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Year End Review 2023 of the Department of Science and Technology

December 29, 2023
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India’s NRI ranking improves to 60th position (2023) from 79th position (2019) on ICT impact among 134 economies

Anusandhan National Research Foundation passed by the parliament, on course

“National Quantum Mission (NQM)” launched at a total cost of Rs.6,003.65 crore

National Geospatial Policy 2022 launched

Under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical System (NM-ICPS), 25 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) set up in the areas of advanced technologies

28 systems commissioned so far under the National Super Computing Mission (NSM)

  1. INDIA’S RANKING IN GLOBAL S&T INDICES CONTINUES TO RISE

India retained the 40th position in Global Innovation Index among the top innovative economies globally as per Global Innovation Index (GII) 2023. As per WIPO Report 2022, India is ranked at 7th position in terms of Resident Patent Filing activity in the world. India improves its ranking to 60th position (2023) from 79th position (2019) as per Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2023 report. NRI is one of the leading global indices on the application and impact of information and communication technology (ICT) in 134 economies around the world.

  1. ANUSANDHAN NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION

Establishment of the “Anusandhan National Research Foundation (ANRF)” has been passed by the parliament. “THE ANUSANDHAN NATIONAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION ACT, 2023” and its roll out has been initiated. The ANRF aims to provide high level strategic direction for research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of natural sciences including mathematical sciences, engineering and technology, environmental and earth sciences, health and agriculture. The ANRF is to be implemented with a total budget of Rs. 50,000 crores for five years (2023-28), out of which a major share of around 70%, is estimated to come from non-government sources. ANRF will address many big challenges of present R&D ecosystem including that of lower participation of private sectors in R&D. ANRF will seed, grow and promote R&D and foster a culture of research and innovation throughout India’s universities, colleges, research institutions, and R&D laboratories by forging collaborations among the industry, academia, and government departments and research institutions, and create an interface mechanism for participation and contribution of industries and State governments in addition to the scientific and line ministries. It will focus on creating a policy framework and putting in place regulatory processes that can encourage collaboration and increased spending by the industry on R&D. The establishment of ANRF will prove to be one of the most transformational steps in the country towards achieving global R&D leadership and making India Atmanirbhar. The full-fledged roll out of ANRF is in progress.

  1. NATIONAL QUANTUM MISSION

A “National Quantum Mission (NQM)” has been launched at a total cost of Rs.6,003.65 crore for eight years to seed, nurture and scale up scientific and industrial R&D and create a vibrant & innovative ecosystem in Quantum Technology (QT). This will accelerate QT -led economic growth, nurture the ecosystem in the country and make India one of the leading nations in the development of Quantum Technologies & Applications (QTA). The next generation transformative technologies that will receive a push under this Mission includes Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum Sensing and Metrology, Quantum Materials and Devices. Implementation of the NQM is in progress.

  1. GOSPATIAL DATA, INFRASTRUCTURE AND TECHNOLOGY LEADING TO IMPROVED CITIZEN SERVICES
  • A National Geospatial Policy 2022 has been launched with the vision to make India a World Leader in global Geospatial space with the best in the class ecosystem for innovation. The Policy emphasizes on Atmanirbhar Bharat by empowering local companies to generate and utilize their own Geospatial data; encourages open standards, open data and platforms; focuses on easy accessibility of Geospatial data through National Geospatial Data Registry and Unified Geospatial Interface; supports innovation, incubation of ideas and start-up initiatives in the Geospatial sector; and encourages capacity building. It further encourages continued liberalization of the Geospatial sector.  As part of implementation of the Policy, the Survey of India has launched a pan-India Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) Network towards redefinition of National Geodetic Framework. Government is taking concrete steps to improve availability of and access to better location data across organizations and sectors to enable innovations and encourage enterprise.
  • A tripartite MoU has been signed between DST, NIGST & TiH IIT Tirupati for establishment of a Geospatial Innovation Hub (Centre of Excellence) in pilot mode with an aim to create a robust geospatial innovation ecosystem in the country. This hub shall cater to various aspects of innovation in the geospatial domain, like Technology Development, Capacity Building, R&D, & support to start-ups, entrepreneurs & innovators.
  • A CORS station has been established at the National Centre for Geodesy, IIT Kanpur, which is now a part of Asia-Pacific Reference Frame (APREF) and IGS network.
  • National Data Registry (NDR) has been built over a set of open standards from OGC, ISO and BIS to enable data providing agencies, publish their datasets/ products/ services onto a singular, standardized platform
  • Fourteen (14) State Spatial Data Infrastructure (SSDI) has been established through cost-sharing between DST and State/ UT Governments in 70:30 mode for provision of State Geospatial Data Products and Services

