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IIT Kanpur launches GATE 2023 official website

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Director IITK Dr Abhay Karandikar at the launching ceremony (right)
Director IITK Dr Abhay Karandikar at the launching ceremony (right)
G P VARMA

Kanpur, July 28, 2022: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has launched the official website for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering – GATE 2023.

The website was launched by Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur ,which is the organizing institute for the upcoming GATE 2023.

The examination will be jointly conducted by IIT Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Roorkee and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore. It will be organized on behalf of the National Coordination Board-GATE (NCB) and the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India.

The Online Application process will start from August 30, 2022, and the aspirants will be able to fill out regular applications till September 30, 2022. Subsequently, the Admit Cards will be available for download by January 3 ,2023.

GATE 2023 is a computer-based test (CBT) and will be conducted in twenty-nine subject areas with the choice of selecting two papers in some subjects. The examination will test the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering, sciences, humanities and social sciences. Prospective candidates studying in the 3rd or higher years of any undergraduate degree program or those who have completed any government degree in Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Sciences / Commerce / Arts shall be eligible. GATE is diversified to include students from Arts and Commerce streams as well, for them to achieve better opportunities for higher studies.
The Official website has all the important dates for the exam, along with key details. The Information Brochure is also launched within the website and it stores all the necessary information regarding the exam pattern, zones, syllabi, and so on. Prospective candidates will be able to access question papers from previous years as well, for help in preparation.
GATE holds tremendous potential for students aspiring for higher studies. It helps in getting admission to and/or getting financial assistance to: (i) Master’s programs and direct Doctoral programs in Engineering / Technology / Architecture / Science / Commerce / Arts and (ii) Doctoral programs in relevant branches of Arts and Science, in the institutions supported by the MoE and other Government agencies. Further, many Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) have been using the GATE score in their recruitment processes.

The examination will be held on 4, 5, 11 and 12 February 2023 across eight zones. GATE 2023 Official website: https://gate.iitk.ac.in shall act as the official source of all information pertaining to the exam.

IIT Kanpur’s Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre launches the NIRMAN Accelerator Program with Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India

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G P VARMA

Kanpur, July 23, 2022: Startup Incubation and Innovation Centre, the technology business incubator at IIT Kanpur, is launching the NIRMAN Accelerator Program, supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The program will focus on the manufacturing startups engaged in healthcare and agriculture domains, to help them overcome the challenges from their prototype to market journey.

A total of 15 startups will be selected under the program, where they will be granted the opportunity to accelerate their product journey from lab to market. The best performing startups among the cohort of 15 startups will receive a cash award of up to INR 10 Lakhs.

Commenting on the launch of the NIRMAN Accelerator program, Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Professor-in-charge, Innovation and Incubation, IIT Kanpur, said, “Our country has been facing tremendous challenges in the domain of manufacturing. We are in urgent need of innovators and startups working in the healthcare and agriculture domain to cater to some of the pertinent developmental challenges to uplift the status of manufacturing in India. I believe the NIRMAN Accelerator program comes with massive potential to harness and capitalize on startups working in the field. We welcome innovators and startups to apply.”

Dr. Nikhil Agarwal, CEO FIRST IIT Kanpur & AIIDE said, “SIIC comes with a vast experience of working with promising innovators and startups that can leverage optimum social impact. This collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology aims to revive the manufacturing domain in the country. I am certain the program will induce motivation among innovators to pursue manufacturing with the same passion and enthusiasm as SaaS, AI/ML. I urge more startups to apply.”

The 6-month-long program will be devised into four segments, namely – (i) Principles of Product Growth, (ii) Engineering Acceleration, (iii) Navigating the Compliance Puzzle, and (iv) Leading to next-stage growth. The program will offer Knowledge Workshops, One-on-one mentoring support, Diving deep for customized support for clinical validation, and Business and investor connect.

The program is accepting applications from 21st July 2022 to 5th August 2022.

● The program invites applications from manufacturing startups and innovators engaged in healthcare and agriculture domains from 21st July’22.
● A total of 15 startups will be selected under the program, where they will be granted the opportunity to accelerate their product journey from lab to market.

