Annual Report 1999-2000
Technology Development - Joint Technology
Technology Systems Group continued to promote
inter-disciplinary advanced technologies through planning
and developmental projects in integrating discussions, participation
in the Committees of other technical and socio-cultural departments/ministries
e.g. DOT, DOE/MIT, DOC/MOC/HILTRON/UP etc. and also through
DST in-house funding through the Joint Technology Programme
Major projects supported during the year were in the following
- Superconducting SQUID Electronics at CEERI
- Superconducting Generator (5MVA) at BHEL
- Superconducting High Gradient Magnetic Ore Separator at
BHEL and EICL
- Intelligent Processing of Materials at IGCAR, NFC &
- Fuzzy Logic Controller of Boiler at BHEL (R&D)
- Biosensors at BHU,NPL, IACS and CBT
- Fax Encryption at CEERI
- Arsenic Removal from Water and Aerogel Synthesis etc.
at CMET, Pune and Trichur respectively
Some of the project proposals evolved for funding
and under consideration are:
- Low cost digital imaging of un-printed documents/ manuscripts
at NIAS, Bangalore and Multi-media Applications
- Climate Modelling using PARAM 10000 by IITM, Pune; CDAC,
Pune; and IIT, Delhi
- Signal Processing/Near Infrared Imaging /NDE etc. by IIT,
Delhi; AIIMS, New Delhi; and NPL, New Delhi
- Development of Immunosensor System for specific and sensitive
biosensor detection of Pesticides etc.
- New IT applications in Internet based commercial information
on Software Capabilities and Companies.
Some technologies developed under JTP Scheme
have been/ or being assigned to NRDC for commercialisation
and patents have also been filed by the respective innovators.
In 2000-2001 while the on-going projects will continued to
be supported, new projects in Superconductivity Technology
and Applications; Nano Structures and Materials; Intelligent
Processing of Materials; Molecular Electronics; New IT Applications
including Low Cost Digitisation and Multi media Applications
and Voice Inputs etc.; Communication Technologies, traditional
Skills and Material Improvement/Value Additions etc. Through
inter-Departmental discussions and Committee Structures etc.
High Technology Applications and Developments shall also be
In addition to above, the following projects were also taken-up
under joint technology programmes :
Glass Technology Upgradation Programme
Glass Technology Development and Upgradation is at a low key
in the country though glass is a very important and versatile
material. It has wide and extensive applications both for
civil and strategic purposes. Projects aiming at technology
development and upgradation have been initiated in the area
of Optical Glass, Ophthalmic Glass and unorganised small sector
glass industry for consumer items (Firozabad Industry).
6 projects have been taken-up for development of new materials
and technology/ processes in the area of Optical Glass and
Ophthalmic Glass out of which three have been initiated during
A project for development of new skills amongst the glass
workers of Firozabad has been initiated. This shall enable
value-addition to the present range of products, generate
employment opportunities and improve social and economic status
of glass workers. Development of gas fired, eco-friendly,
energy efficient glass furnace which may offer an alternative
to the existing coal fired polluting furnace has been initiated.
New and improved technologies for glass making and glass working
are proposed to be developed which may enable the existing
practices and processes to become more productive and efficient.
Three projects for technology upgradation of Firozabad glass
industry are presently in advanced stage of development.
Gold Technology Upgradation
India is the largest consumer of Gold in the world and
about 80% of it is converted into jewelry. Gems and jewelry
sector is front runner in the countrys export basket.
However, this traditional industry has largely been based
upon trust and loyalty. One often hears and reads about the
incidences of malpractices in this sector of trade related
to Caratage/ Purity of gold jewelry.
With a view to promote the concept of Hall marking in the
gold jewelry sector, two product orientd projects have been
taken up under this programme. An instrument, "Gold Analyser",
for measurement of gold content or purity of gold in a finished
and unfinished gold article in non-destructive testing (NDT)
mode is in advanced stage of development. Under the other
project, an analytical technique for gold purity measurement
based upon Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry
(ICP-OES) is being developed as an alternative to the widely
practiced Fire Assaying technique.
Wear and weather resistant special surface finishes are being
developed for silver and gold articles. This shall enable
value-addition to existing products and increase export potential
apart from creating new industries.
This programme aims at developing preventive, diagnostic and
curative technologies for ophthalmic diseases. Under one of
the projects, some herbal drugs ( Neem, Tulsi, Haldi, Ashvagandha,
and Cinneraria ) are being investigated for their potential
in preventive/ delaying of cataract occurrence. Suitable technologies
for manufacturing and processing of ophthalmic plastics with
applications in low vision aids and spectacle lens are being
developed. These technologies may also find wide ranging applications
in transport sector, information technology and certain other
Photonics is widely acclaimed to be the technology of 21st
century. Laser is one of the most important components of
photonics. A Laser Awareness Programme is being pursued to
popularise lasers among students. A high technology project
has been sponsored during the year for development of a Finger
Print Identification System based upon Pattern Recognition
by Optical Correlation technique. This technology has wide
ranging industrial and defence related applications.
