Rolling back another big decision of the previous Bharatiya Janata Party government, the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government has decided to have a unified campus for the Central University (CU) at Dharamsala instead of two campuses as proposed at Dehra and Dharamsala.
Highly-placed sources have told Hindustan Times that the council of ministers has decided that the Central University will now have only one campus. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his address to the nation on August 15, 2007, announced to establish Central University in each of the states that did not have a central university. Subsequently, the 11th plan provided for the establishment of 16 new Central Universities.
Accordingly, the Central Universities Act 2009 (No 25 of 2009) which received Presidential assent on March 20, 2009, provided for the establishment of Central University of Himachal Pradesh amongst others.
The Central University of Himachal Pradesh is established under the Central Universities Act 2009 (No 25 of 2009) enacted by the Parliament. The University is funded and regulated by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The University became functional with the assumption of charge by the first vice-chancellor on January 20, 2010.
At the time when the university was sanctioned by the central government, the state BJP government decided to split the university in two campuses - one at Dharamsala and the other at Dehra which is a part of Hamirpur parliamentary constituency.
The campus at Dharamsala was known as Dhauladhar campuse, while the other in Dehra is known as Beas campus. Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's decision to split the university had invoked sharp criticism from the Congress government. Chander Kumar, sitting Lok Sabha member, had launched a campaign against the BJP.
The government had allotted 62.52 acres of land at Indrunag near Dharamsala and 30% of academic infrastructure and complete administrative infrastructure was proposed on this campus.
However, the Congress on returning to power ordered a fresh survey on Dharamsala campus and it was found 120 acres additional land.
For Beas campus, which was to be located in Dehra, the government had identified a total of 317.97 acres of land that was allotted and 70% of the academic infrastructure was proposed to come up on this campus. However, for the Beas and Dhauladhar campuses, forest clearance is awaited.
While the university lacked infrastructure for running its acitivities, it was decided to run the affairs from the Government Degree College, Shahpur, which is 25 kilometres away from the main Dharamsala town. The office of the vice-chancellor Dr Furquan Qamar is located in the Writers Home building in Dharamsala.