Chennai: In an ambitious proposal, the University of Madras has prepared a detailed roadmap for achieving the status of Institute of Eminence (IOE), which can ultimately transform the oldest university in the state as a global institution. The 160-year-old institution has submitted a detailed plan for next 15 years to the University Grants Commission (UGC) through which it plans to break into the top 100 in the world ranking of universities.
The proposal worth Rs1,000 crore focuses on areas such as data sciences, policy informatics, programmes dedicated to studies of complex systems, drug design, Internet of Things, applied forensics, information security and medical photonics and global wireless satellite communication.
It also focuses on improving the faculty and students’ strength and developing infrastructures like buildings and labs. It is learnt that totally 45 departments in the varsity have given proposals to start new programmes and 75 new areas were identified for research programmes. “We have proposed to start new departments in emerging areas in basic sciences and social sciences. The existing departments will be strengthened with new faculty members, equipment, buildings and labs to do cutting-edge research,” a source in the university said.
“It has a detailed roadmap of how we are going to transform the university into a world-class institution in next fifteen years,” he said. If selected under the IOE scheme, the university will receive up to `200 crore per year for a period of five years. The university has to give a short-term plan to break into top 200 universities in the world ranking in next five years and long-term plan for 15 years to be one of the best 100 universities in the world.
The state government, by approving the proposal, has given in principle approval for recruiting foreign faculty members and foreign students to the extent of 20 to 30 per cent. “Currently the university is having only around 200 faculty members which roughly is one-third of allotted strength. Under the IOE scheme, we have proposed to increase our faculty strength by around 750-1000,” the source added. The increase in faculty strength will result in better teaching and research output.
“We are aiming to be a self-sustained and world-class institution by conducting industry-sponsored researches in science departments and socially relevant researches in social sciences,” the source said. As per the IOE scheme, the central government proposes to give Rs 200 crore for 10 public institutions in next five years and more autonomous and statutory freedom to 10 private institutions. Five universities from Tamil Nadu which were placed in Top 50 in NIRF ranking are eligible to apply for IOE.
Apart from Periyar University, four universities – Madras University, Anna University, Alagappa University and Bharathiar University are applying for the scheme. With Madras University submitting its proposal, the other three universities are expected to submit their proposals on Monday which is the last day for applying for IOE. The higher education department hopes that at least one university among the four will get the IOE status in the public institutions’ category.