C-DAC funds new bldg over research

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The Times of India
Sep 03, 2016

Rs 36Cr Diverted From Corpus Set Aside For Key Projects

If one is looking for reasons why scientific projects at key research institutes stutter and stumble instead of staying on schedule, Pune's Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) could make a compelling case in point.

Over the last few years, scientists at the premier research and development organization had to divert Rs36 crore from its corpus meant for important projects, including one on supercomputing, to construct the centre's new building at Panchavati, Pashan.

In 2012, the Centre had expressly allocated Rs120 crore for the high rise spread across 35,000 sq mtrs. Nevertheless, diverting corpus funds became imperative since only Rs32 crore of the allocated amount has been received so far. As a result, senior C-DAC officials point out, several crucial projects had to be postponed while others were prioritized.

Moreover, the new building was to be ready by 2009 but remains far from complete. For now, C-DAC will occupy only two-and-a-half-odd floors when it moves into the semi-constructed premises on Saturday in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“The first proposal for Rs50 crore for the building was made in 2006. Later, in 2011, we reassessed the plan and the new proposal sought Rs120 crore. In 2012, the government approved the reassessed budgetand Rs32 crore was released. Another Rs40 crore will be released by the government. This is the bottleneck. The funds need to be released on time. We will be taking up the matter with the government,“ director general C-DAC Rajat Moona said.

Moona further explained that they have decided to use Rs40 crore from C-DAC's corpus fund. “We have already spent Rs36 crore of this amount on the project. We are yet to receive almost Rs70 crore from the government. Our budgetary allocation has remained limited. Hence, we haven't been able to complete the project on time,“ said Moona.

Talking about how the money that could have been used for research purpose has been diverted towards the building fund, Moona said, “ A number of projects could not be taken up, a lot of work had to be prioritized for a variety of reasons.It is difficult to tell exactly which projects were postponed. For example, the last supercomputer update was in the year 2013. In the past three ye ars, supercomputers worldwide have changed a lot but we haven't been able to do anything as we didn't have the money .“

The new building that will come up next to Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology building in Panchavati has state-of-the-art infrastructure. “We are also contemplating using solar energy. The campus as well as the systems will be wireless. We are establishing a robust method for securing the wireless system,“ said Moona. He added that if budgetary allocations are made on time, the building can be complete by March 2017.