Significant process on to upgrade scientific education: Official

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Bangalore, Apr 25 (UNI) The Union government has taken up a significant process to upgrade and strengthen science education in the country by upgrading key scientific educational institutions and approving the setting up of 16 national universities and 13 new research institutions, Department of Biotechnology Secretary M K Bhan said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the eighth edition of Bangalore Bio-2008, Asia's biggest exposition on Biotechnology here yesterday, he said the process has been prepared to deliver economic benefits to the people for years to come.

''This is part of our ambitious initiative 'March back to University' which has already begun. There is no dearth of funds for such projects,'' he said.

Dr Bhan said for this sunrise industry, the government had allocated Rs 6,500 crore under the XI Five Year Plan. It has got the fastest hike in budgetary allocations during the last three years than any other science branch.

The BT Department had taken up systematic review of the strength and weakness of BT Research and Development institutions and this was being done to lay a solid foundation for scientific research in the long run.

The government had also approved the setting up of the BT Regulatory Authority to help the BT industry maintain healthy growth and professional outlook.

The new authority, for which the Cabinet approval is awaited, would be in place in two and half years.

He said the country had etched its place on the global BT radar and many countries were coming to set up units or R and D facilities.

''Earlier, it was companies from the US or Europe who generally came to India. Now you can see many countries, including Australia, Canada, Norway, Sweden and Denmark pitching in to fund projects.

This shows the kind of change that has taken place,'' he said.

UNI RS GM AM RK1015

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