PIB News 25th Sep, 2020

(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

AHSP Transfer of Pinaka Weapon System from DRDO to DGQA
An important milestone was achieved today on 25 September 2020 when Authority Holding Sealed Particulars (AHSP) responsibility of Pinaka weapon system was handed over by DRDO to DGQA. AHSP transfer marks successful establishment of production of Pinaka rockets, Launchers, Battery Command Posts, Loader Cum Replenishment and Replenishment Vehicles as well as successful establishment of Quality Assurance processes. AHSP handing over took place at ARDE, Pune wherein the documentation required by various Production agencies, Quality Assurance agencies, Maintenance agencies and Users were formally handed over by ARDE, HEMRL and VRDE to CQA (A).

Pinaka is a free flight artillery rocket system having a range of 37.5 km. Pinaka rockets are launched from a multi barrel rocket launcher which has capability to launch salvo of 12 rockets in 44 seconds. The weapon system is designed and developed by Pune based DRDO lab, Armament Research & Development Establishment (ARDE) in association with HEMRL, VRDE and CAIR. Pinaka rockets and its ground systems are currently under bulk production at Ordnance Factories, BEML, BEL, Tata Power and L&T Defence.

Joining the event by video conferencing Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary DD R&D and Chairman DRDO described the AHSP transfer as a landmark event in the development of Pinaka Rocket Systems and stated that the Pinaka Rocket Systems will go a long way in fulfilling the requirement of services.

Lt Gen Sanjay Chauhan, Director General of DGQA, Shri CS Vishwakarma, Chairman OFB, Lt Gen K Ravi Prasad, VSM and Director General of Artillery, Shri PK Mehta, Director General of Armament & Combat Engineering Cluster joined the event through video conferencing. Dr V Venkateswara Rao, Director ARDE, Shri KPS Murthy, Director HEMRL, Shri Sangam Sinha, Director VRDE, Shri AV Shinde, Officiating Controller CQA (A) and Smt MGP Dhanraj, DDG, Officiating Controller CQA (ME) was present for the event at ARDE.


(General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations, Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.)

Faceless Appeals launched by CBDT today- Honoring The Honest
The Income Tax Department today launched Faceless Income Tax Appeals. Under Faceless Appeals, all Income Tax appeals will be finalised in a faceless manner under the faceless ecosystem with the exception of appeals relating to serious frauds, major tax evasion, sensitive & search matters, International tax and Black Money Act. Necessary Gazette notification has also been issued today.

It may be noted that Hon’ble PM on 13th August, 2020 while launching the Faceless Assessment and Taxpayers’ Charter as part of “Transparent Taxation - Honoring the Honest” platform, had announced launching of Faceless Appeals on 25th September, 2020 on the birth anniversary of Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhayay. Also, in recent years the Income Tax Department has carried out several reforms in Direct Taxes for the simplification of tax processes and for ease of compliance for the taxpayers.

Under the Faceless Appeals, from now on, in income tax appeals, everything from e-allocation of appeal, e-communication of notice/ questionnaire, e-verification/e-enquiry to e-hearing and finally e-communication of the appellate order, the entire process of appeals will be online, dispensing with the need for any physical interface between the appellant and the Department. There will be no physical interface between the taxpayers or their counsel/s and the Income Tax Department. The taxpayers can make submissions from the comfort of their home and save their time and resources.

The Faceless Appeals system will include allocation of cases through Data Analytics and AI under the dynamic jurisdiction with central issuance of notices which would be having Document Identification Number (DIN). As part of dynamic jurisdiction, the draft appellate order will be prepared in one city and will be reviewed in some other city resulting in an objective, fair and just order. The Faceless Appeal will provide not only great convenience to the taxpayers but will also ensure just and fair appeal orders and minimise any further litigation. The new system will also be instrumental in imparting greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the functioning of the Income Tax Department.

As per data with CBDT, as on date there is a pendency of almost 4.6 lakh appeals at the level of the Commissioner (Appeals) in the Department. Out of this, about 4.05 lakh appeals, i.e., about 88 % of the total appeals will be handled under the Faceless Appeal mechanism and almost 85% of the present strength of Commissioners (Appeals) shall be utilised for disposing off the cases under the Faceless Appeal mechanism.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management,     Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

Scientists from JNCASR of DST stabilize gold in non-cubic lattice, unfurling efficient catalytic properties of the metal
Gold has been a fascinating metal for use in jewelry and well as industrial applications because of its high resistance against conventional oxidizing environments. The unique property of Au is mainly dictated by its atomic arrangement in the crystal structure, technically called face-centered cubic (fcc) lattice.

Scientists have introduced new catalytic properties in gold by altering the most stable fcc lattice, converting it into a new avatar that can trigger gold-based catalysis for industry.

Tuning of crystal structures and shapes of micro-sized noble metals or micro-crystallites have revealed fascinating catalytic, optical, electrical, and magnetic properties that enable developments of environmentally friendly and durable nano-technological applications.

Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, have stabilized gold in non-cubic lattice, unfurling efficient catalytic properties of the metal.

The team guided by Prof. G.U Kulkarni from JNCASR has stabilized Au in mixed lattices consisting of lower symmetry lattices in the form of micro-crystallites, induced by geometrical constraints. In contrast to conventional bulk fcc gold, these micro-crystallites are more efficient in their catalytic activity. Besides, the crystallites behave nobler than the conventional fcc Au in mercury and aqua regia. Thus, these Au crystallites behave quite differently from our day to day used ones, and the credit goes to the underlying unconventional lattices.

This research published in the journal ACS Nano’wassupported by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India (DST) provided within the framework of the India@Desy collaboration and Nano Mission and the technical support from the EU-Horizon2020 research and innovation program of Nanoscience Foundries and Fine Analysis (NFFA).

