Birla Institute of Technology & Science

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani
K K Birla Goa Campus
NH – 17B, Zuarinagar
Goa – 403726 – India

Role in the project

BITS will be the Indian coordination centre for the Drinking water work package of PANIWATER project. This will include coordinating and managing governance structures & reporting requirements associated with the project.
WP2: LC-MS detection of pollutants in sewage wastewater, Advanced oxidation technologies for the removal of CEC, ARB&ARGs, Design/construction of pilot plants to be tested in India (optimum technologies); Optimization of the operation of the Indian pilot plants.
WP3: WP leader: Indian coordinator of all Drinking Water activities; Design of FAU and TJC prototypes; Evaluation of the prototypes; Prototypes assessment under Indian field conditions.


Dr. Halan Prakash, PhD.

Halan Prakash is currently working as an Associate Professor at BITS, Pilani, K K Birla Goa campus. He joined BITS in 2008. At BITS-Pilani, Goa, Prakash is teaching courses related to Photochemistry, Instrumental Methods of Analysis, Analytical Chemistry, and Environmental Chemistry. He has guided three PhD students at BITS-Pilani, Goa in the broad areas of research related to peroxide based AOPs for degradation of organic pollutants, and recoverable solid inorganic photoactive complexes for visible light inactivation of bacteria in water. He has successfully completed projects received from DBT, Indiaunder Rapid Grants for Young Investigators (RGYI) scheme, and from Aditya Birla Group, India for research work, in the interdisciplinary areas of Photochemical and Photobiological sciences related to the photodynamic action of microbes and environmental remediation methods involving the degradation of pollutants in water. Halan Prakash’s current research is focused on development advanced oxidation process for removal of bacteria in water, degradation of organic contaminants, synthesis of photoactive materials, and light emitting diodes (LEDs) sources for photoinduced processes. He has more than 25 publications in peer reviewed journals. His work on Ruthenium complexes photoexciation with LED was highlighted as a front page cover article in Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, Royal Society of Chemistry, publications (2013). He has one Indian patent published on immobilisation of photosensitizer for disinfection (2017), and filed a patent on adsorbents modified with antimicrobial agents (2016) for water treatment, and presented papers at more than 20 conferences. He has been a visiting faculty at University of Tartu, Estonia, under excellence in analytical chemistry (EACH) of Erasmus+ programme, EU (2016). He has also been as a visiting faculty at University of Cyprus, and NIREAS-ICWR, Cyprus sponsored by BITS Pilani (2017). Currently, he is an executive member of the Society of Environmental Chemistry and Allied Sciences (SECAS), India, and also an invited affiliate member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. In 2016, he acted as the convenor, for the fourth International Conference on Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP-2016), and also acted as a Guest Editor in Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, Elsevier publications, for the special issue AOP-2016 publication. He has is a part of the team, leading the establishment of analytical facilities such as LC-MS, UV-Vis, IR, TOC, HPLC , Microbiology lab, at BITS, Goa for the characterization of environmental research samples, and degradation of pollutants.

Dr. Meenal Kowshik, PhD

Dr. Meenal Kowshik received her M.Sc in Microbiology from Goa University in 1997. She worked on the biological synthesis of metallic and metal sulfide nanoparticles using yeastsat Agarkar Research Institute, and obtained her Ph.D. degree from Pune University (1999–2003). Subsequently, she joined Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani-K. K.Birla Goa Campus, and is currently working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. Her research interests include studies on biofunctionalization of silver based nanocomposites with antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity for environmental and biomedical applications; studies on hydroxyapatite based nanocomposites for bioimaging and gene delivery applications in prokaryotic as well as eukaryotic systems; synthesis of biocompatible chitin and chitosan based bilayer scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. She is also working in the area of interactions of nanomaterials and microorganisms with respect to nanomaterial synthesis and toxicity, with special emphasis on halophilic archaebacteria. She has received research grants from Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences and published about 40 papers in peer reviewed International and National journals. Five students have been awarded their PhD under her guidance.

Dr. Sharad M. Sontakke, PhD

Dr. Sharad Sontakke is working as an Assistant Professor in Department of Chemical Engineering at BITS Pilani KK Birla Goa Campus since August 2017. He has received his Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. After his PhD, he worked at Department of Chemical Engineering at Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai as a DAE-ICT Scientist (Asst. Prof. grade) between April 2012 to Aug 2013 and later as a DST INSPIRE faculty (Asst. Prof. grade) between August 2013 to July 2017.. His research interests include catalyst synthesis and its application, solar cells, water treatment, polymeric and ceramic membranes, waste to value added materials, etc. He also provides consultancy for designing equipment, environmental audits, adequacy of pollution control systems, process intensification, etc. He was closely associated with the industry and has provided consultancy services to at least 6 industries in order to resolve their issues. He has 13 publications in international peer reviewed journals, 1 book chapter, 1 patent and 11 conference proceedings to his credit. He is currently guiding 3 PhD and 1 Master student. He has guided 1 PhD (thesis in review) and 4 Masters students in the past 5 years.