G. Krishnakumar

KOCHI: Giving a boost to research in nanotechnology, the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) has decided to start an M.Sc. programme in the cutting-edge technology from the next academic year.

The course will be offered by the centre for nanotechnology to be set up on the campus soon. It will be eventually developed into a centre of excellence in nanotechnology. A meeting of experts held on the campus on Monday chalked out an action plan for establishing the centre within a year.

Elaborating on the decisions taken during the meeting, Vice-Chancellor P.K. Abdul Azis told The Hindu that the centre would be set up in cooperation with the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL). Experts from the NPOL attended the meeting. Pulickel M. Ajayan, an internationally known nanotechnologist, has also assured support for Cusat's new venture.

A task force with Dr. Azis as chairman would be set up to formulate a time-bound action plan for starting an academic programme in nanotechnology. The committee would identify thrust areas of research in nanotechnology. It would also find out experts available both in the country and abroad for developing the centre of excellence into an international destination.

The task force will also evolve a framework for the M.Sc. programme. The curriculum for the new course will be developed in association with experts from the NPOL. The syllabus will focus on practical aspects.