 

  1. NATIONAL MISSION ON INTERDICIPLINARY CYBER PHYSICAL SYSTEM

The National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber Physical System (NM-ICPS) aims at development of technology platforms to carry out R&D, Translational Research, Product Development, Incubating & Supporting Start-ups as well as Commercialization. Under the NM-ICPS, 25 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) have been established in the areas of advanced technologies which includes: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), Robotics, Cyber Security, Data Analytics & Predictive Technologies, Technologies for Agriculture & Water, Technologies for Mining, Advanced Communication Systems, Quantum Technologies etc. Each TIH is created as a Section-8 Company, an independent entity within the Host Institute with the involvement of industry as potential members for co-development, partnerships and for commercialization. The Industry-Academic-Govt collaborations are the main focus of the TIHs which carry out their activities under 4 major categories, i.e. Technology Development, Human Resource Development, Entrepreneurship Development and Industrial Collaborations. Till date, Mission has developed 311 technologies, 549 technology products, 63000+ Human Resource, 1200 Jobs creation and nearly 124 international collaborations. The Hub Collaborative activities has made the Mission’s impact even bigger. During the current year 2023 some initiatives have been taken under the mission that includes Agri Startup Demo and Funding (ATMAN) organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with four Technology Innovation Hubs (TIHs) at IIT Bombay, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Indore, and IIT Ropar on September 29, 2023. Also, the Medical Cobotics Centre (MCC) established by TIHs at IIIT Delhi and IIT Delhi shows advanced collaboration in improving healthcare technologies. IIT Ropar’s annual event, SAMRIDHI, featuring presentations from deep-tech ICPS startups using CPS technologies in different sectors, emphasizes the collaborative spirit of the TIHs. This teamwork extends to workshops organized by different TIHs at the hub level, promoting the exchange of knowledge and enhancing collaborations between hubs. In the future, steps will be taken to make the TIHs self-sustainable after the completion of the Mission period and two new Hubs are planned to be set up in the areas of Large Language Model (LLM) and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

  1. POLICY & PLANNING THROUGH EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH IN IDENTIFIED THEMATIC AREAS

Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoI is mandated to formulate and deliver public policy support for the empowerment of STI in the country. To build and strengthen an institutional mechanism for a robust evidence-driven STI policy system in India, DST-Centres for Policy Research (CPRs) in various academic institutions across the country has been established/strengthened by DST. These centres are engaged in targeted research in number of key areas relevant to the country, train scholars in STI policy domain, and contribute towards better STI policy making. In addition to that, to generate a critical mass of policy professionals/researchers, DST has been supporting a STI Policy Fellowship Programme (DST-STI PFP). The DST-STI PFP provides scientists, engineers and policy enthusiasts, an opportunity to gain exposure from the close quarters of policy making and contribute their knowledge and analytical skills in the STI policy realm. The fellowship provides an opportunity to develop the skills for young professionals who are interested to engage with the STI policy domain and/or as STI policy researchers contributing towards empowerment of STI policy landscape in the country. During the current year 6 new CPRs have been established to carry out policy research in different STI domains and 10 new Satellite centre for Policy Research (SPRs) have been identified.

