The Indian Institute of Technology Madras will be provided a grant of ₹242 crore over a period of five years to undertake research on Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD). This research will be focused on driving the indigenisation of the LGD manufacturing process.
Presenting the Budget 2023, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “LGD is a technology and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential. These environment-friendly diamonds have, optically and chemically, the same properties as natural diamonds. To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years.
As per a recommendation made by the Department of Commerce, the research grant of ₹242 crore over a period of five years to IIT Madras has been approved, says a release.
V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “This is indeed the right time to set up a diamond factory in India, given that diamonds have thermal and electrical properties, making them superior to contemporary technologies like silicon, silicon carbide, and gallium nitride. IIT Madras will work towards producing diamond wafers suitable for electronic applications. It is a historic moment for IIT Madras for being selected for the implementation of such an important project, the output of which will be a crucial component of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
The research grants will go towards various departments and research groups at the institute that are involved in this field. IIT Madras has a rich history of undertaking cutting-edge and translational research with significant applications in industry and society, the release said.
MS Ramachandra Rao, Department of Physics, IIT Madras, who will be the principal investigator for this initiative, said, “The India Centre for Lab Grown Diamonds (InCent-LGD) at IIT Madras was identified for this prestigious project based on our nearly two decades of work experience in diamond research, wherein we have developed many technologies for industry, space, and defence sectors. We are honoured to contribute to the initiatives of the Government of India to boost research and development efforts in diamond growth to make India the No. 1 country in producing good-quality diamond crystals.”