The Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, feels proud and honoured to receive the rare distinction of instituting the NABARD Chair Unit on 24.7.2017. Mr. M.V. Ashok, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Mumbai, formally launched the Chair Unit. Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, TNAU, Coimbatore, received the Chief General Manager and expressed his deep sense of gratitude and bountiful of appreciation for the involvement of NABARD in establishment of the Chair Unit in the Department of Nano Science & Technology, which adds a fillip to the technology development utilizing nano-science.

            Mr. M. V. Ashok, CGM – NABARD along with Mr. S. S. Vaseeharan, AGM, NABARD and Dr. M. Chinnadurai, Director (CARDS), TNAU visited the Nanotechnology Center and interacted with students, researchers and scientists. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology welcomed the team and expressed her euphoria for the institution of NABARD Chair Unit. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, NABARD Chair Professor briefly presented the activities and achievements of the Department besides the research component to be accomplished under the Chair Unit. On visiting the Nanotechnology Center, the Chief General Manager, NABARD, appreciated TNAU for being torchbearer in nanotechnology research in agricultural sciences. He mentioned that the science be translated into societal benefits to ensure rural livelihood for which NABARD will continue to support.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, organized a three day Curriculum Development Workshop for designing the syllabi for Ph.D. (Agri) Nano Science & Technology during July 26-28, 2017. The Workshop was inaugurated by Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, TNAU. During the inaugural address, he emphasized the need for promoting nanotechnology to the highest degree  to pave ways and opportunities for our graduate students to excel in the cutting-edge technologies. He insisted that the nanotechnology advancement made in medicines can serve as a hue for agricultural scientists to infuse it in their curriculum, which will ensure transformation of research outputs into technology delivery. He further added that care should be taken into account on biosafety and environmental concerns of nanotechnology, while handling of innovative and fascinating technologies. Dr. S. Mahimairaja, Dean (Agri) and Dr. D. Jawahar, Special Officer (DNRM) offered felicitations. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head, welcomed the gathering and Dr. K.S. Subramanian, NABARD Chair Professor provided the preamble to the curriculum development workshop. Dr. Jeya Sundara Sharmila, PG Co-ordinator proposed formal vote of thanks.  During the workshop, Dr. D. Sudhakar, Dean (SPGS) offered his remarks and suggested to involve scientists from other institutes as Adjunct Faculty befitting the delivery of the course contents in the best way possible.

The Workshop was intended to synthesize and design the curriculum for Ph.D. (Agri) Nano Science & Technology encompassing 6 core and 3 supporting courses. The Ph.D. (Agri) Nano Science & Technology program, being first of its kind in the country, the Department invited External and Internal Experts from various academic and research institutions across India including ICAR, CFTRI, Mysuru., IIFPT, Tanjore., Tamil Nadu State Universities and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. About 25 scientists from various institutes attended the workshop and offered their valuable suggestions for the curriculum development.

The ICAR QRT team of Agrl. Engineering headed by Dr Gajendra Singh, Deputy Director General, Agrl. Engineering (Retired), ICAR, New Delhi along with his team visited the Dept of Nano Science & Technology on 20.06.2017. The team was accompanied by Dr B.J. Pandian, Director Water Technology Centre, TNAU, Coimbatore. The Professor & Head Nano Science and Technology Dr. G.J. Janavi,  explained the activities of the Center and highlighted the research output of  nano-based processes and products developed by the centre that are likely to hit the farm gate at an early date. The team interacted with students, researchers and faculty members to get updates of the advanced research activities going on in the centre.

The QRT team was much impressed of the infrastructure facilities at the department and was much delighted to know that State of Art facility available at this centre of TNAU. The team appreciated the scientists, researchers and students for taking up nanoscience research for agriculture.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology has received a major project “Enhanced preservation of fruits using Nanotechnology” jointly funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and International Development Research Center (IDRC) with a budget ofRs. 11.40 Crores. The project is in operation for the past five years and the work done was reviewed during February 22-24, 2017,by Mr. Alvaro Paz, Senior Program Specialist of IDRC, headquartered at Ottawa, Canada.

