The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Varsity sees purse bulge

The funds floodgates have opened for Calcutta University (CU).

A slew of projects, budgeted at over Rs 100 crore, are to be implemented at the 150-year-old institution in the next 15 months. The backers: World Bank and the state and central governments.

According to senior officials of the university, CU will don a very different look two years hence, if the funds are utilised properly.

The latest windfall for CU was the University Grants Commission (UGC) endowment of Rs 30 crore, along with the centre of excellence tag.

In the pipeline is a grant of Rs 13 crore, under the Mother Universities Development Project of the UGC. The scheme is intended to encourage larger and established universities, like CU, to help newer universities like Burdwan, North Bengal, Kalyani and Vidyasagar.

'At least five mega projects, costing about Rs 100 crore, are being implemented. Never in its history has the university undertaken projects so large,' stated Suranjan Das, pro vice-chancellor (academic affairs).

In addition to the UGC grants, the university has received Rs 23 crore from the state and the central governments over the past few months to celebrate its sesquicentenary with an infrastructure revamp.

A Rs 33-crore scheme, funded by the World Bank for development of the six technology departments of CU, was started in January this year. It is nearing completion.

'The common factor among the projects is that the money, except the Rs 30-crore centre-of-excellence grant, will have to be spent by March 31, 2007. The UGC grant can be utilised over the next five years,' said an official overseeing the schemes.

The projects centre around improvement of infrastructure, including renovation of buildings.

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