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IIT Kgp to boost devp of North-East through technological assistance

Kolkata: In a significant stride towards playing a key role in the development of the North-East, IIT Kharagpur will provide technological assistance for the region.
The Secretary and Joint Secretary of the Department of North East Region (DONER), along with senior officials from the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Cabinet, visited IIT Kharagpur recently and held a day-long discussion on how to develop and transfer appropriate technological interventions for the North-East.
The team was accompanied by senior officers from regional offices of various states and regions of the North-East, like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), BARC and Spices Board.
The day-long discussion emphasised on North-East's assistance, especially from the Rural Technology Action Group (RuTAG) unit, led by Professor PB Singh Bhadoria of IIT Kharagpur, which will be the coordinating centre for this mission of technologies for the North-East.
The team took active interest in the premier institute's capabilities in the Food Processing sector The Agricultural and Food Engineering department demonstrated a number of products, among which two deserve special mention.
"We have developed a ready-to-eat high energy food paste, which will be very beneficial for malnourished children between the age group of six months to six years. There is an automated pilot plant, where we prepare, process and then pack this food paste in pouches," said HN Mishra, professor of Food Technology department.
The second initiative that was demonstrated by the same department, was the development of technology and machinery for the production of ready-to-cook iron-fortified rice premix, catering to India's anaemic population.
"It is made from broken rice kernels using extrusion technology. This engineered rice can be one of the concrete solutions for India's anaemic population," Mishra said.
It may be mentioned that the iron-fortified rice premix is mixed with normal rice in the ratio of 1:100 and packaged. The premix has iron content of 600-800 mg per 100 grams. The nutritional, sensory and cooking characteristics of the developed iron-fortified rice are fully compatible with those of normal rice. A patent has already been applied for producing rice from broken rice kernels using extrusion technology.
"They have already ordered some of the technological goods. We are now planning for high-end value added products including those from turmeric, ginger, etc, in collaboration with BARC," IIT Kharagpur director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti said.

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