Karnataka to provide more funds to promote nanotechnology


Bangalore : The Karnataka government will provide enhanced budgetary support to promote nanotechnology for the benefit of masses, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said Thursday.

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“The state government will certainly provide enhanced budgetary support for nano initiatives and activities of the vision group on science and technology in the budget for ensuing fiscal (2012-13),” Gowda said at the inauguration of the two-day ‘Bangalore Nano’ conference-cum-expo.

Calling upon scientists to find tangible solutions for food security, energy security, water purification, medicine and healthcare, he told about 500 delegates that nanotechnology had the potential to address key challenges in diverse sectors such as energy, water, agriculture, health and environment.

“To encourage research and develop nanotechnologies and products, the state government will set up Nano Park near the airport at Devanahalli on the city’s outskirts with a incubation centre for start-ups, an industrial cluster and centres of excellence for nanotech education to develop domain expertise,” the chief minister said.

“Expression of interest has been called for setting up the Nano Park on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode to give fillip to the nascent nanotechnology industry in the state,” he noted.

The state government has allotted 14 acres of land on the city’s outskirts to set up the Indian Institute of Nano Science and Technology, being funded by the central government under the Rs.100-crore Nano Mission by the department of science and technology.

“We are also providing an acre of land in the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Energy and Development in the city for setting up a Nano Lab by the state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research headed by noted scientist C.N.R. Rao,” Gowda pointed out.

His address was read out by state minister for science and technology A.V. Asnotikar as the winter session of the state legislature and other engagements kept him away from the tech event.

Rao, however, took exception to Gowda’s absence from such an important international event on nanotechnology, organised by the state department of IT, biotechnology and science and technology.

“The chief minister should not have missed such a major event as his absence sends a wrong message to the stakeholders and the scientific community. Hope he will not make it a habit,” the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the prime minister asserted.

Regretting that the chief minister of a tech-savvy state like Karnataka does not think science and technology was important for his presence, the outspoken Rao said he had no reservation in commenting on Gowda’s absence though it may not be to the liking of the officials present and involved in the event.