BRICS Update: India to head 100 billion dollar BRICS Development Bank

India to head 100 billion dollar BRICS Development Bank to be set up at Shanghai in China.

The capital for the bank will be split equally among the five participating countries. The bank will have its headquarters at Shanghai in China. Brazil's President, Dilma Rousseff announced the creation of the bank at a Brics summit meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil yesterday. At first, the bank will start off with 50 billion dollars in initial capital.

The emergency reserve fund which was announced as a Contingency Reserve Arrangement, will also have 100 billion dollars and will help developing nations avoid short term liquidity pressures, promote further Brics cooperation, strengthen the global financial safety net and complement existing international arrangements.

General Awareness: All about BRICS

is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.


(Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)


The grouping was originally known as "BRIC" before the inclusion of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large, fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs; all five are G-20 members.


Current Affairs: Participants at BRICS Summit 2014,Presidents of BRICS,6th BRICS Summit July 2014

6th BRICS Summit, BRICS July 2014

BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

Dates: 15th to 17th July 2014

Host Country: Brazil

Host City: Fortaleza

Participants at BRICS Summit 2014

Member and its Representatives

Brazil: Dilma Rousseff, President

Russia: Vladimir Putin, President

India: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister

China: Xi Jinping: President

South Africa: Jacob Zuma, President

Science Update: Fundamental photoresist chemistry findings could help extend Moore's Law

When low concentrations of crosslinker are added to the resist (left), it is able to pattern smaller features and doesn't require longer, expensive exposures as with a high concentrations of crosslinker (right). Credit: Prashant Kulshreshtha, Berkeley Lab

( —Over the years, computer chips have gotten smaller thanks to advances in materials science and manufacturing technologies. This march of progress, the doubling of transistors on a microprocessor roughly every two years, is called Moore's Law. But there's one component of the chip-making process in need of an overhaul if Moore's law is to continue: the chemical mixture called photoresist. Similar to film used in photography, photoresist, also just called resist, is used to lay down the patterns of ever-shrinking lines and features on a chip.

Now, in a bid to continue decreasing transistor size while increasing computation and energy efficiency, chip-maker Intel has partnered with researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) to design an entirely new kind of resist. And importantly, they have done so by characterizing the chemistry of photoresist, crucial to further improve performance in a systematic way. The researchers believe their results could be easily incorporated by companies that make resist, and find their way into manufacturing lines as early as 2017.

The new resist effectively combines the material properties of two pre-existing kinds of resist, achieving the characteristics needed to make smaller features for microprocessors, which include better light sensitivity and mechanical stability, says Paul Ashby, staff scientist at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry, a DOE Office of Science user facility. "We discovered that mixing chemical groups, including cross linkers and a particular type of ester, could improve the resist's performance." The work is published this week in the journal Nanotechnology.

Finding a new kind of photoresist is "one of the largest challenges facing the semiconductor industry in the materials space," says Patrick Naulleau, director of the Center for X-ray Optics (CXRO) at Berkeley Lab.

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Science News: Earth's Magnetic Field Is Weakening 10 Times Faster Now

Earth's magnetic field, which protects the planet from huge blasts of deadly solar radiation, has been weakening over the past six months, according to data collected by a European Space Agency (ESA) satellite array called Swarm.

The biggest weak spots in the magnetic field — which extends 370,000 miles (600,000 kilometers) above the planet's surface — have sprung up over the Western Hemisphere, while the field has strengthened over areas like the southern Indian Ocean, according to the magnetometers onboard the Swarm satellites — three separate satellites floating in tandem.

The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is that Earth's magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA's Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia.


Science And Tech: Rainwater discovered at new depths

In the southern Alps, rain and snow falling on the mountains percolate to great depths. Credit: Simon Cox

University of Southampton researchers have found that rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's fractured upper crust, which could have major implications for our understanding of earthquakes and the generation of valuable mineral deposits.

