Indian government is starting a five-year national mission to make the country a global hub for nanoscience and nanotechnology, leveraging the low-cost advantage and its vast talent pool.
Spearheaded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the mission aims to create nano clusters in the country to conduct research in the sunrise sector and develop applications using nano materials that will have a bearing on diverse industrial sectors as well as commoners. With an investment of Rs.10 billion ($254 million), the nano science and technology mission (NSTM) will create an ecosystem to make India a global hub for research and development (R&D) in nanoscience and nanotechnology. To start the mission, the DST will set up three nano institutes in Bangalore, Kolkata and Mohali near Chandigarh, with Rs.1 billion for each of them. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCSAR) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore will be partnering for the first institute, to be located on the outskirts of this IT hub. Similarly, the other two institutes will be set up in collaboration with the proposed five Indian Institute of Science and Technology (NIIS&T) by the human resources development (HRD) ministry and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs). The upcoming institutes will offer courses for science and engineering graduates to pursue post-graduate education in nanoscience and nanotechnology. In all, about 50-60 science and technology institutions, including IITs and NITs will be involved in building nano clusters across the country to create the ecosystem for undertaking extensive research in nanoscience and applied nanotechnology to develop applications for industrial products, agriculture, healthcare and safe drinking water.