Three IITs for Andhra, none for Orissa

New Delhi: The central government is planning to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Andhra Pradesh even as it has decided to upgrade two other technical institutes in the state to IIT level.

Human Resources Development Minister Arjun Singh informed the Rajya Sabha this week that the Andhra Pradesh government had offered 1,000 acres of land free of cost along with civic amenities at Basara in Adilabad district if the centre agreed to its proposal to set up an IIT there.

He was answering a question by Adilabad MP Nandi Yelliah.

Arjun Singh had told Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy last year that the central government was willing to set up an IIT if the state was ready to provide 500-600 acres of land free of cost with necessary social and physical infrastructure, including good road, rail and air connectivity.

The Andhra Pradesh government was responsive to the precondition of the human resource development ministry and immediately wrote back that it is "in the process of finalising a suitable piece of land with good infrastructure facilities, for the setting up of an IIT in Andhra Pradesh".

Arjun Singh also said the centre on the basis of the recommendations of an experts committee had identified seven institutions in the country for upgrading to IIT level. Two of these are in Andhra Pradesh - the Osmania University College of Engineering and Technology, Hyderabad, and the Andhra Pradesh College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam.

The upgradation process has already begun and the central government has released Rs.70 million for Osmania College and Rs.80 million for the Visakhapatnam college in the last financial year 2006-07, said Singh.

Orissa, however, has had no such luck.

Minister of State for Human Resource Development D. Purandeshwari informed the house that "the chief minister of Orissa has written to the prime minister for establishment of a Greenfield IIT in Orissa and for upgradation of the extension campus of IIT, Kharagpur, at Bhubaneswar.

"The government has decided to set up three new IITs in the states of Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh." (IANS)

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