IIT Madras to get Rs 242 cr grant for research on Lab Grown Diamonds

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IIT Madras to get Rs 242 cr grant for research on Lab Grown Diamonds

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras will be provided a grant of Rs 242 crore over a period of five years to carry out research on Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD).

An overview of the news

  • It will encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds, machines and reduce import dependence.

  • The research will focus on indigenization of the LGD manufacturing process.

  • Presenting the Union Budget 2023-24, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that "Laboratory grown diamonds (LGD) is a technology and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential.

  • The government has proposed to cut duty on import of 'seeds', used as raw material for lab-grown diamonds.

About Lab-Grown Diamonds

  • Lab-grown diamonds are diamonds that are produced using specific technology that mimics the geological processes that grow natural diamonds.

  • These eco-friendly diamonds have optically and chemically similar properties to natural diamonds.

  • LGDs are chemically, physically and optically similar to natural diamonds and thus it is difficult to identify "lab-grown" diamonds.

Significance of LGDs

  • LGD is often used for industrial purposes, in machines and equipment.

  • Their hardness and added strength make them ideal for use as cutters.

  • Additionally, pure synthetic diamond has high thermal conductivity, but negligible electrical conductivity.

  • As the Earth's natural diamond reserves dwindle, LGDs are slowly replacing the precious stones in the jewellery industry.

  • Like natural diamonds, LGDs go through the same processes of polishing and cutting that are required to provide diamonds their distinctive lustre.

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