The Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) is officially out of the race for becoming an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST).
Only Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU), Shibpur in West Bengal, figures in the National Institutes of Technology Science Education and Research (amendment) Bill, 2013, introduced in the Lok Sabha (Bill No. 30 of 2013).
Bengal Engineering and Science University and Cusat were among the five institutions identified by the Ministry for Human Resource Development (MHRD) for upgradation as IIESTs in 2007. The others included Institute of Technology of Benaras Hindu University; Andhra University College of Engineering, Visakhapatnam; and University College of Engineering and Technology of Osmania University, Hyderabad. The Hindu had reported on January 22 that MHRD had deferred Cusat’s upgradation proposal.
The Bill was introduced to amend the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Act, 2007. The new Act will be called the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Act, 2013.
BESU will receive an initial assistance of Rs.1 crore for its upgradation. The MHRD had proposed an outlay of Rs.592.2 crore over a period of five years for BESU’s upgradation in to an IIEST.
HRD Minister M.M. Pallam Raju had earlier given a hint that Kerala would have to wait for even realising its long-pending demand for an IIT under the 12 Plan. The government was also not keen on pressing Cusat’s proposal fearing that it might seal the fate of an IIT for the State. Reacting to the development, Cusat Registrar A. Ramachandran said the delay in giving consent for the upgradation proposal during the previous LDF regime was the major reason for the university not getting the IIEST status. He said former vice chancellor Gangan Prathap had conveyed to the MHRD that the university should be upgraded into an IIT and not an IIEST.
Dr. Ramachandran said the UDF government gave its green signal for the upgradation, but Cusat could not be included as the work on the Bill was almost over by that time.