C3iHub, IIT Kanpur launches the second cohort of startups to foster the next generation of cybersecurity entrepreneurs

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Dr Ajay Kumar Sood addressing the dinitaries
G P VARMA

Kanpur, 18 July, 2022: C3iHub, the Technology Innovation Hub on Cyber Security of Cyber Physical Systems Program on Innovation Ecosystem Building at IIT Kanpur, has launched the Second Cohort of 16 startups under the Startup Incubation Program at an event held on 16 July, 2022.

The event was graced by Prof. Ajay K. Sood, Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India as the Chief Guest. Other dignitaries included Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar, DST Secretary; Dr. Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Co-ordinator; Naveen Singh, Director General, NCIIPC; Dr. Ekta Kapoor, Mission Director, NMICPS, DST; Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Project Director, C3iHub, IIT Kanpur and Prof. Sandeep Shukla, Co-Project Director, C3iHub, IIT Kanpur.

The dignitaries at the launch of cohort

The panellists charted a way forward for the selected cohort aiming to redefine cybersecurity in India with a holistic approach.

The mission of C3iHub is to address cybersecurity issues in cyber-physical systems like critical infrastructures, automotives, and unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). In cyber-physical system, cybersecurity is eventually linked with general areas of cybersecurity, including network security, cryptography, intrusion detection, and deception technology. So, the startups were chosen from all domains of cybersecurity including UAV Security, Blockchain, Intrusion Detection, and Cyber Physical System. The main objectives of C3iHub include developing critical infrastructure security products and services and fostering the next generation of cybersecurity entrepreneurs.

Addressing the cohort, Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, said, “Skilled cyber-attackers from many countries are targeting India since it has grown rapidly in the past few years. To safeguard India’s cyberspace, we need more security solutions or products and that too in a timely manner since the trend of cyber-attacks is changing day by day”.

He also added, “PSA’s office is actively working towards giving big push to India’s startup ecosystem to make them sustainable with more funding and by roping in the industries.”

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur, said, “Cybersecurity is a very crucial field for National security. At IIT Kanpur, we are relentlessly working towards developing critical cyber security solutions. I am glad to see that several startups incubated with C3iHub from the first cohort have already developed deployable security solutions and products that are making significant impact. I am confident that the second cohort will also bring in significant change in cyber security in India and will make India self-reliant in near future.”

As part of India’s growing cybersecurity system, C3iHub was founded under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) in 2020. The rigorous selection process for the first cohort of startups and the official launch of the first cohort happened in 2021, when the entire nation was battling the COVID-19 crisis.

Prof. Manindra Agrawal, Project Director, C3iHub said, “C3iHub has taken up the challenge to launch 125 startups in 5 years in critical cybersecurity areas associated with cyber physical systems. So far, 30 startups have been launched in the 1st and 2nd cohort, and invitation for 3rd cohort application has already been floated.”
C3iHub offers a seed grant of Rs 10 lakhs to incubated startups, and Rs 50000/month salary for one founder for two years, resulting in an initial investment of Rs 22 lakhs.

Highlights
● Principal Scientific Advisor, GoI, Prof. Ajay Kumar Sood, attended the event as Chief Guest in New Delhi.
● The cohort would be working across domains of Cyber Security, like Application Security Management, UAV Security, Privacy preserving security tool, Security through AI-enabled SAAS, Integrated SOC solution, Honeypot, Blockchain & Deception technologies.
● The Cohort launch event was followed by a startup pitch event organized by C3iHub.

Union Education Minister laid the Foundation Stone of Gangwal School of Medical Sciences and Technology and Yadupati Singhania Super Specialty Hospital at IIT Kanpur

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Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan unveiled the prototype design of medical school
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan unveiled the prototype design of medical school
G P VARMA

Kanpur, 16 July 2022: Union Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan laid the foundation stone of the Gangwal School of Medical Sciences and Technology and Yadupati Singhania Super Speciality Hospital at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur campus on Saturday.

On the occasion Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Kanpur,Dr K Radhakrishnan , major donors, alumni, and several others were present.

IIT Kanpur, with its expertise in research and innovation and technological prominence, is establishing one-of-its-kind medical school on its campus.

The School is envisioned in line with IIT Kanpur’s endeavor to bring about a paradigm shift by merging medical research and technological innovations. The school is now being named ‘The Gangwal School of Medical Sciences and Technology’ to honor the generous contribution of a distinguished alumnus Mr. Rakesh Gangwal, Co-Founder, Indigo Airlines.

