Director’s Speech: 57th CSIR-IMMT’s Foundation Day 2020.
Respected Chief Guest, Hon Min of Sci & Tech and Earth Sciences and the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, VP of CSIR, Dr Harsh Vardhan ji, Guest of Hon Dr Shekhar C Mande, Sec. DSIR & DG CSIR, All my colleague and staff members of CSIR-IMMT, invited guests and friends of CSIR, watching Live through webcast and ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you all and greet you all on the occasion of CSIR-IMMT’s 57th Foundation Day celebration. This was supposed to be on April 13 like every other year, but due to National lockdown, we have postponed it to today. We are very grateful to the Hon Minister that he is present amongst us, in spite of his busy schedule at the time of COVID19. His blessings on this auspicious occasion will be long remembered.
We are going through an unprecedented time of human history. Human kind has never seen such a pandemic in the recent times. Sars-Cov-2 virus, COVID 19 has infected more than 3.3 crores of people and more than 10 lacs people have died across the globe.
Sir, before I start formal presentation of yearly report, I must congratulate entire Team CSIR, the way we responded, when common man looked at us – ‘to do something….’. We all felt virtually helpless when COVID19 was at our doorstep. I have seen among the scientists and staff members of CSIR-IMMT to do something, in such situation, when lockdown just begun. With Hon Prime Minister’s vision and your guiding force and immaculate planning by CSIR under the leadership of Dr Shekha C. Mande, CSIR contributed all possible ways to mitigate COVID19. It is a well-known fact now. I am not going to the details of it. CSIR-IMMT does not work in the area of life sciences or biology, but we contributed to hospital assistive devices and PPE vertical and came up with many products, such as, Hasta Suraksa, pedal operated had washing and sanitizer dispensing system, intubation hood, coffin to store body for longer period of time, sensor based sanitizer dispenser, JeevNasI, disinfectant sprayer, 3D printed mask, sanitizer, soap and many more. We donated these to AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Capital Hospital, Police Commissioner office, local police station, Migrant worker’s camp, and many technologies transferred and commercialized by MSMEs, which is reflected in COVID19 Technology Compendium brought out by CSIR.
Let me concentrate on the activities performed by the staff members in 2019-20.
The Institute excelled as usual like previous years although we were battered by cyclone FANI on May 3, 2019. You must be aware that IMMT not only brought back normalcy in the campus within 5 days, but did a big relief work during FANI and recently during AMPHAN.
External cash flow, ECF, which signifies Institute’s potential to develop and deliver technology to the industry, has been increasing from the last few years. In 2019-20, the total plan and non-plan budget from CSIR was Rs 68.52 crores as against ECF of Rs 44.5 crores (excluding tax), which is more than 40% of CSIR-IMMT’s total budget, 109 Cr. This is the highest ECF so far generated by the Institute. The lab’s R&D activities are primarily funded by NALCO, Vedanta, Tata Steel, JSW, JSPL, NMDC, MIDHANI Ltd, CMPDI, NTPC, DMRL, Odisha Mining Corp, MOIL, MSPL, Rourkela Steel Plant, NSPCL, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Ministry of Science & Technology. The total number of external projects (GAP, SSP, CNP) executed is 83, whereas CSIR project, Thematic area, Young Scientists in the form of MLPs executed is 38. CSIR-IMMT’s MLP funding received under different thematic verticals is Rs 13.7 crores. Institute also gave seed grants in the form 28 OLPs to the young Scientists to encourage them to pursue R&D work in the area of their interest. We have published 107 papers in Intl journals, 4 patents filed and 1 granted, 1 technology transferred and 5 MoU signed in 2019-20. Institute conducted 11 skill development and training programs and 42 Jigyasa program during this period. All these are possible because of the hard work done by the Scientists and Staff members of all the Divisions and all the Administrative & ESD staff members.
