Cabinet to take up Cusat upgrade at next Delhi visit

G. Krishnakumar
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State wants university to become an IIEST

Upgrading the Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) into an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) is among the key projects seeking Central clearance to be discussed at the next visit of the State Cabinet to New Delhi on November 17 and 18.

Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb told The Hindu that the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development had given in-principle approval to the upgrade. The State delegation would express its desire to let the upgrade happen soon.

The project would become a reality, if the Union Ministry gave its final nod.

Mr. Rabb said the proposal could not be taken up for detailed discussions during the recent Cabinet visit to New Delhi, led by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

He said that Cusat's upgrade was listed among the various projects requiring Central clearance and assistance.

State ready

The Minister said the government had already made it clear that it was ready for upgrading the university into an IIEST.

Asked if the proposed IIEST would have the framework of a National Institute of Technology, the Minister said that such aspects would be discussed at a meeting to be held with Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal in November.

Reliable sources said the Ministry had delayed the approval of the proposal after the previous Left Democratic Front government conveyed its desire that Cusat should be upgraded into an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and not an IIEST. Hopes of such an upgrade had diminished, with the Centre now agreeing to provide a new IIT for the State instead of upgrading an existing university.

Mr. Rabb said the IIT would be part of the 12th Plan programme.

The Union government had agreed to provide entire support for the project, he said.



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