The Minister said, “I congratulate IIT Kanpur family on this momentous occasion. The establishment of this one-of-a-kind GSMST will strengthen the healthcare ecosystem and delivery in the country and also establish Kanpur as an epicenter of affordable and futuristic solutions for emerging economies. Philanthropic efforts, like these at IIT Kanpur will bridge the gap between healthcare and engineering disciplines, provide affordable technological solutions and also inspire other philanthropists and academic institutes to develop similar institutions for the welfare of society. IIT Kanpur today must endeavour to find efficient and cost-effective solutions for fighting climate change, waste-to-wealth creation, alternative green energy and also for developing new business models for circular economy. IIT Kanpur has been a pioneer in the field of engineering education in the last six decades. IIT Kanpur has been sensitive to the emerging needs of society and has been actively contributing to supporting national missions and building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. In the Amrit Kaal, we have to build a generation that keeps societal and national interests at the forefront. With research, innovation & entrepreneurship as a bedrock, IIT Kanpur family should aim to further ease-of-living and develop viable solutions for humanity’s welfare.”

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “We are extremely grateful to the minister for laying the Foundation Stone of our ambitious project – The Gangwal School of Medical Sciences and Technology. We all had a dream to set up a Medical School on IIT Kanpur campus, for the benefit of people, and the nation, at large. Today, we’re glad to be at the threshold of this project. IIT Kanpur is resolute to provide critical healthcare needs and to accelerate research and innovation in the MedTech domain for ensuring all-round development in the medical sector of the country. The Gangwal School and Yadupati Singhania Super Speciality Hospital are envisaged to bridge the gap between medical and technology disciplines, and we believe we’d achieve the Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prof. Subramaniam Ganesh, Deputy Director, IIT Kanpur, who also heads the Task Force for establishing the school said, “Today is a very special day for IIT Kanpur as Union Minister of Education, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Dharmendra Pradhan ji laid the Foundation Stone of our Medical School.

IIT Kanpur uses talent and technology to create a model of online rural education, starts Smart Classes

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G P VARMA

Kanpur, 13 July, 2022: Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur and Kanpur Divisional Commissioner Dr. Raj Shekhar inaugurated a Smart Class at Shri Ram Janki Inter-College Bithoor on Tuesday Set up with the help of IIT Kanpur, it is a novel experiment, where IITians have come together to offer live online classes for rural school children. The classes are held after school hours, to augment what the children are learning in their classes. The advantage of this Smart Class is that volunteers teaching from IIT Kanpur and children sitting together are able to have continuous interaction with each other. The classroom is set with such a technique that it enables the children to see the teacher(s) and the board through a projector, and vice versa; thus, technology simulates a real class experience for both parties.

Rita Singh, who is coordinating the classes, told that in this hybrid mode of teaching, occasionally volunteers who teach also meet the school children, and conduct science activity sessions. Volunteers develop content under the guidance of experienced resource persons. To standardize the system, an educational app by Schooglink Pvt Ltd has also been developed. Blackboard notes and lectures are recorded, and made available to students for revising. In this unique model, technology is leveraged to channelize the energy of student volunteers to provide quality education in rural areas. Himanshu Agrawal, Founder and Director of Schooglink Pvt Ltd demonstrated the recorded videos in the app, available for all levels and all boards, in Hindi.

Prof Sandeep Sangal, from the Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Department, IIT Kanpur, told that in pre-Covid times, there were student groups from IIT Kanpur that visited nearby villages to hold tutorial classes. Hundreds of children of Pratappur Hari, Dallapurwa and Ishwariganj studied in these centres. Post-Covid, the project re-invented a method to enhance its reach and effectiveness.

The Ranjit Singh Rozi Shiksha Kendra (RSK), under the aegis of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, has been built with the generous donation from late Dr Ranjit Singh, alumnus from the pioneer batch of IIT Kanpur, and his wife, Ms Martha Carreno. This centre was his dream to bring “Prosperity for All” through a socio-economic transformation in India. The aim of the RSK centre is to upskill youth, facilitate employment, develop an ecosystem of social enterprises, and provide quality education for rural school children.

