Students demand unitary university for UCE

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Sambalpur, Aug 5 (UNI) The students and the Alumni Association of University College of Engineering (UCE), Burla, have urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to accord ''Unitary University'' status to the college on the lines of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack.

In a joint letter, student representative Kumar Narayan Guru and Alumni Association secretary Ashes Padhy demanded that the government must pass a legislation in the Assembly in this regard, transfer 400 acre land of Irrigation department to the college and hike annual grant to UCE from Rs five crore to Rs 15 crore.

They also requested the Chief Minister to sanction a one-time special grant of Rs 100 crore for the infrastructure development of the institution.

Both Mr Guru and Mr Padhy described the recent letter of Mr Patnaik to Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, requesting him to accord NIT status on UCE as an ''eyewash and designed to befool the people of Western Orissa''.

Since the state had already a NIT in Rourkela, the Central Government would not sanction a second one for the state, they said and questioned the state government's decision to set up the new IIT, sanctioned by the Union Government at Banki, when the Chief Minister way back in 2004 had written to the Union Government to upgrade UCE to an IIT.

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