Centre for Desert Development Technologies

Centre for Desert Development Technologies

The need for a green sustainable world has never been as sharply felt as it is today. The conservation and judicious use of natural resources for economic upliftment, employment generation and alleviating social inequalities is the raison d’ etre of the Centre. We carry our research in the following areas:

  • The efficient use of water, land reclamation and rehabilitation.

  • Developing affordable technologies to efficiently deliver and monitor water for irrigation use by employing sensor network and microcontrollers.

  • Developing Science and Technology for soil conservation and fertility improvement.

  • Using biotechnology: tissue culture, genetic engineering and biofertilization for increased food production, livestock and bio-diversity.

  • Develop technologies to harness non-conventional energy sources like solar energy for agriculture and human habitat.

  • Educating, training, demonstrating, evaluating, and documenting technologies for sustainable desert development.


Water resources are fast diminishing world wide and the quality of the available water has also deteriorated over time. There is a need to conserve this important natural resource through education, training, technology driven systems approach, etc. Israel and some other countries have done pioneering work in the area of desert development technologies. The Ben Gurion University in Israel has developed technologies for conservation of water in irrigation, particularly the drip irrigation systems. In India, some companies have taken know how from Israel for the production of drip irrigation systems.Further, rapid developments have taken place in integrated computer based sensors and associated wireless systems. By developing wireless sensor systems, a higher level of sensor technology is possible. Tissue culture and biotechnology have revolutionised the development of new variety of plants, etc. Thus there is a need to develop advanced technologies in this area for conservation of water, energy etc. and improve productivity.


Experience In The Area

  • Rain Water Harvesting projects sponsored by RANA (Rajasthan Association of North America) are already in progress. Further experimentation for making the stored water suitable for drinking, well recharging and other purposes are in progress.
  • The development of intelligent sensors and computer controlled system for irrigation purposes has already been undertaken under a Microsoft sponsored project.
  • Tissue culture and biotechnology based developments have been undertaken from time to time.
  • Many projects on Non-Conventional Energy Sources are already in progress and can be integrated with the proposed project.
  • Many other projects on watershed development, water testing, training of manpower, etc. have been carried out in the past
  • Energy efficient house: For the purpose four rooms were constructed with different architectural/ structural elements. Observations were made for three years in terms of room temperature. Results were compared among static sub shade, cavity walls, and hollow roofs with other modifications.
  • Solar house was integrated with rain water harvesting scheme and tank of capacity four lacs litre was constructed; extended area around tank is created to harness more rainwater and other roof tops were connected
  • Papers were published in International and National Journals and conferences of High repute.


New Projects that have been initiated are:

Recycling and desalination of gray water for irrigation purposes.

Assessment of Groundwater resources in the Shekhawati Area using Remote Sensing data and Geographical Information systems.

Development of Aloe Vera processing.

Impact of desertification on nomadic populations and vice versa .

Exchange visits of BITS Alumni and Faculty and BGU/BIDR Faculty

Several exchange visits of BITS Alumni and Faculty and BGU/BIDR Faculty have taken place. A Memorandum Of Understanding between the two institutions has been signed. In addition to exchange of ideas and expertise, joint projects are being undertaken. Some examples are:

  • A paper on rainwater harvesting implementation was presented at the recent International Water conference in Israel by Prof. Rajiv Gupta.
  • A joint study on Nomadic populations of Israel and India is being funded by BGU. Prof. Nirupama Prakash will be going to Israel during the coming summer for carrying out this study.

A technology driven systems approach integrating various disciplines will be followed in the project. Specifically, the following steps are identified:

  • The drip irrigation systems currently in practice in the country will be studied and a comparative study of systems developed in Israel will also be undertaken.
  • Prototype of a wireless sensor based drip irrigation system will be developed and field tested.
  • A computer controlled intelligent water resource management network will be developed and tested.
  • Rainwater harvesting structures and the sensor based irrigation and water management systems will be field tested in the Institute.
  • Tissue culture and biotechnology techniques will be used for developing low water consuming plants, propagation of certain plant species, herbal plantation, etc. and the new system will be tested for irrigation needs of the plants.
  • Operation and maintenance manual will be developed for the new system.
  • Field demonstrations and training will be undertaken


Our faculty have extensive experience in industry, research as well as teaching. Our strength is a reflection of their skills, innovation and drive.

List of Faculty Members

Email Address
Prof. Rajiv Gupta
Coordinator, C-DDT
Shri Gyanendra Singh
Chairman, Category Management Inc, Houston, TX, USA
Shri Shiv N. Sanwal
MD, Atlas Fine Chemical Pvt. Ltd., Nasik Road Maharashtra
Shri K. C. Sacheti
Chairman, Galaxy USA, New York, USA
Shri Pradeep Bishnoi
OSD, OCL India Ltd., New Delhi

BITS Alumni Supporting the Project

Mr. Gyanendra Singh :
B.E. (Chem. Engg.), BITS (1968)
M.S. Chem. Engg.), and M.B.A. from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, IL, USA
President, Category Management Inc, Houston, USA
Involved in teaching in Business Schools in USA

Mr S. N. Sanwal :
B.E. (Chem. Engg.), BITS (1968)
Worked in USA for many years at Rhone – Poulence
Now has opened a Chemical Company in Maharashtra at Nasik Road
Mr. Kushal Sacheti :
B.E. (Chem. Engg.), BITS (1968)
Has been in USA for long time and now owns diamond and gems wholesale company in New York, USA