Study on the vast flora of the country planned

Mahatma Gandhi University has plans to set up a National Institute for Plant Science and Technology and Advanced Molecular Materials Research Centre aimed at stepping up research and learning in these areas.

The university budget for 2012-13 has proposed that the National Institute for Plant Science and Technology (NIPST) will be a unique inter-university centre for education and research in modern areas of plant science and plant-based eco-technologies.

The institute will conduct a five-year integrated postgraduate research programme in ‘Plant Science and Technologies'. Focus areas will include plant medicines, nutraceuticals, sustainable agriculture, phytoremediation and bio-fuels.

The institute will have a medicinal garden, field experimental station, regional herbarium and museum of plants found in the Western Ghats. The objective of the programme is to attract academically brilliant students to study and conduct research on the vast flora of the country.

University authorities said that this centre will help students to apply plant science for sustainable industrial growth of the nation. There will be 10 semesters for the entire course equivalent to M.Sc. and rest of the six semesters of research will be equivalent to Ph D.

Admission to the course will be based on a national level entrance test from among all science graduates who have studied Biology at the Plus Two level. The intake in a batch will be between five and 10. All students will be given postgraduate/research fellowship (Rs. 6,000 per month for first two years and Rs. 12, 000 per month from third year onwards).

The Advanced Molecular Materials Research Centre will be a multidisciplinary centre of molecular materials and it will receive the cooperation of various other schools on the university campus. The centre will undertake advanced research in materials science and provide a range of services to industries, including access to advanced equipment.

The centre will offer researchers, students and practitioners the expertise and resources that can be applied to new opportunities in research and development.