Mr. Alvaro Paz met the Vice Chancellor,Dr. K. Ramasamy and appraised him about the project and the way forward. He was very impressed with the activities and achievements of TNAU team in the Canadian collaborative project and was looking forward to support beyond the project period. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the project presented the overview of the accomplishments and the technologies developed during the past five years. The Canadian funding helped the Department of Nano Science & Technology to equip scientific manpower, infrastructure and technology development. Mr. Alvaro interacted with students, scholars and scientists to get to know the updates on various aspects relating to the project. He also made a visit to the Mango Export Farm in Sappanipatti near Paiyur, and Village Knowledge Center in Kaveripattinam, being manned by the NGO, Myrada. He interacted with Women Group, who got trained on value addition of mango, besides visiting the farmers who adopted the Enhanced Freshness Formulation (EFF) technology in their mango farm.

The Chairman of NABARD, Dr. S.Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, visited the Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, on July 14, 2016 along with The Vice Chancellor, Dr. K. Ramasamy. The Chairman was very impressed with the accomplishments and infrastructure developed in the Nanotechnology Center to cater the needs and aspirations of Indian farmers using cutting-edge technologies. As a token of appreciation, the Chairman declared institution of the NABARD Chair Professor Unit in the Department of Nano Science & Technology.

            In continuation to the institution of the Chair Unit, a selection process was performed jointly by TNAU and NABARD. The University is pleased to appoint Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor (SS & AC) and the founder Head of the Department as the first NABARD Chair Professor. Dr. K.S. Subramanian assumed office on 17.5.2017. The Special Officer (DNRM), faculty and students of the Department of Nano Science & Technology are thankful to the NABARD for this gesture and encouragement providing a long-term support for the cause of promoting the fascinating field of nanotechnology foragricultural sciences.

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A team of researchers from the Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head, Dr. D. Durga Devi, Research Associate, Ms. R. Shamugapriya, Senior Research Fellow attended the conference and presented their work in the International Conference on “Post-harvest Quality Management Practices” organized by the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) held during April 6 – 8, 2017 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

During the poster session of the conference Ms. Shanmugapriya presented a poster on “Development of Electrospun Fibre Matrix (Sticker) to extend the shelf-life of mango fruits”, which was adjudged as the best poster and received an award. The work was done under the chairmanship of Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor, Department of Nano Science & Technology.  The University and the Department feel proud and honoured to receive the rare distinction by a student.

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The Consul General of Canada Ms. Jennifer Daubeny, Consulate General of South India, Bengaluru, and Ms. Subha Sundarajan, Trade Commissioner, Trade Office, Chennai visited the Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore to assess the progress made in the GAC-IDRC funded a project on “Enhanced Preservation of Fruits using Nanotechnology” in TNAU in collaboration with University of Guelph, Canada, Industrial Technology Institute, Sri Lanka, University of Nairobi, Kenya, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, and University of West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago. The Government of Canada and IDRC (International Development Research Centre) have jointly funded the nanotechnology project for a period of six years (2012-2018) with the total budget out lay of Rs. 11.6 Crores for TNAU.

Dr. K.Kumar Special Officer (DNRM) and Dr. G.J. Janavi, Prof. & Head (NST) welcomed the Canadian team. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the project delivered a brief presentation on the progress made in the project. The Consul General of Canada was quite fascinated about the technologies developed in the project namely pre-harvest spray, post-harvest dip, nano-packaging (nano-matrix and inclusion complex) and nano-film developed from banana pseudostem. Various activities of the project were explained by the researchers, scholars and students.
Ms. Jennifer was much satisfied with the progress made and technologies developed by exploiting cutting-edge research. She was very impressed with the multi-dimensional benefits associated with the research grant both in the laboratory and the socio-economic upliftments particularly for farm women through value addition trainings.

Shri. Gagandeep Singh Bedi, IAS, Agricultural Production Commissioner (APC) and Agricultural Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu visited the Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, on October 6, 2016. He was accompanied by The Vice Chancellor and The Registrar, TNAU and Dr. M. Maheswaran, Director of Research and Dr. K. Kumar, Special Officer (DNRM), TNAU. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head (NST) briefly explained the activities of the Center. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor, Dept of Nano Sci. & Technology highlighted the emerging nano-based processes and products that are likely to hit the farm gate at an early stage. The APC interacted with PG students, researchers and faculty members to get the updates of what are all the advanced research for farm, going on in the center.

