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An emerging educational hub

K.V. SUBRAMANYA

New institutions devoted to technical and arts subjects are coming up in Chickaballapur


Chickaballapur is all set to emerge as an important educational hub in the coming years.

Chickaballapur in Karnataka 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 rolling 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) will also be established in Muddenahalli, which is around 25 km from the Bengaluru International Airport.

Proposal for IIT

According to the Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily, who is the MP from Chickaballapur, 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 Chickaballapur 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.”

Expert committee

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 Chickaballapur 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.

New campus

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 Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh.

The education imparted at the Muddenahalli campus would have a touch of spirituality.

The graduates would attain scholarship in Ramayana, Bhagavatha and Bhagavad Gita, he said.

Chickaballapur is already home to several colleges that offer diploma, graduate and postgraduate courses in engineering, management, education and physical education besides regular undergraduate courses. There are three engineering colleges in and around the town.

The district in-charge Minister, Mumtaz Ali Khan, said a private institution is planning to start a medical college on the outskirts of Chickaballapur town.

“If it does not work out, the State Government will establish its own medical college in Chickaballapur.”

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