DBT to provide assistance to UG colleges in North East to make them 'Star Colleges'

Under its 'Star College Scheme' for improving knowledge and skills of teachers in basic life sciences and specialized techniques in the undergraduate (UG) level colleges, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will soon provide financial assistance to the UG colleges in north eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. Under the programme, the DBT will provide support to the UG colleges for improving knowledge and skills of teachers in basic life sciences and specialized technique, access to specialized infrastructure to students, assurance of consumables, reagents and chemicals for students, improved curriculum that enhances creativity in asking original questions and substantial hands-on experience in designing and conducting practicals by students, access to summer school for exposure to platform biotechnologies and critical thinking and access to knowledge banks with strong support of books and journals including e-journal facilities. Committed to the values of pursuit of excellence, academic and intellectual freedom, creativity and innovation, the DBT launched the 'Star College Scheme' for improving critical thinking and 'hands on' experimental work in the cutting edge-technologies needed for modern biological studies at undergraduate (college) level in life sciences. Major objectives of the scheme are to strengthen the academic and physical infrastructure for achieving excellence in teaching and training; to enhance the quality of the learning and teaching process to stimulate original thinking through ‘hands–on’ exposure to experimental work and participation in summer schools; to promote networking and strengthen ties with neighbouring institutions and other laboratories; to conduct specialized training programmes for faculty improvement for optimizing technical capabilities; to increase capabilities of core instrumentation resources by procuring new equipment and upgrading of existing facilities; to provide access and exposure to students to research laboratories and industries in the country; to help in devising standard curricula and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)/kits for practicals; and to provide better library facility to students and teachers. The colleges that successfully implement the strategy will be considered as life science 'Star Colleges'. Under the scheme, DBT will provide one time non recurring grant up to a maximum of Rs.10 lakhs for each science department (botany, zoology, microbiology, biochemistry, physics, chemistry) and recurring grant of Rs.2 lakhs per year for consumables, Rs.1 lakh per year for contingency to cover expenses on visiting faculty, guest lectures, seminars etc. for each department will be provided initially for a period of 2 years. continuation of support for another 3 years will be based on evaluation of performance.