THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Centre for Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development (CSTED) that is entrusted with the task of developing innovation and technology led entrepreneurship in the state is likely to wind up its operation. It is learnt that the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department (PARD) has submitted a proposal of this kind to the government.
The institution based in Kozhikode has been facing an administrative and financial crisis for some time now. “PARD which studied the operation of CSTED itself had stated that the institution doesn’t hold a future. It also remained suspicious about the practicality in implementing the suggestions it had listed for the institutions’ revamp,” said an officer of the Department of Science and Technology. Citing the report submitted by the PARD, the officer said that either the staff of CSTED should have to be redeployed at various institutions that come under the DST or to integrate the objectives of CSTED with that of other institutions which fulfil the same goals.
“The major objective of CSTED was to develop innovation and technology led entrepreneurship in the state. But it has been found that it had failed miserably in providing training to new entrepreneurs and to provide a platform for new Startups,” reads an excerpt of the PARD report.
Meanwhile, PARD in its report had also stated that if the said institution had to exist then it should have a full-time director having experience in entrepreneurship development, winding up the operation of CSTED’s district offices and limiting its functioning to Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode zonal offices, transferring the head office of CSTED from Kozhikode to Thiruvananthapuram, thereby ensuring the direct monitoring of the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment and others.
At the same time, the report has called for an investigation into the financial indiscipline and other disparities as well as an inquiry of the Financial Inspection Wing into the revenue and expenditure of CSTED in the last 10 financial years. When inquired with the PARD report, CSTED’s director Sreeram Sambasiva Rao, who is also the Kozhikode District Collector, said that he is ignorant about such a report.