State high on private varsities

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  • Published 17.11.10

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 16: The high court order, which had ushered in uncertainty over the fate of the proposed Vedanta University, would have no adverse effect on the state’s plan to set up 11 more universities in the private sector, the state government said today.

The government has already given approval to four universities including, the one proposed by the Vedanta group.

“The law department will examine the high court’s order on Vedanta University issue. All the new varsities will come up in the state. We are committed to provide centres of excellence here,” said higher education minister Debi Prasad Mishra.

So far, the government has passed four separate acts to set up four universities in the private sector.

The proposed institutions are: Vedanta University at Puri-Konark marine drive, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar University at Naraj in Cuttack, Institute of Charted Financial Analysts of India (Icfai) University in Bhubaneswar and Centurion University of Technology and Management at Parlakhemundi in Gajapati district.

According to agreement, the Vedanta University was to be given 6,000 acres and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar University 185 acres.

The Vedanta group has already been given 3,500 acres. The quantum of land for the other two universities is yet to be decided.

The proposed Sri Sri University will cater to the needs of 15,000 students with 1,500 faculty members.

While the Centurion University will concentrate, among other things, on distance education, the Icfai University will “provide instruction, teaching, training and research in specialised areas”.

According to sources, apart from the four varsities, the government has received 11 more proposals from the private sector.

These are Jagatguru Krupalu University (Jagatguru Krupalu Trust), Xavier University, Techno Global University (Calcutta-based Techno Indo group), Maa Anandamayai Viswavidyalaya (Maa Anandamayi Trust), Synergy University (Shivani Educational Charitable Trust from Orissa), Women’s University Technology (Sarala Foundation, Orissa), Private University of Rai Foundation (Rai Foundation), University of Corporate Excellence (Infotech Park Limited), Amity University, Silicon University (Silicon Valley investment, Orissa) and ASBM University (HRD group, Bhubaneswar).

State higher education secretary Madhu Sudan Padhi said the government had agreed “in principle” to the proposals of Xavier University and Maa Anandamayai University.

Padhi said that the NRIs were in touch with the state government to invest in the field of education.

“NRI Groups from San Francisco are interested in investing Rs 150 crore in higher education. Preliminary discussions have already been held and another round of talks will be held in December,” he said.

Padhi said: “The authorities of University of Washington, Seattle; Florida International University, Miami and Chicago University were in touch with the state government to have faculty exchange programmes and tie-ups with local institutions.”