International Conference on Advances in Nanotechnology, iCAN 2017

The International Conference on Advances in Nanotechnology, iCAN 2017 jointly organized by School of Technology, Assam Don Bosco University and Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization, USA was held on 9-13 January 2017.

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The main objective of the conference was to motivate young researchers from academic and research institutes in the north eastern part of India to explore the possibilities of using nanotechnology and to provide a platform to interact and exchange new ideas and also to explore possible collaborations with the researchers from across the globe working in diverse areas of Nano-science and Nanotechnology.

The inaugural session was graced by eminent academicians, dignitaries and distinguished delegates from across the globe.

The session began with lighting of the lamp by Chief Guest, Shri Himangshu Shekhar Das, Retired IAS officer & Hon’ble Chief Information Commissioner, Assam; Our Mentor Advisor Shri C.K Das , Retired IAS officer and Hon’ble Member of North Eastern Council, Shillong; Rev. Fr. V.M Thomas, Chancellor, ADBU; Prof. Arun Chattopadhya, Dept. of Chemistry & Center for Nanotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati; Prof. Barbara Karn, Co-Founder and Executive Director, SNO, USA; Prof. Manoranjan Kalita, Director, School of Technology, ADBU & a participant.

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Our distinguished guests, Shri Keshav Mahanta, Hon’ble Minister of Science and Technology, Govt. of Assam congratulated ADBU for oraganizing a conference on such an emerging field and “mentioned that nanotechnology will bring new prospects and development in the field of Technology”

The convener, Prof. Sunandan Baruah gave a brief introduction to iCAN 2017 and  mentioned that ican 2017 is the 1st International conference organized by SOT, ADBU to promote environmental research  amongst the researchers of the north eastern region.

Prof. Barbara Karn, co-Founder and Executive Director, SNO, USA gave a brief introduction to SNO. She mentioned that the main aim of SNO is to promote sustainability in technologies and emphasized that any research should be performed in sustainable manner.

The Guest of Honour for the occasion, Prof. Arun Chattopadhya, professor of dept. of chemistry and centre of nanotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati in his address stated that this conference will help to bring a group of dynamic and focussed individuals in the area of nanotechnology together.

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Our Mentor Advisor Shri C.K Das, retired IAS (Retd.) and Hon’ble Member, North Eastern Council, Shillong speaking on the occasion mentioned that “This is the era of nanotechnology” and advised the researchers and scientists present to use nanotechnology  in the field of agriculture to increase productivity, in the field of medicine for treatment of cancer (as it is one of the most prevailing diseases in this part of the country.), for water purification, skill development, removal malnutrition, etc..

Shri Himangshu Shekhar Das, IAS (Retd.) and the Hon’ble chief Information commissioner, Assam was the chief guest for the inaugural session. In his address he expressed that he was glad for being invited to the occasion as the chief guest. He stated that, “ Govt. of Assam is taking steps to improve technical education in the region.”

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The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shree Narendra Modi, as well as the Hon’ble Governor of Assam, His Excellency Shri Banwarilal Purohit expressed their keen interest in ican2017 and sent message to be read on their behalf in this occasion.

Also, the patron, iCAN2017, Prof. Manoranjan Kalita, Director School of Technology, ADBU speaking on the occasion emphasized on undertaking hazard free approaches in all research.

Lastly, Mr. Bikash Aggarwal, the organizing secretary, iCAN 2017 delivered the vote of thanks. The inaugural session ended at 11 a.m.

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The plenary address was delivered by Prof. Arun Chattopadhya, professor of dept. of chemistry and centre of nanotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati on the topic “Transition from Nanoscience to Nanotechnology”.

Prof. Chattopadhya mentioned that currently they are working on the use of nanoscale particles such as quantum dots, metal nanoparticles and atomic nano-clusters for health-care applications. He also mentioned about a “thumb imprint” based device for diagnosis of hyperbilirubinemia (jaundice). He discussed about the fabrication of new device for analyses of genes and proteins on a single platform.

The plenary session was followed by two parallel technical sessions 1A and 1B.

The 1st session (1A) which was held in conference hall under the theme “PROVIDING ACCESS TO CLEAN WATER” ,was chaired by  Dr. Achintya N. Bezbaruah, Associate Professor, Dept. of civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University, USA.

