Special Correspondent

Proposal for Central University also shelved

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union Budget has belied the hopes of the State for an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). The State has been pressing the Centre for an IIT for quite some time. It has also been seeking a Central University.

The UDF Government had taken some initiatives for getting an IIT established at Vithura in Thiruvananthapuram district. However, after the present Government came to power, Palakkad was proposed as an alternate location. The resignation of A.E. Muthunayagam as executive vice-president of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment also affected the proposal, as he was one of the key movers.

It had become clear even before the presentation of the Budget that the State would not get the IIT this year. The chances of getting the institution during the current Five-Year Plan period are weak.

Several States had approached the Centre for establishment of an IIT during the Plan period. However, the Centre has so far conceded only the demands of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. The States who did not get IITs included Karnataka and Chandigarh. Seven States now have IITs.

As many as 18 States had approached the Centre for Central Universities. However, the Union Government favoured only five on account of resources constraints.