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CSIR NEWS

 

 

Vol 53 No 13, 15 JULY 2003

ISSN 0409-7467

 

 

`IIP undertakes field trials on performance of new gear oil for Castrol India Ltd

UNDER a project sponsored by Castrol India Ltd, Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehra Dun, is studying performance of the newly developed gear oil on a test fleet of Maruti Zen cars. The field trials are being conducted for a distance of 50,000 km.

 

The vehicles were flagged off on 22 April 2003 by Dr Ravi Mohan, Vice‑President (Technology), Castrol India Ltd, Mumbai, at IIP. Dr A. K. Gupta, Officiating Director, IIP, heads of divisions and the team members of this project were present during the flag off ceremony.

 

 

 

 

Dr Ravi Mohan, Vice-President (Technology), Castral India Ltd, Mumbai,

flagging off the Maruti Zen cars for test fleet, at IIP

 

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ravi Mohan said that keeping in view the Indian road conditions, the field trials have been planned on mixed routes of cities, plains, highways and hilly areas. He expressed confidence that the Castrol's newly developed gear oil would meet the severe road conditions, and successfully pass the performance tests over a distance of 50,000 km. Shri S. P. Sabnis, Manager, R&D, Castrol India Ltd, had conducted a Road Safety Awareness Programme for the drivers associated with this field trial, prior to the flagging off.

Dr Mukesh Saxena, Head, Engines Laboratory, IIP, pointed out that IIP has expertise in the area of field trials on scooters, motor cycles and light commercial diesel trucks, and has undertaken several such projects in the past. The present field trials are on three Maruti Zen (MPFI) cars for performance evaluation of gear oils for Castrol India Ltd, Mumbai. Shri Nishan Singh, Sr Engineer, IIP, is Project Leader for this project.

 

HANSA VT-HNS off to IIT, Kanpur

 

ON 14 April 2003, HANSA VT-HNS, piloted by Capt. C. S. Anil Prakash (Trivandrum Flying Club) and Yogendra P Urs (National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bangalore's own “Yogi”), took off for Bellary en route Kanpur, after refuelling/night halts at Bellary, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal and Khajuraho. While taking off Yogi told, “We expect to cruise at speeds of 70 to 90 knots and could travel even faster if the winds are favourable”.

 

 

Improved Pollution Control System for Lime Kilns

 

CONTROLLING of pollution from the lime burning kilns is a major concern of the Indian lime industry. The Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee, carried out in the recent past, monitoring studies on some of the existing lime kilns based on CBRI/KVIC designs at Dehra Dun (U.A.) and Paonta Sahib (H.P.). The average data pertaining to various pollutants for the 10 tpd capacity kilns are as follows: ‑

 

Constituent                                                    Range

Exhaust gas flow rate                                                          2,000-2,500 nm3/h

Exhaust gas temperature                                                     100-250°C

Suspended particulate matter
(including tarry matter)                                                        1,000-2,000 mg/nm
3

Sulphur dioxide                                                                  0.24-0.42 mg/nm3

Nitrogen oxides                                                                  2.0-6.5 mg/nm3

Benzene solubles                                                                300-1,000 mg/nm3

Particle size less than 10 microns                                         80-95%

 

It may be mentioned that Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi, has fixed the permissible limit of the major pollutant, i.e. Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), as 500 mg/nm3.

 

To control emission of dust particles and hydrocarbon tarry matter from the lime kilns, CBRI developed a system, incorporating a double deck packed bed scrubber‑cum‑entrainment separator. It consists of two fixed bed chambers containing limestone packing. The lower chamber serves as the counter current gas‑liquid (water) scrubber. The water entering through spray nozzles is distributed uniformly over the top of the packing surface, descending through the column in the form of films distributed over the packing surface, and the exhaust gas from the masonry lime kiln rises through the voids between the packing particles. Consequently, a large amount of contact surface becomes available, resulting in efficient and economical mass transfer operation. The upper bed works as demister‑cum‑entrainment separator for the removal of moisture and tarry vapours from the up‑flowing gases. The gases after cleaning escape in‑ to the atmosphere through an induced draft fan installed at the bottom of the stack.

 

 

 

Experimental pollution control system installed on a commercial lime kiln at Paonta Sahib (H.P.)

 

 

Improved System

The development work and upgradation of the pollution control system was continued for the most commonly used 10 tpd capacity lime kilns and a system incorporating an improved scrubber with Packed Bed Demister unit was evolved to control emissions of dust particles and hydrocarbon tarry matter from the lime kilns installed in clusters or sensitive areas for better separation efficiency. The device consists of wet scrubbing of effluent gas in two parts. The first part is a contactor stage in which spray of water is generated and dust‑laden gas, moving at a moderately high velocity, is led tangentially into the chamber. The resulting whirling motion produces centrifugal forces which drive the particles to the wall, where they are wetted by the fine spray of water before the gas enters the outlet pipe. In the second stage, the effluent stream passes through a whittle type sieve where some more water is sprayed. The deposited dust particles become heavy and tend to settle down due to inertia. The cleaned wet gas is then passed through a smaller packed bed demister chamber which acts as an entrainment separator for the removal of the moisture and organic tarry vapors from the up‑flowing gases to the atmosphere through an induced draft fan installed at the bottom of the stack.

 

 

 

Improved pollution system installed and commissioned by CBRI on a KVIC lime kiln at Piduguralla,

Dist. Guntur (A.P.)

 

Water for the system is conveyed through a centrifugal pump. A reservoir for storage of water has been provided. The water scrubbed material from the bottom of the lower chamber is collected into a slurry tank provided adjacent to the water tank. In order to reduce the consumption of water, the overflowing liquid from the top of the slurry tank directly falls into the water tank for reuse. Limestone lumps packed into the demister chamber can be replaced at regular intervals of time, normally in about a week or so. The limestone is recycled into the lime kiln for calcination.

 

The salient features of the system are: (i) Scrubber with packed bed demister system, (ii) Limestone as reusable packing material, (iii) Suitable for particle sizes less than 10 microns, (iv) Power failure does not affect kiln operation, (v) Water requirement: 4‑5 kI/day and (vi) Power requirement: 5 kW.

 

CSMCRI — Pepsico interaction

DURING the last few years, Pepsico India Holdings P Ltd, in view of the expertise available at the Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, has sponsored to the institute a number of projects on development of viable technology for Hypnea‑Eucheuma cultivation, harvesting and manufacture of semi‑refined k carrageenan, studies on the environmental impact assessment of Eucheuma cultivation on marine environment in the selected regions of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay of Tamilnadu coast and animal‑driven reverse osmosis desalination plant for earthquake‑affected people of Kutch, Gujarat.

 

CSMCRI successfully transferred the know‑how for cultivation of Eucheuma on commercial scale to Pepsico India Holdings P Ltd, Gurgaon, in March 2000, because of which CSMCRI also bagged the prestigious CSIR Technology Award in Biological Sciences in 2001.

 

At present, Pepsico is doing massive scale cultivation of Eucheuma in about 15 to 20ha area in the Gulf of Mannar and Palkway site near the famous temple at Rameshwaram. The concerned authorities have permitted Pepsico to do commercial scale farming in 100ha area. The company is doing seaweed farming under the stellar stewardship of scientists from CSMCRI. The camaraderie between the two organizations has become so close that the Pepsico extended special invitation to Mr Lakshmi Kanthan, Carrageenan Project Manager; Dr K. Eswaran and Dr M. Ganesan, CSMCRI's MARS staff at Mandapam (Tamilnadu) along with their families to participate in the anniversary celebrations of the Pepsico at Madurai this year.