The Keynote address for this session was delivered by Dr. Anjali pal, Associate professor, Dept. of civil Engineering ,Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur on the topic “ Porous assembly of MnO2 nano-sheets for dye and antibiotic degradation in aqueous medium”.

In this session three oral papers were presented.

The parallel session 1B was held at hall # 414 under the theme “Nanotechnology for Eco Health”. The session was chaired by Dr. Munin N Baruah, Managing Director, North Eastern Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Guwahati.

The keynote speakers Prof. Utpal Bora,  Professor,  Department of Biotechnology, IIT Guwahati and Prof. Samir Kumar Pal, Professor, Department of Chemical, Biological and Macromolecular Sciences, S.N.Bose National Centre of Basic Science, Kolkata, presented their work on “Silk based nano-composite scaffolds for peripheral nerve regeneration” and “Nano-hybrids: The Materials For Energy, Environment And Medicine” respectively.

During this session, a total of three presenters presented their research work.

The second session also consisted of two parallel tracks 2A and 2B.

Session 2A was chaired by Dr. Barbara Karn, Co-founder and Executive Director, Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO), Adjunct Professor, George Washington University. The theme for this session was “Synthesis of Nanomaterials”.

The first  keynote address was delivered by Prof. Tarasankar Pal, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur on the topic “Coinage Metals in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology” followed by Prof. Siddhartha Sankar Mukhopadhyay, Sr. Pedologist (Retd), Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana on the topic “Nano-material fabrications for agriculture – Save LiFE (Life, Food, and Environment)”.

A total of 4 Oral papers were  presented in this session.

The parallel seesion 2B was at hall no 414 on the theme “Nanosensors”. The session was chaired by Dr. Chanchana Thanachayanont, Senior Researcher, Microelectronics and Embedded Systems, MTEC, NSTDA, Thailand.

The distinguished keynote speaker for this session was Prof. Klaus Leifer, Professor, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Science, Uppsala University; Sweden. Prof. Klaus addressed on on the topic “Tuning electronic sensor properties by nanoscale functionalization of graphene”.

During this session, a total of three participants presented their research work. After the technical sessions with the science enthusiasts, team iCAN organized a recreational cultural evening comprising of performances and events representing the rich culture of the state of ASSAM.

Also the Research Videos were screened in between the programs. Awards were given in two categories:

Best Research Video (judged by Mr. Tarunabh Dutta, Fr. C M Paul , Prof. Klaus and Prof. Barbara Karn) and Most popular video (based on highest number of likes on facebook) were awarded on this occasion. Both the awards were bagged by Uthomporn Saelow for the video based on the work “Influence of cosmetic and costume  advertisement  on Thai adolescent-A case study on high school students of SIHM schools.”

The 2nd day of the conference began with the Workshop by SNO, USA at the Conference Hall.

The resource person for this workshop were Prof. Siddhartha Sankar Mukhopadhyay, Sr. Pedologist (Retd), Department of soil science, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and Dr.Barbara Karn, Co-founder and executive director, SNO, USA; Prof. Achintya Bezbaruah, Associate Professor, Department of civil and environmental engineering,  NDSU, USA

Prof. Mukhopadhyay gave a lecture on “Nanotechnology Intervention in farming and plantations in Assam: A land of paradox” with an elaborate way of how nanotechnology will help in farming and plantations in Assam. Referring to the scenario in Punjab, he explained few methods of reducing harmful chemicals in pesticides/fertilizers so that diseases like cancer can be prevented. He outlined possible innovations in nanotechnology applications in agriculture in Assam by the use of clay minerals such as kaolin, nano-zeolites etc to retain and enrich organic matter in soils. Also mentioned about preventing erosion and stabilizing landscape through nano-carbonates and nano iron-oxides. He observed that fostering of green revolution technologies is a challenge to keep natural resources free from toxic chemicals and harmful elements.

Dr. Barbara Karn spoke on the topic “Principles of green chemistry considerations in designing nanoscale agrochemicals”

She first outlined nano-materials that are used in agriculture and the life cycle of products. She gave 12 principles of green chemistry which are applied to nano-science. Also, she mentioned few greener techniques to make nanomaterials. She also talked about how pesticides can be encapsulated, further showing the framework of green technology. She ended up with various applications of nano agriculture with a remark that “only a change in human values and behavior in concert with responsible technologies can lead to true sustainability”.

Professor Bezbaruah spoke on the topic “Nanoagriculture: ensuring global nutrient security”. He first highlighted on phosphate recovery saying “ no phosphorous, no food”.

