Chapter 7






Due to the emphasis given to the quality of human dignity and welfare in the State for decades, the work force in Kerala is considered to be more healthy and more qualified than workers from other parts of the country. However, dynamic changes in the global economy as well as demographic changes in Kerala call for focused efforts on further capacity building and skill enhancement so that people can find appropriate and fulfilling livelihood options, both within the State and elsewhere. Further development of a scientific base and fostering effective technology partnerships has become all the more important. This chapter brings out the efforts made by Institutions and Implementing Agencies in Scientific Services, Technology Development and in Skill Development.


Scientific Services & Research


Developments in the different spheres of human activity have been influenced to a great extent by the advancements in Science and Technology. Human life has been revolutionised by the impact of Scientific Research and innovations. Apart from bringing about rapid growth, S&T also holds the power to address the challenges facing mankind. It is the immense capacity and potential of this sector which has ensured that successive Governments at the Centre and the State, accord it high priority.


7.2 The Indian Science sector is witnessing a new growth momentum in the recent years. On the one hand, the relative position of India has improved in terms of its Science output and publications. However, on the other hand, we need to achieve global standards in areas like Innovation system, Inventiveness in our basic sciences etc. For a country of the size of India, with a robust scientific infrastructure and a vast pool of trained scientific manpower, the productivity gains from a hike in R&D spending could be huge. Many developed and emerging economies have been investing 2 per cent and more of their GDP in the R&D sector for quite some time now. And it is now well understood that India has to invest much more than 1 percent of GDP in R&D.


7.3 S&T in Kerala contributes to not only enhanced economic development, but also balanced and sustainable growth by generating income and employment opportunities. R&D activities in the govt sphere are undertaken not only by dedicated institutions but also by the line departments. Rural Industrialisation of the non-traditional kind and self employment are two critical areas identified in the Approach Paper of Kerala’s 11th Plan. Significant points identified in the Approach paper of Kerala’s 12th Plan are – encouraging high quality R&D, effectively showcasing Technology developments in India and abroad to facilitate S&T based industries, special attention to marine biotechnology etc. Energy, water management, farm production, medical research, waste disposal, health care, and communications are some areas where S&T inputs and innovations can bring a significant change in Kerala society.


7.4 The Annual Plan allotment to ‘Science, Technology & Environment’ in Kerala has increased from ` 150.25 crores in 2007-08 to ` 446.52 crores in 2012-13. During 2013-14, the allocation was
` 534.43 crores, which is 3.14 percent of the total Plan allocation. Kerala has accorded high priority to the sector in the Annual Plans. A brief comparison is provided in Appendix 7.1.


7.5 Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE), Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) and Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) receive Government funding under ‘Scientific Services and Research’ in Kerala.


7.6 Plan allocation and expenditure (including SDG) of KSCSTE and RCC during the 11th Plan and Annual Plan 2012-13 is indicated in the Table 7.1 below.


Table 7.1

Year wise Plan Outlay and Expenditure (Rs in Lakhs)
















11th FYP




















  Source: PLANSPACE; and CPMU, Government of Kerala


7.7 Funds allocated to KSCSTE and RCC during 2012-13 were mainly used for the following categories of expenditure:-


1) Research and Development

2) Expansion, Augmentation and upgradation of Infrastructure

3) Promotion of Science & Scientific Research, Dissemination of Knowledge, Up gradation of Human Resource capabilities.



Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment


7.8 The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) was established in 2003 to promote excellence in science and technology through learning, research and development with the involvement of academia, industry, research organizations and to benefit the society through science and technology interventions with the involvement of user agencies and beneficiaries. Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) was constituted as an autonomous body of the Govt. of Kerala by restructuring the erstwhile State Committee on Science, Technology and Environment. The primary objective of the Council is to implement Science and Technology Programmes to enhance the socio- economic development as well as quality of life and environment of the State. The Council also intends to revamp and streamline the science and technology programmes to make them more responsive to the development needs of the State, and help in the transformation of Kerala as a knowledge economy..


7.9 There are six Research & Development Centers functioning under the umbrella of the Council viz., Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS), Centre for Water Resource Management and Development (CWRDM), Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI), National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI), and Kerala School of Mathematics (KSM).The Council also supports three grant-in-aid institutions namely, Sophisticated Test and Instrumentation Centre (STIC), Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC) and Malabar Botanical Garden Society (MBGS). The council also undertakes co-ordinates and oversees many research programmes through the Universities and other R&D facilities established by the State and Central Governments.


Activities and Achievements of KSCSTE during 2012-13


a) Science and Research

• Funds were released for 52 new and 58 ongoing projects under the Science Research Scheme (SRS).

