- Published by the
- Department of Atomic Energy
- Government of India
- Vol. 35/No. 11-12/May-June 2002
A 4-member delegation from Vietnam led by the Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment, Dr. Hoang Van Huay paid an official visit to India from April 16 to 19, 2002 at the invitation of Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed, which included detailed work plan of co-operation for the year 2002-2003. The discussions, inter-alia, included presentations by the Indian side on multipurpose research reactors, 220 MWe Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR) and regulatory infrastructure.
Vietnam and India have a bilateral agreement for co-operation in the utilization of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, which entered into force on March 25, 1986. The bilateral co-operation in the area of nuclear energy has particularly gained momentum since 1998 when India started receiving Vietnamese scientists on an annual basis for its prestigious one year training programme at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). This has helped Vietnam to build its human resource base in the nuclear field.
India has collaborated in setting up of the Vietnam India Nuclear Science Centre in Dalat city of Vietnam by providing equipment as grant and cost free expert services. The Centre was formally inaugurated on January 10, 2002 to mark the 30 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between the two countries. In the course of the visit, both sides agreed to explore the possibility of utilizing this Centre as a Regional Research Centre to conduct training programmes in nuclear science.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project: Construction Commences
The concrete was first poured on March 31, 2002 marking the commencement of the construction of the main plant of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project. A simple function was held on the occasion.
The dignitaries present included Mr. E. A. Reshetnikov, Deputy Minister for Atomic Energy, Russian Federation, Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India and former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Mr. V. V. Kozlov, Director General, Atomstroy export, Russian Federation and Mr. V. K. Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. Also present on the occasion were Dr. M. R. Srinivasan, former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and former Member Planning Commission, Dr. P. K. Iyengar, former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, public representatives, district and state authorities, representatives of local bodies and press and electronic media personnel.
The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project is being setup in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, in collaboration with the Russian Federation. It is one of the largest international project being implemented in the country. The Project, located about 25 kms from Kanyakumari along the Gulf of Manar, comprises two units, each having a capacity of 1000 MWe.
The first pour of concrete also signifies construction clearance from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, which is granted when the Board has reviewed the safety of the plant. The VVER type of reactors being setup at Kudankulam belong to the family of advanced design which has thoroughly been reviewed by various agencies and considered to be one of the safest reactor.
Initially, the Indian scope was limited to the construction of all the plant buildings and erection of equipment except the main steam supply system and the turbo-generator plant. However, now the entire construction, erection and commissioning of the plant is in the Indian scope under the technical supervision of the Russian experts. This will provide additional opportunities to the Indian industry and workforce to be associated with the Project.
The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), which is responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of nuclear power plants in India, took proactive measures to initiate main plant work contract. This helped to save on the mobilization time required by the contractors and start the construction work soon after the grant of construction clearance by the Regulatory Board. The infrastructure that is required at this stage to commence the project has already been setup. A meteorological laboratory, V-Sat building, concrete testing laboratory and the micro-meteorological tower have also been setup.
Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site
With a total installed capacity of 2720 MWe, now 14 nuclear power reactors are in operation in the country. Two units each of 540 MWe at Tarapur in Maharashtra, are at an advanced stage of construction. Construction of 4 units, each of 220 MWe has also commenced two each at (Kaiga-3&4) and Rawatbhatta (RAPP-5&6). A nuclear power capacity of 1300 MWe is planned to be commissioned during the X Plan period (2002-2007) and another 5915 MWe during the XI Plan period (2007-2012).
- Radiation: Perception of People and Reality
- Dr. K. S. Parthasarathy
- Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
Radiation is perhaps one of those subjects which have been largely misunderstood, not only by lay persons but sometimes even by highly educated persons. Often, the gap between the conviction and the reality is too wide to be believed. During the course of my professional career as radiation scientist, I came across very many incidents and faced situations which reveal the difference in the mythical perception of people and reality and how much difficult it is to convince people on the reality of radiation. Following offers a glimpse of some of these instances.
In 1986, a literary genius in Kerala wrote an article titled “The Superstitious” in a leading Malayalam weekly. He claimed that he had prolonged arguments with some nuclear scientists on the topic and believed that the scientists are going to keep nuclear waste in glass vessels for thousands of years. According to him, the scientists told him that the glass vessels would not break for 100 or 1000 years. I suspect that the “ nuclear scientists” with whom he had discussed the topic did not know the process of vitrification the process in which radioactive waste is added as ingredients to glass thereby making the radioactive material virtually non-leachable.
During the end of 1986, an eminent retired judge who is known for his strong antinuclear views repeated the same wrong nation about storing radioactive waste in glass vessels at a meeting held in Mumbai. I was present at the meeting. I responded to several of his criticisms including the one on storing “nuclear waste in glass vessels”. I am not sure whether he was convinced.
In 1991, I was interviewed for a popular TV programme “Eye Witness”. It was an entertaining experience. The interviewer asked me 40 questions in ten minutes! In the ensuing controversy, I stated the known fact that no genetic effects were found among the thousands of children born to the atomic bomb survivors at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The interviewer, however, unhesitatingly contested my statement as “inexplicable”, “Where did Dr. Parthasarathy form the impression that no genetic effects were found among the thousands of children of Hiroshima and Nagasaki” he countered. “The opposite is not just a fact, it is the truth” he asserted. I was not surprised at this scientifically unsupported conviction of the interviewer, as misgivings and myths about effects of radiations have been found to be rampant even amongst technologists, social scientists, physicists and other highly qualified experts. Following examples illustrate this.
While responding to an opinion survey organized by AERB, over 80% of the participants from reputed academic and research institutions in India (IITs at Mumbai, Kanpur, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Roorkee University, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai) stated that genetic effect is a major health effect seen in the children of survivors of atomic bombings contrary to the fact.
An opinion survey among 80 specialists attending a programme at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy showed that nearly, 30% of the scientists believed in the myth that double-headed monsters were born to the survivors of atomic bombings. Where do we go from here?
