Visvesaraya Technological University (VTU) on Thursday withdrew its circular on establishing ‘technical hubs’ in engineering colleges in the association with a private firm, following objections from a few affiliated colleges.
The colleges raised objections to the fee proposed by the company to be collected from students for establishing the hub, besides expressing doubts about the efficiency of the firm.
VTU Registrar A.S. Deshpande, in a circular on December 21, had told the colleges that the university had signed an MoU with M/S Rnurays Technologies Pvt. Ltd. to establish ‘industry hubs’ in colleges. “They offer hands-on experience to students by bringing industry experts to the campus and delivering industry-oriented services, including internship opportunities, project work, soft skill training, and placement of students of all streams,” the circular said.
Stating that the private firm had proposed a charge ₹17,864 per final-year student, the Registrar asked the colleges to provide them exclusive space for an industrial hub on the campus. Considering the number of students, the total fee would run into several crores. The colleges were also asked to submit action-taken reports on this before January 25. The project was proposed to involve nearly one lakh students from 225 affiliated colleges.
However, the Registrar issued a clarification on December 31 withdrawing the previous circular. In the latest circular, he stated, “This is to clarify [that] industry hub is desirable for strengthening industry connect. The university has not made it mandatory to tie up with Rnurays Technologies Pvt. Ltd.”
When The Hindu contacted Karisidd appa, Vice-Chancellor of VTU, he said the circular was withdrawn to clear up any confusion. “The concept of an industrial hub is helpful for students. However, the colleges are free to tie up with any firm that can provide th e necessary service,” he said.
A faculty member, who wished not to be named, said, “A customary visit to the company’s website will be enough to doubt its credentials. It has no previous experience in building industrial hubs. The profiles of those in chief posts are not only unimpressive but also lack basic information.”
The decision of the VTU has upset the private firm. Ningappa Uppal, founder and CEO of Rnuray Technologies, said , “We had begun the process of recruiting people to set up industrial hubs in all 225 colleges. Suddenly, the circular has been withdrawn.” He said he had no prior information about the withdrawal. When it was brought to his notice that some colleges doubted his company’s efficiency, he said, “We have not been allowed to work on this project yet.”