Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


2016, rankings

National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF): ranked No. 7

The Times of India, April 14, 2016

The rankings under the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) have been carried out in four categories: Engineering, management, pharmacy and university.

There were five key parameters on which an academic institutes were assessed, these include: Teaching, learning and resources; Research, consulting and collaborative performance; Graduation outcome; Outreach and inclusivity; and Perception.

Over 3,500 institutes participated in inaugural edition of these rankings, the process for which started in December 2015.

Among the newest IIT on the list, IIT Hyderabad ranks at No. 7, with a weightage of 77.23. The IIT Hyderabad was established in the year 2008.

Research and Development

2017, Activated jamun used to remove fluoride from water

R. Prasad, October 21, 2017: The Hindu

The activated jamun powder can be reused up to five times by heating it to 50 degree C

Now, while removing excess fluoride from drinking water, the usual problems such as high operational costs and getting rid of toxic sludge will be a thing of the past. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have used activated jamun seed powder to bring the fluoride content in drinking water to less than the WHO limit of 1.5 mg per litre. The results were published in the Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering.

The team led by Dr. Chandra S. Sharma from the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad mixed the jamun seed powder thoroughly with potassium hydroxide and heated it to 900 degree C for an hour to produce activated jamun powder. The activation increases the pore volume several times and the surface area by more than 50 times. As a result, the fluoride adsorption efficiency increased several times compared to samples that were not treated with KOH but heated to 900 degree C.

The fluoride ion removal increases with a decrease in pH, with maximum adsorption found at pH 3. The activated jamun seed acquires a positive charge at low pH and the positive charge attracts the fluoride ions while the negative charge in an alkaline medium repulses the fluoride ions.

With fluoride adsorption capacity of 3.65 milligram per gram, activated jamun seed was close to tea ash (3.75 milligram per gram) but much higher than other substances such as banana peel, coffee husk, and coconut shell.

“Besides testing the activated jamun seed powder in the lab we also tested it using groundwater taken from Nalgonda village, which is one of the worst fluoride-affected villages in India. After two hours of contact time, we were able to reduce the fluoride content from 3.2 milligram per litre to less than 1.5 milligram per litre, which is the WHO limit,” says Dr. Sharma.

On heating the activated jamun powder to 50 degree C, the fluoride gets desorbed and the jamun powder can be reused up to five times. “About 96% of the fluoride can be desorbed. So there is a loss of only 4% efficiency after each desorption,” he says.

Disposal of sludge

Disposal of the fluoride sludge is another area that the team is working on. “The fluoride ions desorbed from the activated carbon will be present in very small quantity of water. We can add sodium hydroxide to this water to produce sodium fluoride,” he says. The major objective of the current study was to evaluate the fluoride removal efficiency using a novel, low-cost activated carbon.

“We will next be testing the efficiency of the activated jamun powder in water containing multiple ions such as fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals,” says Ramya Araga the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and the first author of the paper.

“We have so far carried out all tests in batches. We need to now undertake column studies,” says Araga. The continuous flow parameters have to be optimised to achieve best results; during the batch studies, two hours of contact time was needed for the fluoride to be removed.

2020: Covid detection kit

June 6, 2020: The Times of India

A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad claims to have developed a first-of-its kind Covid-19 test kit that can deliver results within 20 minutes. The researchers claimed that the alternative test method is not based on the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) - the method currently being used for Covid-19 testing. The test kit has been developed at a cost of Rs 550 and it can be reduced to up to Rs 350 when taken to mass production, they said. While a patent has been filed for the test kit, the team has conducted clinical trials at ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Hyderabad and sought an approval from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).

"We have developed a Covid-19 testing kit which can deliver the results in 20 minutes for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The uniqueness of this test kit is that it functions sans the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)," Shiv Govind Singh, the professor at IIT-Hyderabad's Electrical Engineering department, told PTI.

"The low-cost test kit is easy to carry around and tests can be done at point of care. The testing method used is an alternative to the currently used method. We identified a unique sequence of conserved regions of Covid-19 genome," Singh, who led the three-member team, said.

IIT-Hyderabad is the second academic institution in the country to come up with a testing kit for novel coronavirus. IIT-Delhi became the first academic institute to have obtained the ICMR approval for a real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay. It had claimed that the current testing methods available were "probe-based" while the one developed by its students was a "probe-free" method, which reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy.

India on Saturday went past Italy to become the sixth worst-hit nation by Covid-19, with the country registering a record single-day spike of 9,887 cases which pushed the nationwide tally to 2,36,657. The country's death toll due to Covid-19 rose to 6,642, with a record increase of 294 deaths in the last 24 hours till Saturday 8 am.

2021: Oral drug to treat 'black fungus'

Hemali Chhapia Shah , May 29, 2021: The Times of India

The Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad has developed nano fibre-based, controlled-release oral tablets of amphotericin B (AmB) to treat post-Covid fungal infections. Researchers have kept the technology free of intellectual property rights and are looking for pharmaceutical partners who can take up mass-scale production. Currently, AmB is an injectible drug.

In 2019, faculty members Saptarshi Majumdar and Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the department of chemical engineering had released a study that oral nanofibrous AmB can be effective to treat kala azar, a parasitic ailment that can cause fever, weight loss and swelling of the liver or the spleen.

This was a first-ever attempt to fabricate nano fibrous oral tablets of amphotericin B for the potential cure of kala azar or leishmaniasis.

Two years later, the researchers say they are confident the technology can be transferred to suitable pharma partners for large-scale production. At present, kala azar treatment is being used to treat black and other fungi and its availability and affordability make it necessary to allow emergency and immediate trial of this oral drug.

“AmB has poor aqueous solubility and forms aggregates in the system, which stresses renal filtration and thus causes nephrotoxicity (toxic for kidneys),” said Majumdar.

Stressing on the need for pharma companies to come forward, Sharma said, “The main idea behind our research is to find a solution to serve society.

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