Why in news?
- As part of Nano Mission programme, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has approved support for upscaling an antiviral nano-coatings for use as appropriate material for producing anti-COVID-19 Triple Layer Medical masks and N-95 respirator in large quantities.
- Silver is known to have strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, fungus, and so on.
- The use of highly effective antimicrobial nanoparticles on PPEs, masks etc is a useful application that will provide an extra layer of protection for the high-risk settings, such as for the medical workers.
Nanotechnology in India
- India stands 3rd globally in the number of scientific publications in nanosciences.
- In 2007, the government launched a 5-year program called Nano Mission with wider objectives and larger funding of USD 250 million.
- But there is lot of room for improvement. The amount India spends on nanotechnology research is still just a fraction of the research spending of countries like Japan, USA, France and China.
Nano Mission / Nano-Science & Technology Mission (NSTM)
- The Government of India launched the Nano Mission in 2007 as an “umbrella capacity-building programme”.
- It is being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
- The objectives of the Nano mission are:
- Basic research promotion
- Infrastructure development
- Nano applications and technology development
- Human Resource development
- International collaborations
- As a result of the efforts led by the Nano Mission, today, India is amongst the top five nations in the world in terms of scientific publications in nanoscience and technology (moving from 4th to the 3rd position).
- The Nano Mission has established national dialogues to promote R&D in the development of standards for nanotechnology and for laying down a National Regulatory Framework Road-Map for Nanotechnology (NRFR-Nanotech).
- In 2007 DST started Nano-Science & Technology Mission (NSTM) with a budget of 1000 Cr. This ‘nano-mission’ has been working to help scientists, institutions and the industry in terms of promoting basic research, development of adequate manpower resources, international collaborations, augmentation the infrastructure for research and generation of socially useful products.
- Along with getting India to 3rd Position in Publications, it has also resulted in some useful products like nano hydrogel based eye drops, pesticide removal technology for drinking water, water filters for arsenic and fluoride removal and nano silver based antimicrobial textile coating.
- The International Conference on Nano-Science and Nano-Technology (ICONSAT) 2020 was organized from 5th-7th March at Kolkata (West Bengal).
- ICONSAT is the series of biennial international conferences held in India under the aegis of Nano Mission, Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- The conference intends to bring out cutting-edge developments in the domain of physical, chemical, materials as well as biological sciences with the help of nanotechnology.
- It also aims to provide a potential platform for young researchers and students from within the country and abroad to keep pace with the latest development in the emerging areas of Nano Science and Technology.