A few years ago an “environmentalist” claimed that he measured high radiation levels at several points in the capital city of one of the states in India. “Radiation levels at some points are higher than those at Chernobyl”. The levels at the hostel where the Members of the Legislative Assembly stay are “high” he claimed. He “measured” higher levels under overhead electric cables and also in the exhaust of cars. The print and electronic media picked up the story. I led a team of scientists to investigate this incident officially. We found that the Geiger-Mueller counter based instrument he used was defective. It was light sensitive! Once the counter was made light proof by covering the counter by two layers of opaque paper, the radiation levels became normal. Media picked up his version of the story earlier as the report had “the ingredients to stir raw emotions”. We published our version through a press release.
Leak in any nuclear facility makes good copy. A small amount of effluent containing caesium-137 leaked out of a waste immobilization plant located near Tarapur Atomic Power Station. The story kept many reporters and scientists busy for a few days. Scientists identified the leak in a routine survey. Hordes of media persons who landed there went to town with exaggerated stories. A popular English daily published the photograph of the skeletal remains of cattle side by side with the story of the “leak”. Cattle death was attributed to radioactivity. While on a visit to the site, I found a dead calf being brought by the villagers. I did not argue with them that radioactivity has nothing to do with the death of the calf. I arranged a post mortem by veterinary surgeons. They scooped up several kilograms of thin polythene sheets from its stomach. Swallowing of carelessly thrown polythene is the major cause for the maximum number of cattle deaths in many parts of India. The viscera of the dead animal at Tarapur did not contain any measurable amount of radioactivity. No newspapers published this part of the radioactive leak story.
Natural Sources of Radiation:
Natural sources consist of terrestrial radiation and cosmic rays. The largest dose of radiation to which populations is exposed continuously comes from contaminated air in their own homes. In some areas of United Kingdom persons in 5% of the homes are exposed to doses above 23.7 mSv/year. One percent of the humans receives doses above 55.8 mSv/year. The highest estimated dose was 320 mSv/year in Cornwall. This may be compared with the annual dose limit of 20 mSv prescribed by AERB for radiation workers.
According to one estimate, 9 million homes in USA have radon levels warranting remedial action. The action level for USA as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency is 150 Bq/M3. This corresponds to an effective dose equivalent of 15 mSv. (Different values are quoted by different agencies while converting concentration of radon to resulting dose values).
Cosmic rays or radiation coming from outer space contribute significant radiation dose to population. The magnitude of this contribution varies with altitude and latitude of the location. The altitude effect is because of the shielding due to atmosphere. Population inhabiting cities such as Bogota, Lhasa or Quito receive cosmic ray doses in excess of one mGy. The radiation dose due to cosmic rays at Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai is about 0.28 mGy per year. All these cities are at seal level. But cosmic ray dose at Delhi is 0.31 mGy and Bangalore is 0.44 mGy. The difference is because Delhi is at an altitude of 216 m above sea level and Bangalore is at height of 921 m above sea level.
The dose contribution from cosmic rays is not the same for different population groups. Especially if one is rich and would like to spend your vacation in hill stations! Also it is high if you travel by air more often. Every hour, one receives two microsievert in an aircraft flying at a height of 8 km.
Radioactivity in your Garden:
In any city, a 0.1 acre backyard garden will be the owner’s pride and the neighbour’s envy. The unsuspecting landlord is unlikely to know that the top one metre soil from his garden contains 11200 kg of potassium (1.28 kg of potassium-40 a radioactive isotope of potassium), 3.6 kg of thorium and one kg of uranium. In some soils these values may be twice as high. The numbers used in this analysis are illustrative. The presence of radioactive nuclides does not pose any significant risk.
Nobody who buys a house in Bangalore worry about the extra 341 microgray of radiation dose over that in Mumbai. Anyone who shifts his residence to the fence post of a nuclear power reactor is likely to receive every year 10 to 30 microgray more than what he received elsewhere. By shifting from Mumbai to Delhi he is going away from a radiation field of 480 microgray per year to a field of 700 microgray per year. The additional dose he receives is more than 10 times the extra dose he may receive near a nuclear power station.
Natural Background Radiation * in various cities:
Extracted form Natural Background Radiation and Population Dose Distribution in India (K.S.V. Nambi, V.N. Bapat et. al (1986)).
High Background Radiation areas in Kerala:
The high background radiation in parts of Kerala is caused by the presence of significant quantities of thorium in soil. Thorium occurs in patches. The important areas are Neendakara–Chavara in the State of Kerala and Manavalakurichi–Midalam in Tamil Nadu. The average value of population dose is 3.8 milligray.
Recently, the scientists from the Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre measured the background radiation levels in over 66,000 houses in Karuna-gappally taluk which are about 25 km long and an average width of 5 km. In certain locations the background radiation level is up to 70 mGy annually. Of the total population of 400,000 in that taluk 100,000 live in areas of high background radiation.
Radioactivity in Foodstuffs:
All food materials contain radioactivity.The amounts of K-40 in various food materials are given below:-
|Potassium-40 in foodstuffs|
A person who does not want any radioactivity in his food may not know that in his body about 15 million atoms of potassium-40 disintegrate every hour. Nearly, one-lakh cosmic ray neutrons and 4 lakhs secondary cosmic ray particles traverse his body every hour. In his lung 30,000 atoms of radon, polonium, bismuth and lead disintegrate every hour. Thus his body is irradiated with a shower of beta particles, alpha particles, neutrons and gamma rays continuously throughout his lifetime.
Radioactivity in Beer, Milk, Brazil Nuts:
Radioactivity present in milk is about 3 times that in beer. Nearly, 180 beta particles from potassium-40 are emitted in a cup of milk every minute. Milk is 200 times more radioactive than drinking water. (Water from rivers flowing over areas of high background radiation excluded).
