Kerala says no to technical university

June 18th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, June 18 (IANS) The opposition Congress in Kerala Monday demanded an explanation from the state government on its about-turn on a decision to convert Cochin University into an Indian Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (IIEST). The leader of opposition in the assembly, Oommen Chandy, said the government had agreed to the project early this year and had even taken advance money from the central government, but later backed down.

“In February, the state government came out with an order stating they have transferred the Cochin University to the central government to be upgraded into an IIEST at a cost of Rs.518.33 crores (Rs.5.18 billion) and even collected Rs.50 crores (Rs.500 million) as advance,” said Chandy.

“But in a recent meeting of the top HRD (human resource development) officials, along with IIEST officials in Delhi, the Cochin University vice-chancellor said they (state government) do not want an IIEST. This is a cruel blow to the aspirations of several students who were expecting CUSAT to be upgraded to an IIEST,” said Chandy.

The human resources ministry announced setting up of the IIESTs to meet the growing demand for engineering and scientific manpower in the country.

These institutes have been marked a ‘institutes of national importance’ on the lines of Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology.

Chandy alleged that at the same meeting where the Kerala refused IIEST, West Bengal government decided to go ahead with the proposal.

Speaking to IANS a top official of the Cochin University of Science and Technology ( CUSAT), on condition of anonymity, said, “” We were all surprised by the stand taken by the vice chancellor at the meeting in Delhi. How can the vice-chancellor take such a stand? Already of the Rs 50 crores (Rs.500 million) of the advance money, CUSAT has availed Rs 20 crores (Rs.200 million).”

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