The Joint Network Centre (JNC) for the development of Environmental Cyber Physical Systems will impact significantly to improve the rural empowerment. Further, such device and system development ecosystem will generate a synergy to work together and establish a self-sustainable center in India.


Focal Point (IIT Indore)

Coordinator: Dr. Santosh Kumar Vishvakarma, IIT Indore

Co-Coordinator: Dr. Ajay Kumar Kushwaha, IIT Indore

Members from Associated Institutes:

Dr. Jai Gopal Pandey, CSIR-CEERI Pilani

Dr. Bhupendra Singh Reniwal, IIITDM Kancheepuram

Dr. Ambika Prasad Shah, IIT Jammu

Shri Jayaraj U Kidav, NIELIT Calicut

Dr. Vaibhav Neema, IET-DAVV Indore

Role and Responsibility: Major responsibility of this focal point and node would be to deal with architecture, circuit design and associated hardware/software implementation on various IoT/GPU and FPGA platforms with RTOS. The circuit and system design area majorly fall in the fields of artificial intelligence with edge computing and ML accelerators, in-memory computing, readout and peripheral circuits with advanced security and reliability aspects. A set of ASICs would be taped-out in each year and their subsequent post-silicon testing and validation of the implemented chips would be done. Final system integration with developed sensors nodes and signal conditioning circuits would be performed for realizing the proposed system. Field trials and data analytics of the developed CPS would also be one of the responsibilities of this node.

Node-1 (IIT Roorkee)

Coordinator: Dr. Sachin Kumar Srivastava, IIT Roorkee

Members from Associated Institutes:

Dr. Ajay Kumar Kushwaha, IIT Indore

Dr. Hemen K. Kalita, Guwahati University

Role and Responsibility: This node will work on the ‘design and development of sensors’ work package of the Joint National Center. Activities of this node will be towards development of photonic, electrochemical and resistive sensors - primarily focusing, but not limited, to detection of pollutants in water, soil moisture, pH and nutrients, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants (POPs, such as polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) and polybromobisphenyls (PBBs)), etc. The objectives will be towards development of an indigenous kit of multi-sensor platform for simultaneous, point of care detection of multiple analytes of interest. The photonic sensors have drawn huge interest over a couple of decades due to high sensitivity, miniaturization and reduced maintenance costs. We wish to focus on design and simulation of hybrid photonic/plasmonic nanostructured films for optimum sensing performance. With two material scientists on board, this node envisages to develop novel hybrid materials both for photonic and electrochemical/resistive sensors. Once these sensors are materialized, this node will work in synergy with partner Nodes and Focal points to develop machine learning and data mining algorithms to detect the analytes of interest in complex analyte matrices. Further, synergistic activities towards the validation of performance of these sensors in various ambient conditions and real –life working conditions will be performed.

The photonic sensors such as those based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR), LSPR, surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), surface enhanced fluorescence (SEF), extra-ordinary optical transmission (EOT) etc. will be studied and developed as per the analyte of interest.

Electrochemical sensing of water pollutants is another area of expertise of this node and it provides the simplest way to detect various heavy elements present in water (primarily used in agriculture and farming). Even the ionic states of the metallic pollutants can also be identified, which is very useful to understand the severity of pollutants. The group will work to develop nano materials-based electrodes for heavy metal sensing. Inorganic nano-materials or hybrid materials will be in focus and the synthesis will be carried out using hot-injection methods and hydrothermal approach. The electrode materials will be further designed and integrated to develop the mini-electrochemical sensors (small size systems in the size range of mobile sim cards) based on the three electrode systems. The amperometric and open circuit based electrochemical device will be developed and these sensors will be a kind of complimentary of those sensors which are developed using optical techniques.

In the last few decades, the study of soil moisture content has been escalating because of its significant impact on the hydrological and ecological systems. Furthermore, the mechanical properties such as cracking, swelling, shrinking and density of the soil are also dependent upon its moisture content and hence soil moisture can be an indicator for environmental pollution. Expertise in the field of working on developing cost-effective and high sensitive soil moisture sensors using very exciting 2D carbon-based material: graphene and its derivatives will enable us to work on this objective. This group is already working on the improvement of the sensitivity along with the detection of the different ions (sodium chloride, potassium chloride, cobalt chloride, copper chloride, and cadmium chloride) in the soil with good selectivity by incorporating various functional groups in the sensing material. Moreover, different forms of graphene-based adsorbent membranes and sponges have been used for removal of contaminants from wastewater.

