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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Caste quota keeps corporates away from starting unaided universities

Surendra P Gangan, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, July 05, 2013
First Published: 08:58 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 09:13 IST(5/7/2013)

Leading commercial groups do not seem too keen on starting self-financed universities.

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Just four proposals have been received since May-end when the state invited applications.

The reason apparently is their reluctance to accept the 50% reservation rule.

However, higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope, denied the poor response was because of reservation.

Tope said, “I think it is because of lack of awareness among private players. We are in touch with other conglomerates like Reliance Industries and Wipro, as they have shown interest in setting up universities ,” he told HT.

The self-financed universities bill was passed by both houses of the state legislature without the provision for reservations, and sent to governor K Sankaranarayanan for approval.

Later, however, there was furore over the issue, forcing the government to withdraw the bill and issue guidelines instead.

According to a Mantralaya source, private players are not keen on investing with the 50% caste-based reservation.

“The investment for selffinanced universities would be more than Rs1,000 crore. With such huge outlay and expectation of international standards of education, no investor will accept reservation.,” he said.

Rai University, MIT, DY Patil University and Bharat Forge are the institutions that have submitted proposals after the guidelines were issued.

Most of the proposals are for universities in Pune.

The minister said his department was setting up an 11-member scrutiny panel comprising secretaries from three departments — education, finance, and law and judiciary — and experts from the education sector to study the proposals.

“Once approved by the committee, we will issue letter of intent to the promoter, who will have to comply with the conditions to get the approval.After that, an independent bill of each university will go before the cabinet, and then to the legislature for the final nod,” Tope said.


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