Interesting Science Achievements Of 2017 That Made India Proud


New Delhi: A lot has happened in the last twelve months; scientific breakthroughs have made our lives safer, easier and more enjoyable. 

Indian researchers in 2017 were behind several scientific achievements, one of them being ISRO launching record 104 satellites at once in February. The year 2017 has catapulted us into a science-fiction future; from doctors in Pune successfully conducted India's first womb transplant, to a galaxy super cluster named Saraswati was found in July. Indian scientists also helped in gravitational wave detection, which won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Modern India has had a strong focus on science and technology, realising that it is a key element of economic growth.

India ranks third among the most attractive investment destinations for technology transactions in the world. Also it is among the topmost countries in the world in the field of scientific research, positioned as one of the top five nations in the field of space exploration.

Even, the minister of state for science and technology YS Chowdhury, told LokSabha recently that 649 Indian scientists and returned to the country between 2012 and 2017. “There is a significant increase in number of Indian scientists returning to work in India during the last five years,” said in a written statement.

If we look at its Market size then; India ranks second in terms of contribution to high-quality scientific research. It is among the world’s top 10 nations in the number of scientific publications.

Also, Harsh Vardhan Union minister for science and technology and earth sciences, said at a press conference highlighting the ministry’s achievements this May that, “From brain drain, India has now reached a stage of brain gain. ”

One can say therefore that, researchers and scientists around the globe have worked tirelessly to bring us this future, so it’s worthwhile to take a step back and applaud their tremendous efforts. 

Let’s have a ‘detailed look’ at this year’s development in the field of science and technology, so far:


  • Indian researchers found galaxy supercluster, named it 'Saraswati'

In July, astronomers at Pune-based IUCAA and IISER reported the discovery of a supercluster of galaxies, which they named 'Saraswati'. A cluster could have galaxies ranging from 1,000 to 10,000, however, a supercluster could have clusters ranging from 40 to 43, researchers said. The Saraswatisupercluster, 4 billion light-years away, may be more massive than 20,000 trillion Suns, they added. Studying the four-billion-year-old supercluster allows astronomers to look back in time when Universe was much younger, as light from these galaxies takes time to reach Earth. It would also explain how dark matter clumps galaxies together and how dark energy causes them to expand.

  • 37 Indian scientists co-authored Physics Nobel-winning paper

A total of 37 Indian scientists co-authored the research paper on the first gravitational waves detection, whose lead researchers were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. Indian researchers were led by Pune-based IUCAA's SanjeevDhurandhar, who has been working on the subject for 30 years. The team belonging to nine Indian institutes worked on "extracting signal from noise, in detecting the gravitational waves."

Gravitational waves were first theorised as ripples in spacetime by Albert Einstein in 1916. For the first detection, made 100 years after Einstein's prediction, the waves were found to be emitted after the merger of two black holes, where three solar masses were converted into gravitational-wave energy. Scientists have made six gravitational wave detections so far, with one of them coming from the merger of dense fuel-exhausted neutron stars.

  • India's first womb transplant successfully conducted in Pune

In May, doctors at a Pune hospital successfully conducted India's first womb transplant by transferring a woman's uterus to her 21-year-old daughter, who was unable to conceive a child. The procedure was carried out in nine hours using a laparoscopic technique. The 12-doctor team said the womb's acceptance and functionality in the recipient would be assessed after 15 days.

  • ISRO launched 104 satellites in one go, created world record

The Indian Space Research Organisation in February successfully launched 104 satellites in one go, breaking the world record for the most number of satellites launched from a single rocket. Its PSLV launch system carried a 714-kg Cartosat-2 series earth observing satellite and 103 co-passenger satellites together weighing 664 kg. Russia held the previous record of 37 satellites, launched in 2014.

  • World's smallest spacecraft launched successfully by ISRO

In July, the world's smallest spacecraft ever launched was successfully placed in low Earth orbit by ISRO's PSLV rocket. Named Sprites, the 3.5cmx3.5cm space probes weigh 4 grams each and run on sunlight. The probes are part of Breakthrough Initiatives, a $100-million program aimed at sending one-gram chips to star systems beyond the solar system in search of extraterrestrial intelligence.

  • ISRO's PSLV rocket completed 39 consecutive successful missions in 24 years

ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) completed 39 consecutive missions successfully without any failure across 24 years. PSLV's first total failure happened on its very first flight in 1993, while its next failed mission was in September this year when it failed to launch the private sector-built navigation satellite into orbit as the payload got trapped inside the rocket's nose. Notably, PSLV had launched 257 satellites, India's first lunar probe Chandrayaan-1 and India's first interplanetary mission Mangalyaan as of September 2017.

  • ISRO successfully launched India's heaviest rocket GSLV MK3

ISRO in June successfully launched India's heaviest rocket 'Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III' carrying the 3,136 kg communication satellite GSAT-19. The 43.43-metre rocket that weighs 640 tonnes is capable of lifting payloads of up to 4,000 kg into the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. It was developed in 15 years at a cost of ₹300 crore. The rocket could be used to launch Indians into space, ISRO said.

  • NASA hired its third Indian-origin astronaut Raja Chari

US Air Force's Lt Col Raja Chari was selected by NASA from over 18,300 applicants for its 2017 Astronaut Class. The 39-year-old, whose father hails from India, is the third Indian-origin NASA astronaut after Sunita Williams and late KalpanaChawla. Chari has earned a Master's degree from MIT and graduated from the US Naval Test Pilot School. Chari would be given flight duty after two-year training.

  • Indian engineers developed device that can save heart patients during power cuts

Pune-based Jeevtronics unveiled the world's first hand-cranked dual-powered defibrillator, which can save cardiac arrest patients even when there is no electricity. The device can be powered up in 12 seconds by rotating a small hand paddle and costs a quarter of imported electric defibrillators. The firm, which has four patents around the technology, took four years to develop the device. It was unveiled on World Heart Day on September 29.

  • Asia's first upper-arm double-hand transplant done in Kerala

In September, Asia's first upper-arm double-hand transplant was conducted at Kochi-based Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences on ShreyaSiddanagowda, a 19-year-old student, who lost both her hands in a road mishap last year. It took 20 surgeons and a 16-member anaesthetic team 13 hours to complete the transplantation. Meanwhile, the donor was a 20-year-old student who had been declared brain-dead. Only nine such transplants were done till now, doctors said.

  • NASA launched KalamSat satellite developed by Indian teen

NASA in June launched satellite 'KalamSat' which is developed by Indian teenagers hailing from Tamil Nadu. Made of reinforced carbon fibre polymer, the 64-gram satellite named after former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam is reportedly the smallest and lightest satellite in the world. It is reportedly the first time that NASA has carried out an Indian students' experiment.

            Every year, like this the brilliant minds of science are making new discoveries that inspire us to learn more about our natural surroundings from everything microscopic to outer space. Thanks to the world's best scientists and researchers, these scientific breakthroughs of 2017 push the boundaries of what we thought we already knew about life on Earth.



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