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SSN engineering college to step up high-end research

Special Correspondent

Research Advisory Council set up; 25 project proposals from college faculty considered



Shiv Nadar

CHENNAI: After establishing itself as one of the premier technical education institutions in the country, the Shri Sivasubramania Nadar College of Engineering (SSNCE), near Chennai, is seeking to improve its research profile.

The first meeting of a newly constituted Research Advisory Council (RAC) held on Tuesday narrowed down focal areas of research and considered about 25 project proposals from the college faculty to high-end research.

The focus on high-end research will also be the first step towards its attempts to seek deemed university status in 2007.

Addressing a news conference, the college's Founder, and Chairman, HCL Technologies, Shiv Nadar, announced the "strategic initiative aimed at promoting centres of excellence in research-based education and collaboration."

The RAC he chairs, included Dr. Raj Reddy, Carnegie Mellon University's Professor of Computer Science and Robotics; V.S. Arunachalam, former head of the DRDO and distinguished professor, Robotics Institute of the same university; R. Natarajan, former Chairman, All India Council for Technical Education; and N. Balakrishnan, professor, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

"Ten years ago we wanted to create one of the best engineering colleges, we have done it and now we want to create eminence through research based education. We believe we have created the correct ambience for research activity," Mr. Nadar said. After discussing the idea with Dr. Raj Reddy, the RAC was constituted.

The three focal areas for beginning research activity, identified are mathematics, statistics and bio-informatics.

Dr. Ramasamy said the first meeting looked at about 25 research proposals from teachers of all departments. The college would generate internally Rs. 2.5 crores as seed capital to begin work. Later, the projects would be posted before national and international agencies for funding. The SSN initiative hoped to work on an ambitious project to grow the world's largest and longest crystal.

Asked whether a research initiative such as this could work in an affiliating type of institutions, Mr. Nadar said it was possible, but still to attain more flexibility in approach, SSN group wanted to become a deemed university by 2007.

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