In the 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. It is proposed to establish an India Centre for Lab grown Diamond (InCent-LGD) at IIT Madras with the estimated cost of ₹242.96 crore over 5 years.
Project appraisal committee under the Chair of Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal has recommended the proposal, which has been approved by the Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce & Industry, Textiles, Food & Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs. Budget support will be provided during the course of next five years.
The aim of this project is to provide, in mission mode, technical assistance to the industries, and entrepreneurs in the country, in promote indigenous manufacturing of both Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and High Pressure and High Temperature (HPHT) systems along with the recipes for expanding the Lab Grown Diamond (LGD) business at the upstream end. 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).
Besides the jewellery industry, lab-grown diamonds are used in computer chips, satellites, 5G networks as they can be used in extreme environments due to their potential to operate at higher speeds while using less power than silicon-based chips. 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.