CET seeks varsity status for fund flow

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By PRIYA ABRAHAM
  • Published 20.12.13
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Bhubaneswar, Dec. 19: The College of Engineering and Technology (CET) here, which is billed as the state’s premier engineering college, is losing out on several important grants for the want of university status.

Authorities now fear losing the World Bank-funded Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (Teqip) programme if the college was not upgraded immediately.

“We received Rs 10 crore under the project that began in April 2012. It had been approved on the condition that CET would get academic autonomy in two years, but that has not happened,” said principal S.P. Mohanty.

This has deprived the college of grants from the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the University Grants Commission (UGC) and other sources.

An official of the college said rules of the 32-year-old institution were a major hurdle in carrying out academic and administrative activities.

“The principal cannot approve fund transaction of more than Rs 1 lakh. For anything more than that, we have to seek the approval of the vice-chancellor of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology, who operates from the permanent campus in Rourkela. This is very impractical since minor things such as staff salary amount to more than Rs 1.5 lakh,” said a senior professor.

Officials said writing to the VC on trivial issues becomes tasking and suggested that the maximum limit for fund approval should be raised to at least Rs 15 lakh.

The college, which began with just two departments in 1982, now has more than 3,000 students in 11 degree awarding departments and three supporting departments.

“However, the infrastructure continues to be poor. Situated in the state capital, it has been the most sought after college and a status of technical university will boost its prospects,” said a faculty member.

“Most important, the university tag will enable us to get funds from various agencies which is crucial for the infrastructure development of the institute,” said Mohanty.

The authorities said that while private colleges such as Centurion University and SoA University were granted varsity label in no time, the state government was dilly-dallying on the status with regard to CET.

“The worst thing that could happen to CET if it is included under the proposed BPUT-II,” said another senior professor.

”We expected that the state government would consider upgrade of CET under the just launched Rashtriya Uchchatar Siksha Abhiyan scheme,” the authorities said.