Annual Report 2001 - 2002
Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation
Sophisticated analytical instruments are required
in many areas of modern scientific research. In our country
although the number of universities, R&D institutions
and industries have increased substantially over the years,
a large number of institutions, particularly universities/academic
institutions do not have sophisticated analytical instruments/adequate
resources to maintain and run them and the absence of these
instruments makes it difficult for the scientists to pursue
important developments/R&D activities requiring such instruments.
These instruments are costly and with our limited resources
it is not possible to provide them for each project separately.
Department of Science & Technology has set up Regional
Sophisticated Instrumentation Centres (RSICs) and Sophisticated
Instrumentation Facilities (SIFs) in different regions of
the country in order to provide facilities of Sophisticated
Analytical Instruments to the scientists/users from universities/academic
institutions, R&D laboratories and industries. The RSICs/
SIFs are located at IIT, Chennai; IIT, Mumbai; Bose Institute,
Calcutta; CDRI, Lucknow; Punjab University, Chandigdarh; NEHU,
Shillong; Nagpur University, Nagpur; V.V. Nagar, Gujarat;
IISc., Bangalore; AIIMS, New Delhi; Guwahati University, Guwahati.
In addition, EPMA facility at University of Roorkee, Roorkee
is also being supported.
Equipment Available in RSICs/SIFs
The RSICs/SIFs are equipped with sophisticated
analytical instruments such as ICP, NMR, EPR, Mass Spectrometers,
XRD, TEM, SEM etc. GC-Mass Spectrometer, Thermal Analysis
System-TGA/DTA/DSC, Laser Particle Size Analyser and Vacuum
Coating Unit were recently procured by SICART, V.V. Nagar.
In order to enhance the capabilities of the existing instruments
at these Centres, a few accessories such as Graphite Furnace
for AAS were provided. The Centres have acquired the capabilities
of repair/maintenance of the instruments and majority of the
instruments at the RSICs/SIFs are being maintained inhouse
by the Centres.
Utilisation of Facilities at RSICs/SIFs
- About 5500 scientists/users have been utilising the facilities
at RSICs/SIFs every year. Users from almost all the universities
have been utilising the services offered by these Centres.
- About 60,000 samples are being analysed at the RSICs/SIFs.
- RSICs/SIFs have been organising short term courses/training
programmes to create awareness among the users about the
application of various instruments/analytical techniques
and on maintenance/repair/use of instruments. Some of the
training programmes/workshops organised by the Centres are
- Workshops on "Principles and Applications of
X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy" and "Electron
Microscopy" by RSIC, Mumbai.
- International workshop on Electron Microscopy by
- Two workshops on FT-NMR Spectroscopy by RSIC, Shillong.
- A workshop on Biosensor and its application and a
seminar on "Modern analytical techniques and devices
for process control and environment monitoring in chemical
industry" were organised by SICART, V.V. Nagar.
- Training workshops on Electron Microscopy were organised
for scientists and technicians . The topics of workshop
for scientists included Immuno EM, Cryo EM, Quantitative
image analysis and Stereology etc.
- Two workshops on processing of NMR data to familiarise
the users with available software in public domain was
organised by SIF, Bangalore.
- · Value added services are being provided by the
Centres to the users by offering a total package of solution
to problems including sampling, spectrum analysis and interpretation
· Instrument prototypes and accessories to the existing
instruments are being developed by some Centres.
Unique Measurements/Analytical Techniques
- Diffusion Ordered Spectroscopy(DOSY) has been successfully
demonstrated by RSIC, Lucknow.
- Technique for imaging flower pollens without dehydration
and gold coating by SEM
has been developed by SICART, V.V. Nagar.
- Method for estimation of Aluminium content in blood serum
by ICP-OES has been
developed by SICART, V.V. Nagar
- New spectral editing techniques using gradients in 1 and
2 D NMR have been
developed by SIF, Bangalore.
- Implementation of TROSY experiments for biological molecules
on FT-NMR Spectrometer has been done by SIF, Bangalore
- New methods for creation of pseudo-pure slates for quantum
computing has been developed by SIF, Bangalore.
Significant R&D Work Resulting from
use of RSICs/SIFs Facilities
- Lithium fluoride doped with Cu and co-activated with Mg
and P thermoluminescent (TL) phosphor has been developed
at IIT, Mumbai. Indian Nuclear Society award has been given
for the indigenous development of this phosphor.
- A study has been undertaken to investigate the active
tectonics and paleoseismicity of Kachchh region of Gujarat
state to understand the role of active tectonism in the
area, preparation of sequential chronology of various tectonic
landforms and to attempt to establish the precise dates
using ESR supported by TL, OSL and 14 C dating techniques.
Recently ESR lab at RSIC successfully dated gypsum formed
along fault plane near Bhuj and is able to give a possible
pre-date of the faulting event at the area. Furthermore,
quartz samples from fluvial terraces, calcretes and shell
materials that came out during recent earthquake have also
been successfully dated.
- An investigation of Electrospray ionization technique
and metal cationization at RSIC, Lucknow has revealed that
lithium cationization is a valuable technique not only to
confirm the molecular weights of biologically active ritidoid
glycosides but also to obtain structurally diagnostic information.
This is achieved by MS/MS of the lithium cationized molecules.
It was also found that the presence of a carboxyl group
in the molecule results in multiple alkali metal ion exchange.
- The methodology has been developed at RSIC, Lucknow for
the complete 1H and 13C assignments of expanded porphyrins
which is practically impossible using conventional methods.
These expanded porphyrins has applications in photodynamic
therapy and MRI contrast agent.
- Significant development in Quantum information processing
by NMR has been achieved by experimental implementation
of several logical quantum gates using one and two dimensional
NMR, creation of pseudo-pure -states and implementation
of quantum Deutsch-Jozsa algoritham at SIF, Bangalore.
