India Centre For Lab-Grown Diamond To Be Set Up At IIT-Madras At A Cost Of Rs 243 Crore
Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has approved a proposal to award five-year research grant to encourage indigenous production of lab-grown diamonds (LGD) machinery, seeds and recipe to Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras).
In Union Budget 23-24, a five-year research grant for one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) was announced by the government for promoting indigenous production of lab-grown diamonds machinery, seeds and recipe.
"It has been decided to give this project to IIT- Madras after a joint determination of its capabilities by a joint committee of Government, export promotion council and Industry representatives," the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
Further, it is proposed to establish an India Centre for Lab grown Diamond (InCent-LGD) at IIT Madras with the estimated cost of Rs 242.96 crore over five years, it added.
"Project appraisal committee under the chair of commerce secretary Sunil Barthwal has recommended the proposal, which has been approved by Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry," the statement said.
The ministry further said that the budget support for the project will be provided during the course of next five years.
The project aims to provide technical assistance to the gem and jewelry industry and entrepreneurs in the country to promote indigenous manufacturing of Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and High-Pressure and High-Temperature (HPHT) systems, along with the recipes for expanding the LGD business at the upstream end.
Lab grown diamonds have various applications in the defense, optics, jewelry, thermal, and medical industries.
"Research efforts would make the technology available for start ups at affordable cost, increase employment opportunities, increase exports of LGD thus play a significant role in fuelling India’s economic growth," the ministry said.
Globally, the market for lab-grown diamond jewelry is expected to rapidly rise to $5 billion by 2025 and exceed $15 billion by 2035, according to the ministry.
India is one of the leading producers of lab-grown diamonds using CVD technology. However, the country still depends on other nations for the supply of critical machinery components and "seeds," which are the raw materials for producing synthetic diamonds.
The InCent-LGD project at IIT-Madras aims to remove India's import dependence on these critical components and seeds and to make good quality lab-grown diamonds more accessible and cost-effective for new entrepreneurs to enter the lab-grown diamond business, generate employment opportunities, and increase exports of LGD.
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