NTA ICAR NET 2020 Eligibility Criteria: Age Limit & Educational Qualification for ICAR AIEEA

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has entrusted the responsibility of conducting All India Competitive Examinations for admission to Bachelor UG, Masters PG & Ph.D Courses in Agricultural Universities (AUs) and award of scholarships and fellowships, to the NTA from 2019 onwards. The online application process will end on 15th May 2020 at NTA ICAR NET official website.

About Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)
The ICAR-AU system of India has 74 Agricultural Universites comprising 63 State Agricultural, Veterinary, Horticultural and Fisheries Universities (SAUs), 4 ICAR-DUs, viz. IARI, IVRI, NDRI and CIFE, 3 Central Agricultural Universities (CAU, Imphal, Dr. RPCAU, Pusa and RLB CAU, Jhansi), 4 Central Universities (CUs) having Faculty of Agriculture (BHU, AMU, Viswa Bharati and Nagaland University). The National Agricultural Research, Education and Extension System (NAREES) of India is one of the largest in the world, admitting more than 27000 graduates, 14000 post-graduates and 4700 Ph.Ds annually, in different disciplines of Agriculture and Allied Sciences.

NTA ICAR NET AIEEA (UG) 2020 Eligibility Criteria
In 2020, All India Entrance Examination for Admission, AIEEA (UG) shall be conducted for admission to Bachelor Degree programmes in Agriculture and Allied Sciences (other than Veterinary Sciences), at Agricultural Universities on 15% of the University seats (100% seats in RLB CAU Jhansi, NDRI Karnal and Dr. RP CAU Pusa, Bihar). Further, not more than 40% candidates from any one state shall be admitted in any agricultural university/subject.

The AIEEA (UG)-2020 examination for the academic session 2020-21 will be conducted at 178 cities all over the country, enabling participation of a large number of candidates seeking admission in Bachelor degree programmes in accredited AUs in different disciplines.

During 2019-20, against the total of 2784 Seats, 2189 candidates were recommended by ICAR for admission to accredited Bachelor degree programmes in 59 accredited AUs under the ICAR-AU system.

Age Limit

Indian Nationals of at least 16 years of age as on 31st August 2020 are eligible to apply for the examination. No relaxation is admissible regarding the minimum age limit.

Educational Qualification

Candidate must have passed 10+2 Senior Secondary Examination of the Central Board of Secondary Education or any other examination within scope securing not less than 50% marks in aggregate for General, OBC (NCL), UPS, EWS categories and 40% marks in aggregate for SC, ST, Transgender, PwD categories. There will be no rounding-off of the OGPA/percentage of marks of qualifying examination while deciding the basic eligibility of any candidate for admission e.g. if a candidate obtained 49.99% marks in his/her qualifying examination, then it will not be rounded-off to 50%.

Note: *Subject to accreditation by National Agricultural Education Accreditation Board


During academic session 2020-21, admission to 11 Bachelor degree programmes of four years duration in the subjects is available to Indian Nationals based on the merit rank in ICAR AIEEA (UG)-2020. Candidates may note that all Undergraduate Degrees in the disciplines of Agricultural Sciences have been declared as professional degrees.

Top Destinations for Indian Students Who Plan to Study Abroad

Universities worldwide have seen a constant rise in the number of Indian students enrolling for a degree away from their home country. The main reason behind their choice is the fact that the Indian job market appreciates a degree from a top international university more compared to an Indian’s Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
Additionally, universities from several countries provide top quality higher education, far better facilities and most importantly, focus more on research than Indian universities. So, which are the best countries to study abroad?

According to data collected by Studyportals, the top five countries where Indian students choose to go abroad are:

  1. Canada 
  2. Germany 
  3. Australia 
  4. United States 
  5. Italy 

Check out the English-taught Master's degrees offered in these countries and see which one fits you best.

1. Why study a Master's degree in Canada?
Based on statistics, around 14% of all international students in Canada are comprised of Indian students. The Canadian government has recently introduced immigration policies that bring several benefits to Indian students, such as offering permanent residency to highly skilled students who graduate from a Canadian university.

Top advantages for Indian students who want to study abroad in Canada:

English speaking country
Canada has two official languages, English and French, but in most regions, all people speak English. This is an advantage for foreigners in general since you don’t have to deal with a language barrier and you can easily communicate with people all over Canada.

High-quality of life
Canada is one of the safest countries in the world and also has a high quality of life. In fact, Global News ranked Canada as the second country in the world in terms of social and economic progress and development.

Cosmopolitan environment
Canada has a wide multicultural environment and you will soon realise it once you enrol in a Canadian university because you will be surrounded by students coming from numerous different places. Your peers will be Americans, Polish, Spanish, Greek, you name it. Such a diverse population will make you feel less like a stranger and you can easily make new friends.

Popular study options in Canadian universities

Business Masters in Canada – with internship opportunities
Environmental Masters in Canada – combine academics with research
Social Sciences Masters in Canada – gain versatile skills

Examples of top-ranking universities in Canada:

  • York University
  • University of Winnipeg
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Regina
  • Brock University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University

2. Why study a Master's degree in Germany

Top advantages for Indian students who want to study abroad in Germany:

Costs of education: free in public universities
Particularly for Master’s degree level, international students enjoy free-tuition in German public universities for various English-taught degrees. Considering the only cost for students is a small semester fee, it’s easy to understand why so many foreign students, including those coming from India, choose Germany as their study abroad destination.