  1. NATIONAL SUPER COMPUTING MISSION (NSM)

So far under the mission, 28 systems have been commissioned across the nation. Among that, 7 systems are of Petaflops (PF) machines, 8 mid-range (833 TF), 8 lower range (~150 TF) and 5 systems of 50 TF dedicated for training are under operation. Till today, 74,44,920 computing codes has been executed and 6072 expert users are accessing the systems for solving their respective grant challenge domain problems. The NSM has successfully validated the indigenously developed Rudra server1.0 which is based on Intel Cascade Lake processor. 1-unit and 2-unit servers are manufactured locally and had undergone extensive testing. The Phase-III high performance computing systems commissioning works have started with the Rudra server. The future roadmap for NSM 2.0 is being prepared aiming to create exascale computing capabilities, necessary software ecosystem and hardware research.

  1. CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH EXPANDING TO NEWER AREAS

The Department has been implementing two National missions on Climate Change. These are (a) National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and (b) National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). Both missions aim to build human and institutional S&T capacities, generate strategic knowledge and create awareness in the key areas of climate change science, impacts and adaptation. During the current year 2023;

  • Established 6 new State Climate Change Cells (SCCCs) Phase-II under NMSKCC in the states – Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puduchchery, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh and Established 5 new State Climate Change Cells (SCCCs) Phase-II NMSHE in the states -West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, J&K and Meghalaya.
  • Launched new Centre of Excellence (CoE) on “Climate Change Research” (DST-CoE-CCR) in area of Variability and Predictability of Indian Monsoon in a Changing Climate at University of Allahabad.
  1. KEY ACHIEVEMENTS FROM AUTONOMOUS INSTITUTIONS

The Department nurtures 27 Autonomous Institutions (AIs). These include 15 research & development institutions, 04 specialized knowledge and S&T service organizations, 05 professional bodies and 03 statutory bodies. These institutions, with long and cherished history and their variety of activities, occupy a very important place in the S&T eco-system of the country. Some of the key achievements during the year include:

  • Centre for Nano and Soft matter Sciences, Bangalore has developed an affordable, energy-efficient glass window by reducing the cost of components employing metal mesh electrode, thin WO3 film, and Al3+ electrolytes to create a revolutionary electrochromic energy storage (EES) device with high switching contrast, area capacitance, and long cycling life.
  • Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun mapped 40 geo-thermal springs (GTS) in the UK Himalaya characterized surface and reservoir temperature, and evaluated their geothermal energy potential equivalent to 10,600 MW power (Kumari et al., 2023); taken an Initiative for a pilot study in converting geothermal energy into electricity at Tapovan along with a synergistic program on generating geothermal-solar hybrid energy.
  • Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) has achieved a significant milestone with the development of a microbial process for hydrogen production from agricultural waste. ARI has entered into a licensing agreement with KPIT Technology Ltd. to facilitate the field implementation of this transformative technology.
  • North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), Shillong has installed 15 standalone solar dehydrators in Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland to overcome food preservation challenges in the North Eastern Region (NER), primarily targeting ginger, turmeric, and other spices.
  • National Innovation Foundation (NIF) scouted few thousand grassroots innovations and Traditional Knowledge practices, several hundred value added (prototype development, clinical trials of veterinary and human health related practices, on-farm trials for plant varieties) and a total of 159 patents granted.
  • Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore achieved a major milestone of free space quantum communication between a moving source and a stationary observer. This is an important step towards India’s efforts in secure quantum communications using satellites. The Star Sensor Starberry Sense, developed and built by Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) space payload group, was launched by ISRO on 22 April 2023 and was successful in operation.
  • Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum conducted the pilot human trial of the second generation of TTK Chitra Mechanical Heart Valve (model TC2) which was completed successfully in 40 patients.
  • Indigenous technology for large scale production of Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP, a key cathode material in Li-ion batteries for EVs) is demonstrated for the first time in India, and technology transfer to an Indian industry (Altmin Pvt. Ltd.) has been initiated, and the technology receiver has established a pilot facility at the incubator space at ARCI.
  • Installation of Asia’s largest 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope has been inaugurated at Devasthal in Uttarakhand.
  1. STRENGTHENING RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE
  • Supported Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure (FIST) in 121 R&D equipment facilities in various academic institutions with 56.9% funds allocated towards PG Colleges & Universities sector.
  • Supported Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) grant to 11 newly established universities through a special-drive announcement for under-supported regions with an aim of establishing fundamental infrastructure and facilitating facilities to foster R&D endeavours in the domains of emerging Science & Technology targeting UGC-recognized State-funded Universities and Private Universities situated in the NE- Region, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan. In addition to special drive call, 13 New universities are also supported under this scheme through an open call in 2023.
  • Under Synergistic Training program Utilizing the Scientific and Technological Infrastructure (STUTI) initiative, ~8,573 researchers across the country have been trained, which is ~14% more than that was targeted. Also 11,441 school students (~52% more than targeted) have attended the awareness programs on various cutting-edge R&D facilities/technologies.
  • Launched a new scheme, “Support for Upgradation Preventive Repair & Maintenance of Equipment (SUPREME)” to facilitate for repair/ upgradation/ maintenance/ retrofitting or acquiring additional attachment to increase functional capabilities of existing DST supported analytical instrumentation facilities (AIFs) in various Institutions/laboratories/academic institutions.

