In an effort to give thrust to biotechnology research, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has planned to set up four new inter-university centres across the country, UGC Vice-Chairman H. Devaraj said on Monday.

One of the centres would be dedicated to stem cell research. All the centres would have resources that could be shared by research scholars of various universities. “We have submitted the recommendations to the Government and are presently waiting for approval,” he told The Hindu on the sidelines of the inauguration of a workshop on handling reconstructed 3D models here.

The UGC would also insist that law be a component of all courses, where sections relevant to the subject were taught to the student at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, he said.

To encourage students from the North East to pursue higher education, the UGC had approved 10,000 fellowships for students from North Eastern states. These students should have passed Class XII and their families’ annual income must be less than Rs. 4.5 lakh.

These students could accept admissions in any college across the country and would receive a monthly stipend of Rs. 5,000 for professional courses and Rs. 3,500 for all other courses. For this, the UGC had set aside Rs. 180 crore, he said.

On Monday, the University of Madras along with the Mahatma Gandhi-Doerenkamp Centre for Alternative Use of Animals in Life Science Education, Bharathidasan University and the SkinEthic Academy from Lyon France started a four-day workshop on ‘Handling of Reconstructed 3D Tissue Models’ in order to educate the academia and industry stakeholders on the alternatives to animal testing.

Keywords: biotech researchUGC

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