 

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology excels in Performance

THE year 2002‑03 was an eventful year for the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, in several ways. The institute continued to maintain its top slot in overseas patenting in the CSIR system by accounting for more than 120 overseas and 46 Indian patents and protecting 62 inventions in a single year. The drugs/pharma, catalysis and organic synthesis fields dominate the patented inventions. The institute also achieved a new high in terms of research publications in 2002, with 290+ research papers published in SCI journals of international repute with their average impact value crossing 1.85. IICT continues to hold second position in research publications in the CSIR system. The institute successfully completed 65 sponsored research and consultancy projects during 2002‑03 and launched 73 new projects with a total contract value of Rs 150 million. The number of sponsored projects was 25 — an all time high for IICT. In terms of process technologies, IICT demonstrated more than 12 processes at laboratory, bench, pilot and commercial levels of operation. These include industrially important chemicals like dimethyl ether, methanol‑based fuel cell (10 kW), lambda cyhalothrin, cyanopyrazine, hydroxy ethyl cellulose, hydrazine hydrate, 3‑furaldehyde, etc.

 

The institute received a record external cash receipt of Rs 170 million for the projects sanctioned during 2002‑03 from public as well as private agencies. This is in addition to Rs 320 million grant‑in‑aid received from CSIR. The mega projects launched during 2002‑03 include:

The institute has signed a novel multi‑client sponsored technology transfer agreement for Indoxicarb, an important agrochemical, through the Pesticide Manufacturers and Formulators Association of India (PMFAI). In another unique venture, IICT proposes to develop process technologies for industrially important chemicals from tobacco. To facilitate this, the institute and Tobacco Board are going to enter into a comprehensive MoU shortly.

 

In the drugs/pharma area, IICT demonstrated the conversion of methyl mercaptan from ranitidine into methyl sulphonic acid on a commercial scale to significantly bring down its impact on atmospheric pollution. IICT has designed and developed more than 50 highly potential chemical entities and herbal formulations with attractive therapeutic properties. It assisted two SMEs to enter into international custom synthesis field. A subsidiary of Care Hospitals [Hyderabad] and IICT have recently tested a new drug eluting stent for use in angioplasty.

 

On the basic research front, IICT research teams obtained exciting results in generation of hydrogen from water through a novel catalytic route, a multi‑functional catalyst for one pot synthesis involving Heck reaction and asymmetric dehydroxylation, electrochemical control of micro‑organisms in water, non‑glycerol based cationic transfection lipids, biodegradation of xenobiotics and photochemistry for new chemical entities.

 

During 2002‑03, IICT scientists received 10 national and international awards including the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Chemical Sciences, CSIR New Idea Fund Award of Rs 2 million, R. K. Birla, Vasvik, and U.P., Mizoram and A. P. State Awards. Four IICT scientists have been elected to the National Academies of Sciences.

 

On Human Resource Development front, the institute has trained more than 500 youth in specialized areas. Twenty‑five IICT scientists visited USA, Germany, France, Japan, Taiwan, UK and other industrially advanced countries for acquiring higher skills in frontier areas of research.

 

IICT will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee year from 5 August 2003.

 

 

Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneswar R& D Highlights: 2002‑03

 

THE Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhubaneswar, is currently pursuing 42 externally funded projects, in addition to several in‑house projects. Most of these are concerned with mineral processing/beneficiation, advanced materials, chemicals, forest & marine products and aromatic & medicinal plants. Of the externally funded projects, 29 are from various government agencies, six are from public sector and seven from private sector. The laboratory was also actively participating in 15 CSIR networked task force programmes. It sent 13 patent applications for filing, published 91 research papers in journals, and presented 186 papers in symposia/seminars.

 

Notable among the major projects completed by the laboratory during 2002‑03 include: process flow‑sheet to beneficiate low‑grade middle band chromite ores of Sukinda, for Tata Steel; process to utilize solid wastes from integrated steel plants by physical beneficiation technique; a simple technique to beneficiate thermal coal; characterization and utilization of low‑grade siliceous manganese ore; development and modification of indigenous pan sintering technology for sintering of iron, chromite and manganese ores; continuous testing of the flow‑sheet developed by the laboratory for pilot plant studies on polymetallic nodules; demonstration of the process for preparation of 80‑85% titania rich slag in a moving bed plasma reactor at about 30 kg/h feed rate; use of tetravalent metal phosphates intercalated with tri‑nuclear Fe3+, Cr3+, Mn3+ and TiO2 as effective catalysts for decomposition of toxic agents like p‑nitrophenol; treatment process for removal of selenium from potable water in 2 litres/h scale; and characterization and washability studies on non‑coking coal for steel making.

 

 

 

 

Commercial flotation Column installed at Rangpo for Copper cleaning in Cu-Pb-Zn sulphide beneficiation plant (SMC)

 

 

 

 

The laboratory has been awarded the ISO 9001: 2000 certification for Quality Management System Standard for R&D, Consultancy, Testing & Analytical services for utilization of Minerals and other Natural Resources. And in its efforts towards creating state‑of‑the‑art R&D infrastructure and facilities, the laboratory set up two specialized centres for (i) Iron Ore Processing and (ii) Energy Resources Characterization. The Iron Ore Processing Centre is equipped  with modern sophisticated equipment for determination of important physical and metallurgical properties. These include Reducibility and Metallization test within the temperature range of 850‑900°C for 3 hours in reducing gas to determine the extent of oxygen removal and metallization, Reduction under load test within the temperature range of 1000‑1100°C under a constant load of 1 kg/cm2 and reducing gas atmosphere. The Centre for Characterization of Energy Resources is equipped with  crushing and grinding facilities for sample preparation, proximate analyses, moisture determination of 60% RH at 40°C, bomb calorimeter, ash fusion temperature determination equipment, petrography microscope, reactivity and CSR equipment, petrography equipment, hard groove grindability index (HGGI) equipment, C‑H‑N determination apparatus, high temperature furnaces, etc. The laboratory has also acquired electron microprobe and high temperature viscometer.

 

Highlights of important R&D activities/accomplishments of various departments of the laboratory:

Mineral Processing Technology Department completed seven sponsored/ consultancy/ grant‑in‑aid projects. The major achievements pertain to development of process flow‑sheet to beneficiate low‑grade middle band chromite ores of Sukinda, for Tata Steel; process to utilize solid waste from integrated steel plants by physical beneficiation technique and a simple technique to beneficiate thermal coal. A dense medium air fluidized bed separator has been designed, fabricated, installed and tested to treat 500 kg thermal coal per hour to reduce ash from 45 to 30% through dry processing. Another important achievement relates to the improvement in performance of the graphite beneficiation plant of TAMIN at Sivagangai, by modifications in operation. An international collaborative project on electrostatic beneficiation of Indian thermal coals has been initiated in association with Lulea University of Technology, Sweden. The turn‑key project to install flotation column to clean copper concentrate of Sikkim Mining Corporation is progressing well.

 

Mineralogy and Metallography Department completed a sponsored project on characterization and utilization of low‑grade siliceous manganese ore from Roida area, Keonjhar district. Work on mineralogy, trace and rare earth elements in the manganese ore of Bonai‑Keonjhar belt and in the Panchpatmali bauxite was continued. Mineralogical and EPMA studies were carried out on Niladripur‑Kontiagarh beach placer sands. The bulk samples containing around 26% heavies are being processed to obtain individual concentrates of ilmenite, rutile, garnet, sillimanite, zircon, etc. Sediments, water and biological samples from Orissa and West Bengal coasts, including estuaries, were studied to establish the level of pollution. Samples of near‑shore stations were found to contain higher BOD, nutrients and pathogenic bacteria than the samples from off‑shore. Amount of suspended solids was found to be higher in West Bengal transects. Water quality monitoring of 30 stations covering the entire Chilika lake was carried out three times. The ground truth data are being matched with the maps prepared from the satellite images.

