The State government has chalked out a detailed plan to support COVID-related research and welfare projects by research students of universities, which would be monitored by the Higher Education Department. As part of this, the students would be encouraged to come out with innovative projects that could support the battle against the pandemic.
The State-run universities would take up various research projects with a funding of Rs 150 crore, a senior official from the Higher Education Department cited the example of students of Anna University developing a novel sanitizer to eliminate coronavirus from masks and PPEs, which would be commercialized.
“It was also decided to support the Department of Textile Technology of Anna University to develop a reusable mask based on polyester fleece fabric meant for filtration of particles of size 3.0 microns and above,” he added.
Similarly, the University of Madras has proposed to establish a state-of-the-art “Centre for Anti-infective Research” (CAIR) with a multidisciplinary approach to carry out dedicated research on infectious diseases like COVID-19.
The official said that the Bharathiar University has signed an MoU with the Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC), Puducherry, to share the research expertise of the scientists and faculty members, and attract more funding through ICMR projects.
Amid the pandemic, the Alagappa University has adopted 91 villages through its departments and affiliated colleges to improve sanitation, cleanliness, hygiene, prevention of usage of plastics, solid and liquid waste management, the official said.“The university has signed an MoU with US-based Cornell University and also initiated the process of signing MoU with Drexel University, North Eastern University, and Stanford University in the USA to undertake research students and faculty exchange programs in the areas of biotechnology,” he added.
He said Periyar University has also proposed to establish a Centre for Disease Prediction and Management in collaboration with the national and international health institutes. “The main focus of the Centre is to study and understand the cause for vector, air, animal, and water-borne diseases,” the official explained.