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Kerala willing to hand over institutions to Centre: CM

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Kerala willing to hand over institutions to Centre: CM
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government was willing to hand over more state-managed Science and Technology institutions if the Centre shows interest in taking them over, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here Tuesday.

He was speaking after presenting the prestigious Kerala Sasthrapuraskaram 2013 to Dr M S Valiathan, National Research Professor, eminent cardiologist and founder-director of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST).

Valiathan was honoured with the award, which consists of a citation, a sculpture by Kanayi Kunhiraman, and a cash award of Rs 1 lakh, at a function organised by the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) here.

Chandy said Kerala was happy to see its efforts in promoting science and technology recognised at the national level. The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) was the first state science institution taken over by the Centre and was today one of the foremost research and development centres in the country, he said.

The Union Cabinet had now decided to take over the Thiruvananthapuram-based Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) and had expressed interest in Palode-based Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI). A final decision on JNTBGRI is expected soon, the Chief Minister said.

Chandy said his government faced several constraints in the upkeep of Research and Development institutions, but with the Centre's assistance they had an opportunity to flourish and become highly productive centres benefiting both the state and the country.

He said that state government was doing all it could, including instituting scholarships and awards to young scientists, to nurture science and technology in Kerala.

Dr Valiathan said every institution was established with a specific purpose and that objective must not be forgotten.

He pointed out that many individuals who graduated out of institutions of higher learning in Kerala during the British Raj and the princely rule chose to become teachers, unlike their peers in other states who went on to do research.

The lack of research institutions in Kerala was addressed to some extent by setting up of the Science and Technology Council and the centres under it by the Achutha Menon government.

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