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Govt and Intel join hands for developing solutions for real-time air and river water quality monitoring

Economic Times:  December, 2016

New Delhi: Indian government and the US multinational technology company, Intel, on Thursday joined hands for development of state-of-art solutions for real-time air and river water quality monitoring.

Aim of this initiative of the department of science and technology (DST) and the Intel is to develop key technologies for sensing, communication and analysis of large-scale data collected from autonomous networks. This will be followed by integration and deployment for water and air quality monitoring in real-time.

Under the joint initiative, proposals from academic and research institutions are invited on developing online 'Water and Air Quality Monitoring' (WAQM) systems. The selected submissions will be provided grant-in-aid support. An amount of Rs 33 crore has been set aside for the project.

Elaborating on the DST-Intel collaboration, minister of state for science and technology YS Chowdary said, "I hope global experience will come in handy to tackle local challenges".

The programme will be administered by the Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF). This will eventually lead to development and deployment of low-cost, low-power, autonomous wireless sensor networks to provide a fine-grained view of several critical water and air quality metrics over large geographic areas (cities, rivers and watersheds).

The minister said this programme was very critical for the restoration, conservation and preservation of the environment. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top priority is being given to R & D in science and technology to come out with appropriate solutions to challenges facing the nation", he said.

These online sensor networks for river water and air quality monitoring will provide the pre-remedial quality status. It is expected that the real time data will significantly strengthen and complement the missions of national priority like Namami Gange Programme and others by serving as critical data feeders for pre and post treatment analysis.

"Such networks may also eventually replace the current paradigm of environmental quality management via localized stations. The development of such an Internet of Things (IoT)-based solution will require innovations in sensor technology for miniaturized platforms for continuous, always-connected multi-modal sensing, ultra-low power radios for efficient communication and energy harvesting technologies to enable very long or perpetual operation of sensor nodes", said a statement of the ministry of science and technology.

It said, "These key blocks will need to be woven together by a data analytics framework that spans edge devices, gateways and cloud-based analytics, to enable inferencing and sense-making in a low-latency manner".