Waiting for a campus of their own


At the stroke of midnight on June 2, 2014, the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh was divided to give birth to Telangana, the 29th State of the country. And the document that formed the basis of the division was the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act-2014.

Apart from focussing on a number of issues pertaining to the division, Section 93 in the 13th Schedule of the Act dealt with the establishment of Institutions of National Importance in the residual State of Andhra Pradesh.

The institutions promised in the Act included IIT, NIT, IIM, IISER, Central University, IIPE (Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy), Agriculture University, AIIMS-type super-speciality hospital-cum-teaching institution and one Central Tribal University.

A few of them, such as IIT Tirupati, NIT Tadepalligudem, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIPE Visakhapatnam, have started functioning from temporary campuses, while the Central Tribal University, Vizianagaram, and Central University, Anantapur, are still in the planning stage.


IIM Visakhapatnam was one among the first to be grounded, and the institution started to function after refurbishing the Andhra Bank School of Management building that was leased out by Andhra University on its South campus. The institute is already into its fourth batch with 105 students in the junior section and 61 in the senior section.

"In 2019, our aim is to admit 130 students per year with two sections, and we will have at least 260 students in our present campus. But once we move to our new and own campus, our intake will increase to 560 per year and will have at least 1,120 PG students and close to 50 doctoral researchers," said M. Chandrasekhar, Director of IIM Visakhapatnam.

IIM Visakhapatnam was allotted about 240 acres of land in Gambheeram village, which is located about 25 km from Visakhapatnam city.

According to the agreement between the State and Central government, the land was allotted free of cost by the State government and State Government will construct the boundary wall and hand over the land to the institute.

"The Andhra Pradesh government has built a boundary wall of six km and handed over the land to us. We have given the details to the PMC (Project Management Consultancy). The PMC will finalise the design and hand over the construction to a public sector undertaking through a tender," said Prof. Chandrasekhar.


Though IIPE was launched in 2016-17, it is yet to move into its new campus, due to minor issues over land allotment, and continues to function from the building leased out by AU College of Engineering.

Just about a week ago, the promised 202 acres in Vangalli village in Sabbavaram mandal was handed over to IIPE and it is expected that construction will begin by June this year.

According to V.S.R.K Prasad, Director of IIPE, the campus will come up in two phases of six lakh sq feet each (12 lakh sq in two phases).

Noted architect Hafeez Contractor has been finalised to design the campus, which will be a green campus with vertical buildings.

"Our suggestion is to have more vertical buildings with 5 to 6 floors, with more number of lifts, so that more green space is available on the campus," said Prof. Prasad.

The Government of India has already earmarked ₹650 crore for capital expenditure and around ₹400 crore for maintenance. 


‘NID will create a buzz in Amaravati region’

Construction of a cluster of buildings that will house initial facilities of the National Institute of Design (NID), Amaravati campus, is in full swing at Inavolu village in the core capital region.

Going by the current status of the project, it is easy to conclude that it may take at least a couple of years for a full-fledged institute to take final shape. But officials at the helm of the institute are eager to associate with the permanent campus at the earliest.

"We have been promised that the academic block, hostels and staff quarters will be ready by this June. Nevertheless, we intend to start ‘certain’ activities by next semester, say by June-July," says Sekhar Mukherjee, the newly-appointed Director of the institute, who made his first site visit a couple of days ago, with a team of builders and architects.

"We have made a few suggestions keeping in mind our future activities. For instance, there will be no opaque wall in the campus boundary. We will develop a mini forest area, since summer here is challenging, and we do not want to depend too much on air-conditioners," says Mr. Mukherjee.

Each problem, he insists, will be solved in a creative way, reminding that "design education is basically about opening students’ minds to new possibilities and make them problem-solvers. We will look beyond classrooms; it will be more of a studio culture."

The NID, started on September 7 in 2015, currently has a transit campus at Acharya Nagarjuna University at Namburu in Guntur district.

NIT on a fast pace

Secretary, Union Ministry of Human Resource Development R. Subrahmanyam, during his recent visit to Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district, where the new building of the National Institute of Technology (NIT) is coming up, expressed satisfaction over the fast pace of works at the construction site.

He was happy to note that the construction of workshops, taken up in phase 1-A, have been completed in record time. After inaugurating the workshop, he also laid foundation stone for construction of facilities under Phase-1 B.

Under Phase-1 A, besides workshops, hostel buildings for boys and girls, dining halls, canteen, labs, classrooms complex, staff and faculty quarters, a guest house and service and development works are to be completed by September this year.

