Sidho-Kanhu Murmu University
Dumka, May 3: Sidho-Kanhu Murmu University (SKMU) has begun preparations for its third convocation on May 19 amid the buzz that President Pratibha Patil would grace the occasion as chief guest.
The varsity has also reportedly approached Union ministers P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Jairam Ramesh through Godda BJP MP Nishikant Dubey to rope in any of them as the chief guest as an alternative in case Patil fails to oblige.
“The university has already sent a formal request to Rashtrapati Bhawan, seeking the President’s consent to attend the convocation as chief guest. The request has not been turned down yet,” vice chancellor M. Basheer Ahmad Khan told The Telegraph. He added that he would visit Delhi next week for an appointment with Patil.
In another major development, the varsity has changed the venue of the convocation, which will now be hosted at the outdoor stadium, at the behest of the district administration. Earlier, Ahmed was keen to organise the event at the proposed site for the permanent university building at Dighi, about 10km from the present campus.
The SKMU authorities have acquired 102 acres at Dighi for construction of an administrative building and permanent campus for the university.
At present, the varsity functions from the rented premises of the Santhal Academy since it was established way back in 1994.
An official said the VC wanted to show the Dighi site to the President or the Union minister who will finally attend the convocation in the hope of attracting central assistance, especially when the state government is reluctant to allocate funds for the project.
However, concerns about security of the high profile dignitaries prompted a rethink. Governor Syed Ahmed, chief minister Arjun Munda, his deputies Sudesh Mahto and Hemant Soren, JMM chief and state steering committee chairman Shibu Soren, HRD minister Baidyanath Ram and public representatives of Santhal Pargana are also expected to attend the convocation.
As such, the district administration does not want to take any risk as Dighi, apart from being located in a remote area, is surrounded by hills and have a tough topography, which might be a hindrance in security arrangements.
The decision to shift the convocation venue was taken after deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar and SP Hemant Toppo visited Dighi for a formal inspection and insisted on the change.