The APC had a tour of the facilities in the lab and offered his suggestions for consideration. He was very impressed with the state-of-the-art facilities and the faculty, who were in a position to augment research grants from various International and National agencies to the tune of Rs. 15 crores and well-positioned to sustain nano- technology research activities of the Center. Also appreciated the efforts of the University and the scientists who could orchestrate the facility similar to western countries, particularly USA. He appreciated the University for the support and encouragement given to the scientists and students to undertake cutting-edge research in the sphere of nano science and technology, to evolve smart delivery systems in agricultural sciences.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology, Directorate of Natural Resource Management and the Regional Research Station, Paiyur, Krishnagiri District, jointly organized a One Day Mango Farmers Interactive Workshop on September 30, 2016, as Krishnagiri is considered as the hub for mango production, processing and export. About 600 mango growers, traders, students, researchers, members of mango producer groups and scientists attended the workshop, of which, more than 150, were women. The Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, has provided financial support for the research project on “Enhanced preservation of fruits using Nanotechnology”. The prime focus of the project is to popularize the proven hexanal technology to minimize the post-harvest loss of mango.

During the workshop, Dr. Jayasankar Subramanian, Professor, University of Guelph, Canada, and Overall Principal Investigator of the project delivered the inaugural address. He emphasized the importance of the technology developed to minimize post harvest losses, which is very high both in India and African countries. With the assistance of a simple “Hexanal Technology”, we could minimize the loss to the tune of 10-15%, which may have phenomenal effect on overall per capita availability of fruits. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the project for India, highlighted the evolution of different hexanal based technologies and it can be used depending on the situation. Pre-harvest spray for farmers and the post-harvest dip technology for pack houses, which is quite promising and is easily adoptable by farmers. The hexanal technology has disseminated to various districts of Tamil Nadu such as Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Theni, Dindigul and Kanyakumari.

Lead Mango Growers viz., Thiru M.C. Santhakumar, Krishnagiri, offered his feedback on the performance of the technology. He said that the hexanal formulation sprayed mango trees were healthy, foliage was shiny and the fruits were retained on trees longer by two weeks and the post-harvest shelf-life got extended up to three weeks under normal storage conditions. This would result in lucrative income due to late arrivals of mangoes to the market. Mrs. T. Gnanammal, President, Selliyammal Mango Growers’ Association, explained how she got benefitted from the Mango Value Addition Training organized by the MYRADA, the NGO partner of TNAU in this IDRC project. The project helped all the segments of mango growers, traders and women SHGs.

Dr. M. Jawaharlal, Dean, Horticultural College & Research Institute, Coimbatore and Dr. K. Kumar, Special Officer, Directorate of Natural Resource Management, TNAU, offered felicitations. Dr. Mohammed S. Jallaludin, Professor & Head, RRS, Paiyur, proposed a formal vote of thanks. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology, chaired the Technical Session of the workshop. There were five technical sessions’ comprising good agricultural practices, post-harvest diseases, pest management, post-harvest technologies besides value added products. Mr. Vijaya Prakash, Program Co-ordinator, MYRADA, explained the NGO activities associated with the project. It is one of the mega events to promote Hexanal technology to farmers of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri Districts to minimize the post-harvest losses of fruits.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology, Directorate of Natural Resource Management and the Department of Fruit Crops, Horticultural College & Research Institute, Periyakulam of TNAU organized a One Day Pack house Workshop on September 24, 2016 for the traders and exporters in nine southern districts of Tamil Nadu. Theni District, being the hub of horticultural crop production and trade, the workshop was organized at Periyakulam. The project is being funded jointly by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF).

 During the meeting, Dr. Jayasankar Subramanian, Professor, University of Guelph, Canada, Overall Principal Investigator of the project, narrated the research and development of hexanal technology over a period of 15 years. In fact, scientist of University of Guelph, Canada, Dr. Gopi Paliyath originally patented hexanal technology during 2003 at Canada and over the years, it is translated into a product. This has been tested in temperate fruits in Canada and it has been proved to work well in tropical fruits, such as mango, banana, and even in vegetables. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the project for India, elucidated that the dipping in hexanal formulation technology, for pack houses is quite promising and easily adoptable by farmers/ traders /exporters. We have ably demonstrated the technology in banana, mango, cucumber and tomato. Our results are quite encouraging to introduce the technology in packhouses, to minimize the post harvest losses and maximize the fruit availability.