Brazil nut, an exotic food eaten by some people regularly as a source of protein and fat is probably the most radioactive food. It is 14000 times more radioactive than common fruits. Brazil nut tree has a tendency to concentrate barium, along with barium, radium is also collected. Every gram of nut emits upto 30 alpha particles per minute. The British consume a few thousand tons every year. Some of them take up to 1.5 Becquerel per day 12 to 16 times higher than the majority of population. (In one Becquerel of a radio nuclide one atom disintegrate every sec.). (Scientists in Oak Ridge National Laboratory have measured an alpha activity level of 700 Bq/kg in Brazil nut).
Radioactivity in Cigarettes:
Tobacco contains polonium-210 and lead-210. Indian cigarettes emit two alpha particles per minute from every 10 cigarettes. With every cigarette smoked the radioactivity content in the smoker’s lung increases. Using the data on Indian tobacco, it is estimated that the lung dose to a smoker (40 cigarettes) a day will be nearly, 240 microgray per day. This dose rate is many times higher than that due to the natural background of radon and thoron decay products in air. The dose rate depends on the radioactive content of the tobacco, the puff size, frequency and the number of cigarettes smoked every day.
Radiological Safety Status:
Radiation sources are used widely in medicine, industry and agriculture. AERB enforces its directives on the dose limits to radiation workers in all the radiation installations in the country. Currently there is near total compliance with the directives in all nuclear and radiation installations.
The radiation dose to public from a nuclear power station cannot be measured easily because it is a small fraction of the natural background radiation at any place. The estimates of the dose indicate that the levels are a fraction of the limits prescribed by AERB. For instance, in the year 2000, the effective dose at the boundary of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station was 105.8 microsievert as against the AERB limit of 1000 microsievert.
Why Radiological Safety?
On March 15, 1999, a major study of about 1,25,000 radiation workers in the United Kingdom confirmed that the death rates from all causes and all forms of cancer are lower for radiation workers than for the general population. The National Radiological Board, UK, setup the database in 1976.
Three exemplary epidemiological studies published in the British Medical Journal involving nearly, 40,000 workers in the UK Atomic Energy Work Force, 14,000 British Nuclear Fuel Workers and 23,000 Atomic Weapons Research Workers show the wellknown phenomenon called the “healthy workers effect” indicating that these workers are healthier than the national average. But for certain cancers, there is slightly above average incidence rate but none of them is statistically significant. Studies done in USA also indicated similar results.
Fifty population groups of nearly, two million adults and children were followed up thus far to assess radiation risk. When the radiation doses were low, it was statistically very difficult to detect any excess cancers. In over 3,00,000 persons exposed to doses which are fifty to hundred times the dose limit to the workers, excess cancers were found. There is as yet no conclusive evidence that radiation doses at low levels are harmful to the population. No human studies have demonstrated genetic effects. That low level radiation may cause cancer and genetic effects in the exposed population is only a prudent assumption.
During 1980–1993, fifty eight papers have been published on a phenomenon called “adaptive response”. Radiation exposure to human cells is known to cause chromosome aberrations. It was found that if blood cells which had been initially exposed to a very low dose, were subsequently exposed to relatively high dose, nearly, one half as many chromosome breaks were induced. Of the 58 papers on adaptive response, 31 showed positive response in eight papers the results were negative, in 19 they were variable. Final conclusions are that adaptive response is a reproducible biological phenomenon and the effect can be observed when very well defined experimental conditions are fulfilled. The effect depends on the cell system and the individual donor of the cells. Genetic disposition seems to have great importance. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanism. Adaptive response has not been demonstrated for radiation induced cancer.
Radiation is probably the most widely studied physical agent known to us today. These studies have been exhaustive. In the entire period, new branches of science such as radiobiology, health physics, radiology, radiation epidemiology among others sprang up. Some of the best brains were attracted to the field. The dose limits to workers and members of the public recommended by a professional body such as the International Commission on Radiological Protection were widely accepted. The basic principle is to avoid all unnecessary radiation exposure. Unavoidable exposure is to be limited to as low a value as is reasonably achievable. Extensive studies of the exposed populations indicate that occupational doses within the dose limits are entirely acceptable.
Suitable doses are given in a controlled way to treat cancer patients. Obviously in this case the benefits of radiation exposure far outweigh the possible risks.
The Committee or Radiation Protection and Public Health of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development commissioned a group of international experts to review what is known and not known in the area of radiation health science and their impact on radiation protection. This group concluded that the current system and the lowering of the limits of the regulatory doses which it introduces does not need to be challenged in the coming decade, as the whole system is based on cautious hypothesis.
It is abundantly clear that radiation is a weak carcinogen. So long as the dose contribution from any source is as low as reasonably achievable, the benefit from radiation far outweighs the risk. The average dose to the members of the public from applications of radiation is generally less than the variation in the background radiation dose. Epidemiological studies on exposed populations are reassuring. There is enough scientific evidence to suggest that one need not lose sleep over imaginary or real effects of exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research:
Institutions of higher learning in a society are distinct indicators of its intellectual traditions. With strong traditions of learning, seats of higher education have played a decisive role in the history of India.
Around the time of independence, however, in a world increasingly shaped by advances in science and technology, basic research was being carried out in the country on a very modest scale and in somewhat unfavourable circumstances. Recognizing this, Homi Bhabha conceived of an institute devoted to basic science, one that would provide the atmosphere for fundamental research to flourish while contributing to the nascent project of nation building. He wanted to setup an institute for long term basic research in science and mathematics and for training young people of the highest intellectual calibre so that he could build up research schools comparable to the best in the world. Dr. Bhabha described his vision in the letter to J. R. D. Tata in 1943 and then, with the latter’s encouragement, made a formal proposal to the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The soundness of the proposal and the need for such a centre of excellence was immediately perceived by both industry and government and with the support from the Trust and from the Government of Bombay Province, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) started functioning on June 1, 1945, at the Cosmic Ray Research Unit on the campus of the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Dr. Bhabha was also encouraged by the University of Bombay which recognized the Institute for awarding master and doctoral degrees.
