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Made in Kanpur, assurance of IIT: Swasa mask got PM’s stamp

When the Covid-19 crisis was peaking, there was one commodity that was in the highest demand. Realizing the immense need for face masks and to counter an impending shortage, IIT-Kanpur stepped up and began production of N95 and N99 face masks on its campus.

In doing so, it became the first institute in the country to take such an initiative. Realising the requirement, the institute set a target to manufacture 25,000 face masks per day.

The task was taken up by its Startup Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC) in collaboration with E-Spin Nanotech and Indeema Fibres as well as IIT-K faculty members Prof Sri Sivakumar, Prof Ramkumar, Prof Raja Angamuthu, Prof Gopakumar, and senior scientific officers Dr Manish Kulkarni and Dr Prabhat Dwivedi.

This was the first-of-its-kind initiative by any IIT or a business incubator of an academic institution, IIT-K said.

“Face masks have become the absolute basic necessity in protecting the public against Covid-19 and no one should have to compromise on this because of availability or affordability. We are thankful to E-Spin Nanotech, Indeema Fibres and our faculty for stepping up to the challenge of making masks and taking them to public,” said IIT-K director Prof Abhay Karandikar.

“There are many products flooding the market but being able to trust the product is very important for a customer. We have been continuously working for social benefit and providing safe and tested products,” said Sandip Patil, director of E-Spin Nanotech.

“The production line is completely automated to prevent contamination during manufacturing. The masks are available to general public at a very affordable price on the company’s website as well as prominent e-commerce platforms,” Patil added.

The proudest moment for the team was perhaps when Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore an N95 mask, named ‘Swasa’, developed by IIT-K, during the Ram temple bhoomipujan ceremony in Ayodhya.

The team was on cloud nine, learning that the PM chose Swasa.

SIIC had posted this on its Facebook account had shared images of the PM wearing Swasa mask.

“Our team was delighted to have spotted hon’ble @PMOIndia @narendramodi wearing Swasa N95 mask during #AyodhyaBhoomipoojan. It was a great testimony to the quality & potential of Indian startups & innovations,” SIIC had written.