River Brahmaputra to have India’s first floating lab on boat
The Brahmaputra river in the northeast will have India's first floating 'laboratory on boat' for scientific research by this year end.
The well-equipped boat laboratory will be used for analysis and research on all components of the entire ecosystem of the river and its surroundings.
The lab will have the capability to study climate change and analyse soil, water, environment, plant and animal life, human health, agriculture and river system. This will be done with in-boat instrumentation, linked to local institutions and national laboratories across the country through 'cloud'.
Taking inspiration from a similar lab on boat in the river Amazon in South America, the science and technology ministry will set it up as part of its three biotechnology missions in the north-east.
The other two missions include Phyto-Pharma Plants Mission and Frugal Microscopy Mission. The Phyto-Pharma Mission will promote cultivation and conservation of endangered medicinal plants in the north-eastern states while Frugal Microscope Mission will provide foldscope (world's cheapest microscope costing less than Rs 70) to schools, colleges and scientists for education and research.
"The department of biotechnology (DBT) has committed to dedicate at least 10% of our budget every year for the north-east. This year, we aim to spend at least Rs 200 crores for our north-east programmes", said science and technology minister Harsh Vardhan while announcing the three new central initiatives for the north-eastern states on Wednesday.
The initial cost of setting up the lab on boat will be around Rs 50 crore. Named as B4 (Brahmaputra Biodiversity and Biology Boat), the lab will also have a teaching laboratory for school and college students.
"It is also proposed to have mobile labs which will run along the tributaries of Brahmaputra to feed in data to the main B4. Work-plan is being developed and the IIT Guwahati will be the nodal agency to implement it", said the DBT secretary K VijayRaghavan.
Brahmaputra river in the northeast will have India’s first floating ’laboratory on boat’