Date:03/05/2005 URL:
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Nano tech centre being planned

Madras University plans to set up a Rs.17-crore Nano Technology and Nano Sciences Centre here. A proposal to this effect was awaiting clearance from the Tamil Nadu Government, the university Vice-Chancellor, S.P. Thyagarajan, told reporters last week. The centre would offer postgraduate and doctorate programmes in this area, he said.

Referring to the memorandum of understanding entered with two other oldest universities in the country, Mumbai and Kolkata Universities, he said in the area of nano technology and sciences programme there would be collaboration among the three universities.

The three universities signed an MoU last week in the presence of the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

He said under the collaboration, the Madras University would concentrate on nano-biometrics, Kolkata on nano-chemical materials and Mumbai on nano-nuclear materials. Mr. Thyagarajan said joint degree programme between Mumbai and Chennai universities would commence from 2005-06 academic year, while joint programmes between Chennai and Kolkata would begin from the next academic year.

He said the universities had submitted a joint proposal seeking Rs.57 crores from the Union Planning Commission and a sanction of Rs.30 crores had been made. He said under the joint degree programmes, Kolkata and Madras universities would take the area of physics, genetics biotechnology, anthropology, public administration and history.

Helping rural communities

The United Nations food agency has launched online educational and learning tools to provide Governments, voluntary organisations and public with guidance on helping rural communities improve their livelihood. This is part of a campaign by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to help achieve the Millennium Development Goal of slashing world hunger and poverty to half by 2015.

The tool kit is a valuable resource for all those whose daily work consists of training the rural poor in food and nutrition, local knowledge systems, agro-biodiversity, food quality and safety, rural finance, marketing, forestry, fisheries, communication and other related issues, FAO said.

It will help policy-makers to implement education programmes and improve the quality level of education in rural areas, said Lavinia Gasperini, an FAO expert.

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