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Within six months of its founding, the Institute was shifted to Kenilworth, a bungalow on Pedder Road in Mumbai. Kenilworth, too, proved too small for the growing Institute and it was shifted again, in 1949, to the Old Yacht Club building (the former home of the Royal Bombay Yacht Club) near the Gateway of India. Between 1952 and 1962, the Institute’s present main campus was developed on fifteen acres of seafront land in Colaba, in South Mumbai. The Institute was almost fully functional on its new campus when the buildings were formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on January 15, 1962. The beautifully landscaped and well maintained grounds of the Institute bear witness to Homi Bhabha’s love for nature, while his fine aesthetic sense is reflected in the design of the Institute’s buildings and in the fine collection of contemporary Indian paintings and sculptures they house. At present, the Institute has other campuses and Field Stations at Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Ooty, Pachmarhi and Gauribidnur.
In realizing his vision of the Institute, Homi Bhabha took bold steps to attract talented people and then gave them freedom to pursue their research activities. In the beginning, research was carried out in the areas of cosmic rays and high energy physics, theoretical physics and mathematics. Promising young scholars were recruited and by specializing in various fields, they gradually expanded the range and depth of the Institute’s activities. This resulted in the creation of new groups devoted to nuclear physics, solid state physics, astronomy and astrophysics, computer science and geophysics and later, chemical physics, molecular biology, radio astronomy and science education.
Earlier, the Institute was largely funded by the grants from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for specific research projects. Around the time of the move to the Old Yacht Club premises, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) of the Government of India was setup in 1948 under the chairmanship of Dr. Homi J Bhabha and it began to carry out cooperative projects with the Institute. In 1955-56, the Government of India signed a tripartite agreement with the Government of Bombay Province and the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. This agreement envisaged extensive financial support from the Government of India and it now provides most of the Institute’s funding through the Department of Atomic Energy. The Institute’s Council of Management consists of nominees of the three parties to the Agreement (the Government of Maharashtra taking the place of the Government of Bombay Province) and the Director of the Institute. After the tragic loss of Dr. Bhabha in 1966, Professor M. G. K. Menon became Director of the Institute. He was succeeded, in 1975, by Professor B. V. Sreekantan, who, in turn, was succeeded by Professor Virendra Singh in 1987. Professor S. S. Jha took over the Directorship of the Institute in 1997.
School of Natural Sciences:
School of Mathematics:
Research in mathematics was started by Professors D. D. Kosambi and F. W. Levi in the very earliest days of the Institute. It was, however, only after Professor K. Chandrasekharan, then a thirty year old mathematician, joined the Institute in 1949, that a programme was initiated to develop a full-fledged School of Mathematics, one, which would engage in research at the highest level. Talented students were selected and then trained for research in the areas of contemporary interest in mathematics. Leading mathematicians from around the world, experts in certain chosen fields, were invited to lecture at the School in order to expose younger members of the School to the major trends in international mathematical research. The notes of these lectures, usually prepared by a young member of the School, have since acquired classic status and their reprints are still in demand. By the mid 1950's this programme began to yield rich dividends, several outstanding young members of the School soon acquired international reputations in their areas of specialization. The recognition of the School as a major centre for mathematics became further evident when the International Mathematical Union instituted an International Colloquium at TIFR in 1956. The Colloquium, held every fourth year since has become a major international event where important results and discoveries are presented in an area of research in which the School has made significant contributions.
At the Mumbai campus, the emphasis is in the area of pure mathematics while applied mathematics, in particular the study of Partial Differential Equations, is pursued at the Bangalore campus. The School comprises about fifty people, who among them, represent a formidable body of expertise and achievement in several branches of mathematics.
In the seventies, at the initiative of the late K. G. Ramanathan, a programme in applicable mathematics was added to the activities of the School. This was done to exploit obvious synergies, as a joint venture with the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore.
The work of the School of Mathematics has led to a variety of important new theorems, concepts, techniques and conjectures that have enriched the discipline. Recently, an international review committee placed the School of Mathematics among the top ten Centres of mathematical research in the world.
In addition to its research activities, the School and its members are actively engaged in advanced training in mathematics through summer schools for university teachers and young students and through interaction with universities.
In the second half of the 1950's bright students from the Institute were sent to major centres of theoretical physics in the world for training under acknowledged experts. After their return, some of them laid the foundations of the Department of Theoretical Physics, home to an internationally competitive group of theoreticians. Members of the department work to formulate a consistent mathematical picture of the fundamental laws of nature. They analyze existing experiments, suggest what experimenters should look for in the future and predict new results. The areas of research include High Energy Physics, String Theory and Mathematical Physics, the Foundations of Quantum Theory and Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics.
The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, at Mumbai, carries out studies of cosmic sources in the X-ray and infrared wavebands using instruments aboard satellites and high altitude balloons. The Indian X-ray Astronomy Experiment on IRS-P3 Satellite has been a major success in the study of different X-ray sources and has also identified candidate black holes. Star forming regions of space have been investigated using the TIFR 100 cm balloon borne infrared telescope. The theoretical astrophysicists of the department have made substantial contributions to the study of the sun, stars and celestial objects beyond our galaxy.
Experimental research at the Institute is now spread over many areas, but it had modest beginnings. Experiments were done on top of mountains, on the ground and deep inside gold mines, Ooty (Udhagamandalam), Kolar Gold Fields and Pachmarhi were developed as field stations. The National Balloon Facility at Hyderabad has become a major centre for scientific ballooning that exports balloons to various agencies in technologically advanced countries. The first experiments deep underground were performed in collaboration with Japanese scientists. This tradition, inherent in the international nature of science, continues as the Department of High Energy Physics actively participates in large collaborative experiments, at CERN and Fermilab, involving scientists from various countries.
Research in Nuclear Physics started in the late fifties with a small group, which was to become the Department of Nuclear and Atomic Physics of TIFR. The study of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions was earlier carried out with light particle beams. A heavy-ion accelerator, the Pelletron, installed on the campus over a decade ago has enabled investigations of the properties of nuclear matter at high excitation energies. A superconducting linear accelerator is being developed to boost the energies of particles available from the Pelletron. The first experimental activity in the country in the area of molecular physics was initiated in 1980 and this has grown substantially enough for the Department to be internationally recognized as one of the leading centres for the studies of charged molecules. Research in the atomic and molecular sciences has been given a major thrust in the last few years with ultrashort (femtosecond) pulse lasers with very high peak powers being used to explosively ionize matter and study its behaviour under extreme conditions.
