CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government is planning to setup a research federation integrating major technical and medical education institutes in Chennai. Institutions including the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), the Tamil Nadu Dr MGR government Medical University, the University of Madras and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) are likely to be brought under this umbrella.
“Talks are going on to ensure that sharing of resource and knowledge will be made possible for researchers from these individual research pockets,” health secretary J Radhakrishnan told Express on the sidelines of an event at IIT-M on Monday.
With this federation, researchers in Chennai will be encouraged to utilise existing and upcoming facilities created by these institutes instead of conducting research in isolation, he added.
Officials from top institutions in city have welcomed this initiative and believed that Chennai would soon become ‘research hub’ of India, once this was implemented as there would be an upsurge in the number of quality research publications.
The Registrar of University of Madras, P David Jawahar, said that the practice at present is to sign unidimensional Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with a number of restrictions. “Once these institutions are integrated onto a single platform, generating funds will also becomes easier. Comprehensive results obtained because of pooling in talent and resource from top institutes would convince funding agencies from the US and Europe,” he told Express. This could also attract corporate funding as several research patents lie on paper yet to be converted into useful or commercial products, he added.
Another top official from the Anna University said that today’s researchers are interdisciplinary in nature and researchers would not only get access to resources like labs, equipment, libraries but also existing database, which would save a lot of time.
“Research collaborations should ultimately be driven at the ground level by the researchers and we do encourage our faculties to work with several leading institutions and city hospitals and the health secretary was looking at a more vigorous net at higher level,” said IIT-M director, Bhaskar Ramamurthi.