Node-2 (IIT-BHU Varanasi)

Coordinator: Dr. Sanjeev Sharma, IIT (BHU) Varanasi

Members from Associated Institutes:

Prof. Vimal Bhatia, IIT Indore

Prof. R. B. Pachori, IIT Indore

Dr. M. Sabarimalai Manikandan, IIT Bhubaneshwar

Role and Responsibility: This node will help in the design and development of signal processing, machine learning and communication part of the proposed center. Wireless communication is one of the most vibrant and fast-growing area in communication technology today. There is an emergence of newer technologies for various communication and computing applications ranging from 3G/4G/5G cellular communication, indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi, satellite television, imaging and localization, radio frequency identification applications and many more. The proliferation of wireless devices and the increasing number of high quality emerging wireless services have raised the demand for spectral bandwidth along with the requirement for high data rate transmission. Wireless communication technology is moving towards 5G, and many technologies such as massive multi-input and multi-output (MIMO), non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), and mm-wave communications have been proposed as promising enablers. However, there seem to be significant limitations in the capability to efficiently and flexibly handle the massive amount of quality-of-service (QoS)-oriented data that will be exchanged in a future big-data-driven society, where super high data rate and almost zero latency requirements will be essential. Therefore, efficient signal processing and machine learning algorithms will be explored to design and develop for cyber-physical systems in this project by considering futuristic applications. To characterize and analyse the data ML/AI based techniques would be developed and explored.

Node 3 (IIT Kharagpur)

Coordinator: Dr. Peeyush Soni, IIT Kharagpur

Members from Associated Institutes:

Prof. G. S. Murthy, IIT Indore

Dr. Manish Kumar Goyal, IIT Indore

Prof. S. Prakash, IET-DAVV Indore

Role and Responsibility: This node will pitch in with Agriculture & Environmental Monitoring as the nodal theme, which will comprise, but not limited to, water quality monitoring, soil nutrients detection, crop health and pest infestation detection - among others. Agriculture is undergoing an evolution. Technology is becoming an indispensable part of every commercial farm, which possibly leads the next agricultural revolution in the country. New precision agriculture technologies - strengthened with AI/ML - allow farmers to maximize yields by controlling key variables of crop farming such as moisture levels, pest stress, soil conditions, and micro-climates through automation. Furthermore, right from land preparation, inter-cultural operations, fertigation, spraying, crop dressing/care, to harvesting of crops, storing and marketing- are enjoying the benefits of ‘precision operations’ and automation. By providing more accurate techniques for planting and growing crops, such technologies enable farmers to increase efficiency and manage costs. At the same time, sustainability in agriculture is increasing its importance as the sector is impacted by rising production costs, increasing environmental footprint, increasing dependence on fossil-fuel based mechanization and food security requirements, as well as customer demand for better quality/healthier products. Meeting these challenges requires farming enterprises to cut costs, increase production, reduce environmental impacts and become more effective – through utilizing the powers of information and advanced technologies. Therefore, the Node-3 activities will primarily revolve around exploring the agricultural applications of different sensors (e.g. hyperspectral, XRF, NIR, RGB, LIDAR, and stereo-vision) as well as design and develop sensor-platforms for automatic/semi-automatic navigation to scout the field.

South Korea:

Focal Point (Incheon National University)

Coordinator: Dr. Sung Hun Jin, Incheon National University

Co-Coordinator: Dr. Junyoung Song, Incheon National University


Dr. Junyoung Song, Incheon National University

Dr. Taehui Na, Incheon National University

Node 1 (Korea University)

Coordinator: Dr. Chulwoo Kim, Korea University

Role and Responsibility: Advanced Integrated Systems Laboratory is interested in the areas of cutting edge mixed-mode IC design and next generation VLSI design, and energy efficient system design. Major projects include energy harvesting for IoTs, data converters for sensing and communications, near threshold computing, high-bandwidth wireline transceivers for data center, and circuits for cryptography and security. These backgrounds will match well with IIT researchers to boost up the synergy.

Node 2 (Sookmyung University)

Coordinator: Dr. Woong Choi, Sookmyung Women's University

Role and Responsibility: The primary goal of the VLSI & System Laboratory at Sookmyung Women’s University is to develop core technologies for low-power, high-performance and reliable integrated systems. The research area is in digital and mixed-signal circuit/system design in advanced technologies. Our research team’s effort focuses on the cooperative field of device/circuit/architecture/algorithm for designing high performance, low-power and reliable VLSI systems.