It was Dr U R Ananthamurthy, former Vice - chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University who said that what Kerala, which has witnessed a ‘great leveling ‘ on account of the major social reformation, needs, is “islands of excellence” to lift the system a new high. Nearly two decades later, the University appears to be moving in the direction instituting the "MG University Centre for Innovative Research and Protection of Intellectual Property Rights "(UCIPR) and launching its first five year inter disciplinary MS programme under the aegis of the newly instituted Centre.

The programme is revolutionary insofar as it seeks to create scientists who also have a deep appreciation of humanities. “The study of humanities will be an integral part of the curriculum as we believe it necessary for a holistic and gestalt view of Nature,” said Grace Thomas, research officer, UCIPR.

The Centre aims to do so through the five year Interdisciplinary Integrated MS programme with Chemistry/Physics/Biology specialization.

Eligibility is for Plus Two students who would be selected on a thematic cum comprehensive test followed by an interview.

The programme will commence this academic year and the last date for submitting application is September 26. Applications can be downloaded from www.ucipr.com and send to mgucpir@gmail.com. Candidates who have passed Plus Two with minimum 55 per cent marks can apply.

Candidates who are selected can also avail internal part time employment opportunities for which stipends shall be paid. These opportunities will be in the areas of operation and maintenance of sophisticated instruments.

According Dr Thomas, “innovations in smaller Universities would be a part of the broader theme-how a society educates not only its elite but its entire citizens,”. Providing equitable opportunity for the creative brains from the under privileged sector is a challenge as beneficiaries of premier institutions like the IISc and IITs are confined to a marginal number due to various socio-economic programmes. Only a select group of students from the large volume of bright students who aspire for higher education are getting an opportunity to learn in the atmosphere of excellence,” she said.

The curriculum involves class room teaching by permanent faculty from existing university departments and eminent guest faculty from outside the university; enrichment lectures by visiting experts of national and international stature; technology enhanced learning process involving IITs and Central agencies; instrumentation and original research works involving premier research institutions in the country

and management of the Centre for which stipend would be provided.

The Centre will function under complete academic and administrative autonomy and will operate through a single window system under the University, Dr. Thomas said. The Centre will be governed by a 12 member governing council with the vice chancellor as chairman and I Ibnu Saud as coordinator. Other members of council include such eminent personalities like AD Damodaran, former director, Regional Research laboratory, Thurvananthapuram, Javed Iqbal (Institute of Life Sciences, Hyderabad), K R Srivalsan (IGNOU), MS Gopinathan, IISE, CET; Savitha LadageHBSCE, Mumbai; Suresh Kumar, Advisor Patent Facilitating Centre, DST, SD Samant, UDCT, Mumbai, Mangala sunder Krishnan, IITMadras, and N Chandrakumar IIT Madras "The members of the governing council of the Centre are persons of national standing, and this is expected to keep the standards of the Centre at a very high level," Dr Thomas said.

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