Dr. Avnish Jolly, Chandigarh, 30th October, 2008 :Hon’ble Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Govt. of India laid the foundation stone of “Centre for Emerging Areas in Science & Technology” (near Botany Department) at P.U. Campus here today.
Addressing the gathering, the Hon’ble Minister congratulated the Vice-Chancellor and the University for having initiated steps to start new courses and set up a Centre which will equip the University to keep pace with the new developments taking place every minute globally. The new courses and the new Centre will enable everyone to open their eyes to the world at large. He offered all support to the University which will empower science & research in the country.
Shri Sibal emphasized the need for close collaboration with neighbouring institutions and the collective synergy will bring about desired results. The developments in research in tissue engineering and stem cells will prove to be a boon to the masses as instead of going to the hospital, the hospitals will start coming to patients for their treatment.
Shri Sibal informed that USA was spending 224 billion dollars on research out of which 40% came from investments from Private Sector. Our country is not in a position to spend as much at this juncture. Change of mind set, work culture and thinking will enable our country to make rapid progress in Science & Technology. The times are changing fast and the present scenario offers immense opportunities for creating knowledge as wealth unlike in the past. He suggested evolving new dynamics in collaboration with private sector for realizing this objective.
Hon’ble Minister announced that Panjab University was one of the three universities which have been identified as Centre of Excellence in Bio-Technology. He also informed that the Govt. was going to present a Bill in the Parliament which will provide incentives to creative scientists who will get 33% as royalty, 33% will be given to the institution and the rest will be spent on promotion of science & technology.
Prof. R.C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor in his welcome address briefed the Hon’ble Minister about the achievements and challenges being faced by the University. He shared that University was a front-runner in starting many new courses which are in consonance with the local, national and global requirements. He also highlighted many achievements which included making University smoke and polythene free, having set up new gardens and to plant 51,000 saplings in near future. He also highlighted that Panjab University alumni are excelling in every field.
Prof. Sobti also informed that the Closing Ceremony of Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Panjab University will be held on 1st November 2008 at 3.00 p. m. at University Auditorium in which Dr. A.R. Kidwai, Governor, Haryana will be the Chief Guest, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of State for Finance will preside and Dr. Ram Parkash, Member Rajya Sabbha will deliver the Diamond Jubilee Address. .
Professor Akhtar Mahmood, Chief Coordinator, “Centre for Emerging Areas in Science & Technology” has started seven new courses during the session 2008-09 like stem cell research, tissue engineering, microbial biotechnology, public health, nuclear medicine, medical physics, system biology and bio-informatics nano-science and nano-technology. For Guest Faculty as well as for research collaboration, MOUs have been signed with P.G.I., CSIO and IMTECH. The three-storey building of this Centre will cost approximately Rs.8 crore, which will have seven postgraduate departments, laboratory and multi-display library.