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Ishita Ranganath|Mar 27, 2023
NEW DELHI: Under the union budget 2023, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras will be provided a grant of Rs 242 crore over a period of five years to undertake research on Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD). The research will be focused on localizing the LGD manufacturing process. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced in her budget speech that one of the IITs will be getting the grant for LGD.
As per a recommendation made by the department of commerce, the research grant of Rs 242 crore over a period of five years has been approved, the institute informed. The research grants will be given to various departments and research groups of IIT Madras that are involved in this field.
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IIT Madras also informed that the upcoming centre will also recruit additional man-power to run the research on LGD that would be established at the IIT Madras Research Park and laboratories. “There is a need for indigenously developing these critical components, technologies and seed substrates (mother-seed) to make India self-sustainable in the lab-grown diamond sector. This is the requirement that the IIT Madras Research Group headed out to tackle,” the institute added.
Presenting the higher education budget 2023 on February 1, Sitharaman had said, “Lab grown Diamonds (LGD) is a technology and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential. These environment-friendly diamonds have optically and chemically the same properties as natural diamonds. To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years.”
Thanking Sitharaman, Professor V Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, said, “This is indeed the right time to set up a diamond factory in India, given that diamonds have thermal and electrical properties making them superior to contemporary technologies like silicon, silicon carbide and gallium nitride. IIT Madras will work towards producing diamond wafers suitable for electronic applications. It is a historic moment for IIT Madras for being selected for implementation of such an important project, output of which will be a crucial component of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
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Professor MS Ramachandra Rao, department of physics, IIT Madras, who will be the principal investigator for this initiative elaborated on the work that would be taken up under this initiative and said, “The India Centre for Lab Grown Diamonds (InCent-LGD) at IIT Madras was identified for this prestigious project based on our nearly two decades of work experience in diamond research wherein we have developed many technologies for industry, space and defence sectors. We are honoured to contribute to the initiatives of the Government of India to boost Research and Development efforts in Diamond growth to make India #1 country in producing good quality diamond crystals.”
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