The Cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for setting up an academy of scientific and innovative research that will offer instruction and degrees in the frontier areas of science and technology.

The bill to set up the academy will be introduced in the coming session of Parliament.

Envisioned as a world-class institution, the academy will primarily focus on research and training that are not ordinarily offered by the existing universities. Its curricula, pedagogy and evaluation will be innovative and aimed at creating highest quality personnel in cross disciplinary areas.

The academy will operate on the hub-and-spoke model, with campuses in 37 CSIR laboratories linked through the National Knowledge Network, which had approved by the Cabinet.

The academy will tap the CSIR's resources and facilities to operate on a self-sustaining mode. The recurring expenses will be Rs.19.10 crore during the 11th Plan and Rs.61.79 crore in the 12th Plan. There will be no need for capital expenditure.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that there was a shortage of institutions that offered Ph.D. and other advanced courses in such areas. The academy would take advantage of the CSIR's state-of-the-art infrastructure and scientific manpower.

The academy, to be headquartered at Noida, is expected to produce 1,000 Ph.D.s in science and technology and 120 in engineering every year, from the fifth year of its operation.

The CSIR has 4,500 scientists in diverse branches of science and engineering, and 2,500 of them could effectively be utilised for the activities of the academy.

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