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India to have Nanotechnology Regulatory Board soon

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The today said the country will soon have a to regulate the industrial nanotech products that are used in day-to-day life.

"We are in the process of forming a regulatory body for the nanotechnology and this will be called Nanotechnology Regulatory Board," Nano Mission Council Chairman C N R Rao said on the sidelines of a three-day International conference on Nano science and Technology that began today at IIT here.

The Board will be formed most probably next month, Rao said.

"Indian industries are coming out with various nanotechnological products including water filters, biomedical products, several chemicals, cosmetics and paints. Therefore, we are in the process of formulating guidelines to regulate the products for the safety and benefit of the society," Rao, who is also the chairman of Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister, said.

Asked whether the guidelines have been formulated, Rao said, "Not yet, we are in the process of formulating the guidelines."

The Centre launched a Mission on Nano Science and Technology (Nano Mission) in May 2007. An allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for five years has been made towards it. The Department of Science and Technology is the nodal implementing agency of the Mission, DST director Praveen Asthana said at the inauguration.

The DST had sanctioned $20 million from 2002 to 2007 and the steep increase in the allocation speaks volumes on the importance given by the government to nanoscience and technology, Asthana said.

AEC chairman and Bhabha Atomic Research centre director Srikumar Banerjee said in western India, TIFR, IIT, BARC and the University of Mumbai are working together on complementing aspects of research and development in nanotechnology.

Chairman of Board of Governors of IIT-Mumbai Anil Kakodkar said Nano Mission is a great opportunity for India to make affordable and appropriate solutions for different problems of society.

"For students and entrepreneurs, this is a great chance and we need to strengthen the facilities in the country," Kakodkar said.

The deliberation of the three-day conference include Functional Materials, Novel Synthetic Methods, Hybrids, Fabrication and Devices,  Electronics, Magnetics and Photonics, Technology of Medicine (drug delivery system), Materials for Energy and Materials for Food and Environment, conference convenor Dhirendra Bahadur said.

Over 615 delegates, including 70 from abroad, are participating in the conference, he said.

The technical programmes of the Nano Mission are also being guided by two advisory groups, the Nano Science Advisory Group (NSAG) and the Nano Applications and Technology Advisory Group (NATAG), Asthana said.

The Mission is focusing on providing effective education and training to researchers and professionals in diversified fields so that a genuine interdisciplinary culture for nanoscale science, engineering and technology can emerge.

It has launched MSc and M Tech programmes in some of the institutions in the country as part of the human resource development.

As part of the international collaboration, the Mission encourages exploratory visits of scientists, organisation of joint workshops and conferences and joint research projects.

The Mission is also planning to facilitate access to sophisticated research facilities abroad, establish joint centres of excellence and forge academia-industry partnerships at the international level wherever required and desirable, Asthana said.

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