Kerala University aims to go fully solar-powered, eyes G7.6L/month savings on bills

Kerala University aims to go fully solar-powered, eyes G7.6L/month savings on bills
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Sets aside D10 lakh in budget to establish solar plants that will generate 1,275 MW of power

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The University of Kerala will begin efforts to convert itself into a fully solar-powered varsity by setting up solar power plants at its Palayam and Kariavattom campuses. The proposal finds mention in the varsity’s budget for the year 2023-24, presented by Finance Standing Committee convener K H Babujan on Thursday.

The solar plants, which will generate 1,275 MW of power, will help the university become self-reliant in that domain. The project to convert KU into a fully solar-powered university will be carried out with financial assistance from Smart City Ltd, with the technical support of ANERT.

The power plants will generate 1.53 lakh units of power per month and give the university monthly savings to the tune of around Rs 7.65 lakh. An amount of Rs 10 lakh has been allocated for the project.

The varsity will spend Rs 1 crore for setting up modern laboratories to impart training in augmented reality and virtual reality. The facility will come up at the varsity’s Central Laboratory for Instrumentation and Facilitation. A ‘scholar’s valley’, comprising of eminent scholars, will be set up at Rs 10 lakh to give direction to research activities. The varsity will decide on its research domains after consultations with the ‘scholars valley’. 

As part of encouraging research centres in affiliated colleges, the five best centres will be given Rs 2 lakh each. The scholarship for post-doctoral fellows will be increased from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. In a bid to promote research and start-ups, funds will be mobilised along the lines of a Venture Capital Fund. The budget also proposes assistance to teachers in university departments for setting up startups.

The university will hasten the efforts to kickstart the functioning of the Translational Research and Innovation Centre for which it has been given a grant of Rs 25 crore through KIIFB. According to Babujan, the varsity will spend Rs 50 lakh to ensure that the centre functions at the earliest even before the commencement of the construction of the building for it. AR Rajaraja Varma Memorial translation study centre will be set up for Rs 50 lakh.

KU will permit its international centres to start integrated programmes (combining UG and PG). Committees will be set up for preparing the syllabus for these courses. The varsity will also start integrated LLB and Integrated educational programmes in the next academic year in the law department. 

Launching KU Radio to disseminate information about the university to the public, setting up a Swati Tirunal memorial recording studio at the varsity’s music department and a dance school at the Kariavattom campus are among the other budgetary proposals.

Setting up a geological museum at the Geology Department and construction of sports and aquatic complexes also figure in the budget. A tribal arts and crafts museum at the bio-diversity centre and a heritage museum at the History Department have also been proposed.

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