Andhra Pradesh

No AU land being allotted to IT startup companies, says V-C

Getting future-ready: The building has about 4,000 sft for usage in each of the two floors and with the new two floors, it will go up to 16,000 sft.   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Putting to rest the controversy raging in the Andhra University campus over 50 acres of university land being allotted to IT startup companies, Vice-Chancellor P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy said that ‘no land is being allotted’ to anyone.

But he confirmed that a startup incubation is being readied in the campus and it is being done as per the new National Education Policy-2020. It is being set-up with RUSA (Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) funds.

“We have already built a two-storey structure and named it as Gandhi Bhavan, and we have floated e-tender for another two floors. The tender will be finalised shortly. The incubation centre is coming up in that building,” said Prof. Prasad Reddy.

According to him, all top institutes including central universities have incubation cells to groom startups and it is part of that initiative. This aspect is being wrongly interpreted and communicated by some political parties, he said.

The building has about 4,000 sft for usage in each of the two floors and with the new two floors, it will go up to 16,000 sft. “We will still be falling short, as the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was for 30,000 sft. But we have provisions for future expansion,” he said.

Prof. Reddy said that invitation will be sent to four or five startups to establish their units in the first floor and the second floor will be left open for the students to start their units.

The startups in the first floor will act as mentors for the students and also provide internship and once ready the students will be allowed to start their own in the second floor and later in the other two floors after they are ready.

On the role of STPI (Software Technology Parks of India), the V-C said that the government institution will act as a funding agency and facilitator for the startups.

“We will provide the facility, but once the startup projects are approved they would need other support such as funding and networking and this where STPI comes in,” he said.

STPI is sponsoring two such centres in Visakhapatnam, one in Visakhapatnam that is called as Industry 4.0 and the other is in AU, which has been named as Nex Gen centre, said Prof. Prasad Reddy.

Apart from the Nex Gen centre, AU is also starting three research centres one each for pharma testing, food testing and genetic research.

For the food testing lab, AU has already tied up with Food Crafts India, and efforts are on to rope in reputed institution for pharma and genetic research centres. The centres are being started with ₹15 crore RUSA funds and some old quarters facing Siripuram have been demolished to accommodate the three-floor centre. All the three research labs will be equipped with the state-of-the-art research equipment and instruments and will provide opportunity for our research scholars, said Prof. Prasad Reddy.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 9:08:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/no-au-land-being-allotted-to-it-startup-companies-says-v-c/article32986959.ece

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