 

Pyrometallurgy Department developed/modified an indigenous pan sintering technology for iron, chromite and manganese ores. Roasting processes involving systems like multi‑hearth furnace, fluidized bed and sinter pan have been used to generate process data for utilization in commercial plants. The department is well equipped to undertake smelting/melting research programmes with its 30 kW induction furnace, tamman furnace and 95 kVA submerged arc furnace facilities. The major R&D activities undertaken include: extraction of metal values from nickel plant leach residue, Fe‑Ni making from chromite overburden (COB), smelting reduction of chromite ore, alloyed pig iron from beneficiated COB, sintering of iron ore, cold briquetting of waste and iron oxide fines of steel plant, de‑ironing of Eastern Ghats bauxite. During the year, an Advanced Centre for Iron Ore Processing has been set up to undertake advanced testing work for iron ore and agglomerates.

 

Hydrometallurgy Department, after successfully commissioning the polymetallic nodule pilot plant at HZL – Udaipur, took up the work on continuous testing of the flow sheet, developed by the laboratory. The workability of TOPS‑99 as an industrial solvent was tested through 170 cycles, each cycle consisting of extraction, stripping, washing and conditioning to maintain its undeterred loading capacity with respect to copper. Using reverse osmosis process, concentration of Cu & Ni in dilute solution was raised from about 100g/m3 to about 12 & 28 kg/m3 for further processing to recover the metals and re‑use the water. Nine ion‑exchange pilot plant columns for adsorption of gallium and its elution were designed, got fabricated, installed and commissioned. Pilot plant campaign is in progress using about 10,000 litres of Bayer liquor from NALCO, Damanjodi. Two projects on pollution monitoring and assessment were completed and reports submitted to funding agencies.

 

Electrometallurgy Department has pursued R&D activities in the area of: (i) Aqueous electrometallurgy, (ii) High temperature electrometallurgy, (iii) Electrolytic energy production and (iv) Environmental pollution abatement following electrolytic methods, including creation of specific facilities for these projects.

 

Engineering Services Department carried out studies on pneumatic transportation of flyash, cement, crushed bath, sand and chromite mine overburden, etc. on low pressure pneumatic conveying test rig. Conveying characteristics of fly ash and chromite overburden (COB) were established employing a low‑pressure pneumatic conveying test rig, which was set up for basic research as well as consultancy work from industries.

 

Advanced Materials Technology Department took up a new project, namely `Development of porous bio‑implant', funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. R&D investigations were also carried out on four externally funded projects. A process for preparation of 80‑85% titania rich slag in a moving bed plasma reactor, at about 30 kg/h feed rate, was demonstrated using pre‑reduced ilmenite, to engineers of NMDC, Hyderabad, the sponsor, by operating the reactor continuously for two hours. A jet wheel impact atomization based spray dryer was designed to produce spheroidized alumina powder (40‑100 mm) for plasma spray application. Studies on melt separation of OSCOM pre‑reduced ilmenite with various degree of metallization were carried out to arrive at the process parameters for low electrical energy consumption. Studies on in‑flight processing of ilmenite to produce titania rich slag were also carried out. Basic studies on `Gel casting of alumina', `Preparation of titanium dioxide using modified sulphate route from titania rich slag' and `Studies on the thermal plasma graphitization of calcined petroleum coke' were also carried out.

 

Design & Project Engineering Department completed development of process package for production of ethyl alcohol and lignin for maize stalk and maize cobs, under a project sponsored by TMOP&M, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. In connection with design, installation and commissioning of 0.3 MLD sewage treatment plant at NALCO Nagar, an engineering package was prepared and construction of the plant through open tendering taken up. The work on setting up of a demonstration centre for post‑harvest processing of non‑traditional pulses, with funding by TMOP&M, is in progress. Design and development of a solar distillation system for aromatic grasses and other plant materials was taken up under the sponsorship of MNES. Detail design of an entrained flow type biomass gasifier was carried out as an in‑house project. Necessary engineering support was provided to CMDIL‑Ranchi, the sponsor, for design, fabrication and installation of a dense media fluidized bed separator.

 

Rural Technology Development Department developed community size Terafil water filter with gravity flow (60‑80 l/h) and an on‑line Terafil water filter with flow under pressure (1500 l/h)  for filtration and treatment of raw water. Field tests have been carried out on these in different districts of Orissa by the Rural Water Supply & Sanitation (RWSS) Division, Rural Development Department, Government of Orissa, for removal of soluble iron, turbidity and bacteria. Studies are being carried out to develop low‑cost Terafil  filter aid for removal of fluoride from the raw water. The power‑operated pulse thresher‑cum‑winnower developed by the laboratory has been tested by farmers, agriculture engineers, etc. in different districts of Orissa. The technology has been transferred to SSIs for mass production and marketing. Agriculture Department, Government of Orissa, has adopted the technology under the subsidy scheme of National Programme on Food Production, Government of India.

 

Environment Management and Inorganic Chemicals Department continued to pursue several international collaborative studies in the area of air pollution monitoring with respect to acid rain, aerosol measurements and atmospheric corrosion. The Global Environment Funds of the World Bank has funded two programmes: greenhouse gas emission estimates and actual measurements in rain fed rice fields of the eastern region for the purpose of India's Initial National Communication to the UNFCCC. The department has also completed two prestigious externally funded projects: use of tetravalent metal phosphates intercalated with tri‑nuclear Fe3+, Cr3+, Mn3+ and TiO2 as effective catalysts for the decomposition of toxic agents like VOCs, p‑nitrophenol, etc; and a treatment process for the removal of selenium from potable water at 2litres/h scale.

 

Energy Technology Department took up an in‑house project to study the characterization of coal from different mines and to evaluate their suitability for DRI making. Investigation on characterization and washability studies on non‑coking coal for steel making were successfully carried out for M/s Bhushan Steel Ltd, New Delhi and Orissa Sponge Iron Ltd. Studies are being also made to characterize the bore hole coal samples from Mohanadi areas of CMPDI and Ib areas. A task force project on Characterization and Resource Quality of Coal was formed for the petrographic analysis and characterization of coal of different mines for their suitability for different purposes. The in‑house project on briquetting of ore fines, plant rejects and coal/coke fines and another on cold briquetting of oxide fines, sponsored by M/s Ispat Metallics India Ltd, Dolvi, were successfully completed. A Centre for Characterization of Energy Resources has been set up for undertaking studies aimed at reduction in energy consumption in existing plants, recycling plant waste/rejects for optimum energy utilization and evaluation, characterization and upgradation of various energy resources.

 

Bio‑Minerals & Biotechnology Department conducted research work in the area of microbial leaching, beneficiation of low‑grade ores and removal of ionic pollutants from wastewater through bioaccumulation. Under a project sponsored by the Ministry of Mines and DST, bioleaching studies were carried out on Sikkim zinc concentrate. Recently, the laboratory has commissioned a 160 litres 4‑stage continuous bioreactor and in a typical run, about 85% Zn could be recovered from Sikkim Zn concentrate containing 33% Zn. Efforts are now being made to determine the techno‑economic feasibility of the overall process. Basic studies were carried out to remove phosphorus from LD slag containing 1.4% phosphorus. Various bio‑waste materials were screened to remove ionic pollutants from wastewater. Detailed studies were carried out to remove iron from leach liquor using Thiobacillus ferrooxidans. The process can be useful in treating acid mine drainage. Basic studies were also carried out on strain improvement of the microbes used in experiments.

