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IISER Researchers develop Gelator to scoop out marine oil spills

Researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Thiruvananthapuram have developed a compound named gelator to scoop out marine oil spills.

They had produced gelators using glucose as a starting material and through several other chemical reactions.

How it works?

  • The gelator molecule is partly hydrophilic and partly hydrophobic. The hydrophilic part helps in self-assembling to form gelator fibres, while the hydrophobic part is responsible for its diffusion into oil layer.
  • Since outer part of the fibre is hydrophobic, oil tends to gets into spongy network made of fibres. Once inside the fibre network, oil loses fluidity and becomes a gel. The gel was strong enough to be scooped with a spatula.

What are the advantages?

  • Gelator has ability to selectively congeal oil, including crude oil from an oil-water mixture. It makes the process of recovering marine oil spills simple, efficient and cost-effective.
  • It is in a powder form and can be easily applied over oil-water mixture. It does not cause any environmental damage.
  • It can be recovered oil from oil-water mixture and can be reused several times. But in the case of crude oil, the gelator can’t be recycled.


Union Cabinet gives approval to IISER, Berhampur in Odisha

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to formation of the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) at Berhampur in Odisha.

IISER, Berhampur will be established under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and it will start of its 2016-17 academic session from 1 August 2016.

It will being its operations from a transit or temporary campus from the Academic Year 2016-17 for the initial three years i.e. till 2016-19.

Union Cabinet also gave approval for introduction of National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016.

This bill will pave way for inclusion of IISER, Tirupati and IISER, Berhampur in Second Schedule of National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (NITSER) Act, 2007.


  • The IISER have been declared as Institutes of National Importance under the NITSER Act, 2012. These Institutes are envisaged to carry out research in areas of science and provide quality science education at Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate level.
  • Earlier, there were five IISERs at Pune, Kolkata, Bhopal, Mohali and Thiruvananthapuram. In 2015, new IISER was started at Tirupati.
  • IISER, Berhampur comes in line with the announcement made by Union Finance Minister in his Budget Speech (2015) for setting up of an IISER in Odisha.


Union Cabinet gives nod to operationalisation of IISER Tirupati

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for operationalisation of new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

The operationalisation IISER Tirupati will commence from the Academic Year of 2015-16 from a transit or temporary campus.


  • Union Government had decided to establish an IISER, an Institute of National Importance, in the residual State of Andhra Pradesh.
  • This decision was taken after bifurcating of the then State of Andhra Pradesh to the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana in 2014.
  • Consequently, Andhra Pradesh Government had earmarked 244 acres of land in Yerpedu Mandal for construction of the permanent campus of IISER, Tirupati.
  • It was also decided to commence its functioning from the academic session of 2015-16 from the transit campus at Sree Rama Engineering College, Tirupati.

About Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER)

  • IISERs are a group of most premier statutory science education and research institutes in India of national importance and are intended to be the IITs of basic sciences.
  • These institutes were created under The National Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2010 (an amendment of the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007).
  • Presently there are 5 IISERs in operational namely IISER Kolkata (West Bengal), Pune (Maharashtra), Mohali (Punjab), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala).