Companies & Sectors
Government to invest $10 bn in chip manufacturing units

RS Sharma, secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) said that India provided an exciting hub for electronics investment mainly on account of the surging domestic market and infrastructure, logistics and financial support being provided to the investors, whether they are from India or abroad

 

The government would invest $10 billion in chip manufacturing facilities coming up in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, where a consortium of firms are to set up the production bases.
 
"India would also be investing $400 million in developing an Indian version of micro-processor. These are part of the initiatives that are under way to create an eco-system that lays focus on high ended innovation," R.S. Sharma, secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) said on Thursday while addressing the first Indian Electronics Expo organised by Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council.
 
A dedicated Electronics Development Fund had been created to leverage the use of venture capital funds to promote more start-ups in the country, he added.
 
Infrastructure for chip manufacturing and designing will be considerably strengthened in India to cater to the growing domestic demand and to cut down the imports in the next few years, he said.
 
Sharma said India provided an exciting hub for electronics investment mainly on account of the surging domestic market and infrastructure, logistics and financial support being provided to the investors, whether they are from India or abroad.
 
He mentioned that Make in India coupled with Digital India program initiated recently by the government, can renew the interest in electronics production in the country and can help India achieve the target set for zero import of electronics into the country by 2020.
 
The expo is attended by over 125 delegates from 26 countries. More than 30 Indian companies are displaying their electronics hardware products at the two-day expo.
 

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World set to lose benefits of antibiotics: Study
Antibiotic consumption in livestock worldwide could rise by 67 percent between 2010 and 2030, and possibly endanger their effectiveness in humans, say Princeton University researchers, including one who is of Indian-origin.
 
India, along with its four other BRICS partners -- Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa -- will experience a growth of 99 percent in antibiotic consumption in livestock over the same period, the researchers noted in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
"The discovery and development of antibiotics was a major public health revolution of the 20th century," said author Ramanan Laxminarayan, senior research scholar in the Princeton Environmental Institute.
 
"Their effectiveness -- and the lives of millions of people around the world -- are now in danger due to the increasing global problem of antibiotic resistance, which is being driven by antibiotic consumption," Laxminarayan, an alumnus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, pointed out.
 
Numerous studies have suggested links between the use of antimicrobials and antibiotic-resistant bacteria originating from livestock as well as their potential consequences for human health.
 
In the study, the researchers noted that two thirds, or 66 percent, of the projected global increase in antimicrobial consumption is due to the growing number of animals raised for food production.
 
The remaining third is attributable to a shift in farming practices, with a larger proportion of animals projected to be raised in "intensive farming systems", or factory farms.
 
Global demand for animal protein is rising dramatically, and antimicrobials are used routinely in modern animal production for disease prevention and as growth promoters.
 
The study focused on cattle, chickens and pigs, and identified the latter two as the main contributors to antibiotic consumption.
 
The study is based on a limited data set of veterinary-antimicrobials sales from 32 countries.

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New therapy speeds up wound healing
People can soon cut down the time taken to heal their everyday cuts and burns by half with the help of a new therapy developed by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University here.
 
Details of the therapy, which was successfully tested in mice, were published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
 
"We envision that our nanoparticle therapy could be used to speed the healing of all sorts of wounds, including everyday cuts and burns, surgical incisions, and chronic skin ulcers, which are a particular problem in the elderly and people with diabetes," said study co-leader David Sharp, professor of physiology & biophysics at Einstein.
 
The researchers discovered that an enzyme called fidgetin-like 2 (FL2) puts the brakes on skin cells as they migrate towards wounds to heal them.
 
They reasoned that the healing cells could reach their destination faster if their levels of FL2 could be reduced.
 
So they developed a drug that inactivates the gene that makes FL2 and then put the drug in tiny gel capsules called nanoparticles and applied the nanoparticles to wounds on mice.
 
The treated wounds healed much faster than untreated wounds.
 
FL2 belongs to the fidgetin family of enzymes, which play varying roles in cellular development and function.
 
To learn more about FL2's role in humans, Sharp suppressed FL2's activity in human cells in tissue culture. When those cells were placed on a standard wound assay (for measuring properties like cell migration and proliferation), they moved unusually fast.
 
"This suggested that if we could find a way to target FL2 in humans, we might have a new way to promote wound healing," Sharp said.

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