Students to get Rs. 2,000 per month for two years during postgraduate studies

Odisha government is coming up with 32 scholarships for meritorious students, who would be pursing biotechnology programme in their postgraduate studies in the State.

The scholarship is intended for encouraging students to opt for biotechnology studies.

As many as 32 students would be given Rs. 2000 per month for two years during their postgraduate studies.

Till now, as many as 200 students have been offered scholarships in basic sciences such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, botany, zoology and statistics.

“We will offer scholarships from the academic session of 2013-14. The government has made provision of Rs. 7.68 lakhs for the provision. The scholarship will be encouragement for students to select biotechnology as their career,” said Prof U. B. Mohapatra, Director Biotechnology in Science and Technology department.

Despite State government’s attempt to attract students to biotechnology stream, lack of job opportunities in the sector was triggering gradual disinterest among students.

The biotechnology sector in eastern Indian States is yet to take off. Besides, there is hardly any opening in government sector.

Although biotechnology is taught in eight universities, Odisha Public Service Commission has hardly come out with advertisement for recruitment of faculties in biotechnology stream.

Slender faculty

In undergraduate level, the biology faculties in colleges double up as biotechnology faculties. Similarly, major universities also struggle with slender faculty position. In Utkal University, only one faculty member in biotechnology bears burden of entire department.

North Odisha University’s condition was a little better with having three faculty members.

The State government has pinned all its hopes on development of proposed biotechnology park at Andharua in Bhubaneswar for which Bharat Biotech, a national level biotech farm, has been selected to be lead investor.

Bharat Biotech is expected to start work on Biotechnology Park very shortly.

The State government is already in possession of 64 acres of land which would be delivered to Bharat Biotech in two installments.

The firm is expected to create an incubation centre for biotechnology stream students of the State. Officials in Science and Technology department said development of Biotechnology Park would open up the sector.