National Awards for Excellence in Technology

IAS Prelims 2023

India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centers for S&T entrepreneurship.

President, Pranab Mukherjee presented the national awards for excellence in technology to mark the 19th National Technology Day.

National Technology Day is a very special day for Indian Technology since 1999. It is so significant because India achieved a huge technological advancement on the day. The first, indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown at Bangalore on this day. Not only this, India also performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day. India also executed three successful nuclear tests, carried out at Pokhran, in Rajasthan May 11.

The award winners this year included Prof Phani Kumar Pullela of CMR Institute of Technology, Bengaluru and Dr. Soma Guhathakurta, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Engineering Design at the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, and Director (Bioengineering), Messrs Synkromax Biotech of Chennai.

Prof. Pullela got it for his development of a new cost effective method for molecular diagnosis of infectious diseases and Dr. Guhathurta for developing an indigenous pericardial patch scaffold, which is a life saving implant for critical cardiovascular patients.

The other award winners included: Numaligarh Refineries Limited, Guwahati, Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun and Engineers India Limited, New Delhi, for successfully commercialising indigenous technology in the public sector, and Vikarsh Nanotechnology and Alloys, Pune, and Pluss Advanced Technologies, Gurugram for being successful in commercialization of technology among Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises.

Further, Amrita Technology Business Incubator, Kollam, Kerala got the award for being the best technology business incubator and IITM Incubation Cell, Chennai got the award for being the best emerging technology business incubator.

Bellarix Aerospace, Mysore, Padmaseetha Technologies, Chennai, and Nanoclean Global, Gurugram, were chosen as the best start up companies and an NGO from Dehradun, Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation got the award for using biotechnology for social development.

India is now one of the world’s fastest growing centres for S&T entrepreneurship. Start-ups and entrepreneurship are the key to a nation’s economic growth and employment. The Ministry of Science & Technology through its various programmes have funded and supported thousands of start-ups, incubators and developed new technologies that have reached the market.

Make in India: High-tech manufacturing in S&T is extraordinarily demanding. One collaborative effort is the successful operationalizing of India’s largest steerable optical telescope in Devastahl, Uttarakhand.

In Health Technology, the CSIR has developed ‘Saheli’ the world’s first non-steroidal contraceptive pill which is affordable at 1/10 the cost of conventional pills. The indigenous clot-dissolving drug, Streptokinase saves millions of lives through an affordable alternative to cost drugs in the market. A 1-day Dengue diagnostic test developed by the Department of Biotechnology is fast and effective and has reached millions.

In Vaccines, in partnership with the health ministry DBT has recommended several new vaccines for the Universal Immunization Programme. Notable is the affordable indigenous Rotavirus vaccine now a part of the universal immunization programme. Vaccine development for Malaria, Dengue are undergoing trials.

Agriculture and Farm Technology is another mission where major success has been achieved. The programme Biotech-KISAN (Krishi Innovation Science Application Network) has been launched in collaboration with ICAR. In each Agro-climatic zone, farmers will benefit of quality technical solutions to problem of Seed, Water, Soil and Market.

Arsenic resistance rice has been developed by the CSIR and is now being cultivated in West Bengal, thereby addressing a major problem.

Under the National Monsoon Mission, Climate and Weather forecasting have been improved. Dynamical forecast is a major advance, which allows massive data to be analyzed speedily and more reliable predictions made.

Wealth from Waste and Waste to Energy has been successfully done. A commercial plant to produce 3000 litres of ethanol from 10 tonnes of agricultural waste has been set up. It is now being scaled- up by major Oil Manufacturing Companies. Applying the latest technology for treating flowing sewage, a pilot project has been installed at Barapullah drain in Delhi under the international collaboration with The Netherlands.