Research parks in varsities under PPP model mooted

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Representative Image | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Thiruvananthapuram: The Higher Education Commission recommended establishing research parks in all universities and autonomous colleges under public-private partnership. The parks have to be registered as ‘section 8 company’ (a company formed for providing services), with powers to procure private capital.

The research parks will be set up under 50:50 public- private investment to facilitate the beneficiaries, alumni and public to invest. The commission chaired by Dr Shyam B Menon suggested establishing 20 research parks in different phases.

To develop Kerala as a major education hub, the research sector has to receive better investments, noted the commission. For this, it has to connect the higher education sector with the entrepreneurial communities.

The proposed research parks will function under its own governing board. The government will provide 50 per cent financial aid only if the institution has a favourable condition and a required number of qualified representatives.

One of the key recommendations is to set up a Kerala higher education fund worth Rs 5000 crore to provide financial assistance for the reforms. A separate company or trust has to be established for handling the fund. The government has been directed to contribute Rs 2000 crore to the fund. The remaining amount can be collected via investments or donations from public, corporates or even centres for worship.

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