The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for continuation of the Mission on Nano Science and Technology (Nano Mission) in its Phase-II in the 12th Plan Period at a total cost of Rs. 650 crores.
Nano Technology is a knowledge-intensive and "enabling technology" which is expected to influence a wide range of products and processes with far-reaching implications for the national economy and development.
The Mission's programmes will target all scientists, institutions and industry in the country. It will also strengthen activities in nano science and technology by promoting basic research, human resource development, research infrastructure development, international collaborations, orchestration of national dialogues and nano applications and technology development. The Nano Mission, in this new phase, will also make greater effort to promote application-oriented R&D so that some useful products, processes and technologies also emerge. It will be anchored in the Department of Science and Technology and steered by a Nano Mission Council chaired by an eminent scientist.
The Government of India launched the Nano Mission in May 2007 as an "umbrella capacity-building programme". 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 nano science and technology (moving from 4th to the 3rd position). The Nano Mission itself has resulted in about 5000 research papers and about 900 Ph.Ds and also some useful products like nano hydrogel based eye drops, pesticide removal technology for drinking water, water filters for arsenic and fluoride removal, nanosilver based antimicrobial textile coating, etc. Two institutions and large number of sophisticated characterization and fabrication facilities have been set up in the country.
Indian scientists have been given access to global state-of-the-art facilities like the Photon Factory at Tsukuba, Japan and PETRA III in Hamburg, Germany. The Nano Mission has orchestrated national dialogues to promote R&D in development of standards for nanotechnology and for laying down a National Regulatory Framework Road-Map for Nanotechnology (NRFR-Nanotech). The Nano Mission has thus helped establish a good eco-system in the country to pursue front-ranking basic research and also to seed and nurture application-oriented R&D, focused on useful technologies and products.