Special Correspondent

Official calls for networking universities and research labs

VELLORE: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to have linkages with universities for undertaking various research programmes during the XI Plan, said W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller, Research and Development, DRDO, on Monday.

Inaugurating a seminar on protein science and engineering organised by the School of Biotechnology, Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (SBCBE) of the VIT University here, Mr. Selvamurthy said that in this era of knowledge, the Government alone could not promote higher education. "We need public-private partnership, especially in the advanced fields of education." If education, occupation and healthcare were integrated, the one billion people in India could be transformed into an asset, and they could contribute to the growth of India. Education had to be occupation-oriented. Productivity was dependent on health.

Mr. Selvamurthy said universities and national research laboratories had to be networked to create a knowledge grid. The DRDO had established a Life Sciences Centre in Bharatiyar University, Coimbatore, at an investment of Rs.18 crore during the X Plan. During the XI Plan, seeding technologies would come essentially from the universities. The DRDO would sub-contract its works to the universities. Mr. Selvamurthy said the DRDO was engaged in research in protein engineering, involving altering proteins to bring about transgenic changes in soldiers to make them withstand various climatic conditions. Soldiers suffered from reduced memory in high altitudes, and were prone to high altitude pulmonary oedema. Neuro-physiology and neuro-pharmacology would help treat such cases.