New central univs await campus land

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 2 2012, 08:43am hrs
Almost three years after the government decided to set up 16 central universities in the country, it has failed to allocate land for the proposal, leaving most of the varsities making do with non-permanent campuses.

In the case of Bihar, the state government had offered sites at Motihari, which the human resource development ministry did not find suitable. The state government has now proposed an alternate site in Gaya, which belongs to the defence ministry. The varsity will finally be set up here, although the ministry is yet to officially communicate to the state government in this regard.

In Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, the sites for the campuses have been identified and construction will start only after formal transfer of land is done by the state government. As per the state government, over 580 acre of land has been allocated for the proposed central university in Jammu, while over 540 acre has been marked for Kashmir.

For the varsities in Haryana, Karnataka, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, the construction work is in final stages.

In fact, the central university of Rajasthan recently shifted all its 14 departments to the new campus in Kishangarh, about 80 km from Jaipur. The institution has recruited about 60 staff so far.

We would have ideally liked the universities to shift to their own campuses by 2012 but financial and land issues led to the delay. Most of the institutes are operating from makeshift campuses while a few have partly shifted to their own premises, said a ministry official. For each of the new central universities, the respective state government was to provide free of cost land to the tune of over 500 acre.

In Punjab, the state government wanted to test the allocated land for uranium deposits till sometime back. However, the construction work is in progress.

The university in Himachal Pradesh has been granted land for two campuses in Dharamshala and Dehra, the land for which is yet to be formally transferred.

The University Grants Commission had earmarked R1,054 crore for universities in the 11th Plan and allocations for the 12th Plan will include the proposals for construction activities of the new campuses.