September 18, 2018

    I would like to present to you CSIR-IMMT activities for the past six months. There have been large no of activities in IMMT, be it in R&D or administrative activities. First time in CSIR, theme based cross discipline and cross Lab research activities are envisaged. Towards this end, nine thematic areas are created, e.g., 4M; E3OW; Aerospace, Electronics, Instrumentation and Strategic Sector (AEISS); Civil-Infrastructure; Energy & Devices; Agriculture-Nutri-BioTech (ANB), Healthcare, to name a few. IMMT Scientists and Staff Members overwhelming participated by submitting projects and finally they were evaluated by outside experts organised by CSIR HQ. IMMT (MPD and HEM) bagged 6 Fast Track Translation (FTT) projects, 1 Fast Track Translation (FTC), and 9 Focussed Basic Research (FBR) and Niche Creating Project (NCP) projects in Mining, Metallurgy, Metals, Material (4M) theme amounting to Rs 31 Crores. Similarly, we (PMI) bagged 5 FTT and 2 FBR projects in AAEISS amounting to Rs 5.1 Crores. In other areas, Energy and ANB in FTT and FBR we got 3.37 Crores worth of projects. This is really laudable, but comes with lots of responsibility to deliver in time. These are internal funding from CSIR but given based on competition among all he CSIR labs in different thematic areas. We are looking forward to it in future that some of the FTTs and FBRs will convert to FTC and transfer of technology to industry to help Indian grow in double digit rate. After Dehradun conclave, it is decided that CSIR Labs have to work towards self-sustainability. Towards this end, it is decided that each lab has to generate 30% of it’s expenditure through industrial projects what is termed as External Cash Flow (ECF). Last year (2017-18) the lab ECF was about Rs 19 Crores but this year till August end, we have generated ECF of about Rs 18 Crores and this may reach up to Rs 25 Crores by the end of the financial year. The projects are funded by Tata Steel, OMC, NALCO, JSPL, JSW, IREL, DMRL. This year we have filed 3 patents and published one paper per Scientists per year basis. Currently, we have 85 Ph.D. students, who along with 128 Projects Assistants are the lifeline of the Lab working tirelessly. In most of the projects, we are trying to address processing of low grade ores and the separation of gangue material and further extraction of valuable materials. Further we are also negotiating with M/s IREL on pilot scale testing of our technology for energy efficient production TiO2 from OSCOM Ilmenite.

    Several initiatives have been taken by IMMT. We have proposed to set up a centre of excellence on ‘Waste to Wealth’, which shall be interdisciplinary and interdepartmental to deal with problems of waste utilization in iron and steel sector. We are also in talks with NALCO to bring some synergy between their R&D centre and our laboratory to take up joint projects. We are setting up a centre for testing and development of water treatment technology along with recognition of NABL. This will facilitate providing much needed knowledge based services to the water treatment sector in this zone.

    Our Scientists are being bestowed upon with prestigious awards frequently. Dr. Alok Tripathy, Scientist, Mineral Processing Department received R P Bhatnagar award 2017-18 from MGMI, Kolkata. Ms. Srabani Mishra, PhD student under supervision of Dr. Nilotpala Pradhan, Senior Scientist, E&S Department has been conferred with prestigious "Odisha Bigyan Academy" under category "Young Scientist". Dr. B P singh, Head, CMC Department received ‘B S Seshadri Memorial MASCOT National Award’ by Electrochemical Society of India. Dr. Santosh Kumar Behera, Scientist, PM&I received ‘Outstanding Scientist in Instrumentation’ award from Venus International Foundation. Dr. D S Rao, Chief Scientist, Mineral Processing Department received ‘Lala Ramkishore Singhal Award’ 2017-18 from MGMI , Kolkata. Dr C. Eswaraiah, Sr Scientist, Mineral Processing Department received Govind Gupta Memorial Running Shield from IEI.

    To bring about fruitful discussion and debate through deliberation and update knowledge, IMMT invites well known personalities to deliver talk followed by discussion. Prof. Bibhu Mohanty, University of Toronto gave talk on Mining: Essentially a Size Reduction Process; Dr. Ragupatruni Gajapathi Rao, Ex-Scientific Off. DAE gave a talk on Exploration and Evaluation of Rare Earth Element (REE) bearing placers of India- A global view on the trends of REE supply and demand; Dr Brian G. Cousins, University College London spoke about Next Generation Biomaterials Inspired by Nanotechnology; Prof. Seshadri Seetharaman, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm gave seminar on Metallurgical Emissions - ticking environmental bomb or a valuable resource?; Dr. K. K. Satpathy, IGCAR, Kalpakam spoke about Environmental Issues : A perspective; Prof. P. R. Vasudeva Rao, VC of Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI) deliberate on The First Nuclear Reactors; Prof. Kaustubha Mohanty, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati talked on Microalgal based Biorefinery coupled with Enhanced CO2 Sequestration; Prof. T. Pradeep, Indian Institute of Technology Madras spoke about his work on Clean water using advanced materials: Science, Technology, Incubation and Industry; Dr. Sunil Kumar, Senior Scientist, CSIR-NEERI gave seminar on Waste Management Technologies: Challenges and Opportunities; Prof. Vijay K. Ramani, Washington University in St. Louis; IIT-Delhi VAJRA Fellow gave talk on Heterogeneous Electrocatalysts for Solid-state Alkaline Water Electrolyzers.

    IMMT is engaged in many other programs, whereby knowledge is disseminated and bring about societal impact e.g., One-Day Workshop On Utilisation of ‘National Information System for Climate and Environmental Studies (NICES) and its Data Products’ (6th April 2018), One day workshop on Wetting of surfaces (9th April 2018), 55th Foundation Day of CSIR-IMMT (13th April 2018) where CMD of NALCO was the Chief Guest. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Jayanti was celebrated with much participation by all in different competitive activities (14th April 2018). Further, BRNS–AEACI, 13th School on Analytical Chemistry, SAC- 13 ( 23rd – 30th April 2018) was held, National Technology Day celebrated in which Dr Ashok Mahapatra of AIIMS gave a talk and model competition was organized among the school children (April 11, 2018), Swach Pakhwada was organized (May 1-14, 2018). One Day Workshop on Application of Electron Probe Micro-Analyzer (17th July, 2018), One day Workshop on R&D Opportunities in Defence Sector (Aug 2, 2018), Training program on Cutting and polishing of coloured stones, Aug 20-24, was conducted in the lab. Celebration of Independence Day with parade and performance from Campus School Children and inauguration of renovated Guest House and Guest House Reservation system and opening of NH gate was done on 15th August at IMMT. IMMT organized tennis ball cricket competition, one day badminton doubles competition in the campus apart from friendly football match between Staff and Scientists. Metal Quiz Competition among the high school student was organized with IIM on Sept 2, 2018. On the administrative side, we accomplished CAG audit successfully.

Jai Hind!

Prof. Suddhasatwa Basu
Director, CSIR-IMMT