Saturday, February 24, 2007


Mohali to be new knowledge centre for north India

Mohali to be new knowledge centre for north India

Chetan Chauhan

New Delhi, February 23, 2007

What Bangalore is for south India, Mohali would soon be for northern India - a hub for multi-level knowledge base with five educational institutes and a biotechnology park.

An ambitious plan prepared by the government to be implemented in the next five years have HRD ministry, Science and Technology ministry and Punjab government as collaborators. "Entire proposal is in the final stages of approval as the Punjab government has been asked to provide adequate land for the national knowledge project," a senior government official told HT.

The approval process started on Thursday with the Union Cabinet approving setting up of Rs 100 crore Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Mohali. By doing this, the government has fulfilled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s commitment of an IISER in the town.

The PM’s plan has got further boost with ministry of Science and Technology deciding to open National Institute of Nano-Technology and National Institute of Bio-Technology in Mohali. "The proposals in this regard would be forwarded for Cabinet consideration soon," a senior government official said.

The Punjab government has been asked by the Centre to open a management school through public-private partnership model in Mohali. They have also been asked to provide land for developing national biotechnology park. The existing National Institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research will be part of the new ‘knowledge campus’.

According to a senior government official, all the five institutes will come up in one huge campus with common residential, library, sports, broadband and hostel facilities. To make it a true learning centre and attract best talent, the government has recommended residential facilities, with Internet facilities, for all students and teachers.

A sub-group headed by former education secretary BS Baswan has recommended a flexible recruitment policy for the campus and complete employment opportunities for students.

The report submitted in December 2006 entails that teachers would get salary higher than the government pay scales, extra honorarium for research projects and opportunities for visiting foreign universities, in a bid to attract best teaching talent. The group has also recommended that the new knowledge centre should have tie-ups with foreign universities to hire faculty of Indian origin on semesters basis.

For students, the group had recommended better interaction with industry with emphasis on future employment avenues.

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