• 10 Scientistships were awarded under the KSCSTE Emeritus Scientist Scheme (ESS).

• 160 candidates were offered KSCSTE Research Fellowship


b) Science for students

• 64 Projects sanctioned under the Student Projects Scheme.

• Model Science laboratories were established in 20 Model Residential Schools under the SC/ST Department, and financial assistance was given to 15 Schools under the Sastraposhini Scheme.

• District level Childrens Science Congress was conducted in 14 Districts in November 2012. 68 projects were selected for State CSC. 16 Best projects were selected for National CSC held at Varanasi in December 2012.


c) Science Promotion

• The 25th Kerala Science Congress was held at Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram from 29 January – 1 February 2013. The special theme was ‘Science Education and Research’.

• 200 projects were sanctioned under the Scheme for Promotion of Young Talents In Science (SPYTiS)


d) Science and Environment

• KSCSTE along with CWRDM is implementing the Programme on Water Quality for the state. It is to be expanded to all the 44 river basins in the state.

• KSCSTE along with CWRDM, Soil Survey Department and KFRI are implementing the Programme on Soil Quality monitoring for the state and a report was published in 2012.

• KSCSTE prepared the State of Environment Report for Lakshadweep which was a project from the MoEF, Govt of India. The report was published in June 2012.

• The website of Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Kerala has been revamped to Content Management System. 94 new web pages have been created.

• 3500 schools were provided financial assistance @ 2500 per school under the National Green Corps Programme.

• 1500 schools were covered under the scheme for establishment of Eco-clubs in schools.

• 350 proposals were processed for providing Technical input for KCZMA.

• Special functions to mark important days like World Environment Day, World Earth Day, International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer etc.

• The Wetland Technical Unit co-ordinated the preparation of Management Action Plans(MAP) for the Sasthankotta and Vellayini lakes in the state. Ramsar Information sheets for Kavvayi wetland has also been prepared and forwarded.


e) Science and Technology

• 15 project proposals approved under Engineering & Technology Programme (ETP). Financial grant was released to 11 new projects and 12 ongoing projects.

• TECHFEST 2013, three day mega technological event was jointly organised with Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Kottayam from 16-18 January 2013 at Kottayam.

• Financial assistance was provided to 109 institutions for conducting Seminar, Symposia and Workshop.

• Financial grant was provided to 10 new and 5 ongoing projects under the Rural Technology Programme (RTP)

• Rural Innovators Meet (RIM – 2013) was organised jointly by KSCSTE and Integrated Rural Testing Centre (IRTC) at Palakkad from 12 to 23 March 2013.

• The Patent Information Centre (PIC) conducted 19 awareness programmes. 73 patent applications were received. Patent database search was conducted in all applications and reports sent to inventors. 7 patent applications from Govt Organisations / Institutions were forwarded for further patent filing procedures.


f) Science and Women

• Activities of the Women Scientist Division includes 8 projects sanctioned under Back to Lab Programme, 9 awareness programmes, 2 topics sanctioned under SPEED, and 82 Pratibha Scholarship awards.


g) Biotechnology

• 3 new projects under the Young Investigators Programme in Biotechnology(YIBP), 1 new Project under the Industry Linked Biotechnology Research Scheme(IBRS), 1 new project under the Biotechnology Innovation for Rural Development(BIRD) scheme and 1 project under the Biotechnology Training and Workshop Scheme(BTW) were sanctioned by the Kerala Biotechnology Commission. A National Colloquium on Translational Health Science was organised by Kerala Biotechnology Commission jointly with Srinivasa Ramanujan Institute of Basic Sciences (SRIBS) and Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Gurgaon during 18 and 19 March 2013.


Activities and Achievements of R & D Centers under the Council


1. Kerala School of Mathematics (KSM): The Centre organized 6 workshops/ seminars, 11 symposia/ colloquiums, and 5 training programmes during the reference period. The centre also organized an International Conference on Vector Bundles from 02 to 06 April 2012; and an International Conference on Analytic and Algebraic Geometry related to bundles from 25 to 29 March 2013. 4 Papers were published. 11 collaborative research works have been undertaken by the Centre. A hostel block with all necessary amenities is under construction, and has become partially functional.


