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Domain Themes

SHAPE - Security, Healthcare, Agriculture, Pedagogy, Environment are indeed the areas where India Grand Challenges program can shape the country's future and make a significant impact through clearly defined goals and objectives.

Domain Team

Faculty Working Group for IMPRINT Nanotechnology:

Theme Leader: Prof. V.Ramgopal Rao, IITB

Co-Convener: Prof. Arindam Ghosh, IISc Bangalore


Prof. Rudra Pratap, Chairman, CenSe, IISc

Prof. Navakanta Bhat, IISc

Prof. B.R.Mehta, IIT Delhi

Prof. Ashok K Ganguli, Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali

Prof. S Panda, CHE, IITK

Prof. S A Ramakrishna, PHY, IITK (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Dr. M. J. Akhtar, IITK

Prof. T.K.Bhattacharya, IIT Kharagpur

Prof. Samit Kumar Ray, IIT Kharagpur

Prof. Jatin Roy, IIT Kharagpur

Prof. Pallab Banerjee, IIT Kharagpur

Prof. Enakshi Bhattacharya, IIT Madras

Prof. T.Pradip, IIT Madras

Prof. Jayesh Bellare, IIT Bombay

Prof. Rohit Srivastava, IIT Bombay

Prof. Arun Chattopadhyay, IIT Guwahati

Prof. Siva Vanjari, IIT Hyderabad

Prof. Shiv Govind Singh, IIT Hyderabad

Prof. Saroj Kumar Nayak, IIT Bhuwaneshwar

Prof. R. K. Panda, IIT Bhuwaneshwar

Prof. V. R. Pedireddi, IIT Bhuwaneshwar

Prof. Parasharam M. Shirage, IIT Indore

Prof. Shaibal Mukherjee, IIT Indore

Prof. Abhinav Kranti, IIT Indore

Prof. R. Jayaganthan, IIT Roorkee

Prof. Anand Bulusu, IIT Roorkee

Prof. P Gopinath, IIT Roorkee

Prof. Harish Sivasankaran, IIT Mandi

Prof. Dhiraj K. Mahajan, IIT Ropar

Prof. Superb Mishra, IIT Gandhi Nagar

Prof. Rajesh V. Nair, IIT Ropar

Domain: Nano-technology Hardware

Broad Coverage

India ranks third in the world in terms of research publications and second in terms of patent filing in the field of Nanotechnology. The goal therefore must be to convert some of this excellent work and IP into tangible prototypes and products meeting the societal requirements. The IMPRINT program is expected to lay down a roadmap for India to achieve a leadership position in Nanotechnology product development. Identifying Grand Challenges faced by the society and addressing these challenges through a top-down approach is the best way to deal with these problems. The five problem areas to be addressed through the IMPRINT India Nanotechnology Grand Challenges initiative will be based on the concept of "high technologies at an affordable cost, addressing the societal needs".

  • Security: From homeland security to cyber security, security is going to be a major concern for the country.

  • Healthcare: Specifically looking at web enabled healthcare initiatives, diagnostics, rural healthcare etc. Providing clean water, meeting the sanitation requirements of population are an important part of any healthcare initiative in the country.

  • Agriculture: Fundamentally addressing the precision agriculture areas, sensors etc. to improve the contribution of agricultural sector to national GDP. Reducing water wastage is another major requirement in agriculture.

  • Pedagogy: With a million young people joining the work force every month, India needs to address their training needs, educational requirements etc. This needs a major effort in the educational sector.

  • Environment: In a growing economy like India, every effort must be made to protect its environment. Use of renewable sources for energy, sensor networks to regularly monitor and transmit information related to the pollution, ground water quality etc. need to be part of this initiative. Along with the exploration of applications, we must also be aware of the environmental impact of nanomaterials that are released from nanotechnology embedded products into the atmosphere.

  • SHAPE - Security, Healthcare, Agriculture, Pedagogy, Environment are indeed the areas where India Grand Challenges program can shape the country's future and make a significant impact through clearly defined goals and objectives.


