KU’s Kariavattom campus to be turned into an ‘academic tourist centre’

The budget also proposes setting up a consortium of academic experts named ‘corpus advisory collective’ to link the research output of various departments with the industrial sector.
Image of Kerala University used for representational purpose
Image of Kerala University used for representational purpose. (File Photo | EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : The Rs 836.48-crore ‘balanced’ budget of the Kerala University for 2024-25, which was approved by the Senate on Tuesday, proposes upgrading its Kariavattom campus into an ‘academic tourist centre,’ billed as a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country by a varsity.

An inter-university centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI), an industrial park on Kariavattom campus and three new university departments – Women’s Studies, Social Work and Physical Education – are also the other major proposals in the budget.

Addressing a post-budget news conference, convener of the KU Syndicate sub-committee on Finance G Muraleedharan said the ‘academic tourism’ project aims to showcase various facilities in the sprawling 450-acre campus of the university to visitors who could be mainly school and college students.

“The aim is to attract students towards the varied higher education avenues that the university offers,” he said.

The proposed Inter University Centre for AI, that has been given Rs 25-lakh assistance in the budget, will offer certificate and diploma courses and also vocational training in AI.

Laboratory facilities in the university will be enhanced and the Department of Computer Science will associate with various agencies for setting up the centre. In a bid to tap the expertise of KU alumni who have become renowned technocrats, a ‘KU Technocrat Colloquium’ will be formed.

The technocrats will be brought together through an online platform to share ideas for assisting the university. The technocrats will also be encouraged to suggest timely reforms that the university needs to implement.

The budget also proposes setting up a consortium of academic experts named ‘corpus advisory collective’ to link the research output of various departments with the industrial sector. The collective will also help the university win more patents and ensure that those patents are put to practical use.

A ‘KU research fund’ has been proposed by sourcing contributions from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of institutions and also from individuals.

The fund will be used to augment the existing research facilities in the university. The idea of creating such a fund was proposed as the university was facing a huge financial burden on account of payment of fellowships and setting up of research infrastructure.

The budget has earmarked Rs 25 lakh for a project called ‘Trackinoppam’ aimed at supporting student athletes. Under the project, KU will bear the food, accommodation, training and other expenses of five select athletes who will also be given the facility to study on the campus.

Other budget proposals

  • Regional centre of the university and department complex to come up in Kollam

  • M Kunajaman Centre for Development Studies in memory of former KU faculty

  • 'KU Water’ project to rejuvenate water sources on campus with student participation

  • School of Distance Education to be converted into School of Online Education

  • Young scientist conclave to be held with award of D50,000 for best Young Scientist

  • Conduct of university youth festival to be thoroughly revised from this academic year

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