Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure in Higher Educational Institutions (FIST)
In recent years, great concern has been expressed about lack of infrastructure facilities for imparting good quality higher education and conducting advanced research. While the departments in universities and other higher educational institutions had made some impact on the development of teaching and research through their own efforts, a stage had reached where they needed selective strengthening of their infrastructure for post-graduate education and research in emerging areas. It had also become necessary to extend such infrastructure support to other higher technical and medical educational institutions. Considering all these factors, the new scheme "Fund for Improvement of S&T Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions (FIST)" was launched in 2000-2001.
The support for five (5) years to any PG College or a department / centre / School of any University or academic Institute is considered for augmentation of post-graduate teaching and research facilities in four areas i.e., Basic Equipment, Networking & Computational Facilities, Research Infrastructure and Maintenance of equipment. It operates in three Levels and quantum of grants is limited with respect to each Level. The scheme is call based (once a year) and provides competitive support with due diligence. Normally, Advertisement to seek new proposal is made every year sometime in March / April.
Apart from support for basic equipment necessary for imparting quality teaching and modernization of laboratories provided to a large number of departments, support for creation of a few major facilities has also been provided. The major facilities include Ion Chromatography Systems, Automated DNA Sequencers, Ultracentrifuges, FACS, LC-MS-MS, Scanning Probe Microscope, Oligonucleotide Synthesizer, HPLC-cum-FPLC, Molecular Imaging System, Small-size Liquid Nitrogen Plant, High Resolution Powder X-ray Diffractometer, Single Crystal X-ray Diffractometers, 300 MHz & 400 MHz FTNMRs, Mass Spectrometer, Thermal Analyser Systems, Plasma Deposition Etching System, Universal Testing Machines (UTMs), GC-MS, Raman System, Electron Microprobe Analyser, High Resolution Microscopes, Protein Sequencing Platform, AFMs, Scanning Tunnelling Microscope, Vacuum Melting Furnace and Mass Spectrometer. For accessing internet and other computational facilities including GIS by students and faculty members, support has also been provided to a large number of departments for creation of a 'Central Computer Lab' in the department.