Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: The Central government proposed to set up a school of life science in the State in its attempt to improve depleting strength of researchers in the country. Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Ocean Development Kapil Sibal, who was here to lay the foundation for a research centre at Institute of Life Science on Friday, said the basic objective of the school would be to create a pool of doctoral students, research scholars and quality faculties.

The proposed school was part of Centre’s programme to put up similar schools at every State to boost research activities. “Compared to other countries, people engaged in research and development activities are minimal,” Mr. Sibal said pointing out that while 7,000 in 1 million people went for R&D activities in small country like Finland, only 156 in one million population in India opted for research. Besides, Mr. Sibal also informed that four best colleges of Orissa would be upgraded to Star Colleges by incorporating important science subjects such as biotechnology and life science.

The initiative would help students and teachers take up research in these subjects, the Union Minister said. The colleges would be selected on the basis of their overall performance as well as existing infrastructures, he said.

Usually, the Centre had plans to have two star colleges in each state. But the volume and diverse of flora and fauna, Orissa possessed, qualified it to get two more star colleges, Mr. Sibal said.