Programme - Inter-Sectoral Science and Technology Advisory Committee
IS-STAC in DST has evolved Joint Technology
Projects which can be demonstrated on industrial scale with
the participation of Science and Technology Advisory Committees
(STACs) in different socio-economic ministries. These Research
Development and Demonstration RD&D) projects are in the
areas in which Ministries are ready to invest funds and take
a lead role.
During the year, IS-STAC Secretariat has participated in a
number of STAC and related meetings held in various ministries
viz. Ministry of Textiles, Labour, Ministry of Surface Transport,
Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Steel, Department of Urban
Affairs, Ministry of Coal, Department of Industrial Policy
and Promotion, Ministry of Water Resources, Department of
Small Scale Industry and Ministry of Petroleum & Natural
Gas. IS-STAC/DST officers attended various other Expert Committee
meetings under the aegis of STACs.
Highlights of achievements during
In a major achievement during the year
following two important projects were evolved and started
with the participation from the concerned sectors.
The first one namely, To study various tolerable Indian
non-coking coal with the aim of maximising the usage of domestic
non-coking coal in the COREX process was launched by
the Empowered Committee of Ministry of Steel with the partial
financial assistance from Department of Science and Technology
and user industry viz. (M/S JVSL, Bangalore).
The project aims at Development of Process know how for using
indigenous non-coking coal in COREX process. If successful,
the project can lead to substantial savings in foreign exchange
required for import of non-coking coal. Besides this, the
present study will generate valuable information about the
washability of non-coking coal.
Another major stride was made in setting up R&D facilities
to strengthen helium extraction from hydro-thermal sources
and set up a pliot plant. The project entitled Pilot
Enrichment Plant for Helium from Hydrothermal Sources
supported jointly by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and
Department of Science and Technology at Saha Institute of
Nuclear Physics (SINP), Calcutta. A testing and purification
facility for helium of Grade - A is also envisaged.
The IS-STAC has also initiated several other joint technology
projects with joint financial support of different Ministries/Departments
during the year.
A report on "Status of Technologies for extraction of
helium from natural gas" has been got prepared by Indian
Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun. A techno-economic appraisal
of these processes has been carried out based on certain selected
criteria like feed pressure and flow rate, feed pre-treatment
required, purity and pressure of helium and by products. Discussions
have been initiated to set up a helium extraction facility
from Natural Gas.
The Ministry wise interactions are reported below:
Ministry of Water Resources
Ministry of Water Resources reconstituted
the STAC on 5th February 1999 under the Chairmanship of Secretary,
Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR). The 9th meeting of STAC
was held on 7th October, 1999 to discuss the new initiatives
taken up by STAC such as setting up of a Web Site for providing
information about R&D such as research outcome of projects
and papers published in various seminars and journals
Ministry of Coal:
The Standing Scientific Advisory Committee
(SSAC), in the Ministry of Coal has been functioning since
1978. The Committee met thrice during the year.
Several new projects in the area of Coal & Environment
have been approved. A project entitled "Coal Bed Methane
Recovery (CBM)" has been initiated with joint financial
support provided by Ministry of Coal (Govt. of India) and
funds obtained through Global Environment Facility (GEF) under
UNDP. The project has since been functional with effect from
25th August, 1999. The guidelines of funding of the Coal S&T
projects have been revised.
Ministry of Steel & Mines
Department of Mines
The Standing Scientific Advisory Group
(SSAG) met two times during the year. In these meetings eight
new projects were approved in the areas of bio-leaching, mineral
beneficiation etc. The following four projects were jointly
funded by DST and Department of Mines:
- Studies on Production of Alloyed Pig Iron/Cast Iron using
Chromite Overburden on development of economically attractive
process using industrial waste. The studies to be conducted
by MECON Ltd. are being supported by DST and Department
- Advance Process Control & Optimisation Technology
for Mineral Processing Plants is to introduce SCADA system
in a Mineral Processing Plant of Hindustan Zinc Limited.
Jointly supported by DST and Ministry of Mines at TRDDC,
Pune; it will generate know-how for optimisation of productivity
and will benefit the industry through lower consumption
of raw materials.
- De-Ironing of Eastern Ghat Bauxite has been supported
by DST and Ministry of Mines to Jawahar Lal Nehru Advanced
Research, Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC), Nagpur
aiming at reduction of iron content of Eastern Ghat bauxite
to the level of 6-8% as Fe2O3 from original 22-26% and correspondingly
increase alumina up to 55-60% (almost half way to alumina)
by physical techniques.