2. National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC):

NATPAC has undertaken application oriented research, sponsored studies and Training & Extension programmes in the field of Transportation and allied areas


• The major R&D projects of NATPAC includes Computerization and periodic updation of Price Indices for Stage Carriage Operations in Kerala, Computerization and periodic updation of Price Indices for Auto taxi Operations in Kerala, Study on the performance of Highways developed under KSTP, Safety Audit of Public Transport systems in Kerala, Predictive accuracy of Urban Transport Studies in Kerala, Use of waste plastic in road construction, Use of Geo-textiles in road construction in Kerala, Route network planning of Inland Water Transport for Kerala, Evaluation of accident Black Spots on roads using GIS and Remote Sensing,


• Other activities and achievements of NATPAC include – 7 Training programmes on Roas Safety, Seminar and publication as part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day 2012, National Seminar on Transport Vision Kerala 2030, Road Safety Week programmes, Panel discussion on Coastal Shipping & Inland Navigation, preparation of material for training and awareness on Road Safety etc.


3. Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI): The major activities under the institute includes:-

• Workshop in connection with World Bamboo Day celebrations on 18 september, 2012

• Outreach programme, ‘Plant Wonders Evolution and Genetics’ for Higher Secondary Students from 14-23 Nov 2012.

• 25th Kerala Science Congress Expo at Kanakakunnu from 28 Jan -3 Feb 2013

• Refresher Course in Plant Taxonomy, 11-16 Feb 2013

• Vavilov’s Day celebrations and lectures

• 20 training programmes on Plant Propogation and Nursery Techniques under the ATMA programme of Kerala Agricultural Department.

• 21 International and 32 National publications in Peer reviewed journals.

• 7 Research Reports / Project Reports published

• 1 patent filed.


4. Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS): the major activities and achievements of CESS during the reference period includes :-

• 20 Projects with funding from Central Government Ministries / Agencies

• 22 Projects with funding from State Government Departmrnts / Agencies

• 17 projects with funding from other agencies

• 34th IIG conference was organised by CESS from 13-15 December 2012, with the focal theme “Natural Resource Manangement and Decentralised Planning”

• Celebration of Earth Day and National Science Day.

• Series of awareness programmes on Ocean State Forecast from 15 March to 24 April 2013.

• Seminar on Mapping Tool for Environmental Management and Planning on 24 June 2013

• 11th Prof. C. Karunakaran Endowment Lecture on 10 August 2012.

• 17 publications each in International and National peer reviewed journals.

• 32 Research Reports / Project Reports published


5. Centre for Water Research Development and Management (CWRDM)

CWRDM is carrying out 66 research projects on various aspects related to water resources management, of which 30 are plan funded projects and 24 funded by various agencies like DST, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Indian National Committee on Hydrology, etc. 12 projects are carried out through Consultancy model, based on demands from user agencies. During the reported period, 3 externally funded projects, 6 plan projects and 8 consultancy projects were completed. During the reported period, 11 seminars and 10 sponsored trainings were undertaken. 4 Farmer Leaders Training Programmes were also held. The centre also has 1 national and 15 international publication in peer reviewed journals. In 2012-13, a significant addition to infrastructure was the Mobile Water Analysis Lab.


Activities and achievements of Grant in aid Institutions


1. Malabar Botanical Garden (MBGS)

During the reference period the institution has processed and deposited in the MBG herbarium about 1100 Angiosperms, 1217 Bryophytes and 78 Pteridophytes. MBG conducted 2 seminars and 2 exhibitions apart from winning the prize for the best stall at the 25th Kerala Science Congress Exhibition. It has 6 sanctioned R&D projects at various stages of progress. MBG had 11 publications in the reference period. The main highlights of MBGS are Jnakiya (RET Plant Repository), Vaidyamadam (Medicinal Garden), Bambusetum (Bamboo Garden), Hortus Valley (exclusive garden for the plants of ‘Hortus Malabaricus’), Panathottam (Palm Garden), Apushpi (Pteridophyte Conservatory), Nakshatra Vanam (Trees of Birth Stars), Aquagene (Aquatic Plant Conservatory and Nursery) etc.


2. Sophisticated Test and Instrumentation Centre (STIC)

• Instruments added during the time period includes Data logger, Agilent make Model 34972A LXI Data Acquisition Switch Unit, Agilent make 34901A Armature Multiplexer Module, Microbalance, Mettler-Toledo, Standard weights including E1 class, Porosity Tester, Direct Mercury Analyser etc.

• The Calibration and Testing Laboratories conducted 2924 tests/ calibrations from 317 users. 17341 samples were analysed by the Sophisticated Analytical Instrument Facility from 1521 users.

• R&D works were undertaken in specific areas like Biomedical Instrumentation, Photoacoustic and photothermal phenomena, measurement science and sensors, applied materials science etc

• STIC conducted a 2 day workshop on ‘Material Characterisation at Nanoscales’ in March 2013, and has 10 publications in International peer reviewed journals.