One of the Institute’s unique features is the presence of many disciplines under one roof. Dr. Bhabha initiated research in new and promising fields and in the early fifties a group began to study the magnetic properties of molecules, atoms and nuclei. In time, this developed into the Department of Chemical Sciences. The major thrust of work in the Department has been to understand the structure and functioning of biological molecules. The Institute is a leader in the investigation of biomolecules using state-of-the-art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques. The National Facility for High Field NMR at the Institute is used extensively by the pharmaceutical industry and by other laboratories in the country.
The study of the magnetic properties of solids also led to the formation of the Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science. The current focus of research, apart from magnetism, is in the areas of superconductivity, semi-conductor physics, thin films and nanomaterials. The discovery of borocarbides, a new type of high temperature superconductor has had a major impact internationally. The Institute has a special place in the semi-conductor research in the country. Novel optoelectronic devices based on semi-conductors have been designed and laser techniques have been used to fabricate high quality superconducting thin films. Study of nanomaterials has resulted in discovery of new systems and development of new techniques.
Molecular Biology began in the early sixties Starting from the path-breaking discovery of the genetic regulation mechanism of the senses, the group has grown and its activities have diversified. In the Department of Biological Sciences signal transduction mechanisms in plants and animals have emerged as a focal point of research in recent years. Developmental neurobiology, cellular and systems neuroscience and molecular biology of malarial parasite are some of the major areas of investigation. Last year saw a new programme on neurobiology of stress being initiated.
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope at Narayangaon, near Pune, Maharashtra
National Centre for Radio Astrophysics:
The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) of TIFR formally came into existence in 1994 on the Pune University campus but the radio astronomy group of TIFR started as early as 1963. The first experiment setup was an array of dishes at Kalyan to study the Sun at 600 MHz. In a few years, the group moved to Ootacamund in the Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu, to build the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT). Around the middle of the eighties the group proposed an ambitious new facility the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. The GMRT consists of thirty antennas, each of forty five metres in diameter, spread over a circle of about 20 kilometres in radius. The receivers at each antenna can operate in four frequency bands near 1200, 610, 325, 235 and 150 Megahertz. The first observations with a test system were taken in 1997 and the full instrument came into use in late 1998. Some forty users from India and abroad have been allotted observing time in the first four months of 2002. The range of problems addressed include the study of galaxies, of pulsars, of the gas in between stars in galaxies and between galaxies in the universe as a whole. Apart from the major activities relating to the GMRT, research at NCRA is pursued in areas such as radio galaxies, the sun, the interstellar medium, pulsars, etc.
National Centre for Biological Sciences:
National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) of TIFR was setup with a mandate to carry out basic research covering a wide spectrum of biological sciences, training students and postdoctoral fellows in the process. The centre started functioning in temporary laboratory space in the Indian Institute of Science, but is now situated in its own 20-acre campus within the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore.
NCBS carries out research in the broad areas of biochemistry, biophysics & bioinformatics, cellular organization and signaling, genetics and development and neurobiology. NCBS also participates in a major initiative on physics in biology, emphasising the interface between biology and the physical sciences.
Academic links have been established with a number of research institutions and the faculty have individual collaborations with scientists at a number of other institutions in India and elsewhere.
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education:
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai
The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE) of TIFR is devoted to curriculum development, to the promotion of excellence in science and mathematics education and to creating mass interest in science. There is a special emphasis on the problems of the under privileged. The Centre has contributed significantly to textbook writing at National and State levels. It carries out extensive fieldwork in rural, semi-urban and urban areas and has a strong collaborative programme with several national networks. Over the years HBSCE has also become a highly successful training centre for young students from India, chosen by the Government of India to participate in International Olympiads in physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology.
School of Technology and Computer Science:
In recognition of the importance of research in emerging technologies and computer science and to provide scope for major expansion, the Institute’s activities in these areas have been reorganized into the newly created School of Technology and Computer Science.
The Institute pioneered computing in India by designing the nation’s first computer, TIFRAC. Subsequently, it worked jointly with the Atomic Energy Establishment in the indigenous development of computer systems (hardware and software) that led to the establishment of a computer division at ECIL, Hyderabad that designed and manufactured a wide range of medium range computers. Another pioneering contribution in the mid 60’s was the development of a whole area referred to as Syntax Directed Picture Processing that arose from the interpretation of Bubble Chamber photographs.
Sensing the technological needs of the country, including defense applications, efforts were concentrated on building systems, these efforts led to the state-of-art mobile digital switching systems for defense applications, message passing systems, networking of computers, VLSI design etc. Many of these efforts lead not only to turnkey systems and new indigenous computer architectures but also resulted in the establishment of new centres such as National Centre for Software Technology (NCST), Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) etc. It is of interest to note that the work done here has played a pivotal role in the setting up of the Department of electronics, Government of India, Semi-conductor Complex etc. Also with the closure of foreign computer companies such as IBM, the seeding of Computer Maintenance Corporation (CMC) was done at TIFR.
With the understanding that the role of theory and experiments in computer Science (or the Sciences of the Artificial in general) are different as compared to their roles in natural sciences, the research focus in later years evolved to the understanding of the limits of tractability, quantum computing, algorithms, programming languages, foundations and tools required for the development of robust reliable software for embedded applications in real time controllers for aircraft, tactical control, telepresence applications and optimization methods. Seminal contributions have been made in these areas.
As an effort towards the design of quality software, a centre for software design and validation has been setup jointly with BARC and IIT-Bombay, Mumbai. This has been operational for the past one year.
