The government should ensure targeted funding to promote nanoscience and nanotechnology in solving pressing societal problems and improve the quality of life, a top scientist said on Thursday.
"Nano mission needs targeted funding to set up infrastructure and build capacity for research in nanoscience and developing nanotechnology to solve pressing problems and improve quality of life," CNR Rao, who has been named for the Bharat Ratna, said at a summit here.
Nano is a scientific measure of a molecule, which is 50,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair, while its science and technology deals with the study and application of its materials in diverse fields.
Asserting that application of nanotechnology and nano materials in daily life would determine the future of science, Rao said the sun rise sector had huge potential to meet the needs of people, be it safe drinking water, healthcare, energy and transportation.
"Nano science has a lot to offer. As the science of the future, it has the potential to develop a number of applications for the benefit of masses in diverse areas such as water, food, shelter, healthcare and energy to name a few ," Rao said at the inauguration of the sixth Bangalore India Nano event here.
Highlighting a few nano applications under development or in use, Rao said using nano materials, scientists in Israel had developed a nano nose' that sniffs cancer molecules when a cancer patient breaths out.
"Similarly, nano materials are used in skin grafting and nano particles to supply safe drinking water," Rao told about 500 delegates participating in the three-day trade event.
Though India was third in the world in publishing research papers in nanoscience, Rao said there were only two institutions of repute which had infrastructure to conduct research in the exciting field of nano.
"The premier Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) in Bangalore are well equipped to carry extensive research in nanoscience and nanotechnology," Rao pointed out.
Rao, who is chairman of the scientific advisory council to the prime minister since 2005, thanked Manmohan Singh for launching the Rs.1,000-crore Nano Mission under the science and technology department to promote research in nanoscience.
"The prime minister has sown the seeds of nano mission in India for creating an ecosystem to develop nanoscience, nanotechnology and nano applications for extensive use in diverse areas, which are affordable and beneficial to the masses," said Rao.
Noting that the premier nano event had matured over the years, Rao said though Bangalore had come to be known as an IT city, it was actually a city of science.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Nobel Laureate Sir Andre Geim and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.