Hyderabad varsity students, faculty oppose setting up of TIFR campus | india | Hindustan Times
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Hyderabad varsity students, faculty oppose setting up of TIFR campus

A section of students and faculty of the University of Hyderabad, a central varsity, located on the outskirts of the city, have threatened to stage a protest when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the campus on Tuesday to lay the foundation for a TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) facility.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2010 23:22 IST
Ashok Das

A section of students and faculty of the University of Hyderabad, a central varsity, located on the outskirts of the city, have threatened to stage a protest when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the campus on Tuesday to lay the foundation for a TIFR (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research) facility.

While the police is taking no chance and making foolproof security arrangements for the PM’s visit, the state government started back-channel negotiations with the students and faculty members on Monday evening to call off the agitation. The students' unions and some faculty members are opposing the handing over of 209 acres of university land to TIFR to set up its Hyderabad campus.

Their demand has the support of several political parties in the state, who have also appealed to the Prime Minister to skip the function. The state government, however, feels that the agitation is motivated and instigated by some vested interests.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah told mediapersons that the students’ opposition is based on the erroneous impression that TIFR is a private institution (probably because of the Tata name) and that the government was giving out the valuable land to a private party for a song.

“Some persons are expressing concern over allocation of land to TIFR with a misconception that the institute is a private one. Actually, TIFR is a unit of the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India and is one of the top-class research institutes in the country,” Rosaiah said.

“The institute has come to Hyderabad after a lot of effort. Several other states had tried to get it,” he said, adding that a total of Rs 2,500 crore would be invested in building the campus. The chief minister said some employees were aggrieved that the university was not allocating house sites for them.

He said house sites would be allocated to the university employees after the court cases were over. TIFR officials said their Hyderabad campus would have world-class labs and facilities to put India in the forefront of research in the emerging areas of science. It plans to accommodate 200 permanent faculty members, 1,000 students and 300 post-doctoral researchers.