Thursday, October 12, 2006


Proposal to convert engineering college into IIT opposed

Proposal to convert engineering college into IIT opposed

R. Ravikanth Reddy

``Decision would rob Telangana of their best institution''

Admission will be thrown open
Presidential Order keeping 85 per cent seats for local students would be violated
HYDERABAD: The only Government Engineering College for Telangana and a premier technical institution in the country — Osmania University College of Engineering (OUCE) — will be a thing of the past if the Andhra Pradesh Government approves the Human Resource Development Ministry's proposal to take over the college for the newly planned Indian Institutes of Engineering, Science and Technology.
The OUCE, along with the Andhra University College of Engineering, Vishakapatnam, the University of Science & Technology, Kochi, the Institute of Technology, Benaras, and the Bengal Engineering College, Kolkata, were short-listed to be upgraded, based on the Anandakrishnan Committee report. If the upgrading fructifies, they would get Rs. 415 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan from 2007 to 2011.
Academics and students of the region are agitated at the proposal, as the OUCE is not just an educational institution, but also a symbol of technical education in the Telangana area. "The decision would rob Telangana students of their best institution," says Chukka Ramaiah, who has been advocating a full-fledged IIT in the State.
If the Centre's idea takes a shape, students cannot gain admission based on the State entrance test, as seats would be thrown open for all-India competition.

Student unions also represented their grievance during the Committee's visit. K. Chandra Mohan, vice-president, Students Federation of India, says that it is a ridiculous decision when the region's students are realising the importance of quality education. `
`Osmania University will be forced to cede nearly 800 acres if the proposal is approved, which we will not allow,'' says Nannuri Narsi Reddy, president, Telugu Nadu Students Front.
He says the Presidential Order that provides for 85 per cent seats exclusively for local students would also be violated, as admissions would be done on all-India basis. Some academics see the move as an attempt to nullify the State's demand for an IIT at the Saraswati temple town of Basara in Adilabad district. Mr. Ramaiah says that the S.K. Joshi Committee appointed by the previous Government finalised the venue and the Assembly passed a resolution in favour of it.
Teachers recall a similar attempt by the Central Government in 1953 that proved futile due to stiff opposition from all sections. Public representatives too are opposing the idea. Upgrading cannot be at the cost of students' interests, says Anjan Kumar Yadav, MP. ``I will raise the issue in Parliament if need be.''

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