A research culture, good infrastructure, top-class technology and adequate funding can go a long way in promoting research in universities and institutions of higher learning in the country.

Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University H.S. Ballal said that universities and institutions of higher learning should create an atmosphere of research. Research has to be multidisciplinary.

One of the reasons for Indian universities not being in the top league was lack of research. Manipal University was giving priority to research. Manipal Life Sciences Centre was carved out of Kasturba Medical College to promote research. The Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences already had eight patents to its credit. The Manipal Institute of Technology has the Centre for Engineering Research and Nanotechnology to promote research. Stempeutics, a unit of the Manipal Group, was carrying out research in the field of stem cells. “It is not practicable to segregate teaching and research at this point of time. There should be a judicious mix of research and teaching,” Prof. Ballal said.

Vice-Principal of MCOPS C. Mallikarjuna Rao said that the college had eight patents for eight different products/processes. He attributed this achievement to support from the university in terms of infrastructure and finance and a conducive atmosphere to promote research. Research was an expensive proposition. Technology and expensive chemicals were big hurdles for research in pharmaceutical field.

The Government looked at self-financing institutions such as Manipal University and MCOPS for research because they felt that these institutions had adequate funds. “But our funds may not be enough to support every bit of research,” Prof. Rao said.

Patents

Registrar of Manipal University G.K. Prabhu said that the atmosphere in universities was conducive to research activities. The institutions in India were so far giving priority to publishing papers. There was lesser awareness about patents. Big universities should have a patent cell to look after both technological and legal issues. Patent filing was a tedious process and required huge funds. Even after securing the patent, it was quite difficult market patented product or process, he said.

Policies

Director of MLSC K. Satyamoorthy said that the structure, policies and pro-activeness played a big role in creating an atmosphere for research in universities and institutions.

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