1. Prologue
  2. Agri / Dairy related
    1. Potash from Sea Water
    2. Banana Stem for Paper Making
    3. Non-Edible Oils (NEO).
  3. Environment and Biodiversity (EnB) related
    2. Bamboo Mission
    3. Misc.
  4. Solar/ Energy related
  5. Drinking Water related


I’m running the Summary of Department of Science and Technology (DST)’s Annual Report 2012-13. This report contains some good material UPSC General Studies Mains Paper 3 Topics:

  1. Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
  2. Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

Total four part article series:

  1. Agro, EnB, Solar and Water (We’re here)
  2. Medical/Healthcare, Building-construction, textile, metal, plasma, Nano etc.
  3. Projects for benefit of SC, ST, Women, States and Human resource development
  4. Mapping, International relation (IR), awareness campaigns and awards.

ok But What about the Hindu science tech compilation for Sep-Oct-Nov? I’ll release it after 15th Nov.

Agri / Dairy related

Potash from Sea Water

  • Potassium is an essential plant nutrient. MOP (Muriate of Potash) and SOP (Sulphate of Potash) are the popular forms of potassic fertilizer,
  • but We don’t have local mineral resources, have to rely on Potash through imports= more current account deficit
  • However, we’re blessed with long coast line=salt production.
  • Britten= bitter liquid remaining after common salt has been crystallized out of sea water.
  • This Britten can be used to harvest potassium chloride (20-25 gms per liter)=> further processing will give Potash.
  • DST funding project for this indigenous production of Potash.
  • + another project to extract ultra-pure magnesia from seawater

Banana Stem for Paper Making

  • India being the largest producer of banana in the world
  • But Banana stem=generally discarded as waste.
  • banana stem+wheat straw / Bagasses=>pulp them = can be used for paper making and reinforcement fibres
  • this will reduce the need to import softwood/hardwood pulp.

Non-Edible Oils (NEO)

  • Example of Non-Edible oils= Wild Apricot, Karanj, Malkangni, Jojoba, Wild Castor
  • NEO can be used for making soaps, lubricants, paints and varnishes, medicines etc.
  • But all value-addition and employment generation takes place in urban-industrial areas.
  • And tribals get very low income for collecting raw material.
  • DST promoting a hub-and-spoke supply chain using Village level women SHG.

let’s check some more projects supported by DST:

Assassin bugs

bio control agents= using bugs/living organism to destroy other pests. DST running project to see bio control potential of

  • copepods against mosquito larvae
  • Fabricius and Stal against cotton pests.

Copra drying

Solar Tunnel Dryers for Copra Production in TN.

Hand Held Electronic Nose (HEN)

  • by CDAC.
  • for tea aroma classification
  • helps in quality evaluation of finished tea and detection of tea fermentation process
  • uses metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) based sensors Tin and zinc oxides.


Jack fruit cutter @ Thiruvananthapuram, minimize women’s drudgery involved in jackfruit processing


  • Mobile Alternative Analytical Technology (MAAT)
  • Portable Alternative Analytical Technology (PAAT
  • They can detect soil composition and recommend necessary fertilizers to the farmers within 24 hours.

Milk protein estimator

  • handheld electrochemical prototype for the detection of adulteration in milk or synthetic milk
  • will help the by the diary industries.
  • by Anna University + IISc

QCM sensors

for tea aroma classification

solar food processing

solar food processing of non-timber forest produce such as Gum Karaya, Satavari, Neelavemu and Maredugaddalu for value addition and income generation for tribal farmers.


  • to motivate young scientists to use their brain for society’s development. Result?
  • fodder nursery model to provide nutritive fodder throughout the year and reduce women’s drudgery.
  • Humus: organic liquid fertilizer
  • Vitamate: solid humic acid

Portable Alternative Analytical Technology (PAAT)


ASAR for people living in the Arid and Semi-arid Regions e.g. Rajasthan, Gujarat and MP
CODER for people living Cold Desert Regions. e.g. JK, HP.

These programs focus on Soil and water management, Sustainable Agriculture etc.

