Goa needs IIM or IIT, not Central University: Shantaram

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Panaji, Aug 24 (UNI) A majority of the academicians favoured conferring Central University status on the Goa University, whereas Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik opined that the state needs an IIM, IIT, or Centre of Excellence but not a central university.

They were participating at a seminar organised by the Goa Education Development Corporation (GEDC) on the proposed conversion of Goa University into Central University here yesterday.

GEDC chairman Prof M K Shah said he would submit a comprehensive report on the issue to the state government within a week. As many as 300 experts including vice-chancellors participated in the seminar.

Pleading for according Central University status, Goa University vice-chancellor Prof Dilip Deobagkar said the proposal would facilitate better infrastructure and adequate funding besides benefitting the students with lower fee structure.

Dr B Hanumanthaiah, vice-chancellor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, Fr Romualdo de Souza, founder of Goa Institute of Management, R D Sahay, director, Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Human Resources Development justified Dr Deobagkar's argument.

The experts also discussed the merits and demerits of a central university but unanimously agreed that the university would receive adequate funds for improving the infrastructure, which was needed for promoting higher education.

''If we opt for a central university, it will not be less cruel than a mother's action of selling her children being unable to feed them or handing them to a relative, for the same reason,'' Mr Naik said. He harped on the Goan interest angle althrough.

''When Goa was a Union Territory, people did not opt for Central University but favoured establishment of a State University with an object of serving educational needs of Goans. We have to go a long way to fulfill the objectives, which, hopefully Goa University will have to do in the years to come,'' he said.

As a member of the Standing Committee of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, he said, he was aware that the University Grants Commission itself was in doldrums, and that, the Commission was ''crying'' all the time that it had no teeth and it had become helpless.

''A Central University by its very nature cannot look after the interest of locals and, in case they start doing so, the central authorities charge them of having lost their national character,'' Mr Naik opined.

''Some educationalists in Goa University, who have no affinity to the Goan soil are trying to misguide the Government of Goa in a clandestine manner without coming in the open,'' he said.

Mr Naik said Goa should think twice before handing over land worth crores of Rupees to the Central government in the light of the bitter experiences the state had.

He said SSCE board, a Medical College, Engineering College, a state university and the like were the basic features of a state and therefore, these institutions must be retained as such.

Presiding over the meeting, former Union Minister Mr Ramakant Khalap said that the educational standards had to match with the requirements of the global economy.

Goa, he said, should have a broader outlook and vision in the field of higher education, and therefore, these aspects must weigh in our mind while deciding bout the proposed central university.

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