Recognising the research potential of Osmania University, the Department of Bio Technology (DBT) has awarded a grant of Rs. 14 crore to set up an Inter-disciplinary School of Life Sciences for Advanced Research and Education (ISLARE), which will encourage research in the emerging areas of science for the benefit of society.

The OU Vice Chancellor, T. Tirupathi Rao told a press conference that the "DBT – OU ISLARE" was an important milestone in the university’s history since OU is the only State university in the country to have got such a project from the DBT. Out of the 35 universities that vied for the project, OU and the Banaras Hindu University were selected.

The five-year project will usher in the introduction of integrated, flexible, student choice-based credit system for post-graduate M.Sc in the five Life Sciences Departments - Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology, Genetics, and Zoology along with strong inputs from two research institutes — Centre for Plant Molecular Biology and Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases, according to K. Janardhan Reddy, Principal, University College of Science.

He said the programme will require a student to pass 12 core papers (core papers are offered by the parent Department, each paper is equivalent to 4 credits) and four optional theory or practical (offered by other participating Departments) for completion of the M.Sc course in Life Sciences. Each participating department will improve its infrastructure to incorporate a schedule for laboratory work for each choice-based credit. The funding will also help in acquiring the best of equipment for conducting world-class research in life sciences apart from providing fellowships to research scholars.

David Krupadanam, Dean, UGC Affairs said the DBT has also sanctioned a research project on Rice Genomics to the university. The Centre for Plant Molecular Biology, OU will be one of the six institutions in the country identified by the DBT along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; National Institute on Plant Genomic Research (NIPGR), New Delhi; University of Delhi; Madurai Kamaraj University and Directorate of Rice Research (DRR), Hyderabad.

This project worth Rs. 7 crore, is to develop male sterile rice plants through genetic engineering approach for the development of hybrids in popular local rice varieties.