Sunday, November 05, 2006
Monday October 30 2006 12:21 IST
KOCHI: Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) might not see itself being upgraded to Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST).
The "yes", but "no" message sent by the State Government to the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) has cast a shadow in the university.
It is learnt that the State Government has given a conditional nod for the proposal. Government sources have confirmed, "We have agreed in principle, but have asked for further negotiations." The clauses laid down by the government pertaining to student intake and constitution of the governing council in the letter of consent may not go down well with the MHRD.
The Professor M Anandakrishnan Committee, which identified Cusat and four other institutions to be upgraded as IIESTs, has clearly stated in its report that the IIESTs would have to preserve an all-India character in student population through national-level admission tests, either by adopting the Joint Entrance Examination system of the Indian Institutes of Technology or the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination. This clause is not acceptable to the State Government. "We have objections to this clause. Though we have not asked for specific percentage, our demand is that a major portion of students should be from Kerala," government sources said.
The government has also objected to some of the recommendations regarding the constitution of the governing council of the institute. The government suggested that it should have considerable representation in the governing council. Out of the estimated 12 members in the council, the government can now recommend three to four persons. And the government wants more representation. Each institute will have an executive council and an academic council to be chaired by the president of the institute.
"It is really unfortunate that we are not able to take advantage of such a proposal. It is perhaps one of the largest investments in higher education post-Independence and nobody is excited about the proposal," said Cusat Vice-Chancellor P K Abdul Azis. Of the total budgetary recommendation of Rs 2,407.86 crore for these institutions during the 2007-2012 plan period, Cusat will get Rs 518.81 crore, he said.
IIESTs will be predominantly postgraduate institutions offering five-year integrated dual degree (BTech/M.Tech), two-year MArch, five-year integrated MSc, two-year master's degree programmes in arts, science, architecture and management and PhD programmes. IIESTs will also have specific provisions for international students and faculty. The other four institutions identified to become IIESTs are the Bengal Engineering and Science University, Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, College of Engineering, Andhra University, and University College of Engineering and Technology, Osmania University.
It is learnt that the State Government has given a conditional nod for the proposal.