 

  1. STRENGTHENING THE START-UP AND INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM

Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been implementing the National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) Program with the focus on nurturing start-ups and individual innovators. This program contributed to fulfil the commitment for translating research into practical applications, fostering innovation, and promoting entrepreneurship in technology. DST facilitates collaborations with industry and academia, supports policy development in science and technology, and provides crucial funding for innovative projects and for conversion of Proof-of-Concepts for technologies /techniques/ processes/ products into advanced prototypes for validation and demonstration. Several initiatives have been taken for the development of instruments/devices/technologies at various R&D institutions such as;

  •  National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) for nurturing ideas and innovations (knowledge-based and technology-driven) into successful startups. Through its various programmes, NIDHI aims to nurture start-ups through scouting, supporting and scaling of innovations.
  • Through the flagship NIDHI-TBI (Technology Business Incubators) programme, a network of 170+ TBIs has been established by the department.
  • Through the NIDHI Centre of Excellences (NIDHI – CoE) programme, selected experienced TBIs are scaled up to become NIDHI – CoE. These NIDHI – CoE’s act as a reservoir of knowledge in venture promotion including the resources and relevant network and help in aligning the linkages with both national as well as international partners. Till date, a total of 8 CoEs are under active support.
  • NIDHI – Inclusive TBI (i-TBI) aims to ensure inclusiveness of innovation and entrepreneurship across the country and to foster innovation and startup culture among the students, faculties, entrepreneurs, and nearby communities. This year, 29 institutions have been recommended for support to establish new i-TBI Centres.
  • NIDHI – Seed Support Programme (NIDHI-SSP) provides early stage financial assistance to potential startups with promising ideas, innovations and technologies. Seed Support has been provided to 14 Technology Business incubators (TBIs) to support startups. Support provided to 80 startups through TBI under SSP during the year 2023.
  • Through the Training Program during the year 2023, 105 WEDP Programs were conducted training 2,625 women  and 115 TEDP programs training 2,990 persons.
  • DST – NIDHI’s PRomoting and Accelerating Young and ASpiring technology entrepreneurs (PRAYAS) programme supports young innovators to turn their ideas into prototypes. Through NIDHI-PRAYAS, 13 new PRAYAS centres have been supported during the year 2023, along with support to 41 ongoing PRAYAS centres across the country. 242 PRAYASEEs were supported in 2023.
  • DST – NIDHI’s Entrepreneurs-in- Residence (EIR) program supports aspiring or budding entrepreneurs of considerable potential for pursuing a promising technology business idea over a period up to 18 months. Through NIDHI – EIR, during the year 2023, 10 new EIR centres have been supported along with support to 27 ongoing EIR centres across the country.
  1. SCIENCE FOR EQUITY, EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH OF SOCIETY.
  • Launched a programme Strengthening, Upscaling & Nurturing Innovations for Livelihood (SUNIL) to support cross-bridge collaboration for identifying and addressing livelihood centric local and systemic problems of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) of the society.
  • 10 Women Technology Parks (WTPs) have been supported and a large number of women benefitted through interventions of Science, Technology and Innovations.
  • Re-establishment of Patent Information Centre in Chhattisgarh to facilitate the awareness about the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) including patent, copyright, geographical indication, etc. and protecting the same in the state.
  • 12 Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Hubs established for holistic development of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) Communities through systemic interventions in different regions of the country.
  • Supported establishment of Heritage Food and Beverage Research Centre for research on Ethnic Foods and Beverages of Tribals of NE.

