IITs Are Leading Nation’s Scientific Effort To Defeat COVID-19; Working On 208 R&D Projects Under Seven CategoriesIIT- DELHI (@asadkelectro/Wikipedia)

The 18 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are leading the scientific effort to bolster nation's capabilities in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, with experts from these premier institutions engaged in over 208 dedicated research and development (R&D) projects, reports Times of India.

The projects span across seven different categories which include personal protective care equipment (45 projects), sanitisation (33 projects), and pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment (30 projects).

The other areas of projects include testing kits, medical equipment and robots, and surveillance and usage of data analytics, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to model epidemic patterns and disease dynamics.

IIT Guwahati is leading the effort with the most number of projects (34 projects), followed by IIT Madras (25 projects). Both the IITs are engaged in projects spanning across all the seven categories. Meanwhile, it should also be noted that the six old IITs are engaged in almost 50 per cent of all the projects.

Even the new IITs, such as IIT-Palakkad, IIT-Mandi, are pitching in for the research. The projects are set to draw over Rs 120 crore over the course of the next 18 months.

V Ramgopal Rao, director, IIT-Delhi reportedly said: “There’s a lot of research happening in IITs. Almost every week we are releasing something to the society. If institutions don’t do it now it is not justifiable. At IIT-Delhi when lockdown was announced we told our faculty and students that we are open for research and IIT will fund the research and their stay on the campus.”

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