SHASTRY V. MALLADY
A Rs. 10-crore UGC resource centre comes up at MKU.
This year there are 900 applications for 16 seats.
A national facility for life sciences has been set up at the School of Biological Sciences at Madurai Kamaraj University, courtesy the Rs.10 crore funding from the University Grants Commission. The only other university to get a similar facility for life sciences is the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
The Networking Resource Centre in Biological Sciences, as it has been named, will be open to researchers, faculty and students of interested institutions across the country to pursue their projects.
“We are now a recognised resource centre to train people in life sciences, both basic and advanced levels. Our facility could be used by all,” says Dr. Sripathi Kandula, Department of Immunology/Animal Behaviour, MKU.
Faculty and research students interested in developing their potential and who are keen on taking up research in biological sciences as their career will be selected through proper screening and UGC approval. Training at this resource centre will be held at two levels.
In the first stage, every year 20 selected candidates will be trained for a period of two to three months. In the second stage, continuous support in terms of lab facility/guidance will be provided besides assistance in preparation of thesis, reports, reviews and evaluation of research outputs.
Says R. Murugesan, Professor Emeritus at the Networking Resource Centre, “People from other universities where there are no advanced facilities for research in biological sciences can come to MKU.
The selected candidates will receive financial support from the UGC also.”
Substantiating the university’s strength in biological sciences, Dr. Murugesan cites the example of Centre for Excellence in Genomic Sciences at the campus where some exemplary work is being done by researchers/faculty in an inter-disciplinary manner.
“The number of applications received every year for our M.SC (Genomics) course proves our standing in biological sciences. Another best testimony is the national and international grants we receive,” says Dr. Sripathi.
Six years ago when the course was introduced, only 90 applications were there for only 12 seats. But, this year the number rose to 900 applications for 16 seats.
To get started with activities at this UGC Networking Resource Centre which was opened on October 10, the MKU faculty held a meeting with representatives from all universities in Tamil Nadu and also from other institutions outside the State.
More information about the centre can be had from P. Gunasekaran, chairperson, School of Biological Sciences, MKU on phone numbers 0452-2458478 and 0452- 2459873.