Minister for Urban Development, Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar has said that he is not aware of any request from the Union Ministry for Minority Affairs for allocation of land to set up Tipu Sultan Central University at Srirangapatna in Mandya district.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Kumar clarified: “I don’t know, whether a proposal seeking land for the proposed varsity has been made by the Centre or not.”
The controversy surrounding sanctioning land to the proposed varsity has been triggered only after Union Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rehman Khan made a statement to the effect, he said.
Reportedly, Mr. Rehman Khan had said that it did not matter whether the Karnataka government sanctioned land or not. Being a public-private partnership venture, the Ministry could seek land from private parties and there were many who have offered to donate land, including Wakf Board of Karnataka, he had said. “In case a proposal is made through proper channels, the government will consider, after weighing the need to set up religion-based varsity,” Mr. Suresh Kumar said.
There were only two religion-based varsities in India — Benaras Hindu University and Aligarh Muslim University. “Is it necessary to set up another religion based varsity in a secular country?” he asked.
When asked about the Bharatiya Janata Party government setting up Karnataka Sanskrit University, the Minister asserted that, Sanskrit university is language-based, not caste or religion based. “Reviving Sanskrit was akin to reviving culture of the land. How can culture and language could be separated?” he asked.