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Platform to press for Besu upgrade

The Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu) will organise a seminar on September 7 to press for its upgrade to Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST).

The speakers will include state higher education minister Sudarshan Ray Chowdhuri, and MPs Hannan Mollah, Basudev Acharya and Swadesh Chakraborty.

A report of the seminar will be handed over to Ray Chowdhuri, who will meet Union human resource minister Arjun Singh on September 10.

The upgrade process was initiated when the state government agreed to hand over the university to the Centre last month. “Everything depends on the Centre now,” said Asok Mohan Chakraborty, the additional chief secretary to the state government.

The Centre will have to pass a bill in Parliament to formalise the upgrade of Besu and four other institutes to IIEST, as recommended by the Centre-appointed Anandakrishnan Committee.

“The bill is being drafted and will be sent to the legal ministry for approval in a couple of months. Once it comes back, it will be tabled in Parliament,” said an official in the Union ministry.

“It may be ready by the winter session,” he added.

The other institutes to be upgraded are Benaras Hindu University’s Institute of Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Andhra University College of Engineering and Osmania University College of Engineering.

After the bill is tabled, the state will have to hand over a list of assets and liabilities of Besu to the Union ministry.

Besu vice-chancellor N.R. Banerjea has asked all department heads to prepare a list of the assets and liabilities “in the next two months”.

The Shibpur institute was upgraded to a deemed university in 1993 and declared a university in 2004. The statute of a deemed university which was governing the institute came to an end in June 2007. The “first statute” of Besu as a university came into force on July 1, 2007.

The notification issued by the additional chief secretary for the commencement of the university statute raised the hackles of the teachers. They fear that the elections to the statutory bodies of the university “will create complications” for the upgrade. “The first statute will be nullified once we become an IIEST,” said a teacher.

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