Many scholarships for international students
There are many scholarship providers in Germany who offer financial support to talented students, but DAAD in particular, has a special program dedicated to Indian students.
Extensive focus on research in German universities

If you’re interested in studying engineering, technology or sciences, you will benefit from the advantage of getting involved in advanced research in your study field. In order to encourage this, top universities in Germany offer quality education, have a wide network of partnerships with local and international research institutes and provide modern research facilities and laboratories.

Popular study options in German universities:

Electrical Engineering Masters in Germany 
Computer Science Masters in Germany 
International Business Masters in Germany 

Examples of German universities present in world university rankings:

  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • University of Bonn
  • RWTH Aachen University
  • University of Mannheim

3. Why study a Master's degree in Australia
One of the reasons why many Indian students choose Australia is the fact that the visa application process for many Asian students has become more relaxed in terms of financial requirements.

Top advantages for Indian students who want to study abroad in Australia:

Safe country
Australia is one of the safest countries in the world, with a very low crime rate, which make it very popular among international students and tourists in general.

Multicultural and friendly environment
Apart from being the home of thousands of citizens worldwide, Australian people are known to be extremely friendly and outgoing people. So as a foreign student here, feeling welcomed is just one of the perks of studying abroad in Australia.

Great opportunities for work during studies and after graduation
International students in Australia can work up to 20 hours a week and after graduation, they can also benefit from a post-study work visa. Additionally, the Australian government has initiated a Professional Year Program dedicated to all graduates of accounting, information technology and engineering programmes, allowing them to work in a local company.

Popular study options in Australian universities

IT Masters in Australia – internship opportunities in local companies
Environmental Masters in Australia 
Business Masters in Australia – attend some of the best business schools in the world

4. Why study a Master's degree in the United States

Top advantages for Indian students who want to study abroad in the USA:

American universities provide top education
By simply considering any university ranking, U.S. universities are among the world’s best, perfectly blending academics with research and extracurricular activities. Although the education system in the USA attracts an astounding number of international students, universities have a high student satisfaction rate thanks to the numerous student services they provide.

Access to numerous scholarships
Indian students who plan to study in the U.S. can apply to several merit-based but also need-based scholarships. For merit-based scholarships, you will have to prove either academic or non-academic excellence (e.g. voluntary activities), while need-based scholarships are solely offered to students who can’t afford to cover their study costs.

Worldwide recognition of your qualification
Completing your degree or even just a part of it in the U.S. will impress anyone, especially potential employers. Higher education in the U.S. is known to prepare talented professionals that are highly skilled; companies will see you as a candidate with an international mindset and a problem solver.

Popular study options in American universities

Information Sciences Masters in the USA 
Aerospace Engineering Masters in the USA 
MBA degrees in the USA 
Here are a few of the top-ranked American universities:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
  • Washington State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Michigan State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Colorado Denver

5. Why study a Master's degree in Italy

Top advantages for Indian students who want to study abroad in Italy:

Low tuition fees and living costs
Italy is a top destination for Indian students because it is one of the most accessible and affordable study options. Compared to many other countries, you will not only enjoy low tuition fees but also low living costs.

Great student life
In any city in Italy, you will be surrounded by World Heritage Sites, so studying abroad in Italy will also be a unique travel and cultural experience. What many students and youngsters like about Italy is that it is full of life, meaning streets are full of people until late at night and you can enjoy partying and dancing in bars and clubs.

Taste some of the most fantastic food ever
If you’re a foodie, it’s impossible not to fall in love with Italian food. In Italy, you will get to taste “the real, quality” pizza and try numerous pasta dishes. That’s not all because Italian coffee and gelato are also tasty and delicious trademarks everyone appreciates.

Popular study options in Italian universities

Fashion Design Masters in Italy 
Architecture Masters in Italy – admire emblematic architectural works
Visual Arts Masters in Italy – home of famous artistic masterpieces

Here are a few of the top-ranked Italian universities:

  • University of Verona
  • University of Pisa
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Scientists Engineer Gorgeous Glowing Plants That Shine Bright Their Entire Life Cycle

