CSIR-National Physical Laboratory, (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, celebrated its 77th foundation day on 4 January 2023 at the institute’s auditorium. The programmewas graced by Dr Satheesh Reddy, Scientific Advisor to the DefenceMinister, Government of India, as the chief guest and the Director General CSIR DrN.Kalaiselvi, as the guest of honour. The invitees included RC members, personnel from CSIR headquarters, Ex-Directors of NPL DrKrishanLal and DrVikram Kumar, industry partners, students from colleges as well as retired scientists of NPL.
In his welcome address, Director CSIR-NPL Prof. VenugopalAchanta elaborated on the achievements of CSIR-NPL in the last year including the national and international visibility of NPL and also highlighted collaborations with departments like Legal Metrology in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Quality Council of India, NABL, etc. NPL is helping in strengthening other metrology institutes under the PTB-SAARC programme. A phasermeasurement calibration facility which is required for smart grids, development of gas standards in collaboration with ONGC and relevant ministries have been initiated at NPL. The awards and fellowships during this period were briefly mentioned.
He highlighted the fact that NPL being the national metrology institute of India has strong metrology based research as well as Material Science and Environmental Science. The new standards like the primary sound standard in extended range and the international inter-comparisons for resistance and voltage measurements are among some of the achievements. The successful revival of Cesium cold atom cloud for the Cesium fountain atomic clock was another proud achievement. Research has also been initiated in quantum materials as well as single photon detection. A special mention was made about the security ink development work, work towards a cleaner environment and the launch of several certified reference materials known as Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravyas. However, he emphasized that NPL has many more milestones to achieve.
Dr N.Kalaiselvi delivered an energetic and motivating address, especially for the researchers and students. She appreciated the important role of CSIR-NPL in the CSIR family and lauded the fact that it preserves the constitution of India. Thus, the lab has an important place not only in science but also in Indian history. She appreciated the metrological and other R&D activities at CSIR-NPL but mentioned that the best is still to come. DG-CSIR also promised adequate and needed resources from CSIR for exclusively pursuing the scientific endeavours at NPL and invoked all to gear up for future work and goals. She especially mentioned NPL activities like work on crystal growth, semiconductors and carbon paper. She mentioned the importance of rare earth magnets and the need to work in the area as well as for storage devices. She called upon all for thinking towards new dimensions such as transition metals, rare earth and red mud. She also mentioned that CSIR labs can contribute more by collaboratively carrying out research. The DG also laid importance on realizing and justifying each individual's contribution and motivated all to do more. She appreciated the student connect programmesin inspiring young minds for scientific development in the country.
The Chief Guest Dr Satheesh Reddy congratulated the NPL family on completing 76 years of its establishment which he mentioned has been a great journey with significant contributions. He mentioned his past associations and discussions with NPL personnel. NPL has a high place in Indian science and technology. He appreciated the roadmap and vision suggested by the DG and how NPL is suggested to work towards it in addition to its present activities. He stressed the fact that areas of metrology, standards, materials as well as the environment are very important for the nation. NPL is one of the topmost laboratories in metrology in the world to have come out with specific areas and the need to further continuously improve science and technologywith higher accuracies. Quantum metrology with better systems and improved accuracies isthe need of the day. He emphasized the importance of setting our own standard documents rather than following the international ones in a timebound manner.
He underlined the need for going into manufacturing equipment in India, developingof new materials, smart materials as well as indigenous medical devices. We need to realize equipment manufacturing instead of importing. He suggested that a cluster of labs cooperate and coordinate work towards the realization of Atmanirbhar Bharat. He suggested better cooperation between CSIR-NPL and the Directorate of Standardisation, Ministry of Defence.
Mentioning the importance of materials, he stressed the need for better extraction techniques, given our limited natural resources. Multiple materials, smart materials, technologies and commercial productsare the need of the day. He invoked a call to students tomake in India and proceed towards make for the world and go from being an importer to a global exporter. Presently there are 75000 start-ups in the country and young students need to take these forward.
The programme also included the release of 14 BhartiyaNirdeshakDravyas (Certified Reference Materials) prepared in collaboration with various industry partners. These included BNDs for calibration of powder x-ray diffractometer, 4 BNDs for test of Ultimate Tensile Strength, BND for Rockwell Hardness, BNDs for gold as well as for drinking water testing. AnMoU was also signed between CSIR-NPL and RMP Pharmaffiliates Analytics & Synthetics Pvt. Ltd, Panchkula, for the development of BNDs for organic substances/antibiotics.
Eight new posters made byAcSIR students at NPL were released on the occasion andhave been included in the Dr KS Krishnan Gallery in the Library wing of the institute. The programme concluded with certificates for the three best posters awarded to the student teams.