3. Integrated Rural Technology Centre

• Under the Watershed Development Programme, masterplans have been prepared for 25 grama panchayats. Holistic Watershed Development programmes of 45 watershed has been taken up.

• 227 persons were given training under the Livelihood Support Programmes.

• Installation of around 800 portable domestic biogas plants and 11 community biogas plants have been completed.

• A five day National workshop was conducted on ‘Modern Techniques in Traditional Pottery.


7.10 During 2012-13, a new Plan Scheme, namely ‘Special Programmes of KSCSTE’ was introduced for enhancing and augmenting the quality of human resource in the sector.


Box 7.1

Research Output which have found field applications

• NATPAC – The computation and periodic updation of price indices by NATPAC is used by the government for revision of taxi, auto and bus fares. Study on the ‘use of waste plastic in road construction’ has paved the way for more roads being constructed with the use of waste plastic, which is a serious community menace.


• CWRDM – Water Security Plan prepared for 26 Grama Panchayats have been used in the Jalanidhi Phase II.


• KFRI – Through the ‘Tree Health Helpline’ KFRI has been attending to queries from public on problems related to pest, diseases, and other aspects of trees.


• CESS – The expertise of CESS has been utilized for Sand Budgeting at the Mining Sites of Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd, Chavara. CESS has proposed the geomorphological signature based approach for demarcation of High Tide Line (HTL) for Coastal Regulation Zone applications including preparation of CRZ Maps



7.11 The relatively low level of expenditure of the Plan outlay in this sphere is an area of concern to Kerala. Various R&D institutions under the Central and State Governments have developed a wide range of technologies. However their full potential remains untapped. This indicates the existence of major gaps in production, dissemination and application stages. Science along with R&D has to be demand driven and need based. The knowledge emerging from research must be able to provide solutions to many of the developmental concerns affecting Kerala’s society. Hence greater emphasis has to be placed on the delivery mechanisms in this sphere.


Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram


7.12 Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram (RCC), is an autonomous scientific institution set up by the Government of Kerala and supported by the Government of India. The centre was established in the year 1980 as a tertiary referral centre for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. RCC rated amongst the top three of the 28 Regional Cancer Centres in the country. It is the only comprehensive, dedicated centre for diagnosis, treatment and control of cancer in Kerala. There are almost 40,000 new cancer patients every year in the state and out of this more than one third come to RCC for treatment.


7.13 RCC has 17 divisions divided into Cancer Therapy divisions, Diagnostic divisions & Supportive divisions.


Box 7.2

Major Achievements of RCC during the period 2012-13

IInfrastructure Development

• Construction of a new 10 storeyed building is progressing.

• Purchase of equipment like Homogenizer, Microtome, Flow Cytometer, Hematology Analyser, Laboratory Centrifuge, 4 DCT Scanner, Apharesis machine, Sterile connecting device, Platelet agitator and Incubator, Plasma Expressor, Fumigating machine, Ophthalmoscopes, High frequency Ergonomic Portable X-RAY, Franking machine etc. PET Scanner, Ultra sound scanner etc.


Patient Care facilities

Many patients have benefitted from

• RCC initiatives like Cancer Care For Life (CCL), Akshaya Pathram (Free Food), Kinginicheppu (Children’s Welfare Fund), Free Drug Bank etc

• Government Sponsored Schemes like Cancer Suraksha Scheme, Thaalolam, Comprehensive Health Care Programme for Scheduled Tribes, Karunya Benevolent Fund, Chis Plus, Snehasanthwanam for Endosulfan victims, Prime Ministers Relief Fund, Health Ministers Rastriya Arogya Nidhi, Cancer Pension, Railway and Airway concession to patients etc

• Support from NGOs like Indian Cancer Society, Aasandha Insurance for Male Patients.


Cancer Control Activities

• Total 89 programmes

• Training to trainers, doctors, volunteers, student representatives & teachers, paramedics, health supervisors & workers, lay public and NGOs.

• Screening clinics for early detection of cancers

• Tobacco cessation clinics and Global Adult Tobacco Survey- Dissemination of Kerala Fact sheet.

• Cancer detection camps & cancer awareness programmes


Research and Training

• Purchase of equipment like Dynamic Light scattering system, Electro-spinning apparatus, Electropheresis etc

• Upgradation of facilities in Cancer Research Division and the Library Information Systems Division

• Conducted Super specialty, post graduate, post doctoral, fellowship, graduate and diploma level academic programmes.

• Training to students from various Universities, rotation postings and project training.