 

  1. TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER
  • Through Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) program, DST has created a Centre of Excellence on “Development of Continuous Manufacturing Technologies for Specialty Chemicals and Electronic Grade Materials” at CSIR-NCL, Pune and also supported 50 technology development projects under the thrust areas of (1) Advanced forming and near net shape processing (2) Robotics & Automation (3) Manufacturing of nanomaterials, electronic grade materials, smart materials, & metamaterials (4) Precision Manufacturing and (5) Novel surface coatings & surface texturing.
  • Through Waste Management Technologies (WMT) program, a Swacch Bharath aligned initiative, DST has supported a technology development project for Management & recycling of end of life tyres and batteries.
  • For strengthening the technology development ecosystem, DST has created Technology Enabling Centers (TEC) at (1) University of Ladakh, Ladakh (2) Medicaps University, Indore, Madhya Pradesh (3) Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Arunachal Pradesh (4) Career Point University, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.
  • To have self-reliance on key starting materials (KSM) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), DST has created a Centre for Marine Therapeutics at NIPER, Kolkata.
  1. CLEAN ENERGY AND WATER TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES
  • India hosted the joint Ministerial event of 8th Mission Innovation (MI8) and 14th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM14) on the sidelines of G20 Energy Transition Ministerial Meeting (ETMM) on 19-22 July 2023 in Goa. The 4 days long event witnessed the largest footfall (nearly 3,000 registered participants) of the Global Clean Energy Community. Ministers and HoDs of about 40 member Countries and 10 International Organizations along with CEOs of the leading energy companies, policy makers, and academician participated. Technology Showcase focusing on “Zero Emission Vehicles” and “Advancements in Clean Energy” was also organized in which 25 prototypes were exhibited to propel the global clean energy transition solutions.
  • Department has supported five National Challenge Grant projects on High efficiency PV cells and modules to augment the innovation in device architectures to provide green power solution in the country.
  • One National Centre of Excellence on (CCUS) has been supported, mobilized 156 R&D proposals on CCUS and 4 CCU Test bed proposals, joined a multilateral Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP).
  • Fight Against Pollution: Flow Battery an ‘Efficient Replacement’ to Diesel Generators and cutting-edge quantum-technology backed green hydrogen production unveiled to power a green future.
  • Technology of metal hydride-based hydrogen purification system transferred to NTPC. Proof of concept demonstrated for metal hydride-based storage for vehicular applications and cost-Effective Sodium-ion batteries boosting two-wheeler EVs to hit the market are commercialized.
  • High performance separator developed for metal-ion batteries.
  • Development of wear resistant coated components for paddy straw briquetting machine: A small-scale (350 kg/hr.) decentralized 100% paddy straw-based briquetting plant has been demonstrated at M/s PRESPL, Village Kulburchan, Distt. Patiala, Punjab, in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The finding of the studies has shown improvement in shredder blades, hammer blades & wear-rings by 1.5 to 2 times, resulting in a reduction in the production cost of briquettes.
  • THERMAX & IIT Delhi team have indigenously designed 1 TPD pilot plant and successfully demonstrated technology for conversion of Indian high ash coal to methanol (Major setup located in Thermax premises in Pune). Oxy-blown coal gasification is a significant milestone for conversion of high ash coal into syngas. This has helped to achieve directly the H2/CO ratio needed for methanol synthesis, which was used as an input in the 1 TPD methanol pilot plant.
  • DST had funded project entitled “Performance evaluation of M15 fuel on gasoline 2 & 4 wheelers (vehicles and engine)” to Automotive Research Association of India, Pune successfully accomplished all the objectives.
  • Three draft white papers on electric mobility: (a) Tropical EV Battery; (b) Motors and Power Electronics and (c) EV Charging Infrastructure have been developed with extensive consultation with stakeholders and at advance stage of release.
  • DST- The Dutch Research Council (NWO) collaborative joint research call for scientific knowledge and innovative solutions in the field of water disaster management has been initiated.
  1. WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND ENGIEERING (WISE)-KNOWLEDGE INVOLVMENT IN RESEARCH ADVANCEMENT THROUGH NURTURING (KIRAN)
  • To promote women in different areas of Science and Technology for gender parity, five (5) new programmes namely, WISE Fellowship for Ph.D. (WISE-PhD), WISE-Post Doctoral Fellowship (WISE-PDF), WISE Internship in Intellectual Property Rights (WISE-IPR), WISE-SCOPE and WIDUSHI have been launched.
  • Under Vigyan Jyoti programme, more than 21,000 girls of Class IX-XII from 250 Districts of 34 States/UTs of the country benefitted through various activities and interventions.
  • Under the CURIE (Consolidation of University Research for Innovation and Excellence) Programme, support has been extended to establish state-of-the-art research facilities in 18 Women PG Colleges and 2 Women Universities.