- Evaluation of Process variables in continuous scale bio-oxidation
of complex sulphide ore/concentrate of Ambamata/Sikkim has
been jointly supported by DST and Ministry of Mines and
is being implemented by RRL, Bhubaneswar. The project aims
at demonstrating bio-reactor technology.
Department of Steel
The Empowered Committee (EC) met twice during the year on
23.2.99 and 21.9.99. In these meetings, nine projects were
approved. A project entitled "To study various tolerable
Indian non-coking coal sources with the aim of maximising
the usageofdomestic non-coking coal in the COREX process"
will be a joint technology project among Department of Science
and Technology, Department of Steel and M/S Jindal Vijaynaagar
Steel Limited (JVSL), Bangalore-a private company. The project
was approved in the 2nd meeting of EC held on 23.2.99 at a
total cost of Rs.3.41 crore which will be shared as Department
of Sciecne and Technology (Rs.0.70 crore), Department of Steel
(Rs.1.21 crore) and M/S JVSL, Bangalore (Rs.1.50 crore) over
a duration of four years. An Empowered Board will review the
progress of this project.
Another important project entitled "Maximising Blast
Furnace Productivity with Indian Iron Ore" will be implemented
by National Metallurgical Laboratory (NML), Jamshedpur in
collaboration with Research & Development Centre for Iron
& Steel (RDCIS)/SAIL and TISCO at a total cost of Rs.68.73
crore with financial support from Steel Development Fund (SDF),
Department of Steel to the tune of Rs.40.82 crore.
Empowered Committee (EC) has also approved the recommendations
earlier made by a committee chaired by Dr. R. A. Mashelkar,
Secretary, DSIR for finalisation of recommendations on Patents
and Rights for R&D Projects funded by SDF.
Ministry of Textiles
14th meeting of Co-ordination Council for Textile Research
Associations (TRAs) was held on August 14, 1999. It was decided
to bring out a Compendium on the work done by all TRAs during
the 8th five year plan and first two years of 9th Plan. In
addition, on a query from Ministry of Textiles the project
entitled "Establishment of Textile Machinery R&D
Centre at IIT, Bombay" which was earlier submitted to
Technology Development Board and CSIR/DSIR was again discussed
in a meeting taken by Secretary (Textiles) on 26th April,
1999. IS-STAC secretariat provided its comments on the above
project. Ministry of Textiles also convened the meeting of
Screening Committee of CTRAs on May 17, 1999.
Ministry of Petroleum & Natural
Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) met twice during the year
on August 19-20, 1999 and November 18-19, 1999. In these meetings,
a total of nine new projects were approved through the financial
support from Oil Industries Development Board (OIDB). To mention
a few important projects viz. "Commercialisation of Indigenous
Reverse Osmosis Membrane Technology" to be taken up by
Madras Refineries Ltd. (MRL) and Central Salt & Marine
Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), "Catalyst and
Technology Development for Isomerisation of Naptha" to
be taken up by Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun,
"Development of Sulphur Degassing Process" to be
taken up jointly by Engineers India Ltd. (EIL) and Gujarat
Narmada Fertilisers Corporation (GNFC).
Ministry of Surface Transport
Sub Committee of STAC (Road & Road Transport) was held
on January 8, 1999. During this meeting, status of various
ongoing projects in different areas was discussed. The progress
of 15 projects under Roads wing, 7 projects under Bridges
wing and 7 projects under Traffic & Transportation was
discussed. In addition the research programmes to be taken
up during 1999-2000 under various heads were also discussed.
The likely budget estimate for 1999-2000 for 6 schemes under
Roads head was Rs.50 lakhs, for 18 schemes under Bridges head
was Rs.155 lakhs and for 7 schemes under Traffic & Transportation
head was Rs.60 lakhs.
Ministry of Labour
IS-STAC Secretariat provided its technical inputs by participating
in a meeting of the Trade Committee constituted by the Directorate
General of Employment & Training, Ministry of Labour.
This Trade Committee has finalised the syllabi of the trade
"Information Technology& Electronics System Maintenance"
for the craftsman training scheme.
Ministry of Environment & Forests
The Empowered Steering Committee on Montreal Protocol convened
its XVII and XVIII meeting on March 16,1999 and July 5,1999
in which IS-STAC secretariat also participated and provided
its technical inputs. In one of these meetings, the Country
Paper for Incremental Operating Cost (IOC) relating to compressors
in domestic and commercial refrigeration was also discussed
which included necessary country level information on production
capacity etc. IS-STAC secretariat also participated in the
funding of projects under Global Environment Facility (GEF).