In this work, JNCASR team joined by Prof. M.K Sanyal from SINP, Kolkata used scanning X-ray diffraction microscopy (SXDM) technique with nano-beam at DeutschesElektronen-Synchrotron(DESY), PETRA III, Germany, which revealed location of the spatial distribution of the different lattices in the crystallite volume without using any slicing techniques.

 Correlation between X-ray diffraction, diffraction microscopy and the corresponding multi-phased diffracting volumes in the crystallite

The study disclosed many surprises. The central part of the crystallite is rich in lower symmetry lattices while being capped by the fcc rich tips, which explains their unique behavior in aqua regia. Besides, co-presence of compression and expansion to the extent of approximately 5% (compared with conventional fcc Au) in the micrometer-sized crystallite helps the crystallites remain ambient stable for years. Such study of the spatial distribution of the different phases can allow exploration of new properties in a much better way.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

Scientists of JNCASR of DST develop a new low cost method of up scaling most conductive material ‘graphene’ while preserving its single layered properties
Graphene, the one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, which is a boon for energy storage, coatings, sensors as well as superconductivity, is difficult to produce while retaining its single layered properties.

A new low-cost method of up scaling production of graphene while preserving its single layered properties, developed by Indian scientists, may reduce the cost of producing this thinnest, strongest and most conductive material in the world.

Researchers from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India through their recent research work have up scaled graphene production while retaining its thin layered properties. This was made possible by a simple, affordable method wherein naphthalene coated nickel foil was heated for a few minutes in an ordinary vacuum by joule heating and was cooled to get twisted layers of graphene. Careful study using electronic diffraction and Raman scattering showed that the 2D single-crystal nature of the atomic lattice of the graphene is retained even in the multilayer stack. The twisted multilayer graphene that results is also highly conducting.

In the research by Nikita Gupta (Ph.D. student, JNCASR) and Prof. G.U. Kulkarni (corresponding author ) published in the ‘Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters’, the scientists have also defined a formula to quantify how much single layer like behaviour exists in such a system. The twisted system has multiple layers, each behaving like a single layer, allows variation in the experimental data within one sample, thus making quantification possible to achieve. The derived formula provides an insight into any twisted hexagonal multilayer system and may be used to tune superconductivity.

The researchers used a combination of two techniques to understand and quantify how much single layer like behaviour exists in the graphene system. Raman spectroscopy---a technique to understand whether a graphene species has single layer like behaviour arising because of no interlayer interaction and electron diffraction--a technique to study the morphology of the given twisted system.

Observing fascinating properties of twisted multilayer graphene such as visible absorption band, efficient corrosion resistance, temperature-dependent transport, influencing the crystalline orientation of source material, helped the JNCASR team to understand the landscape of the given twisted multilayer graphene system. 

Recent publication in the journal ‘Nature’ by James M. Tour, an eminent peer on this research discovery confirms the upper limit of relative Raman intensity predicted by this work, experimentally. The present understanding of twisted multilayer graphene will help in understanding any twisted hexagonal system. It gives an upper limit of relative Raman intensity which can exist in a particular multilayer graphene system.


(General Studies-III: Technology, Economic Development, Bio diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management, Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.)

New finding on Blazars—the brightest jets in the universe could provide clues to processes close to black holes
The short term optical flux stability detected in some of the brightest jets in the universe could provide clues to the processes close to black holes.

Blazars are one of the most luminous and energetic objects in the universe powered by material falling onto a super-massive black hole at the center of the host galaxy – the luminosity being because of their a jet composed of ionized matter traveling at nearly the speed of light towards an observer (the Earth).

Six scientists spanning over three countries--- India, Serbia, and the USA studied some of the brightest blazers called TeV (Tera-electron Volt) blazars and found that they stand out as a semblance of stability of brightness among the blazar family in the short duration. While their brightness varies in the long duration, they maintain their brightness levels in short duration.

Blazars are among one of the most favourite astronomical transient objects, and their study could provide clues to the processes happening close to the black hole, not visible through direct imaging.

The scientists, including researchers from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, took 1741 image frames during 2013 – 2019  by using two (1.04 m and 1.3 m) telescopes, in ARIES, India and two (0.6 m and 1.4 m) telescopes in Serbia. A detailed study of the optical flux and spectral variability of three extreme TeV (Tera-electron Volt, i.e., 1012 eV) gamma-ray emitting blazars, namely 1ES 0229+200, 1ES 0414+009, 1ES 2344+514 was carried out by this team.

In the study by Dr. Ashwani Pandey and Dr. Alok C. Gupta, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Journal, a detailed study of the flux, color, and spectral index variations of the three extreme TeV blazars was carried out on diverse timescales --- as short as within a day, and as well as on months to years timescales. The study also explained the physical processes responsible for such variations. 

According to the team, in TeV emitting blazars, peak of spectral energy distribution lies in the UV/X-ray range. Thus in optical bands, magnetic fields and electrons energies are less, causing short term optical flux stability or low amplitude variability. Variations on months to years timescales can most likely be explained by the propagation of shocks along with the jet, due to which the electrons at the shock front get accelerated to very high energies. These high energy electrons are then cooled via different emission processes while leaving the shock front. Other possible explanations for months to years timescale variations include a change of the magnetic field and/or change in the Doppler factor caused by either helical motion of the emitting region within the jet or wiggling of jets or helical jets.

In this age of multi-wavelength (MW) time-domain astronomy in which the transient astronomical sources are of great interest due to their rapid change in flux, simultaneous MW observation of a particular transient source on an extended period of time is important for understanding the emission mechanism in different electromagnetic (EM) bands.   




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