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Silence on upgrade rattles JU - Vice-chancellor writes to Delhi, state govt

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 23.07.07
  •  
Bengal Engineering and Science University, which was short-listed along with JU, is ready for its upgrade. A Telegraph picture

Jadavpur University (JU) is rattled by the silence of the Centre and the state government over the proposed upgrade of its engineering and technology faculty.

JU and Bengal Engineering and Science University (Besu) are among the seven institutions across the country that have been shortlisted by the Centre for an upgrade.

While Besu’s upgrade to Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology has been almost confirmed, there is no word from the Centre or the state on JU.

“It’s a matter of serious concern for us that the government is completely silent on our upgrade,” said JU vice-chancellor S.K. Sanyal. “We expect proper initiatives by the state and the Centre for upgrading our institution, which deserves a higher status.”

A worried Sanyal last week wrote to Union human resource development minister Arjun Singh and state higher education minister Sudarshan Ray Chaudhuri, urging them to take steps to expedite the upgrade.

The university’s fear seems to stem from the fact that once Besu is upgraded, the salary of its teachers will increase by around Rs 10,000 a month. “We may lose some good teachers, and also meritorious students, to Besu,” said a teacher. “The teachers and students will also be drawn towards Besu for its better academic infrastructure, post-upgrade.”

The Centre had released a grant of Rs 42 crore for the seven short-listed institutes so they could start work related to the upgrade. JU had received its quota of Rs 7 crore.

“We have spent the funds and the utilisation certificate has been sent to the Centre. It’s surprising that the HRD ministry is still silent on the fate of our Rs 682-crore proposals for research and development,” said Parthapratim Biswas, a senior teacher and member of the university’s executive council.

The proposals were sent after the Centre asked the shortlisted institutes to state their “vision of the upgrade”.

Besu had sent proposals worth around Rs 900 crore. The university’s upgrade seems confirmed as the HRD ministry has recently written to the state chief secretary, responding to the government’s submission on the issue.

After receiving the letter, the state government announced in the Assembly last week that the “final decision” on the upgrade of the Shibpur campus will be taken as soon as the “act concerned” is passed in the Lok Sabha.