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Cream cradles caught in campus drag, state unfazed

Lack of permanent campuses continues to plague three premier institutions that had promised to put Jharkhand on the country’s elite education map.

While IIM-Ranchi is yet to raise basic infrastructure despite being granted land, Central University of Jharkhand (CUJ) is still functioning out of a rented campus and the National University of Study and Research in Law (NUSRL) project has already been a two-year drag.

The reasons for inordinate delay range from co-ordination chaos to security concerns to sheer lackadaisical approach to building the state’s academic prospects.

In 2010, the IIM was officially launched in Jharkhand. But, unavailability of land and the Nagri fiasco scuttled chances of a permanent address and the cradle has had to function out of a temporary campus ever since.

Last year, the state offered 90-odd acres in Cheri of Kanke block. Union HRD minister Pallam Raju, Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh and chief minister Hemant Soren laid the foundation stone for a new IIM campus on July 29, 2013.

Nine months down the line, there has been no progress. Insiders concede that there is no full-time IIM director to monitor the raising of a permanent campus.

Acting director B.B. Chakraborty, however, reasons that they are yet to get the final land map from the government. “Without the land map, we cannot proceed. We hope to get it soon,” he said.

Chakraborty quickly added: “In the meantime, we are doing our surveys. The new buildings, including classrooms, auditoriums, libraries, et al, will have to meet national IIM specifications. We are looking for an architect, but he will need the land map too.”

Sources said that a cramped IIM-R was, currently, scouting for a new building for expansion. But, Suchana Bhavan in Kanke, where it holds classes temporarily, isn’t fit for expansion.

The CUJ, which too functions out of a rented campus in Brambe, has an August deadline for a permanent campus in Manatu. Varsity officials claimed construction work was 90 per cent over and they were contemplating shifting students in a phased manner as soon as possible.

Lack of connectivity and security is, however, a major deterrent at the moment. Manatu village can be reached from two sides — Kanke and the Ring Road. “Now, this stretch of the road project is still incomplete. The site is full of rocky patches. There are security concerns too. We are weighing our options and are negotiating with the government to solve these problems,” a source said.

The NUSRL campus also seems a distant dream. Two years ago, the law cradle got 63 acres in Nagri for its permanent premises. Thereafter, the state provided a corpus of Rs 50 crore. The deadline lapses on April 30.

NUSRL registrar A.K. Sengupta said they were going ahead with construction of hostels and classrooms at the new site.

“As of now, all I can say is that work is on. Let’s see what happens, whether the agency can meet its own deadline. We will review the project after that,” he added.