Professor Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said that the institute was committed to make technologies relevant to the society. RSK IITK has already been doing skill development training for rural youth. He told students that hard work can pave the way to a good future, and Late Ranjit Singh is an apt example in this regard, as he rose from poverty to achieve big success.

Dr Raj Shekhar said the that he had officially requested IIT Kanpur to take up 10 smart classes set up by the Office of DIOS and run classes there. He lauded the efforts of IIT in bringing out the technology that can prove to be revolutionary in rural areas.

Prof Sandeep Sangal, PI of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan at IIT Kanpur, told that through this initiative, many prominent teachers are getting to teach rural kids, who, otherwise, would not have been able to reach them.

Prof V Vijay, National Coordinator of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan connected from Delhi and told the possibilities of using this model by all institutions. This way, the model can be scaled up to cover all rural schools in future. Principal Dr Sarvesh Singh welcomed the guests and Capt Sudhir Subhedar (Manager) gave vote of thanks.

The programme was graced by Joint Director (Education) and DIOS. From IIT Kanpur, Prof Sudhanshu Shekhar Singh who is the co-coordinator of the programme was present, along with Rita Singh (Coordinator), Himanshu Agarwal (Schooglink), Prof Siddhartha Panda (Dean)

IIT Kanpur and KGMU Lucknow jointly launched SHInE fellowship program

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Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur
G P VARMA

Kanpur, 8 July 2022: Taking another leap towards making India self-reliant in health-tech innovations, IIT Kanpur and KGMU Lucknow have jointly launched a School of International Biodesign – Synergizing Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SIB-SHInE) program.

It is an exciting year-long full time dedicated residential fellowship program aimed at creating the next generation of biomedical entrepreneurs. The Program also envisages making an impact in the global medical device market by promoting development of India-specific, globally relevant medical devices.

The program is sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India. IIT Kanpur and KGMU are the second set of institutes after IIT Delhi and AIIMS Delhi to launch this program.
Stalwarts in biodesign and clinical innovation, medical technology development, entrepreneurship and finance management make up the leadership of the SIB SHInE program and the SIB-SHInE fellows will receive curated instructions and mentorship from these experts throughout the program.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “At IIT Kanpur, there has been a significant acceleration in research and innovation in the MedTech domain. Our aim is to enrich the health ecosystem of our nation with indigenous and low-cost MedTech devices and services. This SIB SHInE fellowship sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), is essential in this regard. The fellowship will not only further research and innovation in the MedTech domain, but most importantly will pave the way ahead in realizing our vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat by supporting indigenous talent with critical R&D and entrepreneurial support.”

Prof. Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Professor, Biological Sciences & Bioengineering Department, IIT Kanpur, and Faculty-in-charge, SIB SHInE, said, “The healthcare workers use a wide array of engineered products. They know what to use but they may not know how to build those. The engineers on the other hand, knows how to build engineered products but don’t necessarily know what to build. The SIB-SHInE program of IIT Kanpur and KGMU will bridge this gap and can potentially change the way how medical devices enter our hospitals.”

The program is based on the philosophy of 4Cs, that is – Clinical Immersion, Conception, Creation and Corroborations. The program will commence with the deployment of a multi-disciplinary team of SIB SHInE fellows, selected through rigorous screening, who will undergo clinical immersion at KGMU Lucknow. During clinical immersion, the fellows will shadow doctors and identify various unmet clinical needs. Upon completing their clinical immersion, fellows will move to IIT Kanpur to begin the prototype development for the identified biomedical problems.

The program offers one-of-its-kind opportunities to young minds to become biomedical entrepreneurs and launch one’s own venture, with highly rewarding living allowance, and access to global MedTech industry mentors. A monthly stipend of Rs 60000 will be given to all the selected fellows.

