The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has established three mission centres at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) at the collective cost of Rs 50 crore. The centres were aimed at research and development in the field of solar and water treatment.
Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science and Technology, inaugurated the three DST mission centres, namely, DST -IITM Solar Energy Harnessing Centre, DST- IITM Centre for Sustainable Treatment, Reuse and Management for Efficient, Affordable and Synergistic Solutions for Water (Water-IC for SUTRAM of EASY WATER), and DST-IITM-KGDS Test-bed on Solar Thermal Desalination Solutions in Narippaiyur, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu.
The IIT-Madras already has a DST – IITM Solar Energy Harnessing Centre set up at the tune of Rs 16 crore, which has been expanded with an investment of Rs 39 crore to become one of the three DST mission centres. It will also be available to other institutes including, IIT-Guwahati, Anna University, and BHEL for research and development purposes.
In his presiding lecture, Vardhan said it was of utmost importance to address the water and energy-related challenges faced by India. He asked the students and scientists to “make breakthroughs in the fields through research and position India at the frontiers of global innovations”.
He said the dependence of rural and semi-urban India on unprotected surface or groundwater for drinking purpose and need for proper waste-water management to avoid contamination can be addressed only through concerted and holistic inter-disciplinary research.
The DST – IITM Water – IC for SUTRAM of EASY WATER will be available for CSIR-CLRI Chennai, Anna University, VIT Chennai, PRIST University, Indian Institute of Toxicological Research-Lucknow, IIT Tirupati, Kumaon University, IISER Bhopal. This Centre has been supported at a cost of Rs 9 crore.
The DST-IITM-KGDS test bed on Solar thermal desalination solutions is being established in collaboration with Empereal KGDS as solution providers in Naripaaiyur, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu with the aim to deliver customised technological solutions to address prevalent water challenges in the arid coastal village located on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The facility is being set up at a cost of Rs 3 crore to demonstrate the Solar powered Forward Osmosis in this coastal village to benefit approximately a population of 10,000 who face severe drinking water scarcity.