In-House Projects

At the Vigyan Bhavan complex of science Foundation, a roof top rain water harvesting plan has been implemented. The basic objective of this study is to collect the rain water from of portion of the terrace area (approx.3500 sq.ft.) and divert the collected & filtered water to the existing but not in use open shallow well through a series of collection, settling and filtration chambers. This project has a demonstration value for those who wishes to adopt the technology for better results. Also apart from that the water that is being collected will create an additional storage in the well which could be utilized for gardening, cleaning and washing purposes. Water quality checks and water level monitoring were carried out on the regular basis to understand the impact of the rainwater on the groundwater both in terms of water quality and quantity

An in-house project leading to a research study paper was initiated and commercially viable micropropagation protocols of various plants were standardized viz. medicinal plants - Bacopa monnieri, Withania somnifera, Plumbago Zeylanica, Aloe vera, Centella asiatica and anaclyus pyrethrum; aromatic plant such as Damaska rose and general crop like potato tuber formation. Biomass experiments were carried out for the selected medicinal plants both in vitro and generated on the field. Analysis of secondary metabolites of selected medicinal plants was carried out. Large numbers of in vitro plants were hardened in the green house and transfered to the medicinal garden. A Compact Disc (CD) entitled “Herbal Panacea” based on important medicinal plants of Gujarat State for general awareness and identification for the public was developed & released comprising the complete details of about 100 medicinal plants.

Further, farmers’ survey assessing the awareness, demand & supply of medicinal plants in whole Gujarat area was successfully completed. A market survey of medicinal plant for assessing the present & future requirements including promotion of medicinal plants for ayurvedic and pharmaceutical companies for their cultivation was also successfully completed.

An in-house project for the development of different tissue culture protocols was undertaken with the objective of developing the up-scalable and cost-effective micropropagation protocol for selected economically and/or medicinally important crops. Micropropagation production system for economically and/ or medicinally important crop varieties viz. Rose, Papaya, Nagod, was initiated. Elite variety of rose (scented variety), which is in high demand, was selected and significant progress in terms of development of reproducible, up-scalable and cost effective micropropagation protocol was achieved. A popular variety of Papaya (Taiwan Variety) was selected on the basis of the farmers’ feedback and recommendations. Considerable progress was achieved in terms of multiplication rate and planted generation. Another economically important plant –Bamboo was selected and cultures initiated. Large scale multiplication protocol was developed in medicinally important plant Vitex negundo (Nagod). Further, In vitro flowering was achieved in Vitex negundo. Cultures of other medicinally important plants viz. withania somnifera and Bacopa monnierie for which the protocols were developed previously, are being maintained.

Modem biotechnology offers unlimited opportunities for enhancing genetic potential of medicinal plants, management of biotic stresses and waste management by organic recycling and also faster multiplication of planting material. Tissue culture, an important area of biotechnology can be use to improve the productivity of planting materials through enhanced availability of identified planting stock with desired traits.

Micro propagation is one of the important contributions of plant tissue culture to commercial plant propagation and has vast significance. It is the true to type propagation of selected genotype using in vitro culture technique. This technique provides a rapid reliable system for a production of large number of genetically uniform disease free plantlets. In-house experimental trials and protocol development for medicinal plants and their standardization was undertaken viz.

Botany Name Common Name
Bacopa monnierie : Brahmi
Within somnifera : Ashwagandha
Aloe Vera : Kuvar patto
Plumbago zeylanica : Chitrak

On the basis of in-house study done before on the extraction of Salicornia seeds oil by soxhlet extraction procedure using hexane and the extracted oil and subsequent analysis of their fatty acids profile, which revealed the seed oil content in the range of 28 to 33 %, a new study focusing on the effect of geoclimatic condition on oil quality of Salicornia brachiata was undertaken. Two varieties based on different geoclimatic conditions of places like Mundra and Hathab were selected.

Fatty oil are compound of glycerol and fatty acids. Each molecule of glycerol combines with three molecules of fatty acids to form an ester. Fatty oils give chemical reaction such as saponification, alcoholysis, acidolysis, halogenation, hydrogenation, addition, interesterification, oxidation etc. Enzymes are biological catalysts, consisting of protein. Unlike ordinary chemical catalysts, enzymes have the ability to catalyze reactions under very mild conditions in aqueous or organic solvents at normal temperature and pressure, thus reducing the possibility of damage to heat resistive substrates and also reducing energy requirements and corrosion effects of the process. Enzymes have high substrate specificity leading to a low content of undesirable by-products in the reaction solution, thus decreasing not only material costs but also down stream environmental burdens. An in-house research programme was undertaken with the selected natural polymer chitosan for support materials with the following objectives :

  • Immobilization of lipase on natural polymer i.e. Chitosan
  • Comparison of free and immobilized enzyme for esterification and transesterification reaction

Immobilization of the porcine pancreatic lipase on the chitosan by covalent coupling was carried out. The stability of free and immobilized enzyme at different pH and temperature was also compared.

The study was taken up by the Science Foundation as an in-house project. The objectives of the study were (a) to study the extraction patterns of oils from various seeds with special reference castor and Salicornia and develop comparative parameters (b) to study organic synthesis on the extracted oils and explore potential derivatives.

Following different oil extraction methods were employed :

  • Immobilization of lipase on natural polymer i.e. Chitosan
  • Comparison of free and immobilized enzyme for esterification and transesterification reaction

Immobilization of the porcine pancreatic lipase on the chitosan by covalent coupling was carried out. The stability of free and immobilized enzyme at different pH and temperature was also compared.

Project Brief :
The project, as mentioned, is being proposed as it not only fulfills the basic objective GSFC Science Foundation (GSF) of promotion & dissemination of the technology through a demonstration model but it will also help in offsetting the accrued unutilized balance funds, which is a mandatory requirement as per Income Tax Act. In addition, proposed installation will be counted as GSF’s contribution towards saving of carbon emission (about 44 tons).

Solar panels installation at Vigyan Bhavan will be able to house a total of 30 kW of solar power plant. Solar system will be able to generate 45000 units of electricity per annum.

An agriculture research centre - Centre of Research for Excellence in Agri-input, Technology and Economics (CREATE) has been established under GSFC Science Foundation with a view to carry out research in various agri-related fields and co-ordinate interdisciplinary research work contributing to the economic growth of agri-sector and to provide a strategic framework for innovation-led information from single window.

Vision of CREATE:
To set-up an entity which shall share the knowledge base (related with Agri-Sector) available across the Globe and support/aid/carry out research in areas related with Agri-sector

Mission of CREATE :
1. To research in the fields of agriculture science and economics
2. To harness the power of information available across the globe in the field of Agro Science/Technology and Agro Economics
3. To create Knowledge Centre to bridge the gap between best practices in agriculture to the actual followed practices
4. To harness the power of wealth of data available from research activities from educational institutes, research centres, various fertilizer industries, various departments/organization related with agri sectors like soil information, whether information, cropping pattern, food industry etc. and share it through information technology

Objectives of CREATE :
• To act as a clearing house of research and general information relating to agriculture, fertilizers, seeds, recent technologies implemented, etc. through its research/publications and sharing information by web portal/ seminars/ workshops etc.
• To plan, undertake, aid, promote and co-ordinate educational research and its application in agriculture, farm products, seeds, pesticides, bio- / organic fertilizers and allied sciences
• To provide the foresightedness and prepare innovation-driven strategy, researching on the Indian agri-economics & policies
• To strengthen partnership with National and International Research organizations and educational Institutions