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Let Tumkur varsity continue, Government told

By Our Staff Correspondent

TUMKUR, JUNE 30 . It is not proper on the part of the Government to stop the formation of Tumkur University, Baraguru Ramachandrappa, the first Director of the Tumkur Centre of Bangalore University, has said.

The Government must show determination and continue the university, he said. He suggested that the colleges which were against their affiliation to Tumkur University could be left out for the time being. Things were not different when Hampi University and Kuvempu University were started. For that matter, the formative days of Mysore University and Bangalore University were also the same.

The degree colleges of Tumkur district were affiliated to Mysore University till as late as the academic year 1976-77, when they were shifted to Bangalore University. There were only three colleges in the district then: a Government College in Tumkur and a private college each in Tumkur and Tiptur.

The district enjoyed a distinct status in Mysore University. The then principal of the Tumkur Government College, M.A. Ramachandra Rao, was known to have a decisive voice in all the affairs of the university. Students and teachers were against transferring the colleges to Bangalore University. But their protests were ignored by the Government.

There are 31 degree colleges in the district now: 11 Government first grade colleges, eight aided (by the Government) colleges, and 12 private (unaided) colleges.

In 1995, Bangalore University considered opening a post-graduate centre in Tumkur. Ironically, D. Manjunath, Minister for Higher Education, who held the same portfolio in the then Janata Dal Government, took interest in setting up the centre here.

In 1997-98, the then Deputy Commissioner, I.M. Vittala Murthy, allocated nearly Rs. 1 lakh from the District Natural Calamity Fund and got repaired some old structures on the Government Junior College Ground for setting up the post-graduate centre. Justifying his action, Mr. Murthy had then said: "The pathetic condition in which the students were pursuing post-graduate studies was more than any known natural calamity. I am satisfied at the proper utilisation of the calamity fund."

The centre offers courses in Kannada, History, Commerce and Mathematics. N.R. Shetty, the then Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University, secured a grant of Rs. 1.5 crore to the centre from the University Grants Commission for building a campus of its own. A local committee was formed under the presidentship of N. Rudraiah, former Vice-Chancellor of Gulbarga University, to select a suitable site for the campus.

On August 16, 2003, the then Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, who was here to inaugurate the District Police Office building, announced his Cabinet's decision to set up a university in Tumkur to ease the burden on Bangalore university. Mr. Krishna wanted it to be started in 2003-2004.

After the statutory approval from the Governor, Tumkur University was started here on February 21, 2004. As many as 105 colleges in Tumkur, Kolar, and Bangalore Rural (excepting Hosakote and Kanakapur taluks) were affiliated to the university. A local committee was constituted for each constituent college to ensure its smooth change over from Bangalore university to Tumkur University.

Accordingly, the admission of students were made under the nomenclature of Tumkur University. The fee structure framed by Tumkur University was followed. A calendar of events was also drawn up for the year.

It was at this stage that students of a few colleges in Kolar and Bangalore Rural districts staged demonstrations against affiliating their colleges to Tumkur university, following which, Mr. Manjunath issued a statement that "the setting up of Tumkur University will be put on hold."

The Director of Tumkur University, I.S. Shivakumar, says that the only issue to be sorted out is regarding the system of examination — whether annual or semester. He sees no difficulty in going in for semester system from the current academic year. He says: "We can always seek help from Bangalore university. We can use the textbooks printed by Bangalore University for the semester system."

The salaries for the staff are paid out of the Tumkur University funds for March (paid in April), April, and May. Dr. Shivakumar said that the salaries for June were also paid from the same account. "We are in a dilemma about the accounting hereafter," he said.

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