A two-day national conference on nano science and technology, ‘Nano India,’ will begin here on Tuesday. National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology under Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-NIIST) and Department of Science and Technology are organisers.

C.N.R.Rao, Scientific Advisor to Prime Minister, will inaugurate the event. Suresh Das, Director, CSIR-NIIST, will preside.

Major objective of Nano India-2013 is to provide exposure to scientists and students to nanoscience and nanotech research. It also aims to promote exchange of ideas and collaborative endeavours in emerging frontier interdisciplinary areas.

The conference will feature three plenary talks and 21 invited lectures by eminent scientists from across the country. About 500 delegates from various academic institutions and industries are expected to participate.

ANNUAL EVENT

Nano India conference is held every year as a part of the Nano Mission programme. This year’s event will be followed by a review of ongoing projects under the Nano Mission programme.

The Centre launched the Nano Mission in May 2007 with an allocation of Rs1,000 crore for a period of five years. It aims to promote the research and developments in this emerging and highly competitive area.

Several scientists from all over India are working on different branches of nanotechnology under this programme. Developments in this area would be environmentally and economically beneficial for the whole country.

VARIED BENEFITS

This is particularly true for States such as Kerala where highly educated youth are easily available. It may help resolve partially problems related to high unemployment rate.

It could also address some of the issues related to pollution and environmental damages. Nano materials are used to clean up environmental damages.

One such example is treatment of contaminated groundwater. Some nano materials can be used to detect harmful bacteria such as e.coli in drinking water.

DRUG DELIVERY

Nanotechnology brims with the possibility of delivering drugs to specific cells using nanoparticles. Overall drug consumption and side effects may be lowered significantly by depositing the active agent in the morbid region. This highly selective approach would reduce costs and human suffering.

The vision of CSIR-NIIST is to be recognised for excellence in discovering new knowledge on functional nano materials. It aims to develop such materials for industrial applications using cost competitive and acceptable processing technologies.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 18, 2013)
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