It had been thought that surface water could not penetrate the ductile crust - where temperatures of more than 300°C and high pressures cause rocks to flex and flow rather than fracture - but researchers, led by Southampton's Dr Catriona Menzies, have now found fluids derived from rainwater at these levels.

Fluids in the Earth's crust can weaken rocks and may help to initiate earthquakes along locked fault lines. They also concentrate valuable metals such as gold. The new findings suggest that rainwater may be responsible for controlling these important processes, even deep in the Earth.

Researchers from the University of Southampton, GNS Science (New Zealand), the University of Otago, and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre studied geothermal fluids and mineral veins from the Southern Alps of New Zealand, where the collision of two tectonic plates forces deeper layers of the earth closer to the surface.


The team looked into the origin of the fluids, how hot they were and to what extent they had reacted with rocks deep within the mountain belt.

Current Buzz: World Cup Champions Germany Return Home to Huge Fan Party

Philipp Lahm emerges from the aircraft with the World Cup trophy in hand as the Germans returned home to a rousing welcome
Germany's World Cup-winning team returned home on Tuesday to celebrate the country's fourth title with huge crowds of fans.

The team's plane touched down at Berlin's Tegel Airport midmorning after circling the "fan mile" in front of the landmark Brandenburg Gate.

Captain Philipp Lahm carried the trophy off the aircraft to cheers and a chorus of "Football's Coming Home" from fans gathered on the airport's viewing terrace.

He was followed by midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, draped in a German flag and sporting a bandage under his right eye, the result of a cut in the 1-0 win over Argentina in the final on Sunday.

From the airport, the team set off for downtown Berlin in a bus painted with the years of Germany's World Cup victories: The previous occasions were in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

They were to make the last part of the trip to the Brandenburg Gate on an open truck. The "fan mile" started filling up hours before the arrival, with some waiting overnight to get a place at the front.

"We're all excited to see what it will be like," Schweinsteiger told ARD television. "This time, thank God, we have the cup with us."

"It will only sink in for us in the next few days."

The team's plane was about an hour behind schedule, its departure from Rio de Janeiro delayed after a luggage truck hit the aircraft and damage to the paintwork had to be inspected.

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GATE 2015 Exam Notification,Validity increased from 2 years to 3 years.

GATE 2015 Exam Notification

The journey towards the elusive seat at IISc, IIT, NIT and the best job at PSU's has begun with the announcement of GATE 2015 notification!

If you have been waiting for the notification to kick-start your preparations for GATE, the bells have just been sounded.
GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) exam is required for M.Tech Admission in IISc, IIT’s & NIT's and Jobs in Public Sector Undertakings (PSU's).
The exams will be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays between 31st January 2015 and 14th February 2015. The exact schedule for the different streams will be notified later on the GATE 2015 website.

What is New in GATE 2015?

  1. Validity of GATE Scores has now been increased from 2 years to 3 years.
  2. All of the applications would have to be made online on GATE Online Application Processing System (GOAPS) website. Hard copy of submissions is not required.
  3. Payments for GATE 2015 Examination Fees are to be made through SBI I-collect, Axis Bank I-Connect, e-challan facilities or debit cards/credit cards/netbanking.

GATE Score Calculation

The GATE score calculation formula has been changed since 2013. Please find below the score calculation formula

GATE 2015 Eligibility

The following categories of candidates are eligible to appear in GATE :

  1. Bachelor's degree holders in Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Pharmacy (Post - Diploma / Post-B.Sc / 4 years after 10+2) and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  2. Candidates in the final year of the Four-year Bachelor's degree program in science (B.S.) (Post-Diploma/4 years after 10+2).
  3. Master's degree holders in any branch of Science / Mathematics / Statistics / Computer Applications or equivalent and those who are in the final year of such programs.
  4. Candidates in the second or higher year of the Four year Integrated Master's degree program or (Post-B.Sc.) in Engineering / Technology.
  5. Candidates in the fourth or higher year of Five year Integrated Master's degree program or Dual Degree program in Engineering / Technology.
  6. Candidates in the final year of Five-year integrated M.Sc. or Five year integrated B.S. - M.S. Program.
  7. Candidates with qualification obtained through examination conducted by professional AMIE by IE (I), AMICE (I) by ICE (I) as equivalent to B.E/B.Tech. Those who have completed section A or equivalent of such professional courses are also eligible.

