Tuesday, Jun 10, 2003
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By K. Ramachandran
The focussed area of activity is `Herbal Sciences', under which several departments and divisions will be implementing projects. This year, some of the research projects in the focussed area are to be started as also work on modernising libraries on the four university campuses. Resource bases and facilities to access the distributed resources will be created and an `informatics, and data and knowledge management centre established with available funds. The proposals for the year were approved by the Syndicate, which met on Friday.
Although it has been two years since the UGC identified the university as one of the five ``universities with potential for excellence'' - each in one focussed area of activity - the scheme was `re-oriented' as mandated by the Commission last year. The UGC will give Rs.30 crores over a 5-year period. The UGC's review committee visited the university in October 2002 and recommended a modified proposal with 30 per cent of the mandated funds going to the `focussed area' and 70 per cent for its overall development.
In `Herbal Sciences', 37 peer-reviewed research projects, costing Rs.1.85 crores, were approved. The focussed area would also get a fillip with the university approving an allocation of another Rs.7.15 crores to establish a common instrumentation centre with a sophisticated laboratory and equipment. This facility will promote research and development among not only the staff and students but also outsiders, according to university officials.
Various other R and D projects have been approved under the overall development, including 10 projects in biomedical research, and purchase of new materials (costing Rs.50 lakhs).
Another 40 lakhs would go to revival of the Tamil lexicon compilation. A Rs.1-crore project would go to network all departments and providing Internet connectivity to all faculty members. Library modernisation on all four campuses would get Rs.3.8 crores.
Part-time work for students
The Vice-Chancellor, S. Ignacimuthu, said Rs.50 lakhs would be set apart to help students take up part-time work under a ``earn while you learn scheme''; another Rs. 1 crore would go to establish a corpus, interest from which would be used to provide scholarships to poor students.
Dr. Ignacimuthu said Rs.11.2 crores would go towards construction of buildings including a student amenities centre, building of an instrumentation building, and additional floors on the Guindy campus and classrooms on the Chepauk campus; hostel buildings on the Taramani campus, sport facilities for women on the Chetput campus.
New Controller of exams
The Vice-Chancellor said the Syndicate also ratified the selection of V. Balu as the new Controller of Examinations. He is now the head of the Commerce department, D.B. Jain College, Chennai.
The Syndicate gave its nod for starting two new self-supporting programmes, M.Sc in Electronic Media (under the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication) and M.Sc in Bioinformatics (to be offered under the faculty of Biochemistry). Both would have an initial intake of 20 students. The SC/ST candidates selected would get 50 per cent fee concession.
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