 

  1. Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE):
  • The INSPIRE Scheme aims to attract meritorious youth to study basic and natural sciences at the college and university level and to pursue research careers in both basic and applied science areas including engineering, medicine, agriculture and veterinary sciences. The ultimate aim is to expand the R&D base of the country. INSPIRE is a merit-based competitive and Gender-neutral scheme. Key achievements of four components INSPIRE may be seen below:
  • Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE) that aims to enhance the rate of attachment of talented youth to undertake higher education in science-intensive programs by providing scholarships and mentoring through summer attachment with leading researchers, benefitted 16,004 students pursuing graduation and post-graduation. A total of 7,643 young bright undergraduate students were supported for their summer research projects
  • INSPIRE Fellowship offered to students to pursue PhD in Basic & Applied Sciences including engineering, medicine, agriculture, and veterinary supported research activities of 1,392 scholars pursuing their PhD along with 454 new candidates selected to pursue PhD.
  • INSPIRE Faculty Fellowship provides opportunities to the post- doctoral researchers in the age group of 27-32 years for 5 years INSPIRE Faculty Fellowship in both basic and applied sciences area including engineering, agriculture, veterinary and medicine supported research activities of 113 INSPIRE Faculty Fellows along with 95 selected for INSPIRE Faculty Fellowships

 

  1. GOOD LABORATORY PRACTICE:

Department of Science & Technology (DST) is implementing the National GLP Compliance Monitoring Programme for certification of Indian Test Facilities/laboratories, conducting non-clinical health and environment safety studies in accordance with the OECD Principles. India is full adherent to Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) in the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) since March, 2011. This facilitates the acceptance of data generated in Indian GLP certified labs across all the OECD member countries and full adherent non-member countries to MAD in OECD. Key achievements under the National GLP Program during the year 2023 are as follows:

