The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, recently received over 50 samples for detection of chemical weapons from the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The samples in the form of soil, water and organic solvents were sent twice a year since 2008 when IICT attained the status of designated laboratory for off-site analysis of weapons.
OPCW had been sending to IICT for analysis only blank samples collected from different parts of the world. Six samples which were coded to hide the identity of the substance and the originating country were sent by courier every six months as part of continuous evaluation of the lab. The report of the institute should be cent per cent accurate to be eligible to get three ‘A’ grades in succession and pass the proficiency test every year.
The institute has already got the proficiency certificate for this year (2013), but it was yet to enter into a technical agreement with OPCW to get authentic on-site samples.It had the technique to identify chemicals at parts per million (PPM) levels. A dedicated centre for analysis of chemical toxins was set up at the institute to attend to OPCW.
The IICT was one of the 21 labs in 17 countries that were designated by OPCW for off-site analysis of chemical weapons.
Apart from IICT, the Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior, under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also one of the 'designated laboratories' of the OPCW.
A 'designated laboratory' has to participate every year in the OPCW proficiency test and consistently attain the 'A' grade benchmark to retain its status. From 2008, IICT has retained its status though it has been associated with OPCW since 1998.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on 11 October 2013 won the Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2013 for its extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.
About Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT)
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, (established in 1989) is a national-level research center located in Hyderabad, India under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India.
IICT conducts research in basic and applied chemistry, biochemistry, bioinformatics, chemical engineering and provides science and technology inputs to the industrial and economic development of the country.
When: 4 November 2013