Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Land allocation kicks up a row

If KIP does not materialise, many activities including students' fellowship will be affected: VC

By Ashok Putta

The employees’ and students’organizations of University of Hyderabad agitated against the allocation of university land to the Knowledge and Innovation Park (KIP) and Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) on February 8, 2010.
Resenting the decision of the UoH management to allocate 200 acres of land for KIP and 25 acres for CDFD, the teaching, non-teaching employees and students protested near the administrative building. They demanded a roll back of the decision.
University Teachers’ Association President Prof. Appa Rao said that land which should be used for education purpose is being allocated to Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The Staff Union President Narasimhulu Goud said that allocating land to CDFD would cause a lot of pollution. He said that the students would not benefit from KIP which according to him would be home to a large number of IT and pharma companies. He said that if the land is given away like this, the university would have to be run from apartments in the near future.
The VC Prof. Seyed E Hasnain strongly refuted this argument.“This is a very misinformed campaign. Alexandria is a real estate company that specialises in laboratory development for research. They are not going to build flats and apartments here,” he explained.
Goud also said that in the past, university land had been given to RTC Depot, IIIT, Gachibowli stadium, MRO office, Navodaya School and Electricity sub station from which the public benefited. “But the allocation of land to KIP and CDFD which belong to private companies would benefit neither students nor common people,” Goud maintained.
Speaking exclusively to UoH Dispatch, the VC added: “We do not own this land. Government of Andhra Pradesh can issue an order and take it away from us any time. If we do not collaborate with them to have an arrangement that benefits us, we are at a loss. Through this project, we can raise our corpus fund to Rs. 1000 crores. Without that, most of the activities on campus like foreign trips of faculty and Ph D scholars and students’ fellowships will become unsustainable. In short, if KIP does not materialise, students’ fellowship will be discontinued come July.”
Non Teaching employees’ association Chief Secretary M Sudhir, United Employees Union Chief Secretary Sebastian and Students Union President Chaitanya Prasad have also demanded a withdrawal of the decision. But the Officers’ Association has, in a letter dated February 7, 2010, offered its support. “We had a lot of misgivings and apprehensions and could not see what you saw years ahead for the institution,” the letter applauded.

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