The program is currently accepting applications for the 2022-23 cohort until 20th July 2022. For more details – www.sibshine.com

● The fellowship is inviting applications from passionate and innovation driven minds for developing next-generation biomedical technologies at par with global standard.
● IIT Kanpur and KGMU have drawn experts from their academic departments, Technology Business Incubator SIIC IITK, leading hospitals and MedTech industry to mentor SIB-SHInE Fellows.
● The project is being sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt. of India

IIT Kanpur Professor Yogesh M Joshi becomes the first Indian to be selected as Fellow of the Society of Rheology, 2022

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Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur
G P VARMA

Kanpur, July 01, 2022: In a great honor for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, Prof. Yogesh M Joshi from the Department of Chemical Engineering has been elected as one of the Fellows of the Society of Rheology, 2022. He is the first Indian to be selected for this prestigious honor.
The Society of Rheology Fellowship is a prestigious status that “status recognizes a history of distinguished scientific achievement, a significant technological accomplishment, and/or outstanding scholarship in the field of Rheology.” (The Society of Rheology). They also take into account ‘service to society’ as an important component and a minimum period of 8 years as member of the Society of Rheology. Annually, only 0.5% of the membership are eligible for the Fellowship.
Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “Congratulations to Prof. Yogesh Joshi for being elected as one of the Fellows of the Society of Rheology for the year 2022. This is indeed a matter of great pride for the institution. This adds more value to the research and innovation ecosystem of IIT Kanpur, and would boost the spirit of everyone at the institute to continue striving for excellence in any science and technology field.”
Professor Yogesh M Joshi received his Bachelor of Engineering in Polymer Engineering from Pune University in 1996 and did his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2001. After his doctoral and postdoctoral studies at National Chemical Laboratory, and the Benjamin Levich Institute, City College of New York, CUNY, respectively, he joined the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur in 2004. He is currently the Pandit Girish & Sushma Rani Pathak Chair at IIT Kanpur.
Dr. Joshi’s primary rheological work encompasses soft glassy materials, the sol-gel transition, and the phase behavior of colloidal dispersions. Sol-gel process is a method for producing solid materials from small molecules. He is a senior editor of Langmuir, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that was established in 1985 and is published by the American Chemical Society, and also serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Rheology, Rheologica Acta, and Physics of Fluids.
Prof. Joshi has been awarded several key scientific awards. In 2015, he was awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering Sciences by the Government of India, and Academy excellence award of the Defense Research and Development Organization 2019. In 2016, he was elected as a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and in 2017, as the Fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India. He actively consults with industry, including UPL Ltd. and Unilever Inc., regarding improving the flow behavior and rheological stability of their products.

• The Society of Rheology Fellowship “recognizes a history of distinguished scientific achievement, a significant technological accomplishment, and/or outstanding scholarship in the field of Rheology.”
• Prof. Joshi was also awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in Engineering Sciences by the Government of India in 2015.

Dr Shetty to address Fifty fifth convocation of Indian Institute Of Technology (IITK )

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G.P. Varma

Kanpur, 28June, 2022: Founder and Chairperson of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty will address the fifty fifth Convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT )on Wednesday.

Dr Radhakrishnan K Koppillil, Chairman, Board of Governors (BoG), IIT Kanpur will preside over the convocation.

On the ocassion of fifty fourth convocation last year, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was the Chief Guest, along with the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath.

In a Convocation held in hybrid mode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the students, reflected upon the institute’s works, and shared ideas.

This year a renowned cardiac surgeon, successful entrepreneur and a philanthropist, Dr. Shetty revered for his ingenious ideas and reforms in the health sector will deliver the convocation address.

Dr shetty is known for the scheme Yeshaswini – an inexpensive micro health insurance that has benefited more than 3.4 million rural poor in Karnataka.

For his efforts, he has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, The Economist Innovation Award, and the Nikkei Asia Prize for Economic and Business Innovation.

This year, a total of 1360 students will degrees, out of which, 116 are from PhD, 10 are from MTech-PhD (Joint Degree), 144 are from MTech, 556 are from BTech, 53 are from MBA, 14 are from MDes, 25 are from MS (by Research), 40 are from PGPEX-VLFM, 144 are from MSc (2 year course), 24 are from Double Major, 108 are from Dual Degree, 21 are from MS-PD (MS part of the Dual Degree), and 105 are from BS.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the first-of-its-kind blockchain degree initiative at IIT Kanpur. This is a unique in-house technology developed by CRUBN, an IIT Kanpur-incubated company, under the National Blockchain Project. The technology is Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)-enabled and can be verified globally

The same technology has recently been used by the Ministry of Women and Child Development for issuing certificates to the awardees of the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2022. It is also being used to implement land records in some states. The distribution of the degrees in physical hard copy form will be done by the respective departments later in the day in separate sessions. The students will be able to access the digital degrees through an app named Indisi Wallet.

