Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Georgia Tech revives plans for AP campuses

U.S.-headquartered Georgia Tech University, which offers post graduate and research programmes, has revived its bid to set up campuses in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. A delegation that met Chief Minister K. Rosaiah recently assured it would make efforts to start classes this year from temporary premises. It first mooted the proposal to set up campuses here in 2007. The government, through its AP Invest, a wing to promote investments in the state, agreed to provide about 20-acre land in Hyderabad and 70-acre in Visakhapatnam free of cost for the visiting university for setting up the new premises.

Georgia Tech was to take the mandatory permission from the apex body of technical education — All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) — to offer courses in India. It then said it would set up the Hyderabad campus in a year and the other in the coastal city in two years. However, no progress has been made and there were reports that the foreign university had shelved its Andhra Pradesh plans. “They could not tie up with a business partner for meeting the funding requirements,” a higher official explained the reasons for the delay. Apparently, it has found partners now and was willing to take the project forward, the official said. The recent developments in the higher education arena allowing the foreign universities to partner with Indian institutions was also one of the reasons for Georgia to make efforts to revive its plans for centres in Hyderabad, he felt.

Georgia visited various locations in Maharashtra, Karanataka and Andhra Pradesh before zeroing on Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. Georgia was then tight-lipped about its investment in actual terms. It was then said (in 2007) that Satyam Group, now embroiled in financial scam at Satyam Computer Services, would help the university to raise an endowment of about US$ 500 million for new project and had already generated US$ 20 million for the purpose. It is not clear if this arrangement would work now in view of the crises at Satyam.

Faculty from the parent university would come for teaching here. Gradually, about 80 per cent of them would be appointed from India and stationed at Hyderabad. There were plans to admit international students, to partner with local technology and allied players, to offer value addition to students apart from taking up industry-based research in engineering stream.

Source: Business Standard, May 10, 2010 (Reported by B. Krishna Mohan)

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