With a grant of ₹20 crore, it plans to buy advanced equipment
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, which recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital (TVCMH) to carry out multi-disciplinary research in medical sciences, has identified a new element while analysing clinical thyroid samples.
“We are pursuing a detailed research in this direction,” said K. Pitchumani, Vice-Chancellor, who was previously CSIR Emeritus Scientist in the School of Chemistry, Madurai Kamaraj University. “We will tell you about the element after a key member of the research team will be back from his medical leave soon,” he said.
The departments of Statistics, Chemistry, Biotechnology, Centre for Information Technology and Engineering and Sociology have inked a tripartite MoU with Indian Council of Medial Research (ICMR) and TVMCH to carry out research. When the thyroid sample was analysed, the new element was identified. It is now being subjected to a range of analysis using state-of-the-art equipment. To take this research to the next level, the university plans to employ artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, cloud and other mega platforms of Industry 4.0 (the fourth industrial revolution concentrating on using modern smart technology in traditional manufacturing and industrial practices) into the research.
With one-time grant of ₹20 crore from the State government, the MSU plans to buy 400 MHz NMR (solid and liquid) with accessories, electrochemical / scanning probe microscopy with accessories, FT-IR / Raman coupled confocal microscopy and spectroscopy with accessories, gas / liquid chromatography, mass spectrometer with accessories, multi-channel photo / electrochemical workstation with accessories, microbial identification system with accessories etc.
“These sophisticated instruments will be housed in the 11,950 square feet Central Instrumentation Facility (CIF) under construction. The CIF will aid in the growth of research, incubation centres, facilitate technology transfer among universities, colleges and industries,” Mr. Pitchumani said, adding that a proposal for ₹50 crore had been submitted to Ministry of Human Resources Development under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA).
To strengthen the faculty members’ research capabilities and expose them to modern techniques, the MSU has tied up with IIT-Bombay. “Our teachers attended week-long online classes to fine-tune their skills,” he said.
The MSU had to plan for inclusion of multi-disciplinary streams such as engineering and medical education as the New Education Policy (NEP) that advocates dismantling of University Grants Commission and All India Council for Technical Education and phasing out of educational institutions offering single streams stresses the need for introducing multidisciplinary programmes by 2040.
“IIT-Delhi has established Department of Humanities, and IIT-Karagpur a School of Medical Science and Tehcnology. We must move in that direction. The four-year undergraduate programmes, as per NEP, will have multiple exit options, academic credit bank, cluster concepts, integration of vocational education, flexible curriculum etc.,” he said.
The MSU would offer three-year Bachelor of Vocational Education in Food Processing, Analytical and Quality Control Techniques in semester mode and advanced diploma in Organic Farming and Mushroom Cultivation, for which UGC, under its National Skill Qualification Framework, has given consent. “The UGC has sanctioned ₹1.60 crore for these programmes,” Mr. Pitchumani said.
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