In the month of May, over 6000 personnel from the National Disaster Relief Force were deployed for rescue operations in Garwhal and Kumaon districts in Uttarakhand. A rather uncommon, unappreciated disaster had struck that region – forest fires. A recent study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is a significant step towards understanding the cause of devastating forest fires.
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To most of us, the Himalayas is a snow clad, dry and cold mountain range. But trained eyes see through this apparent homogeneity and interpret the observed variations to understand the local climate and its implications. As a testimony to this, scientists from the Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Him Parisar, Chandigarh and the Divecha Center for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have recently published a study on the variations in the 'whiteness of snow' across the Himalayas and its relationship with the mean winter air temperature and glacial stability.
In a major move to homegrown research, the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, (IISc) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) today signed an agreement on transferring a technology on Radio Frequency (RF) amplifiers based on Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology, developed at IISc. The signing ceremony took place at IISc where Prof. Anurag Kumar, Director, IISc and Dr. Ajit Kalghatghi, Director (R&D), BEL exchanged the agreement.
Bengaluru, apart from all its glory, is also loved for its pleasant weather and surprise light showers. But what makes up the raindrops in those beautiful showers? Are these raindrops formed when fresh river water evaporates and become clouds? Do salt water bodies like seas and oceans influence the constituents of the raindrops that fall in Bengaluru? A team from the Centre for Earth Sciences (CEaS) and Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru is exploring this relationship between rain and the role of ocean in driving it. Prof. Prosenjit Ghosh, a member of the study team and a Professor at the Centre for Earth Sciences, calls this research “the journey of moisture from ocean to the land".
On the outskirts of cities, large towers carrying electrical wires is a common sight in the recent years. These wires carry electricity at Ultra High Voltage (400 kV to 800 kV) and are not encapsulated with any insulation. Due to this, the air surrounding the wires gets ionised and starts conducting resulting in an electrical discharge accompanied by a hissing sound. Prof. Joy Thomas of the Department of Electrical Engineering, IISc, Bangalore, and his student Mr. Bharat Kumar, have now developed a mathematical model to estimate this low frequency audible noise on transmission lines carrying current at ultra high voltages.
One might think that driving a car in Bangalore can easily become a nightmare, thanks to the traffic! But a recent study by a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Management, Bangalore have found that 62% of young adults in Bangalore aspire to own a car as soon as they can afford one. The team, lead by Prof. Ashish Verma from the Department of Civil Engineering, studied the attitudinal factors that influence car ownership decisions among urban young adults in a developing country like India.
Five faculty members at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have been awarded the prestigious INSA Medal for Young Scientists for the year 2016, making it the institute with more awardees than any other. Dr. Prabeer Barpanda, Dr. Sai Siva Gorthi, Dr. Praveen Kumar, Dr. Anshu Pandey and Dr. Chandan Saha are the winners of the medal from IISc, Bangalore.
Our world is changing - too much and too fast. Species are moving into higher latitudes and altitudes, often carrying new infectious agents with them. As climate changes, vectors of infectious diseases such as mosquitoes, often find themselves in excellent breeding environmental conditions for extended periods of time. They thrive in these altered climatic conditions, and so do the diseases they carry. Many of these vectors infect wild populations of birds. Many aspects influence disease transmission in birds - evolutionary history of the species, whether it is a migratory or non-migratory species, whether it evolved in isolation (such as on an island) or the mainland (where it was exposed to many parasites), the presence and diversity of vectors (mosquitoes and other arthropods) in its habitat, the structure and composition of the forest it inhabits, and climatic variables that influence bird migration and vector breeding.
“Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” - so goes the famous quote from the highly acclaimed movie, the Dead Poet Society. While this may be the ultimate secret to a happy life, our academic institutions and mindsets often ignore Arts & Humanities.
In December 2015, Chennai witnessed massive floods killing about 400 people and displacing thousands. Now, researchers from Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research (ICWaR) at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in collaboration with researchers from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Madras and Bombay have assessed the flood related information in the public domain and data from secondary sources and carried out quick first level analyses to develop an understanding about possible reasons for the floods. They observed that the massive floods were a result of a combination of factors; high rainfall intensity, overflowing rivers, global climate drivers, unplanned urbanization, inadequate drainage system and upstream reservoir releases.