• 40 ongoing & 3 completed Extramural Research Projects

• 22 ongoing & 5 completed Pharma / Industry Sponsored Research Projects

• 14 ongoing & 4 completed other funded projects

• 39 ongoing & 3 completed In-house Research Projects


7.14 Details of leading sites of Cancer can be derived from an analysis of the Patients treated in the seven multi-disciplinary clinics during 2011-12 and 2012-13 as provided in Appendix 7.2.


7.15 During 2012-13, a new Plan Scheme, namely ‘Institute of Nuclear Medicine in RCC’ was introduced for using Nuclear Medicine in patient care, training of personnel and research into various aspects of the use of radioactive sources in healthcare.


7.16 The incidence of cancer in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam ( Consolidated Report of Population Based Cancer Registries published by ICMR) is among the highest in the country (AAR for Males 132.6/1,00,000; Females 123.2/1,00,000). More than 5000 new cancer patients were diagnosed from Thiruvananthapuram alone during the report period (2009-11), of which 50 percent are females. During the report period, RCC organised the 28th Annual Review Meeting (ARM) OF National Cancer Registries from 6 to 7 December 2012 and published a 30 year consolidated report of Hospital based Cancer Registry (1982-2011) during this meeting. The leading cause for cancer in males are tobacco related, predominantly those of oral cavity (13.9 percent) and lung (13.6 percent) whereas the leading cancer sites in females are breast (28.1 percent) and thyroid (13.2 percent) in 2011 in contrast to uterine cervix (28.8 percent) and breast (17.5 percent) in 1982.


7.17 With the analysis of data relating to cancer, showing the emergence of certain trends, it is perhaps time to reinvigorate our efforts and, have a fresh look at our strategies to treat and prevent cancer. The main emphasis of Government expenditure in S&T sector in 2013-14 was on enhancing R&D activities, expanding infrastructure, promotion of Science & Scientific Research, dissemination of knowledge, upgradation of human resource capabilities. Despite such initiatives, Kerala faces economic, social and environmental challenges that require a new level of R&D effort and success. For the economy to escape the low productivity cycle and transit to a knowledge economy, it must improve economic productivity and competitiveness through innovation. Kerala needs to think in terms of a new strategy that uses S&T to address the emerging challenges of the state. Kerala also needs focussed programmes to support the industrial and other economic sectors in their R&D efforts to improve economic efficiency and competitiveness.




Skill Development


7.18 Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development of the state. The economy becomes more productive, innovative and competitive through the existence of more skilled human potential. The level of employment, its composition and the growth in employment opportunities are the critical indicators of the process of development. Increasing pace of globalization and technological changes provide both challenges and growing opportunities for economic expansion and job creation. In taking advantage of these opportunities as well as in minimizing the social costs and dislocation, which the transition to a more open economy entails, the level and quality of skills that a nation possess are becoming critical factors. Countries with higher and better levels of skills adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of globalization.


7.19 As per 66th NSSO round 2009-10, 84 percent of the total workforce in India was in the unorganised sector and 92 percent were in informal employment.This indicates the need for training them so that they can get better employment. However, there is a shortage of Trainers. Training of trainers is a key component of the skill development. There is an acute shortage of trainers not only in the existing trades but also in the proposed new trades. There is an urgent need for improving the quality and size of trainer resource. Skill Upgradation of trainers, their quality assurance and improvement of their status in society are important to improve the quality of training.


State Skill Development Mission


7.20 The State Skill Development Mission has already been constituted under the section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE) to promote and implement programme and projects related to Special Skill Development Initiatives. To address the problem of educated unemployment an action plan and project has been prepared in Colleges with the Higher Education Department. Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) is meant for those studying in various Colleges in the State. The physical details of ASAP is given in the education section. ASAP strive to transform State of Kerala as a human resource hub of the region and is well positioned to capture growth opportunities. ASAP aims to impart industry specific skills to the needy students in the selected schools and colleges along with their regular studies through modular courses with the active participation of Industry partners. Students enrolled with ASAP will get opportunity to learn sector specific skills of their choice. Communicative English and Basic IT modules are integral component of ASAP Programmes. Additional Skill Enhancement Programme (ASEP) is for the students of ITIs and Registrants of Employment Exchanges is also envisaged. Pysical details of ITIs given in the Labour section. Along with this Modular Employable Skill Programme is also being run with the support of Vocational Training providers in the State




Kerala has the potential to become a major knowledge hub and provide high value in all sectors of the economy. A knowledge economy requires considerable long term funding of select institutions and building of strategic technological partnerships. It requires the spread of a scientific temperament and a quest for excellence. User integration between research institutions and implementing agencies and promotion of pilot projects which add value to the economy are required. Kerala’s literate labour force should be transformed to a highly skilled, highly productive asset through focused investments in science and technology and skill development.