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Prestigious education projects: Low on prgress, high on controversy

chandigarh Updated: Jul 09, 2015 12:40 IST
Hindustan Times

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Amritsar (Punjab)
Project announcement: 2014
Mentor institute: IIM Kozhikode
Location: Manawala, 12 km from Amritsar city
Current status: Academic session to start by July-end. Classes will be held in a temporary campus set up at Government Polytechnic Institute opposite Guru Nanak Dev University. Land finalised at Manawala for setting up permanent campus. Construction to begin after the tender is decided.
Plot size: 66 acres
Project cost: Rs 850 crore Punjab government will pay for the land. Centre will develop the infrastructure
Courses: Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in Management for which selection will be made through Common Admission Test (CAT). Fee for two-year PGP fixed at Rs 9 lakh, including tuition fee, cost of hostel accommodation, books and learning material
Total seats: 65
Faculty: Full-time professors. Institute will also depend on professors from other IIMs, especially Kozhikode
Controversy: After the project was announced last year, the district authorities proposed sites at Awaan near Ajnala and Sheron Baga nera Baba Bakala. However, the Centre’s teams rejected the two sites due to their distance from the city. At one stage, a Punjab cabinet minister wrote to the chief minister, expressing fear that Amritsar could lose out on the institute. Then, the Manawala site was approved

The Government Polytechnic Institute in Amritsar from where the classes for the IIM will begin temporarily. (Sameer Sehgal/HT Photo)

Indian Institute of Management, Sirmour (HP)
Project announcement: 2014
Mentor Institute: IIM Lucknow
Location: Nahan
Current status: Academic session to commence in August. Classes will be held in temporary campus being set up at a private institute, Himachal Institute of Technology, Paonta Sahib. Permanent campus will be set up at Dhaula Kuan, 27 kilometres southeast of Nahan town.
Plot size: 202 acres
Project cost: Still to be worked out
Courses: Post Graduate Programme
Total seats: 60
Faculty: Besides permanent faculty, the institute will also depend on visiting professors from other IIMs, especially IIM Lucknow
Controversy: When the institute was announced, there were demands from different political groups to set it up in Shimla, Mandi or Bilaspur. However, the state government chose the relatively backward Sirmour district

Indian Institute of Technology, Jammu
Project announcement: 2014
Location: Khanpur Nagrota, 15 km from Jammu city
Current status: Academic operations to start next year in the old campus of Jammu University. No decision on site for permanent campus till now. The state government proposed six sites, but the union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) did not agree. A new site is being considered now
Plot size: 412 acres
Project cost: Rs 3,000 crore. J&K government will provide land free of cost, besides electricity and water connections. MHRD will construct the structure.
Courses, seats and faculty: Still to be finalised
Controversy: None

Haryana Horticulture University
Project announcement: 2014
Mentor institute: Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Hisar
Location: Karnal with regional centres at Jhajjar, Jind and Ambala
Current status: To start functioning in 2016 temporarily from Horticulture Training Institute at Uchani in Karnal and regional station of HAU, Hisar. Site for permanent main campus not yet decided. Karnal town and Moonak in Karnal district are being considered.
Plot size: 700 acres
Funding: Rs 206 crore is the cost expected in first year
Courses: Certificate and diploma programmes, besides PG courses
Total seats and faculty: Still to be decided
Controversy: None

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bilaspur (HP)
Project announcement: 2015
Mentor institute: AIIMS Delhi
Location: Bilaspur town
Current Status: Site identified at Kothipura village, 10 kilometres south of Bilaspur town. Selected site was proposed to the Centre and the inspection has been done by the central team. The team is likely to visit the state again to study the requirement of infrastructure and other facilities
Plot size: 200 acres
Project cost: Estimate still to be worked out
Courses: Not decided
Total seats: 50 seats, but no clarity on number of beds in hospital
Faculty: To be recruited before commencement of operations
controversy: The announcement triggered intense lobbying by prominent politicians trying to corner the project. They all wanted the project in their respective areas. In addition, both the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, and the Congress, which has its government in the state, tried to take credit for the institute

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bathinda (Punjab)
The announcement made by Arun Jaitley in his budget speech this year triggered a row between alliance partners Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Both union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD) and union minister of state Vijay Sampla (BJP) were keen to have the premier medical institute in their parliamentary constituencies of Bathinda and Hoshiarpur, respectively. Bathinda falls in Malwa region, whereas Hoshiarpur is part of Doaba.

The proposed site for All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bathinda. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

While the government decided to establish the project in Bathinda, Congress MP from Jalandhar Chaudhary Santokh Singh and former MLA Sukhpal Khaira also demanded that the institute be set up in Doaba. BJP leader and former minister Manoranjan Kalia also expressed resentment over “shifting” of AIIMS to Bathinda. Their main grouse: the institute was shifted to Bathinda after chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had announced to establish it in Doaba region and land was surveyed in Kapurthala. While the bickering carries on, a 100-acre site, which currently forms part of a 250-acre Punjab Agricultural Univesity (PAU) research centre on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, has been proposed for the institute.

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Kashmir
After the union finance minister’s budget announcement, the Jammu and Kashmir government decided to establish the premier medical institute in the Valley igniting strong protests by various organisations in Jammu. Though Jammu got two premier higher education institutes (IIT and IIM), the protesting organisations wanted the medical institute as well. The PDP-BJP government was charged with favouritism and accused of shifting AIIMS to the Kashmir Valley.

Jammu residents protesting against the proposed All India Institue of Medical Sciences in the Kashmir Valley. (HT File Photo)

What was interesting was that the agitation in Jammu was spearheaded by many local BJP and RSS leaders who are members of the local bar association. Jammu Bar Association said it had no objection to Kashmir getting an AIIMS, but Jammu should also get the medical institute as promised by the Centre. However, J&K chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has already ruled out another AIIMS in Jammu, saying the medical institute had been given to the Valley as per the written Agenda of Alliance between the PDP and the BJP. No site has been identified for the proposed institute so far.