The glowing greenhouse of our dreams is still so very far away, but it just got a tantalising nudge closer.
Scientists have genetically engineered a plant with not just a visible glow, but a self-sustaining glow that lasts for the duration of the plant's life cycle.
It's a breathtaking improvement on previous glowing plants. It's brighter than previous genetically engineered tobacco plants, and it doesn't need to be fed with chemicals to maintain luminescence. Also, the duration of the glow is much longer than glowing plants produced using plant nanobionics.
Of course, we all immediately think of a breathtaking Avatar-style night garden, glittering and gleaming in the darkness, and - further into the future - reducing our dependence on electric lighting.
But glowing greenery could also help us understand the plants themselves - how their metabolism works, and how they respond to the world around them.
The team worked on two species of tobacco plant. And, unlike previous genetically engineered glowing plants, which used bioluminescent bacteria or firefly DNA, these plants were engineered using the DNA of bioluminescent fungi.
"Although bacterial bioluminescence genes can be targeted to plastids to engineer autoluminescence, it is technically cumbersome and fails to produce sufficient light," the researchers wrote in their paper.
"The caffeic acid cycle, which is a metabolic pathway responsible for luminescence in fungi, was recently characterised. We report light emission in Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana benthamiana plants without the addition of any exogenous substrate by engineering fungal bioluminescence genes into the plant nuclear genome."
It was only at the end of 2018 that a team of researchers (many of whom worked on this new research also) published a paper on the biosynthesis of fungal luciferin, the compounds that produce a glow in luminescent fungi.
They discovered that these fungi synthesise luciferin from a compound called caffeic acid, worked upon by four enzymes. Two enzymes work to transform caffeic acid into a luminescent precursor; a third enzyme oxidises this precursor to produce a photon. The fourth enzyme then converts the molecule back to caffeic acid, which can be recycled through the same process.
And this is where things get interesting - because caffeic acid (no relation to caffeine) is found in all plants. It's key to the biosynthesis of lignin, the wood polymer that gives plant cell walls rigidity and strength.
The team reasoned that it might, therefore, be possible to genetically engineer plants to reallocate some of their caffeic acid to the biosynthesis of luciferin, as seen in bioluminescent fungi.
They spliced their tobacco plants with four fungus genes associated with bioluminescence, and carefully cultivated them. And they found that the plants glowed with a light visible to the naked eye from seedling to maturity - without any apparent cost to the health of the plant.
"The overall phenotype, chlorophyll and carotenoid content, flowering time and seed germination did not differ from wild-type tobacco in the greenhouse, with the exception of a 12 percent increase in median height of transgenic plants," the researchers wrote in their paper.
"This suggests that, unlike expression of bacterial bioluminescence, expression of caffeic acid cycle is not toxic in plants and does not impose an obvious burden on plant growth, at least in the greenhouse."
They found that younger parts of the plant glowed most brightly, with the flowers growing brightest of all. These produced, the researchers said, around a billion photons per minute. That's not nearly enough to read by, but it is bright enough to be clearly visible.
It's also around 10 times brighter than other genetically engineered glowing plants, the researchers said. It's not quite the brightest plant produced; that honour belongs to watercress produced by scientists at MIT using a technique called plant nanobionics, which produced a glow of around a trillion photons per second… but it only lasted 3.5 hours.
This new long-term, self-sustaining glow, the team found, could act as an indicator for how the plants responded to their external environment. When they placed a banana skin nearby, for instance, the plants would glow more brightly in response to the ethylene emitted.
The also observed flickering and waves in the light, produced by internal metabolic processes that are usually hidden - suggesting that this research could be an interesting way to study plant health.
"By enabling autonomous light emission, dynamic processes in plants can be monitored, including development and pathogenesis, responses to environmental conditions and effects of chemical treatment," the researchers wrote in their paper.
"By removing the need for exogenous addition of luciferin or other substrates, these luminescent capabilities should be particularly useful for experiments with plants grown in the soil."
Meanwhile, the team is working on expanding the research. They have genetically modified popular flowering plants such as periwinkles, petunias, and roses. They are also trying to produce an even brighter glow, and different colours. And they are thinking much, much bigger.
"Although caffeic acid is not native to animals, autonomous luminescence could also be enabled in animals," they wrote.
Wouldn't that be something.
The research has been published in Nature Biotechnology.

NESAC Recruitment 2020: Applications Invited for 21 Research Vacancies, Salary up to Rs 1,77,500

NESAC Recruitment 2020 is being conducted for 21 research vacancies for which engineers and postgraduates can apply online. Out of the 21 vacancies, 12 are for the Research Scientist (RS) posts and 9 are for Junior Research Fellow (JRF). Selected candidates will be eligible for a salary of Rs 31,000 for JRF and Rs 56,100 up to 1,77,500 depending on the qualification and experience.

Who can Apply for NESAC Recruitment 2020?
The official notification issued on the NESAC website says that for the 12 Research Scientist vacancies candidates with a first-class ME, MTech or MSc degree in the following streams as applicable against the post can apply: Electronics and Communication, Geoscience, Remote Sensing, Geo-informatics, Physics, Botany, Environmental Science, Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Earth Systems Science, Computer Science, and Engineering, Information Technology, Civil Engineering, Data Science, and so on. For more details on the qualification required, candidates are advised to go through the  official notification.

Furthermore, for the 9 Junior Research Fellow candidates with a first-class MSc or MTech in the following streams can apply: Agriculture, Botany, Environment Sciences, Forestry, Geography, Geology, Geoinformatics, Remote Sensing and GIS, Ecology, Ecology and Environment, Electronics and Communication, Atmospheric Science, Space Science, Atmospheric Physics, Physical Science, and so on along with N-JET or GATE qualification. To know more about the eligibility criteria, candidates are advised to go through the  official notification.

How to Apply for NESAC Recruitment 2020?

