Science research institutions should give more opportunities to women, Dalits and those from economically-backward sections, Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said on Thursday.

She said this as she inaugurated the first phase of permanent campus of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Vithura near here.

Irani also urged higher education students and faculty in the country to exploit the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme to expand the avenues for collaborative research.

The programme would ensure that the best of global academicians come to the country’s higher education institutes, she said.

"I am extremely happy to share that under the GIAN programme, we, for the first time in the history of independent India, have employed every government institution," she said.

"Tell us which foreign academician you want to invite to your institution, so that new knowledge can be infused. We can engage an interaction between our faculty members and foreign academicians who come to your institution and possibly support jointly such projects that can emanate from such interaction under the GIAN programme," she said.

The Minister said the GIAN programme would ensure that the best of academicians come to the country’s institutions and teach the students for a minimum of seven days to one semester charging absolutely no additional costs from them. The programme is aimed at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs, globally, to encourage their engagement with higher education institutes in the country.

According to Irani, when an institution enables more and more women students and those from financially backward and minority and tribal sector in the field of science, such students achieve resounding success not only in their own life but also in the institution that they come from.

She also added that if the state government submits a proposal for a new Kendriya Vidyalaya at Vithura, the Centre would consider it favourably.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said at a time when many changes are happening in the field of science and technology, the presence of IISER is expected to ensure best quality education for students. IISER-TVM is the fifth IISER established by the HRD Ministry.