Staff Reporter

It will deal with issues such as cloning, stem cell research and organ transplantation

CHENNAI: The Department of Christian Studies, University of Madras, will offer a post-graduate diploma course in Ethics and Biotechnology. The course will deal with issues pertaining to advancements such as Cloning, Stem cell research and Organ transplantation. It will be covered in 18 months (three semesters).

Speaking at the inaugural function, Vice-Chancellor S.P. Thyagarajan said one of the top priorities of educational institutions was to convert educated youth to employable youth.

Highlighting the importance of integrated education, he said curricula should be made richer and not heavier. Professor Thyagarajan said three important aspects of integrated education were employability, physical education and value addition to teaching itself. The choice-based credit system in practise at the varsity offered a great amount of flexibility to students in choosing electives, he noted. V. Kumaraswami, deputy director, Tuberculosis Research Centre, said honesty, trust and care were vital for those pursuing research in Biotechnology. He said it was the responsibility of researchers to obtain an `informed consent' from patients willing to participate in clinical trials. Faculty of the department would interact with experts from the Tuberculosis Research Centre and the National Institute of Epidemiology on a regular basis to incorporate contemporary issues in the curriculum.

The course was aimed at creating job opportunities and making students conversant in current issues, head of the Department of Christian Studies, Felix Wilfred said. Dr.M.D. Gupte, director, National Institute of Epidemiology and Dr. Cynthia Alexander, additional professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Madras Medical College, were also present.