 

Forest & Marine Products Department carried out extensive survey and collection of marine microbes from the Bhitarkanika, Jamboo and Chilika lake, under the project on `Potential drugs from the ocean', funded by Department of Ocean Development, Government of India. Eight sponges were found to be new collections and 45 extracts belonging to sponges, gorgonians and mangrove plants were sent for bioactivity screening to other laboratories. The extract with antiviral activity was fractionated and sent for further study. In another sponsored project a monograph of 23 compound formulations has been updated and submitted for inclusion in ISM pharmacopoeia. Extracts from different types of kendu leaves were studied for chemical profiling. In the area of development of natural dyes from plant resources, the methanol extract of Terminalia catappa leaves has given yellowish green colour shade on cotton by using alum as mordant. Hexane extract of three Tagetes species have shown nematicidal properties. Chemical screening and analysis of some locally available latex bearing plants have been carried out by HPTLC. Samples of pyrolized Sal resin showed antibacterial and antifungal activity. Analysis of some essential oils and floral fragrances by GC/MS was also carried out. Under the CSIR project on bio‑active compounds, three anti‑hypertensive extracts were fractionated as per the protocols. The department has completed a TMOP (Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India)‑sponsored project on non‑traditional oilseeds and submitted the report. Basic work on fish disease control, isolation of marker compounds from different medicinal plants, and synthesis of new reagents using microwave techniques were carried out successfully.

 

Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Department has made significant contribution by carrying out surveys, and developing protocols for cultivation of aromatic, medicinal and other economic plants. It has undertaken a floristic survey of Nawarangpur District. A herbal garden has been established where over 84 species of medicinal, aromatic and spices plants are being maintained. Salinity tolerant (up to 0.8 NaCl) palmarosa plants obtained from in vitro selected cell lines were field tested at five different saline locations along the coast of Orissa. Mass in vitro propagation protocols have been standardized for some important medicinal and economic plants which include species belonging to the genera Desmodium, Curculigo, Dalbergia and Enterolobium. An early flowering, elite genotype of Kewda has been selected from the collected germplasm, which records flowering in five months after planting of the vegetatively propagated shoots. Quality planting materials of improved palmarosa, citronella, lemongrass and seedlings of cinnamon were distributed to various commercial growers of Orissa and some other states, for raising industrial plantations.

 

Central Physico‑Chemical & Analytical Facilities Department provides extensive analytical support to various R&D projects of the laboratory as well as external agencies. During the year, the department carried out more than 15000 analyses for approximately 4600 samples of diverse categories, e.g. ores, minerals and the intermediate products from metallurgical processes; inorganic composites; refractories; extracts of metals from wastes, bio‑extracts and others. The department has carried out analytical studies leading to the assurance of potability of water samples.

 

Information Technology and Process Engineering Department continued to work on process modeling and simulation studies and information support system development. Work was carried out to develop an ANN model for estimating the net rate of attachment of gangue and phosphate particles. A total ANN model is being developed for the flotation column. The department also helped the Mineral Processing Technology Department in optimizing the process parameters for a flotation column. Extension work to improve earlier developed computer package on kinetics of thermal decomposition of various reactions was also carried out. The package provides information regarding activation energy, frequency factor, apart from fixing reaction mechanism out of 30 models. The package uses non‑isothermal TG curve and percent conversion calculated from weight loss at different temperatures.

 

Seminars/Workshops

Several national/international seminars and workshops were organized during the year. These included: Raw Material Preparation for Metallurgical Industries: Problems and Solutions (8‑9 April 2002); Monitoring and Management of Pollutants in Water Resources (9 August 2002); Mineral Biotechnology –2002 (28‑29 August 2002); International Symposium on Solvent Extraction (26‑27 September 2002); Utilization of Bio‑Resources (24‑25 October 2002), Smelting Reduction for Iron Making (18‑19 December 2002) and Plant Resources Utilization for Backward Area Development (28‑29 December 2002).

 

Multi‑laboratory Project Meeting on Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravyas at CBRI

A meeting of the scientists participating in the project on Planning, Preparation and Dissemination of Certified Reference Materials, christened as Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravyas (BNDs) (Indian Reference Materials), was held on 22 May 2003 at Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee. Thirty‑five scientists representing different CSIR laboratories and other R&D organizations such as CBRI, Roorkee; IICT, Hyderabad; IIP, Dehra Dun; NBRI, Lucknow; ITRC, Lucknow; NEERI, Nagpur; NGRI, Hyderabad; NIO, Goa; NML, Jamshedpur; NDRI, Karnal; NCCCM, Hyderabad; RRL, Bhubaneswar; RRL, Jorhat; AES Testing & Research Laboratories, NOIDA; CFTRI, Mysore; CFRI, Dhanbad; BARC, Mumbai and NPL, New Delhi, participated in the meeting.

 

Welcoming the participants, Shri V. K. Mathur, Director, CBRI, stressed the need to accelerate the progress of this programme. He suggested that interactive meeting between users and laboratories participating in BND programme should be organized regularly as it would help understand their problems and requirements. He hoped that awareness on accreditation would increase all over the country within a very short period of time and usage of CRMs will grow at a faster pace.

 

 

 

Seen during the meeting of the scientists participating in the programme on 'Planning, Preparation and Dissemination of Certified Reference Materials' (from left) are: Dr C.L. Verma, Shri V. K. Mathur, Dr Krishan Lal and Dr A. K. Agrawal

 

 

Dr Krishan Lal, Director Grade Scientist and National Coordinator of the BNDs programme, thanked Shri V. K. Mathur for organizing the meeting at Roorkee and joined him in stressing the need to accelerate the progress of this programme. He mentioned that about 2000‑3000 Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) are needed in our country. At present, a large number of people are depending on foreign agencies and private companies to meet the requirement of these materials. Also, a large number of Indian laboratories are now NABL accredited and this number is growing steadily and so is the demand for CRMs. It is the responsibility of this group to meet the requirement of these materials in the country. He pointed out that NPL itself does not have the expertise in all  fields of CRMs. It can take care of metrological aspects of the development of CRMs, but lead laboratories are required for initiatives in different areas. For example, CBRI, IICT, IIP, CFTRI and NGRI can serve as lead laboratories in the area of building materials, pesticides, petroleum, food and geo‑chemical materials, respectively. The satellite groups for each activity are under formation. He opined that awareness about accreditation would increase all over the country within a very short period of time and usage of CRMs will grow at a faster rate. Dr Krishan Lal also informed the members that owing to his preoccupation with other scientific responsibilities he was unable to continue to serve as coordinator of the programme and announced that Dr A. K. Agrawal, Scientist, NPL, would work as a coordination of BND programme in future.

 

Dr A. K. Agrawal presented the highlights of the CSIR Five‑Year Task Force Project on Physico Mechanical, Electrical and Electronics Standards, submitted to Planning Commission for funding. It includes objective, targets and financial requirement for the programme on Preparation and Dissemination of CRMs up to the year 2007. He also presented the Status Report on Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravyas (BNDs), including elemental solutions, and plans for the current financial year.

