24 Feb 2023

Diamonds To Be Grown In Labs: How The Proposed Centre At IIT Madras Help In The Growth Of Business?

New Delhi: Under the scheme proposed in this year's budget to encourage trade and export of lab-grown diamonds (LDG), the Indian Institute of Technology- Madras (IIT-Madras) has been given a grant of Rs 242.96 crore for developing a research centre.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, this amount of grant will be given in five years. This will lead to setting up of the Indian Laboratory Generated Diamond Center (INCent-LDG) at IIT Madras.

In Union Budget 23-24, a five-year research grant for one of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) was announced to encourage the indigenous production of lab-grown diamonds (LGD) machinery, seeds and recipe.

It has been decided to give this project to IIT- Madras after a joint determination of its capabilities by a joint committee of Government, export promotion council and Industry representatives. 

The aim of this project is to provide technical assistance to the industries, and entrepreneurs to promote indigenous manufacturing of Lab Grown Diamond (LGD) and expand its business. 

Technology will be available to start-ups at affordable cost

Research efforts would make the technology available for start ups at affordable cost, increase employment opportunities, increase exports of LGD thus play a significant role in fuelling India’s economic growth.

The Gems and Jewellery sector plays a significant role in the Indian economy, contributing around 9% to India’s total merchandise export.

Over the past decade, there has been several positive developments in the Gem & Jewellery sector globally. One of the major technological developments in this sector has been Laboratory-grown diamonds (LGD).

Lab-grown diamonds are also used in computer chips, satellites, 5G network etc.

Besides the jewellery industry, lab-grown diamonds are used in computer chips, satellites, 5G networks  LGD has vast application in field of defence, optics, jewellery, thermal & medical industry.

Globally, the market stood at $1 billion in 2020, the lab-grown diamond jewellery market is expected to rapidly rise to $ 5 billion by 2025 and exceed $ 15 billion by 2035.

Lab grown diamonds are produced through 2 technologies, namely High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). India is one of the leading producers of lab grown diamonds using CVD technology.

We have to depend on other countries for supply of critical machinery components 

As per industry estimates, India’s share in global trade in the financial year 2021-22 was 25.8%. However, we have to depend on other countries for the supply of critical machinery components and ‘seeds’ — which are the raw material for producing synthetic diamonds.

It is, therefore, imperative that India develops its own, indigenous technology for producing the critical machinery components seeds to remove the import dependence that we have in the case of natural diamonds. 

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