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UGC winning, BIT, Mesra now Mauritius-bound

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By AMIT GUPTA in Ranchi
  • Published 6.08.08

Ranchi, Aug. 6: Birla Institute of Technology (BIT), Mesra is now eyeing picturesque Mauritius to set up a campus, its fourth offshore venture after Bahrain, Muscat and UAE.

All paper work is in order, and the deemed university is now awaiting a final nod from the University Grants Commission (UGC). “We intend offering courses like master of business administration (MBA), master of computer application (MCA), bachelor of business administration (BBA) and bachelor of computer application (BCA) to start with,” BIT, Mesra vice-chancellor P. K. Barhai told The Telegraph.

“In the near future, courses in different engineering streams would also be added,” he said.

Barhai said after the UGC was forced to de-recognise a series of private universities in Chhattisgarh, it has become extremely cautious about giving the nod for extension (domestic) or offshore centres. “But keeping in mind BIT, Mesra’s track record, UGC authorities should have no problem in extending a nod,” said Barhai.

He said BIT had entered into an agreement with the government of Mauritius in January during the tenure of his predecessor, the late SK Mukherjee. Land had already been bought in Mauritius and the infrastructure was in place to start the management and computer application courses.

BIT is the country’s first university to open an overseas centre, and now has eight extension centres in India and three in the Gulf. Its latest proposal for an extension centre in Dumka is now being discussed within the government. Deputy chief minister Stephen Marandi held a meeting with Barhai along with the development commissioner and finance secretary yesterday to discuss the modalities. According to sources in the government, the state was ready to fund the plan, but would require allocating it in an interim budget to be tabled during the monsoon session.

BIT, Mesra has proposed a budget of Rs 5 crore without hostel facilities or about Rs 10 crore with hostel facilities and is ready to launch the centre using the existing facilities at the Dumka polytechnic. But the state government was weighing its options. It could either agree to a full-fledged extension centre on the lines of Deoghar where land and infrastructure would be developed by BIT, Mesra courtesy initial financial support by the government or to simply use the Dumka polytechnic campus to run the courses.