Six projects being undertaken by researchers on development issues concerning Tamil Nadu have been selected for a grant of Rs.1 crore from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

In August 2009, the Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, for the first time, called in applications from researchers, who are all teaching faculty members from various colleges, on a topic concerning the State that needs science and technology intervention.

Forty five research proposals were evaluated by a national council, which shortlisted six.

According to S. Vincent, member secretary, Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology, the grant is significant as it is the highest amount received so far from the Centre and it would encourage more researchers to identify similar problems.

The research proposals selected are from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Bharathiar University and Madurai Kamaraj University. Interestingly, even private educational institutions figure in the selected list. They are St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, PSGR Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore and AVVM Sri Pushpam College, Poondi.

Each of these projects would be undertaken for a period of two years, and to bring in accountability the Council has appointed four scientific officers who would monitor their work. The research proposals include subjects such as soil management, groundwater, solar energy and drug control. P. Gunasekaran, Chairperson, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, who is one of the selected proposals is working on microbial bio- remediation of industrial effluents, said the initiative from the Council would encourage more people to take up research in science and technology.

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