CSIR-IMMT started two important high value projects as a part of extensional activities directly related to societal work. First one, DSIR funded IMMT-Common Research and Technology Development Hub (CRTDH) in the area of New Materials, Chemical Processes, to help local MSMEs. The project outlay is approximately 12 Cr over the 5 years. The other one is, Farm Based S&T Intervention for Socio-economic Development in the Aspirational District of Nabarangpur, Odisha. This is a RKVY funded project of Rs 6.58 Cr for two year duration participated by 12 CSIR, ICMR, ICAR and DBT institutes coordinated by CSIR-IMMT. I am happy to inform that Nabarangpur district administration recently won Skotch Platinum award because of this effort.
Several IMMT Scientists received awards in 2019-20 and the major ones are: D. S. Rao received Dr. C. J. Coggin Award Gold Medal from MGMI (Mining Geological and Metallurgical Institute) and National Goescience Award from Ministry of Mines, R. Boopathy, received Institute of Engineers of India - young Engineers award, Alok Tripathy received Sitaram Rungta SGAT award and Lala Ramkishore Singhal MGMI award, Swati Mohanty received Govinda Gupta Memorial Running Shield by IE, Odisha, S. S. Rath and C. Eswaraiah received R. P. Bhatnagar Award from MGMI, Sishir Mantri received Berger Young Researcher Award in Coating Research Excellence by Society of Protective Coatings, P. K. Senapati received Bharat Vikas Award, Sriparna Chatterjee awarded with INYAS fellowship.
Many well-known personalities visited IMMT past one year. The prominent ones are: Hon Governor of Odisha, Dr Ganeshi Lal visited IMMT and blessed us. Hon’ble Minister of steel and Minister of Petroleum Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan assured us full support during his visit to take IMMT’s technology to pilot scale level and commercialization with industry’s participation.
From the administrative point of view we recruited 12 Scientists and one Technical Officer and all have joined.
The Lab cannot prosper without the welfare of its community. We have taken up many initiatives, IMMT colony area cleaning by regular staff in activities such as Swach Pakhwada; organised yoga classes, Cricket, Badminton, Volleyball and Football tournament. We have completed additional lighting of campus roads, renovation of staff quarters and student hostels, paving campus roads, lighting of the walking track in the cricket ground, planting of trees, construction of side walk and many more.
Before I end, I would like to submit that the Institute is working with many mineral and metallurgical industries, which is essentially towards import substitution. The technology developed by Mineral Processing Div. (MPD) of IMMT on reduction roasting and pelletizing for low and lean grade iron ore, taken up by JSW Tensa and Adhunik Metaliks, and IMMT coal beneficiation technology developed jointly with NML and CMFR on washing of high ash Indian coal has good potential towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. If India has to produce 300 MT of Steel by 2030-35, we have to use low grade iron ores, fines, slimes and sludges. Our Technology on conversion of non-coking coal to coking coal and ferro-coke would work towards coal import substitution. There are several other technologies, such as, mineral ore pipeline transport technology of Dept Project Eng, for NMDC, strategic material extraction such as, cobalt from cobalt scrap for Medhani Ltd, battery grade electrolytic manganese dioxide production for MOIL, total value extraction including rare earth (RE) from flyash with NALCO, RE from spent magnet, Na2SO4 splitting for Heavy Water Board accomplished by Hydro-electrometallurgy Division are the work towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. Ferro-Mn, Ferro-Cr from high grade iron ore for Tata Steel using hydrogen plasma (environment friendly) and Tungsten projectiles for missiles of Advanced Materials Technology Divisions, Coating and sensor Technology of Material Chemistry Division, Mineralogy of Flyash Cenosphere of Central Characterisation Division, Industry 4.0 – Eye on pellet technology, which is commercialized and deployed in JSW by Process Modelling Instrumentation Division are commendable. Water purification, NABL certified water testing facility, and waste treatment and environment monitoring technology of Environment & Sustainable Division are in the ambit of ‘Gaon ka pani gaon me’ and supplying pipe water to every Indian household. To fulfil Hon Prime Minister’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and under Hon Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan ji’s direction, I assure you that the CSIR-IMMT is fully equipped to work towards it and will support CSIR and Indian at large under the leadership, Dr Shekhar C Mande, DG CSIR.
I end here. Thank you for your time!
Please stay safe! May God Bless All!
Prof. Suddhasatwa Basu
Director, CSIR-IMMT, Bhubaneswar