TEZPUR, March 20 - The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Awards to grassroots innovators, including two research scholars of Tezpur University at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 19, 2018.
The awards were presented at the Festival of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FINE), which is being organized by the Rashtrapati Bhavan in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and the National Innovation Foundation from March 19 to 23. FINE is an initiative to recognise, respect and to foster a supportive ecosystem for innovators.
Pallabi Das, Department of Environmental Science and Kasturi Sarmah of the Department of Chemical Sciences, Tezpur University (TU) were awarded the prestigious GYTI Award 2018 for their innovative work on large-scale synthetic routes to manufacture iron (oxalate) capped metal oxide [Fe(ox)-Fe3O4 (OCIO), Fe(ox)Fe-MnOx (OCIMn), and Fe(ox)Fe-CuOx (OCICu)] nanomaterials that are wonderful soil conditioners for increasing micronutrient availability to plants with least toxicity (Patent application no. 201631010727). The materials augmented crop production by three-four folds with 8-10 folds lower dose than traditional micronutrient fertilizers and other overall high economic benefits. The award was bagged by a research scholar of TU, Iftak Hussain of the Department of Physics last year also.
It is to be mentioned here that the duo were conducting research work under the guidance of Dr Satya Sundar Bhattacharya, Department of Environmental Science and Dr Sanjay Pratihar, Department of Chemical Sciences, TU.
The GYTI award carries a memento, citations and a project grant of Rs 15 lakh being an inspiration for the innovator-students. Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences; Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology; Dr RA Mashelkar, Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation and Prof Anil Gupta, Vice-Chairperson, National Innovation Foundation were also present on the occasion.