World class varsity in Vizag fails to take off!

Hyderabad, Sept. 13: The much-touted ?world-class university? in Visakhapatnam has failed to take off though it has been more than two years since the Centre announced the project.

In 2008, the Union HRD ministry had announced plans of 14 ?world-class universities? across the country, of which one was allotted to Andhra Pradesh. The state government had also come forward and offered around 800 acre in Visakhapatnam to set up the varsity.

Though the university was later renamed by the Centre as ?Innovation University?, officials of the higher education department are clueless about when the actual works will begin.

The state government had identified four sites in Vizag for the purpose and submitted a proposal to UMHRD for clearance. However, there has been no response from the Centre till now.

Sources in the department of higher education said the Centre?s stand about setting up the ?Innovation Universities? has changed and that?s the reason for the delay.

While Mr Arjun Singh was at the helm of the ministry, the UMHRD had said it would bear the entire expenditure to set up the university if the state government offered land free of cost. However, after Mr Kapil Sibal took over in May 2009, there has been a major change in the concept of ?Innovation Universities?.

The ministry has recently drafted a fresh concept note stating that private institutions will also be allowed to set up these universities under public-private partnership mode (PPP).

Officials said the fresh note also raised objections on the sites finalised for the project stating that the innovation universities should come up in places that can attract students and world-class faculty and some sites already identified will not be able to live up to the expectations of a world-class university.

However, the Union minister of state for HRD, Ms D. Purandeswari said the world-class university would be a reality in Vizag in a year. ?It is still being discussed how a world-class university should be. So, there is some delay. I cannot give an exact time-frame but in a year a world-class university would definitely be a reality in Visakhapatnam,?? she said.


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