Apart from the fact that politics over its location has delayed the process of starting an Indian Institute of Technology in Karnataka, academicians are worried that the state might even lose the premier institute if the fight goes on.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Prof U R Rao, head of the committee constituted by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development to submit recommendations for new IITs in 1998 said, â€śAround 18 years ago, the state lost the IIT due to lack of consensus on its location.â€™
Academician M R Doreswamy, chancellor, PES University, told TNIE that he was concerned that the politics over the location may result in the state losing the IIT or delay the entire process.
According to the TNIE report, BJP criticised Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for asking Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Sunday to consider Raichur for the IIT. The party reportedly accused the chief minister of politicising the issue.
In a release on Tuesday, the former Mayor Shivu Hiremath condemned the governmentâ€™s move and said that the Union governmentâ€™s expert panel chose Dharwad after studying the available facilities. However, it was not fair to once again write a letter to the Centre pleading it to shift the IIT to Raichur.
TOI reported that the human resource department has initiated the process for a temporary campus for IIT in Dharwad. A senior HRD official told the newspaper that there was no divisive opinion on setting up the IIT in Dharwad. â€śThe selection committee, having visited all the three locations had decided on the site location. The HRD does not plan to ever change the location of an IIT within the state,â€ť said the official.
However, the IIT Horata Samiti president Basavaraj Kalasa in a press conference on Tuesday said that it was improper for the Dharwad Deputy Commissioner P. Rajendra Cholan to go ahead with setting up of a transit campus for IIT, when State government had written to Union government urging the latter to reconsider its decision to establish the institute in Dharwad.
â€śBharat Lal Meena, Principal Secretary, Department of Higher Education, must immediately instruct the Dharwad Deputy Commissioner to halt all the processes in this regard until the place for IIT in the State is finalised,â€ť he said.