Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget announcement at the weekend to set up a new Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Karnataka has cheered the state. After demanding one for nearly two decades, the Centre has accepted the state’s demand for an IIT.
Jaitley, who presented the Union Budget for 2015–2016 on Saturday, said an IIT would be established in the state. While the location is not yet known, some of the places where it could be set up include Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, Hassan, Raichur and Ballari. The state government is yet to finalise the location and send recommendation to the Central government.
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Karnataka, the knowledge capital of India, is already home to other eminent institutions like the Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Information Technology, Indian Statistical Institute and the Indian Institute of Plantation Management at Bengaluru and National Institute of Technology at Surathkal in Mangaluru.
The setting up of an IIT would cap it all, said Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC). The chamber specifically expressed happiness at the focus on the proposed setting up of an IIT in Karnataka, making it the only state to have an IIT, IIM, IIIT and IISc.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah, Union minister for chemicals and fertiliser H N Ananth Kumar, T V Mohandas Pai, chairman, Manipal Global Education, and H Maheshappa, vice-chancellor, Visvesvaraya Tech- nological University, among others have welcomed the move to set up an IIT in the state.
According to rules, an IIT requires at least 500 acres. The Centre has constituted an expert committee to study the possibility of establishing IIT in a lesser area. The committee is yet to submit its recommendations to the government.
The demand for setting up an IIT in the state goes back about 20 years. In 2006, the then human resources minister Arjun Singh had agreed to sanction an IIT for Karnataka. C N R Rao had recommended for setting up one in Mysore.
However, it could not materialise due to differences between the coalition partners, Congress and JD(S), in the coalition government headed by N Dharam Singh. Meanwhile, Janata Dal wanted it to be set up in Hassan, the Congress had shown interest in setting up the same in northern districts. When H D Kumaraswamy became chief minister he had even offered to give 1,000 acres land in Hassan. Subsequently, the proposed IIT was shifted to Medak district in Andhra Pradesh.
The NDA government has once again sanctioned an IIT for Karnataka. However, the state government should select a suitable location and send the recommendation to the Centre at the earliest, analysts said.
Recently, R V Deshpande, minister for higher education and tourism, wrote to Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani drawing her attention to the need to set up an IIT in Karnataka and promised to provide the required land free of cost for the same. He had reiterated the state’s offer to provide 500 acres land for setting up an IIT.
Meanwhile, IIT Horata Samiti has demanded that the IIT be set up in Raichur, so that one of the most backward region in the state would get some prominence and help remove the regional imbalances.
Some of the places where it could be set up include Hubballi-Dharwad, Belagavi, Hassan, Raichur and Ballari
The demand for setting up an IIT in the state goes back about 20 years
- In 2006, the then human resources minister Arjun Singh had agreed to sanction an IIT