Environment and Biodiversity (EnB) related

National Action plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) => two components for DST

  1. National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC)
  2. National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)

Let’s check

  • National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change
  • promotes PPP in key socio-economic sectors relating to climate change.
  • National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem
  • Glacial studies with Swiss Joint group.

DST also helped in following projects related to climate change

  1. measuring Long Term Changes in Sea Level along Indian Coast by National Institute of Oceanography
  2. studying Climate Change on Agriculture and Forest Ecosystem in Indo-Gangetic Plains
  3. case studies for sustainable livelihood and climate change by IRMA  (Indian Institute of Rural Management) Anand.
  4. Knowledge for Climate Studies Centre by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay


  • Coal based thermal power plants=>release fly ash=>pollution.
  • but fly ash could also be used for
    • Construction of railway embankments
    • in concrete for critical structures such as building
    • foundation material for turbo- generators, chimneys and cooling towers etc. in power plants
  • DST promotes R&D for such uses of fly ash to change the image of fly ash from a “WASTE MATERIAL” to a “RESOURCE MATERIAL”.
  • Since its inception, this project has added economic returns worth >3 billion USD and employment >1 million people.
  • Even Russia has sought the expertise of this fly Ash Unit.

Bamboo Mission

  • to promote bamboo related to create economic opportunity, income and employment for the tribal.
  • Examples
Activated Carbon
  • bamboo=>burn without flame=>charcoal=>further processing gives activated carbon.
  • activated carbon can be used for water purification.
Bamboo For School Buildings
  1. Maharahstra: Villages in Nadurbar district,MH= remote, inaccessible area having no road connections. Green school building from bamboo have been setup. Even include kitchen and toilets.
  2. Manipur: Kitchen cum store under Mid day Meal. Using Bamboo material.
Bamboo Timber
  • bamboo waste bundle=>dry=>glue=>hot press=Bamboo timber boards.
  • This Bamboo timber= 100% substitute of wood timber as it can be cut sawn, sanded and polished in any direction.
Bamboo Vinegar Oil
  • obtained as byproduct processing bamboo into charcoal.
  • has medicinal uses.
  • DST’s bamboo mission provides training, tools etc. for mat weaving, agarbati sticks and incense-cone making, polishing bamboo etc.
  • Training given mostly in the states in Eastern India.
  • Bamboo=>Cellulose nano whiskers.
  • they enchance mechanical properties like strength and stiffness of the material.
  • This gives new opportunities to create completely bio degradable nano composites. (=medical applications)
Thermoplastics Bamboo thermoplastics are being used in the non-critical components/ interior decoration  of 2/3 wheeler vehicles (i.e. three wheeler and two wheeler).


Arsenic Kit for detecting arsenic levels in drinking water. Uses silver nitrate.
Artificial Glacier Technology water bodies constructed in Leh region for livelihood generation and irrigation purpose.
Greenway Smart Stove
  • This stove has a unique air-flow generator
  • saves fuel by 65% and reducs smoke by 70%
  • Making meals healthier and happier
  • by a team of student entrepreneurs from Indin
  • is the fish species which has been widely distributed among the foothills of Himalaya
  • but recently due to the overexploitation of the natural bioresources the fish species has become endangered.
  • DST promoting selective breeding program of this fish.
WaSH ECO & WaSH (WATER, SANITATION & HYGIENE) FUTURESProgram for science communications related to eco-resources and water, sanitation & hygiene.

Carbon Sequestration


At present DST funding projects for

  • Bio-fixation of CO2 using microalgae Scenedesmus sp. It grows well in industry effluent=cheap cost.
  • Bio-logical carbon sequestration in terrestrial, fresh water and marine forms.
  • Microbial fuel cell
  • carbon sequestration for crop land, forest land, grass land, wet land and agro-ecosystem etc.

