2011-13 to 130 in 2014-16. India has made sustained progress in reducing maternal mortality, it missed the millennium development goal (MDG) of reducing MMR by 75% from 437 in 1990 to 109 in 2015. Initiatives under Read More …

A test and a chance: why SCO matters

Context: Both India and Pakistan were admitted to the grouping at its summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, last June. From then to now, world politics has undergone several tectonic shifts, old assumptions have been challenged, and new variables have entered the mix. *The United States has pulled out of the nuclear Read More …

97% of parties are unrecognised, they rarely file donation reports

The majority of India’s political parties (2,044 out of 2,099) are unrecognised. An unrecognised party is either a newly registered one, or one that has not won enough votes in Assembly or general elections to be classified as a state party, or one that has never contested an election. It Read More …

Gene mapping of 3,000 bacteria to help fight deadly superbugs

Context: Scientists seeking new ways to fight drug-resistant superbugs have mapped the genomes of more than 3,000 bacteria, including samples of a bug taken from Alexander Fleming’s nose and a dysentery-causing strain from a First World War soldier. The DNA of deadly strains of plague, dysentery and cholera were also Read More …

Now, polyethylene plastic with antibacterial properties

Context: Silver nanoparticles embedded on clay have now been successfully dispersed inside plastic to create new antimicrobial films, filaments and can also be moulded into other plastic items. Silver nanoparticle-embedded plastics were found to have greater than 99% antibacterial activity against common bacterial pathogens like Escherchia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Silver nanoparticles of Read More …

New route to clean wastewater

Context: Self-propelling nanomotors, just 200 nanometre in size, could be used for wastewater management in chemical industries. Developed by researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, and The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, the nanomotor can be used for transporting catalysts needed in harsh chemical environments and Read More …

Milky Way disc much bigger than thought: study

It would take us 200,000 years to cross the disc of our galaxy if we could travel at the speed of light, say scientists who found that the disc of the Milky Way is bigger than thought. Spiral galaxies, such as the Milky Way, have discs which are really thin, Read More …

NASA rover data shows Mars had organic compounds, methane

Context: Curiosity rover has detected a bonanza of organic compounds on the surface of Mars and seasonal fluctuations of atmospheric methane. The findings released, mark some of the strongest evidence ever that Earth’s neighbour may have harbored life. Gale crater: NASA scientists emphasized there could be nonbiological explanations for both Read More …

The best from the science journals

First footprints? Published in Science Advances South China is now officially the place where an animal laid the first footprint. A new fossil containing track imprints, believed to have been made by a pair-legged creature like a millipede or a worm with legs has been discovered here. The fossil is Read More …

Severe uranium contamination in India’s groundwater: Study

Context: Scientists have found widespread uranium contamination in groundwater from aquifers across 16 states in India, much above the WHO provisional standard for the country. More about the Study: The researchers from Duke University in the US unveiled new data showing that the occurrence in uranium in Indian groundwater — Read More …