Excellent infrastructure and high-quality support staff play a crucial role in making TIFR one of the best research institutes in the world. The computerized Library stocks more than 1,00,000 volumes including books, journals and microfilms. It subscribes to some 700 national and international research journals. The Institute has a large Central Workshop with specialised instrumentation facilities for high-precision computer controlled design and fabrication of scientific devices. The in-house Low Temperature Facility produces liquid helium and nitrogen for use in experiments. The Technical Services Group and the Administration facilitate the smooth running of the Institute.
14 million volt Pelletron accelerator at TIFR
TIFR Computer Center is responsible for providing computing and networking facilities. TIFR local area network consists of over 1200 workstations and severs interconnected by a high performance switched network. A 2 Mbps radio packet link to VSNL provides full internet access to computer users. The central computing facility consists of some general purpose machines and some high-end computing machines. TIFR also uses computers for processing of administrative and accounting data. TIFR Library runs a server providing online access to library catalogs and to electronically subscribed journals.
A variety of research facilities function at TIFR, some of them are listed below:-
- 14 MV Pelletron Tandem Accelerator and 400 kV Accelerator Facility for nuclear and atomic physics.
- High Field (500 MHz and 600 MHz) FT-NMR National Facility for chemical and biophysical studies.
- Balloon Launching Facility at Hyderabad for space astronomy experiments.
- Femtosecond, picosecond and nanosecond Laser Systems for chemical dynamics, nonlinear optics, molecular and cluster physics and solid state electronics experiments.
- X-ray Diffractometer, Scanning Electron Microscope, Scanning Tunneling Microscope and EDAX for materials science and solid state research activities.
- SQUID Magnetometer for measurements in magnetic field strengths up to 5.5 Tesla and at temperatures down to 1.7 K for condensed matter physics.
- Dilution Refrigerators for condensed matter physics in mK range.
- Confocal Microscopy Facility.
- Multiphoton Microscopy for biological imaging.
- MALDI Mass Spectrometry.
Activities, Achievements and Contribution to the Social and Professional Domain:
In addition to its achievements in basic science the Institute has, from its earliest days, played an important role in building the nation’s scientific and technical base. When the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) started functioning in 1948, it turned to TIFR to solve its immediate manpower problems. At one stage, 46 members of the Institute’s scientific staff were deputed to various divisions of the Atomic Energy Establishment at Trombay, now known as BARC. As Dr. Bhabha noted, “it is no exaggeration to say that the Institute was the cradle of our Atomic Energy programme”. The electronics group of TIFR was the nucleus from which the electronics division of BARC grew. This led to the establishment of the Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) at Hyderabad. Work on linear accelerators led to the development of microwave components and devices and contributed substantially to the design and supply of critical components and subsystems required by national agencies. This group has now been formed into a separate organization, the Society for Applied Microwave Engineering and Electronics Research (SAMEER).
The development of the LINAC booster for the existing Pelletron Accelerator has been an indigenous effort. The cryogenic aspects of its design and fabrication have resulted in a spin-off for the cryogenic industry in the country, with many engineering problems being solved for the first time.
The Institute boasts a world class Graduate Studies Programme. Students at the masters level or equivalent, apply to become Research Scholars of the Institute and are subjected to a rigorous selection procedure. Selected students, usually about twenty each year, embark on a training programme, initially consisting of lecture courses, reading assignments and projects. Subsequently, they begin working on an original research project under the guidance of an Institute member, leading to a doctorate. After the award of the Ph.D., students usually find places at other leading Centres of research, both in India and abroad. Around the world the Institute’s students have earned a reputation for through grounding and research skills. Some students return to join the Institute and eventually become part of the Faculty, this has been a major source of talent for the Institute. Given this, it is no surprise that the training of young scientists is considered an integral part of the academic activity at TIFR.
Every summer, the Institute runs a six week long Visiting Students Research Programme providing an opportunity for M.Sc. students to participate in research activities at the Institute. Students who perform exceptionally well in this programme are selected to join the Institute as Research Scholars on completion of their degree.
In keeping with the international nature of science the Institute regularly has visitors from institutions around the world. Some visit for extended periods and often enter into scientific collaborations with Institute members. Regular conferences, seminars and colloquia at the Institute provide opportunities for interaction and for the dissemination of scientific knowledge on both international and national scales, helping to grow science in India. Some of the Institute’s impact is indirect. A number of the Institute’s scientists have moved elsewhere in the country to lead or establish a host of departments, laboratories and institutes. Others serve on national policy making bodies, helping to formulate and direct the Government’s efforts to support science.
Strides Towards the Future:
As we enter a new century and a new millennium, while we are proud of our past achievements, we are also thinking about our future. Apart from finding sufficient financial support to carry on our task, we are aware of the fact that in years to come the non-availability of highly motivated and properly trained young talents, who would like to take up scientific research as their preferred career, may pose a serious problem for our research programmes. Already, it is becoming difficult for academic and research institutions like ours to find such talent in sufficient numbers. Although it will not be possible for us to compete with other sectors in terms of providing high remuneration, we must devise new ways to attract highly motivated persons to our fold. We have to convince them that our knowledge-based studies and research of the highest order are not only extremely exciting, they are also valuable in the long run.
Research in theoretical physics in the coming decade will be closely related to a precision measurements in the areas of observational astrophysics and high energy physics which have significant implications for theoretical models of the universe and the inter-disciplinary area of complexity which involves an interplay between physics and biology. Its basic goal is to understand the origin of complex organization and order found in biological systems (and even in such seemingly unrelated areas as the behaviour of stock markets!). This involves study of systems far away from equilibrium and this is already emerging as a thrust area of research in Physics.
The success of satellite based x-ray observation programme has encouraged the astronomers to propose a full-fledged dedicated Indian Multiwavelength Astronomy Satellite, ASTROSAT. The design and development and fabrication of three principal instruments of the satellite will be carried out at TIFR. The ASTROSAT proposal is a national collaboration involving TIFR, ISAC, IIA, RRI, PRL and other institutions.
Feasibility studies are underway for the Indian Neutrino Observatory. The experience gained at the high energy physics international collaborations has prompted the Indian scientists to propose a state-of-the-art neutrino observatory. This project will see a large pooling of scientific and engineering resources of the country.