Solar/ Energy related

let’s check some projects supported by DST:

Alternate fuels
  • application of Straight Vegetable Oils (SVOs)
  • Green Diesel from Non-Edible Oils Using Nano Metal Catalysts.
  • projects for turning Jatropha/Castor Oil/Thumba seed oil into biodiesel.
  • IIT Kanpur+Tata Motors= tested biodiesel on railway diesel engine with common rail direct injection (CRDI) technology
  • Another project to use biogas on rail engines.
  • Micro-algae and Bio-coagulant for turning waste water into bio-crude oil.
  • Advancing the efficiency and production potential of exictonic solar cells (APEX)
  • as the name suggests, it focuses on development of materials, devices and processing to improve solar cells.
  • players involved: IIT Delhi, Kanpur, National Physical/chemical Laboratories etc.
ARTI Appropriate Rural Technology Institute(ARTI), Pune, Maharashtrafor converting agricultural and other waste into high grade fuels.
  • Solar – Biomass Hybrid Sea water desalination plant in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu
Dye Sensitized Solar Cell Technology
  • An alternative of Silicone Based Solar Cell
  • Dye Sensitized Solar Cell (DSSC), a third generation photovoltaic technology
  • it’s cheaper, more efficient than contemporary Silicon based technology.
  • Can be fabricated on the flexible plastic => indoor and outdoor usages possible
eco cookers
  • Efficient Cooking System
  • products can have an option of using multiple fuel option such as gas (LPG), kerosene, coal, wood or even biogas.
  • Eco Cookers of 4 Ltrs, 40 Ltrs, and 120 Ltrs capacity.
  • Their flow properties and magnetism has lot of commercial application. e.g. solar power generator, advanced optical system etc.
  • DST Funding projects for indigenous production of ferrofluids.
Hybrid Solar-Biomass Powerplant
  • Village Shive in Khed Taluka of Pune district is under the Public-Private-Community Partnership (PPCP) mode
  • @day: uses solar energy to generate electricity
  • @night: uses biomass to generate electricity
  • =24/7 electricity offgrid.
  • PAN IIT initiative aims at developing pre-competitive research capacity for Solar Power generation
  • + focus on cost reduction.
  • Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storage (SEGES)
  • DST in collaboration with the Research Councils UK.
  • Smart Energy Grids and Energy Storages.
  • DST=>Solar Energy Research Initiative (SERI), 2008
  • To promote innovation in Solar energy.
  • hybrid solar power systems to meet rural energy needs
  • +devices, coatings, storage options, grid connectivity, etc.
  • Solar Energy Research Institute for India and U.S
  • to create an environment for cooperation and innovation “without borders” for soal energy.
  • making Sustainable Photovoltaics tailored to India’s needs, environment, and resource availability.
Solar Hydrogen
  • To convert solar energy => hydrogen=>storage device.
  • by IIT Kanpur, Madras;  BARC, Mumbai etc.
  • Stability and performance of Photovoltaic (STaPP.)
  • As the name suggest, to improve performance of photovoltaic systems (solar cells)
  • increasing the performance and lifetime of such solar cells
  • players involved: IIT Bombay, Kharagpur, Kanpur etc.
  • Ultracapacity based lighting system= helps in power conversion especially for rural and remote regions.
  • for example hybrid batter instead of conventional lead battery.

Drinking Water related

Solar – Biomass Hybrid Sea water desalination at TN

  • Winning, Augmentation and Renovation (WAR) for water program.
  • DST giving funds for developing low cost solutions using indigenous technology for safe drinking water, purification, recycling etc. let’s check progress:
States water problem solution given
Andhra, TN saline water, bacteria etc Reverse osmosis and UV treatment
Assam/Bihar/UP/WB arsenic
  • arsenic removal using iron adsorbants.
  • Arsenic Removal Units (ARUs) deployed in the villages, costs about Re 1 for 1000 liter.
Rajasthan shortage
  • rain water harvesting structures and Kunds
  • saves drudgery of women to collect water from faraway areas.
Uttarakhand shortage
  • In the hill regions, wells don’t give sufficient water yield.
  • Therefore, River Bank Filtration (RBF) Projects to drill water out of river banks.
TN saline
  • Solar Multi Effect Distillation (MED), which was being done for the first time in the country @ Naripayuur/Ervadi (Tamilnadu).

Next part, we’ll see DST’s support to medical, electronics, plasma research etc.