| The entrance to Shibpur’s Bengal Engineering College (Deemed University)
After establishing a new technology university offering quality education to students in the upcoming private engineering colleges, the state government is ready to set up another full-fledged university to promote engineering education in the state.
The state government is planning to formulate an Act in the ensuing Assembly session in June to convert Shibpur Bengal Engineering (BE) College — presently enjoying a deemed university status — into a full- fledged university.
“We have submitted a report to the state government on our present infrastructure, staff strength and every other aspect of the institution, justifying our demand for the status of a full-fledged university. We are awaiting the final nod from the government,” said Amaljyoti Sengupta, BE College vice-chancellor.
The move to elevate the college status is apparently aimed at ensuring optimum utilisation of the ‘high-standard’ infrastructure available at the 147-year-old college, known as one of the oldest premier engineering institutions in the country.
State higher education department sources, however, say the government is more keen on upgrading the university’s status to avoid implementation of a Central directive involving the admission procedure of the college.
The Centre has recently sent a directive to the state government, asking it to exclude BE College from the jurisdiction of the state-conducted joint entrance examination (JEE). Instead, Delhi has sought that admission to the college be held through the Centralised entrance tests conducted every year for the country’s other top engineering colleges.
Though the Centre pledged to sponsor funds to the institution if it switched over to the Centralised admission system, the state government was opposed to the offer.
Its refusal stemmed from one of the conditions, which said that once the college adopts the Centralised admission procedure, students from other states will have to be accommodated in the institution in equal proportion. This would mean fewer seats for the state’s students in the college.
“Admission will have to be through the state-conducted JEE, once the institution gets a full-fledged university status, and so, the question of agreeing to the Central proposal does not arise,” said vice-chancellor Amaljyoti Sengupta.
State higher education minister Satyasadhan Chakraborty, however, said the government is still examining the report submitted by the college. “We will take a final decision on upgrading BE College to a full-fledged university only after a clearance from the University Grants Commission,” he explained.
Sources in the higher education department say that unlike other full-fledged universities, like Calcutta and Jadavpur, which have multiple faculties, BE College, when upgraded, will continue to focus on engineering and technology courses only.