 

Dr R. Nageshwar Rao, IICT; Dr V. Balram, NGRI; Dr M. N. Manjunath, CFTRI; Shri P. K. Gupta, NPL; Dr S. N. Sharma, IIP; Dr K. K. Gupta, NML and Dr A. K. Minocha, CBRI made presentations on future plans and programmes comprising pesticides, geo‑chemical materials, skimmed milk powder, gas mixtures, petroleum, spectroscopic materials and building materials, respectively. After discussions it was decided to initiate the programme for the preparation of following new CRMs:

 

 

Mono‑elemental Solutions

1.Magnesium in water

2.Chloride in water

3.Sulphate in water

4.Boron in water

5.Sodium in water

6.Potassium in water

 

Gas Mixtures

7.Carbon monoxide in nitrogen

8.Methane in nitrogen

 

Petroleum

9.Trace elements in lubricating oil

10.Trace elements in fuel oil

 

Pesticides

11.Cypermethrin

12.Fenvalerate

 

Food

13.Trace elements in skimmed milk powder

 

Spectroscopic Standards

14.Trace elements in cast iron

 

Geo‑chemical Standards

15.Gold ore

 

In the end Dr C. L. Verma, Scientist G, thanked the participants for useful discussions and positive decisions taken during the meeting.

 

 

CMRI celebrates Foundation Day

 

THE Central Mining Research Institute (CMRI), Dhanbad, celebrated its forty‑eighth Foundation Day on 10 May 2003.

 

Shri Rabindra Sharma, Director General, DGMS, Dhanbad, was the Chief Guest on the occasion and delivered the Foundation Day Lecture on `Safety in Beach Placer Mining'. Shri Sharma in his lecture pointed out, “Indian sub‑continent has a long stretch of coastal line extending over 6000 km on its eastern and western zones, and it contains vast reserves of placer minerals like ilmenite, rutile, garnet, zircon, monazite and sillimanite.” Explaining the various rules and regulations governing mining of beach placer deposits, he mentioned, “Inspectors from different statutory agencies, e.g. AERB, DGMS and Pollution Control Boards of both State and Central Governments, carry out regular inspection of the mining operations as well as mine areas and suggest required recommendations regarding safety.” There are several type of hazards associated with beach placer mining like capsizing of the dredger of floating pontoon, slipping and falling from the dredger, excavator collapse, bursting of the hydraulic system, etc. He also touched up on different protective measures related to health and environment like refilling of dredged out areas, water monitoring, dust control measures, noise level monitoring and eco‑restoration.

 

 

 

 

Shri Rabindra Sharma delivering the CMRI Foundation Day Lecture. Seated on dais (from left) are:
Dr M.M. Bhattacharyya, Prof. D.D. Misra and Shri S.K. Gupta

 

 

Earlier, Prof. D.D. Misra, Director, CMRI, while welcoming the guests and participants mentioned that during Tenth Five Year Plan CSIR has embarked upon a mega project entitled `Capacity Building for Coastal Placer Mineral Mining' in which CMRI would act as a nodal agency. He pointed out that in spite of vast deposits of placer minerals, India remains an insignificant player in the world of marine mineral production, mainly due to non‑availability of suitable technologies for coastal mining, mineral processing and for making various value added products from such minerals. This project would go a long way not only in making India a major producer of placer minerals but also help earn a huge amount of foreign exchange.

 

On this occasion a number of awards were presented to the CMRI Scientists and other staff members in recognition of their R&D achievements, number of papers, patents, cash flow and sincerity to the service.

 

Dr M.M. Bhattacharyya, Scientist G, CMRI, proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was coordinated by Shri S.K. Gupta, Head, BDIL services, CMRI.

 

 

Indo‑German Workshop on Application of Nano and Nuclear Sciences in Electronics‑Electrical‑Medical and Environment

 

As part of CSIR Diamond Jubilee programmes, the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, organized an Indo‑German Workshop on Application of Nano & Nuclear Sciences in Electronics‑Electrical‑Medical and Environment, jointly with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, and Panjab University, in the recent past. Seventeen eminent academicians and scientists, including eight from Germany, participated in the workshop and delivered invited lectures in the emerging areas of nano and nuclear sciences.

 

 

 

Seen on dais during the inaugural session of 'Indo-German Workshop on Application of Nano & Nuclear Sciences'. (from left) are: Dr Alok Srivastava; Prof. H.J. Buchkremer; Dr R.P. Bajpai; Dr Dietmar Fink and Dr S.K. Angra

 

 

Prof. H.J. Buchkremer, Rector, Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Germany, in his inaugural address at CSIO, talked about the changes being brought about in the education system in Germany and the benefits Indian students can derive from it. Prof. D. Fink from HMI, Berlin, Germany, spoke of great possibilities of cooperation in the area of nano and nuclear sciences among the two countries.

Earlier, Dr R.P. Bajpai, Director, CSIO, while welcoming the guests from Germany and various institutes in India, gave a brief background of the workshop and highlighted the activities of the Local Chapter of AvH Foundation. Dr Alok Srivastava of Panjab University and Secretary, Local Chapter, AvH Foundation, spoke about the aims and objectives of the Foundation.

 

On the opening day, during the session on Nano‑Devices, lectures were delivered by Prof. Martin Henzler, Dr Dietmar Fink and Dr Bajpai. Prof. Henzler discussed the fabrication of simple and well‑defined and well‑ordered metallic nanostructures (nanowires) and their electronic conduction properties. Dr Fink spoke on the immense technological potential of ion track devices for a variety of applications. In view of present day semiconductor devices reaching their performance limits and the search for alternatives. Dr Bajpai highlighted the enormous potential of using DNA technology for realizing molecular electronic wires and diode switches and the work CSIO has recently embarked upon in this direction.

 

In the second session, on Nuclear Sciences and Health, Prof.  Frank Rosch, Prof.  F. Hoyler, Prof.   U.W. Scherer from Germany and Dr R.N. Sharan from NEHU, spoke on the importance of radiochemistry in life sciences, gamma ray spectroscopy techniques and hand‑held devices for detecting nuclear radiation, studies on radiation induced DNA damage and techniques for management of naturally occurring radioactive wastes.

 

On the second day, lectures were delivered and interaction held with the experts on the various topics of cellular and tissue engineering, bio MEMs and molecular motors, medical applications of nano technology, ethical relevance of modern technology to nano‑biology, modeling of carbon nano tubes and synthesis of nano particles.

 

Dr Maggakis‑Keleman from Germany in her lecture discussed the various aspects of cellular and tissue engineering, including repair of peripheral nerves, cell to cell adhesion, and temperature transition of protein in human RBCs. Dr B.D. Gupta, Emeritus Professor, PGIMER, spoke on the promises and potentials of nanotechnology for the area of medicine and space research. Prof. I.S. Dua of Panjab University in his lecture discussed the ethical relevance and aspects of consciousness in relation to the application of modern technologies to nano biology. Prof. V.K. Jindal of Panjab University spoke about the theoretical models of singlewall and multiwall carbon nanotubes developed to explain their various characteristics and their importance for futuristic investigations of nanomechanics of carbon nanotubes. Dr L.M. Bhardwaj of CSIO spoke on bio MEMs and molecular motors and highlighted the low‑cost and reusable bio MEMs kits being developed at CSIO for detection of TB, HIV, malaria and hepititus `B'. Dr M. L. Single of CSIO in his lecture discussed the novel properties of nanoparticles and the synthesis of metal and semiconductor nanoparticles carried out at CSIO by reverse micelles techniques.

Prof. Lazer Mathew, former Director, DRDO and an eminent physiologist, in his talk highlighted the growing importance of smart materials and technology for realization of effective, efficient and low‑cost diagnostic tools and drug delivery methods which will usher in a real revolution for the health care. He also mentioned about smart locket being developed in the country, which can assess EKG, respiration and temperature of the person and the futuristic smart vests which will indicate the health status and location of soldiers.