Interested and eligible candidates need to apply online on the official NESAC website until 11 May 2020. Both RS and JRF vacancies are purely on a temporary basis for a period of one year which can be further extended based on the performance of the candidate in the periodical reviews, for a maximum period of three years for RS and five years for JRF in total or co-terminus with the project, whichever is earlier, says the notification. Those who wish to apply for the posts can visit the official NESAC website: https://recruitment.nesdr.gov.in/rs_2020/

Trials of Mw vaccine for treatment of Covid-19 patients to be initiated soon: PGIMER Chandigarh

The Mycobacterium w (Mw) vaccine is not a vaccine for Covid-19 and will be used only as an adjunct, said experts at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. The facility was among three premier health institutions, including AIIMS Delhi and AIIMS Bhopal, chosen to conduct trials of Mw vaccine which is normally used to treat leprosy patients.
In a recently concluded multi-center trial, it has been found that Mw reduces mortality in ICU patients with severe sepsis. "Mw can potentially decrease the cytokine storm seen in patients with Covid-19 and may thus be of potential benefit in managing these patients and decreasing mortality," added the spokesperson.

Citing the recent trial findings, PGI officials said that the impact of Mw-use on long term safety and efficacy will only be known after the conclusion of this CSIR-supported clinical trial. "It is very early to say about the outcome of results and its use, officials said.

The trial will study the use of Mycobacterium w (heat-killed Mycobacterium indicus pranii) as an adjunct to the treatment of critically-ill Covid-19 patients. The officials said that Mycobacterium w (Mw) originally developed as an immunomodulator for leprosy, acts through the toll-like receptor pathway and enhances host-T cell responses.
"Mw can potentially decrease the cytokine storm seen in patients with Covid-19, and may thus be of potential benefit in managing these patients and decreasing mortality," the PGI spokesperson told media outlets.
The PGI doctors in the pre-study phase have assessed the safety of Mw vaccine in four hospitalised patients with Covid-19 and found that there were no short-term adverse effects.

PGI has also said that the Mw vaccine trial on Covid-19 patients will be initiated soon.

Ozone layer hole over Arctic closes, confirm scientists

Scientists said the hole over the Arctic, noticed in March this year, has healed

The largest hole in the Ozone layer above the Arctic caused due to the unusual atmospheric conditions has closed, as per reports. The hole was first identified by scientists in March this year.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) confirmed the development.
The Ozone layer is a region in the Earth’s stratosphere that absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet rays, shielding the planet from the harmful radiation which can cause skin cancer. In the 1970s, scientists discovered that the ozone layer was being depleted due to man-made activities, thereby leading to a threat to life on Earth.

In March, scientists had noticed signs of a hole forming in the Ozone layer above the north pole and thought it was the result of low temperatures. It is believed to be the largest hole in the Ozone layer, and would have led to a bigger threat had it moved toward the south.

However, scientists have confirmed that the 1 million square kilometre-wide hole in the ozone layer has healed. They added that the closing of the hole was not due to the reduced levels of pollution during the coronavirus lockdown. It is believed that the polar vortex, the high-altitude currents that are responsible for bringing cold air to the polar regions, is responsible for the healing of the layer.

ICMR Notification 2020 for 150 JRF Posts Released @icmr.nic.in, Exam on July 12

ICMR Notification 2020 : The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has released the Junior Research Fellowship Notification- 2020 on its official website. Candidates willing to apply for Junior Research Fellowship Posts can apply online on or before 27 May 2020. 

It is noted that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi is all set to hold a National level online examination for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) on 12th July 2020. ICMR has collaborated with Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh in this regard.

ICMR will conduct the Computer Based Test (CBT) at Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi (NCR), Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Srinagar (J&K) and Varanasi.

Eligibility Criteria :
Educational Qualification: MSc/MA or equivalent degree with minimum 55% marks for General/EWS/OBC candidates and 50% for the SC/ST and PwBD candidates in the subjects mentioned above. Candidates appearing in the final year examination in 2019-2020 session can also apply

Candidates should note that A total of 150 Fellowships would be awarded. 120 fellowships in the field of Biomedical Sciences with emphasis on Life Sciences and thirty (30) fellowships for the work with emphasis on Social Sciences.

Rs.1500/- (General/EWS/OBC) + Transaction charges as applicable.
Rs. 1200/- (SC/ST) + Transaction charges as applicable.
PwBD exempted from payment of fee

Age Limit:
 The upper age limit for admission to the eligibility test is 28 years as on 30-09-2020 (relaxable upto five years in case of candidates belonging to SC/ST, PwBD and female candidates and three years in the case of OBC).

How to Apply: 
Candidates can get the information bulletin/brochure, online application form and other details will be available at both, PGIMER, Chandigarh website http://pgimer.edu.in and ICMR, New Delhi website: https://icmr.nic.in/. Candidates can apply online from the official website mentioned above from 27.04.2020 to 27.05.2020.

How to Download: ICMR Released Notification for 150 JRF Posts

  • Visit to the official website of The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-https://www.icmr.nic.in/.
  • Go to the Junior Research Fellowships (JRF)/Title section available on the home page.
  • Click on the link- "Online Test for ICMR Junior Research Fellowship Notification- 2020" available on the homepage.
  • The PDF of the desired notification will be open on your screen.
  • Download and save the copy of Notification for your future reference.

Canada: International students still eligible for post-graduation work permit as courses go online

Since universities in Canada have shifted to online learning due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has changed the requirements for international students applying for a post-graduation working permit (PGWP).

According to Canada Immigration News (CIC), international students starting their programme at a Canadian university via online coursework will not be penalised when they apply for the PGWP after completing their studies.

