The government has launched a joint initiative to examine the possible impact of radiations from mobile towers and handsets on human life and has shortlisted proposals from premier institutes like IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, IIT Roorkee, JNU and AIIMS for conducting the study.
"A joint initiative has been launched by Science and Engineering Research Board, a statutory body under Department of Science and Technology and Department of Telecommunication to study possible impact of EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation exposure from mobile towers and handsets in the non-ionising band (300MHz to 3 GHz) on life," Ministry of Science and Technology said in reply to a RTI query.
The Ministry added it made a call for proposals and has received large proposals which are being examined for their suitability for funding.
The Ministry received 158 applications from public and private institutions and 79 have been shortlisted for further consideration.
"No specific budget is allocated for the study. The budget required for the study will be provided from the annual budget of the Board," the reply said.
The Ministry said the duration of the study is two or three years. The findings will be available after completion of the study.
"There is no international collaboration in this study," the reply added.
According to guidelines issued by DoT, the specific absorption rate (SAR), a measure of radiation, on mobile phones sold in India should not exceed 1.6 watt/kg averaged over a mass of 1 gram of human tissue. Most countries allow an SAR of 2 watts from mobile phones.
Mobile tower radiation norms in India have been set at 1-10th of the level that most countries follow.