In addition to the degrees, 51 categories of prizes and medals will be given, while a total of 21 students will be awarded the Outstanding PhD Thesis Award.

The IIT Kanpur administration has also given a dress code for this year’s convocation. For the male students, Nehru-style cream-color Kurta, and white pyjamas are proposed, while for the female students, Nehru-style cream-color Kurta, and white churidar or leggings are proposed, along with formal footwear.
After last few years’ disruptions due to COVID, this time, the convocation will be held physically by adhering to prevalent COVID protocols.

IIT Kanpur develops solar energy-based Root Zone Heating system and Vermi-Bed method for plants in high altitude areas

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G.P. Varma

Kanpur, June 27, 2022: A team of scientists and researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has developed a solar energy-based Root Zone Heating system and Vermi-Bed method for plants in high altitude areas.

The novel technology has been developed keeping in view the scarcity of fresh vegetables or agricultural produce and the lack of effective organic waste management in high altitude areas like the Leh-Ladakh region.

A team comprising M.Tech student Anshul Rawat, and Prof. Mukesh Sharma, and Prof. Anubha Goel from the Department of Civil Engineering has been granted patent for this technology.

At the root of this development was the scarcity of fresh vegetables faced by our defence forces deployed in high altitude areas like the Leh-Ladakh region, especially during winters because of the extreme climatic conditions which make agriculture difficult. This issue is further compounded due to increased tourism in those areas as the demand for vegetables increases. The region faces a severe scarcity of fresh vegetables leading to increased food miles of fresh food supply, adverse impact on the environment and economic losses due to the perishable nature of vegetables.

Another major challenge faced in high altitude areas is organic waste management. Organic waste generation is a continuous process, and its disposal is a critical issue in the regions of subzero temperatures. If organic wastes like food waste is disposed of in a landfill, it rots and becomes a significant source of methane, a greenhouse gas. Poor waste management – ranging from non-existing collection system to ineffective disposal – cause air pollution, water and soil contamination. This waste can be extremely beneficial when converted into compost and can be used for growing healthier plants, but that is not feasible under extremely low temperature. It is to address these two issues that the IIT Kanpur team has come up with this unique technology.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “The high altitude areas pose some crucial problems when it comes to availability of fresh produce and organic waste management, especially for our defence forces that require a good amount of fresh produce in their daily diet. Due to the climate and weather conditions, it is difficult to avail fresh produce year-long. Hence, this novel technology of Root Zone Heating system and Vermi-Bed method developed by the team at our institute is a significant step towards helping especially our defence forces deployed there with fresh vegetable supply and a solution to effectively mitigate organic waste. I congratulate the whole team for this innovative invention and for taking a step further in sustainable research and development practised at IIT Kanpur.”

The basic premise of the technology is a greenhouse (polyhouse) plantation of vegetables and a provision of the heating root zone of the plants. The root zone heating is scientifically studied and modelled by laying a network of GI (Galvanised Iron) pipes below the ground carrying solar-heated water and by integrating aluminium sheet fins with the buried GI pipes, to enhance the heat transfer.

A significant temperature increase (7oC to 18oC) in soil was achieved during the trial, depending upon the temperature of hot water being flown inside the GI pipes. This raised temperature helped plants grow in a faster and healthier way than the plants grown outside at relatively low temperatures. Such a system in high altitude areas can better the cropping cycle to produce fresh vegetables even in winter conditions. This technology was field-tested that provided efficient solution producing good quality of vegetables in a protected environment and results were projected for high altitude areas where the temperature goes to – 150C and below.

To resolve the issue of waste management, on-site treatment of organic waste by vermicomposting was also carried out inside the polyhouse in a pit, wherein additional heat was provided to the vermi-bed by running hot water through buried rubber pipes. Hence, this technology developed a symbiotic system that not only enhances the fresh food supply in high altitude areas during winters but also provides solutions for producing nearly zero waste.

This technology has unified organic waste management practice with agriculture. The technology can assist our troops deployed in high altitude areas by making them self-reliant to a large extent in terms of the fresh food supply by growing desired vegetables in a protected environment like a greenhouse with solar-operated root zone heating and at the same time, it will assist in managing the organic waste generated by maintaining high-temperature vermicomposting. Thus we have a system where vegetables can be grown, and waste generated can be converted into compost, and further utilized at the same green/polyhouse to grow vegetables. This signifies a symbiotic system with inbuilt circular economy.