Lead Fruit Growers Thiru Arun Nagarajan, President of Tamil Nadu Fruit Growers’ Association and Thiru M.C. Santhakumar, progressive mango grower of  Krishnagiri, offered their feedback on the performance of this technology. Dr. T.N. Balamohan, Dean, Horticulture College & Research Institute, Periyakulam, and Dr. K. Kumar, Special Officer (DNRM), offered their felicitations. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology, welcomed the gathering. Thiru K.J. Kishore Kumar, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Theni District, narrated the Tamil Nadu Government aided support for pack houses. After the inaugural session, there was a hands on skill demonstration on “Dip Technology” to benefit over 100 pack house personnel’s, traders and farmers from all nine southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

The Workshop was congratulated and concluded with the valedictory address of Dr. K. Ramasamy, The Vice Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. During his speech, he highlighted the importance of Pack houses in improving the availability of fruits and vegetables for both domestic & export markets. He added that hexanal based nano-formulation can help to minimize the losses to the tune of 10-15% through a pre-harvest spray or post-harvest dip and the technology is quite affordable and TNAU is in the processes of setting up the Pilot Plant to produce and supply the hexanal formulation to the end users.

The Sri Lankan High Commission Team comprising of Dr. Arumugam Kandaiah, Dr. Mylvaganam Suriyasegavan, Dr. G. Guladh Jayasingha, Dr. Danush and Dr.Shanthi visited the Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, with a view to explore the possibility of bilateral research and educational collaboration with the Center.

The team made a tour of the facilities in the Department of Nano Science & Technology. The Prof. & Head, Dr. G.J. Janavi, Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor and Dr S Haripriya, Asst. Professor explained various activities of the Center, besides elucidating the active participation of Sri Lankan scientists in the Global Affairs Canada – IDRC (International Development Research Center) funded project, being operated in TNAU in collaboration with University of Guelph, Canada, and other African and Caribbean countries. The team interacted with faculty, researchers and students in the Center.

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The Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, organized a two day workshop on “Re-designing Curriculum for M.Sc (Ag) in Nano Science & Technology” during August 12 & 13, 2016 as suggested by the 34th PG Board of Studies Meet held on 13.6.2016.

The workshop started with a brief inauguration involving Dr. S. Mohan, Dean (SPGS), Dr. S. Mahimairaja, Dean (Agri) and Dr K.Kumar, The Special Officer (DNRM). During the inauguration, the University Officers suggested to re-design the curriculum with current needs and development and also getting feedback from passed out students. They suggested to develop text books to match the course content.

The core objectives of the workshop was to revise the PG syllabus, update the UG syllabus for the course NST 301 Fundamentals and Applications of Nanotechnology, besides exploring the possibility for the introduction of Ph.D. program in Nano Science & Technology. The workshop was conducted involving 17 external experts from various Universities & ICAR Institutes of India and 8 internal experts working in different Departments, Colleges and Research Stations of TNAU. The course teachers (8) in the Department of Nano Science & Technology joined the experts to redesign the course curriculum.

The outcome of the workshop includes revised curriculum of the PG program, improved version of the syllabus for the UG course which will be incorporated during next UG Board of Studies, besides consideration for Ph.D. program in nanotechnology

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Dr. C. Sylendrababu, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Coastal Security Group (CSG), Chennai, visited the TNAU Nanotechnology Center prior to his “Students’ Interaction” on 4.8.2016. The ADGP had a tour of the facility and listened to the achievements made by the Center. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head and Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor (SS & AC) took him to the lab where he had interacted with the faculty, students and researchers. Dr. Sylendrababu said he never been to the Nanotechnology Center earlier. After his visit, he wondered the depth of knowledge in the fascinating field of nano science and technology and this will likely to revolutionize agriculture. He thanked and appreciated TNAU‘s marvelous efforts for initiating such a unique opportunity for students and scientists to exploit nanotechnology for promoting agricultural productivity and rural livelihood.

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Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Mumbai, visited the Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, on July 14, 2016 along with a team of officials. Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor of TNAU accompanied the top level management team. The activity of the Center was briefed by Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor (SS & AC) took the NABARD Chairman on a lab tour and explained the research highlights of the center. The team interacted with faculty, students and researchers and excited about the recent developments in the fascinating field of nano science and technologies that are nearing the farm front. The Chairman appreciated the strong financial support from the Canadian Government jointly with IDRC under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) besides a wide array of DST Nano Mission projects.