Prior to the pandemic, students will not be ineligible for the work permit if they studied online and were not enrolled in a full-time programme for at least eight months.

The Canadian government has stated that despite travel bans, they are still allowing international students to enter Canada to begin their studies, provided they self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry. However, many international students are still unable to do so due to travel restrictions in their home countries.

These students can still start their courses virtually from wherever they are and will still be eligible to apply for the PGWP. They can also complete up to half of their programme from outside Canada if they are unable to travel to Canada anytime sooner.

This will come as welcome news to international students worried about applying for the PGWP but have no choice but to take online classes.

Canada is one of the top countries for international students due to its immigration pathways and welcoming attitude to international students and migrants.

According to CIC, one-quarter of the nearly 90,000 people who applied under Express Entry for immigration were international student graduates.

Express Entry is the application process for skilled immigrants (like international students) who are looking to settle in Canada permanently, done through an online system.

Support for international students in Canada
Despite the current COVID-19 outbreak, Canada is still sending a welcoming message for international students and supporting them through their academic and career goals.

Recognising that they contribute significantly to Canada’s economy, they are making provisions to ensure Canada’s study and work pathways are still, for the most part, available to them.

This is evident in this new waiver of eligibility for the PGWP and travel exemption, as long as they have been approved for a study permit prior to March 18.

According to The PIE News, international students will be able to receive temporary income support of CA$500 a week for up to 16 weeks for those whose jobs are affected by COVID-19. They can access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if they meet these criteria:

  • Above 15 years old and residing in Canada
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Have stopped working due to COVID-19/have not voluntarily quit their job
  • Income of at least CA $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application
  • Currently or expecting to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.

COVID-19: The international student guide to visa and benefits in Canada

If you are an international student in Canada, the government’s COVID-19 measures may provide some relief.

As of late April, there are significant updates that would likely affect your mobility, post-graduation plans and income over the coming months.

Read on for details every international student in Canada should know about.

Travel ban
Canada’s travel ban is expected to take place until June 30.

However, as Study International previously reported, international students in Canada whose permits were approved before March 18 can still enter the country — under the condition they self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry.

Those who find themselves stuck in their home country can still begin their classes outside Canada.

Under current circumstances, those with valid permits may complete up to half of their programme remotely and return to Canada once the travel ban is relaxed or lifted.

Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, every international student in Canada doing online classes and coursework can still qualify for the PWGP.

This includes students who are unable to travel to Canada, but have a valid study permit or were approved for a programme beginning in May or June 2020.

This three-year work permit was previously only available to those who studied a full-time programme in Canada that is at least eight months long. The PGWP is the best pathway for international students in Canada to pursue full-time work after graduation, typically towards the aim of permanent residence.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The CERB will provide temporary income support for those whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19. An estimated four million people will apply for this relief scheme, which is available from March 15 to October 3.

If you are an international student in Canada who meets the qualification criteria, you are entitled to CA$500 a week for up to 16 weeks. That puts your taxable income at CA$2,000 a month.

The criteria are as follows: you are at least 15 years old, live in Canada, have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN), unemployed for at least 14 days in a row, and have no source of income for the first two weeks of CERB.

You must also have made at least CA$5,000 from employment, self-employment, government benefits, or a combination of these (not necessarily in Canada) over the past year.

Now, an international student in Canada does not typically have a SIN. But the government says you may still be eligible for this benefit if you meet all other requirements.
Bear in mind that you will have to reapply for CERB every four weeks. At every stage, you will have to prove that you still qualify for the payout with supporting documents.

As an international student in Canada would know, you are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours every week.
You can apply online, through a phone call or via your bank. Be prepared to wait anywhere between three to 10 days for your payout.

A guick guide to CERB for international students in Canada

International students in Canada are among the many groups covered in the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), a government scheme to support citizens and taxpayers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you are one of the 642,000 international students in Canada, this could provide relief in a crucial time. Canadians lost a record number of one million jobs in March alone, which includes many part-time and campus jobs that were supporting international students.

For all of you wondering how to go about it, here’s a quick guide to CERB for international students in Canada.

What is CERB?
The CERB will provide temporary income support for those whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19. Under this scheme, Canadian taxpayers are entitled to CA$500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

Bear in mind that you will have to reapply for CERB every four weeks. At every stage, you will have to prove that you still qualify for the payout with supporting documents.
At the same time, several students have raised concerns about being left out of this hardship scheme on technicalities.

Those who lost new summer jobs lined up to help pay tuition would now be unable to earn that income. If they hadn’t worked before, they would not qualify for the CERB either.

The government website explicitly states, “If you are looking for a job but haven’t stopped working because of COVID-19, you are not eligible for the Benefit. For example, if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer you do not qualify for the benefit.”

CERB for international students — are you eligible?
International students in Canada may apply to receive CA$2,000 taxable income monthly if they:

  • are above 15 years old and residing in Canada
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). International students in Canada without SIN may still be eligible if they meet all other requirements.
  • have stopped working due to COVID-19 or have not voluntarily quit their job
  • earned an income of at least CA$5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application. International students in Canada who worked part-time jobs for the past five months should have earned enough to meet this requirement.
  • are currently or expecting to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period.

