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How are Indian cities coping with high levels of travel demand?

Indian cities have had a high growth in population due to urbanisation which has lead to a sudden growth in travel demand.
Researchers from IISc studied on travel and mobility patterns in five cities -- Delhi, Bangalore, Indore, Guwahati and Lucknow -- by collecting data about different aspects of travel: demographics, economy, transport demand and supply as well as transport policy and transport costs.

LAB STORY: Tiny proteins in the disease fighting arsenal

Consider the two life threatening diseases that made news recently: the Ebola outbreak last year and swine flu, which has been recurring since 2009. Strong evidence suggests that Ebola is transmitted by fruit bats, and swine flu by pigs. Both are “zoonotic” diseases – they are transmitted to humans from animals.
Could these epidemics have been prevented, if we had studied animal diseases more? We will never know. Prof Utpal Tatu, a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry, IISc is of the view that more research is needed into animal diseases. He operates under the idea of “One Health”: human and animal diseases cannot be viewed as separate entities in a complex world like ours.

Can the water drainage system of North Bangalore withstand flooding?

The water drainage system in North Bangalore – roughly the area between IISc and Kodigehalli – may become “unreliable”, with rainwater runoffs exceeding the capacity of the water drainage network, finds a recent study from IISc. This can obviously cause urban flooding, among other problems.
The study further shows that there is a chance of flooding if the probability of storm event exceeds the estimated limit of 50% (or lower) in any year.

IISc faculty felicitated by the Institute for excellence

Every year, the Indian Institute of Science felicitates a few faculty members for their excellence in research in their respective fields. Since the award is by the institute community for its own faculty members, it holds a special place in the hearts of its faculty members.
This year, EIGHT faculty members have been felicitated with different awards.

The right energy mix: a lot from coal, a bit from the renewables

To keep energy affordable, governments can take only a bit from the renewable, a study has found. The research carried out by the IISc researchers, has further found that policy interventions like Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are essential to keep the operational cost of energy minimum.

Scientists build system to avoid leakages in water distribution system

Researchers from IISc have made a prototype of a monitoring system that can help identify water losses and raise alarms.
A lot of resources and money is spent in purifying and cleaning naturally available water to make it potable. Loss of purified water is a waste of these resources and a financial loss to the water distribution authorities. In addition, leakage points tend to deteriorate the pipelines and also pose a risk of exposing water to bacteria and other impurities. Thus it is extremely important to identify water losses so that corrective action can be taken. “It has been observed that a large amount of water loss happens close to the source of purified water, even before the distribution network” says study author Vignesh Kudva.

An interview with Dr. Aninda Sinha: Swarnajayanti Fellowship Awardee – 2013-14

Dr. Aninda Sinha was recently awarded the Swarnajayanti Fellowship, instituted by the Department of Science and Technology to celebrate the 50th year of Indian Independence. The awards were distributed to 11 scientists all over India for their contributions and potential for ground-breaking advancements in science in the year 2013-14. The award recognizes Dr. Sinha’s contributions towards pushing the frontiers of quantum field theory and general relativity.

New insights into effect of above-cloud aerosols on warming over Bay of Bengal

Aerosols such as smoke or dust suspended in the lower layers of the atmosphere can either heat up the planet by trapping solar radiation, or cool it by reflecting sunlight back into space. Previous research has shown, for example, that absorption of radiation by aerosols can significantly heat up the atmosphere over the Bay of Bengal region. This region greatly influences the Indian summer monsoon; any change in the effect of aerosols can have a critical impact on local climate.

Scan books into braille: the people behind the idea

When you combine unbridled passion for Indic languages and the drive to give back to the nation that nurtures, we get researchers like Shiva Kumar H R. His work titled ‘Gift of New Abilities’ won him the ‘Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2015’. Shiva Kumar and Prof. A G Ramakrishnan have developed high accuracy Optical Character Recognizers (OCR) for Kannada and Tamil languages that convert scanned pages of a printed document/book into e-text.