Chennai: The University of Madras is all set to start with the new 5 departments and a centre for stem cell research for human welfare. The approval was given here on Saturday, by the chancellor of the varsity. The 156 year old university, will now come up with departments like Network and Information Technology, Bioinformatics, Material Science, Social Work and Women Studies. Speaking to the media about the new departments of the university, R.Thandavan, vice chancellor said, "We started a postgraduate diploma programme in stem cell technology and tissue engineering in the year 2004. Now, the academic council has approved the proposal for a stem cell research centre. It will be realised soon." "Being one of the oldest universities, we have to move on to the new generation courses. Networking and IT would help us produce more networking experts; the bioinformatics and material science department are something the university has so far not considered. The departments of social work and women studies would keep in mind societal applications," said the vice chancellor.
However, the proposal was cleared in the senate meeting, but there were few questions raised at the same time. The university officials were questioned about the librarian's post lying vacant in the varsity. The members of the senate meeting also noted that, despite having poor infrastructure and vacant posts, most of the science departments in the university had shown good performances in research. However, the senate announced that the department of science and technology has selected University of Madras as one of the 14 best performing universities in terms of publications and research projects. A member said, "Almost 60% of the teacher posts are left vacant. Why should we increase the number of departments when we could not do justice to the existing ones." Moreover, the vice chancellor was asked to take immediate steps in order to improve the existing departments before starting the new ones