Applications are open till October 3, 2020. You can apply online, through a phone call or via your bank. Be prepared to wait anywhere between three to 10 days for your payout.

Researchers in Spain Use Biotech to Produce SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine in Plants

Researchers María Coca and Juan José López-Moya from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) are using their expertise in plant biotechnology and virology to produce SARS-CoV-2 antigens to be used in vaccine development. The researchers will experiment with different expression systems from plants and have formed a team including an immunologist expert in coronavirus.

In 2019, María Coca has successfully engineered a plant virus to produce antifungal proteins inside plant leaves. This same strategy could be now used to produce SARS-CoV-2 antigens, not only in Nicotiana benthamiana, but also in lettuce plants. According to María Coca, antigen production in lettuce could make it possible to test for oral immunization.

The production systems they propose would overcome some of the problems associated with other vaccine production systems, such as the difficulties to escalate production, or the need to isolate the antigen and to purify it. Plant systems are also free of other human pathogens, and, the production would be safe at a much lower cost in terms of time and money.

Plants can be grown easily in developing countries that lack sophisticated protein production methods, therefore contributing large-scale solutions to this global crisis. CRAG researchers have also conducted the adaptation of plant-derived technologies to other platforms that can be adapted for the production of SARS-CoV-2 antigens, such as fast-growing yeast cultures where they have successfully produced antifungal compounds. With these approaches, SARS-CoV-2 antigens could be produced in a matter of days at industrial scales.

For more details, read the article in CRAG News.

Call for Papers: Amity International Journal of Juridical Science [AIJJS, Volume 6]: Submit by May 15

About the Journal
Amity International Journal of Juridical Science [AIJJS] is published annually by Amity Law School, Amity University, Noida bearing ISSN 2395-4019. It is a faculty run Annual Refereed Journal whose primary goal is to serve an important legal
scholarship academic forum on any issue.

Word Limit
Articles (words between 5000 to 6000, except footnotes).
Essays (words from 3000 to 5000, except footnotes).
Reviews of Books/Case Comments/Short Notes (2500 words, except footnotes).

Formatting Details

  • The manuscript body must be in the “Times New Roman” font with font size 12, heading 14, line spacing 1.5 and the “justified” alignment with 1-inch margins on all sides of the page with page numbers.
  • All footnotes must be in “Times New Roman” with font size 10, line spacing 1. Endnotes are not allowed and speaking footnotes are generally discouraged.
  • All submissions must follow the “Bluebook: A Uniform Citation System (19th edition).” Failure to comply could be a ground for rejection.
  • Submissions should be made in Microsoft Office (doc./docx.) with formatting and citation style only. Any kind of plagiarism will lead to immediate disqualification. The paper should not contain of any kind of errors in grammar and spelling.

General Guidelines

  • Each submission must be accompanied by an abstract of no more than 500 words outlining the study area and any important conclusions that the author(s) may draw and at most 5 keywords.
  • Covering Letter: All personal details, including name, year, college/university name, postal address, phone number and email Id, must be submitted in a separate file and must not be included in the article submission document or file.
  • Co-authorship is allowed to a maximum of 2 authors. However, co-authorship is not allowed in case of Case Comment, Legislative Comment and Book Review.
  • Submissions must be submitted to als.aijjs[at]gmail.com with the subject line “Submission of Manuscripts for Volume VI”. The deadline for submissions is 15th May 2020.
  • All papers must be accompanied by a ‘Conclusion’ stating the views and opinions of the authors on the subject. Authors can expect to receive their submission decisions within two months of submission.
  • Kindly note that the manuscript review procedure is based on the author’s anonymity and the editor’s and reviewer’s reports are kept confidential at all phases of development. Author anonymity is also maintained during the process of editorial decision-making.
  • AIJJS publishes only original and unpublished material. Manuscripts must therefore not, at any time during the period of consideration by the Journal, be considered for publication in any other place, nor published beforehand.
  • The Law Review has a strict plagiarism policy as well. Plagiarism shall be liable for rejection of the manuscript. All entries shall be copyrighted exclusively with Amity Law School, Noida. The submission would imply that the author has assigned such rights to Amity Law School, Noida.

For any queries feel free to contact at als.aijjs[at]gmail.com.

Biotechnology Eligibility Test (BET 2020) for DBT-Junior Research Fellowship: Apply by May 18

Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, invites application for award of “DBT-Junior Research Fellowship” (DBT-JRF) for pursuing research in frontier areas of Biotechnology and Life Sciences.

The candidates will be selected through “Biotechnology Eligibility Test (BET)”. Based on the performance in BET, two categories of merit list will be prepared (Category-I and Category-II). Government of India norms for reservation will be followed for selection.

Qualification: M.Sc./ M.Tech./ M.V.Sc. or equivalent degree/ Integrated BS-MS/ B.E./ B.Tech. in any discipline of Biotechnology, M.Sc./ M.Tech. Bioinformatics/ Computational Biology, students admitted under DBT supported Postgraduate Teaching Programs. M.Sc. Life Science/ Bioscience/ Zoology/ Botany/ Microbiology/ Biochemistry/ Biophysics and Masters in Allied areas of Biology/Life Sciences. Candidates appearing in the final year examination are also eligible to apply.