  • Hand held & standoff detectors for less intrusive monitoring of trace quantities of chemical, radiological and biological threats for airports, railway stations, bus stands, baggage and vehicle screening

  • Security sensor networks for major installations, transport applications, border security including the integration of energy harvesting techniques

  • Low cost missile warning systems

  • Development of cost-effective, high-frequency, and high-power devices for next generation communication devices, military and commercial applications

  • Low cost systems for landmine detection, aerial surveillance

  • Assistive technologies for security forces & commando operations

  • Encryption/decryption technologies, intelligent video surveillance techniques, and cyber security


  • Networked healthcare kiosks in rural areas for non-invasive monitoring & screening of population for essential body parameters (such as BP, ECG, Blood sugar levels etc.) and communication to specialists in bigger hospitals

  • Low cost point of care diagnostic systems for cardiac, TB, Malaria, Dengue and other diseases

  • Networked real time water quality monitoring systems for ground water contamination monitoring in villages

  • Clean water filtration & sanitation systems for rural areas


  • A low cost point of use systems for soil macro-nutrient (NPK) and Micro-nutrients (B, Zn, S, Mn.) to promote soil fertility and balanced crop nutrition

  • Portable point of use systems for detection of plant viruses and early stage disease diagnosis

  • Low cost Soil moisture, soil temperature, pH sensors for improved productivity

  • Electronic nose platforms for detection of ethylene (for fruit ripening detection), methane and H2S for paddy fields, detection of volatile aldehydes during seed storage for seed quality monitoring etc.

  • Low cost systems for other precision agriculture applications, pesticide and drug content in food products, antibiotics and growth promoters in meat, milk quality monitoring.

  • Nanomaterials for Food packaging applications to prevent oxygen and other gases from passing through.


  • Special manpower development programmes in core areas such as VLSI design, Embedded systems, micro/nano-fabrication, nanomaterials and their applications, Nanoelectronics, Safety aspects of nanotechnologies, Incubation

  • Web enabled learning modules for all the above areas

  • 20 X increase in Quality Improvement Programmes (QIP) for faculty in second tier educational institutions


  • Air Pollution monitoring systems in traffic junctions with a mobile phone readout

  • Green synthesis of Nanomaterials

  • Improving the energy conversion efficiency of renewable sources, Advanced materials for flexible, cost-effective, and environment-friendly renewable energy sources

  • Novel and cost-effective hybrid sensing materials to monitor toxic and pollutant gases and chemicals in the environment

  • Energy efficient devices and systems

  • Use of extraordinary electric conductivity of nanomaterials for application in electric cables and power lines for reducing transmission losses

  • Structural health monitoring of civil structures & pipelines

Methodology For Implementation

  • This initiative is expected to change the paradigm of how research is conducted in academic institutions in India. This will be more on the lines of directed basic research, with clearly defined goals and objectives resulting in a prototype or technology development.

  • The programme will be time bound with a 5 year timeline. The team shall identify specifications for a minimum of five products in each of the SHAPE areas, having a societal relevance, including the cost estimates. That will be a total of 25 large multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional projects, with clearly defined specifications involving some aspect of Nanotechnology in the solution. The projects need to be regularly reviewed every 6 months. Each of the projects must have a theme coordinator, who will be responsible for overseeing the activities.

  • It is expected that all activities end with a proof of concept/prototype ready for field trials. Such activities tend to be inherently multi-disciplinary, so the teams will be encouraged to seek expertise of people with diverse backgrounds. The projects therefore will be inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional with product as a focus.

  • The programme team will look at the existing facilities, identify gaps that exist in the R&D infrastructure and address these. The team will identify at least a dozen institutions where state of the art infrastructure facilities for micro/nano-fabrication can be created, including augmenting the existing facilities.

  • Through a national level search, the team will identify at least 50 outstanding Ph.D. students per deliverable and commission them to work on these projects. That would be 25 deliverables X 50 high quality Ph.D. students =1250 Ph.D. students working on the 25 multi-disciplinary/multi-institutional SHAPE projects through the IMPRINT India Nanotechnology Grand Challenges Program.

  • The programme will encourage the students and the faculty involved in these projects to look for incubation/start-ups as a means to commercialize their technologies. There will be a provision for supporting these start-ups through a national level fund during their incubation period.

  • There will be Technology parks created in many of the leading institutes where these start-ups can be anchored. The goal is to create at least 10 startups out of this initiative in the Nanotechnology area, over a 5 year period.

  • The IMPRINT Nanotechnology program will be led by a National Coordinator (a leading researcher with expertise in translational research) who reports to the IMPRINT India Chief Coordinator or the ministry.
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