Mumbai University’s minor research project funding sees sharp hike in 3 yrs

While Mumbai University (MU) is hardly known for significant contributions to research and development, funding for minor research projects has seen a steep hike in the last three years and is set to go up further this year. The funding for such projects has gone up from Rs 20 lakh in 2010 to Rs 90 lakh last year. The budgetary allocations for the 2013-2014 academic year will see the funding for minor research projects cross Rs 1 crore.

Such projects are taken up by teachers from various colleges affiliated to Mumbai University and the proposals are evaluated by a selection committee before approval.

"We intend to hike the funding for minor research projects to Rs 1.25 crore in the 2013-14 academic year. It is under discussion. The university is keen on promoting research and lack of funds should never be an impediment," said a university official.

For major research projects, funding at the university is largely dependent on funds or grants from the central and state governments. Contribution from the industrial sector has been low. Data obtained from Mumbai University shows that for 2007-2008 and 2010-2011, it received zero funds from Indian industries/corporate sector.

In 2010-11, the university received a total grant of over Rs 51 crore from the central and state governments and the University Grants Commission. The last two years, however, has seen a change, with the university receiving Rs 49.58 crore from industry, alumni and sources other than the state/Central governments till September 21,2012.

"In addition to funds received from various sources for major projects, we are also looking at progressively increasing funds for our minor research projects. The aim is to encourage teachers across the various colleges affiliated to the university to take up innovative research work," said the official.

To ensure that postgraduate students, young researchers and teachers of the university are aware of the various areas to which they can contribute through research, the university is also starting a new project where they will be able to interact with stalwarts spanning across various sectors. It will start next month and the interactions will be scheduled every Saturday till March-end.

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