ONE WEEK ONE LAB
It is a matter of fact that CSIR-NPL is the custodian of Indian Standard Time (IST), generated using an atomic timescale consisting of Cesium atomic clocks and Hydrogen masers. Not just that, IST is kept traceable within few nanoseconds to the international reference time UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) using ultra-precise satellite links. But least is aware that how CSIR-NPL standardizes the measurements of gas and airborne particles for monitoring atmospheric pollution? How ‘election ink’ or the indelible ink used during elections to mark out voters who have exercised their franchise, was developed at CSIR-NPL in 1952, which is considered one of the most significant contributions to Indian democracy? To get first-hand acquaintance with all these wonders of science at CSIR-NPL, it opened its doors to general public under the ‘One Week, One Lab’ programme from April 17-21, 2023.
Union Minister (S&T) Dr Jitendra Singh recently announced a unique campaign, called ‘One Week -One Lab’ in which all labs of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) would reach out to public to not only showcase their technologies but also to ignite the minds of young innovators, students, start-ups, academia, and industry to look for opportunities through deep tech ventures. In the ‘One Week, One Lab’ campaign, in successive weeks, each of the CSIR labs showcased their exclusive innovations and technological breakthroughs to the people of India. The CSIR laboratories are unique and specialize in the specific areas which span from genome to geology, food to fuel, minerals to materials, and so on.
CSIR-NPL Director, Prof Venugopal Achanta said, “CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) organized the One Week- One Lab program from 17-21 April, 2023. The aim of this program was to create awareness about the available technologies and services present at NPL among potential stakeholders, to provide solutions to societal problems, to sensitize the masses about importance of precise measurements and to develop the scientific temperament among masses especially amongst students who are the future of the country”. CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL-India) is mandated to be India’s “National Metrology Institute” (NMI) by the act of Parliament and is the custodian of “National Standards” with a responsibility of the dissemination of measurements to the needs of the Country. CSIR-NPL is critically engaged in the development of India’s measurement standards that are internationally accepted and disseminating the measurement capabilities to industry, government, strategic and academia that underpin the India’s prosperity and quality of life. It preserves and maintains the measurement standards of length, mass, temperature etc including the task of dissemination of the Indian Standard Time (IST). NPL is conducting multidisciplinary R&D with a mission to establish the futuristic quantum standards and upcoming technologies so that India remains on par with international measurement laboratories. It is developing sophisticated analytical equipment (i.e. import substitutes) under ‘Make in India’ programme to cater the ever increasing demands of emerging India and training of young scientists and industry personnel in the area of measurements under “Skill India” programme.
The ‘One Week-One Lab’ program at CSIR-NPL comprising of several different activities, started on April 14, 2023 at Press Club of India (PCI), New Delhi. The campaign was inaugurated on April 17, by Dr Jitendra Singh in presence of Director General- CSIR, Dr N Kalaiselvi. The major focus of the inaugural day was the Interaction with School/College students. The students from various schools and colleges in Delhi-NCR participated in the program. Quiz competition and lab visits were two of the many activities scheduled for the day. The students also got opportunity to interact with the NPL scientists,” added Prof Achanta. From April 18-20, three days Start-up/MSME/Industry Meet was held. The aim of this event was to showcase various services extended by NPL to industries. In this event, all stakeholders have been invited whom NPL has helped/connected/provided technological support/consultancy/services. During the event each day, more than 20 industries joined where they not only showcased their technologies/services (where NPL has contributed) but also talked about NPL’s scientific and technological help they have received. Several other crucial issues were discussed related to innovation framework and ecosystem. MoUs with 4 new industry partners were also signed for technology transfer and development.
Metrology Conclave was also organized where a Handbook on Advances in Metrology at CSIR-NPL was released. CSIR-NPL’s Role and Efforts in the field of Metrology, CSIR-NPL Road Map for Future and Developing National and International Collaborations, panel discussion are the other attributes of the metrology conclave. R&D Conclave &Women in STEM is planned where eminent scientists of the NPL family and alumni shared their vision and showcased the role of CSIR-NPL in recent advancements in science and technology. The focus of the event was on Women’s empowerment during the above-said event and a series of activities were conducted by women scientists to discuss the recent trend in Research and Development, Challenges, and Opportunities for Women in STEM Careers. A documentary film renowned Women Scientists in India was also showcased.