pp 191-192 Editorial
pp 193-197 Article-in-a-Box
pp 200-200 Science Smiles
pp 201-212 General Article
The four extant Jantar Mantar observatories at Delhi, Jaipur,Ujjain,and Varanasi have tremendous potential as teachinglaboratories of positional astronomy. They could be utilisedin this direction in their current state, but this possibility wouldbe considerably enhanced when all the necessary restorationsare undertaken, interpretation centers are in place at all theobservatories, and there is a continuous presence of astronomyeducators, amateur astronomers, and students undertakingobservations with these intriguing and user-friendlyinstruments. Student usage and calibration of the instrumentsat the Delhi observatory in particular, where the markingsare mostly absent from every instrument, has alloweda greater appreciation of the possible construction details ofthese gigantic instruments. Templates for restoration andalso for continuous maintenance of the instruments, are emergingfrom these efforts.
pp 213-224 General Article
This article will briefly review the theory of star formation(SF) and its development using observations. This is very relevantin the present context since planet formation appearsto be a by-product of SF, and the whole question of life in theuniverse and its origin can be viewed with a new perspective.
pp 225-235 General Article
Gravitation, the universal attractive force, acts upon all matter(and radiation) relentlessly. Left to itself, gravity wouldpull everything together, and the Universe would be nothingbut a gigantic black hole. Nature throws almost every bit ofphysics – rotation, magnetic field, heat, quantum effects andso on, at gravity to escape such a fate. In this series of articles,we shall explore systems where the eternal pull of gravity hasbeen held off by one or another such means.
pp 237-244 General Article
Current technologies have enabled glimpses at the many facetsof black holes, which we know to be plentiful in our cosmos.A panoramic view of the evidence for them is presented hereacross the large range of masses that they span.
pp 245-255 General Article
Ever since the discovery of the electron more than 100 yearsago, scientists have asked the questions –“what is our universemade of?” and “why is the universe the way it is?” Notlong before, it was found that these two questions are relatedto each other. The interactions of particles in the universedetermines its evolution, its very form, and existence. In thisarticle, we will trace the discovery of some of these particles,learn about their interactions, and try to understand theirproperties such as electric charge and mass.
pp 257-268 General Article
This article aims to highlight the amazing properties and potentialuses of the more recently developed allotropes of carbonsuch as carbon nanotubes, graphene, fullerene, and buckypaper.This is an area offering wide opportunity for research,especially due to the multidisciplinary nature of applications.
pp 269-277 General Article
We begin by outlining the life cycle of a tall cloud, and thenbriefly discuss cloud systems. We choose one aspect of thislife cycle, namely, the rapid growth of water droplets in ice freeclouds, to then discuss in greater detail. Taking a singlevortex to be a building block of turbulence, we demonstrateone mechanism by which we believe droplets grow rapidly.
pp 279-290 General Article
Jakkur Lake in the city of Bengaluru covers an approximatearea of 55 hectares and primarily receives inflows from theJakkur sewage treatment plant (STP) and an open storm drain.Jakkur STP discharges an average of 10 million litres of treatedwater daily (MLD) into the lake. The open drain dischargesabout 0.5 MLD of raw sewage into the lake. In the absence ofenvironmental flows it becomes critical to assess the impact ofnutrient flux on the quality of water, and design cost effectivetreatment solutions to address the issues of lake water quality.As part of this study, we have assessed the impact of thesetwo primary inflows on the overall water quality of JakkurLake. The results have shown that nutrient inflows have led tothe increase of chlorophyll-a levels, eventually causing hypereutrophicationof Jakkur lake. We have also used simplemassbalance approach to assess the contributions of in-lake activities(sedimentation and reaction) on removal of nutrientsfrom the lake. We have concluded that the phosphorus loadhas to be reduced by approximately 96% from the currentlevels to prevent algal blooms within Jakkur Lake.
pp 291-301 General Article
Metagenomics is a robust, interdisciplinary approach for studyingmicrobial community composition, function, and dynamics.It typically involves a core of molecular biology, microbiology,ecology, statistics, and computational biology. Excitingoutcomes anticipated from these studies include unravelingof complex interactions that characterize the ecologicalmilieu of microbial communities. Diverse habitats fromwhich metagenomes have been reported include human guts,caterpillar guts, thermal vents in oceans, ore deposits, polarcaps, and even soils that adhere to plant roots. Knowledgegenerated from metagenomic projects has tremendous potentialto benefit human health, agriculture, and ecosystemfunctions. This article provides a brief history of technicaladvances in metagenomics, including DNA sequencing methods,and some case studies. A specific example is providedof microbial metagenomes found at the roots of native grassspecies (family Poaceae) that can grow on degraded lands undergoingrevegetation.
pp 303-313 Research News
India is one of the most water stressedcountries in the world. However, despiteappreciable increase in funding for waterresearch, high quality science that is usableby stakeholders remains elusive. I arguethat this can be attributed to the absenceof research on questions that actuallymatter to stakeholders, unwillingnessto transcend disciplinary boundaries, andthe demise of field-work research culture infavour of computer simulation.Conventional wisdom is these trends aredriven by what is publishable. However,there is an increasing interest in the internationalcommunity in interdisciplinary,problem driven, empirical research. Usingexamples of my own research in Chennaiand Bengaluru, on water scarcity in urbanisingwatersheds, I offer some methods andinsights.
pp 315-316 Book Review
pp 317-318 Film Review
pp 319-321 Face to Face
pp 323-325 Classics
pp 327-327 Information and Announcements
pp 328-328 Information and Announcements
pp 329-329 Information and Announcements
pp 330-330 Information and Announcements
pp 331-331 Ownership form
pp 333-333 Flowering Trees