Marks: Minimum 60% marks for General, EWS & OBC category and 55% for SC/ ST/ Differently abled in aggregate (or equivalent grade).

Age Limit: Upto 28 years as on the last date of application for General & EWS category. Age relaxation of up to 5 years (33 years) for SC/ ST/ Differently Abled/ women candidates and upto 3 years (31 years) for OBC (Non-Creamy Layer) candidates.

Details of the Award
DBT-BET (category-I) entitles a candidate for activation of fellowship subject to joining of PhD Programme and registration from a recognized university or Institute in the country within 2 years from the date of issue of award letter.

Registration for PhD is candidate’s responsibility and DBT has no role/ responsibility in this matter. Verification of documents will be carried out for shortlisted candidates. Award letter will not be issued to candidates found ineligible or who submit incorrect documents.

Mode of Selection
The candidates will be selected by computer based, “Biotechnology Eligibility Test (BET)”. A candidate may opt for any three centers of their choice from the options given in the application form. Efforts would be made to allot one of the three opted cities/ centers however, in certain cases a candidate may be allotted a different city/ center due to administrative reasons. No TA/DA will be admissible to any candidate for attending the test.

Fee Details
A non-refundable and non-transferable application fee of Rs. 1000/-is payable online by General/ OBC/ EWS candidates and Rs 250/- by SC/ ST/ Differently abled candidates.

Important Dates
Online registration start date: April 20, 2020
Online registration close: May 18, 2020
BET 2020 June 30, 2020 (Tuesday)- Tentative Display of Question Paper and Answer Key on Website: June 30, 2020
Last date of accepting representation of any discrepancy in Question paper and Answer Key: July 3, 2020
Declaration of BET 2020 Results: July 20, 2020

5 mistakes people make while taking an education loan

Taking an education loan, however, is a life-altering decision – one ought not to be taken lightly. If it is not given due attention and care, it can become a chronic headache.
Education loan is the second largest contributor to consumer debt around the world, led only by home loan. Thanks to the trend catching up in India, millions of students have been able to fulfill their dream of pursuing higher education – both within the country and abroad. Taking an education loan, however, is a life-altering decision – one ought not to be taken lightly. If it is not given due attention and care, it can become a chronic headache. Given below are a few things you should keep in mind while getting an education loan to prevent any unprecedented trouble.

Borrowing more than needed

The maximum amount of loan you can draw from a bank ranges from 20 lakhs to 40 lakhs. That, however, in no way means that you should borrow such a large sum. The more money you take from the bank, the more you’ll have to return in terms of interest. You don’t need extra money only to pay it back with interest. Therefore, make it a point to sit down and precisely calculate your net education expense before you decide how much you’re going to borrow.

The temptation for luxury

Once you have the money in your hand, it’s not easy to resist yourself from spending it. But your education loan is for educational purposes only, and it is something you should imbibe in your mind before applying for the loan. Try finding a part-time job to fund your non-academic expenditure instead of covering your living expenses with the loan.

Lack of research
Diving headlong towards the first offer that presents itself is one of the worst mistakes you can make while applying for an education loan. Research the market thoroughly, and then research some more. Compare the interest rates among sources and go with the one that leads to the smallest repayment amount.

Preferring long-term repayment over short-term repayment

Long-term repayment involves paying a small installment every month over a long duration, whereas short-term repayment involves paying the maximum monthly installment the student can afford, which clears the debt quicker. Students often tend to go for the former because it’s more comfortable. However, they fail to notice that it also involves repaying a substantially larger sum of money because of the accumulation of interest. Whenever you can, prefer short-term repayment over long-term repayment.

Not reading the fine print

The TL:DR (Too Long: Didn’t Read) trend isn’t limited to online blogs. Many students end up buying an expensive education loan without reading the fine print on the document, only to find out later that it doesn’t cover their necessary expenses. Another hurdle in the way is that many students who apply for the loan aren’t well versed in financial matters. If it happens to be the case, one must seek out professional advice. Even if it costs you a little, it will end up saving you a lot in the long run.

DBT-Research Associateship in Biotechnology & Life Sciences at IISc Bangalore: Apply by April 30

The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India invites applications for the DBT Research Associateship in Biotechnology & Life Sciences Program 2020. The DBT has introduced the aforesaid program. The Secretary, DBT requested the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore to co-ordinate and administer the implementation of the said program.

The program was started in December 2000 at a total project cost of Rs. 465.00 lakhs. The purpose of the fellowship program is to train scientists in frontier areas of research in Biotechnology at such institutions in India which are engaged in major biotechnological research activities.

The Objective of the program is to train post-doctoral students in frontier areas of research in Biotechnology and Life Sciences at premier institutions in India.


  • The applicants should hold a Ph.D. degree in Science, Engineering or M.D./M.S. degree in any area of medicine with research interests in Biotechnology and Life Sciences and a good academic record.
  • Those who have already submitted the Ph.D./M.D./M.S. thesis are also eligible to apply.
  • The applicants should preferably be below the age of 40 years, and 45 years in case of women candidates.
  • Persons already employed are also eligible to apply. However, their applications should be routed through their employers.


75 Fellowships would be awarded every year. Depending on the utility of the program, the number of fellowships to be awarded per year may be revised.

