When Pokhran I and II test was conducted?



India’s nuclear programme kicked off just a year after the Independence in 1948 with the formation of Indian Atomic Energy Commission with Homi Jehangir Bhabha as the chairman. On May 18, 1974, India conducted its first test, a plutonium implosion device in Rajasthan’s Pokhran desert, which the government described as a ‘peaceful nuclear explosion’. Pokhran 1 was a fission nuclear explosive test.



Pokhran –II, the second nuclear weapon test, came on May 11, 1988. Scientists conducted a series of nuclear tests of advanced weapons, including a thermonuclear device, at Pokhran. It consisted of one fusion bomb and four fission bombs. The tests achieved their main objective of giving India the capability to build weapons with yields up to 200 kilotons. On May 13, 1998, then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announced India’s new status as the world’s sixth nuclear weapons armed power.



 



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When was Mars Orbiter mission launched?



India began its space odyssey with Aryabhatta, the first unmanned satellite built by India and launched by the Soviet Union in 1975. Over the years, it has scripted a host of records with the development of powerful rockets and satellites. And India enjoys a unique status in space technology after the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission. On September 24, 2014, India became the first country to successfully place a spacecraft in Mars orbit in its first attempt. The Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) was launched on November 5, 2013, by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The mission cost 4.5 billion rupees, which, by Western standards, is staggeringly cheap.



Initially, the mission was to last only six months, but ISRO extended it further and the orbiter continues to send data about Mars’ geology and atmosphere. Several women scientists played significant roles in Mars Orbiter Mission. They include Ritu Karidhal and Nandini Harinath, Deputy Operations Director, Mars Orbiter Mission and Anuradha TK, Geosat Programme Director, ISRO Satellite Centre.



 



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How was PARAM supercomputer discovered?



When India built its own supercomputer, PARAM, it took the world by surprise, especially the U.S. In the 1980s, India was buying supercomputers from the U.S. but it had to fight constant battles with it over license. The then George H.W. Bush administration in the U.S. denied to export Cray supercomputer to India fearing we could use it to make nuclear weapons and missiles. This forced India to develop its own supercomputer. It set up the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), with Vijay Bhatkar as its director, in Pune, in March 1988, to develop a HPC system to meet high-speed computational needs in solving scientific and other developmental problems. Within three years, Indian scientists succeeded in creating a supercomputer, PARAM 8000, with a capability of one giga floating point operations a second (1 Gflops). This was 28 times more powerful than the Cray supercomputers, India was supposed to import from the U.S. Apart from taking over the home market, PARAM attracted 14 other buyers. It set the platform for a whole series of parallel computers, called the PARAM series. The success in supercomputers catapulted India to new heights in Information and Communication Technology, space science, missile development, weather forecasting, pharmaceutical research and much more.



 



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How was Crescograph discovered?



Crescograph is a highly sensitive instrument used in the detection of minute responses by living organisms to external stimuli. It was invented by Indian plant physiologist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose in the early 20th century. Crescograph is capable of magnifying the motion of plant tissues to about 10,000 times of their actual size, Using this, J.C. Bose found many similarities between plants and other living organisms. He demonstrated that plants are also sensitive to heat, cold, light, noise and various other external stimuli. He also invented several other instruments which would help in detecting even the slightest of change in plants. Crescograph helped make a striking discovery such as quivering in injured plants, which Bose interpreted as a power of ‘feeling’ in plants.



Also a physicist, Bose pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics and extensively researched the properties of radio waves. A crater on the moon has been named in his honour.



 



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How was Raman Effect discovered?



On 28 February 1928, physicist C.V. Raman led an experiment on the scattering of light, when he discovered what now is called the Raman effect. When light interacts with a molecule, the light can give away a small amount of energy to the molecule. As a result of this, the light changes its colour can act as a ‘fingerprint’ for the molecule. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman effect. The wavelengths and intensity of scattered lights are measured using Raman spectroscopy has a wide variety of applications in biology and medicine. It is used in laboratories all over the world to identify molecules and to analyse living cells and tissues to detect diseases such as cancer. It has been used in several research projects as a means to detect explosives from a safe distance.



Sir C. V. Raman remains the only Indian to receive a Nobel Prize in science. Three Indian-born scientists, Har Gobind Khorana, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, won Nobel Prizes, but they had become U.S. citizens by then.



 



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