Two Indian researchers have received one of India’s most prestigious scholarships to become Prime Minister’s Research Fellows.
Ms Sushmita Ghosh and Mr Marut Jain, the Joint-PhD scholars of The University of Queensland (UQ) and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) Academy of Research – UQIDAR – have received Prime Minister’s Research Fellowships.
According to UQIDAR, the PMRF scheme “aims to improve the quality of research in higher educational institutions in India using the brightest new minds in the fields of science and technology.”
Sushmita Ghosh hails from Tripura in India. She is working on projects to solve the high energy usage of Internet of Things (IoT) communication networks. She holds a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics and Communication Engineering and a Masters of Technology in Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Design from the National Institute of Technology, Agartala.
The second recipient, Marut Jain, received his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in chemistry and Masters of Science in chemistry, specialising in inorganic chemistry, from the University of Delhi.
Marut Jain, entitled to a lifetime membership of the Indian Science Congress Association and a student fellow of the Indian Chemical Society, aims to improve petrochemical refinery wastewater treatment through his research.
The Prime Minister fellowship has provided these researchers with the opportunity to showcase her work on a world-class platform with other frontline researchers in India.
“My research contributions can be directly used to build up the smart city infrastructure towards making a self-reliant India,” Sushmita was quoted as saying by UQIDAR in a statement.
She said, “Winning this fellowship also means I am able to support my family financially.”
Each Fellow would be eligible for a research grant of Rs. 2 Lakhs per year (total of Rs 10 Lakhs for five years), along with a total of Rs 3.5 Lakhs over the period of five years.
According to the statement released by UQIDAR, Marut believes his research will lead to advances in water purification.
“Petrol and Diesel are an inevitable part of our life,” Marut said.
“But along with its benefits, it comes with a series of challenges of its own. Petrol refineries produce an excessive amount of hazardous chemicals in their water streams, which is a major concern from waste management and sustainability perspective.”
“Removal of toxic and hazardous chemicals like phenol and its derivatives is vital as phenols are carcinogenic and non-degradable.
“My study is focused on the development of a low-cost and green adsorbent for the removal of phenols and their derivatives from Petrochemical Refinery wastewater.
“We use chemical compounds along with agricultural and biological waste products for the development of a novel hybrid aerogel – like an industrial jelly – to achieve the goal of waste to wastewater treatment.
“This work will result in the development and analysis of a lost-cost technology for the treatment of petrochemical refinery wastewater using waste products.
“We all know that water is the source of happiness, health and energy, therefore we have to save every single drop of water around us for our future.”
The UQIDAR CEO, Dr Rajeev Shorey says enormously proud of Marut and Sushmita’s achievement
“In becoming Research Fellows, both of these UQIDAR students have demonstrated that they have the right minds, right attitudes and right will to make a positive impact in sustainable energy and development research,” Dr Shorey said.
“I applaud their determination to make a difference in their local community and the world.”
The UQIDAR currently says its PhD program has 71 students. They will receive a jointly awarded Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from UQ and IITD upon completing their research projects.