 

On the last day, a session on Education, Research and Industry, chaired by Dr R.P. Bajpai, was held at Panjab University. Prof. H.J. Buchkremer, delivered a lecture on `An overview of higher education and research in Germany'. Dr Bernd Kraus delivered lecture on `Technology Transfer and its benefits for universities and industrial companies'. Later, university students had discussions with the German experts regarding educational facilities available in Germany for higher education and research.

 

Based on the workshop deliberations and discussions held with the experts, collaborative programmes shall be evolved and formulated with the German institutes in the areas of nanotechnology, bio MEMs and nuclear sciences for applications in healthcare and environment sectors.

 

 

National Workshop on Development of Technology Management Packages — A Closer Look

 

A National Workshop on `Development of Technology Management Packages – A Closer Look' was organized during 21‑22 March 2003 with a view to review the adopted methodology for execution of the Sub‑programme `Support to Rural Technology Development and Application Centers (TDC) and Block Level Technology Resources Centers (TRC)', which is being implemented by the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhopal, with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New Delhi, and Department of Science & Technology (DST), New Delhi, under the auspices of UNDP‑DST‑GOI‑TDC‑TRC Network centred at RRL‑Bhopal. This sub‑programme is aimed at raising employment opportunities, improving in quality of life and promoting gender equality through appropriate Science & Technology applications in rural areas of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand.


 

 

Prof. I. Dey, Secretary, SRI & SPC, TDC, Ranchi, delivering his address

at the National Workshop on `Development of Technology Management Packages Ä A Closer Look'.

Seated on dais (from left) are: Dr N. Ramakrishnan, Director, RRL-Bhopal;

Dr H.P. Garg, DG, MAPCOST Bhopal; Dr Maurice Dewulf, Sr. Dy. Resident Representative, UNDP, New Delhi;

and  Dr M.V.R.L. Murthy, Coordinator of the Sub-programme at RRL-Bhopal

 

Dr N. Ramakrishnan, Director, RRL‑Bhopal, in his welcome address informed the gathering that the Sub‑programme is concerned not only with identifying the relevant technology, but also applying it in mission mode. “We have gathered here to see the final test, which can act as a model for many developing countries,” he said.

 

Dr Maurice Dewulf, Sr. Dy. Resident Representative, UNDP, New Delhi, explained the objectives of the workshop and expressed that UNDP would like to continue to be a partner in these activities, in future also.

 

He also inaugurated an exhibition put up by TDC‑TRCs to project the achievements and products of SHGs/TRGs. Dr M.V.R.L. Murthy, Coordinator of this Sub‑Programme at RRL‑Bhopal, presented the activities and achievements of the programme at block level. He explained the methodology adopted and different technologies being implemented at ten different blocks of M.P. and Chattisgarh.

 

Delivering the inaugural address, the Chief Guest, Dr H.P. Garg, Principal Secretary, DST, GOMP & Director General, MAPCOST, Bhopal, said that technology development and its  transfer are issues of great concern. Sustainability related issues should be viewed in totality, not in isolation. He underlined that this kind of programmes are of great relevance for the states like M.P. and exhorted scientists and other stakeholders of this Sub‑programme to provide technologies, which are useful, affordable, reliable, competitive and durable. He also released a CD containing documents of draft TMPs.

 

Prof. I. Dey, Secretary, SRI & SPC, TDC, Ranchi, proposed a vote of thanks.

 

The workshop had four technical sessions, viz. Role of technology, Role of intermediaries and networking agencies, Role of CBOs, and Role of market forces.

 

 

Discussion on Formation of Technology Management Packages (TMPs)

 

Dr M.V.R.L. Murthy presented components of TMP layout and gave details of identified TMPs, viz Food processing + NTFP value addition, Carcass utilization, Organic compost, Low‑cost building components, Honey collection and processing, Poultry farming, Mushroom cultivation, Medicinal/Aromatic plants, Rural energy and Low‑cost nursery.

 

During discussions, Mr Maurice Dewulf pointed out that when TDC‑TRC network was designed for evolving TMPs, the main aim was employment generation. Dr D. Raghunandan pointed out that data generated during evolvement of TMPs have to be verified in two or more seasons/cycles before finalization. Technology providers should perform the handholding and networking function. For large‑scale employment generation, there is need for multiplication of production units.

 

Dr Arun Kumar from Development Alternatives stressed the need for identifying killer criteria and management practices. Major Chatterjee desired that executive summary should be prepared for each TMP, giving salient features of the package.

 

Dr T. Karunakaran spoke on legal environment and regulatory frame work, e.g. FPO approval. Issues pertaining to raw material procurement from small growers‑social farmers, marketing avenues, product design, etc. should be resolved for success of TMPs. Dr Goswami stressed the need for evolving appropriate sales strategies.

 

A discussion on Way‑forward TDC‑TRC Network was also held with a view to evolving development strategy for the Sub‑programme.

 

The concluding session was presided over by Dr T. Karunakaran, Vice‑Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodyog Vishwa Vidhalaya, Chitrakoot. At the outset, Major S. Chatterjee summed up the proceedings and highlighted aspects such as features of technology management, selection of technologies for formation of technology management packages and networking with organizations for making choice of technologies.

 

Dr Maurice Dewulff expressed that this project should continue and steps should be taken to decide future course of action. Stating that the project has been successful till now, he stressed the need to accelerate the process of sustainability. Model developed should be further projected. Packages of technologies should be continuously updated and identification of the technology should be done on the basis of its capability to generate large‑scale employment.

 

Dr T. Karunakaran said that vertical working linkage is possible. Development of TMPs is possible, training and organizing production in rural sector is possible and in some cases, it is possible to attain market success.

 

Dr N. Ramakrishnan stressed the need for documenting the relevant knowhow/knowledge to provide relevant S & T inputs to rural entrepreneurs. He expressed his happiness that UNDP and DST have acknowledged that the TDC‑TRC network has been a successful pursuit so far.

 

 

Executive Development Programme on Advanced Surveying and Volume Computation for Indian Mining Industry

 

THE Central Mining Research Institute (CMRI), Dhanbad, organized an Executive Development Programme on `Advanced Surveying and Volume Computation for Indian Mining Industry' during 19‑23 May 2003. Inaugurating the programme, Dr M.M. Bhattacharyya, Scientist G, CMRI, pointed out that the techniques of surveying have now‑a‑days undergone a sea change with the advent of advanced technologies and application of computer. Dr Bijay Kumar, Head, Human Resource Development, CMRI, in his welcome address, explained that the programme was designed to make the participating representatives from the mining industry aware of the latest developments in mine surveying and volume computation techniques.

 

 

 

 

Dr M.M. Bhattacharyya inaugurating the Executive Development Programme on `Advanced Surveying and

Volume Computation for Indian Mining Industry'. Seated on dais (from left) are: Dr M.S. Alam,

Dr B. Kumar, Shri J.K. Singh and Dr V.K. Singh

 

 

Shri J.K. Singh, Co-ordinator of the programme, touched upon some of the modern tools and techniques, e.g. Digital Theodolite, Electronic Total Stations, Electronic Distance Meter, Global Positioning System, Geographic Information System, Remote Sensing, etc, which have added speed and accuracy to the survey work. He also underlined the importance of accurate volume computation in excavation work. Accurate volume computation is necessary for making timely and correct payment to the contractors engaged for loading and transportation work. In this context he also touched upon the CMRI‑developed software, `SURVOL 1.0', which is a cheaper alternative for this kind of work

 

Dr V.K. Singh, Scientist‑in‑Charge, Slope Stability Department of CMRI, proposed a vote of thanks. The programme was coordinated by Dr M.S. Alam, Scientist, HRD, CMRI.

