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House uproar delays Besu upgrade

The proposed upgrade of Bengal Engineering and Science University, approved by the Union Cabinet on October 12, has been held up by the parliamentary stalemate over corruption charges.

The upgrade will come into effect and the Shibpur university will be renamed Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST) only after the Centre gets the National Institute of Technology Act amended in Parliament.

The amendment could not be carried out in the winter session which had to be adjourned amid the 2G controversy, and the Besu authorities doubt whether the matter can be taken up even in the budget session, scheduled to start in March.

“We are not sure whether the proposed amendment would receive the parliamentary nod even in the budget session, as it has to take up all the pending matters of the winter session,” said vice-chancellor Ajoy Kumar Ray.

The delay in the upgrade has prompted the state government to defer admission of students to the institute through the All India Engineering Entrance Examinations (AIEEE), as envisaged in the proposed amendment.

In the academic year 2011-12, Besu will continue with the practice of admitting students through the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examination, though there may be some problems if the upgrade comes through in the budget session.

Besu, as an IIEST, is supposed to teach only five-year integrated dual degree programmes but students admitted through the state JEE will be enrolled for the traditional four-year BTech/BE courses.

“This could have been avoided had we admitted students through AIEEE from the 2011-12 academic year,” the VC said.

However, even if the upgrade takes effect from the next academic year, the older batches at Besu would still remain under the undergraduate programme.

Asked what degrees would be awarded to these students, Ray said the new board of governors would take a call.

“If we were to go ahead with the IIEST programme from 2011-12, we would have had to notify the AIEEE board by December that students would be admitted through its entrance exam,” the vice-chancellor said.

Now that the upgrade has been delayed, the VC said: “We will get more time to prepare ourselves. We need to have more classrooms and modern labs before we begin to teach the IIEST curricula.”

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