IIT KanpurThe state has finally succeeded in getting an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

The Central government has agreed to sanction one IIT to the state in the 2009-10 plans.

In a recent meeting with the Planning Commission, the state secretary for higher education had raised the issue. After an hour-long discussion, the Planning Commission agreed in principle to sanction an IIT for
Karnataka.

"The officials of the Planning Commission have agreed in principle to give one IIT to the state and they will announce it after the Lok Sabha elections," said AS Srikantha, principal secretary, department of higher education.

On February 9 and 10, higher education department officials of the state had a meeting with Planning Commission. Primary education minister Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri also attended the talks.

"In that meeting, we made the Planning Commission officials realise the necessity of an IIT for Karnataka. Finally, they agreed in principle," Srikantha said.

The Union government may announce the IIT after the general elections or on Budget Day. After the official announcement by the Centre, the state has to identify a place that will be suitable to set up an IIT.

An IIT requires 300 acres of land, which has to be provided by the state government. The Centre will build the infrastructure and also provide the faculty.

According to sources in the department of higher education, the government would require more than Rs700 crore to purchase 300 acres of land in Bangalore. So Bangalore has been ruled out as the location to set up an IIT.

Six years ago, a committee to recommend IIT, headed by Prof U R Rao, had suggested one for Karnataka and it had identified Hubli-Dharwad as the ideal location. Even the department officials are planning to refer the Rao Committee's report.

"I am glad to hear that the Centre has agreed to sanction an IIT to Karnataka, because the state deserves an IIT. I don't think it needs 300 acre to set up an IIT," said Prof Rao, a scientist.

"It is a big achievement that Centre is granting an IIT to the state. It will not only help the state but also the nation. All experts in the state have tried their best to get it," said Prof MR Doreswamy, chairman of PES group of institutions.

"I will be the happiest person, because we have been trying for an IIT for a long time. It's really great news for the state," said Dr HP Kincha, vice-chancellor, VTU.

Source- DNA, 28th Feb, 2009