IIT Kanpur to develop land and water restoration plan for Angul in Odisha

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G.P. Varma ji

Kanpur, June 26, 2022: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur will work to help Angul district of Odisha in developing a land and water restoration plan.

An MoU in this regard was signed recently between IIT Kanpur and the District Mineral Foundation Trust (DMFT) Angul to initiate a large project to develop land and water restoration plan for Angul, Odisha. The MOU signing was a part of a larger event on Circular Economy that was attended by a number of industry representatives and state officials.

Under the MoU, IIT Kanpur will leverage the institute’s infrastructure and technology expertise to assist the Angul district in restoring the land and water resources affected by mining.

The Angul district is enriched with several valuable minerals including coal, Kyanite, graphite, fireclay, china clay, and precious and semi-precious stones and is known as ‘Black Diamond of Odisha State’.

However, a rapid expansion of the mining operations in the region has led to loss of rich biodiversity and soil fertility, degradation of water bodies – quantity as well as quality and piling up of hazardous waste and drainage issues.

The project, led by Professor Rajiv Sinha from the Department of Earth Sciences, will use all modern technologies to develop solutions for land and water resource restoration for sustainable development of the district, primarily in the context of circular economy.

Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director IIT Kanpur said, “The Angul District in Odisha is a very resource-rich region which needs some assistance in restoration of its land and water resources. We are delighted to be leading the efforts in developing a land and water restoration plan for the region. The team led by Prof. Rajiv Sinha will leverage our institute’s resources and expertise to achieve the stated goals of the project. This project is expected to contribute significantly towards the development of a policy document for land use, water budget and utilization plan for the Angul district based on demand and supply management, and also to contribute towards the circular economy of the region.”

The object of the project is to support the DMF for eco-restoration of the areas impacted by mining activities, particularly in terms of assessment of land and water system degradation due to human activities and their restoration.

The project will use a ‘landscape approach’ to determine the baseline conditions before the mining activities started, assess the overall degradation of the area in terms of land-use changes, impact on water bodies, and landform dynamics to map the hotspots, assessment of restoration potential of each of the hotspots, and then to develop the management plan for eco-restoration.

Major government departments supporting the implementation of the program included Water Resource Department, Pollution Control Board and Irrigation Department of Angul District.

A major highlight of this project would be the use of modern technologies such as high resolution satellite remote sensing data and drone-based investigations to determine the baseline conditions and then perform the change detection analysis to assess the degradation and to identify the hotspots.

For developing the restoration plan, the project will use the ‘landscape approach’ which seeks to provide tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture, mining, and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals.

“Landscape approaches” have gained prominence globally in the search for solutions to reconcile conservation and development trade-offs and they focus on management of landscape resources for multi-functional uses, consider landscape diversity, and are inclusive of socio-economic perspectives.

The project will also deliver a comprehensive water governance platform which will aim to integrate near real-time observation using IoT sensors and field-based observation. The platform will be cloud-based, allowing input data from various sources, process it using a well-trained algorithm, predict possible near-future scenarios, and visualize through the analytical dashboard.

The platform would be accessible through web (WebGIS) wherein mobile devices (with desired functionalities) will be one of the sub-components to collect data from the field and visualise certain information.

The project will be hosted at the newly created Centre for Sustainable Technology, IIT Kanpur and will also have a strong training component that is aimed towards building capacities and technical knowledge of key stakeholders on landscape and water body restoration. This will also focus on building capacities on allied aspects including livelihood, natural resource management, project design and knowledge dissemination. The project will be completed in a period of about 2 years with a total cost of about 10 crores to be provided by DMFT Angul under Circular Economy initiatives of Angul District and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

  • Under this MoU, IIT Kanpur will leverage the institute’s infrastructure and technology expertise to assist the Angul district in restoring the land and water resources affected by mining
  • The project will use a ‘landscape approach’ to achieve the stated goals
  • The project will also deliver a comprehensive water governance platform which will aim to integrate near real-time observation using IoT sensors and field-based observation

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