IIIT: Pune’s loss is Nagpur’s gain

Reason is delay in identifying land; institute to come up on 100 acres near Kaladongri

Written by PRASAD JOSHI | Pune | Published:October 18, 2013 2:42 am

The state’s first Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) has turned out to be Pune’s loss and Nagpur’s gain. Thanks to delay in identifying and acquiring land in Pune for the institute,the state government has finally zeroed in on Nagpur.

The minister for higher and technical education,Rajesh Tope,has now declared that project would come up at Nagpur on 100 acres of land near Kaladongri,off Wardha Road near Orange City.

The IIIT in the state is part of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) plan to set up 20 such institutions across the country. In 2011,Nanoli in Chakan taluka of Pune was among the few places that were considered for the campus. Minister Tope had even made an announcement to this effect.

But the Pune district administration later said that it was yet to decide on allotting land for the campus and maintained that talks with officials of Chakan Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) were on. Though the work for the campus was set to begin by mid 2012,the inability to acquire land till date has affected its chances.

The proposed IIITs are expected to offer courses such as BTech,MTech and PhD in information technology.

When the project was announced in Pune two and a half years ago,the estimated financial outlay was around Rs 165 crore. The MHRD would contribute Rs 100 crore,state government Rs 45 crore and the rest by private partners.

Tope had said that Finolex Cables,Finolex Industries and Ackruti City Ltd were some of the private partners that were part of the first-of-its-kind PPP model IIIT project in Pune.

Senior officials of the State Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) said hopes of setting up IIIT in Pune is not all over yet.

“The state is expected to get two IIITs under the MHRD scheme. While proposal to set up one at Nagpur is being expedited,another planned at Pune is taking some time. We have already surveyed few places around Chakan and other parts of Pune district. We are hopeful that things would fall in place shortly,” a senior official said.

While district administration authorities refused to comment on the issue,Minster Tope could not be reached for his comment despite repeated attempts.

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