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Nanotechnology: India lagging far behind other nations, says expert

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: India is 25 years behind the U.S. and Europe in the field of nanotechnology because of lack of funding and short-sightedness on the part of the Government, according to Rudra Pratap Singh of the Indian Institute of Science.

"Most foreign countries started doing research in nanotechnology during the 80s, but it has taken India up to recently to wake up to the fact that it needs to develop in the field," said Prof. Singh at a seminar on "Demystifying nanotechnology," organised by Technext here on Saturday.

Unfortunately even the present situation for work in nanotechnology in India is poor because of the continued lack of funding, sub-optimal centres and lack of industry initiative in the area, he said. Quoting statistics from Lux Research, Prof. Singh showed that the average global spending in the field over the past four years has been $13 billion, while India's spending has been almost negligible.

He stressed the need for more nanotechnology facilities. While the U.S. has more than 104 facilities, Japan 88 and the U.K. has 35 facilities, India has only five Government-run centres that work in the field of nanotechnology. "We are still not visible in the global scenario of nanotechnology and that is a sad commentary," he said.

Sketching a road map for India to be successful in the field, he suggested that there is a need to set up five lead research centres and 20 satellite centres that employ over 50,000 persons.