As it completes 75 years, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is planning to strengthen the infrastructural facilities of Indian universities in order to boost the research outside traditional laboratories. This was informed by A K Nangia, director of CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) and head of human resource development wing of CSIR, while speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural session of the five-day platinum jubilee celebrations of CSIR, that commenced in the city on Monday. Two more similar exhibitions, displaying the scientific works conducted during the past seven decades, will be showcased at Hyderabad and Kolkata in the coming days.
“There are universities that lack infrastructural facilities for undertaking scientific research. The aim is to identify such universities and help them build the required infrastructure,” explained Nangia. Another area where the council aims to work is to improve the strength of scientists working at its labs, for which they are planning to collaborate with universities. According to its latest plan, CSIR will offer to its own fellows working at the various universities access to lab and instrumentation facilities.
“In the beginning, the CSIR fellows will be brought under the scheme, during which they will be given access to use any CSIR lab for doing research. Researchers can also avail expert guidance from the scientists. This we hope to not just inspire but also identify talented people who can then be taken onboard to work with CSIR in future,” said Nangia.
When asked if Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) was a contender in the CSIR’s list of universities, the NCL director said, “The university is in itself self sufficient though there are ongoing collaborations at various levels. The scheme will instead first cover universities in Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Solapur which are in urgent need of better infrastructural facilities and this gap needs to be addressed.”
Another pertinent issue which was discussed was the severe crunch in funds for performing fundamental research, particularly by the autonomous scientific institutions in the country. “Autonomous institutions are forced to manage with the already limited funds, a majority of which will be used for paying salaries as per the revised 7th pay scale. The finance ministry has been requested not to further cut any budgets and keep the steady flow of funds so that the scientific works are not hampered,” he informed.