IIT Bombay Launches Centre of Excellence for Desalination, Water Recycling
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has inaugurated a new center of excellence focused on membrane technologies aimed at desalination, water recycling, and brine management. The launch event unveiled the center's state-of-the-art instrumentation facility and website. This initiative aims to develop cutting-edge methods and technology for sustainable desalination, water reuse, and effective treatment, involving active collaboration among researchers from India and across the globe.
Furthermore, the center seeks to facilitate the incubation and commercialization of the developed technologies and products. An official statement emphasized the significance of this center in ensuring secure, consistent, and eco-friendly sources of potable water for both rural and urban India, catering to industrial and domestic needs.
Professor Swatantra Pratap Singh, from the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, leads the center. The launch event saw the presence of key figures such as Professor Milind Atrey, Dean of Research and Development at IIT Bombay, Professor S Sudarshan, Deputy Director of the Advanced Instrumentation Research Facility at IIT Bombay, Professor Subhankar Karmarkar, Head of the Environmental Science and Engineering Department at IIT Bombay, and Dr. Praveen Arora, Head of the Water Technologies Cell at DST.
The mounting challenges posed by population growth, climate change, and escalating water scarcity have underscored the urgency of exploring alternative freshwater sources. IIT Bombay notes that upcoming methods will need to harness seawater and wastewater for achieving the required freshwater purity, thus driving the demand for desalination plants.
In response to this need, numerous states in India have proposed desalination projects to address their water requirements. The newly established center will leverage advanced technology to tackle present and future challenges in desalination. The institute also revealed plans for collaboration between five IITs—namely IIT Kharagpur, IIT Tirupati, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, and IIT Bombay—alongside diverse sectors, NGOs, and stakeholders, in the development of various desalination, water recycling, and brine management solutions.
Coincidentally, IIT Bombay recently honored its distinguished alumnus and Infosys co-founder, Nandan Nilekani, by naming its renowned main building after him. In recognition of his significant financial contribution to the institute, the building has been designated as the "Nandan Nilekani Main Building." This decision was prompted by Nilekani's generous donation of Rs 315 crore to his alma mater in June, commemorating his five-decade association with the institution.