MGU wins SPARC projects worth Rs 4 crores

The first project has an allotted budget of Rs 44.59 lakh from MHRD and the second has Rs 48.49 lakh.

Kochi: The Union HRD Ministry has sanctioned six SPARC (Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration) projects worth Rs 4 crore to MG University. The ministry has accepted the proposals submitted by the varsity in nano sciences, environmental and bio-medical sciences.

SPARC aims at improving the research ecosystem of India's higher educational institutions by facilitating academic and research collaborations between Indian and international institutions to jointly solve problems of national and international relevance.

The first nano sciene project sanctioned is titled 'Bio-filler-Interfaced Electrospun PVDF Hybrid Piezoelectric Generator for Mechanical Energy Harvesting' with Dr. Nandakumar Kalarikkal and Prof. Sabu Thomas, (Vice-Chancellor in charge) of MG University, as Indian investigators and Dr. Bruno Ameduri of (Univerite De Montpellier) and Prof. Didier Rouxel (Université de Lorraine, France) as international investigators. The MHRD has sanctioned Rs 78.93 lakh.

The two other projects by the same MGU team are 'Study of urea oxidation electrocatalysis for energy conversion from waste' and 'Vachellia nilotica based biocompatible hybrid nanostructured coatings/films for seeds and fruits.' The foreign investigators for the first project are Prof. Dan Meyerstein (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel) and Prof. Alex Schechter (Ariel University) while for the second project Dr. K.P. Sandeep of the North Carolina State University and Dr. Sajid Alavi of Kansas State University don the role. The projects have been sanctioned Rs 66.69 lakh and Rs 66.30 lakh respectively.

The projects submitted by Dr. Usha K. Aravind and Prof C. T. Aravindakumar of MG University 'Layer by layer (LbL) assisted antimicrobial membranes for water purification' and 'Towards sustainable surface water ecosystems in India: Predicting the fate, transport and effects of urban wastewater pollutants in rivers,' have been selected in the environmental science category. Prof. Yoram Oren and Prof. Moshe Herzberg of Ben Gurion University of the Negev are the international investigators while Dr. Mick Whelen of University of Leicester and Prof. Ian Guymer of University of Sheffield collaborate in the second project as foreign investigators.

The first project has an allotted budget of Rs 44.59 lakh from MHRD and the second has Rs 48.49 lakh. In the bio-medical category, the project titled 'Neural, behavioural and genetic underpinnings of social behaviour in autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder' was granted Rs 73.52 lakh. MG University's Dr. Usha Rajamma, Prof K. P. Mohankumar and Dr. Goutam Chandra are joined by Prof. Bhismadev Chakrabarti and Dr. Teresa Tavassoli of Universy of Reading as international investigators for it. All Indian institutes ranked in the overall top-100 or category-wise top-100 in the India Rankings (NIRF) and private institutes which fall in the category and recognized under 12(B) of UGC Act were eligible to apply for SPARC. At the end of the project tenure, the investigators have to produce a large volume of educational and research content in the form of jointly authored/developed publications, textbooks, research monographs, patents, demonstrable technologies and products.

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