 

The valedictory function of this five‑day programme was presided over by Prof. D. D. Misra, Director, CMRI.

 

 

Training Course on Application of Molecular Biology and Biotechnological Tools for Crop Improvement Programme

 

THE Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Jorhat, recently organized a Department of Biotechnology‑sponsored short‑term training course on `Application of molecular biology and biotechnological tools for crop improvement programme', in collaboration with the Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat and Tocklai Research Association (TRA), Tocklai, Jorhat.

 

Attended by 20 participants comprising research workers, mid‑term scientists and college teachers, the programme aimed at imparting training on the latest methods of molecular biology techniques for improving the yield and quality of food crops, economical, medicinal and endangered plant species.

 

 

 

Top: Participants of the training course on `Application of Molecular Biology and

Biotechnological Tools for Crop Improvement'

Above: A view of practical training session

 

 

The topics covered included PCR‑based DNA fingerprinting, radio chemical assays for radioisotope studies, bioseparation of protein, peptides and isozymic studies and plant molecular biology and plant genetic engineering.

 

Dr P.G. Rao, Director, RRL‑Jorhat, welcomed the gathering and spoke briefly about the training course and hoped that it would benefit the trainees in their research work.

 

Dr B.G. Unni, Scientist in Biochemistry Division, RRL‑Jorhat and Course Director, informed that the training programme took two years of planning and was jointly organized for the first time by the three institutions with the talented faculty from AAU, TRA, RRL, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat  and  Calcutta University, and North Eastern Hill University. Dr Unni thanked the faculty members  and respective  heads of the institutions for extending facilities and cooperation.

 

Prof. G.L. Kaul, Vice Chancellor, Assam Agricultural University; Dr K.G. Prasad, Director, Rain Forest Research Institute, Jorhat and Shri M.N. Gogoi, Acting Director, Tea Research Association, Tocklai, attended the inaugural function as the Guests of Honour. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Kaul highlighted the importance of training for the personnel connected with crop improvement. He mentioned about the dwindling land use, loss of soil fertility and land salinity affecting the food crop production and pointed out that more than 35% of the crop is lost during post‑harvest owing to biotic and abiotic stress factors. To meet the rising demand of the increasing population, newer methods have to be developed and employed. One of the scientific methods in this direction is application of molecular biology and biotechnology for crop improvement. Tissue culture as a tool for mass multiplication of plants should be used only for crops of economical value or those in great demand and for plant species that have failed to propagate by seeds and are endangered. He also mentioned that gene pools are being gradually depleted because of natural and human activities, and molecular biology and biotechnological tools are required to save the genes from extinction.

 

Shri Gogoi mentioned that tea, a perennial plant, is one of the important economical cash crops of the country. Molecular biotechnological techniques are required to select genes for the best clone for drought resistance, disease resistance, etc., to tide over natural stress. R&D activities should also involve selection of shade trees and investigating the process of leaves shedding. However, he cautioned, that 50% of tea plants in a tea garden should be cultivated by only one particular clone to save plantation from diseases affecting tea.

 

Dr Prasad discussed general health of soils in cultivated farms.

 

A valedictory meeting was held in the TRA auditorium, which was chaired by Shri M.N. Gogoi. The meeting was attended by participants, invited guests and the scientific community of the three organizing institutions. Shri Gogoi welcomed the gathering and spoke briefly on the utility of the training cum demonstration programme and congratulated the trainees for successfully completing the workshop. He mentioned that efforts are being made to develop high yielding, drought and disease resistant tea clones. Dr D.C. Goswami, Deputy Director, RRL‑Jorhat and Dr M. Hazarika, Deputy Director, TRA‑Jorhat, were the Guests of Honour and Prof. A. K. Pathak, Director of Research, Assam Agricultural University, was Chief Guest.

 

Delivering his speech, Prof. Pathak said that crops with ball worm resistance and high yielding maize, rice, wheat crop varieties are needed for improving the food scenario in the country. He mentioned that only 18% of the 40 million hectare allocated to GM crops globally was in the developing countries. He mentioned about the introduction of Bt cotton in the western zone of India, and opined a that dwarfing genes are required for large fruit trees, such as mango, so that they occupy less space in a field. India needs to produce 360 million tonnes food grains by the end of Eleventh Five Year Plan to meet the demand of the growing population, and to achieve this a break in the stagnant yield is necessary. One of the scientific methods in this direction is identification of molecular markers for biotic and abiotic stress, useful traits and characters for crop improvement. He urged planners to allocate more funds for the projects earmarked for high yielding varieties. He advocated for intensive crop rotation, to evolve more effective fertilizers and at the same time to reduce the arable land use.

 

Dr Goswami in his speech mentioned that molecular biology started with the discovery of the role of lactic acid, in China, in preparation of curds. Since then man has successfully domesticated a large number of bacteria for numerous applications. Molecular biotechnology techniques are required to manipulate genes to produce drought resistant and disease resistant varieties to tide over natural stress, and produce the clones of endangered species. Dr Hazarika discussed the history of biotechnology. Dr Unni offered a vote of thanks.

 

 

Training Programmes at IIP

 

DEVOTED to R&D in the downstream sector of hydrocarbons and related industry, the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehra Dun, also has as one of its major activities to conduct training programmes for personnel from the petroleum sector and allied industry. During 2002‑2003, it organized 14 training programmes, mainly for refining, transport and power sectors. These included:

 

 

 

A group photograph of participants of second programme on 'Automotive Vehicle Emission'.

Shri Sudhir Singhal is sitting in the centre and Shri V.P. Sharma is 2nd from left

 

 

The details of the programmes held during the year have been given in the Table below; a total of 183 participants were imparted training and the total EBR amounted to more than Rs 6.5 million. The faculty for the programmes was mainly drawn from IIP. For some specific topics, guest faculty was also invited from different organizations. Besides this, 93 students from different engineering institutes and universities in the  country were provided vocational training and guidance for completion of their project work. These training programmes are very popular among the various organizations and are greatly appreciated by the participants.


Training Programmes organized by IIP during 1 April 2002 – 31 March 2003

Title of Programme

Organization

No of Participants

Period

1. NTGG Technology

GAIL, Vagodhia

6

8-12 April 02

2. NTGG Technology

GAIL, Vagodhia

8

8-19 April 02

3.NTGG Technology

GAIL, Vagodhia

9

10-14 June 02

4. Application of Lubricating Oils in Automotive Engg. Industry

Hero Honda Motors Ltd, Gurgaon

8

24-28 June 02

5. Physico-chemical and Analytical Testing of Fuels and Lubes

SASO, Saudi Arabia (Under CSIR Exchange programme)

1

19 Aug.-1st Oct.02

6. Petroleum Refining Technology

IOCL, New Delhi

22

23 Sep.-25 Oct. 02

7. Catalytic Reforming Process Technology—Jt. EIL-IIP Course

CPCL, KRL, IOCL, BPCL, HPCL, GGSR, EIL

29

23-25 Oct. 02

8. Petroleum Refining Technology

IOCL, New Delhi

20

28 Oct. to 29 Nov. 02

9. Automotive Emission-control and Measurement

Min. of Road Transport & Highways, New Delhi

12

25-29 Nov. 02

10. Laboratory Practicals

NTPC, Noida

15

2-13 Dec. 02

11. Laboratory Practicals

NTPC, Noida

13

16-27 Dec. 02

12. Petroleum Refining Technology

Group of Refineries

12

20-31 Jan. 03

13. Automotive Vehicle Emission

Min. of Road Transport & Highways, New Delhi

13

11-15, Feb. 03

14. Laboratory Practicals

NTPC, Noida

15

17-28 Feb., 03

                                                         Total

183

 

 

 

Shri Sudhir Singhal gets TWSI Award

 

SHRI Sudhir Singhal, Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehra Dun, has been awarded the Technocrat Welfare Society of India's Technocrat of the Year 2003 Award, for his outstanding technocratic excellence and research work on alternative fuels, particularly from non‑edible vegetable oils. The award was given to Shri Sudhir Singhal by Shri Hira Singh Bisht. Minister for Transport, Technical Education, Labour & Employment, Planning & Training, Uttaranchal.