He discussed on iron cross-linked Alginate (FCA) which is a biodegradable biopolymer and his research on lettuce plants mentioning how Aradopsis, a AHA2 gene is newly identified in lettuce by his research team. Also, he talked on advantages and disadvantages of zinc oxide and whether to use or not to use in agriculture. He stressed upon the fact that controlling of size is important while experimenting with nanoparticles showing how he has experimented on zinc oxide nanoparticles and zinc oxide bulk particles with almost similar results.

The workshop session was very enthusiastically participated by all present.

The  technical session three started post lunch at the conference hall at around 2:15 p.m.

The session  3 on the “Nanoelectronics” was chaired by Dr. Somabrata Acharya, Associate Professor, Centre for Advanced Materials (CAM), Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata.

The keynote address in this session was delivered by Dr. Dambarudhar Mohanta, Associate Professor, Dept. of Physics, Tezpur University, Assam on the topic “Exciting Optoelectronic and Nanoelectronic Features of Oxides and Perovskites Nanomaterials”.

Three Researchers presented their work in this session. This was followed by the poster session which continued almost upto 6 in the evening.

A total of 36 posters were presented by researchers from across the country.

Day 3 of the conference, 11th Jan, 2017, started with two parallel technical sessions 5A and 5B.

Session 5A was on the Theme “Providing Access to Clean Water” and it was chaired by  Prof. Tarasankar Pal, Professor, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

The first keynote address was delivered by Dr. Subhra Jana, Inspire Faculty , Department of Chemical, Biological and Macromolecular Sciences, S. N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata on the topic “Fabrication of Low-Cost Nanocomposites for Environmental Remediation”.

The second keynote was delivered by Dr. Achintya N. Bezbaruah, Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University (NDSU), USA on the topic “Building a sustainable nanotechnology platform”.

During this session, a total of three participants presented their research work.

Parrelly Session 5B was held on the Theme “Nanoelectronics”, which was chaired by Dr. Anjali Pal, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

The first keynote address was delivered by  Dr. Somabrata Acharya, Associate Professor, Centre for Advanced Materials (CAM), Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata on the topic “Junction Functions”.

The second keynote was delivered by Prof. Pranayee Datta, Department of Electronics & Communication Technology, Gauhati University, Assam, India on the topic “Passive electronic circuit components at nanoscale and their possible applications”.

During this session, 4 participants presented their research work.

This was followed by another two parallel sessions 6A and 6B.

Session 6A was chaired by Prof. Klaus Leifer, Professor, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Science, Uppsala University, Sweden.

The keynote address in this session was delivered by Dr. Barbara Karn, Co-founder and Executive Director, Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization, USA on the topic “Building sustainable nanotechnology”.

During this session, 5 participants presented their research work.

Session 6B was chaired by Chairperson Dr. S. R. Joshi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Biotechnology and Bio-informatics, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India.

The first keynote address was delivered by Dr. Chanchana Thanachayanont, Senior Researcher, Microelectronics and Embedded Systems, MTEC, NSTDA, Thailand on the topic, “Characterization and Preparation of Organic-Inorganic Hybrid Materials for Pesticide Sensing”.

The second keynote was addressed by Dr. Neelotpal Sen Sarma, Associate Professor, IASST, Guwahati, Assam on the topic “Exploitation of Nanoparticles on the swelling properties of polymer gels

During this session, four participants presented their research work. Out of a total of 128 abstracts 80 were selected.

The valedictory session of iCAN 2017 saw tremendous appreciation from the delegates and the participants, for such a dynamic scientific programme consisting of invited talks and presentations from renowned academecians, scientists and researchers from across the globe. Also many distinguished guests mentioned about the excellent hospitality offered by the team iCAN 2017.

Speaking on the valedictory, the Vice chancellor of ADBU, Rev. Fr. Mavely, mentioned about the three main mantras of the university — Interdisciplinary Research; Encourage Research climate right from the undergraduate level ; and promote research having social causes with a special emphasis on sustainability. Fr. Mavely also congratulated the Department of Electronics and Communication for organizing iCAN 2017 in such a successful manner.

The valedictory session concluded with the inauguration of, “The Centre of Excellence in Nano-technology (COEN)” by the Vice chancellor and Prof. Barbara Karn, Co-Founder and Executive Director, SNO, USA.

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