GATE 2015 Application Fee :

Category Fees (in INR)
Male (General/OBC) 1500
Women (All Categories) 750
Other (General/OBC-NCL) 1500
SC/ST/PwD 750

1. Bank charges extra are as per applicable norms
2. NCL stands for Non-Creamy Layer

Important Dates for GATE 2015 Examination

Events Dates
GATE Online Application Processing system(GOAPS) Website Opens : Enrolment, Application Filling, Application Submission 1st September 2014(00:00 Hrs)
Last Date for Submission of Online Application through Website 1st October 2014(23:59 Hrs)
Last Date for Request for Change in the Choice of Examination City via GOAPS login 21st November 2014
Availability of Admit Card on the Online Application Interface for Printing 17th December 2014
GATE 2015 Online Examination
Forenoon : 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
Afternoon : 2:00PM to 5:00 PM
31st January, 1st, 7th, 8th and 14th February 2015
Announcement of Results on the Online Application website 12th March 2015(10:00Hrs)

How to Apply

Applications will have to made online. The application process details will be released by the organizing committee later.

Zone Zonal Office Website Contact Address Phone Number Email
1 IISC Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Science,
Bengaluru 560 012
2 IIT Bombay Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology,
Bombay, Powai
Mumbai 400 076
3 IIT Delhi Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology,
Delhi, Hauz Khas
New Delhi 110 016
4 IIT Guwahati Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology
Guwahati 781 039
5 IIT Kanpur Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology
Kanpur 208 016
6 IIT Kharagpur Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur 721 032
7 IIT Madras Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology
Chennai 600 036
8 IIT Roorkee Chairman, GATE
Indian Institute of Technology
Roorkee 247 667

Source: Information Brochure for GATE 2015 released by IIT Kanpur

GATE 2015 Information Brochure -

For more information GATE 2015, please visit the given link -

FIFA World Cup 2014 Stats and awards: Lionel Messi, named World Cup's 'best player

Golden Ball: Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Golden Glove: Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Golden Boot: James Rodriguez (Colombia)
Young Player Award: Paul Pogba (France)
FIFA Fair Play Award: Colombia

Lionel Messi, named World Cup's 'best player,' still falls short of Diego Maradona

Messi had a very good World Cup, though arguably not a great one. He scored four goals, a couple of them beauties, all of them in the group stage. He managed a lovely assist to Angel di Maria against Switzerland for the match winner. He will be 31 when the next World Cup rolls around, however, when it may be too late to become Maradona anymore.

Victor R. Caivano/AP Lionel Messi can't bring the World Cup back home to Argentina after losing Sunday's final.


Discover: Boron 'buckyball' discovered

Boron 'buckyball' discovered

Researchers have shown that clusters of 40 boron atoms form a molecular cage similar to the carbon buckyball. This is the first experimental evidence that such a boron cage structure exists. Credit: Wang lab / Brown University

The discovery 30 years ago of soccer-ball-shaped carbon molecules called buckyballs helped to spur an explosion of nanotechnology research. Now, there appears to be a new ball on the pitch.

Researchers from Brown University, Shanxi University and Tsinghua University in China have shown that a cluster of 40 boron atoms forms a hollow molecular cage similar to a carbon buckyball. It's the first experimental evidence that a boron cage structure—previously only a matter of speculation—does indeed exist.

