Hunt for location of IIT in Seemandhra begins
Hunt for location of IIT in Seemandhra begins, Indian Institute of Technology, IIT in Seemandhra. Well-placed sources said that the port city of Visakhapatnam, though it has all the qualities, it cannot be said as front runner since a central university was already granted for it.
Hyderabad: The Union Government has formally begun the process of establishing new Indian Institute of Technology for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh by sending a letter to the Governor ESL Narasimhan asking him to identify location for setting up of the prestigious institute. The Governor has forwarded the letter to AP State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) entrusting it to act as a ‘Nodal Authority’ to elicit views, suggesting probable places and submit a report within a few weeks.
As per the letter sent by the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resources Development), a spacious land of 500-600 acres, road, rail and air connectivity shall be there for setting up of new IIT. An airport is mandatory to make academicians and industrial experts both from within and outside India to visit the institution.
“We received the letter from the Governor. We will be writing to all district collectors to elicit their opinion on availability of land and also on other matters. Once we get their views, we will study and make our report,” Prof. L Venugopala Reddy, Chairman of APSCHE told The Hans India. He declined to give probable list of cities that can suit the requirements for setting up of new IIT.
Well-placed sources said that the port city of Visakhapatnam, though it has all the qualities, it cannot be said as front runner since a central university was already granted for it. A land of more than 300 acres was already identified for the central varsity, sources said. But in terms of road, rail and air connectivity, it is far ahead of other cities. “It has an international airport. Several industries have been there to enable the students make a field study. The industry-connect can well be guaranteed since many front-ranking industries can hire from there itself and coach them according to their needs. The IT Industry has been growing there on a faster pace. So, it is an ideal location indeed,” a senior official felt.
Another issue that might come in the way of Visakhapatnam’s selection will be setting up of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) there. Earlier, IIM- Ahmedabad has thought of establishing a campus in Andhra Pradesh way back in 2010, but deferred its plans due to political uncertainty in the state. Same is the case with XLRI- Jamshedpur. Although the then Chief Minister K Rosiah evinced interest to provide the needed infrastructure, IIM- A decided not to go ahead. In 2010, IIM-A held talks with the state government and sought 150 acres of land and 100 crore funding to set up its campus in Hyderabad itself but the Congress government, although promised, failed to provide the same.
The Union government, as part of the educational package for Seemandhra region (Residuary state of AP), promised one IIT, one IIM, three central varsities, one IIIT etc for it. Now, IIM-A has reportedly sought Visakhapatnam for the same, sources in MHRD said.
But sources clarified that the central government may not commit the same mistake of centralising every important institution in a particular city – as committed in the case of Hyderabad. The institutions may be scattered all across Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
Other cities in the race for IIT include Guntur, Nellore and Tada in Chittor district, which is nearer to Chennai. All the three have air connectivity.
“But for Tada, though industrial connectivity is there, it is at the far end and since Chennai has an IIT, it is unlikely to be considered. Nellore could be one more ideal city as Chennai is not very much far away. Government land is available there.
For Guntur, availability of 600 acres of land is a big problem. Gannavaram airport, if upgraded could be useful for it.
If the land issue is addressed, it can be considered for IIT. In fact, Guntur was once described as educational hub too,” a senior official explained.