Fund For Improvement
of S&T Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational
Institutions (FIST) Program
In recent years, great concern has been expressed
about the lack of infrastructure facilities for imparting
good quality higher education and conducting advanced research.
As a result of the ongoing efforts departments in the universities
and related institutions have made some impact on the development
of teaching and research. These departments are now in a stage
to be identified for selective strengthening of their infrastructure
for post-graduate education and research in emerging areas.
It is also necessary to extend such infrastructure support
to other higher technical and medical educational institutions.
Considering all these factors, the above new scheme "Fund
for improvement of S&T infrastructures in universities
and higher educational institutions (FIST) " was launched
in 2000-2001and 221 Departments (186 Departments in level
- I & 35 Departments in Level - II) were identified for
support at a total budget of about Rs 112 crores for 5 years.
Under the Program the supports have been provided
for basic infrastructure & enabling facilities and conducive
environment for promoting R&D in new and emerging areas
including ready access to information system, networking,
databases & scientific journals and also to computational
facilities. This would enable the Universities & academic
institutions for attracting fresh talent and pursue competitive
research. This would also enhance visibility of these departments.
The Program envisaged two levels of support
e.g. Level - I & Level - II in six broad subject areas
i.e. Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences,
Engineering Sciences, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences &
During the current year, the supports have been
provided to 125 Departments in Level - I and 10 Departments
in Level - II at total budgetary allocation of Rs 35 crores.
Apart from support for basic equipment necessary for imparting
quality teaching & modernization of laboratories provided
to a large number of departments in the universities &
related academic institutions, the support for creation of
a few major facilities such as Ion Chromatography Systems,
Automated DNA Sequencers, Ultracentrifuges, FACS, CD-Dicho-graph
with stopped flow arrangement, I-Cycler, X-ray Diffraction
set up, LC- MS, Scanning Probe Microscope, Oligonecleotide
Synthesizer, HPLC-cum-FPLC, Molecular Imaging System, Small
size Liquid Nitrogen Plant, High Resolution Powder X-ray Diffractometer,
Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometers, 300 MHz & 400 MHz
FT-NMRs, Mass Spectrometer, Thermal Analyser Systems, Plasma
Deposition Eatching System, Vacuum Melting Furnace, Universal
Testing Machines (UTMs), GC-MSs, Reneshaw Raman System, Electron
Microprobe Analyser, High Resolution Microscopes etc. are
also provided. For accessing Internet and other computational
facilities including GIS by the students & faculty members,
supports have also been provided to about 35 departments for
creation of a `Central Computer Lab' in the department.
For effective implementation of Program, the
follow-up visits to the departments including review of the
progress are also undertaken.
To Professional Bodies & Seminar/ Symposia
S&T Professional Bodies
The S&T Professional Bodies and Academics
of Science and Engineering play an important role in creating
cohesiveness amongst the Scientific Community by arranging
regular Annual Technical Meetings and Seminars, Conferences,
Workshops etc. and publishing scientific journals, annals
and bulletins, etc.
During the year 78
professional bodies were provided partial support for undertaking
various S&T activities. These include Current Science
Association, Geological Society of India, Materials Research
Society of India, Indian Chemical Society, National Institute
of Advanced Studies, Bombay Natural History Society, Indian
Physics Association, Institution of Chemists, International
Medical Science Academy, Jagdish Bose National Science Talent
Search, Asiatic Society of Paediatric Urology, Association
of Advancement of Entomology, Indian Science News Association,
Centre for Philosophy and Foundation of Science, Indian Association
for the Advancement of Veterinary Research, Chennai Mathematical
The Department also extended partial support,
on a selective basis, for organising seminars/ symposia/ training
programs/ workshops/ Conferences at national as well as international
level. The support is provided to Research Institutes/ Universities/
Medical & Engineering Colleges and other academic Institutes/
professional bodies who organise such events for the scientific
community to keep abreast of the latest developments in their
specific areas. The support is generally towards encouraging
participation of Young scientists and Research workers in
such events and publication of Proceedings/ Abstracts for
175 seminars/symposia including 50 international events were
provided financial support during 2000-1. Important ones supported
are Works on Ramanujan, International Conference on Microbial
Biotechnology, Trade and Public Policy, Global sustainable
Biotech Congress 2000 AD, LATTICE 2000, STRINGS 2001, Automated
Data Analysis in Astronomy, ISOMALAN 2000, Paediatric Urology,
19th All India Manufacturing Technology Design and Research
Conference, Flowmetering and Control, Ageing, Bioinorganic
Chemistry, DNA Enzymes, Land Use Change, Environment and Sustainable
Development, Monitoring Environment, Fibre Optics and Photonics,
Integrated Water Resources Management for Sustainable Development,
Haemoglobinopathies, ENTOMOCONGRESS 2000, Analysis and its
Applications, XX INCA Congress, Photochemical Sciences, Mycobacterial
Diseases, Green Chemistry, etc.
Participation in Conferences Abroad (PFA)
During the current year, 712 candidates were
supported which include 275 Young scientists. Priority has
been given to those who were invited speakers or were chairing
a session or giving keynote/ special lecture. Participation
in multi-disciplinary conferences was encouraged. Some of
the important events in which the Indian scientists participated
are International Conference of Statistics, Combinatories
& related areas, American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual
Conference, Annual Conference on Magnetism & Materials,
International Symposium on Trace Elements in Human, International
Conference on Solid Waste Technology, Polymer in Third Millennium,
International Conference on Neutron Scattering, World Congress
of Neurosurgery, International Society of Sugarcane Technology
The Indian participation has also helped in inviting important
and prestigious International events to India.