Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Minister yet to apply mind on IIT issue


Dec 27, 2006
Minister yet to apply mind on IIT issue
Tuesday December 26 2006 14:17 IST

DHARWAD: Dharwad City, which had vied with Bangalore earlier to set up prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) seems to have lost battle for Medak in Andhra Pradesh.

With AP Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhara Reddy announcing in the Assembly recently that Union HRD Ministry had agreed to set up the IIT there, space scientist U R Rao Committee recommended Dharwad seemed to have missed the bus in bagging the IIT as the State Government failed to act on time.

When S R Bommai was Union HRD Minister, he had formed U R Rao Committee to recommend locations for setting up of new IITs in the country under 11th Five Year Plan. UR Rao wanted Dharwad to house IIT in south India.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister's scientific adviser CNR Rao too wanted the IIT project to come up either in Mysore or in North Karnataka.

Now, it is the turn of Andhra Pradesh after Tamil Nadu to snatch the project. In 1959 when the Centre proposed to set up IIT in Karnataka, it went to Tamil Nadu.

Sources said the State Government sent a proposal recommending Hasan and Bangalore for an IIT in south.

The IIT loss can be considered as a personal blow to Energy Minister H D Revanna who campaigned to set up the institute in his home district Hasan and sent a proposal to Union HRD Ministry in this connection.

Having known these developments, S R Bommai wrote to Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh in August asking him to implement UR Committee recommendation.

In reply Singh wrote to Bommai on November 30, a copy of which is available with this website's newspaper, that Ministry is in the process of finalising proposals for the 11th Five Year Plan, which will include opening of new technical institutions like IITs/IIMs. Accordingly, your (Bommai's) request will be given due consideration at the appropriate time.

Member of Parliament Prahlad Joshi too has raised the issue during zero hour of Parliament House demanding Centre to set up IIT in Dharwad.

Revenue Minister Jagadish Shettar told this paper that he had written to PM Manmohan Singh and Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh assuring State's cooperation in setting up of IIT and was ready to earmark 300 acres of land for the said purpose in City.

He has plans to pressurise the Centre in next a couple of days through Higher Education Minister D H Shankaramurthy.

When contacted Shankaramurthy on Monday over telephone, he told that I am yet to apply my mind on this issue. Officers are on casual leave, so I am presently not informed about this matter.

The Minister said that Congress-ruled AP Government and coalition Karnataka Government had their own ways to take benefits from Centre for their respective states.

State will continue its efforts to persuade Centre to set up IIT in the State.

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