Scientists to bolster ‘Make in India’ campaign

New Delhi, Dec 3: The government’s ‘Make in India’ programme is getting a serious push from the country’s scientific community with an array of research aimed at improving manufacturing and production processes intended to make Indian products globally competitive.

At the first edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF) that opens at IIT Delhi on Friday, December 4, more than 400 researchers from around the country are presenting papers on a range of topics at the Young Scientists’ Conference.

An entire section of the conference is dedicated to Design and Manufacturing technologies for ‘Make in India’. These detail new and improved manufacturing technologies, industrial processes, fabrication techniques, material designs, models and innovations that can benefit industries as wide ranging as aviation and space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, instrumentation, defence, energy, computing and automobiles.

“Our industries and manufacturing units need science and technology inputs to give impetus to the ‘Make in India’ project; and our R&D institutes are primed to provide this kind of support,” said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Minister for Science & Technology. “With IISF, we are trying to bring the two together for fruitful interactions. It is a platform to showcase innovations that may have been waiting in the wings for decades.”

Many of the innovations detailed in the papers have been patented and are ready to be marketed or scaled up industrially. For instance, researchers at the CSIR National Chemical Laboratory at Pune have developed polymer-membrane technology for disinfecting drinking water and for enriching oxygen or nitrogen content of air for medical and industrial applications.

They developed the membranes at an indigenously designed facility and have secured multiple patents. They have also launched a startup for developing affordable oxygen-enrichment unit using hollow fibre membranes.

Similarly CSIR's Structural Engineering Research Centre in Chennai has set up a prototype testing and research facility for power transmission line systems. This is to help transmission tower manufacturers raise their product design and quality standards to global levels and be competitive in the international market.

A group of researchers from Lucknow are working on production techniques to make sustainable, environment-friendly bio-plastics from corn and potato starch. Their goal is to create rural small scale industrial units to manufacture the bio polymers, generating employment and incomes at the village level.

Many of the papers detail research into renewable energy, nanotechnology, transportation technology and robotics. The participants at the Young Scientists’ Meet have been drawn from all over India including IITs, CSIR research laboratories, universities, engineering colleges, public sector companies.

Besides Make in India, the presentations have been grouped under themes such as Indigenous Science & Technology, Innovative Agricultural Practices & Livestock Management, Integrated Healthcare, Vector Control, Geo-information Systems, Green Energy, Materials for Sustainable Development, Waste to Wealth Technologies, Technologies for Climate Systems, Water Resources & Management, Ocean Resources & Management.

The Young Scientists’ Conference will be on for three days from December 5. It will include oral presentations, posters and plenary sessions on topics such as Preventive and Integrated Healthcare, Indian Innovations that have transformed society, Sustainable-Smart Technologies, R&D for Value Addition and the Reduce-Recycle-Reuse Paradigm.

IISF 2015 is a joint event of the Ministry of Science and Technology (DST, DBT and DSIR/CSIR) and the Ministry of Earth Sciences, organised in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA), the largest science movement in the country. The Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) is the nodal agency for the event.

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