 

 

 

Shri Hira Singh Bisht giving the TWSI award to Shri Sudhir Singhal

 

Biofuels hold promise as a supplement to India's liquid fuel demands in a sustainable manner. Besides ethyl alcohol, which is the conventional biofuel, the institute has been laying emphasis on development of biodiesel, which can be produced from non‑edible oils, This is being considered seriously not only by the Government of India, through the Planning Commission, but also by several organizations. The silver lining in this development is that a part of non‑forest wasteland in the country can be profitably utilized, and in the process, a very significant number of rural jobs can be created. Bio‑diesels have very attractive properties, and can in most cases be mixed with conventional diesel fuels in any proportion. Also, the characteristics of diesel fuels can be enhanced through such blending. The institute has been carrying out activities in the area of trans‑esterification of seed‑oils to optimize the process parameters, carry out application studies and drawing out specifications for national use. In USA, a 20% blending of bio‑diesel is permitted. In France, diesel is blended with 5% bio‑diesel. Unlike USA and Europe, the source of bio‑diesel for India is going to be Jetropha curcus, which grows abundantly in most states of India and can be easily harvested for this purpose.

 

 

Dr Navin Chand awarded Pt. Lajja Shankar Jha Award

DR Navin Chand, Scientist, Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), Bhopal, has been awarded the Pt. Lajja Shankar Jha Award in the field of Engineering and Technology, by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of Madhya Pradesh.

 

 

 

Dr Navin Chand receiving Pt. Lajja Shankar Jha Award from Shri Digvijay Singh, Chief Minister of M.P.

 

Dr Navin Chand (born 1955, Nibtaur, U.P.) has done his Ph.D. from Textile Technology Department of IIT‑New Delhi. He joined Polymer Engineering Group of National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, in 1979 and shifted to RRL‑Bhopal in 1982. Over the years, he has developed and characterized several new type of composites by combining polymers with glass fibre, carbon fibres, UHMWPE, Kevlar and natural fibres, industrial wastes, e.g. red mud and fly ash. He has also developed high performance polyolefin blends. The processes developed by him include those for: red mud polymer pipe/tile, carbon fibre – PPS UD tapes, door trim and tray, fly ash filled polymer for partitions, DT cone for hydroturbine, sunhemp‑cement corrugated sheet, minwool fibre reinforced polymer composite panel, hard board from natural fibre, FRP light weight gear case for railways, asbestos free brake pad, FRP oil vapour seal for hydrogenerators, and minwool fibre‑polymer false ceiling tile.

 

His work has led to 190 technical papers in international/national journals and conference proceedings, an encyclopedia chapter, several patents and two books. He has guided several Ph.D. students. He has received several prestigious honours and awards such as DAAD Fellowship – 1993, BHEL citation – 1994, Rotary Club Award – 1999, MRSI Medal – 1999, SIU visiting scholarship – 2000 and fellow membership of IOM – 1994, IPI – 1995, ISE – 1999.

 

 

Dr Vikram Kumar takes over as Director of NPL

DR Vikram Kumar has taken over as Director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), New Delhi, w.e.f. 2 June 2003. Prior to the present assignment he was Director of the Solid State Physics Laboratory (SSPL), Delhi.

 

 

 Born on 8 July 1947, Dr Kumar did his B.Sc. and M.Sc (Physics) from the Allahabad University (1965 and 1967, respectively), and M.S. (Elec. Engg). and Ph.D (Elect. Engg.) from the Lehigh University, USA (1971 and 1976, respectively). He served as Teaching/Research Assistant (1968‑75) and Research Associate (1975‑76) at the Lehigh University, Lecturer (1977‑82), Assistant  Professor  (1987‑92)  and Associate Professor ( 1987‑92)  at the  Indian  Institute  of Science, Bangalore, and Director SSPL (1992‑1June 2003).

 

 

Dr Vikram Kumar is well known in the area of semiconductor materials characterization and device technology. He has worked extensively towards the understanding of electronic defects and interface states in silicon, III‑V and II‑VI semiconductors. He has made noteworthy contributions towards the development of semiconductor crystals and device technology in India. As a faculty member of the Indian Institute of Science, he set up world‑class facilities for experimental research in semiconductor physics. He received the coveted Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize in Physical Sciences for the year 1992 in recognition of his personal scientific contributions towards understanding of deep level defects in semiconductors. He also received the MRSI Medal the same year.

 

As Director of SSPL, Dr Vikram Kumar contributed towards the technology of materials and devices, some of which have reached production stage. He led the team for setting up a GaAs Enabling Technology Centre (GAETEC) foundry for pilot level fabrication of monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC) that has recently started supplying devices on regular basis to various users. The technology, which utilizes 0.7 <F128M>m<F255D>m gate ion implanted MESFET, was entirely developed at SSPL. Further, 0.5 <F128M>m<F255D>m pseudomorphic HEMT devices using strained layer AlGaAs/InGaAs/GaAs structures have also been demonstrated. His team developed the technology for growth of single crystals of CdZnTe and GaAs and supplied device quality wafers to users. These technologies are being transferred to a production agency. The technology for the LWIR photoconductive detector array has also matured. He also initiated programmes on polymer electronics and nanotechnology in the laboratory. Several micro‑electro‑mechanical systems (MEMS) devices were under fabrication in his laboratory at SSPL. He has played a major role in starting the National Programme on Smart Materials, and as chairman of the committee responsible for development of devices, guided the development of MEMS devices in the country.

 

Dr Vikram Kumar is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and Institution of Electronic and Telecom Engrs (IETE), and member of Material Research Society of India (MRSI), Indian Physics Association (IPA), Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), Semiconductor Society (India) (SSI), Institute of Smart Structures and Systems (ISSS), Asia Pacific Academy of Materials (APAM), Society for Semiconductor Devices (SSD) and Instrument Society of India (ISI). He has been President of IWPSD (1997, 1999 and 2001), SSI, ISSS, SSD and Electronic Materials Group of MRSI, and Vice President of ISI. Other prestigious positions held by him include membership of the Board of Directors, SCL, Chandigarh (for a few years); Board of Directors, CEL, Sahibabad; Governing Council of C‑MET, Pune; Governing Council, Shivaji College, New Delhi (2000‑01); and Research Council, NPL (for a few years); and Editorial Boards of Bulletin of Materials Science, J. IETE, IETE Tech Reviews, and Indian J of Engineering and Materials Sciences.

 

Dr Vikram Kumar served as Visiting Professor at the Department of Physics, IIT‑Delhi, during 1998‑2000 and is an INAE Visiting Professor at the Department of ECE, IISc‑Bangalore. He has published 120 papers in journals, presented over 115 papers in conferences/symposia, and delivered numerous invited talks at various fora. Has guided 15 Ph.D. and 11 M.Tech. theses.