Thursday, Sep 04, 2003
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By M. Rajeev
Repeated representations made by the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, to the Centre notwithstanding, the Central Government is understood to be favouring the upgradation of the Regional Engineering College at Warangal into a National Institute of Technology instead of setting up an IIT which involves huge costs. The Centre's stand had disappointed the academicians led by eminent educationist, C. Ramaiah, who have taken up the cause of setting up of IIT at Basar for the benefit of students of the State.
``They cannot compare upgradation of REC Warangal with the IIT. The composition of IIT is totally different from that of the REC,'' Mr. Ramaiah said.
According to him, the setting up of an institution of excellence at Basar would help develop the backward district like Adilabad where tribals constitute more than 40 per cent of the population. Moreover, Basar, a centrally located place between four States, could be used for development of biotechnology and agriculture technologies by setting up an IIT there.
This apart, though there had been increasing competition among students aspiring for IITs, the number of seats in the premier institutions remained the same over the years. While the seven IITs had an in take of 3,500 students annually, the number of students appearing for the examination increased from 20,000 a few years ago to more than two lakh including 80,000 from southern States and 40,000 from Andhra Pradesh alone.
``Keeping this in view, the Chief Minister rightly took up the matter with the Centre. He has already initiated efforts to create the required infrastructure like acquiring 1,000 acres land besides improving the communication to Basar over the past five years. But given the Centre's stand, the effort is likely to go in vain,'' he lamented.
When contacted by The Hindu, the Minister for Technical Education, N Anjaneyulu said that though the Government was informed about the Centre's stand on the issue, it was yet to get detailed information. "We have received some information about that, but are yet to get the full details of the Centre's stand on the issue,'' he said.
According to him, the State Government had represented the matter to the Centre several times and the Chief Minister himself personally took it up with the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, on two occasions. But there had been no response from the Centre so far. "The Centre has only assured us that it would consider setting up of IIT at Basar as and when the issue of setting up new institutions is taken up,'' he said asserting that the Government would continue its efforts to ensure that an IIT is set up.
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