Banaras Hindu University to have gem testing facility soon
The full-fledged state-of-the-art laboratory is being set up at the Central Discovery Centre of the varsity under the second phase of the grants received through the SATHI (Sophisticated Analytical and Technical Help Institute) scheme sanctioned by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India
The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is setting up a gem testing lab and research laboratory to cater to the needs of industry and businesses, informed prof Anil Kumar Tripathi, coordinator, BHU-SATHI and director of the Institute of Science. He said that it is the first time that such a laboratory has been established in this part of the country.
The full-fledged state-of-the-art laboratory is being set up at the Central Discovery Centre of the varsity under the second phase of the grants received through the SATHI (Sophisticated Analytical and Technical Help Institute) scheme sanctioned by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, he said.
The exact identification and quality of a gemstone often involves more than one technique. The lab with an investment of ₹3.75 crores under the project will have advanced and sophisticated instruments such as FTIR (Fourier transformation infra-red spectroscope), Laser Raman spectroscopy, ED-XRF (Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer), Table-top XRD (X-ray diffractometer), UV-VIS-NIR (Ultraviolet, visible and near infra-red) spectrometer, binocular and polarizing microscope and a laser cutter. Each of these instruments serves different purposes for identifying various aspects of gemstones such as structure, chemistry, colour, inclusions etc.
Prof Tripathi informed that the professors who are specialised in the relevant fields of mineralogy, and X-ray spectroscopy from the departments of geology, chemistry and physics of the Institute of Science and MMV, BHU, and an external expert who was head of the gem testing laboratory of the Geological Survey of India would constitute a team to monitor and ensure the functioning of the gem testing laboratory.
Prof Tripathi further informed that an interaction of the industry representatives associated with quality testing and the trade of gemstones with the geology experts of BHU is being organised on April 27 to understand the needs of the industry to better address them.
The interaction will be held at 3.30 pm in the CDC building of BHU. Those interested and have experience in testing the quality of gemstones are requested to inform the chief operating officer, SATHI-BHU (Mr Saikat Sen, phone 8127980858, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
This facility in BHU is another example of industry-academia collaboration and is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that science and technology should reach out and serve the needs of the public and common people, said Prof Tripathi. BHU has been leading by example when it comes to facilitating the local industry with its technical experience and expertise, he added.