On looking at the state-of-the-art facility and resounding accomplishments in the research, the Chairman of NABRAD Dr. H.K. Bhanwala declared that the Department of Nano Science & Technology may be considered for the institution of the “NABARD Chair Unit” which TNAU considers as a great honour to the Department. Our TNAU alumnus Dr. S.N.A. Jinnah, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Chennai, will facilitate the coordination with the university.

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The Department of Nano Science & Technology had a Project Evaluation Meet during April 7 – 13, 2016 for the Scale Up Project on “Enhanced Preservation of Fruits using Nanotechnology” being jointly funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) with a budget outlay of Rs. 11.4 crores.

Ms. Mary Picard, Evaluator, UNIVERSALIA, Quebec, Canada deputed by the IDRC, Canada, visited the Nanotechnology Center and interacted with scientists and students who are currently working the scheme. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the Project presented the overview of the project and narrated the products that are ready for commercialization (hexanal formulation pre-harvest spray, post-harvest dip and vapour), nano-products under testing viz., electrospun fibre nano-matrix (sticker) and cyclodextrin inclusion complex (sachet) besides social and environmental impacts of the product. Dr. G.J. Janavi, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology, proposed a formal vote of thanks.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology organized a Business Meet for 2 days on February 29 and March 1, 2016, involving University of Guelph, Canada, Industries Rallis, Coromandel and Adventz Group at the Agri-Business Directorate of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.

During the meeting, Dr. R. Murugesan, Director (ABD) welcomed the gathering and offered prelude to event and the on-going activities of the directorate. Dr. Gopi Palyath, University of Guelph, Canada presented the overview of the progress made in the invention of Hexanal Formulation at the global and its effects on extending shelf-life of temperate and tropical fruits. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the Canadian Project on “Enhanced Preservation of Fruits using Nanotechnology”  jointly being funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) shared the lessons learned from the field test results and farmers feedback.

Business Meet at ABD

The Canadian Consul General Mr. Sidney Frank and Ms. Subha Sundarajan, Trade Commissioner visited TNAU on 18.6.2015. The Honourable Consul General of Canada in Bangalore office was received by the Vice Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, with a bouquet of flowers. The team interacted with the university officials and scientists of TNAU. The Vice Chancellor narrated the active participation of Canadians in both research and development activities of TNAU ever since its inception. He further appreciated the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada for supporting a project on “Enhanced Preservation of Fruits using Nanotechnology” in the Phase I with Rs. 475 lakhs for the past three years and currently Phase II with Rs. 666 lakhs. The solid financial support helped the Department of Nano Science & Technology to build infrastructure, human resource besides developing freshness technology to extend the shelf-life of mango fruits to the tune of 4-5 weeks under storage conditions.

In the Department of Nano Science & Technology, Dr. K.Gunasekaran welcomed the delegates and Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the scheme presented the achievements made during the Phase I of the project to the Consul General Mr. Sidney Frank and Trade Commissioner Ms. Subha Sundarajan. They interacted with the scientists, research scholars and students who are involved in the mango project. Mr. Sidney Frank was quite delighted to learn the outcome and outputs of the project which is benefiting the mango growers.

The Canadian Government is funding a major research project on Dr. Toopran Sampath Kumar, Senior Advisor, Development Program, High Commission of Canada, New Delhi, visited the Department of Nano Science & Technology on 20.3.2015. Dr. Toopran is a high level diplomat and the representative of the major fund provider DFATD (Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development, Canada) of the IDRC (International Development Research Center) Phase II project.

Dr. Sampath Kumar interacted with all the scientists and research scholars who are involved in the project. Dr. K. Gunasekaran, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology, welcomed the Canadian Diplomat and briefly explained the activities of the Center. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Principal Investigator of the Scheme presented the activities and achievements made during the phase I of the project. Dr. C. Sekar, Co-PI of the project explained various social research activities. Dr. Sampath Kumar visited the exhibition and interacted with research scholars and students.  He was very impressed with the progress made in the project and looking forward to see the tangible benefits realized by the mango growers.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology organized a two day DBT Nanobiotechnology Taskforce Meeting during January 2-3, 2013. Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor, was instrumental in organizing such a rare event in TNAU in order to provide an opportunity to all the members of the DBT taskforce to sensitize the state-of-the art facility created in TNAU and status of on-going research activities in the Center. The taskforce headed by the Chairman Dr. Y.K. Gupta, HOD Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and the DBT Advisor Dr. R.R. Sinha took the team to the TNAU Nanotechnology Center.

Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology, presented the on-going research activities of the center besides taking them for a tour of the lab facilities. The Center is currently working on five core theme areas such as nano-agri inputs, nano-food system, nano-biotechnology, nano-remediation and biosafety. The DBT Taskforce was very impressed with the TNAU facility and bestowed interest to support proposed research programs. Dr. K. Ramasamy requested the Taskforce to provide possible guidance for the TNAU team to progress further in nanotechnology research.

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Dr. David M Malone, President of IDRC (International Development Research Center), Canada, delivered a special address on “Canada – India Research Partnership” at the   Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, on February 11, 2013.  He highlighted the on-going research projects such as “Enhanced Preservation of Fruits by Nano Film” in Department of Nano Science & Technology and “Revalorizing small millets to enhance the food and nutritional security of woman and children in Asia” in the Post Harvest Technology Center that are being funded by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) – International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) with a budget outlay of Rs. 449 lakhs and Rs. 1.47 lakhs, respectively. These projects are intended to improve the nutritional security of the Asian countries particularly India. He also interacted with students, scientists and researchers.

Dr. K. Ramasamy, Vice Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, presided over the Seminar and emphasized the role of IDRC in promoting research and development activities of TNAU ever since its inception in 1971. He further indicated the importance of IDRC funding for undertaking research in the sphere of agricultural sciences in order to augment food and nutritional security in India. Dr. Sara Ahmed, Senior Program Specialist of IDRC Regional Office for Asia in New Delhi narrated the on-going research programs in India and suggested TNAU to apply for further funding during the second phase.

Dr. Gopinath Paliyath, Professor, University of Guelph, Canada, elucidated the significance of a biochemical compound “hexanal” that extends shelf life of temperate fruits such as apples, peaches, cherries, nectarines and strawberries.  Similar studies are being done in mango orchards in Tamil Nadu. Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology welcomed the gathering and Dr. D. Malathy, Professor (FSN) proposed a vote of thanks. About 500 students, scientists, faculty and stakeholders participated in the event.

The Department of Nano Science & Technology is being funded a Project on “Enhanced Preservation of Fruits by Nano Film” by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) – International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) with a budget outlay of Rs. 449 lakhs. The project is aimed to develop a smart packaging material using nanotechnological approaches to prevent post harvest losses from fruits (Mango) thereby per capita availability be improved besides nutritional security. The project is in operation for the past one year involving scientists from nanotechnology, horticulture, pathology, post harvest technology, social research and biosafety.

In order to assess the progress made in the project Dr. David M. Malone, President IDRC and Dr. Sara Ahmad, Senior Program Specialist in the IDRC Regional Office for Asia in New Delhi, visited the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University on February 11, 2013. They visited the exhibition arranged at the Department and made suggestions for mid-term correction and to enable product development within the stipulated time. They also interacted with students, scientists and researchers in the Department.

David Malone Visits Nano Technology Center

The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) organized an International Workshop on “Nanotechnology Applications for Boosting Agricultural Productivity” in Taiwan, during September 3-7, 2012. Scientists from member countries such as India, Indonesia, Iran, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand have participated in the event and presented their respective country reports. Dr. Mohammud Saeed, Asian Productivity Organization, chaired the workshop and scientists from USA, Oman and Taiwan served as resource persons. During the workshop, delegates were taken to Nanotechnology Research Center of Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) and Kuang Chuan Nano-milk Producing Center in Taiwan.

Dr. K.S. Subramanian, Professor & Head, Department of Nano Science & Technology, TNAU, Coimbatore, and Dr. Fakrudin Bashasab, Associate Professor (Biotechnology), University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, represented India. During the workshop, representatives from the member countries presented the status reports and evolved strategies and action plans in three theme areas namely nano-technological approaches to promote crop productivity, nano-food systems and post-harvest technology and nanotechnology applications in animal systems.  The efforts of TNAU in the sphere of “Nano Agriculture” were very much appreciated by the member countries and the APO.