Using heavy-ion beams available from the Pelletron accelerator and LINAC, nuclear physicists will investigate new facets of nuclear structure and reaction dynamics. Use of very highly charged ion beams will enable the atomic physicists to probe a variety of atomic, molecular and cluster collision processes. Molecular and cluster dynamics in intense optical fields will be a major extension, with applications to tabletop accelerators and high-harmonic generators.
Future directions in research activities in semi-conductors are related to developing new materials (nitride-based III-V materials and organic semi-conductors) and quantum structures for optoelectronic applications. New spectroscopic techniques including ultrafast optical spectroscopy and terahertz spectroscopy are being developed for probing semi-conductors, with a particular focus on low dimensional structures such as nanocomposites and quantum dots.
Serotonin (bright spots in the image) has been visualized at high resolution in live neuronal cells for the first time, using a two photon microscope built in house with special ultraviolet capabilities. Serotonin is the key neurotransmitter involved in memory, learning and mood disorders and the ability to image it opens up the possibility of performing single cell neuropharmacology.
The past decade has brought about a revolution in biological sciences on several fronts. Firstly, there has been a “Grand Unification” of the diversity of living systems being studied in biology. The Institute plans to expand its activities in the study of different model organisms, asking questions that will be linked on this unified platform. The second major leap in biological research comes from the field of Genomics, under which complete gene sequencing will provide powerful tools for understanding human, animal and plant functions at the genetic level. Apart from this, TIFR also plans to expand its newly initiated activities in the critical areas of stress and brain research.
The immediate future target at NCRA is to achieve smooth operation as an international facility and carry out programmes which will maximize scientific returns. Many of these involve studies of the same object at many wavelengths, an increasing trend in contemporary astronomy. Significant upgrades to the capabilities of the telescope have been projected, viz. increase of the range of frequencies which can be observed and the processing power. In the longer term future, it is expected that the expertise and momentum built up by the group would also be channeled into large future international projects such as the Square Kilometre Array.
The NCBS has grown to strength of 14 active groups over a period of under a decade and is still growing. Apart from strengthening the areas that have already been seeded the emphasis over the next decade will be to initiate new areas of research particularly in the plant sciences where our location on the campus of the university of agricultural sciences could be a distinct advantage.
HBCSE plans to carry out numerous projects in science education at various levels apart from being a major centre for Olympiad activity and spotting young scientific talent in the country.
In the sixth decade of its existence, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research continues to be one of the most prestigious institutes in India for scientific research and remains dedicated to its founding goals, contribution to science and to nation building.
ECIT breaks new ground:
ECIT, the information technology education wing of ECIL has achieved a record turnover of 15 crores for the year 2001-2002 This is a record achievement in the backdrop of the whole IT industry reeling under recession. ECIL has also achieved a record turnover of over 600 crores during the year 2001-2002.
This record turnover and growth of ECIT is attributable to:-
- Offering a diverse and large number of IT education courses both in refined of long and short terms.
- More focus and emphasis on corporate and Government training.
- Bagging orders for imparting IT education in schools in the states of Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi.
- Offering innovative and unique domain expertise base courses viz courses on VLSI and Embedded Software.
- Career oriented IT courses in collaboration with Universities particularly University of Mysore.
- Offering career oriented courses such as Bio-informatics technology and Geographical information systems.
- Knowledge Management Team focussing on continuous content and courseware upgradation.
Advanced Certificate and Diploma Courses in VLSI:
In the area of high-end courses, ECIT offers Advanced Certificate and Diploma Course in VLSI. This course prepares a student as expert in designing of circuit and chip. Today, this course is being offered in all the 11 centers of ECIT across the country.
ECIT has also setup a very advanced design centre at Mumbai. The courseis backed by ECIL’s expertise in designing chips.
In the area of Embedded Software, ECIL has done extensive work in designing very advanced gadgets particularly for defence applications. Embedded Software is used in almost all electronic gadgets, which makes an otherwise mechanical gadget into an intelligent device.The University of Mysore has adopted the Embedded Software course designed by ECIL, which is being offered as a joint programme. The course covers very advanced topics like operating system internals andadvanced C, C++ and VC++.
ECIL has further plans to setup a very advanced development centre in the area of VLSI Design and Embedded Software.
Tie up with the University of Mysore.
The tie up with the university of Mysore is another unique event of the year. The University of Mysore is a "five star' university and rated as the best in the academic circles. Under the tie up of University of Mysore 6 courses are being offered, viz.
- Diploma in Software Development.
- Diploma in Embedded Software.
- Diploma in Bioinformatics.
- Diploma in Multimedia.
- Diploma in Geographical Information Systems.
- Diploma in Architectural Drafting.
- Courses in IT-enabled services.
ECIT is diversifying into providing courses and services in the area of IT enabled services. Based on the expertise acquired by the Knowledge Management Team, ECIT is planning to make CBT CDs with rich content and quality delivery system.
IT-Education in the Schools:
ECIT has developed a core competence in the area of school education and is now capable of implementing IT education in schools of any state.
ECIT has implemented IT education in the schools of Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi. In HP, IT education programme in 221 schools with about 35,000 students is being operated successfully. Under this scheme the students from IX to XII class are covered. The syllabus covers subjects beginning with computer fundamentals to C. C++ and database management. This is serving a model for the whole nation for providing IT education at a very affordable price, in the government schools under self-financing scheme It may be mentioned here that schemes of providing IT education in most of the states have either been a failure or non-starters, but this model being implemented by ECIT has become a success story. In Delhi, IT education programme in 35 schools is being operated by ECIT. In both these areas the entry has been fresh and the projects have been implemented successfully.
ECIT launched EC Varsity providing free IT education to the persons who logged onto its website on 1 January 2002, collecting Rs 250 for registration.
