“Research is not always about generating big money but about ideas that can bring big changes in the life of common man.”, said the Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The Minister who is also the Vice President of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) was speaking after visit to the CSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, Gujarat on 25th of June2016.CSIR-CSMCRI Director, Dr. Amitava Das made a presentation on the Institute’s activities, to the Minister. Dr. Harsh Vardhan inspected the Mobile Water Purification Unit and Jatropha biodiesel based vehicle of the Institute. Thereafter, he visited the Reverse Osmosis Division, Marine Biotechnology & Ecology Division and Centralized Instrumentation Facility of the Institute.
The Minister appreciated the work done by all the laboratories of the CSIR, particularly emphasizing on the efforts of CSIR-CSMCRI. This institute engages in the applied research domains in the fields like drinking water, clean and renewable energy, wealth from waste, cultivation and processing of commercially important algae and harnessing ocean resources. It works not only for edible and industrial grade salt, but also for other very valuable products like potash and magnesia.Dr. Harsh Vardhan also presided over the signing of technology transfer agreement for making liquid seaweed fertilizer from Sargassum algae by a Ramanthapuram (Tamil Nadu) based start-up company M/s Seaferte Industries which procured the license for the technology.The Minister also interacted with representatives of Gujarat Credo Mineral Industries Ltd. (GCMIL), Ahmedabad to which the technology for the production of Zeolite from low grade bauxite of the Kutch region has been transferred by CSIR-CSMCRI.Dr. Harsh Vardhan carried out an inspection of CSIR-CSMCRI’s Experimental Salt Farm in Khumbharwada on 26th June, 2016. He assessed the high purity salt manufacturing process and value addition in solar salt works. The research being carried out in this institute is unique as CSMCRI is the only laboratory in the country that is addressing research on salt. The Minister stressed that the research on salt must aim towards improving economic conditions and ensure livelihood security of the small scale salt manufacturers.Dr. Harsh Vardhan also visited the Institute’s Halophyte Park and 0.75 TPD Sulphate of Potash test bed. He was accompanied by Mrs. Bhartiben Shiyal, Member of Parliament from Bhavnagar constituency and Shri Rajendra Singh Rana, Former Member of Parliament.