In order to encourage the pursuit of excellence and teamwork in advanced teaching and research to accelerate the realization of international standards in specific fields, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently approved Special Assistance Programme (SAP) grants worth Rs 8.00 crores to the University of Hyderabad (UoH). The main objective of the programme is to identify and support university departments which have the potential to undertake quality teaching and research in various educational disciplines including allied disciplines.

The status of the departments at UoH was reviewed by various expert committees of the UGC and the grants have been recommended for a total period of five years to six Schools/Departments/Centres.

‘The grant is directed at strengthening the focused areas of activity such as infectious diseases, genomics, molecular studies and brain functions. Accordingly, the grant will underpin research outcome at the Department by facilitating the work being carried out by about 75 PhD students and post-doctoral fellows in the above areas and in upstream areas of modern biology and biotechnology’, says Dr. Niyaz Ahmed, head of the department of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics which has been sanctioned Rs103.50 Lakhs under the SAP-Departmental Research Support (DRS I) scheme.

The “Centre for Advanced Studies in Electronics Science and Technology” (CASEST), School of Physics, has been recommended for support under SAP-DRS-I (Fresh Induction) with an allocation of Rs. 74 lakhs and 2 project associates, for a period of 5 years (2015-2020). The thrust area for Research is Micro- and Nano-Electronic Devices- Design, Simulation, Fabrication and Testing, says Prof. G Rajaram.

Dr. Siva Kumar of the Biochemistry Department says, “The department would like to strengthen the infrastructure facilities by procuring the equipment granted (Image analysis system) and work in the following frontier research areas with intra departmental collaboration in the areas of a. Protein interactions, protein homeostasis in development and disease; b. Inter-organelle Communication and dynamics and c. Simulation dynamics, networks of signal Transduction and Metabolic pathways”. They have been granted Rs108.50 Lakhs (DRS I).

Plant Sciences department which has been sanctioned a grant of Rs100.50 Lakhs (SAP-DRS I) intends to utilize the grant for purchase of equipment viz., HP-TLC, Lyophylizer, Tissue lyser, Gradient PCR and Spectrophotometer which will be used by the research scholars and post-graduate students of the Department of Plant Sciences. The thrust area will be Plant Systems and Environmental Interactions.

120 lakh rupees have been sanctioned for the English department under the Department of Special Assistance (DSA I to DSA II) and over the next five years they will be utilizing this for working in the thrust area of English in India: Variants & Contemporary Developments.

The School of Chemistry has received grants to the tune of Rs295 Lakhs under the scheme Centre of Advanced Study (CAS II to CAS III). This will be utilized for augmenting the instrumental facilities and maintaining the existing facilities so that the students work never gets hampered, said Prof. M Durgaprasad, Dean of the School. The thrust area of research is Molecules to Materials: Design, Structure, Synthesis and Dynamics.