CUSAT has potential to be in top 5 universities: VC

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Kochi, Mar 1 (UNI) Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) Vice-Chancellor Gangan Pratap today said the University had the potential to become one among the top five universities in the country.

Talking to reporters in a ' Meet-the-Press' programme at Ernakulam Press Club here, Dr Pratap said ''CUSAT could meet the demand for a 'Centre of Excellence' in Kerala as it had the best research facilities in the state.'' He said the University needed to broaden the research efforts and scale-up the facilities to become one of the five best universities in the country and feature in the world's top 500 universities list prepared by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

''Only two universities from India featured in the top 500 world universities prepared by the Chinese University,'' he said adding that funding was an impediment to the development of CUSAT as it had only Rs two crore as endowment fund compared to US Dollar 35 million for Harvard University, the world's top university.

''Funding should be planned on a long-term basis, if we want to be at par with the world's top universities,'' Dr Pratap, who took over as the VC recently, added.

He said only when the Universities scale-up their operations there would be 'cross fertilisation of ideas'.

When asked on the upgradation of CUSAT to Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST) status, Dr Pratap said '' the budget provisions had been made in the 11th plan period and the Cabinet had conveyed its decision to the Union HRD Ministry.'' '' How fast the transformation could happen cannot be said, as certain nitty gritties had to be worked out,'' he added.

To make CUSAT a 'Centre of Excellence', there should be concerted efforts to 'clear the weeds' in the path of development, Dr Pratap added.

UNI MA AJ AKJ HT1807

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