The project report for the proposed Advanced Centre for Materials Research, to be set up by the University of Kerala in collaboration with the ISRO, will be submitted to the Space Commission this year.
The centre, to be named after space scientist Bram Prakash, will be set up with a seed fund of Rs.100 crore. The draft report has been submitted to the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre for approval.
This project was listed among the significant developments in the University of Kerala between 2008 and 2011 in a note prepared by Vice-Chancellor A. Jayakrishnan and distributed during his press conference held here on Tuesday. This was Dr. Jayakrishnan's first press meet after he became the Vice-Chancellor in December 2008.
The Acts and statutes of the State's universities should be overhauled if their quality is to improve. Many administrative structures of universities are unwieldy. The sheer size of bodies such as the senate or the academic council comes in the way of issues being discussed in a deserving manner.
The ‘obedient' lot
Some of the best universities in the world were in the United States, Dr. Jayakrishnan said. “Why cannot India adopt some of the best practises of top U.S. universities? Unless the governance systems of universities are overhauled, money pumped into them will be wasted,” he said.
In the U.S., students are encouraged to think out of the box, to challenge authority and to question teachers.
Here, teacher expects students to be “ingloriously obedient.” People here even sign their letters ‘yours obediently.' Education cannot be a monologue of the teacher. It should be a dialogue.
In reply to a question he said there was no ‘political pressure' on him either from the previous LDF government or from the current UDF government to do anything in a particular manner.
The university - which has been without a NAAC rating for more than three years now - may be able to go in for re-accreditation in six months when all vacancies of teachers were filled, Dr. Jayakrishnan said. The varsity has invited applications for 42 teaching posts. The university is around 300 personnel short.
The approval for the introduction of the ‘School' system in the university, the creation of the post of research director, the publication of the eighth volume of the Malayalam Lexicon after a gap of 12 years, the publication of the eighth semester B.Tech in July 2011 ahead of other universities and the signing of memoranda of understanding with Christ Church University and Coventry University for academic exchanges were among the major achievements listed by the Vice-Chancellor.
The computerisation of PG and B.Ed. examinations, the introduction of the choice-based credit and semester system for degree courses, the Web-based issuing of hall tickets for select examinations, the introduction of the digital signature of the Vice-Chancellor on degree certificates, pay roll automation for employees and pensioners, introduction of the e-payment for examination fee and digitisation of rare books in the University Librarywere listed by Dr. Jayakrishnan as major achievements on the IT front.
The hosting of the 97th Indian Science Congress was a boon for the University as infrastructure on its campus could be improved, he added.