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CDFD may be shifted to IISM premises

K. Venkateshwarlu

HYDERABAD: The Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), a premier institute of its kind in the country, now located in a crammed building in a busy market, may either swap or share sprawling premises of the Survey of India's Indian Institute of Surveying and Mapping (IISM).

A proposal mooted by T. Ramasami, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) during his recent visit to the city, could end the CDFD's long search for a permanent building. His suggestion for judicious utilisation of available space was simple: The IISM could share its vast premises at Uppal with CDFD or exchange with the latter's new building at Gandipet. The CDFD had to drop its plan to shift to its own building at Gandipet after the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board denied clearance and settle for the one at Moazzam Jahi Market. Consequently the Gandipet building complex whose market value is estimated around Rs.60 crore was never utilised fully by the CDFD and it is now put on sale.

As a follow-up to Dr. Ramasami's suggestion, a five-member committee has been constituted with CDFD Director J. Gowrishankar IISM's Additional Surveyor General Major General B. Nagarajan, Financial Advisor to DST and two Joint Secretaries (Administration) of DST and Department of Biotechnology (DBT) as members. The committee is expected to meet shortly in Delhi to discuss the proposal.

Confirming the proposal, Dr. Gowrishankar told The Hindu on Friday that IISM campus would be ideally suited for CDFD as it was close to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology and Indian Institute Chemical Technology and other institutions, provided an agreement was worked out mutually. It was on a par with other proposal of locating the institute in University of Hyderabad campus at Gachibowli with which it has signed an MoU for carrying out research in areas of mutual interest. The third proposal was to shift to the “academically isolated” site at Abdullapurmet near Ramoji Film City allotted by the State. On the other hand, Dr. Nagarajan appeared cautious with employees who got wind of the proposal, resisting the move. The employees say the CDFD building at Gandipet will be too far and they will lose out rent allowance. Allaying their fears, he said the proposal was nothing but “loud thinking” with Dr. Ramasami merely suggesting that the institute be upgraded to National Institute of Geospatial Technology if not university.

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