How to Apply?
The hard copy of the application should be sent via speed post to Prof. Arun Kumar, Ph.D., National Program Coordinator, DBT-Research Associateship Program, Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics, Biological Sciences Building, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-560 012. The last date to apply is April 30, 2020.

Phone Number: 080-2293 2462

Email ID: arunk@iisc.ac.in

What To Do When Faced With Career Uncertainty

If you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. That’s because humans crave certainty. It isn’t just the magnitude of this shock that is unprecedented but the uncertainty surrounding almost every facet of it—uncertainty that is corrosive in its own right.” There are many things out of our control right now, including the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, the duration of social-distancing measures, the economic and financial impact, and government policy. What we can control is our own response to the current crisis. Whether you’ve been laid off or are working for a company that is on shaky ground, here are some steps you can take to deal with career uncertainty.

Acknowledge the distress
The best thing you can do to deal with career uncertainty is to acknowledge your feelings. That might mean verbalizing your concerns to friends, family, or a counselor. You may also want to make sense of what’s happening by writing it down. This could take the form of a journal or simply a list of all the things that worry you. 

Learn the art of surrender
Once you write down all the things you may be concerned about, identify the items that are out of your control. Then try to let go of those fears so you can focus on what is within your sphere of influence. This exercise will help you to move forward while feeling more in control and less of a victim.

Focus on what you’re grateful for
Mindfulness helps us pay deeper attention to the ordinary things in our lives that we so often take for granted. Write down everything that you’re grateful for. This will help calm your stress and anxiety so you can deal with career uncertainty from a place of abundance rather than despair. A few ways to do this include starting a gratitude journal or even a virtual gratitude group. By getting a few friends together on a Facebook group, for example, you’ll be able to hold each other accountable while lifting each other’s spirits.

Serve others
Helping others through volunteering or other ways doesn’t just make the world better—it makes you better too. In fact, there are scientific benefits in serving others. Studies suggests that assisting others helps us manage our own emotions, decreases symptoms of depression, and ultimately, improves our emotional well-being.
Some ways to do this are:

  • Donate blood to the Red Cross
  • Contribute to your local food bank
  • Call or text your neighbors (especially the elderly) to check in on them
  • Show your appreciation to people putting themselves at risk every day, including grocery store clerks, health care workers, police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, postal workers, delivery people, and so many others.

Open your mind
When we are faced with career uncertainty, it can give us a chance to pause and reflect on the direction we are taking.Give yourself a chance to dream and visualize your ideal job scenario. Ask yourself some key questions:

  • What careers have you brainstormed or fantasized about?
  • What work have you thought you might love to try at some point?
  • What new field(s) have you thought about getting more education or training in?

Now may be just the time to consider a more fulfilling career option. As Albert Einstein said, “Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.”

The current environment can feel daunting. But there are steps you can take to take charge of your future. Don’t let the current situation paralyze you. Instead, focus on what is within your sphere of control. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself back in the driver’s seat with a career and life you love.

Careers that are even more viable during the pandemic outbreak

We’re living in unusual times.

While it’s true that remote work is challenging and there is a new reality for most, some employment categories will likely see an upswing in terms of greater needs, more positions available, and even higher pay.

These jobs will be in particularly high demand over the next few weeks and months.

1. Software development
To say that software development is now even more important is an understatement. Apps and desktop software are now more viable because many of us are working at home on a computer all day.
We need apps to help us connect with one another, keep track of projects, and communicate more effectively. I’m convinced we’ll see new and innovative apps that go beyond Zoom and Slack that offer even more powerful features after this is all over.

2. Graphic design
Visual communication is also more viable now — mostly because we’re all so distracted and stressed out. Graphic design is a field that helps cut through the noise.

A well-designed logo, website, or banner can stand out in a crowded field. Designers will be in high demand because communication has become so important for branding, sales, and customer support.

3. Writing
It might be the best time ever to start a writing career.

There is a hunger for more information, especially if it is accurate and well-sourced. Writers can easily camp out at home and deliver a final product as they have for decades, but now the need is even greater for good storytelling, accurate news and feature stories, copywriting, and any other written communication.

4. Marketing
If you’ve thought of starting a new marketing career, know this — the field has taken major leaps forward from the days when marketing was only about a logo and a printed brochure. (Actually, it was never really like that but people had that perception.) It is now extremely strategic, visual, digital, and technical.

And, marketing had already gone “virtual” before the pandemic.

5. Online instructor
If you have ever thought of finding a position with a company that teaches online, now is the time.

Many colleges and universities have moved to all digital classrooms. Now, you could argue the budgets are being reduced and that may be true, but there is still a great need for folks who understand technology and how to teach in an online setting.

6. Customer support
Companies are already creating virtual teams who work at home but handle support calls. Interestingly, while there are challenges in terms of communication and access to systems needed to do the support, there will be an increased need for support representatives in the coming weeks and months just as much as ever.
There’s tension in the air about how to use products and how to resolve problems — and customer support will meet those needs.

7. Online sales
Those who can work at home and make calls, check-in by email, or use a customer relationship management database will also be in high demand.

That’s because, while these positions are relationship-based they can be conducted at home and without constant supervision. Online sales is a category that keeps growing and will be more and more viable.