From Vice-Chancellor's Desk




The last few years have witnessed tremendous growth in both science and technology of materials at the nanoscale. Interest in this area has been fuelled by the discovery of Fullerenes, quantum phenomena in clusters of a few hundred atoms, and many unusual electrical, mechanical and other properties in nano-materials. The advent of scanning-tunneling microscope and its many variants has helped the growth of this important scientific domain. Coupled with the development of nano-machines an era of nanotechnology has also emerged. In order to facilitate studies in this area, the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, has launched a major initiative in the area of nano-materials science and technology. In the initial phase of this important activity, several research groups were supported to build the necessary infrastructure and pursue studies in a wide variety of materials. A committee under the Chairmanship of Prof. C.N.R. Rao, FRS has recommended the establishment of Units on Nano Science and Technology in the Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern regions of the country. Banaras Hindu University and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur have been identified for the creation of the Northern regional center. Under this scheme the University has received funding to the extent of 3.52 crores.

Earlier another project in this area was funded to the extent of Rs.34 lacs. With this generous support, studies have been initiated in the exploitation of nano-technologies for drug delivery to tackle the menace of Kalaazar, for tagging single strands of DNA with nano-sized gold particles to identify complimentary strands, studying the aggregation of platelets with nano-sized carbon particles, producing filters and devices with carbon nano-tubes and for the synthesis of composites with nano-sized second phase. Considering the great interest in this area and to bring together these diverse groups under one roof, the University has decided to establish a Center for Advanced Technologies. The architectural designs and engineering plans for the building to house this Center are ready and it is expected that work will start very soon. The Center will also house the equipment and other facilities for studies on hydrogen energy and its use in the transport and other sectors. It is hoped that the establishment of this Center will usher in a new era of scientific and technological investigation on the campus of the Banaras Hindu University.

(P. Ramachandra Rao)