`MoU to this effect has already been signed'
Centre expected to be functional by 2009Ratio of assistance to be 25:75Research to be taken up on biotechnology aspects of rice, sesamum, horticultural crops
HYDERABAD: The US Department of Agriculture and Tuskegee University have agreed in principle to extend financial and technical assistance to the Biotechnology Centre for Research and Education being set up by Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU).
S. Raghuvardhan Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, ANGRAU told The Hindu that the centre was scheduled to be established and functional by year 2009 on the Rajenderanagar campus. Proposals to this effect were discussed during the April 13-28 visit to USA by the varsity's Board of Management and an MoU was also signed, he said.
Detailed project report
He said ANGRAU would send a detailed project report on the centre to Tuskegee varsity authorities to enable them to decide the quantum and type of assistance. Ratio of assistance would be 25:75 with ANGRAU showing the faculty and infrastructure as its 25 per cent share and the U.S. varsity including technical, manpower and financial aid as its 75 per cent contribution.
The universiry had allotted Rs. 5 crores to the centre to be utilised in a phased manner. In the current year Rs. 1.5 crores was sanctioned for construction of laboratories and creation of research and educational infrastructure. The centre proposed to take up research on biotechnology aspects of rice, sesamum and horticultural crops.
Dr. Reddy said Rs. 50 lakhs was allotted this year for the proposed water technology centre which has been posed to the Food and Agricultural Organisation for funding. To be located on the campus of College of Agriculture, it would take off later this year and undertake research, extension and educational activities.
The Vice-Chancellor said the university had initiated steps to strengthen its seed research centre which was visited by President George Bush in March. Besides funds provided by the university, the centre was receiving funds from Indian Council of Agricultural Research for infrastructure development and towards revolving fund.