Prof. Prabuddha Ganguli, CEO, VISION-IPR, Mumbai and MHRD IPR, chair professor, Tezpur University, Tezpur, Assam
The rapid development of the science of nanotechnology and the diversity in its potential applications have attracted the attention of governments around the world to generously fund nanotechnology research over the last few decades, with the fond hope of harvesting commercially viable technologies for the benefit of humankind.
The government of India in 2001 ventured into this domain with the Nanoscience and Technology Initiative (NSTI) as a mission mode program in the Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-07) with a budget of approximately `60 million, followed by the Nano Mission with a handsome `10 billion allocation for the next five years that were to come.
The Department of Science and Technology (DST) as the nodal agency in the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) had about `193 billion for the creation of centers of excellence in nanotechnology, with state-of-the art infrastructure and skilled human resource for the establishment of nanotechnology in India.
Additionally, nanotechnology has also been funded by the Department of Information Technology (DEITY), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. Industry in India has by and large been a bystander and observer without significant involvement in nanotechnology.