To promote self-employment among the youth and housewives, ECIT has launched a scheme of Home Franchisee under EC Varsity. Under this scheme, individuals having a small outfit of cyber cafe and possessing 2 or 3 computers at home can register students for the EC Varsity courses and thus earning some revenue. EC Varsity enables all those IT aspirants living in the remote areas of the country to become IT professionals. It facilitates the students to learn the IT skills at their own pace and convenience.
Any time IT-24 hour IT Centres:
Another unique introduction has been the 24-hour IT Centres. This is the first of its kind in the country. The concept is providing anytime IT. Presently batches are attending in this 24-hour center at Sagarview, Hyderabad. To meet the demand similar centers are being planned in all the metros.
Target for the coming year:
With these strategies and expansion plans in place, ECIT plans to achieve a turnover of Rs 40 crores during year 2002-03 with a ambitious aim of reaching a target of 100 crores by 2004-05.
For their outstanding contributions in the field of nuclear science and engineering and medicine Government of India have bestowed the prestigious Padmashri awards for the year 2002, upon four members of the DAE Family. The honoured are: Dr. Chaitanyamoy Ganguly, Chairman & Chief Executive, Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC), Hyderabad, Shri H. S. Kamath, Chairman and Chief Executive, Heavy Water Board (HWB), Dr. Suresh H. Advani, Professor and Chief, Department of Medical Oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai and Shri V. K. Sharma, Senior Executive Director, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Mumbai.
Dr. Chaitanyamoy Ganguly has played a key role in setting up the Plutonium Fuels Laboratory at Trombay, for the development of plutonium rich mixed uranium plutonium monocarbide fuel for Fast Breeder Test Reactor at Kalpakkam, aluminium-uranium-233 plate fuel for Purnima-III and Kamini research reactors and Sol-gel microsphere pelletization process for fabrication of various types of fuel pellets. Under his leadership NFC has attained upward growth in all areas.
Shri. H. S. Kamath, right from the inception of the heavy water production programme has been involved in the various facets of setting up, commissioning and operation of the heavy water plants. He has played a major role in setting up the largest heavy water plant in the country at Manuguru, Andhra Pradesh. The plant uses indigenously developed hydrogen sulphide water exchange process for heavy water production. Under his leadership, the performance of all the heavy plants of HWB has shown marked improvement both in terms of production and of specific energy consumption.
Shri. Kamath is in the forefront in developing an alternate technology for de-linking the heavy water plants based on ammonia hydrogen exchange process, from the fertilizer plants.
Dr. Suresh H. Advani has rendered an yeoman’s service to the nation in the field of oncology. A recognized teacher of Bombay University for M.Sc. and Ph.D. (Applied Biology) and DM in Medical Oncology, he is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences a Fellow of the Indian College of Physician and a Member of National Academy of Medical Sciences. Through editorial inputs, his erudition is enriching some national and international journals such as Indian Journal of Hematology & Blood Transfusion, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology and Asian Cancer published from Hong Kong.
Shri V. K. Sharma is known for his contribution to the design of Primary Heat Transport system of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station-2 (RAPS-2) and design of Primary Pressure Control and Purification of RAPS and Madras Atomic Power Station reactors. While on deputation to AECL, Canada, he contributed to the design of Primary and Moderator System of Pickering and Bruce Generating Stations. He also led the design and thermo-hydraulic analysis of the process systems relating to 500 MWe pressurized heavy water reactor.
As Project Director, Kaiga Atomic Power Station, he showed excellent leadership qualities which led to the Kaiga Station becoming operational in December 1999.
He has been responsible for the development of M60 grade concrete and construction methodology which resulted in saving of nearly, 12 months in construction period of nuclear power stations.
CMD, NPCIL Honoured:
The Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya (University of Technology of Madhya Pradesh) awarded honoris causa Doctorate of Science to Padmashri V. K. Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. His excellency Dr. Bhai Mahavir, Governor of Madhya Pradesh and Chancellor of the University awarded the Doctorate to Shri Chaturvedi at the first Convocation of the University held on April 20, 2002 at Bhopal. The Doctorate has been awarded to him in recognition of his valuable contributions in the field of nuclear science and technology.
Sponsored by the DAE’s Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences, BARC will be organising this symposium during September 18-20, 2002. The symposium is aimed at providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and expertise on various aspects of zirconium and its alloys as related to their use in the nuclear as well as other industries.
The three day symposium will cover diverse aspects of zirconium metallurgy which will include the following topics:-
- Processing minerals to metal.
- Alloy development and fabrication.
- Quality assurance.
- Deformation, texture and microstructure property correlation.
- Corrosion, oxidation and pellet-clad interaction.
- Hydrogen related problems.
- In-reactor performance.
- In-service inspection.
- Post-irradiation examination.
- Non-nuclear applications.
Further details can be had from:-
Dr. P. K. De,
Head, Materials Science Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay, Mumbai – 400 085, India.
Tel: Office-5593812, Res.: 5557610
Fax: + 91-22-550 5151
India Beyond 2002:
DAE participated in “India Beyond 2002”, an exhibition organized by M/s. Global Tech Foundation at the World Trade Centre, Mumbai during March 21-23, 2002.
The DAE pavilion displayed an overview of its activities covering its three stage nuclear power programme, the front and the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, production of radioisotopes and their applications in various fields, such as, healthcare, agriculture, food processing, industry, hydrology etc. Also displayed was the information on the development and deployment of advanced technologies like lasers, accelerators, super computers and others.
Interactive modules, dynamic panels, models and samples of seeds and radiation processed food items provided detailed information relating to DAE’s activities, products and services. Multimedia presentations and video shows were also arranged.
Visitors to the pavilion included academicians, students, representative of corporate sector, industrialists and the general public. They took keen interest in the exhibits. Many expressed that the pavilion was an eye opener which cleared their misgivings and fears about atomic energy.
In a parallel seminar, two lectures entitled “Nuclear Power Programme of India Present status and future scenario” and “Atomic Energy and Societal Development in India” were delivered. About 50 eminent people from various government departments and private organizations attended this lectures. During the valedictory function of the event, an “Excellence Award” was conferred upon the DAE.