The Cabinet has decided to hand over the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) under it to the Central government to facilitate development of the Centre as a national institution.

The land on which the Centre stands (13.95 acres) will be given on a 99-year lease to the Central government for a rent of Re.1 an acre a year. The Cabinet agreed to a 99-year lease as the Centre did not agree to a 30-year lease proposed by the State government.

Briefing the media in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the prestige institutions of the State government were being handed over to the Centre to facilitate their scaling new heights. After the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology was handed over to the Centre, it had grown to be a premier institution in the country.

The Chief Minister said the State had also sought the takeover of the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute by the Centre.

CESS, established in 1978, has been working on research and studies related to the earth system. The two major areas of its work are Earth System Dynamics and Earth Science Applications.

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