From being a daily wage earner, to winning a distinguished grant for his research project – this is Sanjay Latthe, the man who never let financial constraints come in the way of his education.
30-year-old Sanjay Latthe was once a daily wage earner in his hometown Sangola, located in Solapur district of Maharashtra. Today, has been selected for the prestigious INSPIRE award by the Centre’s Department of Science and Technology.
As part of the award, Sanjay will receive a Rs. 35 lakh research grant and a monthly stipend of Rs. 80,000, to take his research project forward.
Picture for representation only. Source: Flickr
According to the department’s website, “Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the Department of Science & Technology for attraction of talent to science. The basic objective of INSPIRE is to communicate to the youth of the country the excitements of creative pursuit of science, attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus build the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base.” The program includes students in the age group 10-32 years.
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An alumnus of Shivaji University in Kolhapur, Sanjay has been granted the award for his research on optically-transparent and durable nanoparticles. He has been working on this research project for the past 8 years.
“It can achieve a breakthrough in the way we interact with basic things. For example, we have automobiles with wipers on their windshields. However, if we are able to use nano-particle coating on the glass, it will become water repellent and we will not need wipers. If iron objects receive super-hydrophobic coatings, they will not rust at all,” said Sanjay while explaining his project to The Times of India.
As of now, he is working on increasing the durability of the nanoparticle coating. While he has achieved durability of 30-50 days, he is aiming for permanent durability, for which more research is required. Sanjay has published 44 international research papers on this topic, and has also presented it at 15 research seminars across the world.
After losing his father at a very young age, Sanjay and his family – his mother, two elder sisters and one elder brother, had to work hard to make ends meet. Having very few sources of income, everyone in the family had to earn. His mother used to do some embroidery work. But Sanjay never let monetary constraints come in the way of his education.
He joined SUK in 2005 for his MSc, and in 2007 he also enrolled for a Ph.D. After this he got a chance to work as a post-doctoral research fellow in Istanbul, Turkey, and a research professor at Korea University in South Korea. He is currently working as an assistant professor at the department of technology in Savitribai Phule Pune University.