A look at the Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.

The Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology of Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, started in 2009, has made great strides in research and industrial collaborations.

Functioning as a nodal centre for research in nanotechnology, the institute has imparted quality education in the field to many researchers.

The thrust areas of the centre are nanomaterials, nanobiology and nanomedicine, nanochemistry, social, ethical legal and environmental issues, green energy and green materials.

The Director of the centre, Sabu Thomas, a polymer technologist, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, and ranked fifth by the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development, New Delhi, on the panel of most productive researchers in India.

The centre has several industrial collaborations. A notable association is with Apollo Tyres, for which the centre has produced nanomaterial-based polymer composites for tyre applications. The centre recently received an Indian patent for the product, which is expected to bring down considerably the weight, and increase the durability, of automobile tyres, improving riding comfort. The company is expected to produce tyres incorporating the invented polymer composites soon.

Other significant collaborations include one with the U.S.-based General Cables in preparation of polyethylene and another with Surface Treat, an organisation based in the Czech Republic, in treating the surfaces of waste polymers. The centre recently initiated talks for a tie-up with the Indian Space Research Organisation in the sphere of space applications.

A Chair on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology had recently been instituted at the centre. C.N.R. Rao, eminent scientist and Chairman of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, was awarded the Chair.

The centre has performed exceedingly well in identifying areas of research that hold great potential in the field of nanoscience. It received Rs. 15.12 crore as research funding from various agencies of the Union government and foreign countries.

State-of-the-art equipment required for research has been installed at the centre. The latest is the Rs. 4.5-crore High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscope (HRTEM) procured using funds from the Department of Science and Technology of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and the State government.

Several international conferences and workshops have been organised under the aegis of the centre to promote research in nanotechnology and giving exposure to the students and researchers.

Dr. Thomas says the centre will host a satellite meet of the India-Israel Conference on Materials Science and Nanoscience on January 31 and February 1, 2013. This will be soon followed by the main event at the International Centre for Materials Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.

Applications

The centre has invited applications for admission to MS and M.Phil. programmes in the academic year 2012-13. The courses are conducted under the choice-based credit-and-semester system. The MS course in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology takes 10 Indian students and two foreigners. A B.Tech. or an M.Sc. degree is the qualification required for admission. The registration fee is Rs. 350 for the general category and Rs. 175 for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

The M.Phil. programme in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology is open to 10 Indian students and two foreigners with M.Sc. degree. The registration fee is Rs. 400 for the general category and Rs. 200 for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes.

Admissions are based on the marks obtained in the qualifying examination, the entrance test and interview in the proportion of 100:40:20.

Download application forms from www.mguniversity.edu. The deadline for receipt of the filled applications, along with the registration fee, is September 15. Send the applications with all enclosures to Hon. Director, Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Priyadarsini Hills P.O., Kottayam – 686 560.

For details, call (0481) 273 1669/0003 or mail to cnnmgu@gmail.com.