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DPR ready for Centre for Innovation and Societal Applications & Centre for Public Humanities: CU V-C

Kolkata: In a sincere effort to make cutting edge research on science and technology directly to benefit society and the masses, Calcutta University has decided to come up with a Centre for Innovation and Societal Applications (CenSISA). The University will also come up with a Centre for Public Humanities (CPH) to encourage research-related activities on humanities which are innovative, transparent and accessible to the public.

"We have already prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on the activities to be taken up in these two centres. We are getting Rs 50 crore under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) which will be utilised for setting up these

centres," said Sonali Chakravarti Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University.

According to a senior official of Calcutta University, the CenSISA Centre is aimed at addressing a number of areas that includes development of hardware and software tools for supporting health and education, green technology for pollution control, renewable energy, smart grids, energy harvesting, energy storage, effect of technological development on human health, food security and water resource management, disaster prediction and management and mathematical and statistical modeling.

"The universities usually use RUSA funds for individual research projects taken up by professors or research scholars. But we have arrived at a consensus to set up two permanent centres which will be an asset for the future generation," the official added.

According to the DPR prepared by the University, the objective of the centre for supporting health and education will concentrate on developing technical tools that will support rural health practitioners who provide vital support to the community at the primary level. It will also focus on the development of a standalone system that will provide health diagnosis, monitoring and support at remote and rural areas. The Green Technology Centre will lay emphasis on chemical and biological sensor development for the detection and monitoring of pollutants. "We need to have continuous upgrading of the systems that control earth, water and air pollution for sustainable development," an official said.

The Centre for Renewable Energy, Smart Grid, will make a comprehensive effort to address the looming problem of the consumption of fossil fuels with depletion of global reserves of oil and coal. In the sphere of Food Security, the university will do research in the areas of sustainable management of food waste and the monitoring and contamination control of water bodies. Water harvesting and developing novel methods of water purification will also be another focus area.

The two centres have already received the approval of the RUSA director and Rs 15 crore has already been released. The convergence of a number of departments in science, bio science and technology will be involved in the research activities of CenSISA. "The domain of digital humanities, disaster studies, the study of new technology will bring close collaboration between the two centres," Banerjee maintained.

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