Kolkata: As coronavirus cases rise across India, universities are coming to the rescue. IIT-Kharagpur has received an approval from the Centre to initiate Research and Development work related to Covid-19.
Last week, the institute had submitted a list of projects to the IIT Council and among other proposals and eight projects have been selected for research on the novel coronavirus disease.
As per the proposal and agreement – the IIT-Kharagpur researchers would be working on several technologies including design and development of rapid diagnostic kit, real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine, and bodysuits for Covid-19 patients, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and portable shredder integrated with steriliser.
They will also be working on a high tech, ‘Hazmat suit’ with forced purified and cooled air circulation for medical professionals, bootstrapping ‘ambu-bag’ as automated ventilator, telemedicine for fighting viral pandemic and large scale production of recombinant proteins for vaccine and testing.
Director Professor Virendra Kumar Tewari, said, “It is our responsibility to improve the quality of life of the last person in the society. While we built some quick technologies to cater to the immediate needs of the essential service providers at the campus, we were simultaneously preparing project proposals and evaluating them keeping in mind the immediate need of the country, cost and product delivery period.”
He said, “IIT Kharagpur has a proven track record towards development of indigenous health and hygiene technologies which are affordable, high-quality at par with globally accepted standards, and commercially viable. Our researchers are committed to deliver the prototypes within a constrained timeline considering the healthcare needs in the current situation.”
An amount of Rs 50 Lakh has been allotted for Phase I of the eight projects towards development of prototypes.
For most of these projects, the prototypes are expected to be ready within a period of three to four weeks, while a couple of them would take about six months to deliver the results.
The Phase-I is expected to start immediately after the lockdown is relaxed and the research staff are able to attend the laboratories. Meanwhile software related work would progress as usual.
Union HRD Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has appreciated and acknowledged the initiative taken by the Institute on his social media handle and congratulated the Director Prof. Virendra Kumar Tewari and his team of researchers.