  • 10 new Test facilities/ laboratories have been certified along with re-certification of 13 existing Test facilities/laboratories as GLP Compliant
  • Currently, 60 Test facilities/laboratories across India are GLP certified under the National GLP Programme
  • The GLP scope provided by the NGCMA is being harmonized. The draft scope prepared for harmonization has been put on DST website for seeking stakeholders’ comments
  1. SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH BOARD
  • Under IMPRINT program in domain of ‘security and defense’ an innovation was made in designing and development of textile-based metamaterial absorber for RADAR stealth in a funded project executed by IITK. India’s first 100% Dimethyl Ether (DME) -fuelled tractor/ vehicle for on- and off-road applications was developed in IITK, initiating a new chapter in the crusade for a sustainable alternate fuel-based transport system in another project under IMPRINT.
  • Under EMEQ program, a novel electrochemical immuno -sensing technique for 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 was developed based on gold-platinum bimetallic nanoparticles deposited on APTES modified fluorine tin oxide electrode surface in a funded project at Punjab University, Chandigarh.
  • Under IRPHA program, five SERB-centers for clean energy and energy transformation were established in institutions placed in different geographical regions namely IISc Bangaluru, IIT Kanpur, IIT Roorkee, IIT Khragpur and IIT Bombay.
  • New initiatives such as 1) State University Research Excellence (SERB-SURE), 2) SERB-POWER Mobility (SPM), 3) SERB-POWER Translation Grant (SPT), and 4) SERB-Funds for Industrial Research Engagement (FIRE) have been taken.
  • AI boosts rural connectivity & healthcare: A total of 15 villages in different parts of the country may soon be seamlessly connected through a next-generation networking solution that can address congestion issues in 4G infrastructure and provide high-tech and affordable internet connectivity. The solution has been developed by Astrome, a deep-tech startup expediting the implementation of 5G and rural telecommunications infrastructure through its patented millimetre wave E-band radios and satellite communication solutions. They have signed a contract with the Department of Telecommunication to start the pilot with 15 villages in India. Plans are afloat to scale the activity to more rural parts of India on the basis of the pilot.
  1. TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT BOARD

TDB secures ten transformative agreements for significant technological strides by 15th December, 2023. A substantial ₹77.09 crore investment underscores TDB’s commitment to ground breaking collaborations. Following are few key supports to

  • M/s WellRx Technologies in Rewari, Haryana for development of next-gen Oil & Gas technologies to enhance hydrocarbon production and contribute to India’s energy sector.
  • M/s Alchemy Recyclers Private Limited in Bharuch, Gujarat, revolutionizing waste management with an integrated plant, recovering precious metals from various waste sources.
  • M/s Noccare Robotics in Pune, Maharashtra, pioneers’ healthcare innovation with a Digitally Enabled Advanced Universal ICU Ventilator, reflecting TDB’s commitment to societal well-being.
  • M/s TIEA Connectors in Bangalore, Karnataka, makes significant strides in electronics by commercializing harsh environment connectors, enhancing India’s global tech presence.
  • M/s Chemlife Innovations in Doddaballapur, Karnataka, focuses on the chemical sector, emphasizing the commercialization and manufacturing of bio-trace minerals for animal feed, aligning with TDB’s support for sustainable M/s agriculture.

 

  1. VAISHVIK BHARATIYA VAIGYANIK (VAIBHAV) SUMMIT

Government of India had organized Vaishvik Bharatiya Vaigyanik (VAIBHAV) Summit to connect Indian STEM diaspora with Indian Institutions wherein more than 25,000 attended. 230 panel discussion sessions were held over 23 days on 18 Verticals (research areas) and 80 Horizontals (sub-research areas). Indian STEMM diaspora from more than 70 countries had participated in the deliberations.  In this connection the Government has taken a step further to shape and implement the VAIBHAV programme and has announced VAIBHAV Fellowship Call-2023 as a first step. VAIBHAV Fellowship envisages a collaboration between scientists of Indian Diaspora with Indian Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), Universities and/ or public funded Scientific Institutions. The VAIBHAV Fellow would identify an Indian Institution for collaboration and may spend up to two months in a year for maximum 3 years.

The department has been putting sincere efforts in a target specific approach to improve the efficiency and transparency in implementation of the programmes to enhance the overall outputs and outcomes.

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