Diaspora scientists gauge India’s pandemic ‘new normal’

A session discussing perspectives of new faculty who have relocated to India saw high participation at the virtual event.

As the global economy took a hit with the coronavirus pandemic, and science job opportunities seemed up in the air, more than 400 diaspora Indian scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs got together in early September 2020 to make sense of what this ‘new normal’ might look like.  Read more

Why mental health discourse must transcend the pandemic

Debanjan Banerjee

Being a psychiatrist, I have been overwhelmed with the explosion of data, discussion and debate on mental health even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO in March 2020. Surprisingly, a virus has suddenly helped peak interest in an aspect of public health that has long been overshadowed in our societies by stigma and neglect.  Read more

Curating during a contagion

A COVID-19 themed exhibition at Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata.

In the middle of a pandemic, imagine planning a science exhibition that explains the contagion to people. What should it feature — test-kits, ventilators, surgical masks and PPE suits? Does the museum have enough supplies to create exhibits? Can the exhibits be sanitised and safely displayed for the audience? Will enough people turn up?  Read more

Nature India 2019 annual volume is out

Cover design: Marian Karam

Critics of India’s space programme have demanded justification in the past for sending rockets into space while the urgent issues of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, and poor health cry for attention and funding. India has maintained that her space programme runs on less than a tenth of NASA’s budget, making it one of the most economical in the world and producing development-based benefits for the country’s environment, weather predictions, education, agriculture, and health.  Read more

COVID-19 fuels India’s biotech entrepreneurship

COVID-19 fuels India's biotech entrepreneurship

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently called for self-reliance in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 crisis. Being a biologist by training, the question that came to my mind immediately was: are India’s biologists and biotechnologists self-reliant in their laboratories across the country?  Read more

Lockdown unlocking technology for India’s farmers

A farmer holding up a sample for the plant doctors to see.

It’s a Friday morning and Lakshmi, a farmer who grows paddy, maize and finger millet in central Tamil Nadu, is peering into her phone camera adjusting the webinar settings. From behind her, the top of her toddler’s head pops up on the screen as she navigates her way around the virtual ‘plant clinic’. “I can’t hear you sir, please unmute yourself,” Laxmi says several times in Tamil before the expert on the other side heeds.  Read more