TAMIL NADU

CIPET on course for deemed university status

CHENNAI Aug. 10. The Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, with its headquarters here and regional centres in various States, is hopeful of getting ``Deemed University'' status this year, according to Sushil K.Verma, Director-General.

The University Grants Commission is considering CIPET's application, while the All-India Council of Technical Education has already approved its programmes, Dr. Verma said.

Speaking to presspersons here on the occasion of the conclusion of a two-week training programme in polymer technology for entrepreneurs and technical executives from plastics industries in Sri Lanka, he said, this year the CIPET would start M.Tech programmes in Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati. Fifteen candidates would be selected at each centre.

Dr. Verma, first Director-General (with the top position being designated as Director till his incumbency), said the training of candidates from Sri Lanka was an initiative supported by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board. The India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, under which concessional duties were available for certain inputs and final products would help expand business ties in the polymer sector. Already, Neelkamal, an Indian manufacturer of plastics furniture, had set up a manufacturing unit in Sri Lanka, while an indigenous Sri Lankan producer was exporting plastic furniture to India.

Sri Lankan candidates to the first batch of training were charged at concessional rates (in dollars) as applicable to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation member-countries. Sri Lanka was prepared to depute trainees for long-term courses if a bigger concession was offered. The institute recently, imparted advanced training to two postgraduate and research students from Australia. It had plans to offer training to industry personnel from Muscat, while its faculty would visit Qatar to offer training.

Dr. Verma said the long-standing offer of a $12 million loan made by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries for development of facilities at the CIPET was likely to be operationalised, with the institute having recently given up its demand on the Centre that the loan be made available to it as a grant. The CIPET informed the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers that it was prepared to pay 1 per cent interest and 1 per cent service charge, with the recovery being spread over 20 years, including a five-year moratorium.

The Centre would give a grant of $1.3 million for facilities such as hostels and equipment. The Director-General said all centres, excluding the ones opened recently (at Haldia, Guwahati and Hajipur-Patna), achieved self-sufficiency. Overall, the institute earned 10 per cent in excess of its annual expenditure. It had been working with Hyundai and Enfield for development and fabrication of automobile components.

Earlier, Tsunemasa Muroi, Adviser to the Secretary, Ministry of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion of Sri Lanka, and H.M.B. Herath, Counsellor, Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission, addressing the valedictory session of the training course, emphasised the importance of bilateral economic and technical cooperation in the context of globalisation.