"This is the first time that a boron cage has been observed experimentally," said Lai-Sheng Wang, a professor of chemistry at Brown who led the team that made the discovery. "As a chemist, finding new molecules and structures is always exciting. The fact that boron has the capacity to form this kind of structure is very interesting."

Wang and his colleagues describe the molecule, which they've dubbed borospherene, in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Carbon buckyballs are made of 60 carbon atoms arranged in pentagons and hexagons to form a sphere—like a soccer ball. Their discovery in 1985 was soon followed by discoveries of other hollow carbon structures including carbon nanotubes. Another famous carbon nanomaterial—a one-atom-thick sheet called graphene—followed shortly after.

After buckyballs, scientists wondered if other elements might form these odd hollow structures. One candidate was boron, carbon's neighbor on the periodic table. But because boron has one less electron than carbon, it can't form the same 60-atom structure found in the buckyball. The missing electrons would cause the cluster to collapse on itself. If a boron cage existed, it would have to have a different number of atoms.

Wang and his research group have been studying boron chemistry for years. In a paper published earlier this year, Wang and his colleagues showed that clusters of 36 boron atoms form one-atom-thick disks, which might be stitched together to form an analog to graphene, dubbed borophene. Wang's preliminary work suggested that there was also something special about boron clusters with 40 atoms. They seemed to be abnormally stable compared to other boron clusters. Figuring out what that 40-atom cluster actually looks like required a combination of experimental work and modeling using high-powered supercomputers.

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Business Buzz: How rupee-dollar rates are determined

Ever wondered why the rupee quotes at 53.2 or 50 and not at Rs 20 or Rs 80 to a dollar?

It’s not much different from how the prices of your mangoes are determined, for example. Whether currency movements or prices of mangoes, the most important factor determining their price is the same – market forces of demand and supply.

If the demand for dollars increases, the value of dollar will appreciate. As the quotation for Rs/$ is a two way quote (that is, the price of one dollar is quoted in terms of how much rupees it takes to buy one dollar), an appreciation in the value of dollar would automatically mean a depreciation in Indian rupee and vice-versa.

For example, if rupee depreciates, a dollar which once cost Rs 47 would cost, say, Rs 50. In essence, the value of dollar has risen and the buying power of rupee has gone down.

Besides the primary powers of demand and supply, the rupee-dollar rates are determined by other market forces as well.

Market sentiments

During turbulent markets, investors usually prefer to park their money in safe havens such as US treasuries, Swiss franc, gold and so on to avoid losses to their portfolios. This flight to safety would lead to foreign investors redeeming their investments from India. This could increase the demand for dollar vis-à-vis Indian rupees.


There are derivative instruments and over-the-counter currency instruments through which one can speculate/ hedge the underlying currency rates. When speculators sense improvements/ deterioration of the sentiments of the markets, they too want to benefit from such rising/ falling dollar. They then start buying/selling dollar which would further change the demand/ supply of the dollar.

RBI Intervention

When there is too much volatility in the rupee-dollar rates, the RBI prevents the rates from going out of control to protect the domestic economy. The RBI does this by buying dollars when rupee appreciates too much and by selling dollars when the rupee depreciates significantly.

Imports and Exports

Ever give thought as to why our government is trying to incentivise exports and reduce imports? There are a lot of schemes and incentives for exporters while importers are burdened with many conditions and taxes. This is to protect our economy from high rupee depreciation. Importing foreign goods requires us to make payment in dollars thus strengthening the dollar’s demand. Exports do the exact reverse.

Public Debt / Fiscal policy

Whenever our Government fails to match expenses with equivalent revenue, there is a shortage of funds. To finance this, the Government at times opts to borrow money from institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. This debt, accrued interests, and the payments made, also lead to currency fluctuations.

Interest Rates

The prevailing interest rates on the government bonds attract foreign capital to India. If the rates are high enough to cover the foreign market risk and if the foreign investor is comfortable with the fundamentals or credit ratings, money would start pouring into India and thus provide us with a supply of dollars.