Simultaneously, Phase-1 B works will be in progress for construction of the Director’s bungalow, administrative building, a library, students’ amenities’ centre, indoor sports facilities, academic buildings, staff and faculty quarters and a laboratory complex. 

AIIMS — urgency necessitates innovation

The urgency of completing the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) early is more when compared to the other Central institutions, which are just educational. With Hyderabad going to Telangana, tertiary healthcare took a beating in Andhra Pradesh. The need for an AIIMS is far more urgent than the educational institutions which are seen as long-term investments.

The Union Cabinet approved development of the institute at an estimated cost of ₹1,618 crore on October 10, 2015. The institute with a super speciality hospital and two teaching institutes — a nursing and a medical — is scheduled for completion in March 2020.

The entire project has been divided into two components for logistic convenience with the Out-Patient and Residential Complex being taken up in the first phase and the tertiary care hospital and academic campus in the second.

Union Minister for Health J.P. Nadda told Parliament in the Winter Session that the hospital would be "functional" by September 2020. He said the first phase, which began in September 2017, is half completed and the second phase, which was started in March 2018, is around 15% complete.

In a flash of innovation, the administrators have come up with the idea of "early operation of the Out-patient Department" instead of waiting for the completion of the entire project. Under the OPD services, 12 departments, digital X Ray, diagnostic labs, and ultrasound facilities would be available to the public. Over 1.5 lakh out-patients would benefit from it. The OP block will have 30 day care beds and five minor operation theatres, according to the plan.

On the academic side, classes were started for the first batch of 50 students in a temporary facility established on the Siddhartha Medical College campus on August 30, 2018. 


Blame game continues over tribal university

The wait for a tribal university in Vizianagaram district is only going to get longer, if the ground situation is any indication. Thanks to the lack of coordination between the Union and State governments, construction work has not yet begun and neither have any steps been taken to start classes in temporary buildings for 2019-20 academic year.

The Union government announced sanction of ₹420 crore under phase-1 in December 2018 for setting up the Central Tribal University at Relli village.

Despite Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s promise to complete the project as early as possible, there is no sign of any progress at the site, triggering discontent among the local public representatives, who took the initiative for acquiring the land for the university.

A Central team finalised the site at Relli in February, 2015 and asked the State government to complete the land acquisition process. In spite of many hurdles, the State government acquired around 525 acres by paying compensation to local people, including tribals. It has also constructed a compound wall for the site.

‘Centre failed us’

"However, the Union government has failed to meet the aspirations of the people," laments S.Kota MLA Kolla Lalita Kumari, who was instrumental in acquiring the land in her constituency. "The release of funds has remained on paper. It is nothing but an eyewash. Narendra Modi government should have taken steps expeditiously, if it was serious about setting up the university. Now there is little chance of construction work getting completed before the commencement of academic year 2019-20," she says. 


IIT moves to permanent campus at Yerpedu, IISER faces delay

With six universities in its kitty, Tirupati has always been known as the academic nerve centre of Andhra Pradesh. The sanction of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) to the temple city furthered the all-pervasive academic ambience and made it truly a treasure trove of knowledge.

Tirupati is the only city in the country to boast of having both IIT and IISER, which, the academic fraternity believes, will help in effective exchange of faculty members to disseminate scientific and technological knowledge. What makes the interaction further easy is the establishment of the two institutes in close proximity on either side of the Yerpedu-Venkatagiri highway.

The IIT made rapid progress in moving into a transit campus, inside the permanent site allocated to it in Yerpedu mandal. Of the 566 acres committed to IIT, the State government allocated 530 acres to the premier national institute. Half of the total intake of students have moved to the residential campus as classroom buildings and laboratories have already come up.

The Centre has sanctioned ₹1,070 crore to the institute, to be released through various channels and spent in phases till 2020, of which ₹100 crore has been spent so far. "Works pertaining to ₹750 crore will be taken up soon, for which the tendering process is on", IIT Tirupati Director K.N. Satyanarayana told The Hindu.

The civil infrastructure made available at the transit campus is sufficient to accommodate the 1,200 students. The student strength will grow to 2,500 by 2024, when funding will be made available from stage-II, Prof. Satyanarayana added.

Similarly, IISER got the Union Cabinet approval for establishment of the permanent campus in October last, along with an approval of ₹1,491.34 crore. The permanent campus will have an iconic library building, academic plaza comprising laboratories and lecture halls, students hostel, sports facility and faculty housing, but the institute is yet to move to Yerpedu and is still functioning from a makeshift campus on Karakambadi Road.

Both the campuses are looking forward to get permanent source of water from the Telugu Ganga project. A proposal forwarded to this effect by the rural water supply department is learnt to be pending with the State government.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 9:10:04 AM |

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