An emerging educational hub
Chikballapur is all set to emerge as an important educational hub in the coming years as several institutions of higher learning are scheduled to come up in and around this town nestled in the vicinity of five hills: Nandi Giri, Chandra Giri, Skanda Giri, Brahma Giri and Hema Giri.
Part of the undivided Kolar district till August 2007, Chickaballapur contributed to the nation the legendary engineer and statesman M. Visvesvaraya. Muddenahalli, the birth place of Visvesvaraya on the outskirts of the town, is on the way to roll out more engineers and technocrats as the Visvesvaraya Technological University’s Visvesvaraya Institute of Advanced Technology (VIAT) is coming up there.
An Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) would also be established in Muddenahalli, which is around 25 km from the Bengaluru International Airport.
According to the Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily, who is the MP for Chikballapur, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal have agreed to the proposal to start an IIT there. This would be a fitting tribute to Visvesvaraya, Mr. Moily remarked.
The VTU has purchased 200 acres of land near Muddenahalli for the VIAT, which would be developed into a “world-class research centre.” The VTU Vice-Chancellor H.P. Kincha, who was in Chikballapur recently, told The Hindu that the VIAT would be developed keeping in mind the research and technological needs of the next 30 years.
Initially, VIAT would focus on research in embedded technology, software quality, agricultural engineering and bio-engineering. Each department would function as a “discovery-innovation centre.”
During the past one year, a high-level expert committee had worked out the structure and programmes of the VIAT, which would offer basic and integrated courses. The University had planned to start an engineering college of its own. But it decided to go in for an advanced research centre as the State already has several engineering colleges, Prof. Kincha said.
The architects have prepared the blueprint and the work would commence shortly. The VIAT would be developed in a phased manner. The VTU plans to set up research sub-centres of the VIAT at Mysore, Gulbarga and Belgaum.
A senior official from the Chikballapur district administration, who is coordinating the establishment of VIAT with the VTU, said that the University had plans to spend Rs. 600 crore on its flagship institution.
Sri Sathya Sai University, which offers undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral programmes in humanities, management and spiritual studies, is also in the process of establishing its campus at Muddenahalli.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba laid the foundation stone in February this year. He said that the campus would become operational in one year, probably by April 2010. The University has its campuses at Whitefield in Bangalore and Ananthapur in Andhra Pradesh.
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