8 COVID-19 related IIT-KGP projects approved

Kolkata: The Council of Indian Institutes of Technology, the governing body of all the IITs, has approved eight COVID-19 related projects submitted by the IIT Kharagpur and the first phase of the projects is expected to start immediately after the lockdown is relaxed.

Researchers would be working on several projects such as designing and developing bodysuit for COVID-19 patients, personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, rapid diagnostic kit, and portable shredder integrated with sterilizer, the statement said.

Other projects approved by the IIT Council included real-time PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) machine, suit with forced purified and cooled air circulation for medical professionals, bootstrapping ambu-bag as automated ventilator, telemedicine for fighting a viral pandemic, large scale production of recombinant proteins for vaccine and testing.

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“IIT Kharagpur has set up research funding for R&D work related to COVID-19. The Institute submitted a list of projects to the IIT Council of which 8 projects have been selected. An amount of Rs 50 Lakh has been allotted for phase I of 8 projects towards development of prototypes,” a statement issued by the IIT-KGP said on Monday.

For most of these projects, the prototypes are expected to be ready within 3-4 weeks, while a couple of them would take about 6 months to deliver the results, it said.

IIT-KGP Director Prof Virendra Kumar Tewari said, “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.

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“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, he said.

“Our researchers are committed to deliver the prototypes within a constrained timeline considering the healthcare needs in the current situation, Tewari said.

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