Divya Himachal Logo May 26th, 2017

HimachalThisWeek


IIT Mandi: Serving Himachal

Aman Agnihotri     (cover story)

newsIndian Institute of Technology,( IIT), Mandi, is proving to be a boon for this hilly state as best of the brains are focusing on technology suited for unique geographical conditions of Himachal. Though various research projects are undertaken on issues confronting the country but researchers lay emphasis on those affecting this hilly state as the premier institute is located in serene and peaceful environs of this hilly state.  Some of the challenges it is working on include landslides, medicinal plants in Himalayan region, challenges in hilly areas and others. Situated in the Shivalik Range of Himalayas, it is serving as a new abode of learning. The institute was established with a vision to be a leader in science and technology education, knowledge creation and innovation in an India marching towards inclusive and sustainable society.

Mission

* To create knowledge through team effort and individually for the benefit of society

* To impart education to produce professionals capable of leading efforts towards innovative products and processes for the development of the Himalayan region in particular and our country and humanity in general

* To inculcate a spirit of entrepreneurship and to impart the ability to devise globally recognized solutions for the problems of society and industry, particularly in the fragile eco-system of the Himalayas

* To train teachers capable of inspiring the next generation of engineers, scientists and researchers

* To work intensely with industry in pursuit of the above goals of education and research, leading to the development of cutting edge and commercially-viable technologies

* To operate in an ambience marked by overriding respect for ability and merit.

Focus on Himachal’s Problems

newsThe institute is working on various problems that confront different sections of the society in this hilly state.

Monkey Menace Alarm: The students have recently developed a censor that will ring whenever monkeys enter farmer’s fields. In addition it will generate sounds that will scare away monkey from the agriculture fields.

Solar warming system for deep valley mechanism: As shallow areas in valleys of Himachal receive very little or no sunshine, students are working on developing a reflector for the purpose. It will be installed on high peak of shallow area of a valley so that sunlight is deflected to the targeted area.

* Forewarning of landslide: Landslides are common in Himachal, especially during rainy season, that offer result in huge losses. IIT, Mandi has developed a device to be installed on a hillock. It will give signals about probable landslide in the area. It has also identified tree species that prevent landslides. Students have identified trees having deep root system to be planted in landslide affected areas to check this problem.

* The Centre for Uplifting Himalayan Livelihood (UHL): Funded by the Centre, this centre has been established at IIT, Mandi for developing livelihood options through use of technology in this hilly state.

* The institute is also evolving a technique so that MRI facility is available at a cheap rate. Not only this, the patient will not have to visit the hospital but the facility will be available through ambulance. It is also developing a unique block in its botanical garden that will have plants and trees available in Himachal, including fruit tress and vegetables naturally growing in forests.  The institute is also extending its services to develop Dharamshala as a smart city in the form of technical support. Experts are also lending support to Transport Department for running electric buses in Rohtang area.

Prof. Timothy A Gonsalves* Our young faculty, students and staff have worked hard in difficult circumstances to lay the seeds of a world class technological institute in the remote Kamand Valley. In the years ahead, these efforts will fructify as IIT Mandi becomes world leader in some area of academic endeavour

-Prof. Timothy A Gonsalves, Director, IIT, Mandi

Defining Research Projects

newsOn the pattern of pregnancy kit, IIT Mandi is developing a kit for identification of TB patients. It will take few minutes to know whether a patient is positive for TB or not.

Preventing Turbines From Silt

Himachal has vast hydro power potential and many projects have been established on various rivers in the state. However, silt in rivers not only hampers hydro power generation but also reduces the life of turbines established in power houses. Repair of turbines involves crores of rupee as silt touches highest level in monsoon season. As a result, hydro power projects have to be shut. School of  Engineering of IIT, Mandi is working to get rid of this problem through a centrally funded Rs. 53 lakh project.

Pollution Free Rivers

A new technique has been evolved to save rivers and nullahs from pollution. Not only the rivers will be saved from industrial waste and effluent but it will also be used after recycling. Students have developed a photo catalytic reactor that will help removing industrial pollution. It costs between Rs. 40, 000 to Rs. 50,000 but will solve a much bigger problem of industrial pollution. Dr. Rahul Vaish has been instrumental in developing it.

Eco Friendly Power Projects

It is developing a model for eco friendly small hydro projects that will help in power generation without interfering with the environment. Twenty two projects are proposed on Ravi and Pabbar rivers under this project.

New Innovations in Every Field

IIT, Mandi is innovating in almost every field since its inception in Himachal. It has contributed in many central projects and has evolved the smallest nano chip which will keep laptops and computers cool without fan. Last year too, it got five big projects and Centre granted Rs. 10 crore for research activities to be undertaken under these proposals. These projects are based on low cost MRI, communication sector, liquid and solid waste management, semi conductor and power sector. Smart grid launch pad has been developed to restrict power consumption more than requirement by people. In addition, the institute is working on many  research projects to solve problems in hilly areas.  These include nano censor to check water purity,

Other Achievements

* An IIT Mandi alumnus Athar Aamir Khan of Jammu & Kashmir secured second rank in the country in civil services exam 2015

* IIT Mandi secured third place in Nature Index Survey in 2016

* Main role in Centre’s Start up Project

* Package range from Rs 27 lakh to Rs 1.7 crore

* To develop nature friendly bomb

* To popularise Himachal’s handicraft globally

BioX Centre Inaugurated

newsThe BioX Centre was conceived at IIT Mandi in 2012, driven by the need for affordable health care for India, and advanced technology interventions in agriculture and for preservation of the  environment in the Himalayan Region. Since then, IIT Mandi started to hire faculty and made an initial investment of Rs. 10 crores in lab equipment. As it had reached a critical mass, the formal structure of the BioX Centre was approved in December 2016. Now, the BioX Centre building is complete and inaugurated on May 13, 2017 by Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, and Government of India. Some of the major research facilities in place at the centre are cell culture facility, tissue culture lab, a high performance computing cluster, flourescence microscopy, next genome sequencing, bioreactors, flow cytometer, and stop flow for protein studies. More facilities, like gas chromatography mass spectroscopy are being set up. The centre is also supported by the Advanced Material Research Centre (AMRC).

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