Saturday, January 06, 2007


200 crores each for 10 selected universities

DU eyes Rs 200-cr makeover plan

Sonia Sarkar

[ 21 Dec, 2006 2359hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: Soon, you may soon see a few universities on the lines of Oxfords or Harvards in India in the coming years.

Ten universities across the country will get a world-class makeover in terms of laboratories, libraries and other facilities if the proposal made by the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS) and Indian National Science Academy (INSA) gets approved by the Planning Commission in the 11th Five Year plan. A sum of Rs 200 crores will be released to each one of them for the makeover.

The plan proposed that the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) or University Grants Commission (UGC) will invite applications from universities for the scheme.

Later, they will be inspected by experts before the final selection of 10 universities are made for the makeover. And Delhi University (DU) will not be far behind in the race.

"If the plan gets a nod, then we will also bid for it," said DU vice-chancellor Deepak Pental, who was also the member of the committee who prepared the plan. The committee was headed by INSA president R A Mashelkar and IAS president T V Ramakrishnan.

Research will be buzzword in these universities. The report stated that there will be a substantial increase in the recurring expenditure of these universities to maintain the laboratories, instrumentation and computational facilities and databases.

It also said that recurring expenditure on bandwidth, journals and laboratories will have to be increased three to four times over current values and each science department within these universities will require an annual grant of Rs 10 lakh for proper laboratory training of students.

However, to be selected among the top 10, universities should conduct programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and conduct research programmes of the highest standard.

The report also stated that these universities should have an uninterrupted waste and electric supply, waste disposal system and proper computational, internet and library facilities.

In a separate head, the committee has also proposed that special financial assistance should also be provided to at least one university in each state to make it on par with the best central universities in terms of academic standards.

It stated that "each grant of Rs 50 crore may be provided to each university with the stipulation that most of the expenditure should be on teaching, learning and research related activities rather on construction of buildings. And these universities must also strengthen the undergraduate education and be brought on par with central universities."

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